Wicklow Sinn Féin TD, John Brady, today reacted with grave concern to reports of serious outbreaks of Covid-19 at a number of residential homes in the county. Already three people with intellectual disabilities have died as a result of infection in one care home in the County. He further said that access to the vaccine roll out for this vulnerable group must be expediated.
“In one facility alone ten out of twelve residents have tested positive for the virus. A further three deaths unfortunately happened in one center, this is alarming. Mass infections in residential homes is something that we had hoped that we had left behind us. These were the first infections at these facilities in a year.
“Management of the Sunbeam House Services report that a further thirty staff are either on sick leave or self-isolating due to close contact.
“The advent of the variant strains of Covid-19 with their added infectiousness, represent a considerable challenge for Care Facilities.
“While we all recognise the difficulties that have arisen in the roll out of the vaccine, there are very real concerns that residents and staff in the disability sector have not been included in the initial tranche of vaccine roll out. Although recognised as being an essential service, they have been excluded from the initial stages.
“The government must ensure that every possible effort is made to protect this vulnerable section of our community. Access to the vaccine roll out for this vulnerable group must be expediated.
Brady concluded “Having sat and listened on Dáil Committees as to how the virus ran riot in care homes during the initial surge, the government cannot allow other vulnerable groups to be left exposed, particularly with the alarming rates of infection within our communities.”