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The Director of Public Health together with ERS /GHA Medical Director and Management team regrets to inform the public that due to the increasing number of Omicron cases in the community the decision to stop outings for the time being has been taken. We currently have 21 omicron cases. These are all currently associated with outbreaks or where the source of the infection can be ascertained. But looking ahead, we are expecting to move to more sustained community transmission of omicron and hence we have taken the decision to stop the outings before this happens and reduce the risk to our residents.

This difficult decision has not been taken lightly and is in place to safeguard our vulnerable adults from exposure and the potential risk of COVID-19 infection. This measure is appropriate and proportionate to the current circumstances.

This measure will be under reviewed on a weekly basis and benchmarked against the incidence of COVID-19 cases in the community. This enables us to develop a greater understanding of omicron specifically the severity of disease and the effectiveness of the vaccine against this strain.

The Minister for Health, Samantha Sacramento, said: “It is with great sadness that we must implement these measures. Our biggest priority has to be safeguarding our residents during this very uncertain time. The measures will be kept under constant review until we are able to revert back to normal. This is the last thing that we wanted to do, but must do on public health advice to ensure that residents are kept safe”.

Visits will continue as per the current system in place. We would like to thank all our residents and their families for their understanding and cooperation in this matter

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