Irish Prison Service Statement (Updated Monday 9th November 2020 12.30pm)
Prisoner test positive for Covid19 Limerick Prison
09 November 2020
The Irish Prison Service is continuing to work closely with Public Health and the HSE with regard to the potential outbreak of Covid-19 in Limerick Prison. There has been one confirmed prisoner case of Covid-19 in Limerick Prison.
All prisoners in Limerick have been tested and results have not identified any further cases amongst the prisoner population.
All staff have also been tested and the Irish Prison Service has been informed of a small number of positive staff tests for Covid-19 and contact tracing is ongoing with regard to these cases.
All positive cases in Limerick relate to one area of the prison.
The Outbreak Control Team (OCT) continues to meet daily to review the ituation and agree the appropriate actions to be taken to mitigate against further possible spread of the virus within the prison.
The prison continues to operate on a restricted regime in line with infection control requirements.
For further information contact
Notes for editors,
Limerick Prison is a closed, medium security prison for adult males and females. It is the committal prison for males for counties Clare, Limerick and Tipperary and for females for all six Munster counties.
The range of measures, which have been introduced by the Irish Prison Service to combat Covid-19, include:
- The introduction of a basic health check, including taking of temperatures for all persons, including staff, entering prisons;
- The ongoing review of the provision of physical family visits, replaced by the introduction of video visits;
- In conjunction with the Health authorities, facilitating the testing of all new committals to the prisons at an early stage, which will allow for the prisoner to exit quarantine and enter the general population at an earlier stage, provided test results are negative;
- Isolation of a suspected case or prisoner with symptoms to prevent the risk of transmission of infection;
- The provision of cocooned accommodation for vulnerable prisoners including all prisoners aged 70 years or more or those that are deemed medically vulnerable;
- Comprehensive training for prison staff and the provision of appropriate PPE across the prison estate;
- Conducting of risk assessments and putting in additional controls where identified, such as the mandatory wearing of surgical masks for staff in areas which have been highlighted as locations where social distancing is difficult or cannot be maintained;
- A number of Standard Operating Procedures in place for the distribution of PPE, as well as the donning and doffing of PPE and Infection Control measures which are kept under consent review;
- Strong communication with staff and prisoners, including two prison newsletters published weekly and regular Covid-19 information leaflets for prisoners and newsletters for staff regarding actions taken; and
- Establishment of a robust contract-tracing model, which has been acknowledged by the WHO as best practice.