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Covid-19 Pandemic

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (739, 747)

Neasa Hourigan

Question:

739. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Health the measures taken by his Department to ensure ventilation and clean air quality in public and private nursing homes particularly in relation to the installation of CO2 monitors, ventilation systems and HEPA filters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61850/21]

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Róisín Shortall

Question:

747. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the steps his Department is taking to ensure proper ventilation and air quality regulation in nursing homes due to the threat of the spread of Covid-19 in these facilities; if his Department will provide funding for the installation of CO2 monitors and air purification systems in nursing homes; if the possible allocation of such funds has been costed by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61919/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 739 and 747 together.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) of the HSE has developed, published and regularly reviews a comprehensive package of public health and infection prevention and control guidance for long-term residential care facilities. This includes the comprehensive “Public Health & Infection Prevention & Control Guidelines on the Prevention and Management of Cases and Outbreaks of COVID-19, Influenza & other Respiratory Infections in Residential Care Facilities”, most recently updated on 30th November 2021. This guidance also refers to ventilation, providing advice on circumstances where ventilation may be improved. Additionally, there are well established regulations and standards, including HIQA’s National Standards for infection prevention and control (IPC) in community services which provide a comprehensive package of IPC measures.

Regulation 17 of the Health Act 2007 (Care and Welfare of Residents in Designated Centres for Older People) Regulations 2013 also requires registered providers to provide premises that conform to specific matters set out in the regulations, which includes “ventilation, heating and lighting suitable for residents in all parts of the designated centre which are used by resident”. As such, registered providers may make a determination on any appropriate interventions having regard to their individual circumstances.

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