Model Preventive Covid Measures in Place at St. Joseph’s House, Dartry

AMRI or “The Association of Leaders of Missionaries and Religious in Ireland” (the successor of the Irish Missionary Union and Conference of Religious in Ireland when these two amalgamated) had set up a Covid-19 ‘helpline’ in the second part of 2020.  It was a result of congregations and Societies making enquiries on what to do for preventative activities and where to turn to when you had cases. 

Sandra Neville who has been our Safeguarding Officer since 2015, and is also a nurse, was the one who put together various ways of promoting preventative activities to control and reduce the spread of Covid and corresponding checklists, etc.  This was as a result of helping us at our terrible time when Covid rampaged through St. Josephs House in March and April.  What we did to reduce the spread of Covid in the house was charted and written up and are now available as checklists and activities lists that may assist others. 

AMRI have put it up on line https://www.amri.ie/help-and-information  They can be used and adapted to each situation as need be. Other hyperlinks will guide you to various websites of the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) Mention is made of Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) https://www.hpsc.ie/ and they have very useful guidance’s for both domestic and residential care facilities.  These guidance are updated regularly, some of use for our Retirement houses or even our formation houses if adapted.  https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/guidance/infectionpreventionandcontrolguidance/residentialcarefacilities/

We have our activities lists in action here so seven evenings a week after the 6pm evening meal the five members/residents who are on duty that week get their sprayers (with a water based solution containing basically liquid soap and disinfectant) and moistened cloths: two look after the dining room area tables, table items like the salt and pepper cruets and dining chairs, the serving area, toasting and microwave area, sink and drainboard, and other surfaces in the dining area, another member sanitises the morning and afternoon tea area as well as the chair arms and tables and other touch surfaces or areas (both dining and tea areas are also sanitised by the housekeeping staff in the morning time after breakfast and after lunch). Two more do all the ‘touch’ surfaces throughout the house, the door handles of rooms in use and the lift switches and grab bar, the light switches that are used, the rails of the stairs, the window ledges where people stand to look out (both floor windows ledge opposite the lift doors), the chapel doors and other ‘swing’ doors.

One outcome of this has been no cross infections of ‘flu or colds in the house to now.  One or two have had colds but they have not spread to others as previously. 

Philip O’Halloran mhm

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