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Direct Provision residents moved to Dublin following positive Covid-19 tests

RESIDENTS of a Clare Direct Provision centre have been moved to Dublin following the detection of cases of Covid-19.
All 36 residents have left Clare Lodge in Ennis after some of them tested positive. They have been brought to the capital where they will be accommodated in individual rooms to prevent the spread of Covid-19. According to a source, some staff members have also contracted the virus.
Co-ordinator of the Clare Immigrant Support Centre Orla Ní Éilí told The Champion she is aware of the movement of the residents from the centre run by Bridgestock Care Ltd and believes this was the “correct practice” to ensure people’s safety.
She said the decision to remove the residents from the centre was taken in the interests of public health.
“It was decided for everybody’s sake to move everyone to a designated centre in Dublin where people will have their own rooms for the couple of weeks to get over Covid if they have it, or because so many are close contacts they will be looked after there until they get to the other side of this.
“It was a good measure to try and ensure that everybody is safe and sound, whether they are close contact, or actually have Covid.”
She stressed that this is not a permanent move, and the residents will return. Ms Ní Éilí has been in contact with a number of them, saying, “It’s very tough on them but the few I have talked to were glad that such precautions were being taken.” She added that the confirmation of Covid cases at the centre demonstrates the risks posed by having people congregating in Direct Provision. “This is an ongoing problem and we will be very glad when Direct Provision, as it is now, will no longer be in place and people will have own-door accommodation.”
Responding to queries from The Clare Champion, The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said, “The Department does not comment on specific Covid-19 cases or outbreaks.  
“The Department is guided by the advice of Public Health officials in each Community Health Organisation area as regards how cases of Covid-19 at centres in their region are to be managed, including decisions on when and where off-site isolation is deemed necessary.
“Where off-site isolation is deemed necessary, a resident is moved to the off-site facility and supported while there. The Department will continue to work with the HSE and the Department of Health in the best interests of all residents whilst we remain in the midst of this unprecedented pandemic.”
An attempt was made to contact Bridgestock Care Ltd and the HSE for comment. Responses had not been received at the time of going to press.

By Jessica Quinn

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