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Major outbreak in ERS as 74 residents and staff test positive for Covid

There are has been a major outbreak of Covid-19 in the Elderly Residential Services, with residents and staff from Mount Alvernia, the Jewish Home and John Mackintosh Home affected, the Gibraltar Government said on Tuesday.
In a press statement, No.6 Convent Place said it confirmed the news with great concern but that most residents and staff were asymptomatic, and the cases have been detected due to the rigorous swabbing programme.
Of the total 48 cases, 39 are in Mount Alvernia, four in the Jewish Home and five in the John Macintosh Home.
The Government told the Chronicle 20 ERS staff from Mount Alvernia and the Jewish Home have tested positive and another 44 are in isolation.
In the John Mackintosh Home six staff have tested positive and 11 are in isolation.
In Hillsides no residents have Covid-19 and one staff member is in isolation.
No cases have been detected in John Cochrane Ward and Calpe Ward.
A spokesman said the workers are being PCR tested three times weekly.
“They are tested with the rapid Antigen tests at commencement of each shift at the entrance of the all ERS premises this includes Nursing staff and Industrial workers,” the spokesman said.
No.6 Convent Place also confirmed an additional 56 beds have been allocated within Mount Alvernia and Bellavista to provide social distancing and to “separate positive cases, close contact and non-infected residents.”
“Since the early days of this pandemic, the dedicated teams at ERS have worked tirelessly to put in place meticulous infection prevention measures, which are updated regularly, to curtail the spread of the virus,” the Government said.
“Furthermore, the ERS has been and is medicalised since late last March and currently the ERS medical team are active within the premises 24/7 dedicating time explicitly to those with the virus.”
“In addition to the PCR screening programme, ERS have introduced Antigen testing (LFD Innova), which is carried out on all residents and staff on a daily basis at each shift before entry to the premises. This has provided an even earlier detection time for positive cases, reducing the spread and providing early intervention and isolation of both residents and staff.”
The Government added that in order to prevent the further spread of Covid-19, residents are being cohorted into bubbles to safeguard and prevent any further exposure.
All positives, as well as their close contacts, remain in isolated areas.
To maintain these bubbles, 30 beds have been added in Mount Alvernia and a further 24 in Bellavista.
“The safety and well-being of our residents in ERS remains our top priority and we will continue to use all the resources available to us to protect them and keep them safe,” Minister for Health and Care, Samantha Sacramento said.
“I have nothing but praise for the management and all staff at the ERS for their absolute dedication to the service and its residents and always going over and above to keep them safe.”
“I cannot thank everyone at ERS enough for the work that they are doing during these difficult times.”

UPDATE: This post was updated to reflect new information from the Government.

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