Following engagement between the Health Sector Unions and the HSE today (April 21st), the following has been clarified.
1) The Wearing of Masks.
The HSE and Occupational Health Department have confirmed that all health care workers should now wear masks while caring for patients when they are within a 2 meter distance. Masks should be worn in any scenario where care is being provided and social distancing of 2 metres cannot be adhered to. This includes all community and residential settings. Further instruction on this will be issued by the HSE in the coming days.
2) Priority Testing.
It has also been confirmed that the priority testing, currently underway in the Nursing Home sector, will also incorporate residential settings within the Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Services. This priority testing will encompass all residents and staff within these settings.