Huge concern as 20 Offaly hotel guests test positive for Covid-19

Health authorities warn of possible further transmission in the town

Gearoid Keegan

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Gearoid Keegan

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news@offalyexpress.ie

Huge concern as 20 Offaly hotel guests test positive for Covid-19

Huge concern as 20 Offaly hotel guests test positive for Covid-19

A HSE official has urged caution in Tullamore after a "significant incident" relating to Covid-19. 

20 people from a group of 40 guests who were in the Bridge House Hotel from September 6 to September 10 have now been confirmed as having the virus, according to an email from the HSE to GPs in the Midlands area.

The GPs were told yesterday (September 16) that a “significant Covid-19 incident” has occurred in Tullamore. Any further transmission outside the group is “likely to be a significant number of people from the Tullamore community” after the guests socialised and ate in the town.

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Those who have tested positive for Covid-19 also played golf in Esker Hills, Tullamore, and the New Forest Golf Club, Tyrrellspass.

The GPs were told some of the guests “socialised in various places around the town of Tullamore,” including two public houses and a restaurant.

Close contacts have been identified and have been asked to restrict their movements.

They are being tested and another follow-up test will take place after seven days.

The GPs were told the guests had been staying in the Bridge House Hotel in Tullamore.

According to the HSE doctor who contacted GPs in the Midlands, up to 100 staff at the hotel are being screened for Covid-19.

All hotel residents, most likely from other parts of the country, will be contacted and told they may have been in contact with a case.

They will be told they have to contact their GP if they develop Covid symptoms up to September 24.

Ray Molloy, spokesman for Esker Hills Golf Club, told the Tullamore Tribune up to 14 people who were on a four-night break in Tullamore played golf at the course once during their stay.

They did not have any refreshments there and the bar in the clubhouse has remained closed.

The club has been contacted by the health authorities but unless someone is showing symptoms, there are no implications for others who played golf at Esker Hills during that period.

“What we have to do is watch ourselves if we have any symptoms. We weren't a declared contact as such,” said Mr Molloy.

According to the email from the HSE doctor dated September 16, infection is currently limited to the group who were staying in the hotel.

However, the email added: “If, from testing, new notifications and further history, we determine there is transmission of infection beyond this group, either to staff or guests, we may contact others who have eaten in any of the Bridge House restaurants or drank at the bar and ask them to contact their GP if [they] develop symptoms.”

The GPs were told this is “likely to be a significant number of people from the Tullamore community” and advised the doctors that they may get queries.

Anybody associated with the incident will be asked to restrict their movements and will be sent for Covid-19 testing.