Nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, and there has been a large and sustained effort to protect this population in Ireland. This has included the establishment of the COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) in May 2020, to examine the complex issues surrounding the management of COVID-19 in this cohort. The Expert Panel report recommended that HIQA and HPSC undertake a detailed epidemiological analysis comparing both risk and protective factors associated with outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 in HIQA-regulated nursing homes.
Accordingly, this report outlines the collaborative analysis undertaken by HIQA and HPSC on factors associated with the likelihood of the occurrence of an outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 in nursing homes in Ireland, and the extent of the outbreak should such an event occur.
The Study to Investigate COVID-19 Infection in People Living in Ireland (SCOPI) took place between 15 June and 16 July 2020. The results of the study have now been published. This study, the first of its kind in Ireland, measured antibodies to COVID-19 in a representative sample of 1,733 persons aged 12 to 69 years in Sligo and Dublin.
Staff in St. James’s Hospital (SJH) in Dublin and University Hospital Galway (UHG) were offered testing for antibodies to COVID-19 over a 10-day period in October 2020 with the aim of estimating the number of infections in HCWs in Irish hospitals.