Cork University Hospital is effectively on lock down this evening, with notices outside the hospital saying an “infection outbreak” means strict visitor restrictions are in place.

The move comes as a patient at the hospital, who had not been to any affected country recently, tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Separately, another 6 new cases have also been confirmed this evening, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the Republic to 13.

Three cases have also been confirmed in the north.

The case in Cork appears to be the first case of ‘community transmission’ – where the HSE cannot say at this point how the virus was transmitted.

A statement on behalf of Cork University has said that the strict visitor restrictions have been introduced with immediate effect “due to Infection Control concerns”.

The statement reads: “Strict visitor restrictions have been introduced with immediate effect at Cork University Hospital due to Infection Control concerns.

“This is in the interest of patient care and in order to prevent the spread of infections within the hospital. Anyone with any queries about visiting times or visiting a particular ward should ring the hospital on Tel: 021 – 4922000. We regret any inconvenience caused to patients and relatives by these necessary measures, which are being taken in the interests of patient care.

“All infection control measures are in place and every effort is being made to manage and contain the spread of infection.

“Management at the South/South West Hospital Group have requested that where appropriate the public contact their GP/Southdoc in the first instance and explore all other options available to them prior to presenting to Emergency Departments in the city if their needs are not urgent.”

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