THE former Cleeve’s toffee factory site has been taken over by the HSE to provide isolation accommodation for Covid-19 patients.
A vast land-bank by the North Circular Road, the area is earmarked for a €250m redevelopment under the Limerick 2030 project.
But for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, the health service has used the site for a facility for individuals advised to isolate after contracting the condition.
Northside Labour councillor Conor Sheehan says he can “understand the logic” and praised the council and the HSE for working together.
While the threat of the flu-like condition is receding, almost 600 people have had the disease in Limerick.
An HSE spokesperson said the aim of the rapid-build unit housing at Cleeve’s is “to provide a suitable isolation facility for individuals that have been advised to isolate.”
These individuals may be asymptomatic, symptomatic, waiting for a swab result, or having been diagnosed with coronavirus, but without needing an acute level of care.
“Admission to this facility requires a resident to be over 18 years of age, independent in self-medication and self-care or require minimal supervision with same,” the spokesperson said.
One of the reasons for its use, the spokesperson said, would be a person having had a diagnosis of Covid-19 that no longer requires acute medical care, but they are unable to return to their home, or need isolation to minimise the risk of spread.
The information came to light following a question from Independent councillor Elisa O’Donovan on the future uses of the land.
Director Vincent Murray said a master plan will shortly be put together for the site.
Cllr Sheehan said: “We didn't know before the Covid-19 pandemic peaked what sort of a surge we were looking into. Thank God it wasn't, but it could very well have been concievably an awful lot worse than it was. I totally understand and I'm glad to see the Cleeve's site was being used.”
The site has been stood down, but can be reactivated within 24 hours, the HSE said.