Covid 19 update

Thank you to everyone who got in touch with kind words and support regarding the current outbreak of Covid 19 at our House of Hope nursery. To start with the good news, the four children and two house mothers who had tested positive a little under two weeks’ ago have been discharged from hospital and, although the three month old boy is a bit chesty, all six patients appear healthy and strong. They have to observe a further 10 days of quarantine in one of our buildings, which has led to further shuffling of pieces around the board, more of which later. This was a great relief as they were a vulnerable bunch of children and their diagnosis caused great concern.

The public health authorities returned last week to carry out further PCR testing on all staff and children at the nursery and unfortunately, two little girls and three house mothers returned positive samples and were taken to the local hospital. Neither of the children has a pre-existing health condition. Further PCR testing this week revealed that two more house mothers have Covid 19 and both were transported to the hospital today. The entire House of Hope staff and all the children have been isolating in the nursery for two weeks already so the slow incubation rate has surprised everyone and means prolonging the quarantine. The staff numbers have taken quite a hit with seven of the staff absent so it is all hands on deck. The public health authorities have strictly forbidden anybody to enter the nursery so the remaining house mothers are under huge pressure.

One more staff member tested positive last week. He is one of our maintenance team and he is currently in hospital in Nong Khai. He is feeling ok and is not showing any symptoms.

The individual groups of kids who had been quarantining in various buildings have all been released from their isolation and are very relieved but six staff and one child from Jan & Oscar have had to isolate in the house of a house mother and at Charlene House, as they had spent time with the maintenance man who tested positive. They have all tested negative twice now.

The cooks at Charlene House are busy cooking for the six original cases as they are serving their time at a building nearby. They are also preparing all of Fr. Shea’s meals and transporting them out to the 12 rai, as his house keeper is in quarantine too. Kung, Kroo Noi and Kate have been arranging and rearranging houses, meal times, hospital trips and visits from the authorities, while Kate has been conducting dozens of antigen tests daily. 

We don’t know when this will end but hope that the poor little ones and staff at House of Hope suffer no more positive cases and can begin the countdown to normality. Fr. Mike receives his first dose of the Moderna vaccine this Monday, which will be a relief to everyone.

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