A second Community Testing Centre opens in Donegal today as the HSE continues to ramp up Covid-19 testing in the community.
Latest figures show that the current facility at St Conal’s Campus, Letterkenny has offered up to 580 appointments per day to members of the community referred for testing. One month ago, a total of 537 tests were carried out throughout the course of one week at the Letterkenny facility.
“The Testing Centre has continually added additional capacity in line with demand for testing through extended opening hours and deployment of extra staff. In recent days have offered up to 580 appointments per day,” a spokesperson for the HSE said.
Situated in Donegal Town (at The Cleary Centre, Ballybofey Road), this new pop up centre offers free testing for anyone with coronavirus symptoms, who is referred by a GP.
The pop up centre aims to increase capacity by 150 tests per day and runs in conjunction with the community testing centre based at St. Conal’s Campus, Letterkenny. These centres provide Covid-19 testing to members of the community referred for testing by a GP.
Speaking about the new pop up centre, Amanda Doyle, CHO 1 Primary Care General Manager, Donegal says: “This is part of the HSE’s drive to ensure timely access to coronavirus testing in Donegal. We continue to build our system to meet the increasing community demand, with longer opening times, extra staff and taking preventative action in our community such as providing this new pop up testing centre. In the overall CHO1 area, 97 per cent of people are now being offered either a same day or next day appointment for testing. In recent days, we have offered up to 580 appointments per day for COVID-19 testing in Donegal.”
This latest testing pop up centre is part of the HSE’s planned expansion of testing facilities to meet the rising demand for COVID-19 testing. Across the country, there are now 33 community test centres, as well as mobile units for outbreak management and home testing provided by the National Ambulance Centre.
Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practising good personal hygiene and wearing a face-covering throughout the test appointment (including travelling to and from the testing centre).
Anyone testing positive for the virus will be contacted by HSE contact tracers to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission. Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from HSE contact tracers, advising them to restrict their movements by staying at home for a full 14 days and to organise coronavirus testing to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus.
The HSE strongly encourages all members of the public identified as requiring a COVID-19 test to attend for their appointment. In this way, we can identify quickly those who will have contracted the virus and take steps to prevent its spread across families and communities