HSE says 48 Covid-19 test centres are operating around the country

 

The HSE says a total of 48 Covid-19 Community Testing Centres, two of them in Donegal, which are operating from 8am to 8pm seven days a week.

The centre are at O' Donnell Park in Letterkenny and the Lakeside Caravan and Camping Centre - Belleek Road - Ballyshannon.

The HSE says the test centre locations and their operational procedures and times are subject to change, and is stressing that testing is by way of GP referral only and those coming for testing must have an appointment.

The HSE acknowledges the provision of reagent and extraction kits will remain a major challenge for the foreseeable future until the major suppliers ramp up production.

**********************

Statement in full -

CHO 1 Covid-19 Community Testing Centres

Across the HSE a total of 48 Covid-19 Community Testing Centres. are now operational with 6 of these in CHO 1. People referred for a Covid-19 test are offered appointments to attend a drive through clinic for testing.  The 6 sites across CHO are now operating from the hours of 8am to 8pm Monday to Sunday as follows:

1. Sligo - Finisklin Business Park

2. Leitrim - Irish Wheelchair Association Building , Attifinlay, Carrick-on-Shannon

3. Breffni GAA Park - Creighan, Cavan

4. Cloghan GAA Park - Monaghan

5. St Eunans GAA O' Donnell Park - Letterkenny

6. Lakeside Caravan and Camping Centre -  Belleek Road - Ballyshannon
 
These test centre locations and their operational procedures/times are subject to change.

Testing is by way of GP referral only and those coming for testing must have an appointment.  

On March 24th changes were recommended in relation to Covid-19 testing to ensure that testing was targeted to high risk groups and those at risk of exposure to Covid-19.

People who were referred for Covid 19 testing on or before March 24th will have received a text confirming that their referral has been cancelled and to contact their GP if they meet the new testing criteria.  Testing capacity has been constrained since Sunday March 29th due to stock limitations of testing kits, however testing kit stocks have been replenished.  Unfortunately there are on-going challenges in terms of supplies of reagent for the Covid 19 test in laboratories. This is a global challenge with major suppliers having to ration provision across the world. Every effort to procure new stocks is being made.

Over the last number of weeks the number of hospitals providing Covid-19 testing has increased.  However provision of reagent and extraction kits will remain a major challenge for the foreseeable future until the major suppliers ramp up production.

We continue to prioritise testing of healthcare workers and in-patients in acute hospitals and across residential facilities.

We apologise to all those waiting for test results and we wish to reassure the public that we are making every endeavour to improve turnaround times within the current international constraints.


Testing is performed for public health as opposed to clinical reasons, and patients waiting for results should continue to self-isolate for 14 days.

Revised Testing Protocol
Testing is now targeted to those in a priority group or those with a high risk of exposure to Covid-19, who also have symptoms of fever and at least one other sign. Criteria as follows:

If you are in a priority group and have:
·        fever and a cough, or
·        fever and shortness of breath (breathing difficulties)

If you are in a priority group and have been in contact with someone you think or know has coronavirus and you have any of these symptoms:
·        cough
·        congestion
·        runny nose
·        sore throat
·        body aches
·        tiredness

You can phone your GP to be assessed for a test in any of these situations. The GP will assess you over the phone. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Do not ring GP out-of-hours services as they cannot arrange testing. If you do not have a GP, any GP can arrange a test. HSELive cannot order coronavirus tests. It is an information line only.

If people experience a change in their health they are advised to contact their GP for medical advice.  
It is important that people are aware that waiting for a test doesn’t change how they manage their symptoms or interactions with other people and it is essential that they self-isolate to prevent spreading any potential infection to others. Advice for patients is available at https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/self-isolation-and-limited-social-interaction.html

Priority groups for testing include people with specific symptoms of coronavirus who are also:
·        close contacts of a confirmed case
·        healthcare workers who are in the frontline and have regular patient contact
·        those most at risk of severe infection such as people with diabetes, immunosuppressed, chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, chronic renal disease, chronic liver disease and smokers
·        people who live with those in the above groups
·        staff and residents of nursing homes and other residential care settings and those in direct provision, homeless, Roma and travelling community settings where symptom management is difficult
·        pregnant women to ensure they are managed safely in hospital

Anticipating a substantial increase in the number of positive Covid-19 cases, the HSE is developing a national rapid, large scale system operating in three steps:
·        Step 1: Rapid notification to a person of a negative or positive result and provision of advice.
·        Step 2: Contacts. Rapid identification of contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases
·        Step 3: Control. Rapid public health management of contacts of confirmed cases.
·        For more information please visit the HPSC on: https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/guidance/contacttracingguidance/CMP%20Overview_Model%202_V4.pdf