Locations of walk-in Covid-19 testing centres confirmed

ireland
Locations Of Walk-In Covid-19 Testing Centres Confirmed
Arrivals from non-designated states can currently take a Covid-19 test five days after arrival to end their home-quarantine requirement. © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Cate McCurry, PA

People living in areas where there are high cases of Covid-19 will be able to get tested at walk-in centres.

The public does not need to get a GP referral and all tests will be free under the new initiative starting on Thursday.

Two walk-in centres will be based in Dublin and a third in Co Offaly. Two other walk-in centres are also expected to open in Dublin.

The confirmed centres include Tallaght Stadium, Blanchardstown National Aquatic Centre and High Street car park in Tullamore.

The mobile units are being set up to actively look for cases in areas where there are high rates of community transmission.

Mobile units

People allowed to attend are those living within five kilometres of the testing location.

They will start at 11am and run for a week to allow health authorities to assess take-up in the area.

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The mobile units can be based in different areas of the country, depending on community transmission rates.

It comes as a senior Government official warned that there has been a stagnation of Covid-19 cases in recent days.

Liz Canavan, assistant secretary at the Department of the Taoiseach, said: “We know that there have been days over the last week or two where we’ve all groaned at daily numbers, seemingly stuck around 500 or higher.

“This can be very disheartening for so many of us who continue to abide by the public health guidance and do the right thing.

The mobile units are being set up in areas to actively look for cases in areas where there is high rates of community transmission (PA)

“However, we have to remember how far we have come, and how much we have achieved. Most of us are doing the right thing.

“The new and now predominant variant is much harder to control and much harder to stop reading.

“What is concerning is that there has been a nine per cent increase week-on-week in case numbers.

“The first increase since the peak of wave three.

“Thirteen counties have a community positivity rate of more than 10 per cent. Rates are higher now compared to where we were just before Christmas.”

Chains of transmission

Ms Canavan said the walk-in centres will help health officials understand how and why the virus is spreading quicker in certain areas.

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“Around one in five people have Covid-19 without having any symptoms, testing people with those symptoms will help us find positive cases earlier and allow these people to take the necessary action to protect others,” Ms Canavan added.

“This will help us break chains of transmission.”

She said that gardaí are continuing to see people gathering at people’s homes.

More than 15,350 fines have been issued for breaches of Covid-19 restrictions, with over 2,300 fines issued to people for organising and attending house parties.

Government-led research has revealed that there is an increase in the number of people making social visits to people’s homes and people receiving visitors to their homes.

“We are not necessarily talking about house parties, we are talking about some home visits that are lasting an hour or more, where masks are not being worn,” Ms Canavan added.

“It may be a cup of coffee with extended family or lunch. With the new variant this is a lot risker than people may think.”

She urged people to think again before making indoor social visits.

To date, the Government has vaccinated 492,000 people, with 184,000 people fully vaccinated with two doses.

Close to 11,000 vaccinators are trained, while recruitment for vaccinators at 38 centres is under way.

The aim is to have four in five adults to have received at least one dose by the end of June.

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