Drop in referrals sees Douglas Covid test pop-up surplus to requirements

Drop in referrals sees Douglas Covid test pop-up surplus to requirements

Cork city’s pop-up Covid-19 testing centre on the South Douglas Road has “not been needed” as the number of referrals for tests has dropped in the past week.

Cork city’s pop-up Covid-19 testing centre on the South Douglas Road has “not been needed” as the number of referrals for tests has dropped in the past week.

The centre was set up in October in response to the high demand for testing in Cork.

However, the number of people in need of tests has dropped significantly since then, with the volume of Covid-19 cases being reported dropping significantly across all local electoral areas in Cork in the last week.

A number of temporary testing sites across Cork kicked into action at different intervals since March, however, there are just two permanent sites for Covid-19 testing in Cork - one in the city on the Commons Road in Blackpool and the other in Dunmanway in West Cork.

A spokesperson for Cork Kerry Community Healthcare told The Echo the situation is being monitored on an ongoing basis and “on occasion temporary facilities are set up to ensure that we can meet the demand for testing”.

The spokesperson confirmed that the pop-up centre that was in operation on the South Douglas Road in the city “has not been needed over the last week or so, as the number of referrals for tests dropped. Again, the situation is kept under constant review”.

They added: “As the number of referrals have dropped, we have been in a position to release some staff from test centres back to priority front-line primary care services in the community.

“This allows us to deliver vital frontline services to those who need them, particularly older people and vulnerable people.

“The recruitment of permanent swabbers for test centres is also ongoing.”

According to Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, the majority of people referred for a test are offered a same day or next day appointment for testing.

“Anyone testing positive for the virus will be contacted by HSE contact tracers to help them track their contacts.

“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,” the spokesperson concluded.

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