SIXTY new staff are being recruited in Cork and Kerry for swabbing at Covid-19 test centres, while there are plans to test all staff of nursing homes shortly.
The two measures were unveiled to Oireachtas members during a briefing at Páirc UÍ Chaoímh this morning.
The 60 swabbing staff will be among more than 700 new community swabbers being hired across the country.
Students and people seeking part-time work are being urged to apply for the roles, and applicants will be fully trained as there is no previous experience required.
Senator Tim Lombard, who attended the briefing, said: "The HSE are recruiting 60 additional staff for swabbing at testing centers. 96% of people getting a Covid-19 test are getting results within 3 days of initial consultation with their GPs. Continuing to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our testing regime is key to managing this pandemic."
The aim of the measure is to free up other workers in the health service who had to be redeployed to testing duties during the pandemic.
The HSE outlines, in the job description: "The role of Community Swabber is a unique job in the health services and is very much a vital role in the responsive management of COVID-19 in Ireland. The Community Swabber will undertake swabbing and administrative duties as part of the Community Testing Team. Swabbing can take place in Community Test Centres, home-based testing, outbreak testing, residential care facilities and specific work locations. This means a key element of this role is flexibility to work in these different locations and with varying work patterns. Having access to own transport is important as the Community Swabber is required to move locations as needed."