Cork’s biggest coronavirus testing centre closes

Cork’s biggest coronavirus testing centre closes
The Covid-19 test centre at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork has now closed.Picture Denis Minihane.

THE drive-thru Covid-19 testing centre which opened in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in March has closed its doors and relocated to a new facility.

The testing centre at the Cork GAA grounds had the capacity to test up to 1,000 people daily, and when it opened it was the largest in the country.

However, the centre has now ceased operations at Páirc Uí Chaoimh and is operating temporarily from St Stephen’s Hospital in Glanmire. 

It will relocate again to a site on the northside of Cork city in the coming weeks.

Nationally, 574,487 Covid-19 tests have been carried out around the country since the beginning of the outbreak and the testing facility at Páirc Uí Chaoimh has been a busy one.

Staff assigned to the centre have tested both members of the public who have been referred for testing as well as supporting the recent mass testing of residents and staff from residential care facilities across Cork.

These staff have tested more than 20,000 people either at Páirc Uí Chaoimh itself or at residential centres across Cork.

Cork Kerry Community Healthcare has now thanked the GAA for its support in making Páirc Uí Chaoimh available to them. 

“We would like to thank the GAA for their support in providing Páirc Uí Chaoimh as a venue at very short notice. 

"Their support has been invaluable over recent months and assisted us as we rapidly increased the number of tests being carried out and expanded our testing capacity,” said Head of Primary Care with Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, Teresa O’Donovan.

More than 70 staff across Cork and Kerry were redeployed to Covid-19 test centres in recent months, including nurses, therapy staff from a range of professions, oral health staff, and administrative staff, and Ms O’Donovan paid tribute to these individuals. 

“We’re very proud of the work of the staff at all four of our test centres across Cork and Kerry. 

"At Pairc Ui Chaoimh, staff got this test centre up and running extremely efficiently in just a few days. This enabled us to meet the significant demand for testing appointments,” she said.

According to the HSE, the current waiting time to have a swab taken in the Cork and Kerry region remains under 24 hours.

It comes as a new report from the HSE shows that up to 8pm on Monday night, there had not been any patients with confirmed Covid-19 at Cork University Hospital since Friday, while there had not been any patients with confirmed Covid-19 at the hospital’s critical care unit since July 15th.

One person with confirmed Covid-19 was receiving intensive care at the critical care unit at the Mercy University Hospital. 

Seven people with suspected Covid-19 were being cared for at Cork hospitals. 

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