'Very high level' of demand for Covid tests in Cork and Kerry

More than 2,600 Covid tests are currently being carried out every day in the region. 
'Very high level' of demand for Covid tests in Cork and Kerry

Community swabber Louise Dillon carrying out a Covid test the testing center for Covid-19 at the Randal Og GAA Club, Dunmanway, West Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

Covid-19 testing centres in Cork and Kerry are witnessing a “very high level” of demand for tests, with more than 2,600 Covid-19 tests now being carried out daily across the two counties.

The HSE operates a number of testing centres in Cork including in Blackpool, Dunmanway, Glanmire and Douglas.

In recent days, in response to increased demand, additional testing has been made available by a private testing provider – RocDoc – at Cork airport.

Despite this, many people have described difficulty in booking tests.

On Wednesday evening, it was only possible to book a test at Glanmire or Dunmanway. 

A spokesperson for Cork Kerry Community Healthcare said efforts are being made to ensure that tests are available.

“There is currently a very high level of demand for tests at all our test centres across Cork and Kerry. We are doing everything possible to provide extra appointments, and we are now carrying out in excess of 2,600 tests every day. We are still aiming to provide tests within 24 to 36 hours, but there may be occasions when it’s not possible to immediately book an appointment online,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that all of the testing centres across Cork and Kerry are working at capacity, with temporary sites opened to increase the number of appointments available.

They said that some people may find that while a test slot isn't immediately available to them, they should check back later as more tests may become available.

“All testing is by appointment only, and people should book on hse.ie or via their GP before travelling to a test centre. If a test appointment slot isn’t available when you look on hse.ie, please check back online later as a slot may have become available. We monitor testing on a continuous basis and retain slots for GP referral or close contacts, which may become available for the public to book later in the day or up to the end of the next day. If you have symptoms, we encourage you to contact your GP.” 

The spokesperson said that their priority is to make sure GPs can refer patients for Covid-19 PCR testing where they feel it is warranted, and that close contacts of confirmed cases who are identified as requiring a Covid-19 PCR test get their test appointment as quickly as possible.

“Ensuring these two groups are prioritised does mean that those outside these categories may not be able to book a test until the following day,” the spokesperson said.

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