Northside Cork Covid test centre closes after 19 months

The centre opened in September 2020 and since then carried out an estimated 290,675 swabs before closing on Friday, May 27.
Northside Cork Covid test centre closes after 19 months

Sarah O'Flynn, Finbarr Buckley, Farine Sternke, Dylan Barrett and Patricia O'Flaherty HSE Community swabbers ,After 19 months of offering Covid-19 swabs to the people of Cork. The Lee Covid test centre closed on Friday May 27th. For now, the South Douglas Road centre will continue to offer appointments seven days a week. Appointments can be made via the self-referral portal HSE.ie or GP referral for those who require it based on public health advice. Photography by Gerard McCarthy.

The Lee Covid test centre on the northside of Cork city has closed after 19 months of offering Covid-19 swabs to the people of Cork.

The centre opened in September 2020 and since then carried out an estimated 290,675 swabs before closing on Friday, May 27.

Head of Health and Wellbeing with Cork Kerry Community Healthcare (CKCH) Gabrielle O’Keeffe thanked the many staff who have worked in the centre in the last 19 months for their work.

“We want to thank the staff who worked at this centre since September 2020 in so many roles. 

"Most people in Cork have attended this centre at some stage in the last 19 months, and they are aware of how staff there have carried out their work in the most professional and caring way,” she said.

There is now one test centre for Covid-19 in Cork city, on the South Douglas Road.

Thankfully, both the prevalence and impact of Covid-19 has significantly reduced throughout 2022.

The HSE is now adapting the Testing and Tracing programme to respond to these changes, while at the same time making sure that both the infrastructure and staff are available if testing needs to scale back up quickly.

A spokesperson said that the HSE expects that all testing centres will close later this year, once the public health advice changes for population testing.

PCR testing will remain available for those who need it to access therapeutic treatments, or as part of their clinical treatment For now, the South Douglas Road centre will continue to offer appointments seven days a week and appointments will be available via the self-referral portal on HSE.ie or GP referral for those who require it based on public health advice.

Chief Officer of Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Michael Fitzgerald paid tribute to the staff at the centre.

“The staff at the Lee Covid testing facility played an absolutely critical role in our response to Covid-19. As Chief Officer, I want to acknowledge the work and commitment of everyone who has worked at the centre,” he said.

Staff at the Lee Covid test centre have been invited to apply for other suitable positions within Cork Kerry Community Healthcare services such as Health Care Support Assistants, clerical officers and Healthcare Assistants in community hospitals.

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