One of the first contact tracing centres set up during the Covid-19 pandemic at University College Dublin (UCD) is to be wound down.
The Irish Times reports that the centre’s function will be relocated to a Health Service Executive (HSE) facility in Dublin.
In a statement, the HSE said the UCD centre was “vital” and carried out some of the complex and sensitive cases of Covid-19 tracing, including the “specialised queue”.
The centre was established in March 2020 and run by Prof Mary Codd and Prof Patrick Wall of the university’s school of public health, physiotherapy and sport science.
Its work will now be subsumed into the long-term contact tracing function being developed by the HSE.
A health service spokeswoman said contact tracing capacity would be maintained at its current level. Staff from the UCD centre, who work for recruitment company CPL, will transfer to Heuston South Quarter.
About 60 whole-time roles are moving from UCD, part of the 920 staff currently working on the health service’s contact tracing programme, Niamh O’Beirne, HSE lead on contact tracing, said.
Ms O’Beirne said the HSE and the staff in the contact management programme were “extremely grateful” to the university, to professors Codd and Wall and the head of the school, Prof Catherine Blake.
“We remain committed to ensuring the ongoing provision of this essential service which has been delivered by teams around Ireland to the highest standard since March 2020,” she added.
The agreement with UCD governing the operation of the centre in Belfield expires in August.