Test kit shortage
A shortage of coronavirus Covid-19 test kits has limited testing but more supplies are on the way, according to health authorities in the midlands who are managing the crisis.
Health Service Executive Covid-19 response team in the Midlands says that that significant work in the past couple of weeks has been undertaken across the Midlands and Louth and Meath to deliver community testing. It said there are now drive-thru centres in Tullamore, Portlaoise, St Loman’s in Westmeath and DKIT Dundalk and clinics in Athlone, Longford, Oldcastle and Navan with plans to increase capacity.
"There has been limited testing nationally because of the limited supply of testing materials. A delivery of testing kits is due today and there will be further deliveries during the week. The HSE advises that if a person is waiting on a test should continue to self-isolate," they said.
The team said the sampling service is being provided on an appointment-only basis and only those who are displaying symptoms and have been referred (to the drive-thru) by their GP will be seen.
"At no stage will visitors to the centres leave their car. Once checked in at the entrance, visitors will be provided with a face mask, tissues and disposable bag and directed to a test bay attended by healthcare workers wearing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). At this point, visitors will be asked to blow their nose and dispose of the tissue in the bag provided. A throat and nose swab will then be taken and the visitor will leave the facility and return to self-isolation," said a statement.
If symptoms worsen people should call their GP. If you have difficulty breathing or are feeling very unwell the HSE team advise that should call 112 or 999 and tell them about their symptoms.
The HSE has appealed for the privacy of those staffing and visiting the centres to be respected.
Further information on Testing for Covid-19 at Community Testing
Read also: HUGE WORK PREPARING HOSPITALS