All residents and employees of the four Direct Provision Centres in Laois should be tested within the next two days according to Laois-Offaly TD Seán Fleming.
The Fianna Fáil TD said there is excess unused testing capacity in Co Laois and that it made sense for it to be used to test everyone in The Montague Centre in Emo, The Hibernian Centre in Abbeyleix, The East End Hotel in Portarlington and the Commercial Inn centre in Rathdowney.
“We know there have been outbreaks and clusters of COVID-19 in some Direct Provision Centres putting both the residents and the employees at risk. One way to protect all these people is to carry out routine testing and to do so on an ongoing basis.
“The capacity is there and there are some testing centres lying idle across the country. Co. Laois has excess unused capacity and there are plenty of healthcare professionals who are ready and waiting to carry out tests.
"The Minister needs to direct the testing of all Direct Provision residents and employees immediately,” he concluded.
The two main centres are located in Emo and Abbeyleix. The Montague has capacity for 202 people while the Hibernian Hotel has is contracted to accommodate 63 people.