05/08/2021

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New online Covid-19 test referral system for Laois and other Midlands counties

HSE online advance booking system for COVID-19 tests in Laois, Longford, Westmeath and Offaly

coronavirus covid-19 laois portlaoise

Covid-19 test centre in Laois at St Fintan's Hospital in Portlaoise

The HSE has extended its new online advance booking system for COVID-19 tests to Laois, Longford, Westmeath and Offaly.

From Thursday, June 17 people living in Laois and the other midland counties will be able to log on to the online system and book their COVID-19 test up to 24 hours in advance.

A statement said the HSE Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Organisation and the Public Health Department Midlands are working together to deliver this testing programme.

This system on which the self-referral portal is based is a stand-alone cloud-based system that is separate from the HSE network and not impacted by the current cyberattack on the HSE's IT system.

The HSE says users can only refer themselves, they won't be given the option to refer on behalf of someone else and they will be able to book a test no more than 24 hours in advance or the end of the next day and will be able to choose a specific time to attend for testing.  

Dr Una Fallon, Director of Public Health Midlands, said: “The online advance booking system will help make COVID-19 testing more available and accessible. Those seeking a COVID-19 test can choose to book their COVID-19 test online and schedule it at a time that suits them.”

“Testing is crucial to identify outbreaks and it is possible to be positive with COVID-19 but not be aware of it. By taking a COVID-19 test, if you think you have been exposed to COVID but don’t have symptoms, you will help to stop the spread of the virus, protect other people and save lives.”

The HSE say those with symptoms and those who require medical advice should continue to contact their GP. The HSE will continuously monitor the demand for COVID-19 testing via walk-in centres, the online system and GP referral once that resumes, and close contact test referrals.

Dr Fallon added: “The HSE opened walk-in test centres in a number of locations across the Midlands when we were concerned about the numbers of cases in some areas. Now walk-in testing is available at all of our COVID-19 test centres in the region. The online booking portal being launched today makes it possible for anyone to register in advance and minimise the time delay at a testing centre if they attend without an appointment. Your support and commitment is vital in ensuring that we suppress the spread of this virus among families and the community.”

Des O'Flynn, Chief Officer with Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Organisation said: “Testing is still an important part of the HSE's response to COVID-19. It helps to identify clusters and outbreaks in the community. This new online booking system for COVID-19 tests will make it easier for people to book a test at a time convenient to them. I would urge people, if they have any concerns, to use this system to arrange a test to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities. Availing of COVID-19 testing, even when you don't have symptoms, helps us to stop the further spread of COVID-19.”

“Managing large numbers attending for testing has been a challenge in some sites and the development of this online booking system will help minimise the numbers of people queuing in centres for a test at any given time,” he added.

COVID-19 testing can be booked through the online advance booking system here

The online advance booking system for COVID-19 tests will facilitate bookings for the test centres at:

Laois   St Fintan's Hospital, Dublin Road, Portlaoise, Co Laois. R32 ED81

Longford        Unit 10A Mastertech Business Park, Longford. N39 K535

Offaly  Clonminch, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. R35 W5Y8

Westmeath     St Loman's Hospital Campus, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. N91 X36E

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