Covid-19 test centre in Laois at St Fintan's Hospital in Portlaoise
The HSE is on course to carry out more than 60,000 Covid-19 tests in Laois in 2021 with November by far the busiest month for the county's virus testing hub in Portlaoise.
The Delta wave surge has lead to more than four times more tests to be carried out in November than when the deadly third wave of the virus swept through Ireland in December 2021.
However, figures also show that infections have shown consistently substantial rises since July with tests carried out in Portlaoise running into their thousands every month since.
Returns provided by the HSE's Community Health Office 8 show that by the end of November 52,509 PCR tests had been carried out by staff at the Laois pandemic testing hub in Portlaoise.
November was by far the busiest month in the year for staff at the centre located at the St Fintan's Health Campus. A total of 14,077 tests were carried out in the centre in November.
That's about a quarter of all tests carried out during 2021 by staff at the test centre which opened in the second half of 2020.
An average of 470 people attended the centre for tests each day in November. More than 860 people went to the centre on November 8 - the busiest day of the month.
The HSE's figures show that near 4,000 test were carried out at the Portlaoise centre in January 2021 during the peak of the third wave before mass vaccination commenced. Testing declined to 872 in June but has been rising rapidly since the summer.
While the latest wave of infections have been blamed on the Delta variant, the figures show that the rise in case took hold in July.
Before July just over 13,000 people were tested in the six months to June. Since then nearly 40,000 tests have been process with December figures to give a full picture of the year.
Laois is part of the HSE community health service area the also includes Offaly, Westmeath, Longford, Louth and Meath. More than 17,100 went for tests at the Tullamore Centre. Westmeath record the highest testing numbers with more than 19,000 going to the Mullingar test centre.
To the end of November nearly 480,000 tests were carried out in the Midlands, Meath and Louth. Nearly 100,000 tests were carried out in centres across the county during November.
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