Written answers

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Photo of Paul McAuliffePaul McAuliffe (Dublin North West, Fianna Fail)
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136. To ask the Minister for Health his plans to establish a walk in Covid-19 test centre in the Ballymun, Finglas local electoral area given it has the third highest incidence rate in the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22507/21]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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As part of the HSE’s enhanced COVID-19 testing for local communities, from Thursday March 25th, a number of temporary ‘walk-in, no appointment necessary’ testing centres have been established to actively look for cases of COVID-19. These centres, which are opening in areas where the number of positive cases is particularly high, will allow people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 to get a free test without having to contact their GP first. Around 20% of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic. The HSE aims to carry out 300-500 COVID-19 tests per day at each walk-in centre and any detected cases will be referred to contact tracing in the same way as detected cases that were referred through by a GP. 

The locations where centres are being opened have been decided based on local disease prevalence and on the advice of public health directors. The locations will change week-on-week. Decisions on future locations of walk-in centres will be made following assessments made by the Directors of Public Health in the HSE based on the prevailing incidence rates. Further information including the current test centre locations and dates of operation are available on the HSE website through the following link:

https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/testing/covid-19-walk-in-test-centres.html. 

On an ongoing basis, NPHET considers and reviews, based on public health risk assessments, how best to target testing to detect, and mitigate the impact of, the virus across the population. This includes keeping Ireland’s national testing policy under continuing review.

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