5 New “Asymptomatic” Walk-In Test Centres Open In Ireland

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Five new walk in test centres for Covid have begun to provide tests to people who are not experiencing symptoms or having a GP referral. The new centres, in Dublin and Tullamore, will be open for one week and aim to test up to 500 people each day. The HSE is urging those living near a walk-in test centre who do not have symptoms of Covid-19 but who are nevertheless concerned about the virus to drop in for a free test over the next seven days. Around one in five people have no symptoms but still spread the disease.

“The purpose is to assess the level of asymptomatic infection in the community”

This is of particular concern because the highly transmissible B117 variant is dominant and case numbers are rising again. Paul Reid CEO of the HSE said  “The purpose is to assess the level of asymptomatic infection in the community”.  Dr. Una Fallon a Public Health Specialist in the midlands said the rates in Co Offaly are driven by a few incidents that have to play out. – County Offaly has the highest 14-day incidence rate by far – measuring 444, while the national average is 159.  “We have an outbreak in one particular workplace and we have done a lot of testing in that setting and uncovered a lot of asymptomatic infection and we are doing another round of testing,” Dr. Fallon said.

“…enjoy the outdoors but stay away from other people”

She said the HSE believes with another outbreak in the area in a crèche all cases have been detected. “The numbers are likely to come down once those outbreaks subside,” she said, adding that she expects the situation in Offaly to pass. Dr Fallon appealed to people ahead of the Easter holidays asking “people to have a quiet Easter and to enjoy the outdoors but stay away from other people”.

For updated and factual Public Health information and advice on COVID-19 Coronavirus, please visit hse.ie/coronavirus or call 1800 700 700

For the latest information on the Covid-19 Vaccine Programme, please visit hse.ie/covid-19-vaccine