The free COVID-19 testing service will operate from 10am to 6pm daily, from Tuesday May 18th to Thursday May 20th inclusive.
The HSE’s Department of Public Health North East and Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Organisation are working with the National Ambulance Service to identity asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 and reduce further transmission in the community.
The temporary walk-in test centre established by the HSE in conjunction with Louth County Council will allow people, who don’t have symptoms of COVID-19, to get a free COVID-19 test. The HSE urges members of the public who have symptoms (high temperature, a new cough, shortness of breath or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste) of COVID-19 to consult with their GP to arrange a free COVID-19 test, and to not avail of the walk-in facility. Anyone who has already scheduled a COVID-19 test is asked not to attend the walk-in centre.
You should use this free, walk-in COVID-19 testing service if you:
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Members of the public will need to bring photo ID and provide a mobile phone number in order to provide test results.
Dr Augustine Pereira, Director of Public Health North East said, “Public Health North East monitors patterns of transmission in the community including by place and by age groups. The Department of Public Health North East have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in both Drogheda Rural and Drogheda Urban electoral areas in recent weeks.”
The decision by Public Health Department North East to open a free COVID-19 ‘Walk-In’ test centre in Drogheda, is in response to the increase in cases in the Drogheda electoral areas in recent weeks.
The latest figures, covering the 14 day incidence during 27 April to 10 May, reported the electoral areas in Drogheda Rural with an incident rate of 184.6 cases per 100,000 of population and Drogheda Urban with an incident rate of 285.7 cases per 100,000 of population. This compares to a national incidence rate of 128.1/ 100,000 of population.
Dr Pereira added “The purpose of this test centre is to identify cases that might otherwise go undetected in the community, and potentially lead to outbreaks at home, in workplaces, or in congregate settings. Increased community testing is vital to help identify those who are infected and infectious, but unaware that they might be spreading the virus.”
“We want to make testing as accessible as possible and I would urge the people of Drogheda to get a free test and help us take control of this situation,” explained Dr Pereira.
Mr Des O’Flynn, Chief Officer, HSE Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare, explained currently around 1 in 5 people have COVID-19 without having any symptoms. “Testing people with no symptoms will help find positive cases earlier and allow these people take the necessary action to protect others. This will help us break chains of transmission,” he added.
Chief Executive of Louth County Council, Joan Martin added “We are pleased to cooperate with the HSE on the opening of this walk-in test centre which will allow people in Drogheda and surrounding areas to get a free COVID-19 test without an appointment. I want to thank everyone for playing their part in tackling the spread of the virus and would urge you to continue to follow public health advice and adhere to the government guidelines.”
Up to date information on the location and opening days and times of COVID-19 walk-in test centres is available at COVID-19 walk-in test centres: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/testing/covid-19-walk-in-test-centres.html
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