A new assessment hub for patients who test positive for Covid-19 is set to open in Drogheda town next week, in a bid to keep patients who test positive for the virus away from acute hospital environments.
The news comes after the first testing of patients began at the drive-through testing centre in Dundalk on Friday. The centre at the PJ Carroll building at Dundalk Institute of Technology is one of 44 such centres in the country. Prior to that, all patients displaying symptoms of Covid-19 were tested at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
Assessment Hubs are different from testing centres. They are where patients who have a confirmed Covid-19 diagnosis can be assessed if their symptoms get worse while they are recovering at home in self-isolation. While in self-isolation, patients liaise with their GP and can be referred to the dedicated assessment hub for further assessment.
The aim, the HSE say, will be to keep as many people as possible out of the acute hospital setting. Like at the testing centres, visits to the assessment hub will be by appointment only. They are now walk-in clinics.
LouthNow.ie understands that the assessment hub in Drogheda will be set up at a town centre location, using one of the HSE-owned buildings on the south side of the town.
On Thursday night, Labour councillor Michelle Hall said she had received confirmation of the news from the Head of the HSE’S Primary Care Servces and she welcomed the news such a hub would be opened in Drogheda.
“This will be a relief for people in Drogheda to know they won’t have to travel to Dundalk again, especially if they feel unwell through symptoms of the Coronavirus,” Cllr Hall. “More information about this service will be issued in due time. As always, please follow HSE guidelines that has been sent to all households to help stop the spread of this pandemic”, said Cllr Hall.
LouthNow.ie understands that the HSE are still considering their options in terms of opening a test centre in Drogheda. “The HSE are not ruling it out,” a source told us on Friday.