The HSE have confirmed that the new Covid-19 test centre will begin testing persons symptomatic of the virus today, as first reported by LouthNow.ie on Wednesday.
The drive-through sampling service is being provided on an appointment-only basis and only those who are displaying symptoms and have been referred (to the drive through or clinic) by their GP will be seen.
The drive-through facility is stationed at the front entrance to the PJ Carroll building on the south side of the Dundalk Institute of Technology campus. It will comprise of six testing bays. Portakabins have been positioned at bay and each testing team will be based within these kabins. On Wednesday, members from Louth’s Civil Defence were on site helping to erect temporary tents on the route between entrance and the bays.
“We would like to acknowledge the tremendous support that we have got from our local communities as we implement the government action plan in response to Covid19. We can’t stop the virus, but together, we can reduce the impact it has on ourselves, our families, communities, our health service and our day-to-day lives,” Pat Bennett, Chief Officer, HSE Midlands, Louth and Meath said.
“Our goal is to slow the spread of coronavirus. If we can slow it down, we give ourselves, and our most vulnerable people, more options and more time for care and recovery. Our collective efforts are critical, we need to do this together, as one community. We will be asking everyone to play their part, to help each other.”
Michael Mulvey, DkIT President said, “We are pleased to support the HSE’s national response to this pandemic. In these extraordinary times, we rely on the Trojan efforts of our health workers and wider health services more than ever
“The Institute will continue to provide assistance to the HSE in whatever practical way that we can. We also call on our DkIT community and the eider public to continue to play their part in helping to reduce the spread of Covid-19 by adhering to the HSE guidelines, particularly in relation to social distancing.”
In the new drive–through centres, at no stage will visitors to the centres leave their car. Once checked in at the entrance, visitors will be provided with a face mask, tissues and disposable bag and directed to a test bay attended by healthcare workers wearing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). At this point, visitors will be asked to blow their nose and dispose of the tissue in the bag provided. A throat and nose swab will then be taken and the visitor will leave the facility and return to self-isolation.
The HSE has appealed for the privacy of those staffing and visiting the centres to be respected.