Monthly record number of swabs taken at HSE Covid-19 testing centres

Last month was the busiest period on record for HSE Covid-19 test centres within the Midlands Louth Meath group as a record number of swabs were taken from July 1 to July 28.

Testing figures noted last week noted that 40,000 swab samples were taken by HSE staff at the various test centres within the region.

Dr Niamh Clarke, Primary Care and Head of Testing in Midlands Louth Meath highlighted the hard work and dedication of the CHO Testing Teams.

“Each and every member of staff worked collectively and collaboratively to meet the massive testing demand that emerged in July.

“The weather conditions in July were particularly arduous to work in but the testing teams worked tirelessly and committedly to ensure that all members of the public in the relevant local counties were offered a testing appointment with 24 hours of referral,” Dr Clarke stated.

Mr Des O’Flynn Chief Officer, HSE Midlands Louth Meath described the number of tests carried out by the staff in the centres as an “outstanding achievement” in the fight to keep families safe in Covid-19 pandemic times.

He paid tribute to the staff for their hard work and commitment at times over seven days a week and in difficult weather conditions.

Dr Una Fallon, Director of Public Health Midlands, stressed the importance of individuals attending for testing if showing any symptoms also paid tribute to the work of the staff in testing centres who ensured through their organisation and hard work that testing was available when needed.

In a detailed breakdown of figures revealed to the Athlone Advertiser by the HSE, there was a notable steady increase of individuals referred for Covid-19 swabbing in July when compared with a similar timeframe in June.

Total testing data for past eight weeks

Week to June 7 = 5,792 swabs taken

Week to June 13 = 5,437 swabs taken

Week to June 20 = 5,331 swabs taken

Week to June 27 = 6,424 swabs taken weekly percentage increase = 20.5 percent

Week to July 4 = 7,708 swabs taken weekly percentage increase= 19.9 percent

Week to July 11 = 9,568 swabs taken weekly percentage increase= 24.1 percent

Week to July 18 =10,437 swabs taken weekly percentage increase= 9.4 percent

Week to July 25 = 11,495 swabs taken weekly percentage increase = 10.14 percent

Additionally, turnaround times from referral to appointment for persons referred by GPs and as close contacts remained high with 94.3 percent of all these referrals getting an appointment within 24 hours.

Meanwhile, HSE CEO, Paul Reid, paid a visit to the Athlone IT vaccination centre on Sunday last where he met with staff on duty and complimented their continuing commitment to the rollout of the vaccination programme.

The centre, which opened in April, welcomed 379 walk-in Covid-19 vaccinations during the August bank holiday weekend with those aged 16 and over able to avail of their first vaccination dose with making a formal appointment on the HSE website.

At the time of going to press a spokesperson for the HSE stated that there is no plan for future walk-in Covid-19 vaccination clinics.


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