Contact tracing centre in Áras an Contae expected to be called into operation next week

50 volunteers trained and ready to go with 30 more on standby

Áras an Contae in Castlebar. Photo: Google Maps

Áras an Contae in Castlebar. Photo: Google Maps

Mayo County Council expects a contact tracing centre located in its headquarters in Áras an Contae to be called into operation next week.

As part of their collaborations with the Health Service Executive (HSE ) they have converted a meeting room and put in place IT systems to carry out contact tracing - 50 volunteers have been trained to run the centre with another 30 on standby according to a briefing note from the council's chief executive Peter Hynes issued to elected members of the council ahead of their monthly meeting which took place on Monday.

Other collaborations between the local authority and the HSE include the provision of a testing centre at the Lough Lannagh Leisure Complex and the use of Lough Lannagh Holiday Village in Castlebar for staff accommodation or and isolation centre.

In his briefing note the chief executive said: "Over the past five weeks we have introduced three major re-organisations of this council, covering all areas of operation, multiple offices depots and plants and involving each and every individual member of staff.

"The position has now stabilised, and we are delivering a nationally agreed suite of essential services throughout Mayo. We have established a Community Resilience Hub in Mayo House and we are also continuing to deliver significant services across other programmes, mainly remotely.

"The Covid-19 outbreak in Mayo continues to escalate particularly in residential care facilities. We have new hots spots in the North of the County. This is a major concern, as is the age profile of our community and the large number of residential care and retirement facilities, both public and private, throughout the county.

Speaking at Monday's meeting Mr Hynes spoke of his pride at how the staff in the local authority have responded to the pandemic saying: "There is nothing like a crisis to test how good a team is and I'd like to say that I am extremely proud of the staff of this council,” said Mr Hynes.

He said the role of the council in this testing times is 'to keep the lights on and do it safely' and also support the HSE and other agencies in the fight against the pandemic.

Mr Hynes said council staff, working on a voluntary basis, built a contract tracing centre within 48 hours in the council campus.

"Adherence to Health Authority guidelines, including travel and social distancing, will play a major part in determining how quickly the outbreak here can be brought under control."

When it comes to the normal day to day running of the council's core activities the briefing note outlines that the council is still providing the agreed national list of critical services.


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