A pop-up Covid-19 test centre will open in Limerick this Saturday as the HSE seeks to identify asymptomatic cases of the disease in the hope of preventing a resurgence of cases locally.
The five-bay facility, at the grounds of St Joseph’s Health Campus, Mulgrave Street, will open between 11am and 7pm from today for six days.
It will be operated by the National Ambulance Service and is open to members of the public who live close to or within walking distance of the testing centre.
No appointments are required and the service is targeted at those who do not have Covid-19 symptoms and for people who are concerned that they may have been at risk of infection within the past two weeks.
"It's another additional tool that we are using to try and get the numbers as low as possible - in public health we call this process case finding and it's something that Mike Ryan of the World Health Organisation talks a lot about - really aggressively chasing cases when your case numbers get very low so we hope something like this might find more additional cases that might not have been picked up otherwise, said Dr Marie Casey, specialist in Public Health Medicine at the Department of Public Health Mid West.
Children can get tested if they are accompanied by a parent and those attending must bring a photo ID with them and provide a mobile phone number so they can be contacted with their results.
Those who have tested positive for Covid-19 within the last six months are asked not to attend as they may test postitive but are unlikely to be infectious.
Members of the public who have symptoms of Covid-19 are being advised to consult their GP, in the normal way, to arrange a test, and to not avail of the walk-in facility.
Public Health Mid West is also advising those who do test negative that they should continue to follow other guidelines such as maintaining social distance, restricting contacts and mask-wearing.