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20/10/2021

Hundreds used Dundalk's walk-in Covid-19 test centre last week due to concerns over rising case numbers

Dundalk walk-in test centre

A total of 583 people used the walk-in centre over the 5 days it was in operation

Over 500 people used the walk-in Covid-19 test centre in Dundalk while it was in operation last week, according to the Department of Public Health North East.

The centre, which was in operation from Wednesday through Sunday, was established due to rising Covid-19 cases in Dundalk and concerns about the Delta variant.

A total of 583 people used the walk-in centre during the five days it was active.

The highest number of people visited the facility on Wednesday with 169 people getting tested. The second-highest number of people who visited the facility was on Sunday, with 132 people getting tested.

The lowest number of people getting tested was on Saturday, when only 62 people were tested at the facility.

Current test positivity data was not available at the time of publication, with case figures in the electoral area continuing to be unavailable due to the HSE cyber attack in May.

The centre was located in Car Park 1 in the Marshes Shopping Centre, and was run by Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare alongside the Department of Public Health North East.

According to the Chief Officer of Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Organisation, Des O’Flynn, pop up centres like the one in Dundalk are useful to track asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 and further prevent the spread of the virus.

It comes as the government are set to decide whether or not to ease restrictions further, including reopening indoor dining and drinking in pubs and restaurants at a cabinet meeting earlier today.

The HSE are also encouraging anyone over the age of 50 who has not yet received a Covid-19 vaccination to attend a pharmacy to receive a one-shot Janssen vaccine.

There are currently 27 pharmacies in Louth that are offering the service, with 13 of these pharmacies located in Dundalk.

Speaking last week, Dr Augustine Pereira, director of Public Health North East said that there had been an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases detected in Dundalk in recent weeks.

"There has been a concerning increase in the detection of the Delta variant in Ireland and the department is also investigating probable Variants Of Concern of the delta clade in the county," said Dr Pereira.

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