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25 Sept 2022

Nearly 800 people swabbed at walk-in Covid-19 test centre in Dundalk last weekend

Dundalk test centre

The Covid-19 test centre at the HSE building on the Rampart Road, Dundalk

Almost 800 people attended a pop-up Covid-19 test centre in Dundalk last weekend, as public health officials raised concerns about high case numbers in town.

The centre, which was set up in the HSE Ramparts building, was open from last Friday until Sunday, operating from 10am to 6pm each day.

Across the three days, 799 people attended the walk-in facility to be tested, with 323 people being tested on Friday, 214 on Saturday and 262 on Sunday.

Public health officials in Louth have said that while there is a stabilisation of the number of reported cases of Covid-19, the number of cases in Louth has remained high.

Cases are particularly high in both the Dundalk-Carlingford and Dundalk South electoral areas.

The most recent 14-day incidence rate, between 26th July and August 9th, show an incidence rate of 921.9 per 100,000 population in Dundalk-Carlingford.

This is an increase on the previously reported incidence rate between July 20th and August 2nd, which was 804.7 per 100,000 population.

Dundalk South is slightly lower than that, with an incidence rate of 832.4 per 100,000 population.

Previously reported incidence rates showed Dundalk South at 755.3 cases per 100,000 population.

Dr Augustine Pereira, Director of Public Health North East, says that these two areas are among the highest in the country.

“With the current high incidence rates in the Dundalk area, social gatherings outside Public Health guidelines are having significant knock-on effects in the community, including in workplaces.”

According to Dr Pereira, he hopes that the walk-in test centres will help to “break the chains of transmission” of Covid-19 in Dundalk.

“I want to thank the people of Louth for their continued efforts in suppressing COVID-19 and I would like to appeal to everyone even if you are vaccinated to continue following Public Health guidelines,” said Dr Pereira.

“Please don’t drop your guard, people in all age groups are at risk of becoming seriously ill due to COVID-19.”

He also urged people who have not yet been vaccinated to register on the HSE’s Covid-19 vaccine portal.

Chief Executive of Louth County Council, Joan Martin said that the high case numbers are a warning that Covid-19 is still around.

“We all have to take personal responsibility. We must still remain vigilant and continue to follow the public health guidelines,” said Ms Martin.

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