Similar centres were previously set up in Tullamore, Birr and Athlone.
A new walk-in Covid testing centre will open in Westmeath tomorrow.
The facility at St. Loman's Hospital Campus in Mullingar will be available to anyone who's symptom free, lives within 5 kilometres, has not tested positive for covid in the past six months and aged over 16.
The free service will be in operation for one week, until April 20th, between the hours of 9am and 5pm.
The walk-in / no appointment necessary testing will operate alongside the existing testing in these centres whereby GPs refer those with symptoms, and close contacts of a confirmed case of Covid-19, for their Covid-19 test.
Niamh O Beirne, HSE National Lead for Test and Trace said,
“We have the capacity to carry out 25,000 PCR tests a day nationally. In addition to our static testing sites which are located across the country, over the last two weeks, with the support of the National Ambulance Service and Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) teams, we have opened up walk-in sites in various locations. These no appointment necessary testing centres offer those with no symptoms of Covid-19 an opportunity to be tested. These centres have allowed us to raise awareness and make the Covid-19 test more easily available to people. By the end of last week we had identified over 600 positive Covid-19 cases through these centres and identified new outbreaks. This has enabled those positive cases take the necessary actions to protect those around them.
“We continue to develop our testing services, and from Wednesday this week we are adding a walk-in, no-appointment required service to two of our existing static testing centres. This will mean that at the Mullingar and Dunmanway testing centres people without COVID 19 symptoms in those communities can attend and be tested. The testing service for those with symptoms and those who are close contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19, which are arranged via GPs will also continue to operate as usual at both of these sites.”
Dr Una Fallon, HSE Director of Public Health in the Midlands said,
“Pop-up walk in centres have shown us that there is a demand, particularly from young people, for Covid-19 testing without an appointment. Using some of the laneways in the permanent drive-through testing sites is the next step in determining how this can be provided. Mullingar is the ideal location to see if it is feasible to provide this service in an existing site. The rates of Covid-19 in Mullingar have increased slightly in recent days. Providing additional testing at this time, makes sense”.
Priscilla Lynch, Head of Health and Wellbeing with Cork Kerry Community Healthcare said, “This is a welcomed addition to Covid-19 services in the region. Staff at the Ballincarriga test centre in Dunmanway will provide a warm welcome and an efficient, safe testing service to everyone who comes forward for a test. The people of the region have done a fantastic job in recent weeks and months in sticking to the measures which prevent the spread of Covid-19. Taking up this opportunity for testing even when you don’t have symptoms will help us to go a step further again in containing any cases.”
You should use this free, walk-in COVID-19 testing service if you:
-are aged 16 years and over
-do not have symptoms of Covid-19 but would like to be tested
-have not tested positive for Covid-19 in the last six months
-Remember, it’s 1 test per person.
You must bring photo identification with you and provide us with a mobile telephone number so we can contact you with your results.
You can avail of a free Covid-19 test without having an appointment in advance between 9am to 5pm each day between April 14th and April 20th.
Social distancing measures will apply as people attend for testing. If the waiting times are too long for you, you are welcome to return at another time or day.