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24 Jan 2022

50% surge in a week takes Donegal's Covid tests to limit

New Covid-19 Community Testing Centre for Donegal

Test numbers conducted in Donegal have soared by over 51% inside a week

The HSE will consider increasing the Covid-19 testing capacity in Donegal after a huge upsurge in demand this week.

Test numbers conducted in Donegal soared by over 51% inside a week.

While health officials are monitoring the situation closing, there are no provisions at present for an additional test centre to be set up in Donegal.

In the last week, Covid-19 testing in Donegal has reached such a level that there are currently no available appointments within the county.

In the seven days until Tuesday, December 28, there were 7,953 Covid-19 tests carried out in Donegal up 51.2% from the 5,257 in the previous seven days.

In the first two weeks of December there were 4,689 and 4,065 tests carried out in the Donegal.

Since the week ending December 7, the number of Covid-19 tests being carried out on a weekly basis has increased by 70%.

So far in December, there have been 21,964 tests conducted in Donegal. In October and November combined, there were 36,225 tests conducted.

Figures obtained by Donegal Live show that there were 424 people who did not attend for a Covid-19 test appointment.

“Recent weeks have seen a significant increase in demand for testing which is being managed through the testing centres in Letterkenny and the Cleary Centre, Donegal Town,” a HSE spokesperson told Donegal Live.

“Should demand increase, capacity will be further increased at these sites to respond to same. The HSE are utilising all available resources in order to increase capacity at test centres. 

“The public can attend any testing centre in the country once they have scheduled an appointment with that Testing Facility irrespective of their address.”

The latest figures from the HSE show that there are 37 patients at Letterkenny University Hospital receiving care for Covid-19, two of whom are in intensive care.

The hospital is dealing with an outbreak of the coronavirus and there is no access to visitors in the outbreak areas.

With the huge increase in positive cases, testing centres in Donegal are seeing asymptomatic close contacts referring themselves and their whole household for PCR testing.

Acting head of service primary care, Mandy Doyle said: “This is greatly impacting on the availability of test slots.  We urge people who are asymptomatic close contacts to restrict their movements and do an antigen test in advance of booking a PCR test.  All testing is by appointment only and walk-in testing is not available at any test centre across CHO1.”

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