The number of hospitalisations is at its lowest point since Christmas Day.
THE NUMBER OF people in hospital with Covid-19 across the country has fallen again, after reaching what was then its lowest point this year yesterday.
According to latest data on the HSE Daily Operations website, there were 255 people being treated for Covid-19 in hospital as of 8pm last night.
It represents a drop from 272 people being treated for the virus in hospital on Wednesday night, and is the lowest such figure since Christmas Day.
As of 6.30pm last night, there were 61 people with Covid-19 in intensive care units, of whom 42 were receiving ventilation care.
Health officials last night confirmed a further 761 cases of Covid-19 in Ireland and 18 more deaths.
Meanwhile, four new walk-in Covid-19 testing centres for asymptomatic people are opening up around the country today.
The temporary testing centres will allow people who don’t have symptoms of Covid-19 to get a free test without having to contact their GP first.
The HSE is opening the walk-in centres in areas where the number of positive cases are particularly high.
The centres opening today are:
- Naas Racecourse, Tipper Road, Naas, Kildare (for 5 days)
- Crumlin GAA Club House, Lorcan O’ Toole Park, Crumlin, Dublin (for 7 days)
- Athlone Regional Sports Centre, Brawny Road, Athlone, Westmeath (for 5 days)
- Town Hall/Library Car Park, Ballinasloe, Galway (for 3 days)
Yesterday, another three centres opened:
- City of Dublin Education and Training Board, Coláiste Eoin, Cappagh Road, Finglas, Dublin (for 7 days)
- Quay Street Car Park, Balbriggan, Dublin (for 7 days)
- Navan O’Mahonys GAA Club, Paddy O’Brien Park, Navan, Meath (for 5 days)
Each centre aims to carry out 300-500 Covid-19 tests per day.
The HSE said increasing the number of people that are tested helps deepen understanding of how and why the virus is spreading quicker in certain areas.
“Our pop up walk-in testing centres target areas where there is the greatest risk of disease at the moment,” HSE National Lead for Test and Trace, Niamh O’Beirne, said.
“There was a very significant uptake in all five temporary centres that were launched last week, and we hope to continue this at our new walk-in testing centres.”
People over the age of 16 can avail of the walk-in test centres if they don’t have symptoms but wish to get tested, live within 5km of the centre and have not tested positive for Covid-19 in the last six months.
Those who attend the walk-in clinics must bring photo ID and provide a mobile phone number so the HSE can contact them with test results.
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People who have common symptoms of Covid-19 are asked not to go to the walk-in test centres. These symptoms include a high temperature, a new cough, shortness of breath or a loss or change of your sense of smell or taste.
The HSE is asking people who have any of those symptoms to self-isolate (stay in your room) and phone a GP straight away. The GP will then advise whether a free Covid-19 test is needed.
The seven temporary testing centres opened this week are replacing the five pop-up test centres that launched last week and closed on Wednesday.