Positivity rate running at 3% as 7,500 people attend walk-in Covid-19 test centres

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Four of the walk-in centres are in different parts of Dublin and one is in Tullamore.

THE HSE HAS said that the positivity rate at the walk-in Covid-19 tests centres is running at about 3%. 

Five such centres were opened last week to test asymptomatic people who wish to get tested as part of efforts to identify the wider spread of Covid-19 in the community. 

People with symptoms of Covid-19 are still encouraged to arrange a test through a GP. 

Four of the walk-in centres are in different parts of Dublin and one is in Tullamore. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today, the HSE’s National Lead for Testing and Tracing Niamh O’Beirne said that the centre in Blanchardstown had shown a higher positivity rate than the other areas but it has now reduced to be within a similar range. 

“We opened the centres last Thursday in Grangegorman, Blanchardstown, Tallaght, Irishtown and in the Midlands and they’ve been really well received in the local communities with nearly 7,500 people or so am coming up for testing,” she said.

The positivity rate overall is sitting now at 3% from the testing sites. While some of them had slightly more positivity than others, like Blanchardstown which was running ahead of the others, just on the most recent data this morning it’s come in line with the others at around 3%. The lower of the centres is in the Midlands at 2% and in Grangegorman it’s also at 2% which is in the north inner city.

O’Beirne said that younger age groups have been availing of the walk-in services most frequently, with those aged between the ages of 25 and 44 making up 41% of the people who have come forward for testing.

The positivity rate for Covid-19 in the walk-in centres among those aged between 15 and 25 is 5%. 

Overall, the positivity rate for all laboratory tests carried out over the last 7 days is at 3.5%. 

Speaking about confirmed cases and where they are becoming infected with the virus, O’Beirne said that about 80% of positive cases are coming from people either being a close contact of a confirmed case or via “an outbreak or healthcare setting”. 

About one in five cases are therefore through community transmission and she said the HSE is increasing its efforts to identify the source of these infections. 

“That’s when the teams now will talk to them and go through the last seven days and ask additional questions as to where they might have been.

What happens then is the local public health department where that person lives will look at that data and make a decision. And ask does more testing need to happen in any one of the locations the people were in? The purpose of that would be to find any more people who may have contracted the virus in the same place.
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Hospitalisations

According to the latest data on the HSE Daily Operations website, there were 328 people being treated for Covid-19 in hospital as of 8pm last night.

Of those, there were 68 Covid-19 cases in ICU with 48 further people on ventilated care. 

Health officials last night confirmed a further 604 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland and 13 further deaths.  

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) will meet today to discuss what recommendations on restrictions it will give to government.

The Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 will then meet this evening to discuss what easing might be possible with decisions to be rubber-stamped by a full Cabinet meeting tomorrow.  

People can avail of a walk-in test if they are within 5km of a centre.

People can avail of a walk-in test if they are within 5km of a centre.

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