Covid tests

  • Over 90% of Covid-19 test results in the West are back within 36 hours of the test taking place- that's according to a senior HSE official, who answered questions on the issue at yesterday's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum.

    Mayo, Galway and Roscommon have all recorded a major increase in demand for Covid-testing, with members of the forum raising concerns about reports of people waiting up to a week for results.

    However, Chief Officer of Community Healthcare West Breda Crehan-Roche said over 90% of test results are dispatched on the same day, or the day after the test is conducted.

    She explained that some delays have resulted from people not providing mobile phone numbers, as text messages are the quickest way to relay test results.

     

     

  • The Data Protection Commission is examining complaints it has received in relation to Covid 19 test results being made available to employers before staff members.

    It centres on tests carried out at certain facilities.

    Individuals have expressed shock and upset at receiving their results from managers, rather than the HSE.

    The Chief Medical Officer has said the practice whereby the HSE is giving employers the Covid-19 test results of their employees is "a breach of confidentiality".

    Dr Tony Holohan told the Dáil's Covid-19 committee meeting today that "employers should not be receiving result for employees".

    Confirmation that test results were shared with employers before employees clearly shows that basic data protection rights of individuals were ignored by the HSE, says Roscommon-Galway TD Denis Naughten.

    He has given examples of staff in meat plants and nursing homes who were informed of their Covid test results by their employer.

    The Independent TD says this cannot be tolerated, and results should be provided directly to those tested as soon as they become available.

     

  • A new walk-in pop-up testing site has opened today in Ballinasloe for people who have no symptoms of Covid-19 but who still wish to be tested for the virus. 

    This brings to seven the number of temporary testing hubs seeking to find asymptomatic infections among the general population that have opened in the past two days.  

    The centres opening are at the Town Hall and Library car park in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, Naas Racecourse in Co Kildare, Crumlin GAA Clubhouse in Dublin, and Athlone Regional Sports Centre in Co Westmeath.

    The site in Ballinasloe will remain open for three days. 

    The tests are free for local people over the age of 16, with no symptoms. 

  • There are calls for serial testing in meat plants to be reintroduced immediately.

    It has been suspended to an increase in demand for Covid-19 testing elsewhere.

    The mass testing started two weeks ago and 40 people have tested positive since.

    In a statement, the HSE said that Covid-19 testing of staff at meat and food processing facilities is being "re-scheduled into next week".

    This was a "precautionary measure" to allow the health service focus its resources on meeting the "significant rise in demand for testing among people with coronavirus symptoms in the community".

    Testing demand "nearly trebled on Monday" with a requirement for over 13,000 community tests and over 3,000 hospital tests.

    Speaking to Midwest News this Lunchtime, Roscommon Independent Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice has described the move as surprising and disappointing.