THE new Covid-19 test centre in Letterkenny will begin operating tomorrow, the HSE has confirmed.
As revealed by Donegal Daily earlier this week, the Community Test Centre (CTC) for Donegal is moving from O’Donnell Park to a new location on the St Conal’s Hospital campus.
Primary Care General Manager for Donegal, Edel Quinn, welcomed the opening of the new Community Testing Centre Facility.
“The centre will ensure that testing is delivered to the people of Donegal as required in an appropriate facility,” she said.
“The new facility has been developed by HSE Estates who were advised on requirements for testing by the clinical and administrative managers who run the testing service and with advice from the HSE Infection and Prevention Control manager.
“The dedication of HSE staff and the cooperation of contractors who have worked on the new centre has resulted in a very quick turn around to have the centre ready and this is very much appreciated. I thank St Eunan’s GAA Club for hosting the testing service to date and wish the club well with the rest of the season.”
Testing in Co. Donegal has been delivered from O’Donnell Park GAA Grounds in Letterkenny over the past six months.
The HSE has praised the support of the St Eunan’s GAA club in allowing the HSE to utilise their facility for testing. The club provided volunteers to assist with operating the centre and have been cooperative and flexible in assisting the HSE to deliver testing from its facility.
The new Community Testing Centre is a purpose designed, dedicated facility which will allow for testing to be carried out for as long as is required in managing the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new centre will operate a drive through model of testing with four testing bays available. Testing capacity can be adjusted to meet demand by adjusting the number of testing bays in operation and by adapting its opening hours as required. Any person presenting for testing who does not have transport can also be accommodated.
In addition to the testing bays the administration and support staff who support the delivery of testing will also be located in the new Community Testing Centre. Administration support is required to support scheduling of testing appointments and to ensure testing packs with swabs and information requirements are ready and prepared for those attending for testing.
The administration and support functions are essential to ensure testing runs as efficiently as possible. Storage is also available on the new Community Testing Centre site for essential PPE and equipment. Staff facilities, in line with recommended infection prevention control standards, are also available in the new centre.
Testing remains a key activity in the response to dealing with COVID and the new centre supports testing services being delivered as required in all weather conditions and for extended hours when required. In recent weeks demands for testing have been high in line with national trends. 2190 tests were delivered by the Donegal Community Testing Centre in the month of August. 446 tests have been delivered in the first three days of September.
John Hayes, Chief Officer, HSE Community Healthcare Organisation Area 1, thanked all staff involved in the delivery of testing and those involved in the development of the new Community Testing Centre on the St Conal’s Hospital campus site.
Mr Hayes said: “The provision of a dedicated testing facility in Donegal which meets required standards and provides for testing to be delivered as required will ensure a future proofed testing service is delivered to the people of Donegal.
“My thanks to all involved in bringing the new centre to this point and to our testing centre staff, who have all come from other roles in the HSE, for the high standard service they are delivering. The HSE encourages all of those who receive an appointment for testing at our new Community Testing Centre to make every effort to attend as it is through testing and contact tracing and by adhering to public health advice that we can all play our part in continuing to combat Covid-19.”