HSE confirm new Cavan testing site

Cavan Monaghan Primary Care Services thank the Ballinagh Community for their support to the HSE when the Cavan Community Testing Centre was located at Ballinagh Health Centre.

The HSE has confirmed its plans to establish a new Covid testing centre at Scouting Ireland’s Castlesaunderson International Scout Centre near Belturbet.

This will replace the existing testing centre at Ballinagh.

This new test centre will commence testing mid-April.

This relocated facility will operate as the designated site for testing for Covid in the county the remainder of the duration of the pandemic.

The Scouting Ireland Scout Centre, which has been closed during the pandemic, will serve a “worthy purpose” for duration of the remainder of the pandemic, said a HSE statement, issued this afternoon. “This new test centre offers free testing for anyone referred for COVID test by a GP.”

Currently the test centre at Ballinagh operates a seven day a week service to facilitate a rapid response in terms of 'referral to result of test.

Opening days and times are subject to national guidance and community demand.

The same testing model will continue in the relocated Covid -19 testing site.

Access to the grounds surrounding the centre will be allowable for the public for the duration of the agreement.

Speaking about the new centre, Josephine Collins, CHO 1 Primary Care General Manager, Cavan/Monaghan said: “Covid-19 testing site will operate as per normal from this new location at Castlesaunderson.  The Testing Centre currently has capacity to test in excess of 300 persons per day".

She added: “In the overall CHO1 area, approximately 95% of people are currently being offered either a same day or next day appointment for testing. Since January, we have the capacity to offer up to 700 appointments per day for COVID-19 testing in Cavan/Monaghan.”

The HSE worked in partnership with Coillte, Cavan County Council and Scouting Ireland to establish this new testing Centre.

Welcoming the establishment of the new test Centre, CEO of Cavan County Council Tommy Ryan stated: "Cavan County Council are pleased to cooperate with the HSE on the opening of theTest Centre at Scouting Ireland’s Castlesaunderson International Scout Centre, Belturbet and delighted that access to the public will be maintained throughout the duration of the agreement.”

Scouting Ireland further noted their delight at being able to “play our part” in the national fight against the pandemic and to facilitate the new COVID testing site at Scouting Ireland’s Castlesaunderson International Scout Centre.

“This is an example of Scouting in action  – Scouts stepping up to help create a better community”, said Anne Griffin CEO, Scouting Ireland.

Coillte also welcomed the HSE to Castlesaunderson. “During the Covid 19 Pandemic, this Test Centre will play an important role in managing the virus,” said a spokesperson.

Across the country, there are now 36 static community test centres, as well as five walk in testing centres for outbreak management and home testing provided by the National Ambulance Centre.

People can only attend for testing in Castlesaunderson, if they have been referred for a test and have received a text confirming their appointment details.

Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by public transport, practising good personal hygiene and wearing a face-covering throughout the test appointment (including travelling to and from the testing centre).

Anyone testing positive for the virus will be contacted by HSE contact tracers to help them track their contacts.

Close contacts will receive a notification by SMS that they must restrict their movements for 14 days and if they develop symptoms, they should call their GP or GP Out of Hours service and arrange a test.

The HSE strongly encourages all members of the public identified as requiring a COVID-19 test to attend for their appointment.

Cavan Monaghan Primary Care Services meanwhile thanked the Ballinagh Community for their support to the HSE when the Cavan Community Testing Centre was located at Ballinagh Health Centre.