Donegal Covid-19 test centre at Ballyshannon is set to close
Covid-19 testing will cease at the Community Testing Centre situated at the Lakeside Camping and Caravan Centre, Ballyshannon, from Friday, 5th June, 2020. Persons requiring testing will be seen at the Community Testing Centres in O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny, Co Donegal or in Finisklin, Sligo. Both centres have capacity to deal with the small number of referrals for testing who have attended the Ballyshannon Testing Centre and have capacity to deal with any increases in the demand for testing if required. Waiting times from referral to testing will not be affected with same day or next day testing being provided to the majority of people referred.
The decision to close the Ballyshannon Community Testing Centre has been taken due to the reduced demand for testing. Ten tests were provided at the Ballyshannon Testing Centre in the first four days of June. There is also a requirement to have HSE staff, currently deployed to testing, available for the planning and provision of non-COVID services as the HSE prepares for a resumption of services in line with the easing of restrictions and in keeping with Public Health recommendations.
The HSE acknowledges the dedication and commitment of its staff who have been involved in the delivery of testing in Ballyshannon since March, 2020. HSE staff have worked outside of their normal roles and have been flexible throughout in working atypical hours and days in all sorts of weather conditions, to provide a responsive and timely service. HSE support services such as ICT, Estates, Procurement and Caretaking services have also been of significant support in the provision of the testing service.
The HSE also acknowledges the incredible support it received from the Lakeside Camping and Caravan Centre who provided its site and premises for the Testing Centre and the Defence Forces which provided tents for testing, assistance with traffic management, security and catering. Appreciation is also extended to Local Link, the Civil Defence, Ballyshannon Chamber of Commerce and the local community for their assistance in the establishment and running of the Testing Centre over the past few months.
The HSE work to prevent and manage COVID-19 across its services continues along with support from other lead agencies such as the Gardai and Local Authorities, third level colleges, community and voluntary agencies and local businesses. This work has been critical in the fight against COVID-19 in our communities, supporting some of the most vulnerable populations and protecting the health service. The actions taken have reduced the impact of COVID-19 on all our population.
Public Health advice is that it is vital that as a country we keep going with the actions that help us to stay safe and in particular social distancing (2 metres apart) and practising infection prevention and control measures such as hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. These measures are going to be part of all of our lives for the foreseeable future and we all need to adhere to them in our daily interactions with family, friends and colleagues. The HSE is hopeful the country will continue on the trajectory it has been following with the reduction in the number of positive Covid-19 cases in the North West and across the country.