Wednesday, November 24, 2021


There are currently no appointments available at the Castlerea Covid testing centre, a situation that is replicated in other counties around the country.

Test slots are available for tomorrow, according to the HSE’s Covid test portal. Test slots may become available as the day progresses. Please visit the booking site to check for availability.

There have been almost 4,400 Covid tests carried out at the Castlerea Testing Centre in the past two weeks, according to local HSE figures.

Between Monday, November 8th to Sunday, November 14th, 2,105 tests were carried out. The following week Monday, November 15th to Sunday 21st, a further 2,290 tests were carried out. Combining the two weeks gives a total of 4,395 tests.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne this morning, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn has said he fully appreciates the frustrations people are feeling around the lack of availability of tests.

However, he pointed out that according to their data, between 500,000 and 700,000 people last week had cold or flu like symptoms, and added that there was “no testing system in the world that can ramp up testing to 20% of its population in a week-on-week basis” and that there will be delays in testing.

He agreed that the shortage of testing is causing problems but said it is impossible to ramp up testing to the scale that would be required to test everyone within a day or two.

The HSE’s lead for the test and trace programme has said that despite providing over 200,000 PCR tests in the last week, there is pressure to try to meet the demand for timely PCR tests nationwide.

Damien McCallion said that one million people have had PCR tests in the last six to seven weeks, and while laboratories are working well, the pressure is being felt at swab centres.

The Chief Executive of the HSE has said that 210,000 PCR lab tests have been completed in the past week.

“I fully acknowledge our staff are exhausted, they are frustrated, they are tired”, Paul Reid told the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health.

He said 82% of those tested will get results within 24 hours, but he acknowledged there are delays.

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