All available test and trace capacity being utilised

The head of the HSE’s test and trace programme says all available capacity’s being utilised to deal with the huge volumes presenting for a Covid-19 test.

A new record of 23,000 community tests was set yesterday.

But that increased to almost 30,000 when hospitals and serial tests were added.

Niamh O’Beirne says schoolchildren are making up the majority of those presenting for a test.

She says the system’s now at maximum capacity.

“We continue throughout the day to monitor capacity, and to plan to allow as much possibly testing to take place.

“We do know that our stated capacity is 20,000 and in the last week we exceeded that on four days.

“We do expect testing to continue to be busy in the coming weeks, and we’ll do our best to manage as much capacity as we can.”

Meanwhile the Chief Medical Officer has re-iterated that children should not go to school if they’re displaying Covid symptoms.

Dr Tony Holohan says no matter how mild those symptoms may be, the child and their family should isolate and contact a GP.

They include a fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, runny or blocked nose, nausea, vomiting, aches or headaches, a sore throat or diarrhoea.


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