Testing times: New rules to bring about surge in Wicklow’s Covid-19 checks
A surge in Covid-19 testing in Wicklow is expected as the rules on who can avail of the service are being extended as from today.
People who notice they suddenly have a fever, a persistent cough, or shortness of breath can now avail of Coronavirus testing from today, as long as they contact their GP first so they can have their symptoms assessed.
A circular was distributed to GPs in Wicklow through the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) this morning informing them that people who believe they have just one symptom now, rather than two symptoms, can avail of the test if the GP feels there is a need for that patient to do so.
People in Wicklow who must use the service will be directed to existing permanent HSE centres around the county. It is understood that the HPSC has made contingency plans with the GAA in Wicklow in case of the need for a drive-through testing facility, however, that eventuality has not been arrived at just yet.
The new testing parameters are all part of the plan to flatten the curve through testing and community testing and the government hopes to be in a position to be able to test up to 100,000 people per week by the middle of May.
This ramping up of testing comes on the back of news that the current restrictions on movement imposed on the population are likely to remain in place for another two weeks after the current lockdown expires next Tuesday.
It is understood the possibility of extending the lockdown will be discussed today during a meeting of the national public health emergency team, however it is unlikely an announcement will be made just yet.