Covid-19 community assessment hubs to launch today

Covid-19 community assessment hubs to launch today

The death toll from Covid-19 in the Republic is 158, as 21 further deaths have been confirmed.

Yesterday, 390 new cases were detected bringing the total number of positive tests to 4,994.

As of Friday at midnight, 165 people were admitted to intensive care units while 1,163 cases are associated with healthcare workers.

Community assessment hubs are to be rolled out this week starting today.

They will provide enhanced community-based supports for people who have tested positive for Covid-19.

There will be 12 to 15 of these hubs in place by the end of the week.

HSE chief operations officer, Anne O'Connor, says people with symptoms will have to contact their GP first.

"These hubs will take place in our primary care centres, they will be open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.

"People will be referred by their GP, they will not be places that people turn up to. The idea being that we adhere to all of the correct infection control procedures.

"However, they will provide a timely assessment of people who feel that they are symptomatic."

Health Minister Simon Harris says barriers to entry for nurses are being removed to ensure more staff can be recruited.

"To waive the registration fee for any new nurse joining the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI), we the Department are going to meet the fees for any new registrant to the NMBI provided they have either an offer of a fixed-term Covid-19 employment - so they are going to work for the Health Service during Covid-19 - or that they are living in Ireland and they are available to work."

Meanwhile, Professor Anthony Staines from DCU is calling on the HSE to significantly increase its contact-tracing for the virus.

"At the moment we are only contact tracing those who have confirmed infections. When in our situation we have such delays in testing, I think that is a high risk strategy.

"I think they will bump up contact tracing so we will be contact tracing people with symptoms."

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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