Three extra covid-19 tests centres are being opened in counties Cork, Limerick ,and Mayo, the Health Minister has confirmed.
Stephen Donnelly said the additional centres are opening in Bandon in Cork, in Limerick city, and in Ballyhaunis in Mayo next week.
The walk-in centres will open:
- on Monday and Tuesday on the grounds of Bandon Community Hospital;
- From Monday to Wednesday at Arthurs Quay in Limerick City;
- On Thursday and Friday at the Friary in Ballyhaunis.
Each of the test centres will operate from 11am to 7pm.
M Donnelly also confirmed the St Joseph's test centre in Limerick will remain in place until June 28.
The online booking system for Covid-19 tests is being extended to all ‘static’ testing centres, he also said.
The extra resources in Limerick come as the county has the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the country, although health officials have signalled that the numbers nationally are moving in the right direction.
Earlier Professor Philip Nolan said there are reasons for hope and optimism as Ireland's 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 dropped below 100 for the first time since mid-December.
The additional test centres also come as the National Public Health Emergency Team confirmed an additional 313 cases of Covid-19 on Friday evening.
The number of people being treated in hospital with the virus stands at 53, of which 15 are in intensive care.