Health officials in the Mid-West are continuing to manage a large community outbreak of Covid-19.
Public Health Mid-West confirmed it was monitoring an outbreak in Nenagh of more than 200 cases since April 1. In total, there have been more than 315 cases recorded in North Tipperary since that date.
According to a department spokesperson, outbreaks in recent weeks include households, families and extended families, a number of indoor social gatherings, schools, workplaces, and community transmission.
“Due to the varied nature of this community outbreak, we are detecting considerable onward transmission between clusters in different settings,” the spokesperson said.
It comes as the HSE has extended the opening of the free walk-in and drive-through Covid-19 testing centre on the grounds of the former Castlebrand Factory, Tyone, Nenagh, for an additional seven days. No appointment is needed for those who wish to avail of this service.
The free service will operate from 8.30am to 6pm daily, from today until May 10.
This is an operation led by HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare and supported by Public Health Mid-West.
“The walk-in clinic is open to members of the public who live within 20km of the test centre. The service is for those who do not have Covid-19 symptoms and for people who are concerned that they may have been at risk of infection in the past two weeks. Children can get tested if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
"You must bring a photo ID with you and provide us with a mobile phone number so we can contact you with your results,” a spokesperson for the department said.
“We urge members of the public who have symptoms to consult their GP to arrange a test, and to not avail of the walk-in facility. Anyone who has already scheduled a Covid-19 test is asked not to attend,” they added.
Dr Marie Casey, specialist in public health medicine, said they would like to thank the hundreds of people who have availed of this clinic to date.
“However, we are eager to test more people in Nenagh and the wider area, as we continue to manage multiple Covid-19 clusters contributing to a major community outbreak,” Dr Casey said.
"Unfortunately, when a number of clusters occur in an active population like Nenagh, the virus is able to move faster than we are able to react when our guard is down,” she added.
Dr Casey said Nenagh was a key example of how a community positively responds to a crisis, as it is evident that protecting the public has been the people’s number one priority.
“We can continue this positive response by availing of the free walk-in clinic, avoiding social mixing and large indoor gatherings, working remotely where possible, wearing masks, socially distancing when in contact with others, and washing hands frequently,” Dr Casey said.