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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 17 April 2021

Croke Park drive-thru Covid-19 testing facility to open later today

Locals have been told there will be “minimal disruption” to local traffic and noise.

File photo. Croke Park in Dublin.
File photo. Croke Park in Dublin.
Image: Shutterstock/Derick Hudson

AN APPOINTMENT-ONLY testing centre run by the HSE at Croke Park will come into operation later today, local residents have been told. 

The move to use the GAA headquarters as a drive-thru centre comes following a high-level request from the HSE and in the “national interest”. 

It is one of over 30 sites earmarked by the HSE as an area to test for Covid-19, as expected cases of the virus could reach 15,000 within the coming weeks. Another site being used is the Lucan Sarsfields GAA club in west Dublin.

So far, 223 people in the Republic of Ireland have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. 

The Department of Health is due to provide an update on how many people have been tested for the virus as its daily briefing later today.

The Croke Park testing site is set to handle as many as 400 cars passing through each day, and as many as eight every 15 minutes.

Mellany McLoone, chief officer for the HSE community healthcare organisation covering Dublin north city and county, told residents: “Many people will need testing for Covid-19 over the coming months. A number of locations nationally will be used as designated testing centres.  Croke Park is one of the designated testing centres for north Dublin.”

She said that testing will be done via appointment only with tests being arranged as appropriate through a GP. The centre will only see people who are attending in their vehicle.

“Testing will be open seven days a week and will, over time, operate from 8am to 8pm,” she said. “We anticipate an average of eight cars attending every 15 minutes.”

She said that she expects “minimal disruption” to local traffic and noise.

“Many of those who attend for testing will have a negative result, however by ensuring testing occurs where needed, we will be in a position to provide services to those who need it most, and minimise the risk to our wider community,” McLoone said.

People attending the centre to be tested are advised to have their appointment number ready and stay in their vehicle.

McLoone added: “We thank local residents, Croke Park and the GAA for your support during this time. Our collective efforts now, will mean that we will be in a position to provide timely access to people who need it.”

About the author:

Sean Murray

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