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Dubliners urged to keep social contacts low as more than half of new cases in capital

Two additional pop-up Covid-19 testing centres opened in Dublin this weekend.

A security guard at one of two pop up Covid-19 testing facilities in Dublin at Castleknock Health centre.
A security guard at one of two pop up Covid-19 testing facilities in Dublin at Castleknock Health centre.
Image: PA

CONCERN OVER THE rise in Covid-19 cases in Dublin has prompted the opening of two pop-up test centres, with the Acting Chief Medical Officer urging people in the capital to keep their social contacts as low as possible.

More than half of the 231 new cases reported today were in Dublin – 133. 

The two additional pop-up Covid-19 testing centres opened in the north inner city and west Dublin this weekend, situated at Handball Alley, Croke Park and Castleknock Health Centre in response to the rising numbers. 

In a statement this evening, Dr Ronan Glynn said it is important that people in Dublin keep their social contacts as low as possible due to the significant number of cases there today. 

“Given the increase in the number of cases in Dublin, the HSE has opened two pop-up Covid-19 swabbing centres in Dublin this weekend. Please come forward for testing if you have any concerns. Remember that if you do need a test, it will be free,” he said. 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said this evening that it is “crucially important” that we all heed the advice of Dr Glynn. 

“Please limit your social contacts and if you have any of the Covid-19 symptoms please phone your GP,” Martin Tweeted. 

Glynn said that despite the increase, it is important to look at the day’s figures in the context of Ireland’s 7 and 14 day incidence rates. 

“NPHET pays close attention to trends and patterns in the data over time in order to analyse the progression of Covid-19 both across the country and in particular areas or settings,” he said. 

According to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Ireland’s 14-day incidence rate is 29.6 per 100,000 – down from 30.6.

The figure still puts the country above the UK, Germany and Poland.  The rates, compiled by the ECDC, puts the UK at 25.7 and Germany on 17.9. Poland is at 23.3. 

The two pop-up test centres, which offer free testing for anyone with coronavirus symptoms who are referred by a GP, will increase capacity by between 180 to 200 tests per day and run in conjunction with the community testing centre based at the National Show Centre in Swords.

In addition to these extra pop up centres, four new community testing centres have recently been set up to manage local demand, the HSE said yesterday. 

Across the country there are now 30 community test centres, as well as mobile units for outbreak management and home testing, which is available through the National Ambulance Centre.

Handball Alley, Croke Park appointments will be offered from 11.30am to 6.30pm from 5 to 11 September. Castleknock Health Centre appointments will be offered from 11.30am to 6.30pm from 5 to 9 September.

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This week HSE reported an increase in the uptake of self-isolation facilities at CityWest hotel. 

On Wednesday, there were 139 people in total using the self-isolation facilities, including 66 healthcare workers who have either been recruited from abroad or who have tested positive and need somewhere to isolate.

There were 73 people from the general population who had been referred by a GP or public health because they could not self-isolate at home.

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Adam Daly

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