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Increase in proportion of Covid-19 close contacts failing to take up offer of test

Public health officials have identified a number of clusters in recent days.

Image: Shutterstock

THE GOVERNMENT HAS said there is an increasing proportion of close contacts of Covid-19 cases who are failing to take up the offer of a test for the coronavirus.

In May, health officials announced close contacts of anyone diagnosed with Covid-19 would be offered testing – on day one and then again six days later. There has been concern about the level of uptake, particularly in relation to the second follow-up test on day 7. 

Speaking this morning, Liz Canavan, assistant general secretary at the Department of the Taoiseach, said public health doctors are reporting an increase in the number of clusters around the country in recent days.

“But they’re also reporting an increasing proportion of people identified as close contacts of positive cases who, when offered a test, are not coming forward to be tested,” she added.

Testing is a foundation stone of everything we’re doing in relation to this disease. If we don’t know how many people have it, if we don’t know where the disease is, we can’t stop it spreading. So please, if you are asked to get a test, please do so.

Today Canavan said the Covid Tracker app will also play a role as it supports digital and anonymous tracing of close contacts of confirmed cases.

More than 1.3 million people downloaded the app within eight days of the launch meaning it has now reached 35% of the population aged 16 or older.

Contact tracing teams have already started to see the benefit of the app, Canavan said, as they have been hearing from people requesting a callback after receiving a close contact alert from the app.

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