HSE saw no need for additional testing centre in Kerry last month

The HSE saw no need for an additional COVID-19 testing centre in Kerry last month.

A letter to Kerry County Council from Cork Kerry Community Healthcare dated December 8th, 2020, shows the HSE did not see a need for a second testing centre in the county.

The COVID-19 testing centre at Ballymullen in Tralee is the only unit in Kerry.

In November’s meeting of Tralee Municipal District, the councillors called on the council to write to the HSE and request a second testing centre at the John Mitchels Sports Complex on the outskirts of the town.

The reply from Teresa O’Donovan, Head of Service for Primary Care with Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, was sent on December 8th last, and was given to councillors at this month’s Municipal District meeting.

It says that the test centre in Ballymullen covers the Kerry region, and that at the time, it was not at capacity, meaning the HSE saw no need to establish another test centre in Kerry.

This was just one week before a large COVID-19 outbreak in Killorglin saw queues of cars lined up outside the testing centre in Ballymullen.

The letter also stated that should there be a substantial and consistent increase in demand for testing, additional sites would be established where the need is greatest.

Ms O’Donovan added that Cork Kerry Community Healthcare would continue to monitor numbers for testing in Kerry.

The number of people testing positive in Kerry has increased significantly since the date of the letter, with 48% of all of Kerry’s COVID-19 cases recorded in the two weeks up to January 10th.