The HSE says pop-up test centres will only be provided in Kerry when levels of infection dictate.
The HSE was responding to a number of issues raised at the Southern Regional Health Forum meeting this afternoon, including the provision of additional test centres. Fianna Fáil councillor Mikey Sheehy, who’s a member of the health forum, asked the HSE if there are plans for pop-up test centres in Kerry.
The sole test centre in Kerry is in Ballymullen, Tralee.
He said a considerable portion of the county’s population lives in rural areas and it’s difficult for many to get to the centre in Tralee. Cllr Sheehy also said that many from outside the Greater Tralee area do not know where the centre is located in the town, and he asked the HSE if it’d provide a map online or in local media publications.
In response, the HSE said staff are working day and night to operate the existing centres and there’s an incredible level of demand for testing nationally. It said pop-up test centres are a response to the highest infection rates nationally and they provide a local “mop up” service to existing centres.
Kerry currently has the fourth-lowest COVID rate nationally. The HSE acknowledged that some people in Kerry have long distances to travel, but says people in some counties have similar journeys.