Almost 700 people were tested for COVID-19 at a walk-in test centre in Ballinasloe over the course of Easter weekend.
The walk-in test centre located at Ballinasloe Library car park opened on Good Friday, and is running until 7pm today, April 6.
The pop-up centre serves a 15km catchment area, offering walk-in tests for anyone over the age of 16 who comes with photo ID.
Breda Crehan-Roche, Chief Officer of Community Healthcare West said that “the reason we’re here is because we were concerned about the incident rates in the community.”
Galway Senator Aisling Dolan said that between Friday and Sunday, 554 people had received a COVID-19 test, with that number increasing to 670 by the end of Easter Monday.
“I went along on Friday morning to the Townhall carpark and did the test within 10 minutes and the results were back by text to my phone within a day – delighted to know it was negative,” Senator Dolan said.
Catherine Flynn, co-ordinator of the Galway Airport centre, said that the pop-up centre was part of an initiative inviting people who did not have any COVID-19 symptoms to come get tested.
Tom Connaghton, manager of the Galway Ambulance Service, said that this kind of walk-in testing allows the health service to see incidence levels in the community without people having to be symptomatic, or arranging to see their GP.
The Ballinasloe centre was one of seven around the country established by the HSE last week, with the other located at on Cappagh Road, Dublin; Quay Street, Balbriggan; Crumlin GAA Club House; O’Mahony’s GAA, Navan, Meath; Naas Racecourse and Athlone Regional Sports Centre.