HSE plans new COVID-19 testing laboratory at UHG

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The HSE intends to build a new Microbiology Laboratory at UHG due to the strain that COVID-19 testing has placed on existing facilities.

Planning permission is being sought for a single storey building with a footprint of 138m² on the grounds of University Hospital Galway.

This will serve as a new Public Health Microbiology Laboratory facility at the hospital.

The planning application states that “The Department of Medical Microbiology (DMM) in UHG is divided into a few specialties; the diagnostic microbiology service, the Public Health Microbiology Laboratory (PHML) and the National Reference Laboratory (NRL).”

“The DMM has been running the COVID-19 RespiBio testing since May 2020. The extra demand that COVID-19 testing has put on the existing facility has made it unfit for purpose.”

The application states that the current facilities do not allow for safe testing of COVID-19, along with the testing required by the PHML.

Moving this “COVID-19 molecular work” to a dedicated laboratory would be safer for workers, and protect the samples from contamination, it adds.

Galway City Council is due to make a decision on this planning application by May 5.