8,000 People In Midwest Await Testing For COVID-19

8,000 people in the Midwest are awaiting testing for COVID-19.

There has been a significant increase in testing, but new testing locations are due to open this week, which the HSE hopes to reduce the backlog within the next ten days.

There are currently two swabbing stations at one location in Clare.


The HSE is currently providing COVID-19 testing at 5 locations in Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary.

Here, there’s two swabbing stations at the Ennis Driving Centre, which are operational from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, but testing is by appointment only, and only patients referred by their GP will be seen.

The HSE is planning to expand the number of testing stations in the Midwest in the coming days – this will see a drive thru swabbing station come on stream at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick and another at the Derg Centre in Nenagh.

8,000 people across Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary are currently waiting to be tested and it’s hoped this expansion of testing centres will help reduce numbers significantly over the coming ten days.

HSE Midwest is advising anyone awaiting a test to self-isolate and is advising that it could take up to seven days for a result, once the test is completed.

Further Information From The HSE

The HSE is currently providing Covid-19 testing in 41 locations in all Community Healthcare Organisations in Ireland.

The testing service is being provided on an appointment-only basis and only those who are referred by their GP will be seen. Where a test is requested, the person should be self-isolating at home until they are called for their test. It is advised that any person who is symptomatic or waiting for an appointment for a test, or waiting for a test result, they should assume they are positive and ensure they take all the necessary precautions regarding care and self isolation. Full details on www.hse.ie

The current position in the Mid West is:


Child & Family Centre Limerick – 3 Swabbing Stations operational 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. 7 days per week

St. Gabriel’s School – 1 Swabbing Station operating 2p.m. – 8 p.m. 7 days per week

North Tipperary:

Derg Centre Nenagh – 2 Drive Thru Swabbing Stations operational 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. 7 days per week


Ennis Driving Test Centre – 2 Swabbing Stations operational 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. 7 days per week

It is planned that there will be an expansion in the number of testing locations in the coming days. These will include:


Swabbing Station (Drive Thru) in Gaelic Grounds from Wednesday afternoon 25th March 2020

St Gabriel’s -extra swabbing stations to commence on Friday will operate 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. 7 days per week.

North Tipperary:

Open additional Drive Thru Swabbing Station in Derg Centre Nenagh on Wednesday 25th March 2020.

Waiting List:

In the Mid West there is currently a waiting list of over 8,000 , testing has significantly increased in the past number of days and with more test centres opening we hope to be in a position to reduce the backlog considerably within a 10 day period. Once the swabbing test is completed people can expect to wait up to seven days for their test result. The advice is the patient should self isolate during this period.

We also would like to advise people who are symptomatic to self-isolate, whether they have been tested or not. We have seen a significant increase in demand for testing for COVID 19, and we regret that a large number of people are awaiting testing and receipt of results.

Getting a test for Coronavirus

Phone your GP. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. The GP will assess you over the phone.

If the assessment indicates you require a test, this will be arranged for you.

Make sure your GP has your correct mobile or contact number . This is so that you can be contacted to have your test arranged.

If you require medical assistance out of hours please contact the G.P Out of Hours Service. Please note they cannot arrange a test for you.

HSE Live (1850 24 1850) cannot order coronavirus tests. It is an information line only

Swabbing test pathway explained:

GPs make electronic referrals for Covid-19 testing for patients about whom they have a concern using the Healthlink system. Community Healthcare staff utilise an integrated electronic appointment system (Swift Queue) which provides people referred for testing with confirmation of their appointment. This will be arranged over the phone with the person requiring testing and they will be given all necessary appointment details for their tes (time. Date, location etc)t. The electronic appointment system went live on the afternoon of Monday March 16th and it has supported arrangements for thousands of people to get tested.

If people experience a deterioration in their condition they are advised to contact their GP for medical advice.

Information and guidance in relation to Covid-19 is available on the HSE website. www.hse.ie

Notes for those people who are attending Drive Thru centres:

At no stage will people who attend for testing be allowed to leave their car. When checked in at the entrance, the person will be provided with a face mask, tissues and disposable bag and directed to a test bay. They will then be attended to by Healthcare workers who will be wearing PPE’s. At this point, people will be asked to blow their nose and dispose of the tissue in the bag provided. A throat and nose swab will then be taken and the person will leave the facility, return home and self-isolate. Results will be issued directly to the person at a later date. HSE Mid West Community Healthcare is appealing for the privacy of those staffing and visiting the centres to be respected.

Mid West Helpline:

The HSE Mid West Helpline 1890 300046 was originally set up to deal with close or casual contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases across the Mid West.

It is anticipated this Mid West service will scale down in the next seven days as the number of test centres increase.

The public are advised the HSE Live line will take on general queries and the number is 1850 24 1850, this is Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am – 5pm