The testing criteria for Covid-19 has been broadened.
With capacity for 84,000 tests per week, the Health Service Executive has announced that from today, Wednesday, May 6th, you do not need to be in an ‘at risk’ group to be referred for a free coronavirus test at a community test centre or in your home.
There are two instances where members of the public are advised to phone their GP to be assessed:
1. You suddenly experience one of these symptoms and there is no other obvious cause:
- shortness of breath
2. You have been in close contact with someone you think or know has coronavirus in the last 14 days and suddenly experience one of these symptoms:
- shortness of breath
- blocked nose or sinus
- stuffed or runny nose
- sore throat
Self-isolation is recommended in both cases, whether you are referred for Covid-19 testing or not. If your symptoms worsen while you are waiting to be assessed, the advice is to call your GP. If you have difficulty breathing or are feeling very unwell, call 112 or 999 and tell them about your symptoms.
Reference numbers arrive by text
“If your GP decides that you need to be tested, they will arrange a test for you. You will need to self-isolate while you wait for your test. The people in your household will need to restrict their movements.” said the HSE.
“Make sure your GP has the correct mobile number for you. Your test details will be sent to you by text message. You will get a text message with the time and location of your test. The text will include a reference number. You will need to bring this to your appointment. Your GP and HSELive do not have access to your reference number.
The HSE also issued advice for people who are treating symptoms at home: “Drink enough water to avoid dehydration – your pee should be light yellow or clear. Paracetamol or ibuprofen may help with symptoms such as pain or fever.”
23 new deaths and 211 new cases confirmed
Yesterday, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre reported that 23 people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ireland have died – bringing the total deaths to 1,339. 211 additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed.