You can see the measures in place here
HSE COVID-19 Test and Trace is open this Christmas
When you need a test for COVID-19, our health service works hard to make this as quick and safe as possible for you. If you feel unwell on a public holiday, the weekend or in the evening, the GP out of hours service can refer you for a test too. The GP referral and test are both free of charge. Most people will get a test appointment within 24 hours.
Our new Test and Trace video is available here and sets out step by step how test and trace works.
Our contact tracers will continue to call people who test positive for COVID-19 and trace their close contacts to give them public health advice throughout the Christmas and New Year. Contact tracers will advise close contacts to restrict their movements for 14 days and arrange a COVID-19 test. People who test positive and/or who have symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate in a room on their own and avoid other people. This will help stop the spread of the virus.
GP out of hours services are available throughout the country at weekends and evenings this Christmas. You can find contact details for your local GP Out of Hours Service here.
COVID 19 Guidance for staff working in residential care facilities for older people
Guidance for healthcare workers and managers delivering care in residential settings for older people is available here. This section of the website has been set up as a central point of contact for residential care facilities to access up-to-date clinical guidance, information and links to inform care and supports in these settings.
Residents of nursing homes have been identified as a particularly vulnerable group. They have a significantly higher risk of contracting COVID-19 than the general population of similar age. Particular attention is needed when caring for Older People to support the prevention of COVID-19, identification of symptoms and clinical management of residents in these settings.
Keeping well this winter
The Keeping Well this Winter campaign has some further interviews aimed particularly at older and vulnerable people.
You can watch Dr Vida Hamilton, HSE’s Clinical Advisor for Acute Hospitals chat to Daíthí and Sinéad on RTE’s Today show here. Vida has lots of advice on accessing routine and emergency healthcare services, the protective measures that staff have taken in healthcare settings along with what to do if you think you have COVID-19.
Anne Rizzo, Regional Programme Manager Limerick City and County Council talks to journalist Eoghan Corry for a Senior Times podcast on the actions and initiatives of county council staff and volunteers around the country since the COVID-19 pandemic began. You can listen to Anne outline the councils’ Community Call initiatives here.
Prof Martin Cormican, HSE’s Clinical Lead on Infection Control, talks to journalist Charlie Bird for a Senior Times podcast on keeping well this winter. Martin gives very good advice on when you might need antibiotics and why taking them when you don’t need them may do you more harm than good. He also chats to Charlie about the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines. Listen the interview here.
Community Call supporting vulnerable people 7 days a week 8 am – 8 pm on 0818 222 024
If you are caring for people who would benefit from help with collection and delivery of essential items like food, ‘meals-on-wheels’, fuel or medicine or who are socially isolated you can call the Community Call line. Community Call has been significantly expanded to reach out to anyone who is vulnerable or isolated regardless of age or location. Community Call is supported by the HSE, An Garda Siochana, Local Authorities, An Post, charities and residents’ associations.
Call 0818 222 024 (open 7 days a week 8 am – 8 pm).
Thank you from the Frontline
This year has been a tough year for everyone. We’ve had ups and downs professionally and personally, but one of the enduring highs of this year has been how our friends, family, and the public helped us to do our job by staying in, washing their hands, keeping apart and following the advice of our public health teams.
For this we are truly grateful. Watch some of our healthcare staff thank those people in a video here as we continue our efforts to #StaySafe this Christmas.
Public Health Information
As always, for the most up to date information and advice on Coronavirus, please go to: https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/ and https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/. Clinical and professional guidance relating to COVID-19 is available on www.hpsc.ie where you’ll find up to date guidance for healthcare settings and non-clinical settings.
Please check here for the most up to date partner resources for COVID-19.
Please also check the Healthy Ireland site here with further resources and information on the Keep Well campaign.
You can view the latest information on how Ireland is responding to cases of COVID-19 here.
Ireland’s COVID-19 Data Hub is available here.