THANKS: Cork Kerry Community Healthcare has thanked the Kerry Education and Training Board for its support in making part of the IT Tralee campus available as a test centre for COVID-19. Pictured were: Dr Patrick Quinn, Principal Dental Surgeon with Cork Kerry Community Healthcare who helped to set up the Tralee test centre, thanking Ioseph Nestor of the Kerry Education and Training Board for that board’s support. Photo: Dominick Walsh

Cork Kerry Community Healthcare has thanked the Kerry Education and Training Board (KETB) for its support in making Kerry College of Beauty, which is part of the Kerry College Monavalley Campus, available as a test centre for COVID-19.

The Tralee community testing centre has been located at Kerry College of Beauty since March, following a decision by the ETB to make the site available to the HSE.

For operational reasons, the centre has now relocated to the grounds of Ballymullen Barracks.

This test centre has been busy as staff assigned there have tested members of the public who have been referred by their GP and have supported mass testing of residents and staff from residential care facilities across Kerry.

“We would like to thank the ETB for their support in providing their Beauty Therapy facility as a venue at very short notice,” Head of Primary Care with Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, Teresa O’Donovan said.

“Their support has been invaluable over recent months and assisted us as we rapidly increased the number of tests being carried out and expanded our testing capacity.”

Ms O’Donovan also paid tribute to the staff working at all four Cork Kerry Community Healthcare COVID-19 test centres across Cork and Kerry.

“We’re very proud of the work of the staff at all four of our test centres across Cork and Kerry. In Tralee, staff got this test centre up and running extremely efficiently which enabled us to meet the demand for testing appointments.”

More than 70 staff across Cork and Kerry were redeployed to COVID-19 test centres in recent months, including nurses, therapy staff from a range of professions, oral health staff, and administrative staff.

The current waiting time to have a swab taken in the Cork and Kerry region remains under 24 hours.

“This is thanks to the huge efforts of the staff involved at every stage of the testing process. We appreciate the efforts of the hard-working staff at all test centres and we wish to thank them for their efforts. They worked tirelessly to set up an extremely efficient testing process, and they also supported the universal screening for residents in residential centres,” Teresa O’Donovan added.

Anyone referred for a test is reminded that while they are waiting for either the test itself or the result, they must self-isolate.