BUSY MONTH Staff at the Covid testing centre in MacHale Park in Castlebar were back testing over 1,000 people a week by the end of last month. Pic: Michael McLaughlin
THE number of people presenting for Covid-19 tests in testing centres across Mayo increased by 86 percent over the month of June.
The huge number of referrals for Covid-19 testing in the last fortnight comes at a time when health officials are warning of a potential new wave because of the highly contagious Delta variant.
However, despite the increase number of tests in June, there was no major increase in positive cases, with the county having one of the lowest incidence rates in the country.
In the 14-day period up to June 30, 38 cases were confirmed in Mayo, which gave an incidence rate of 29 cases per 100,000 population.
At the end of the first week in June, 694 people presented for testing at the main testing centre in MacHale Park in Castlebar, but at the end of June that figure had increased to 1,295 tests per week.
During June, temporary walk-in test centres also opened in Ballina and Ballyhaunis, and the number of tests increased week-on-week during the month.
On the week ending June 14, there were 945 cases, 1,041 cases for the week ending June 21, and 1,295 cases for the week ending on June 28.
Electoral area breakdown
For the first time since the HSE hack in mid May, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) released figures for the number of cases in each of the electoral areas. While the number of national Covid-19 cases has increased in recent weeks, it appears that Mayo has to date not been badly affected by the latest rise in cases nationally.
The largest number of cases during a 14-day period up until June 30 was in the Castlebar Electoral Area, where eleven cases were recorded. This gave the electoral area an incidence rate of 36.7 per 100,000 population, which is well below the national average of 98.9.
Nine cases were recorded in the Claremorris Electoral Area, giving it an incidence rate of 33.2.
Five cases were recorded in both the Ballina and Swinford Electoral Areas, giving them an incidence rate of 19.9 and 28.9, respectively.
Despite an influx of visitors to the west of the county, no cases were recorded in either the Westport or Belmullet Electoral Areas.
Meanwhile, 21 pharmacies across Mayo are offering the Jannssen single-dose Covid-19 vaccine to people aged 18 to 34 and 50 years or over. Pharmacies were able to begin administering the vaccine to younger people from yesterday (Monday).
The list of participating pharmacies was released by the HSE on Friday.
They are Boots Pharmacy, Castlebar; Boots Pharmacy, Westport; Curley’s TotalHealth Pharmacy, Ballyhaunis; Foody’s Pharmacy, Ballina; Healthwest Community Pharmacy, Ballindine; Healthwest Community Pharmacy, Ballyhaunis; Joanne Hynes TotalHealth Pharmacy, Ballinrobe; Kilroy’s CarePlus Pharmacy, Ballina; Lavelle’s Pharmacy, Belmullet; Life Pharmacy, Kilkelly; Life Pharmacy, Knock; Mac Auliffe’s Pharmacy, Castlebar; McVann’s CarePlus Pharmacy, Westport; Molloy’s Lifestyle Pharmacy, Bunree Road, Ballina; Molloy’s Pharmacy, Garden Street, Ballina; O’Donnell’s Pharmacy, Castlebar; O’Donnell’s TotalHealth Pharmacy, Charlestown; O’Donnell’s TotalHealth Pharmacy, Swinford; Reilly’s Pharmacy, Belmullet; Staunton’s Link Pharmacy, Hopkins Road, Castlebar; and Staunton’s Pharmacy, Main Street, Castlebar.
Mayo TD Alan Dillon welcomed pharmacies’ participation.
“It will make the vaccine more accessible and help in accelerating the rollout,” he said, adding: “This measure by the HSE makes it easier for people who want to avail of the vaccine in more localised locations spread throughout the county.”
The percentage by which Covid-19 testing increased in the county in June
The number of pharmacies across Mayo now vaccinating