TESTING TIMES MacHale Park in Castlebar is pictured being prepared to open as a drive-through Covid-19 testing facility today (Tuesday). Pic: Conor McKeown
THE home of Mayo GAA is to become the latest sports venue to be used as a coronavirus test centre with testing due to begin at MacHale Park today (Tuesday).
The Castlebar venue will be the second location in Mayo to be used as a Covid-19 Community Testing Centre with testing to be available by GP appointment only.
MacHale Park will be used as a drive-through test centre; Croke Park was the first GAA ground to open its doors as a test centre with similar facilities now open in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick and Nowlan Park in Kilkenny.
Speaking to The Mayo News last night (Monday), Mayo GAA PRO Paul Cunnane explained the thinking behind the decision.
“Over the last number of weeks we’ve seen the great work our clubs and the wider GAA community have been doing for their localities, so it’s great to be able to play our part by offering MacHale Park as a testing site to the HSE,” he said.
“We have been in contact with the HSE locally over the last number weeks to ensure everything is in order for them. As a Mayo GAA Executive we know we all have a part to play during this time and we will do whatever we can to help.
“We continue to appeal to all our members and supporters to adhere to the HSE and Government guidelines on staying at home and observing social distancing.”
All testing at MacHale Park will be by GP appointment only and patients are asked to please stay in their vehicle and follow the advice of the HSE team. Access to the ground will be restricted to those working there and those attending appointments.
The only other Covid-19 test centre in Mayo currently is a ‘walk-in’ clinic (by appointment) located at the new swimming pool at Lough Lannagh in Castlebar.
The HSE stated that GPs can now make electronic referrals using the Swiftqueue system for anyone who has two of the symptoms associated with Covid-19.
“Community Healthcare West utilise an integrated appointment system which provides people referred for testing with confirmation of their appointment by text and details of the location of the Community Covid-19 Testing Clinic.”