No Covid test appointments available in Offaly on HSE site

The national shortage of available appointments for Covid-19 testing is being felt in the Midlands, with no self-referral appointments currently available at the HSE's Offaly testing centre in Tullamore.

As of lunchtime today (Wednesday) there were no appointments available for a PCR test either this afternoon or tomorrow at the Tullamore centre, in Clonminch.

In addition, there were no appointments left at the Portlaoise test centre, or at Westmeath's testing centre in Mullingar.

Virology expert and Athlone native Dr Gerald Barry feels that more could have been done to make testing easier and more widely-available.

"We're being encouraged to get PCR tests as often as possible if we have any symptoms, but any kind of barrier for somebody to get a test runs the risk of potentially creating a chain of transmission that we could have stopped if somebody had been tested," said Dr Barry, who lectures in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UCD.