Irish Medical Organisation and Irish College of GPs have announced big changes to the testing for Coronavirus.
New rules have been introduced for Covid-19 testing which means patients will need to meet revised criteria to qualify for a test in the future.
Patients will now have to meet two criteria – a clinical status and they must also fall into one of the priority groups in order to be referred for a test.
The priority groups, under the new testing regime, include close contacts of a confirmed case; healthcare staff and vulnerable groups who have symptoms.
In relation to the clinical criteria, patients will have to show two major symptoms – a fever and either a cough or shortness of breath.
All patients who have not yet been swabbed and do not have an appointment for a test date, will not now be tested.
They will be required to reengage with their GP if they still want a test.
All patients who have had their swabs taken will have their samples tested and processed.
LaoisToday understands a number of Laois people have received text messages this morning informing them of this change and telling them to reapply for a test if they still need one.
The changes folllow the application of new World Health Organisation case definition and prioritisation criteria.
For patients who now have to re-engage with their GP, under the new test rules, who were already referred for a test – if the GP refers them again for a test, after triage under the new rules, the GP will again be paid €30 per patient.
93% of samples tested at the National Virus Reference Laboratory (14,692) so far have tested negative.
The Department of Health opened a Coronavirus testing facility in Emo last week.
While a ‘Community Assessment Hub’, located on the grounds of St Fintan’s Hospital in Portlaoise, is set to come on stream soon.
While Laois GAA also have opened up MW O’Moore Park to be used as a drive-thru testing facility.