Outpouring of support has been amazing

By Mary Dennehy

STORIES of social solidarity in the face of the unprecedented coronavirus crisis continue to emerge from communities this week.

Since Monday, Tallaght Stadium has become an official HSE Covid-19 test centre for members of the public who have been clinically triaged by phone and given an appointment to visit the centre

Aerial Tallaght Stadium 4 of 6 Photo Ben Ryan compressor

Tallaght Stadium

A number of test centres have been set-up up around the country, with additional hubs due to open.

The South Dublin Volunteer Centre is managing the volunteer aspect of the Tallaght Stadium test centre with the HSE.

Trish Nolan, manager of the South Dublin Volunteer Centre, told The Echo how teams of volunteers are managing the flow of people in and out of the stadium.

The Tallaght-based volunteer centre is recruiting volunteers from its own register who are suitable for this type of work, or have some experience in crisis management.

“We’re not looking for volunteers, this is a particular role and we’re contacting people already registered with us”, Trish said.

“We have some teachers, former guards, a few councillors, staff from South Dublin County Partnership…”

Trish, however, did thank everybody who reached out in recent days offering to volunteer in any way they could.

Tallaght Stadium Volunteers WILL compressor

Tallaght Stadium Volunteers – Bernard, Willie, Margo and Trish outside Tallaght stadium at the volunteers’ tent

“The outpouring of support and offers of help has been amazing”, Trish said. 

“Local businesses have come on board as well and are sending over food to volunteers, and packed dinners that we can bring home to eat.

“The Killinarden House has been amazing and cooking us hot dinners, the Maldron Hotel has also been feeding us and sending over coffee, Kay’s Kitchen, Nandos… there’s so much support.”

The volunteers are based outside the stadium and are kitted out with goggles, gloves and masks.

A HSE spokesperson issued a reminder to members of the public that test centres operate by appointment only.

“The testing is done by appointment only following referral by a GP or Public Health Professional”, the spokesperson said.

“The decision to be referred for a test is a clinical decision.

“There is no self-referral or walk-ins.

“The results of the tests will be provided as soon as possible but during this period you should continue to self-isolate.

“Realistically the timeline from referral to testing to results will be 2-3 days but all parts of the HSE are committed to progressing this as soon as possible.”

The spokesperson added: “It is very important that everyone follows the advice provided by the HSE in relation to continuously observing good hand hygiene practice and respiratory etiquette when coughing and sneezing.

“We are particularly aware that older people may have additional concerns and worries about the spread of this disease.

“To ensure they have access to the information they need, Alone has established an information helpline”

Call Alone’s helpline on 0818 222 024.

Official Government and HSE website’s are being updated daily, for the latest information visit see HERE, HPSC and Gov.ie.

Alternatively call the HSE helpline on 1850 241 850.

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