Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Ceisteanna (425)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

425. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health the capacity for testing for Covid-19; the average turnaround time for test results; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10394/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

A robust and real-time process of testing, isolation and contact tracing is central to our public health strategy for containing and slowing the spread of COVID-19, as advocated by WHO, EC and ECDC.

There is now capacity in place to test 15,000 people a day on a seven day basis. As of midnight Monday 1 June, 348,416 tests have been carried out with an 8% positivity rate overall.

The target turnaround time from referral to completion of contact tracing is 3 days or less in 90% of cases, while the target turnaround time for negative results is less than 2 days.

Turnaround times are improving rapidly thanks to process improvements and automation. In over 80% of cases, the turnaround time from referral to completion of contact tracing is now 3 days or less. Over the last week, the median turnaround time has been 2 days. The HSE publishes updates on testing and contact tracing including activity levels and turnaround times on a daily basis. These can be accessed here - https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/news/newsfeatures/covid19-updates

It is important to recognise that this capacity was developed from a standing start and that huge work has gone in to getting us to the point we are right now. I am confident that the HSE is putting in place the measures to further reduce turnaround times and we are seeing continuing improvement and greater consistency. The HSE continues to streamline the process and to automate where possible.