25/03/2020

Covid 19 - Update - Changes to testing

If you've heard the news this morning, you will already know that Public Health guidelines around testing for Covid19 have been changed overnight.
Changes to the way we test are to be expected as the situation evolves but it can be difficult to keep up with.
Public Health are continually monitoring the testing process and there may be further changes:

Here's what we know as simply as I can explain it:

1. If you were referred for testing by your GP and HAVE NOT received a phone call with a date and time for a testing appointment by now, you will not now be getting tested.

2. Only patients who have symptoms of fever PLUS cough or PLUS shortness of breath or other respiratory symptoms will be tested.

3. If you have not received a test appointment BUT still have the symptoms mentioned in point 2, you need to contact your GP again to be re-sent for testing.

4. The GP can ONLY refer patients with the symptoms in point 2.

5. If you have been referred for testing and still have symptoms THAT ARE NOT the symptoms in point 2 then you need to continue to self-isolate as per the HSE guidelines linked here: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/self-isolation-and-limited-social-interaction.html

6. If, while self-isolating, you develop the symptoms in point 2, contact your GP.

So, that's what is happening from now until we are advised otherwise. This is why....

In an ideal world full of infinite supplies of Covid19 test kits and infinite supplies of medical professionals to process the testing and infinite time in which to test....

We would test everyone.
We would test multiple times, we might test everyone, every day.

Unfortunately, this is not realistic so we have to decide who to test.

A week ago, it seemed reasonable to test as many people as possible.
We were testing at a rate of 3,679 people per million of population until yesterday.
Admirable and it puts us among the leading countries, if we rank by number tested.

However, it now turns out that 90%+ of these tests came back negative.
While this is good news for the individual tested, it's not helping.

We need to know who has the virus, not who doesn't.

So, we need to test less people and try to test only those who are more likely to have the virus. Public Health call this 'Tightening the Case Definition' which leads to changes in the testing guidelines to those in Point 2 above.

We should now see a much higher % of positives which is actually a good thing as it means that contact tracing can be effective.
With the incresed capacity, the testing can now focus on at-risk populations and those at highest risk of exposure.

I hope this helps make a bit more sense of these changes.

Next: What to do if you have symptoms that do not qualify you for testing......


Recent News Summaries

  • Apr 28 2020

    Covid19 - Testing Criteria Update

    28/04/2020

    A quick update on the changes to Covid19 testing guidelines:

    You can now be referred for testing if you are in one or more of the categories for priority testing and meet the testing criteria below.

    If you are not in a priority group we cannot refer you for testing at this time........

  • Mar 30 2020

    What to do for mild Covid19 symptoms

    30/03/2020

    What to do if you have symptoms that don't qualify you for Covid19 testing

    As you will know, GPs can only refer patients for Covid19 tests who fit the current criteria for testing - meaning a fever plus either cough or shortness of breath, along with being in one of the at risk groups.

  • Mar 30 2020

    Can I attend as normal....

    30/03/2020
    Don't feel that you need to stay away from us for Non-Covid19 related visits.
    Our doors are locked to protect against spread of Covid-19, but we are still open from 0830 until 1700 and here for you.

  • Mar 25 2020

    Covid 19 - Update - Changes to testing

    25/03/2020
    If you've heard the news this morning, you will already know that Public Health guidelines around testing for Covid19 have been changed overnight.........

  • Mar 23 2020

    Covid19 - What we know about testing..

    23/03/2020
    There seems to be a lot of confusion around relating to the Covid19 testing programme, which is understandable when you consider the speed this programme was rolled out and the volume of people to be tested.
    As GP's, we know very little of what happens after we refer you for the test except what we hear anecdotally.

    What we DO know....

  • Mar 18 2020

    Covid 19 - Update

    18/03/2020
    Daily Update – 18 March 2020

    Since Monday 16th March, GPs can order a test for Covid-19 by electronic referral following a phone consultation with the patient..........

  • Mar 02 2020

    Covid-19 Coronavirus

    02/03/2020

    As we all know by now, we have seen the first cases of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland over the past few days.

  • Sep 23 2019

    'Flu Vaccinations - Winter 2019 - NOW IN STOCK

    23/09/2019

    'Flu Vaccinations - Winter 2019 - NOW IN STOCK

  • Sep 11 2019

    'Flu Vaccinations - Winter 2019

    11/09/2019

    'Flu Vaccines

    We have yet to receive confirmation of the delivery date for the 2019 'Flu vaccines but we hope to have them by end of September.

    We will update once we know more...

    Thank you

    GBMC

  • Jan 17 2019

    Price Reduction

    17/01/2019

    Meningitis B vaccine price reduced

     

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