Coronavirus: Latest News

Community Covid testing centres to close nationwide

The HSE has announced that Covid-19 community testing centres will close nationwide from Thursday.

In a statement, the HSE said the online self-referral portal for ordering PCR tests will also be closed.

It said the decision was made following updated public health advice, which states that Covid-19 testing is "no longer recommended for the vast majority of people".

The HSE National Director for Public Health, Dr John Cuddihy, said that the changes are being made "on best available evidence in relation to managing Covid-19".

He said that if people have Covid-19 symptoms or other viral respiratory tract infections, they do not need a Covid-19 test and should instead stay at home and limit their contact with others until 48 hours after the symptoms have resolved.

The HSE said that from this Thursday, health care workers who are close contacts of people with Covid-19 will no longer have to do antigen tests, and therefore the antigen-ordering portal on the HSE's website will close. It said that specific guidance will be issued to health and care workers.

PCR and antigen testing will continue to be used by doctors in hospitals and GP settings, according to the HSE, "for the purpose of diagnosing and deciding on the provision of treatment for Covid-19 to a patient".

Eileen Whelan, HSE Lead for Covid-19 Test and Trace and Vaccination, said: "A reduced contact tracing service will remain and contact tracing will be limited to those who have had a positive test in settings and scenarios (such as hospitals and long term care facilities) where further transmission is likely, and could have serious impact based on Public Health Risk Assessment."


Public Health

All news where Coronavirus is mentioned

Josh Shapiro - Isaiah Thomas - Leaders stump for funding to address ongoing asbestos problem in Philadelphia public schools - - city Philadelphia - city Harrisburg
Leaders stump for funding to address ongoing asbestos problem in Philadelphia public schools
PHILADELPHIA - State and local leaders gathered Monday to address a growing asbestos problem that's caused Philadelphia public schools to abruptly close and forced students to learn remotely. Simon Gratz middle school reopened Monday after the discovery of asbestos, a cancer-causing material, caused the campus that also houses Simon Gratz High School to close last week. Simon Gratz High School, meanwhile - where the asbestos was found during a district inspection - remained close, but officials say it could reopen on Tuesday.Earlier this month, students at Building 21 in the city's West Oak Lane section were displaced when asbestos was discovered in the stairwells and auditorium. MORE LOCAL HEADLINESThe remediation work forced students to briefly learn virtually and the School District of Philadelphia's plan to relocate students to Strawberry Mansion High School was met with backlash. The asbestos problem in Philadelphia public schools made headlines before the coronavirus pandemic; many of the school buildings are decades old and in dire need of structural upgrades. Philadelphia Councilmember Isaiah Thomas, chairperson of the education committee, called asbestos in schools "one of the most pressing issues we face as a municipality right now." Leaders lauded newly-elected Gov.
Taco Bell pulling beloved item from menu, bringing back two fan favorites - - Britain - city London, Britain
Taco Bell pulling beloved item from menu, bringing back two fan favorites
Fast food chain Taco Bell is set to remove a popular item from its menu to free up space to bring back two other items beloved by customers.Starting on April 19, Taco Bell customers will no longer be able to purchase the Quesarito, which has been a menu staple since it debuted in 2014, The Takeout reported.The Quesarito, which has only been available through the Taco Bell app or online over the last few months, features a burrito wrapped in a cheese quesadilla and was surrounded by a considerable amount of buzz when it was introduced.The Takeout reported that the item is being removed from menus in order to bring back two popular menu items, the Bacon Club Chalupa and the Double Steak Grilled Cheese Burrito.Sign for the fast food brand Taco Bell on 18th May 2022 in London, United Kingdom. (photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images) The Bacon Club Chalupa contains ingredients similar to a club sandwich and has been on and off the menu since 1999.The Double Steak Grilled Cheese Burrito was offered during the holiday season last year and contains a double serving of steak, rice, cheese, nacho cheese sauce, sour cream, tortilla strips, and is grilled with a layer of cheese on the exterior.TACO BELL OPENS FIRST RESTAURANT WITH HIGH-TECH DRIVE-THRU EXPERIENCETaco Bell is continuing to innovate with tastes and flavors less familiar to other regions, while infusing familiarity and authenticity in every item.