The contact tracing centre at University College Dublin is to be wound down and subsumed into a HSE facility in Dublin. The centre, which is one of the largest contact tracing centres in the country, has been run by Professor Mary Codd and Professor Pat Wall since March 2020.
The objective of the centre is to provide test results, information and advice to people with Covid-19 tests and to gather information on close contacts for tracing purposes. At the height of the pandemic, there were over 100 staff and volunteers engaged in contact tracing each week, with a rotated roster of over 300 volunteers who processed up to 600 calls daily.
All the volunteers at the centre were trained in standardised, nationally developed, tracing methods. Speaking about the contact tracing centre, Professor Mary Codd stated: “I cannot speak highly enough about the staff and students who have volunteered their time and expertise to help develop the facility.”
The HSE stated that the contact tracing centre at UCD was “vital” in combating the challenges brought about due to the pandemic. Roughly 60 full-time roles will be transferred from the UCD contact tracing centre to the 43,000 square foot centre at Heuston South Quarter in Dublin.
Niamh O’ Beirne, lead on contact tracing for the HSE, stated that the HSE is “extremely grateful” to UCD for this transfer of staff as the demand for testing and tracing services is increasing. Ms O’ Beirne warned that the presence of the Delta variant means that the current wave of Covid-19 “may be greater than all the other waves we had previously”.
Staff at the UCD centre will gradually migrate to the Heuston South Quarter centre over the coming weeks, however, the University contact tracing centre will remain open until August.
Stephanie Toolis – Reporter