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Aviva Stadium Covid-19 testing centre closes after nine months in operation

Since its opening, the facility has administered approximately 65,000 Covid-19 swab tests.

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Testing centre at the Aviva Stadium

Testing centre at the Aviva Stadium

Testing centre at the Aviva Stadium

The Aviva Stadium’s Covid-19 community testing centre has closed as the defence forces move their efforts towards the vaccine rollout.

On Sunday, the hub based at the stadium was stood down after being operated by the Irish Defence Forces since May 14, 2020.

The seventh infantry battalion, based at Cathal Brugha Barracks in Dublin took the lead in the test centre. Clinically trained swab testers were also drawn from the entire defence forces.

Since its opening, the facility has administered approximately 65,000 Covid-19 swab tests.

On any given day, there were approximately 40 personnel from the defence forces there, with 30 involved in marshalling, traffic management, inventory management and stock control. The remainder were swab testers and clinical medical personnel.

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The testing centre at the Aviva

The testing centre at the Aviva

The testing centre at the Aviva

“The focus of the defence forces in assisting the HSE and the people of Ireland will now shift to supporting the national quarantine programme and mass vaccination sites,” the Irish Defence Force said in a statement today.

Last year, following on from the cancellation of the Ireland v Italy fixture in the Guinness Six Nations on March 7, the Aviva Stadium immediately offered its facilities to the government in the fight against Covid-19.

The Defence Forces then entered the site to help with the delivery of the government’s 100,000 weekly testing target.

A HSE spokesperson revealed the Aviva will now be used for Covid-19 vaccinations instead of testing. It is one of the locations chosen for 37 vaccination centres.

The RDS which is nearby in Ballsbridge will carry out testing in its place and testing will also be carried out in the CityWest.

In May of 2020, the stadium celebrated its tenth anniversary, with their head of communication, Brian O’Neill, saying at the time: “Whilst we look forward, like so many, to the return of sporting action in Aviva Stadium, we are proud of its contribution to Ireland’s Covid-19 response.”

“The stadium has always been a pillar in Irish society, so hosting community Covid-19 testing and lighting up of the stadium in the HSE colours each Friday night to mark the incredible contribution of so many on the frontline to this public health emergency is a fitting way to help continue the impact it has on communities in Ireland.”

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