Three days for a test – one man’s delay to get checked for Covid-19

South Co Dublin resident criticises lack of transparency in testing and tracing system

John from south Co Dublin (not his real name) started feeling unwell earlier this week. His GP requested a Covid-19 test for him on Wednesday morning as a precautionary measure.

His symptoms are mild – a headache and diarrhoea – but he wanted assurance that he did not have coronavirus, particularly because he lives at home with his wife and children.

“I received a text from the HSE only this morning for a test appointment on Saturday at noon – a full three days later,” he said on Thursday.

He emailed and phoned the various contacts provided to see if he could be tested sooner but was told the appointment could not be rescheduled. He is self-isolating, as advised.


He believes it would be “well into next week” before he would get a result and that there is no way contact tracing can be done effectively with this kind of a delay.

“It is no wonder there are reports of people not bothering to test. What is more worrying is there is no transparency about this, only public declarations that there is plenty of capacity in the system,” said John.

He believes the lack of transparency is “quite scandalous” when it comes to testing and tracing.

“No wonder the medics are advocating a full lockdown again as they know the system that we hoped to rely on is broken. I am very pessimistic about the winter,” he said.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times