A COVID-19 Tracing Contact Centre has recently began operating in UCD, this centre is the first of its kind outside of the HSE. The centre was set up by Prof. Mary Codd and Dr. Patrick Wall of the UCD School of Public Health and operates to provide test results, information and advice to people who have had positive COVID-19 tests. Their most important function, however, is to gather information on the close contacts of those who have tested positive for tracing purposes, which are necessary to try and contain the virus.
All staff and students, no matter their discipline of study, were eligible to apply to volunteer in the centre. The HSE provided training for all volunteers on Friday 20th of March and the centre commenced operations the following week. During each shift 30 HSE trained volunteers man the phones, organise rosters and manage operations in the centre. The HSE equips the volunteers with relevant training materials and manuals specifically designed for this crisis.
Working alongside Prof. Mary Codd and Dr. Patrick Wall are several doctors from the UCD staff. Their job is to provide clinical and public health expertise where needed. Dr. Greg Martin, public health lead at the HSE also offers back up support to the centre.
The centre in UCD is the first of its kind and therefore a pilot scheme for the HSE during these challenging times. If the UCD call centre proves successful, the HSE are planning similar satellite operations elsewhere to support both the UCD call centre as well as the HSE in general.
Adam O’Sullivan – Reporter