Covid-19 Community Support Response Page

Covid-19 Community Response Forum was established in County Laois and was co-ordinated by Laois County Council. With representation from multiple statutory and voluntary agencies, the core aim of the Forum was to contribute to the community-wide effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Laois County Council, through this Forum, ensured that the wide variety of groups working across the county assisted  in need, and did so in an organised, collaborative and targeted way.

Walk in COVID-19 Testing

You can use the COVID-19 walk-in test Centre if you:

  • live in the same area as the walk-in test Centre
  • have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 6 months

Tests are limited to one test per person. If you think you need a repeat test, talk to your GP. You need to bring photo ID and provide a mobile phone number. Do not arrive at a test center before the opening time. Test centres can be busy coming up to closing time. If you arrive near closing time and there is a queue, you may not get a test that day.

St. Fintan’s Hospital,
Dublin Road,
Co Laois
R32 ED81
Open Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 4.30pm. Closed Sunday


Current Level 5 Restrictions 

Easing of Restrictions – May/June 2021

Today the government decided to move ahead with the Recovery and Resilience: The Path Ahead plan.
Think safe, think outdoors – will be the theme for the summer of 2021. The government has agreed that the following measures will apply:

From 5 July, the following measures will apply:

  • numbers permitted at outdoor events can increase as planned, to a maximum of 200 attendees for the majority of stadia, and to 500 for stadia/venues with capacity greater than 5,000, with appropriate protective measures
  • there should be no limit on the numbers of people that can visit together once they are all fully protected by vaccination or have had COVID-19 infection in the previous nine months
  • as an exception, weddings already planned will be permitted to proceed on the basis of the expected changes for July, with 50 guests permitted to attend wedding receptions with protective measures
  • the number of mourners permitted at funerals continues to be limited to 50, regardless of size of venue. Attendance at wakes in private homes and at funeral homes is for family only. Related family gatherings should strictly adhere to prevailing public health advice on household mixing, including visitors to your home and indoor and outdoor dining.
  • in line with current advice, unvaccinated households may have visitors from one other unvaccinated household
  • people should continue to work from home unless necessary to attend in person

Indoor activities, such as organised events, return of service in bars and restaurants, group training, exercise and dance will not yet proceed, pending the implementation of a system to verify vaccination or immunity. Government will devise an implementation plan by 19 July, following further consideration and consultation with relevant sectors.

Self-isolation and restricted movements

You can watch the latest self-isolation and restricted movements ad here



Walk in COVID test

You can use the COVID-19 walk-in test centre if you:
•live in the same area as the walk-in test centre
•have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 6 months
Tests are limited to one test per person. If you think you need a repeat test, talk to your GP.
You need to bring photo ID and provide a mobile phone number.
St. Fintan’s Hospital,
Dublin Road,
Co Laois
R32 ED81
Open Saturday 9.30am to 4.30pm, closed Sunday, open Monday 9.30am to 4.30pm


COVID Vaccine

People aged 18 to 34 can get a Janssen single-dose COVID-19 vaccine in a pharmacy from Monday 5 July.

If you are aged 18 to 34 and would prefer to get your vaccine at a HSE vaccination centre, you can wait and register online later this month.

Because supplies of vaccines are limited at the moment, it is not possible to give an exact time for everyone.

We understand that people are looking forward to getting their vaccine and will keep this information updated.

See the full list of provisional vaccine groups on


The latest age group who can register for a COVID-19 vaccine are people aged 35 to 39.

The HSE are asking people in this age group to register on specific days. This will help us manage demand and make it easier for everyone to register.

If you are aged:

  • 39 – register on Sunday 20 June, or any time after
  • 38 – register on Monday 21 June, or any time after
  • 37 – register on Tuesday 22 June, or any time after
  • 36 – register on Wednesday 23 June, or any time after
  • 35 – register on Thursday 24 June, or any time after

People aged 40 or older can register any time, if you haven’t already.

You will need your PPSN, your Eircode, a mobile phone number and an email address.

Don’t worry if you can’t register today, registration will stay open for this age group. You will be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. Regsiter Here

For those registering on for the vaccine you will need;

  • your PPS number
  • eircode
  • a mobile phone number and
  • an email address

Alternatively people can call HSELive on 1850 24 1850 for assistance with the registration process.

If 2 weeks have passed since you got your second dose of the vaccine, you can meet with other fully vaccinated people from 1 other household indoors without wearing masks or staying 2 metres apart. If you have received the second dose, you have to wait 2 weeks until you can meet other fully vaccinated people indoors.

We encourage everyone to read about the COVID-19 vaccine and to get their information from a factual, trusted source – here are the links to the pages with information on the vaccine:

In order to limit the spread of the virus, we will all need to continue to practise the important public health measures that we’ve been following during the pandemic:

  • regular hand washing
  • cover coughs and sneezes
  • keep a 2-metre distance from other people
  • keep social contacts with other people outside our household to a minimum
  • know the symptoms of COVID-19 and stay at home and contact your GP to arrange a test if you think you have symptoms
  • wear a face covering in shops and in busy indoor workplaces, on public transport and in crowded outdoor spaces


Wearing a Face Covering
By law you have to wear a face covering when you use public transport, and since Monday 10th August the wearing of face coverings has also mandatory in shops and shopping centres. With this in mind we thought it might be timely to share with you some simple messages you can help to pass on.

This video is a really great explainer for anyone looking for advice on how to wear a mask, you can click here for all of the up to date information on when a mask should be worn as well as lots of other helpful information.
Face coverings offer a higher level of protection from infection, however, face shields (including Perspex shield and similar) are acceptable forms of face coverings as they may be preferable for people with communications difficulties.

Help is at hand for your emotional wellbeing and mental health!

To view the full range of services available over the  click here


Keeping Well this Winter

The next few months will be hard, for all of us, as we live with the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on our lives. But there are ways we can make it a little better for ourselves. This season, make a plan to help and care for yourself. Keeping active, getting outside and staying connected with other people can make a positive difference. Some days, some weeks will be harder than others. This is especially true at times when we are living with restrictions, have to limit our social interactions and need to keep two metres social distancing even with friends. Or if we have to self-isolate because of symptoms or a diagnosis of COVID-19.
This booklet contains health information that you will find useful.

M13087 Winter Booklet A5_Bilingual AW


Covid Bubbles

When you keep your distance, no matter how awkward it feels, you’re protecting yourself and those around you from the spread of COVID-19.

But when you drop your guard, When groups get together, When you shake hands or hug someone you love, When you step forward instead of taking a step back,

You could become exposed to the virus and so could the people around you. Help drive the number of cases down. Keep your guard up.

You can watch the ad on YouTube: COVID Bubbles Video


Living with COVID-19 Plan

The Government announced the Living with COVID-19 five-level plan for the next six months. These measures aim to protect key priorities – protecting health, strengthening employment and supporting communities.

You can view the Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19 here.


Public Health Information

As always, for the most up to date information and advice on Coronavirus, please go to: and Clinical and professional guidance relating to COVID-19 is available on where you’ll find up to date guidance for healthcare settings and non-clinical settings.



Isolation quick guide: adults and children from their 13th birthday

You can find this guide here.


Isolation quick guide: aged greater than 3 months and up to 13th birthday

You can find this guide here.


Interim Public Health and Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines on the Prevention and Management of COVID-19 Cases and Outbreaks in Residential Care Facilities

You can find this guidance here.



The HSE Psychology Service are continuing to provide a support service to anyone who may be experiencing stress, worry, anxiety or any other emotional distress as a result of the current Covid-19 pandemic or are worried about the impact on their family or friends.  This support is available by emailing with relevant contact details. A HSE Psychologist will then provide a follow up supportive call.

Individuals can self-refer or Support Workers/Community Development Workers can request a call on behalf of their clients. The service is also available to those who are providing support to others – we all need to look after our own self-care also!

The Psychological First Aid given is a humane, compassionate and supportive response with the aim of helping the individual to understand their emotional reaction and identify ways to cope and manage difficult and distressing feelings and emotions. It will work with the individuals strengths and build on the many skills that they have used to cope with past stresses and difficulties.

Help is at Hand Covid-19 Poster

Laois Offaly Directory April 2020

HSE “Help is at Hand” has been developed with the aim of collating all the main relevant supports and services that may be required and/or helpful to people during the current circumstances.  It is very informative and endeavours to cover all demographics and age cohorts,:

The HSE have posted translated resources to help share the messaging about coronavirus (COVID-19) in various languages. These posters and booklets are available for download and printing.

The translations of the guidance and advice is at the following link:


An Post:

An Post has announced “Community Focus”  which is an expanded range of post office and postal delivery supports for customers and communities to help everyone stay connected now and into the future.

Services include Postage Pick up for older and vulnerable customers , Postman or Postwoman will pick up  mail from their home and An Post will cover the cost.  Also free postage to and from Nursing & Care homes, full information is available at .

An Post operate a “Request a Check in for older and vulnerable customers” through the following link: Community Support Request a Check In


Government Advice to those aged 70 and over & those who are medically vulnerable:

Those aged over 70 and the medically vulnerable are advised to continue to exercise personal judgement.

It is recommended that they stay at home as much as possible, limit engagement to a very small network for short periods of time, while remaining physically distanced.

When taking exercise outdoors, it is important to maintain 2 metres distance from others and wash hands on returning home.

It is recommended to shop during designated hours only, while wearing a face covering, and to avoid public transport.


ALONE’s Support & Befriending service provides companionship to older people who would like extra social contact through a weekly volunteer visit or telephone call.

The service is designed to alleviate the negative impacts loneliness has on mental and physical health.  Volunteers are trained and supported by professional staff.  If the older person’s needs change, staff also work with them to coordinate the additional supports they need to age at home




Age Action – Getting Started Kit

Age Actions’ Getting Started KIT supports older people to keep in touch with their loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic. We all are feeling the effects of social distancing, and older people are particularly impacted being asked to cocoon at home. Now it is more important than ever to keep in touch with family and friends so Age Action drew on our Getting Started programme which offered face to face digital skills classes, to create easy How To Guides.

The Getting Started KIT is made up of How To guides that will support older people to learn, use, and be confident using smartphones and applications.

The Age Action Getting Started KIT materials are available to download below or people can call 01 8730372 leave their name and address and Age Action will post the How to Guides within 10 days.

Age Action – How to use Zoom on your smartphone and laptop

Age Action – How to use WhatsApp to make video calls on your smartphon

Age Action – How to use FaceTime on your smart device

Age Action – How to set up e-mail account on your smartphone

Age Action – How to download Apps to your smartphone

Age Action – How to avoid false information about COVID19

Renewing your Driving Licence for Over 70s
All those 70 years and over who have previously presented at an NDLS centre in the last 5 years and whose licence or permit is due for renewal will receive a renewal pack in the post and be invited to apply by post.
If you intend to avail of the postal application, there is no need to contact NDLS or to attend any centre. If you have made an appointment please ensure that you cancel it here. All cancelled appointments will be made available for other applicants.

If you are aged 70 and over and do not have a medical condition – details here you are no longer required to submit a medical report on renewal. This exemption will be in place until 31 December 2020.


COVID Tracker App now available to download

The HSE has created a free smartphone app to help improve contact tracing for COVID-19. The app will make contact tracing faster and more accurate, reducing the spread of coronavirus. Nearly 500,000 people have already downloaded the app today.

If you use the app, you can:

  • get an alert if you have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19
  • alert others if you test positive for coronavirus – this will help keep other people safe
  • track your symptoms and get advice on what to do if you’re sick
  • get regular updates, and protect yourself and others as we learn to live with COVID-19

The app protects your privacy and you keep control of your information. It exchanges secure, anonymous records via Bluetooth when people using it are in close contact with each other. It will never identify you to other app users and you cannot access each other’s information.

You can find an information leaflet with more detail that you can share with your own networks here.

The COVID tracker app will help us to track and stop the spread of COVID-19 as we continue to re-open services and communities. It goes hand in hand with the other important steps we can all take.   Everyone should continue to wash hands regularly, cover coughs and sneezes, keep our 2m distance and use face coverings when we can’t.

Thanks in advance for your support – the more people who download and use the app, the more it will help to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The COVID Tracker app is available on, or in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store now.


Citizens Information Service

Citizens Information Service (CIS) can be accessed via their website at

Contact a CIS in your local town or county by selecting ‘Find a Centre’ or alternatively you can request a call back from a trained Information Officer. If you have a question on any topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday) 9am to 8pm.’


Government Roadmap

The Government’s roadmap for reopening society and business can be found HERE


Minding your Mental Health during COVID-19 – A Booklet for Carers. 

This is an unprecedented time for Ireland as a nation; COVID-19 has brought many changes to our lives. It is a time of uncertainty and many of us are feeling stressed, anxious and vulnerable. Being in the role of a carer comes with added pressures as some of the supports and services that you relied on to help you in your role are not currently available. This handbook aims to provide you with tips for maintaining your wellbeing during this period, in order to allow you continue to care for your loved one.  All of the wellbeing advice within this handbook is relevant at any time in our lives but is especially important in times of stress.

Minding your mental health during Covid-19 a booklet for carers


Bereavement Support Counselling

A Confidential Counselling Support Service for family members and concerned persons bereaved during the COVID-19 pandemic is available from the HSE National Counselling Service (NCS).

This service will provide:

  • Information on Bereavement
  • Support for family members and concerned others who are experiencing distress
  • Referral to other appropriate services


Midlands 057-9370605 or email
Louth/Meath 046-9027303 or email

Please email out of hours. Self-referrals welcome. For referrals by a health professional please obtain consent to share information.

Bereavement Support Counselling NCS


Laois Community Response Interactive Map

To view the volunteer groups active in your area please click on the below link. This interactive map is provided by Laois Public Participation Network (PPN) in response to COVID-19.


Click News to read Age Friendly Ireland daily updates:

In This Together
For tips and advice on how you can look after your mental well being, stay active and stay connected, follow the link


Covid 19 World Service is a joint initiative of Nasc and Together Ireland. Over 20 doctors, and other healthcare professionals, from around the world, but living and working in Ireland, have voiced the video messages for this new Covid-19 World Service Initiative aimed at providing up-to-date and accurate public health informcampaignsation to migrants living in Ireland

Click for video at


Irish Hospice Foundation COVID-19 Care & Inform Team

Are you caring for a loved one at home, or has someone you love died? Information and support is available through the Irish Hospice Foundation
Freephone 1800 80 70 77, Monday to Friday, 10am – 1pm or go to