Covid-19 Community Support Response Page

COVID-19 Test

From January 3rd people who have symptoms of COVID-19,and are aged 4 to 39 should use antigen tests in the first place. You can book free antigen tests online from the HSE. You also need to self-isolate (stay in your room). There is a high risk you could spread the virus. If you have a positive antigen test, you should then book a PCR test from the HSE to confirm the result.

This advice does not apply to people who have higher risk health conditions or healthcare workers. Read more about testing for COVID-19 here

Full details of how to get tested are available here.

People aged 40 and over with symptoms: If you are aged 40 or over and have symptoms of COVID-19book a PCR test. Do not book antigen tests.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include high temp, dry cough and change in sense of taste or smell. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, it’s very important to self-isolate and get tested as soon as possible. Please do this even if you are part or fully vaccinated against COVID-19. You can find more information here.

Close contact of a person that tests positive for COVID-19

If you are a close contact of a person that tests positive for COVID-19, please find guidance here.

If you test positive for COVID-19

If you have a positive (detected) result on an antigen test or a PCR test you should self-isolate (stay in your room). There is a high risk you could spread the virus to others.

Read information on antigen testing and what to do if you receive a positive result here.

Read information on what to do if you receive a positive result on a PCR test here.



COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

You can find the latest information on vaccines administered here.


Find a pharmacy giving COVID-19 vaccines

Many pharmacies are now offering COVID-19 vaccines to people aged 12 and over. Find a pharmacy to book your vaccine appointment. You can find more information here.


Where to find COVID-19 Vaccination Information

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:



Free flu vaccine for all at-risk groups

It’s flu season and while anyone can catch the flu, some people are more at risk of catching the flu, getting seriously ill or needing hospital treatment. The HSE encourages all at-risk groups to make an appointment with their GP or Pharmacist for their free flu vaccine. People at risk include those aged 50 or over, children aged 2 to 17, people with certain long term conditions, pregnant women and healthcare workers. It’s the best way to be protected from the flu. Find a participating pharmacy.


Keep well this winter

Information is available here including:

  • Your guide to keeping well this winter
  • How to manage common illnesses
  • Advice on when to get emergency help


Minor injuries

Injury units are for the treatment of minor injuries that are unlikely to need admission to hospital. So of it is a sprain, break or minor burn, head to your local injury unit. You can find more information here.


The HSE phone number for all queries in relation to medical cards, GP visit cards, Drugs Payment Scheme and Long Term Illness scheme has changed

The HSE phone number for all queries in relation to medical cards, GP visit cards, Drugs Payment Scheme and Long Term Illness scheme has changed. Please call 0818 22 44 78 to make enquiries.


Minimum unit pricing on alcohol

Minimum unit pricing on alcohol has been introduced. This sets a minimum price for a gram of alcohol, meaning it cannot be sold for less than that price. You can find out more about minimum unit pricing here here.


Needing support for grief?

If you, or a loved one, are grieving or bereaved and need some extra help at the moment, the HSE and Irish Hospice Foundation have information and support available, which are outlined in our article in


Public Health Information

For updated 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.


Please check here for the most up to date partner resources for COVID-19.

You can find translated resources here.

You can find the COVID-19 A-Z information here from the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

Please also check the Healthy Ireland site here with further resources and information on the Keep Well campaign.


You can view the latest information on how Ireland is responding to cases of COVID-19 here.


Ireland’s COVID-19 Data Hub is available here.


RSVP Campaign

The R.S.V.P. that aims to empower people to assess the risk involved in different activities by providing practical information and guidance.

R.S.V.P. encourages people to be risk aware, to think before they meet up with others, and to ask themselves the right questions about Risk, Symptoms, Venue and People.


Questions such as:

Risk. What’s the risk? Am I vaccinated? Have I received my booster?

Symptoms. Am I currently showing symptoms of COVID-19?

Venue. Are they following the guidelines? Will I be wearing a mask?

People.  How many people am I meeting? How many households are coming together?


For further suggestions on the questions you might ask yourself and others before meeting up, please see the attached leaflet.”

RSVP Campaign Leaflet – English Version

RSVP Campaign Leaflet – Gaeilge



‘Someone is always there to listen to you’

The Resource Officers for Suicide Prevention in the HSE Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare
Organisation Josephine Rigney and Eddie Ward are aware of the impacts of Covid-19 on people’s mental health – it is a worrying and anxious time, with many things happening outside our control. What we can control though is recognising and being aware of our own feelings and reactions and responding to our individual needs whether these needs are emotional or physical.

The next few weeks are likely to be busy and stressful so it is very important that we stay in tune and take good care of ourselves and each other if and when we need to. Take the time to eat healthily, make some time for exercise and relaxation, get out for a walk, connect in with others and create and maintain social interactions in our lives with those who are dear to us.

At any time, any one of us can feel vulnerable and this is particularly true in a time of uncertainty such as now. It is reassuring to know that there is support available in this regard. We can get this support initially from our family members, close friends or colleagues and whilst it may take some courage to start a conversation and share how you are feeling, it is important that you give yourself the opportunity to know that people care and love you and you can then start to feel more hopeful about your future. Support is also available from the many organisations and services that are outlined below. Be assured that someoneis always there to listen to you, all day, every day, 24 hours a day.


We can all make a difference to the lives of those around us and who we care about. If you are concerned or know thatsomeone might be struggling to cope or is feeling distressed, find some space and time to sit and talk and be present withthem. Use some open questions to help them to talk and tell them that you care
about them. If they share things with you, listen – stay calm, be patient and kind. You don’t need to have all the answers or the solutions. It can be really valuable for a person just to know that they are heard
and they are not alone at a difficult time. Advise them about the many services that are there to support them and if necessary, help them to make an initial call. If you would like to be more confident in your skills to
support those you may be concerned about, a free 1½ hrs online training programme (LivingWorks Start) is
available by contacting Josephine or Eddie through their contact details below. A 2hrs ‘Introduction to Self-Harm’ programme is also available.

Unfortunately, we may know someone who has been bereaved over the past year or so. A bereavement journey is not easy and some people may benefit from support with their grief. For those who have experienced bereavement through a suspected suicide, Pieta provide a support service for family members, friends and colleagues. This service is available in theMidlands from Bernie Carroll, email:; Mobile: 086 418 0088, and in Louth/Meath from Marian King, email:;(Mobile: 085 738 0444).

For bereavements from other causes, the National Bereavement Support Line is available from 10am – 1pm, Monday to Friday.


The following services offer more specific information and support:
Hospice Foundation
Childhood Bereavement;





































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



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.’


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



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