It has been confirmed that two new coronavirus testing sites are opening in County Louth.

A drive-thru testing centre is operational at Dundalk Institute of Technology from today, while an assessment hub is planned for Drogheda.

The Dundalk centre is on an appointment-only basis and only those displaying symptoms and who have been referred by a GP will be seen.

Chief officer of HSE Midlands, Louth and Meath Pat Bennett said: "We would like to acknowledge the tremendous support that we have got from our local communities as we implement the Government action plan in response to Covid-19.

"Our goal is to slow the spread of coronavirus. If we can slow it down, we give ourselves, and our most vulnerable people, more options and more time for care and recovery."

DkIT president Michael Mulvey said: "We are pleased to support the HSE's national response to this pandemic.

"We also call on our DkIT community and the wider public to continue to play their part in helping to reduce the spread of Covid-19 by adhering to HSE guidelines, particularly in relation to social distancing."

In Drogheda, the largest town in Ireland, it has been confirmed that a centre for diagnostic tests and interventions will treat people in the community who have tested positive for coronavirus.

The assessment hub will be serviced by health professionals and will be by appointment only. 

The confirmation was given to Louth county councillor Michelle Hall, who herself was tested for the virus eight days ago and is still waiting for the result.

She said: "In response to my query to the Regional Health Forum, in relation to a new testing centre for Drogheda, I was informed about their plans for a new assessment hub.

"This will be a relief for people in Drogheda to know they won’t have to travel to Dundalk again, especially if they feel unwell through symptoms of the coronavirus. More information about this service will be issued in due time."

Meanwhile, in County Meath, the public have been asked to stop donating PPE equipment for use at Our Lady's Hospital in Navan. In a statement the hospital thanked people for their support and generosity. 

"The hospital currently has a sufficient supply and stock of Personal Protective Equipment for staff," the statement read.

"It's for that reason we kindly ask members of the public to refrain from donating PPE to the hospital, such as boxes of gloves. 

"We do appreciate everyone's best intentions and their ongoing support through this unprecedented national crisis."