Additional Covid-19 testing facilities are being opened today in Limerick to cope with the increased demand for testing, as the numbers with the virus rise in the region.

The HSE's Mid West Community Healthcare division said a new drive in facility with three testing bays has been established on the grounds of St. Josephs health campus on Mulgrave street close to Limerick city centre.

The number of bays will be increased to seven in the coming days and will be able to cater for up to 700 tests per day if demand requires.

The new testing centre will offer free testing for people referred by their GP.

It is up and running from this afternoon and open seven days a week from 8am-8pm.

The additional testing facilities have been set up after concern was expressed by the Acting Chief Medical officer Dr. Ronan Glynn about the rise in cases in Limerick.

There have been 122 cases in Limerick in the past fourteen days, the third biggest rise after Dublin with 861 and Kildare with 146 cases.

HSE Mid West Community Health Care Chief Officer Maria Bridgeman said the centre will help us meet the increased demand for testing at a location which is very accessible to the community. 

The HSE would strongly urge those offered an appoint for testing to please attend, she said.