The choice of location for the county’s Covid 19 test centre, in Ashbourne’s Killegland housing estate has been slammed by local councillor Joe Bonner.
The centre is separated from the Tiny Tots creche by a wire mesh fence and is just metres away from a Care For The Aged sheltered accommodation unit which has fourteen houses occupied by elderly people.
Our exclusive picture shows just how close the test centre (Highlighted by yellow signs) is to the creche and the sheltered housing,
Bonner is adamant the HSE should have placed the test centre elsewhere.
He told Meath Live, ‘I spoke to staff in the creche and they are genuinely concerned over this as already they have had people going for testing getting mixed up and ringing the creche doorbell in error.
‘I was down there this morning (Thursday) as mums were dropping their kids in and they were pretty angry over it as well and I can see why.
‘There is very limited car parking facilities in this estate so as a result people attending the centre are using either the car park in the sheltered accommodation area or parking half on the footpath half on the road.
‘If they do the latter then there is no way for parents, many of whom would be with children, to be the required social distance of two metres when passing by them.
‘Those being tested are not even attended to indoors they are tested in an open tent and most of them walk through the estate when coming and going.
‘Killegland is an estate populated mainly by mature people so I can very well understand why they are worried.
‘It’s not as if the HSE hadn’t other options, about a month back I held a recycling event in a unit on the local retail park and we had parking space for maybe more than 1000 cars, so why couldn’t that have been availed of.
‘Of course when you try to contact anyone in the HSE you don’t get a response or get pushed from one office to another.
‘I’d love to know why the test centre was moved from Slane anyway, down there it was located attached to a car park with no other building right up beside it, and it was a more central area than Ashbourne as well.’
Nobody from the Tiny Tots creche was prepared to comment, but one source told Meath Live, ‘ This is an extremely well run facility staff go above and beyond what is expected of them in relation to Covid.
‘For example all staff take their breaks outside in their own cars they don’t even mix with each other in the premises unless it is absolutely unavoidable and they are quite upset at having this centre planked beside them’.
The HSE have been contacted for comment.