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Covid Cluster Rapid Response Team in collaboration with Public Health Midlands and the Traveller Health Unit at a pop-up testing and health promotion clinic in Birr, Co Offaly


Minister Simon Harris TD speaking at the opening of the Covid-19 Community Assessment Hub at the Mater Hospital. Photographer: Julien Behal

8th May 2020

The Mater Hospital, HSE and Safetynet open a Covid-19 Community Assessment Hub aimed at caring for those experiencing homelessness and others unable to access treatment

Minister for Health opens new Hub at the Mater which will care and treat the most marginalised in the inner city

The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, HSE and medical charity Safetynet are today launching a Covid Community Assessment Hub which will specifically care for vulnerable groups in the inner city.  The Minister for Health Simon Harris TD performed the official opening this morning (Friday 8th May).  

This Covid Hub will include an assessment unit at the Mater Hospital and a mobile assessment unit working across the inner city to serve the needs of people living in poverty and those living in congregated settings.



Coverage Report: Covid Hub Launch

08 May 2020


Emma Coughlan is testing and swabbing for Covid-19 on Safetynet's mobile unit

22 April 2020

Covid-19 affecting people living in extreme poverty

Frontline workers operating on the margins of Irish society are reporting a "very high proportion" of positive Covid-19 cases among people living in extreme poverty.

The medical charity Safetynet has said the impact of coronavirus in the Roma community is of particular concern, with many Roma living in overcrowded settings, where following social distancing and self-isolation guidelines is impossible.



Minister Simon Harris TD taking a look at the Safetynet converted ambulance 

6 April 2020

Safetynet COVID-19 response – Update

Safetynet have reconfigured our services in response to COVID-19 to identify, triage test and treat homeless and vulnerable people. Our reconfigured service means those with symptoms can be tested quicker and appropriately supported subsequently.


Homeless support groups making contingency plans for the spread of Covid-19
Homeless support organisations are making contingency plans for the spread of Covid-19 among those in emergency accommodation and accessing night services.

It came as calls increased for extra capacity within homeless services to cater for an outbreak, with one organisation CEO querying whether the government should be checking on the availability of hotels or the capacity of the Army to erect a field hospital if required.

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