Up to 38,000 people are expected to be tested for Covid 19 in the Midlands Louth Meath Community Health Organisation area in October.
The CHO8 covers counties Longford, Westmeath, Offaly, Laois, Meath and Louth.
At a meeting of the Regional Health Forum yesterday, it was confirmed that 23,674 people have already been tested for Covid-19 since the start of October in the area and that figure is expected to jump again before month end.
In comparison, during the entire month of September in the same region, which has a population of around 620 thousand people, just over 21 thousand people were tested in total, and in August the figure was closer to 13 thousand.
Meanwhile, between March and July of this year, over a period of 5 months, just 304 people were tested at the IWA testing centre in Carrick on Shannon in Co Leitrim.
The meeting was told that the HSE is stretched to capacity and that new test swabbers who had been trained at the start of September were now already on the front line performing tests.
Recruitment for more swabbers is also still underway.