Sharp increase in new COVID-19 cases in the South


June 29, 2020

There has been a sharp spike in new COVID-19 cases during the past day according to the latest from Public Health Wales today.

The majority of the new cases were in the Merthyr Tydfil area with six new cases in the North Wales Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board region. There were no new cases reported in the Conwy area and one in Denbighshire.

Despite the recently reported outbreaks at factories on Anglesey and in Wrexham just a small number of cases were reported today with 2 in Anglesey and 2 in Wrexham.

Sadly there were 3 new deaths across Wales.

Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said:

“Public Health Wales welcomes the reopening of the majority of schools across Wales, to enable pupils and staff to check in and catch up before the autumn term starts in September.

“Public Health Wales continues to work with multi-agency partners regarding the cluster of cases at Kepak Merthyr.

“People who have tested positive for Coronavirus over the weekend and their household contacts have been instructed to self-isolate, and any risk to the wider community is being controlled.

“There are no plans to take any wider public health action, such as school or workplace closures, and no outbreak has been declared.

“Coronavirus testing at the facility over the weekend has identified 101 confirmed cases out of the 810 people that were tested on Saturday. This brings the total number of cases identified at the site since April to 130.

“Public Health Wales continues to work with multi-agency partners to respond to ongoing outbreaks in Rowan Foods in Wrexham and 2 Sisters in Llangefni.

“It is timely to remind everyone that we all have a vital role in preventing the spread of Coronavirus by always sticking to social distancing guidelines – that’s staying two metres away from others and washing hands regularly.

“Public Health Wales welcomes the relaxation of lockdown measures, but reminds the public that we are not yet back to business as usual.

“We would urge members of the public to continue to stay local and avoid visiting locations, such as beaches, where proper social distancing is impossible to achieve.

“While shopping, members of the public should use contactless payment where possible, and reduce contact with goods. Where available, use sanitiser outside your home, especially as you enter a building and after you have had contact with surfaces. Avoid touching your face.

“Further relaxation of lockdown measures, including the lifting of the restriction on non-essential travel to around five miles, is planned for Monday 6 July, providing that community transmission continues to reduce.

“It is important to note that until a further announcement is made by Welsh Government, then the current measures remain in place - as a general rule, people should not travel more than five miles from home. This will help to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading as people begin to travel more.

“Future relaxation of lockdown measures will also be dependent on everyone following advice set out in the ‘Test, Trace, Protect’ strategy, including self-isolating when required. Complying with social distancing and hygiene measures remains extremely important.

“Revised lockdown arrangements also apply to people in Wales who have been told to ‘shield’ from the virus. They are able to go outside and meet people from another household, provided they keep a two-metre distance.

“Contact tracing continues in Wales as part of the Welsh Government’s ‘Test, Trace, Protect’ strategy. Contact tracing is the process of identifying people who have come in contact with an individual with Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in order to prevent the risk of others spreading the infection in our communities.

“Anyone who has a positive Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) test will be contacted by a team of contact tracers, and asked for details of everyone they have had close contact with while they have had symptoms.

“Please keep a note of your activities so you can easily remember your whereabouts on a given day, along with who you were in contact with. This is for everyone’s benefit and we are grateful for your continued cooperation.

“If you are asked to self-isolate, you should also comply with this request to prevent further spread of the virus.

“You do not need to have any concerns about providing names to the tracing team. Tracers are trained staff and personal information that you provide will handled in line with data protection regulations and will not be shared widely.

“Information about the symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to look out for is available on the Public Health Wales website, or members of the public can use the NHS Wales symptom checker.

“Anyone experiencing Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms can now apply for a home testing kit using the new UK online portal. For further information and a link to the booking website, visit: www.gov.wales/coronavirus or www.llyw.cymru/coronafeirws. This is supported by a national 119 phone service, through which people can also order a home test.

“Anyone with a suspected coronavirus illness should not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. They should only contact NHS 111 if they feel they cannot cope with their symptoms at home, their condition gets worse, or their symptoms do not get better after seven days.

“Only call 999 if you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, do not call 999 just because you are on hold to 111. We appreciate that 111 lines are busy, but you will get through after a wait.