Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest information

Published: 16 September 2020

Public Health Wales statement on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

This statement will be updated daily at 2pm

Updated: Tuesday 15 September 2020

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

“Public Health Wales welcomes the new measures which came into force yesterday, Monday 14 September from Welsh Government to prevent further rises in positive coronavirus cases. These include the mandatory wearing of face coverings by people over 11 in public places, like shops, and that only six people from an extended household can meet indoors.

“As children return to schools, I understand that parents will be concerned at reports of positive cases. I would urge you to follow advice from the school or local authority and only withdraw children from school when asked to do so. Social distancing measures that are in place are designed to prevent the spread of the disease beyond the ‘bubbles’ established in schools.

“Again it is important that children maintain regular handwashing throughout the day, and on returning home, and parents’ help with this is vital.

“We are now seeing a steady increase in cases in a number of communities across Wales, and our investigations show that many of these have been transmitted due to a lack of social distancing.

“This has resulted in the spread of the virus to other groups of people.

“We continue to appeal to everyone to please remember that, even if you feel that you would not be badly affected by COVID-19 if you were to test positive, should you pass it on to older or more vulnerable family members, friends or colleagues it could be extremely serious and even fatal.

“Coronavirus has not gone away. It remains the responsibility of everyone to help prevent the spread of this virus – that is, by self-isolating when asked to do so, staying two metres away from others, and by washing hands regularly.

Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr

“Following the enhanced public health action underway in Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil local authority areas to limit the spread of Coronavirus, the agencies responsible for managing the increase in cases have thanked communities for their continued efforts to respond. The appeal for communities to keep to the public health guidelines is again being reiterated.

“The enhanced action includes asking people to limit the use of public transport to essential purposes only, such as for education, work, essential medical appointments and food shopping.

“Local people are also being advised that they should not visit care homes, unless it is an end-of-life visit. In such cases full PPE will be required.

“Due to the recent rise in the number of cases of coronavirus in the Lower Rhondda area, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, working in partnership with Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council has set up a temporary testing centre at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council offices at The Pavilions, Clydach Vale, CF40 2XX.

“This testing facility is intended for people living in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area only.

“It is important that you only attend if you have COVID-19 symptoms – a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of or change to your normal sense of smell or taste.

Appointments will need to be made in advance via an online portal – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/

Newport

Members of the public in Newport are being advised of the need to be vigilant for the symptoms of Coronavirus, and of the vital need to stick to social distancing guidelines, as a rise in cases there causes concern.

People who have visited a number of pubs and bars in the city are also being advised to be extra-vigilant for the symptoms of Coronavirus, and to self-isolate and book a test immediately if symptoms occur.

People should be on the lookout for symptoms if they have visited the following premises, as people visited these premises during their infectious period:

  • Breeze on Cambrian Rd on 4 and 5 September
  • The Potters on Upper Dock St on 5 September
  • Break ‘n’ Dish on Stow Hill between 1 and 8 September
  • Tiny Rebel Rogerstone on Wern Industrial Estate on 6, 7 and 8 September
  • Ye Olde Bull Inn on High St, Caerleon on 4 September
  • The Handpost on the junction of Risca Road/Bassaleg Road on 8 September
  • Three Horseshoes on Pillmawr Rd on 6 September

Newport City Council has been working closely with businesses to ensure they are meeting the requirements for safe operation, but there is a need to remind everyone that they must adhere to restrictions and distancing guidelines when attending such premises.

Caerphilly County Borough

“Public Health Wales supports the restrictions which have been put in place by the Welsh Government and Caerphilly Council. These measures are essential to limit the spread of Coronavirus and bring transmission under control.

“The measures include the mandatory wearing of face coverings in indoor spaces such as shops by everyone over the age of 11, limitations on travel in and out of the county, and only allowing people from different households to meet outdoors, not indoors – this includes extended households.

“These local restrictions are different to those measures introduced nationally today. People in the Caerphilly County Borough area should not host people from any other household in their home. The full list of rules for this area can be found on the Welsh Government website.

“In line with local lockdown measures, Public Health Wales would encourage members of the public living in Caerphilly County Borough to attend any booked medical appointments, including visits to screening clinics. In addition to the three measures outlined by the Minister for Health and Social Care, screening clinics throughout Wales have implemented additional COVID-safe measures to help protect all of those that attend.”

“Coronavirus can be a very serious illness, especially for older people or those with existing conditions, and a decision to introduce wide ranging restrictions such as these is not taken lightly. We remind the public that they have a vital role in preventing the spread of Coronavirus, and that adhering to these restrictions is of the utmost importance.”

“I would appeal to everyone in the Caerphilly area that if you have even the mildest of COVID-19 symptoms – a high temperature or fever, a new and persistent cough, or a loss or change in your sense of smell or taste, or even if you feel generally unwell with no explanation, to make use of the local testing units.

“In order to manage high demand for testing in the county, then the walk-in local testing unit at Caerphilly Leisure Centre will continue operating until Tuesday 15 September.

“An additional drive-through testing unit has also been established at the Caerphilly County Borough Council offices in Tredomen Business Park, Ystrad Mynach. This site will also be operational until Tuesday 15 September, and its opening hours are 8am to 6pm.

International Travel

“I also want to remind the public that if you have recently travelled outside the UK there may be restrictions on your return – these restrictions may be different in Wales than in other parts of the UK, and now include Portugal and some Greek Islands. Advice on travelling abroad, including the latest information on quarantine requirements on returning home, can be found on the Welsh Government and FCO websites.

“Anyone returning to Wales from countries which have been identified as high risk must quarantine in accordance with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office regulations even if they are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms or have had a negative test result.

"Anyone with suspected symptoms of COVID-19 infection - a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss of smell or taste (anosmia) - must self-isolate and seek an urgent test.

“Getting a coronavirus test is free and simple to do, either by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling the free number 119.

"Confirmed cases must isolate for 10 days, with members of their household isolating for 14 days until the risk of passing on further infection has gone. Combined, these simple but effective actions will ensure the virus does not spread.

Updates on current incidents

“Public Health Wales can confirm that we are responding to cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Drefach Cricket and Football Club. We manage any clusters of Coronavirus appropriately, including by providing advice around infection prevention and control, and by supporting contact tracing where required.

“Test Trace Protect teams are working with those affected and contacting those people who have been in contact with a person who has tested positive. A proportion of the positive cases in this incident are from the young adult age group and disappointingly, some have been reluctant to share details of where they have been and who they have been in contact with.

“By not giving the Test Trace Protect teams accurate information, these people are placing their own family members and friends at risk. We are urging them to think about other members of their communities, put simply, they are risking other people's health and other people's lives, especially if they are symptomatic, not staying at home and mixing in the local community.

“As we move through the recovery phase of the Coronavirus pandemic, we expect to see clusters in different settings, as with the incidents described above. We manage any clusters of Coronavirus appropriately, including by providing advice around infection prevention and control, and by supporting contact tracing where required.

“We remind the public and business owners that Coronavirus is still circulating in the community.

Contact tracing and general information

“Contact tracing continues as part of the Welsh Government’s Test, Trace, Protect strategy. Anyone who has a positive Coronavirus 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.

“If you are asked to self-isolate, you should do so to prevent further spread of the virus.

“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 Coronavirus is available on the Public Health Wales website, or via the NHS 111 Wales symptom checker.

“Anyone experiencing Coronavirus symptoms can apply for a home testing kit by visiting www.gov.wales/coronavirus, or by calling the national 119 phone service.

“Anyone with suspected coronavirus 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.

“Public Health Wales’ user-friendly data dashboard takes information from a range of different sources. The total number of positive cases now includes those reported from non-NHS Wales laboratories, which are subject to ongoing de-duplication, refinement and reconciliation. This may result in fluctuation of the total positive cases as this process takes place.”