The latest data shows the rates of COVID-19 have further increased across Wales and Merthyr Tydfil. In response to this increase and to support our community to help reduce the spread, we are extending mass community testing in Merthyr Tydfil.
Over the past 20 days everyone over the age of 11yrs without symptoms, living, working or studying in Merthyr Tydfil, has been offered a lateral flow test.
Alyn Owen, Deputy Chief Executive and Lead Officer for Mass Testing for the Local Authority, said: “In the last 20 days approximately 30,000 tests have been carried out on asymptomatic people. Sadly, we have seen a significant increase in the number of positive cases in the last few days and in light of this, to support our community, we will continue with this provision in the short-term.
“The more people tested, the more chance we will see a reduction in the spread of this virus.”
Through a multi-agency approach the testing centre at Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre will now be open for another 5 days from Monday 14th to Friday 18th December so that more people can get tested.
Kelechi Nnoaham, Executive Director of Public Health at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, said: “The rise in rates of infection shows there is ongoing transmission of COVID in our communities. It is therefore right that we continue active case finding through efforts like the asymptomatic testing site. We expect that the rates will eventually start to fall but it is crucial that we all persist with social distancing, use face coverings and ensure we follow hygiene precautions.”
The Leader of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough, Councillor Kevin O’Neill commented: “People living and working in the County Borough have been fantastic in participating in this mass testing programme. Being the first pilot in Wales, we were unsure how it would work and the level of participation.
“With the support from our partners in Health, Welsh Government, Central Government, the Military and most importantly our staff, this programme has been a huge success.
“Merthyr Tydfil has certainly shown its strength in coming together to help reduce this virus.
“I have been so impressed with the positive feedback and I want to build on that and encourage those that have yet to get tested to come along next week for a test. Remember we need to protect ourselves and others from this horrible virus.
“Cases across Wales are rapidly rising, I would ask that over the next few weeks, people act sensibly and continue to adhere to Welsh Government Guidance by minimising contact with others, socially distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands frequently and using hand sanitisers.
“Together we will keep Merthyr safe.”
Should you have symptoms (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to taste or smell) you should get tested at one of the other test centres – you can find details here:
https://www.merthyr.gov.uk/resident/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-centres/or call 119 to book a test.