Cardiff is opening up new COVID-19 test centres in the city and increasing capacity at existing centres in order to create an extra two thousand test slots per week following the sudden rise in COVID-19 infections across the city.
The Welsh capital has seen infection rates grow by 90% over the past week to reach the highest levels yet in the city, and with the positivity rate at 18% it’s clear the virus is spreading through the community making it extremely difficult to contain.
The leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, is urging residents to take advantage of the new test centres and the increased capacity to book a test if they are feeling unwell or are displaying any of the symptoms including loss of taste or smell, a persistent dry cough, tiredness, a high temperature or difficulty breathing.
Cllr Thomas said: “I want to be clear that there is plenty of capacity in the system, and it has never been easier to get tested. If you are showing symptoms or suspect you may have Covid19, then you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to get yourself tested as soon as possible. Working with our partners in the health board we are opening up centres in our communities and we have mobile testing centres going into areas with a high incidence of infection rates. Anyone on a low wage who has to self isolate can also apply for money from the government to help cover any possible lost earnings.
“Making an appointment is straightforward and there are centres you can walk to or drive to. We are at a stage now where the rise in numbers is stark. If we don’t follow the rules our NHS and our services could be overrun by Christmas. The current predictions are dire.
“Hospital resources are being stretched and staff pushed to the limit following their experience at the sharp end of the pandemic. There have now been nearly 16,000 confirmed cases within Cardiff and the Vale, 11 people are currently in Intensive Care Units and 278 medical and nursing staff are currently unable to work in the Health Board because they are self-isolating due to Covid. A large number of police officers are also self-isolating after contracting the virus on shifts that regularly involve breaking up illegal gatherings
“Everyone needs to do their bit now to contain the virus. That means follow the rules and guidelines. Try to see as few people as you possibly can in the run up to Christmas and if you are feeling unwell or have any symptoms please get a test straightaway.”
There are currently approximately 16,000 community testing opportunities per week in Cardiff for NHS staff, frontline key workers and the public. By Thursday, December 17, Test capacity in Cardiff will increase by 2,000 per week with more test spaces coming on line in January. To get a test book online at gov.wales/coronavirus or call simply call 119. The available and planned testing centres can be seen below.
|Mass Testing Site: Cardiff
|Cardiff City Stadium, Leckwith, Cardiff
|Local Test Site 1: Cardiff City Centre
|Museum Ave, Cathays Park, Cardiff
|Local Test Site 2: Cardiff Bay
|County Hall Car Park, Cardiff, CF10 4UW
|Opening on Thursday, December 17
|Local Test Site 3: Ely
|Car Park, Former Parkview Medical Centre, Treseder Way
Cardiff, CF5 5NU
|Opening on Wednesday, December 16
|Additional Local Test Sites: To Be Confirmed (TBC)
|Anticipated that these sites could be available in January
Aside from keeping two metres apart, regular hand-washing, and wearing a face covering when needed, it is important to:
- Avoid car sharing.
- Work from home wherever possible.
- Avoid social interaction if you need to visit a place of work.
- Avoid socialising and mixing in other people’s homes.
- Conduct Christmas shopping alone.
It is also important to self-isolate and get tested if showing any symptoms and to self-isolate if another member of the household is showing symptoms.