Concerning rise of Covid-19 cases in Carmarthenshire

12 days ago

The health protection zone covering a large part of Llanelli is working well and helping bring down the number of positive Covid-19 cases, however concerns are increasing about the spread of Covid-19 elsewhere in Carmarthenshire.

Residents living in the zone are being thanked for their efforts and asked to keep up the good work for at least another week to help bring numbers down even further.

Carmarthenshire County Council, working with Hywel Dda University Health Board and Welsh Government, is keeping the situation under constant review.

Discussions are also taking place to prepare for a potential ‘circuit breaker’ - a measure being considered by Welsh Government to stop the rapid spread of the virus across Wales.

It would mean a return of stronger national restrictions for two-three weeks. Welsh Government is due to announce its decision on Monday.

In Carmarthenshire, although cases remain concentrated in Llanelli (currently at 87.4 per 100,000 of the population*), small clusters of the virus are being identified across the county.

The rate of infection for Carmarthenshire, excluding the Llanelli health protection zone, is currently 64.8 per 100,000 of the population.

The rate for the whole county, including the Llanelli health protection zone, currently stands at 71.5 per 100,000 of the population.

All figures quoted are correct as at October 14, 2020 - the most recently available data.

Council Leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said: “We are so pleased to see the numbers continue to fall in the Llanelli area - this shows that the extra restrictions put in place are working,” he said.
“We are so very grateful to the people of Llanelli for listening, taking extra care and helping control the spread.
“However there is a note of caution for the rest of the county where we’re seeing figures starting to creep up.
“Largely, these appear to be in small clusters, and not as concentrated as in the Llanelli health protection zone, however it is a cause of concern. It shows that the virus is spreading.
“Contact tracing investigations tell us that many of these cases are linked back to people coming into close contact with eachother whilst socialising in licensed premises or at work, and then sharing the virus with people they live with.
“So we’re asking - please - keep your distance from people you don’t live with, practice good hygiene, wear a face covering, work from home if you can, and self-isolate if you’re asked to or if you have any Covid-19 symptoms.”

Carmarthenshire County Council continues to concentrate resources on supporting licensed premises to provide a safe environment for customers.

Since September 25, when the extra restrictions for Llanelli were announced, over 450 pro-active visits have been made to business premises offering advice and support.

Most are operating well, but there is still a small minority of licensed premises not putting safe systems into place – 12 of those have been served closure notices since September 25, most of them re-opening after making significant improvements.

Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda University Health Board Ros Jervis said: “This is a critical moment for the wider Carmarthenshire population. We can see cases rising and we need everyone to take action. Please do what you can to protect your health and that of your loved ones. Remember – hands, face and space. Wash hands regularly, use a face covering when social distancing isn’t possible and if you live outside of a health protection zone, where extra restrictions apply, then still place keep a two metre distance from people not in your household, whether you are inside or outside. Taking these measures is not only the best way to protect our health, but also the best way to protect the more vulnerable in our local communities.”
Deputy Chief Executive, Medical Director and respiratory consultant for Hywel Dda University Health Board Professor Philip Kloer added: “We are seeing a worrying rise in the number of cases of Covid-19 in Carmarthenshire. We are already providing care for Covid-19 patients in our hospitals and we expect these numbers to increase, right at the time of year when our hospitals are getting ready for the busy winter period. Please, in order to protect yourselves and the ability of the NHS to provide you and your families with the care you need, follow the guidelines. Our staff are working incredibly hard and following stringent infection prevention procedures. Please do not mistake this as a message to stay away from hospital or primary care services if you need them. We are here for you and we have made our hospitals and health care provision as safe as possible for you and our staff, using all the expert evidence about how this disease spreads and the infection prevention measures required.”

 

* Data correct as at 1pm on 14/10/20

 

Confirmed Covid-19 cases in Carmarthenshire
(Data correct as at 1pm on October 14, 2020)

 

Location

Cases in the last 7 days

Rate per 100,000 population

Llanelli

49

87.4

Rest of Carmarthenshire

86

64.8

Total

135

71.5

 

As a reminder, the following rules are currently in place

 

️ All of us in Wales must:

  • Keep two metres apart from anyone we don’t live with
  • Self-isolate if we’re asked to by a contact tracer, or if we have Covid-19 symptoms (new continuous cough, high temperature, loss of taste and smell)
  • Get a test if we have any of the symptoms
  • Wear a face covering indoors and on public transport
  • Only socialise in max groups of six people from our extended household ‘bubble’ - this is a max of four households (note: these rules are different if you live in the Llanelli ‘health protection zone’, see below)
  • Provide full contact details when visiting business premises as part of NHS Test, Trace, Protect
  • Work from home wherever possible
  • And all licensed premises must stop serving alcohol at 10pm, and have to close by 10.20pm, as well as having robust measures in place to protect customers

 

Additional rules for Carmarthenshire

All of us must:

  • Stay out of the Llanelli ‘health protection zone’ unless we live there, work there, or have a reasonable excuse

 

Additional rules for Llanelli

We are also asking people living in the ‘health protection zone’ to:

  • Not mix with anyone from another household (unless providing care to a vulnerable person, or support to someone living on their own)
  • Not travel into or out of the ‘health protection zone’, unless there is a reasonable excuse
  • Not visit residential care homes (inside or outside), to protect our most vulnerable
  • Wear a face covering outdoors too, especially in places where social distancing is difficult, such as school gates

 

FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE LLANELLI AREA RESTRICTIONS