Hundreds of people in North Wales are self-isolating because they have close contacts with those who have tested positive for the Indian variant of the concern.
First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed that so far 97 people across Wales have tested positive for the so-called Delta variant, with a large group of cases currently being investigated in Conwy. Community testing is now offered to anyone – even if they have no symptoms – who live in Llandudno Junction, Llandudno and Penrhyn Bay, where most cases have been identified.
Public Health Wales confirmed Friday afternoon that residents of Rhos on Sea, Colwyn Bay, Old Colwyn and Deganwy have now also been asked to sign up for a free test. More than 380 people signed up for a PCR test between May 29 and June 3, and over 1,300 lateral flow test packs were distributed to two dedicated test units. A total of 54 confirmed, probable or possible cases of the variant have so far been found in the area.
During the Welsh Government press conference on Friday afternoon, First Minister Mark Drakeford said the Delta variant had added “a new level of uncertainty and complexity” to our fight against the virus. He said the more transmissible variant was the reason Wales gradually moved to level one alert, starting with the reintroduction of more outdoor activities.
“A sizeable majority [of the 97 people with the Delta variant] are the ones who have not been vaccinated, but there are some examples of people with the new variant who have been vaccinated in the past. There is so far no evidence in Wales that 97 people in need of hospital treatment are more than one would expect, “he said.
“The clusters of the new variant are closely interwoven, with local health teams keeping a close eye on their contacts and being able to trace them back. The Conwy cluster is the largest cluster. We have examples there of people who have contracted the virus in schools and at work. As a result, up to 300 people self-isolate. But we have no definitive evidence that this is now happening at the community level, and the local public health team is indeed working very hard to ensure that all individual cases and their contacts are known. and we are looking at these well-known public health measures.
“The spread of the virus across our border means we can’t imagine being exempted here in Wales from any further surge in the new variant, or even the idea that it will supplant the Kent variant as the dominant variant at the community level could. “
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Public Health Wales is urging residents of Conwy with no symptoms to take a free lateral flow test from a mobile testing unit in Ysgol Awel y Mynydd, Sarn Mynach, Llandudno Junction, Conwy, LL31 9RZ. The location will be open until Sunday June 6th, after which it will be relocated to Bodlondeb, Conwy, LL32 8DU by Monday June 14th.
People in the area who have the mildest coronavirus symptoms are also urged to have a free PCR test in a mobile test unit at the Conwy Business Center, Junction Way, Llandudno Junction, LL31 9XX. The location is open until Monday, June 14th. The opening times of the units are daily from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The places are accessible and passable and no appointment is required.
Alternatively, members of the public can enter the existing drive-through test facility on Builder Street in Llandudno, which is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. To access this website, users must make an appointment by contacting the Welsh Government website or by calling 119. The website is also open for the collection of lateral flow self-test kits daily from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm (drive-through).
Richard Firth, Health Advisor for Public Health Wales and Chair of the Interagency Incident Management Team, said, “A big thank you to everyone in the community who came up for testing. By getting a test you have helped reduce the limits of the spread of the Delta variant. Although the response from local residents has been very positive, there is still more we can do. If you live in the area please get tested now even if your symptoms are mild or you have no symptoms at all.
“Although the cases we have identified are related, please remember that the Delta variant is in circulation. Please keep a distance of at least two meters from others, wash your hands regularly and wear face covering if necessary. and isolate yourself and get tested if you or someone in your household develops symptoms. “
Find out about coronavirus cases in your area:
In addition to the three most common symptoms of the coronavirus – fever, new persistent cough, or loss / change in taste and smell – people can now get a test if they have a new list of other symptoms.
These include flu-like symptoms that are not caused by a known condition like hay fever, including any or all of: myalgia (muscle aches or pains); excessive fatigue; persistent headache; runny nose or stuffy nose; persistent sneezing; Sore throat and / or hoarseness, shortness of breath, or wheezing; any new or changed symptoms after a previous negative test.