Coronavirus: 32 new cases in North Wales reported overnight


June 17, 2020

65 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Wales during the past 24 hours with 32 cases in the North.

Anglesey saw a relatively large number of cases with 11 reported in the past day along with 8 in Conwy. Denbighshire recorded 3 and remains the county in Wales with the highest number of infections per 100,000 of population.

8 new deaths have been reported. To date, Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board has recorded 336 deaths out of the Wales figure of 1,466.

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

“Screening programmes in Wales will start sending invitations and reminders to eligible individuals again, beginning with Cervical Screening Wales from the end of June. This follows a pause in screenings due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We have been in unprecedented times, and pausing the invitations for these programmes was a difficult recommendation for us to make. However we had to ensure that NHS services were able to focus as matter of priority to respond to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as to reduce the need for participants’ travel and potential contact with others at the peak of the pandemic.

“Invitations and reminders for individuals who are now overdue screening will be sent based on clinical priority.

“In Wales, the Welsh Government’s revised lockdown arrangements remain in effect. People from two different households in the same local area can meet up outdoors, provided they continue to maintain social distancing and strict hand hygiene.

“As a general rule, people should not travel more than five miles from home. This will help to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading as people begin to travel more.

“Revised lockdown arrangements also apply to people in Wales who have been told to ‘shield’ from the virus. They are able to go outside and meet people from another household, provided they keep a two-metre distance.

“Future relaxation of lockdown measures will also be dependent on everyone following advice set out in the ‘Test, Trace, Protect’ strategy, including self-isolating when required.

“England has begun to further ease some of its lockdown restrictions. Non-essential shops in England are reopening (in Wales they will remain closed). People who live alone in England are now also able to form a support bubble with another household, while individuals accessing public transport are now required to wear face coverings. Please note that these arrangements do not apply in Wales.

“Public Health Wales welcomes Welsh Government’s announcement that they are following updated advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommending people in Wales wear three-layer face coverings in situations where social distancing of two metres is not possible or challenging, such as on public transport.

“The evidence remains clear that maintaining a two-metre distance, good hand hygiene and hygiene when coughing and sneezing is the most effective way to protect yourself and others from contracting Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), but the updated guidance from the WHO says three-layer face coverings, if worn correctly, could help provide some control of the virus in specific circumstances.

“The wearing of face coverings is not mandatory, but Public Health Wales encourages people to do this for the benefit of themselves and others.

“This updated advice only applies to people who are not showing symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). People who are symptomatic must self-isolate for seven days and get a test, as set out in existing guidance. Unless the test shows a negative result, they must not go out during this time, even with a face covering or mask.

“Any international traveller entering the UK will need to quarantine for the first 14 days upon arrival (known as ‘self-isolating’). This is because it can take up to 14 days for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms to appear.

“Before their arrival, international travellers must provide contact details, including the address where they will self-isolate. Public Health Wales will write registered letters to these identified individuals. If the letters are returned, one phone call will be made.

“Public Health Wales requests international travellers cooperate in providing accurate contact details and follow the 14 day self-isolating advice.

“Contact tracing continues in Wales as part of the Welsh Government’s ‘Test, Trace, Protect’ strategy. Contact tracing is the process of identifying people who have come in contact with an individual with Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in order to prevent the risk of others spreading the infection in our communities.

“Anyone who has a positive Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) 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 were in contact with. This is for everyone’s benefit and we are grateful for your continued cooperation.

“If you are asked to self-isolate, you should also comply with this request to prevent further spread of the virus.

“You do not need to have any concerns about providing names to the tracing team. 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 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to look out for is available on the Public Health Wales website, or members of the public can use the NHS Wales symptom checker.

“Anyone experiencing Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms can now apply for a home testing kit using the new UK online portal. For further information and a link to the booking website, visit: www.gov.wales/coronavirus or www.llyw.cymru/coronafeirws. This will be supported by a national 119 phone service, through which people can also order a home test.

“We are encouraging everyone to download the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Study app, which has been supported by Welsh Government. The app allows users to log daily symptoms to help build a clearer picture of how the virus is affecting people. For more information, including how to download the app, visit covid.joinzoe.com.

“Anyone with a suspected coronavirus illness 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.

"We also want to reinforce the message from NHS Wales that urgent and emergency care services for physical and mental health are still open and accessible.

“For parents, if your child is unwell and you are concerned you should seek help. If you have urgent dental pain you should still call your dentist. If you have a health complaint that is worrying you and won’t go away you should call your GP practice. If you or a family member are seriously ill or injured you should dial 999 or attend your nearest Emergency Department.”