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Sharp rise in cases pushes Powys closer to lockdown

 
Created on 30/09/2020 @ 16:05
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By Elgan Hearn. Local Democracy Reporter

A sharp rise in positive Covid-19 cases is moving Powys closer to a local lockdown, health chiefs have confirmed this afternoon.

At a meeting of Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB), it was revealed that the rate of cases per 100,000 population is causing concern.

The report showed that the rate had been 6.8 cases per 100,000 for the week ending September 19. But, the latest data shared to senior PTHB staff just before the board meeting showed that the rate is getting close to 20 per 100,000, when a lockdown can be considered.

PTHB Director of Planning and Performance, Hayley Thomas, said: “We are doing really well in Powys, but this figure is increasing, with today a figure of 19.6 per 100,000 population.

“So, it’s really important that we continue to work hard together to enforce all of the measures put in place as individuals and organisations, to reduce the spread of the virus in the community.”

Independent board member, Trish Buchan, questioned whether she had read the report correctly. She said: “On September 19, we had a Covid-19 positive rate of 6.8 per 100,000, but you said 19.6 as of today?”

Ms Thomas, replied: “This changes significantly on a daily basis. That was the briefing I had first thing this morning.

“It is increasing and we have got to maintain and reinforce those social distancing messages. Because on that trajectory we may face similar situations as other counties in lockdown measures.”

Ms Thomas added: “It’s important that we are not complacent, the pandemic is in Powys, we’re tracking the figures on a daily basis.

“The level of escalation is 20, we’re at 19.6, it takes us into the light amber range.”

Ms Buchan wanted to know how the message would be communicated to the Powys residents?

Ms Thomas said that more communication and engagement would be needed to “reinforce the messaging”.

The report said that 2,000 Coronavirus tests had taken place on Powys residents during the week up to September 18.

In the first three weeks of September, 67 positive cases were identified for contact tracing, of which 89% were followed up within 24 hours.

Contact tracing identified 371 contacts, of which 80% were followed up within 24 hours.

The latest figures for Powys show five new cases (September 30) taking the overall figure up to 494.

From 6pm Thursday, the North Wales counties of Conway, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham will go into lockdown restrictions.

This means that Powys, along with Ceredigion, Sir Fôn, Gwynedd, Monmourthshire, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire (apart from the Llanelli area) are the current Welsh counties not in lockdown.

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