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Still no local figures for Covid-19 cases

Created on 09/10/2020 @ 10:03

MyWelshpool’s call for more localised Covd-19 figures has again fallen on deaf ears this week as the numbers across Powys as a whole continue to steadily rise.

Five weeks ago, Welshpool suffered a third outbreak, with numbers immediately released to highlight the problem in the town for the first time, showing that hyper-local statistics were being kept.

As cases continued to rise this week and a new Powys-wide warning was issued, readers have contacted us again to voice their concern over the broad figures we are being given.

Powys County Council, who are doing a good job in spearheading the local media communications for the joint response to Covid-19, informed us it was not their responsibility to share these numbers and our request to Powys Teaching Health Board has not yet received a response.

Powys covers the biggest area in Wales, so the numbers being released by Public Health Wales and shared by Powys Teaching Health Board/Powys County Council are not painting a clear picture for our local situation.

Welshpool’s outbreak, which saw 28 cases recorded in one weekend alone, appears to have been thwarted with no lockdown in place and only test and trace implemented.

Despite Powys still enjoying relatively low numbers of Covid-19 positive cases, health chiefs have urged residents to follow the guidelines to avoid further escalation. 

Numbers have crept up this week, with 12 new cases reported on Thursday for the whole county, taking the total number to 544 since the first positive case on March 11. Thankfully there has been no increase in deaths, with the Office for National Statistics still reporting the figure of 95.

But with most of Wales under stricter regulations than us, local health chiefs said that we must  all continue to play our part to fend off any possible tighter restrictions being introduced.

They say that there is evidence from elsewhere in Wales that people are ignoring social distancing rules, as well as meeting people outside their extended household group when they should not.

Stuart Bourne, Executive Director for Public Health for Powys Teaching Health Board, said: “The measures taken in other parts of Wales, demonstrate that COVID-19 is still very much with us. It is essential that everyone follows the guidelines on staying safe and social distancing, otherwise we could see a situation where not only will there be more deaths and serious illness, but demand on our health services will become very high again.

“We are just beginning to re-start some of our services, and it is important that we can continue to do so, or non-Covid patients could suffer delays to the care they need.”

Leader of Powys County Council, Councillor Rosemarie Harris, said: said: “Our message is simple: abide by the rules set by Welsh Government.  Do not meet socially anywhere indoors with people you do not live with unless they are part of your (exclusive) extended household.  Wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. Travel into and out of local lockdown areas only if absolutely essential. Observe social distancing (stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from others), and wash your hands regularly.

“We want to keep Powys safe. It’s only with public support that we can do this”.

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