Update on vaccination roll-out in Bridgend County Borough
Latest figures provided by Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board have confirmed that more than 10,600 residents of Bridgend County Borough will have received their first shot of the coronavirus vaccine by Sunday 24 January.
With almost 3,700 residents vaccinated during the first phase of the roll-out, the health board anticipates that a further 6,900 residents will have received it by Sunday 24 January thanks to the vaccine becoming more available.
The Llynfi Valley has also been selected as the location for a pilot scheme which is testing how GP surgeries can work together to receive, supply and maintain doses of the vaccine and maximise the benefits to the community.
The Leader, Cllr Huw David said: “News that more than 10,600 people will have received their first dose of the vaccine by the end of the week is highly encouraging, especially as this includes some of our most vulnerable residents and essential social care staff.
“This figure does not include health board staff who may have also been vaccinated because of their frontline or vulnerable status.
“The vaccination programme is a vast undertaking which covers local care homes, vaccination centres and GP practices, and it is commendable to see how some GPs have been making use of local community centres and other facilities in order to distribute the vaccine as effectively as possible.
“The vaccination programme is continuing to target the most vulnerable and exposed members of the community by using priority groupings determined on a UK-wide basis by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation.
“This is initially focusing on people who are aged over 80, the staff and residents of local care homes, and frontline health and social care staff who are most at risk of exposure.
“All local GP surgeries have signed up to take part in the vaccination programme, and people are being contacted directly when it is their turn to receive their dose.
“To support the roll-out and prevent resources from becoming tied up, please wait to be contacted and do not enquire about the vaccine at pharmacies and GP surgeries.
“Each resident will be contacted when it is their turn to receive a dose, so no one should attempt to attend a vaccination centre without having an appointment in place to do so.
“Sadly, residents also need to be alert for scammers who have been taking advantage of the situation to try and trick people, especially the elderly, into handing over confidential information or to even pay for fake inoculations.
“These criminals are knocking on doors and are sending professional-looking texts and emails, so don’t forget that not only is the vaccine free, the NHS will never ask you to pay before you can receive it. Nor will council and health officials will not turn up at your home unannounced to ask for your bank details or copies of personal documents, such as a passport.
“As the effects of the vaccine may not be seen nationally for many months, the advice on keeping Wales safe remains the same – remember to keep a two-metre distance from others, wash our hands regularly, and wear a face covering where required.
“Mobile testing facilities remain available in Bridgend County Borough for anyone who is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, so please, make use of these resources, continue to remain vigilant, and help protect your community in the fight against the coronavirus.”
A drive-through testing centre is available at the site of the former Revlon / Cosi factory off Oakwood Drive in Maesteg (CF34 8TS) between 9am and 4pm, while a walk-through testing facility is available at the Bowls Hall car park of Bridgend Life Centre in Angel Street, Bridgend (CF31 4AH) from 8am to 8pm.
Booking is essential at both facilities, and you can find out more and arrange an appointment by visiting the Welsh Government website or calling 119. People with hearing or speech difficulties can book an appointment by calling 18001119.
Please note that to avoid the spread of the virus, it is important that when tested you must go straight home and wait for your test results.
To check for symptoms of coronavirus, please visit the NHS 111 Wales website.
Support available for residents told to self-isolate
Bridgend county borough residents are being reminded that if they have any coronavirus symptoms, they should self-isolate immediately and book a test.
The main symptoms of Covid-19 are a new or continuous cough, high temperature or loss or change to your senses of smell or taste.
If you have symptoms or test positive for coronavirus, you and your household must self-isolate for 10 days. If at any time a member of your household shows symptoms of coronavirus, they must self-isolate for 10 days and book a test.
Support is in place for residents who are asked to self-isolate by NHS Wales’ Test, Trace and Protect (TTP) team.
A contact number for the Cwm Taf Morgannwg self-isolation helpline will be given out to those who are contact traced or test positive for Covid-19. Operators can help with advice about the latest guidance and signpost to further information or assistance.
Bridgend county borough residents on low incomes who are unable to work because they have been told to self-isolate by the TTP team are able to apply for the Welsh Government’s £500 self-isolation payment.
Parents and carers of children who have been asked to self-isolate by the TTP service are also eligible if they lose income due to being unable to work to care for them.
Visit Bridgend County Borough Council’s Self-Isolation Support Payment webpage for further information about eligibility and to apply.
The Leader, Cllr Huw David said: “While the coronavirus vaccines offer us hope for a way out of the pandemic, it will take some time for everyone to get their dose so it is vital that residents self-isolate and get themselves tested if they have symptoms of the virus.
“Support is in place for those who have to self-isolate through the helpline and Welsh Government payment and I would urge anyone who is struggling to make use of those services.
“I would also like to reassure residents that if contact tracers get in touch, the information you share with them will be kept strictly confidential. They need to know who you have been in contact with to help prevent the spread of coronavirus – please be honest with them so these people can be told to self-isolate.
“Thanks to those who continue to follow the rules by staying at home, not mixing with other households, social distancing and wearing face coverings.”
For more information or answers to frequently asked questions about testing, visit Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board’s coronavirus testing webpage