Community testing to take place in Bridgend County Borough

Welsh Government has announced that community coronavirus testing will take place in several parts of Bridgend County Borough next month, and that it is going to target people who are not displaying symptoms of Covid-19.

The community testing aims to support the fight against the coronavirus by identifying individuals who may be infected, but might not know it.

The testing will take place over a four week period, and will focus upon specific areas which have been selected using data provided by Public Health Wales and Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.

It will take place specifically within Caerau, Nantyffyllon, Pyle, Kenfig Hill, Cornelly, Cefn Cribwr, Sarn, Aberkenfig, Coytrahen, Ynysawdre, Bryncethin, Bryncoch, Pencoed, Hendre, Felindre and Heol-Y-Cyw.

Testing centres will be set up to support these areas, and all residents within these communities who are aged 11 and over and who are not displaying symptoms of coronavirus will be encouraged to take part.

At the centres, staff will show people to booths where they can carry out a swab test. As the swab will be processed upon the premises, participants will be contacted within 30 minutes after this with the results.

If a positive result is recorded, the participant will be asked to self-isolate while arrangements are made for them to receive a confirmatory test along with further advice and support.

The Leader, Cllr Huw David said: “The entire purpose of the community testing can be summed up best in the established fact that one in three people who have coronavirus show no symptoms, and unknowingly enable the virus to spread.

“This initiative will help to identify people who may fall into this category, and will take place throughout the month of March.

“As it will target more than 21,500 households, it is going to be a hugely ambitious undertaking. We shall be carrying out a great deal of publicity to encourage people to take part, so look out for more details soon.”

Announcing the community testing, Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething said: “Following publication of our refreshed testing strategy and the community testing framework, targeted community testing will begin in parts of Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and RCT from the beginning of March under our ‘Test to Find’ priority.

“Our testing strategy recognises under its ‘Test to Find’ approach that identifying and isolating COVID-19 cases in the community reduces the transmission of infection, supports contact tracing, protects vulnerable individuals and helps to slow or stop the spread of the disease.

“Community testing under the proposals agreed will be delivered through collaborative partnerships between the Welsh Government, UK Government, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and RCT county borough councils.

“There has been an impressive can-do attitude from all partners, who have shown initiative and creativity in developing solutions for delivery based on a local assessment of risk and need. In all three local authorities, testing will be targeted on communities with consistently high infection rates.

“Although community testing will initially be available in three local authorities, further discussions are taking place with partners in North Wales and it could be rolled-out more widely based on local circumstance and need identified.”