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South Wales Council leaders express concern as cases rise across Cwm Taf region

Council Leaders across the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board area are urging residents to heed the warning signs of rising coronavirus cases within the region’s local hospitals.

Due to growing numbers of patients with Covid-19 within both hospitals and the local community, it has been necessary for Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board to apply further visiting restrictions in its hospitals.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases across Cwm Taf Morgannwg has increased by 32 per cent over the last seven days, with more than 3,300 news cases confirmed.

Cllr Huw David, Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council, said: “This difficult decision has been driven by the rise in positive cases of Covid-19 and the need to protect both patients and staff, and we fully support the actions of Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.

“The health and safety of patients, visitors and staff must remain a top priority, and I hope that communities throughout Bridgend County Borough and the wider Cwm Taf region will offer their support and understanding during this challenging time.

“More than 100,000 residents of Bridgend County Borough have now received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine, but we must not become complacent.

“The pandemic is far from over. Our social care services are under massive pressure and we all want our children to be able to attend school safely, so we must make every effort to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus, and help to keep our friends, family, neighbours and colleagues safe.

“Free home-testing kits remain available, and anyone who is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus can access a range of mobile testing facilities – visit the Welsh Government website for more details about how you can arrange this.”

Cllr Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, said: “The roll-out of the vaccine has enabled the Welsh Government to re-open society and we are all appreciative of the opportunity this has provided to see family and friends once more.

“By getting vaccinated we are all playing our part in reducing the impact of the virus upon the NHS, but it evident from the continued rise in confirmed Covid-19 cases and the consequential rise in those requiring hospital care, that we all have a personal responsibility to exercise caution in our daily lives.

“I know from my meetings with the Health Board that they have reluctantly taken the decision to re-introduce additional visiting restrictions in response to this increasing rise in positive cases. As we enter the winter months, this reminds us all that we continue to live within a global pandemic and that we all must continue to follow the latest public health guidance.

“It is vitally important that we continue to exercise the basic safeguards of hands, face and space and importantly good ventilation. By getting vaccinated we can all reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 and when experiencing symptoms, it vital to get a test. By playing our part as individuals, we can ensure Wales’ Covid-19 alert level remains at zero.”

Cllr Lisa Mytton, Leader of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, said: “We need to make sure we are aware of the symptoms. A new continuous cough – this means coughing more than usual – a high temperature, you feel hot to touch, a loss or change to your sense of smell and taste, or things smell or taste different to normal.

“If you have any of these symptoms, then please go and get tested – this is so important in trying to keep everyone safe. There are LFT tests available from your local GPs free of charge, or you can get tested at Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre.

“With restrictions lifting if we do not work together then this will have an inevitable impact on social care and our health boards.

“As schools have now returned, we need to be more vigilant and look after one another and make sure we still adhere to the Governments Guidelines as they change. Coronavirus has not gone away.”