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Urgent changes announced for hospital visits and coronavirus tests

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has confirmed that new changes are necessary around hospital visits and the collection of free coronavirus tests.

With the seven-day infection rate soaring above 500 cases per 100,000 people across Wales, the health board has taken the difficult decision of restricting visits to hospitals in order to protect patients and staff.

This means that from Friday 10 September, people will only be able to visit hospitals if the patient is receiving end-of-life care and the visit has been agreed in advance with specialist palliative care in-patient services.

For pregnant women, one partner or support person will be able to accompany them once they are confirmed as being in labour. This includes the immediate post-natal period prior to them transferring either home or to a postnatal area.

One person will be able to accompany patients within paediatric and neonatal areas as agreed with the clinical team. However, no visiting will be allowed on either the antenatal or postnatal wards.

For ultrasound appointments, one partner will be allowed to attend the 12 week dating scan, the 20 week anomaly scan and some scans arranged via the early pregnancy service.

People attending outpatient appointments should do so alone, and staff will provide support where needed. Free wi-fi access is also available to help people keep in touch with family and friends.

Elsewhere, the health board has announced that from Friday 10 September, lateral flow testing kits will no longer be available for collection from mobile testing sites, and will need to be either ordered online for home delivery or picked up from a participating pharmacy.

Further information, including details of how you can arrange to receive a free testing kit, are available at the Welsh Government website.

Free mobile testing for anyone who is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 remains available in Bridgend County Borough with sites currently based at Porthcawl, Coity and Bridgend town centre.

Testing is available at Porthcawl RFC (CF36 3DH) from 9am to 5pm all week, including Saturday and Sunday. This site incorporates both a drive-through testing facility, which must be booked in advance, and a walk-in option where no booking is required.

Drive-through testing is also available at Coity and Litchard Community Centre (CF31 1PA) from 9am-5pm, and at the walk-through facility based at the Bowls Hall car park in Angel Street, Bridgend (CF31 4AH) which is available between 8am-8pm – booking for both of these sites is essential.

You can arrange appointments by visiting the Welsh Government website or by calling 119 (18001119 for people with hearing or speech difficulties).

The Leader, Cllr Huw David 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 I fully support 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 will offer their support and understanding during this challenging time.”