Posted: Tue 22nd Sep 2020

Flintshire one of 8 “amber” areas Public Health Wales are “closely monitoring” as Coronavirus cases across Wales rise

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Sep 22nd, 2020

Public Health Wales (PHW) has said it is monitoring “closely” the increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Flintshire which is now in an “amber zone.”

New restrictions will come into force at 6pm today in four more Welsh authorities – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport – following a sharp rise in cases.

They follow the enhanced measures already in place in Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf which were the first areas in Wales to see local lockdowns enforced with positive cases rising above 50 cases per 100,000 population threshold.

It means people in those area’s where local lockdowns have been implemented will not be allowed to enter or leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education.

They will only be able to meet people they don’t live with outdoors for the time being. They will not be able to form, or be in, extended households;

All licensed premises will have to close at 10pm and everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public areas as is the case across Wales.

Flintshire is one of eight counties in Wales being “closely monitored” by Public Health Wales and could see local lockdown measures implemented if cases continue to rise.

The others are Denbighshire, Anglesey, Conway, Carmarthenshire, Cardiff and the Vale, Swansea and Vale of Glamorgan.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales this morning, Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the Coronavirus outbreak response at Public Health Wales said those eight local authorities are in the “amber zone” with 25 per 100,000 incidence rates and “we will be monitoring very closely.”

“If case numbers continue to go up in similar patterns that we have seen in the six local authority areas (under current measures) then local lockdowns will have to be considered in those areas.”

Current data from the Public Health Wales dashboard shows over the last 7 days, that in Flintshire the Coronavirus cases per 100,000 stands at 19.2, which is below that quoted by Dr Shanker however, the dashboard page points out there is a “lag in receiving data.”

In an update from Public Health Wales on Monday, Dr Shankar said:

“We are continuing to see a steady increase in cases in many communities across Wales, and our investigations show that many of these have been transmitted due to a lack of social distancing.

“We are also seeing an increase in the number of people who are seriously ill and have been admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

“We are concerned that much of the good work conducted over the past few months is at risk of going to waste.

If the situation continues to worsen, we may find ourselves at the same levels of infection that we experienced earlier this year in March and April and with that comes the potential for more extended restrictions to be imposed nationally”.

Health minister Vaughan Gething urged people across Wales to follow the social distancing guidelines, warning that “a minority of people who choose to break the rules can have a really significant impact on the on the wider community.”

Speaking at Monday’s Welsh Government briefing Health Minister Vaughan Gething outlined cases in South Wales which can be traced to a lack of social distancing and pubs.

Mr Gething urged people across Wales to follow the restrictions in place in terms of social distancing, the rule of six and face coverings in shops, warning that a minority of people who choose to break the rules can have a really significant impact on the on the wider community.”

He said: “Our ability to make a difference to the spread of the virus rests in all of our hands. We will only make a difference if we all work together.

“Everyone of us has a responsibility to make the right choices and to follow the measures which will keep us and our loved ones safe from this infectious and harmful virus.

“We all need to keep our distance from each other when we’re out and about, we need to wash your hands often and we need to work from home wherever possible. We also need to wear face covering in indoor public places and we need to stay home we’ve got symptoms and while we’re waiting for a test result and we need to follow the restrictions are in place locally. ”

The health minister’s comments echoed those of Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, who in a televised briefing at 11am warned that cases in the UK could reach 50,000 per day by mid-October unless action is taken.

He said: “A lot of people say well can’t people just be allowed to take their own risks.

“The problem with a pandemic or epidemic infection like this, is if I as an individual increase my risk, I increase the risk to everyone around me and then everyone who’s a contact of theirs.

“Sooner or later the chain will meet people who are vulnerable, elderly or have a long-term problem from covid.

“You cannot in an pandemic just take your own risk. Unfortunately you’re taking risks on behalf of everybody else.

“It’s important that we see this as something we have to do collectively.”

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