Posted: Thu 19th Mar 2020

New drive through coronavirus testing units established for frontline NHS staff in North Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Mar 19th, 2020

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A drive through testing unit has been established at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital to help support the response to tackling Novel Coronavirus (COVID 19).

Earlier today the Welsh Government announced that it would be “rolling out coronavirus testing to health care workers involved in frontline patient facing clinical care.”

At this stage, the testing units will only be providing priority testing for identified NHS workers involved in the response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

This will reduce the risk of NHS staff infecting other patients, or having to take time off work to self-isolate if they developed symptoms, without confirmation of whether they have the virus or not.

The testing units, which have been established following advice from Public Health Wales and the Welsh Government, are located at Ysbyty Alltwen, Tremadog; Bryn y Neuadd Hospital, Llanfairfechan; and on the grounds of Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

The units in Llanfairfechan and Tremadog will begin testing tomorrow (Friday 20th March), with the Wrexham unit beginning testing on Monday.

Testing units had been established to provide priority testing during the official containment phase of the outbreak, but were stood down as the UK moved into the delay phase.

The new units are not operating a walk in service and will not provide testing to NHS staff without an appointment.

Teresa Owen, Executive Director of Public Health at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: 

“The Testing Units will provide testing for NHS staff who have a crucial role to play in tackling the Covid-19 outbreak.

They are not offering a walk in service, and we ask the public not to visit the units, as they will not be tested, but may cause delays for NHS staff.

I would like to provide reassurance that there is no additional risk to people living in the immediate vicinity of these units.”

Public Health Wales has said today, Thursday March 19. twenty-four new cases have tested positive for COVID-19 in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 170, although the true number of cases is likely to be higher.

As previously reported, two people in Wales who tested positive for Coronavirus have sadly died.

Members of the public should follow the latest public health advice, which was updated on Monday 16 March.

The updated guidance is:
  • People no longer need to contact NHS 111 if they think they may have contracted Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • People with a fever or persistent cough should stay at home for seven days if they live alone, or 14 days if they live with others.
  • People who live with others should stay at home for 14 days if they, or anyone in their household, has either a high temperature or a new and continuous cough
  • Everyone should avoid non-essential contact with others and unnecessary travel
  • Everyone being asked to work from home where they possibly can, and avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and social venues
  • People over 70, and vulnerable groups of any age will be asked within days to be shielded from social contact for several weeks

For the guidance in full, visit the Department of Health and Social Care website: Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response



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