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Praise for Ceredigion residents from COVID partnership

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The multi-agency partnership set up to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in Ceredigion has praised the population for their efforts in keeping their communities safe over recent months.

The Ceredigion Incident Management Team is a partnership between Hywel Dda University Health Board, Ceredigion County Council, Aberystwyth University, Public Health Wales, Dyfed-Powys Police, the Ceredigion Contact Tracing Team and Aberystwyth Student Union.

Its deputy chair, Barry Rees, said: “We have asked the public to make considerable sacrifices and change the way they live and work, and the people of Ceredigion have responded. I’m very proud of the way people have reacted and protected themselves, their families, their communities and the NHS.

“It’s clear to me that the majority of people are following the guidelines, such as maintaining social distancing and wearing face coverings, and they are to be congratulated for playing their part in tackling this virus.

“This global pandemic has brought people together, and this sense of togetherness has also brought out the best in us in the way that we support and care for each other. Our message to the public is to live your lives, but at the same time remain vigilant, continue to follow the rules and manage the risk.”

As of Tuesday 10th November, the number of COVID cases in Ceredigion is 471 per 100,000 population, which is among the lowest in Wales.

Following the fire-break, the Welsh Government has introduced a new set of national measures, including allowing:

two household bubbles to be formed
up to 15 people meeting indoors for organised activities
up to 30 people meeting outdoors for organised activities
The reopening of pubs, bars, restaurants, where Groups of four people from different households are allowed
The reopening of gyms, and other businesses

Full details about the post-firebreak restrictions can be found here.

Anyone who has symptoms of the virus (a new persistent cough, high temperature or loss/change of taste or smell) must book a test as soon as possible. This can be done through the online UK portal at www.gov.wales/coronavirus.

Please ensure when booking that you select the option you need (for example, only book the walk-in centre if you are not able to travel in your own vehicle to the drive through facility). People who attend the walk-in centre must wear a face covering.

Please do not book a test if you do not have COVID-19 symptoms and do not attend testing centres without booking first as you will not be seen without an appointment.

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Two men jailed for ‘terrifying’ creeper burglaries in West Wales

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TWO men have been sentenced to four years in prison for three creeper burglaries, including two at the homes of elderly female clients of a care agency where one of them worked.

Allyn Freeman, aged 33, of Bryn Wyre, Aberystwyth, and Daniel Bloomer, aged 23, of Heol Elynnydd, Devils Bridge, were sentenced after pleading guilty to all charges at Swansea Crown Court on Wednesday, December 2.

Following a protracted investigation by Dyfed-Powys Police, which involved extensive crime scene investigation work, as well as ANPR and digital enquiries such as mobile phone detection and CCTV, they admitted their parts in a series of dwelling creeper burglaries in the Aberystwyth area during 2018.

Police Sergeant Steven Jones said the burglaries had been terrifying for their victims.

“These creeper burglaries happened as the victims, all elderly women, slept,” he said. “Two disturbed Freeman and Bloomer, which must have been a terrifying ordeal.

“We’re pleased that our case was strong enough to make Freeman and Bloomer admit what they had done so justice could be handed down to them.”

During the early hours of Saturday, 10th February 2018, they entered the home of an elderly lady as she slept in the Cwmrheidol area of Aberystwyth.
She woke to find items were out of place in her home and found her bank cards and £70 in cash were missing from her purse and her mobile phone had been stolen.

Then 12 days later, on Thursday, 22nd February 2018, Freeman and Bloomer entered the home of another elderly lady in the Llanfarian area of Aberystwyth. The victim, who received support from the care agency where Bloomer worked, had been on a list of planned visits for him.

At approximately 5.30am, the victim was in bed when she saw a light flashing in her room and a person walking in wearing a black coat with a hood covering their face.

During the burglary, the victim’s handbag, which contained a number of items, including £100 to £200 in cash, a small gold-coloured cross pin and two cheque books, was stolen.

The following day, Friday, 23rd February 2018, another elderly woman, who had received support from the same agency, was burgled in the Penglais Hill area of Aberystwyth.
She was asleep when she was woken by a noise downstairs at approximately 4.30am.

She got out of bed and moved towards the bedroom door when she saw a torch light shine up the stairs and she believes that somebody took hold of her walking stick, which she was holding in front of her.
A male voice then asked her “where’s your handbag” before running away. It is not thought that anything was taken in this incident.

All victims were offered the help of burglary support officers at the force.

Freeman and Bloomer also admitted a burglary at Ysgol Mynach, Devils Bridge, on Saturday, 10th February 2018.

For conspiracy to commit dwelling burglary they were both sentenced to four years’ imprisonment, with a further year, to run concurrently, for conspiracy to commit commercial burglary, and a further month imprisonment, to run concurrently for conspiracy to steal.

Bloomer was also sentenced to serve an additional 6 months imprisonment, to run consecutively, for conspiring to pervert the course of justice after trying to persuade Freeman to provide an account to police that would exonerate Bloomer for the offences, and offered him financial reward to do so.

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Ysgol Gynradd Dihewyd to close until 17 December 2020

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YSGOL Gynradd Dihewyd will be closed until 17 December 2020. A Contact Group is already self-isolating for 14 days due to a positive COVID-19 case and due to lack of staffing, the whole school will close.

Pupils in the affected Contact Group have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days due to being close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case at the school. These pupils and staff must remain at home for 14 days to reduce the possible spread of the virus to family, friends and the wider community.

All parents have been contacted by the School to inform them that the school will be closed until 17 December 2020.

The Council urges all parents to refer their children for a test if they develop any of the symptoms, which are:

· a high temperature

· a new continuous cough

· a loss or change to sense of smell or taste.

Parents should also be aware of other symptoms early on, such as headaches, tiredness and general aches and pains usually associated with the flu.

You can apply for a test online https://gov.wales/apply-coronavirus-covid-19-test or by phoning 119.

No further details will be provided regarding this matter.

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Vaccine plan unveiled for Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire

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HYWEL DDA University Health Board is making final preparations to deliver its mass vaccination programme following Wednesday’s announcement that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been granted temporary authorisation for use.

There will only be small quantities of a vaccine at first due to the storage requirements of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

A Hywel Dda spokesperson said: “Priority groups for the initial supplies of this vaccine include front line health and social care staff with direct patient and client contact across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. We are continually reviewing our plans based on receipt of further supplies.

“We are ready to deploy the vaccine in phases when the vaccine arrives. Eligible front line health and social care staff will receive details of how they will receive the vaccination as soon as possible.

“Members of the public are asked to not contact their GP practice or community pharmacies to enquire about the vaccine at this time.”

Ros Jervis, director of public health for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Vaccination saves lives and Wednesday’s announcement is a truly significant moment.

“I’d like to personally thank everyone from organisations from across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire who, for the past few months, have worked tirelessly together to ensure we are ready to deliver this vaccine to protect our frontline staff and the clinically vulnerable in our community.

“Please do not contact your GP or pharmacist to apply for or ask for the vaccination. As soon as the vaccine is available for your eligible group, you will be informed and asked to make an appointment.”

In readiness, Hywel Dda UHB has established two vaccination centres for delivery of early supplies, one in Carmarthenshire and one in Ceredigion. Attendance at these centres is strictly prohibited without an appointment.

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