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Wales is moving in the right direction to ease coronavirus restrictions

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THE NUMBER of coronavirus patients being treated in Welsh hospitals is at the lowest for three months, Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething has revealed at a briefing today (Feb 8).

The R number is below one, it was confirmed – the most recent estimate from SAGE is that R is between 0.7 and 0.9 in Wales.

He also confirmed that the latest figures show the testing positivity rate has fallen in Wales below 10%, which means Wales could soon be moving is from alert level 4 to alert level 3.

Mr Gething said: “There are some encouraging signs that the number of people needing hospital treatment for coronavirus is starting to fall.

“The number of people with confirmed Covid in our hospitals is at the lowest since 8 November and we have also seen a reduction in the number of people with coronavirus needing intensive care.

“Overall, we are seeing cases of coronavirus fall. Monday’s figures show there are around 115 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people in Wales.

“But this varies widely across Wales.

In Wrexham, rates are above 220 cases per 100,000 people, although this is falling. In Ceredigion, the rate has risen over the last seven days to 56 cases per 100,000 people. “The positivity rate – this is the percentage of tests, which return a positive result every day – is also falling. It now stands at just below 10%.

“This is still high, but it’s a lot lower than the very high rates we were seeing before Christmas, when we had overall rates of more than 650 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people and a positivity rate of more than 25%.”

BAM communities hesitant to get vaccines

Concerns have been growing in recent weeks about an apparent hesitancy from some people in black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) communities to have the Covid-19 vaccine. Which is why Mr Gething also told the briefing that work was being done to counter some of the misinformation about the vaccine, which is common among some groups and communities.

He said that Welsh Government was closely monitoring vaccine uptake to make sure there are no barriers to take-up.

Business

Pub issued Fixed Penalty and Premises Improvement Notice

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A LICENSED premises in Ffostrasol has been issued a £1,000 Fixed Penalty Notice and served a Premises Improvement Notice after customers were discovered drinking inside the premises.

On Friday 30 April 2021, as part of checks leading up to the May Bank Holiday weekend, officers from Ceredigion’s Public Protection Team were carrying out routine joint patrols with officers from Dyfed-Powys Police when they found a small number of customers drinking inside the premises of the Ffostrasol Arms, and not following the rules on keeping a social distance and wearing face coverings.

The requirement for hospitality businesses to stay closed had only just been eased that week to allow businesses such as licensed premises to reopen their outdoor areas. It was therefore extremely disappointing to find a business showing such a blatant disregard to public safety and the law by allowing some of its customers to drink indoors. As a result, a Fixed Penalty Notice was issued as well as a Premises Improvement Notice which required the business to put in place certain improvements in order to reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus on the premises. In addition, some of the customers who were found drinking inside the premises have also been issued a £60 Fixed Penalty Notice by Dyfed-Powys Police.

This premises has also been issued with a closure notice previously by Public Protection Officers in October 2020 for breaching COVID-19 regulations.

Officers from the Council and the Police continue to conduct visits to premises throughout the County and offer support and advice to businesses. The vast majority of Ceredigion businesses comply with the Coronavirus Regulations and provide a safe environment for their customers

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Pupils at Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron asked to self-isolate as COVID-19 case confirmed

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A NUMBER of pupils at Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron have been asked to self-isolate for 10 days following the confirmation of a COVID-19 case at the school.

All confirmed contacts of the positive case must remain at home for 10 days to reduce the possible spread of the virus to family, friends and the wider community. The pupils will be taught remotely for this period. The parents of all these pupils have been contacted by the School.

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.

Although the level of cases is low, coronavirus has not gone away. Please follow the guidelines:

  • Keep a 2m social distance from each other when out and about – indoors and outdoors;
  • Wash your hands regularly;
  • Wear a face mask in indoor public places, shops and on public transport.

You can apply for a test on 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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Business

Update for Multi-purpose Community Centres following First Minister announcement

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TODAY, First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that multi-purpose community centres including community centres, village halls, church halls and other community facilities can reopen from 03 May. This decision has been brought forward from 17 May.

Welsh Government announced changes during today’s briefing, and the guidance for multi-purpose community venues is being updated to ensure compliance with developments in regulations, including greater emphasis on ventilation. Welsh Government continue to advise authorities that the regulations on social gathering will still prevent a number of activities from taking place at community venues, and only organised activities for up to 15 people will be permitted.

The panel strongly advise you to make every effort to carry out your activity digitally or make contact by phone. If not, consider whether it is possible to hold your activity outdoors, in-line with Welsh Government guidance. Holding your activity indoors should be considered as a last resort. If this is the only option and it’s essential that you meet then please keep the session brief and involve as few people as possible, with all necessary procedures and protocols in place.

Those responsible for community activities should remember to;

  • maintain a social distance of 2 meters.
  • wear a face covering in indoor public spaces.
  • regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer provided.   

A multi-agency panel has been set up to advise and support around the safe and proportionate reopening of facilities in-line with national guidance. The panel has been created under Ceredigion’s Public Services Board Sub Group; Understanding our Communities. Leading on the development of the group is Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations (CAVO) and Ceredigion County Council in partnership with Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service. The panel includes representation from Health & Safety, Environmental Health and Community Safety.

The panel encourages anyone responsible for community facilities to seek advice to ensure that arrangements are safe and secure and that compliance is in-line with national guidance. Prior to re-opening any community facility those managing centres must ensure that they are ‘Covid-Free Zones’.

The panel will aim to host another briefing session on April 28 at 13:30 to support those in charge of community venues with the latest developments. If you would like to join the next briefing session, please register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cyfleusterau-cymunedol-ceredigion-community-facilities-information-session-tickets-152071456821?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch or get in touch via the contact details below.

The multi-agency panel will continue to support and advise Community Groups and Organisations, and questions or information requests can be submitted to the group which meets on a weekly basis via CAVO on gen@cavo.org.uk or by phone on 01570 423232.

Together, we can keep Ceredigion safe.

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