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Change to Aberystwyth COVID-19 testing location

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AS part of the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hywel Dda University Health Board and Ceredigion County Council have continued to work together to put in place and closely monitor arrangements to test people who are showing symptoms of the virus.

To make sure testing can continue to take place safely and effectively, the testing facility in Aberystwyth is moving from its current temporary venue (Plascrug Leisure Centre) to Canolfan Rheidol as a drive-through facility (through a booked appointment) for people displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

This change will come into effect on Wednesday 26 August 2020.

In addition, a multi-use facility inside Plascrug Leisure Centre will be used by the health board for testing asymptomatic patients (someone who does not have symptoms of COVID-19) who are coming into hospital for an operation or procedure, as well as some antibody testing, phlebotomy, vaccination and a one-stop clinic for pre-chemotherapy patients.

Alison Shakeshaft, Director of Therapies & Health Science at Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “We are sincerely grateful to the local community and our partners for helping to protect and support each other during this challenging time.

“This change is part of the health board and Ceredigion County Council’s ongoing efforts to ensure that the testing arrangements we have in place are safe and appropriate, as well as being fit for purpose as we approach the winter months.

“We wish to thank local people for their understanding and co-operation and we will provide further updates as and when arrangements change.”

Eifion Evans, Ceredigion County Council’s Chief Executive, said: “Ceredigion County Council has committed all available resources to the partnership in an attempt to ensure the citizens of Ceredigion can access all Covid-19 related support locally. These facilities will provide the same level of provision and support as any other region in Wales.”

People are urged to remain vigilant and not to relax the measures already in place, such as maintaining social distancing and hand hygiene, to help us live and work alongside the virus whilst containing its spread.

Anyone who has symptoms of the virus (a new persistent cough, high temperature or loss/change of taste or smell) can book a test online at www.gov.wales/coronavirus or by calling the free number 119 (between 7am-11pm). People with hearing or speech difficulties can call 18001 119.

Critical workers, such as those in health and social care, local authorities, police, fire, education, food, retail, transport, public services, and unpaid carers, can book a test if they have symptoms by contacting the local Covid Enquiries team direct on 0300 303 8322 or by emailing CovidEnquiries.hdd@wales.nhs.uk (please note this is for critical workers only, not members of the public).

Please do not turn up without booking first as it will not be possible to accommodate you without an appointment.

Alongside the testing arrangements, the NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service is now well underway across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire to track the virus and will give extra protection to our communities. Hywel Dda University Health Board and all three local authorities are working extremely hard together to help our local communities continue to live and work alongside the virus whilst containing its spread.

Anyone who has been in contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 may be contacted as part of this and asked to self-isolate for up to 14 days, and to request a test if they show any symptoms of the virus. A contact advisor will get in touch with the individual to provide advice and support.

Members of the public are reminded that official information and advice about coronavirus is available from https://phw.nhs.wales/coronavirus

If you feel you have COVID-19 symptoms and cannot cope at home or if your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after seven days, use the 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call 111. In a medical emergency, dial 999.

For the latest news and updates from Hywel Dda University Health Board visit www.hduhb.wales.nhs.uk

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Stand up for slowing down speed campaign launched

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INAPPROPRIATE speed contributes to around 11% of all injury collisions reported to the police, with 15% of collisions resulting in a serious injury and 24% of collisions resulting in fatalities.

Starting on the 26th July, the National Police Chief Council (NPCC) Speed Campaign will kick off across the UK, with GoSafe and the four Welsh Police Forces participating in both engaging with the public about the risks of speeding and enforcing the speed limits on the roads of Wales.

In 2019, 60,073 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were issued in Wales to drivers/riders for speeding.

Speeding is a major contributing factor to collisions on the roads of Wales. This includes both ‘excessive speed’, where the speed limit is exceeded, as well as driving or riding within the speed limit when this is too fast for the conditions at the time; for example, in poor weather, poor visibility or high pedestrian activity.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, we saw less traffic but higher speeds.  Now our restrictions are lifting, traffic volumes are up and as we are holidaying in the UK more, we are seeing more people speeding on the roads in Wales.  We want to change this, but can only do that with your help.

 Over the next few weeks you will see an increased presence on the road network of Wales as we aim to keep all road users safe and reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

 We know that the majority of road users comply with the speed limit; but the minority of those who do not increases the risk to the safety of all road users and need to be educated on the risks to their own safety as well as to the safety of those around them. Throughout this campaign, GoSafe and our partners in the Police and Local Authorities will encourage and educate more people to reduce their speed to save lives.

Teresa Ciano, GoSafe Partnership Manager said: “GoSafe enforce at sites across Wales in order to encourage motorists to comply with the speed limits and in turn make our roads and communities safer for everyone. If we all play our part and stand up for slowing down we can make a difference, and we can save lives on the roads of Wales.”

Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change said: “I am very pleased to support this campaign. Driving at high speeds costs lives and a greater police presence on our roads will mean motorists will be more likely to drive within the speed limits, protecting lives and avoiding a speeding fine.”

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Cardigan man accused of murder in court

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John Williams Bell was found murdered in Cardigan

A CARDIGAN man who is accused of stabbing a man to death has appeared in court today (Jul 28).

Ashley Keegan, 22, of Golwyg y Castell, Cardigan, appeared before court via video link where he spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

Swansea crown court heard how Keegan is accused of stabbing 37-year-old John Williams Bell seven times in the back.

Mr Bell’s body was discovered in the early hours of Wednesday Morning, July 21, on the road to Cardigan Bridge.

The court set a provisional trial date for January 3, 2022.

Keegan will remain remanded into custody until the trial.

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Suspected drink driver tracked for two miles by police dog

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A SUSPECTED drink driver was arrested after a police dog tracked him for two miles along a cycle path.

Dyfed-Powys Police dog Storm and his handler PC Mike Barnsley located the driver following a collision between Bont and Tregaron on Sunday, July 25.

Officers had attended the scene of the collision, discovering that a car had hit a tree and overturned – however, the driver was not present.

PC Barnsley said: “There were concerns that the driver could have been injured due to the significant damage to the car, so a search was immediately launched to find them.

“With PD Storm, I focussed on the cycle path running alongside the road, where Storm picked up a track and followed it for around two miles.

“Local response units accessed the cycle path ahead of us, while another unit searched from the main road along an unclassified road in the same direction.”

PC Barnsley and Storm reported a sighting of a man on the cycle path, and he was stopped and arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

Sergeant David Hawksworth said: “This was an excellent demonstration of teamwork and coordination by officers, whose good local knowledge resulted in the suspect being swiftly found and arrested.”

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