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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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Amendments introduced to the Cardigan Safe Zone

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AS MORE people are expected to visit Ceredigion’s towns over the coming weeks and summer months, changes are required to ensure our streets are safe for everyone, by allowing people to maintain a 2 metre social distance at all times.

Introducing changes over the Easter period has meant that some amendments will be made over the coming weeks.

Following a review, the initial phase of the Safe Zone (Phase 2) for Cardigan will be amended to Phase 2a, with Morgan Street and The Strand remaining as a one way system (unchanged current arrangement).

Road closures affecting the High Street in Cardigan will commence ahead of the May Bank holiday weekend at the end of May. The road closures will be between 12pm and 4pm daily.

As part of Phase 2a, the following work is being undertaken:

  • Placing road markings for all disabled bays along High St & Pendre
  • Placing loading bay road markings opposite Dewi James Butchers
  • Introducing new reflective bollards to replace the red/white baulks. This will allow traders to operate in the road as per their licence. The widened footpaths within the trading areas in the road will be raised to the same level as the adjacent footpaths to create a flat accessible area for pedestrians.
  • Placing a chicane outside the Black Lion Hotel to slow traffic flow
  • Implement a one way system along College Row to improve pedestrian safety
  • Reversal of one way along St Mary St to allow access to Chancery
  • Close the top of Pwllhai for licenced trading and pedestrian safety

A map of Cardigan and all the latest information on the Safe Zones is available on Ceredigion County Council’s website: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/safezones   

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New Quay youngster answers RNLI’s mayday call and raises nearly £2,000

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OVER the May Day Bank Holiday weekend a New Quay schoolboy took to the water on his paddle board and raised nearly £2,000 for the RNLI Mayday Mile appeal. He is now urging more people to take part this May in any way they can to raise funds for equipment before the busy summer season on the coast. 

Steffan outside Newquay RNLI lifeboat station after completing his challenge

Steffan Williams, 12, a pupil from Ysgol Bro Teifi answered the RNLI’s mayday call for fundraising and decided to not just do one mile on his paddleboard but attempt 10 miles in one day. He is now encouraging more people to get involved with the appeal to raise funds.  

Steffan said, “The RNLI Mayday Mile is a great way to raise money for the charity that saves lives at sea as you can do one mile or 100 miles in any way you want. You could run it, walk it, dance it and make it fun in fancy dress. 

Steffan Williams before his challenge on Sunday May 3

“I decided to take to the sea on my paddleboard, and I am really pleased I completed my challenge of 10 miles in one day. It was really hard going as the wind picked up in the afternoon but I did not want to give up. 

“I have been really shocked at the support and want to thank everyone who has donated, I am so happy!” 

Steffan’s total so far is £1,812 and he is the RNLI’s top individual fundraiser in the UK and Ireland. To support Steffan visit https://themaydaymile.rnli.org/fundraising/steffans-paddleboarding-mayday-challenge

The RNLI’s Mayday Mile campaign will be running throughout the month of May and anyone can take part by joining up on the RNLI’s Mayday Mile website https://themaydaymile.rnli.org/.  

With more people expected to be holidaying close to home this year, the RNLI predicts a summer like no other.  

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager said, “Steffan has done a fantastic job on raising so much money for the charity and we are very grateful indeed. He is a true hero. This summer we expect to be very busy and urge people visiting our coast to take the necessary precautions.  

“Always check the weather, the tides and if you are on the water remember to wear a buoyancy aid and take means of calling for help, a mobile phone or radio. Remember we are on call 24/7 so if you see anyone in trouble on the coast please call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.” 

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Contact Hywel Dda for second vaccine appointment

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HYWEL Dda University Health Board (UHB) is asking anyone who received a first Pfizer vaccine at one of its mass vaccination centres in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion or Pembrokeshire more than 21 days ago to get in touch if they have not received a second vaccine appointment.       

Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Second doses are essential for longer term protection, so it’s important that everyone comes forward for their full course when called.

“Our records show that a small number of people across our three counties have not responded to our invitation to receive their second dose. We won’t leave anyone behind and there is still time for them to receive it within the required timeframe.”

Additional clinics will be put on in the next couple weeks to administer these second doses. If it has been more than 21 days since your first Pfizer vaccine please email COVIDenquiries.hdd@wales.nhs.uk with the subject title “Second Pfizer dose request” with your full name, date of first vaccine and a contact phone number to book your appointment. If you are unable to email you can also contact the health board by calling 0300 303 8322.

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