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Keep to the guidelines after receiving vaccine

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WITH 14,621 people in Ceredigion have had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of 10 February 2021, those who have received the first dose are reminded to keep following the rules.
The Welsh Government are rapidly rolling out the vaccine programme. However, they can’t yet begin to relax measures and guidance that are protecting people. They are in place to protect your family, your friends, the community and the people of Ceredigion and beyond.
You will be invited to receive your vaccine in turn, and your GP or the health board will contact you to make an appointment at the relevant time.
Keeping safe whilst travelling to receive your vaccine
The mass vaccination centres and GP Surgery provide a safe environment and space to maintain social distancing to allow more people to be vaccinated as efficiently and as quickly as possible. It is also very important that you ensure your safety whilst travelling to and from your appointment.
If you have access to your own private transport this should be used to attend your appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in your household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus. Hywel Dda University Health Board is working closely with community organisations and transport groups to ensure support is given to those who are genuinely struggling to travel to a mass vaccination centre.
Contact the health board using the number on your appointment letter if you require assistance with transport or visit the Mass Vaccination Centres page on the Hywel Dda University Health Board website: https://hduhb.nhs.wales/healthcare/covid-19-information/covid-19-vaccination-programme/mass-vaccination-centres/

Keep yourself and others safe after your vaccine

Those who have received their first COVID-19 vaccine should still act to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the community. The latest evidence suggests the first dose of current COVID-19 vaccines provide high levels of short-term protection, however, we don’t yet know whether the vaccines stop us catching and passing on the virus to others. So you must continue to follow the government guidance not only to protect yourself but also the people around you.

This means you must continue to stay at home, reduce all but essential contact with others and keep 2 metres apart, self-isolate when you need to, wash your hands regularly and wear a mask when required.

The second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

It is important to have the second dose for longer-term protection. You will be called to receive your second dose within 12 weeks of your first. Continue to follow the guidance to protect others.

Those who are shielding

Many individuals are clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19, and have been advised to shield, because their immune system is suppressed by disease or treatment they are receiving. This means they cannot fight infection well, it also means they do not respond well to vaccines. It’s important that they and everyone else continue to follow COVID-19 guidance, such as social distancing, hand hygiene and face covering even if they have been vaccinated.

Even if you have had both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, you should continue to follow the shielding advice, until further notice as we continue to assess the impact of vaccination among all groups. The people you live with should continue to follow the public health rules and guidance as long as they are in place, including if you have received the vaccine and also if they have received the vaccine.

Ceredigion and Wales are on Alert Level 4, and the rules which are in force can be found on the Welsh Government’s website: https://gov.wales/alert-level-4-guide
Information and advice regarding the coronavirus situation in Ceredigion is available on Ceredigion County Council’s website: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/coronavirus or call 01545 570881.

Thank you for staying apart to play your part.

Together, we can keep Ceredigion safe.

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Restrictions ease further with caution, says County Council

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WITH restrictions easing further, both residents and visitors are reminded to enjoy Ceredigion safely and responsibly.

Wales will move into alert level 2 on Monday, 17 May, Welsh Government has announced.

The changes to the coronavirus restrictions, which will come into force from Monday 17 May include:

·         Indoor hospitality can re-open – 6 people from up to 6 households (not including children under 11) can book

·         All holiday accommodation can re-open fully

·         Entertainment venues, including cinemas, indoor-play centres and areas, amusement arcades, and theatres can re-open. Cinemas, theatres concert halls and sports grounds can sell food and drink as long as it is consumed in a seated area for watching the performance

·         Indoor visitor attractions, including museums and galleries can re-open

·         Up to 30 people can take part in organised indoor activities and up to 50 people in organised outdoor activities. This includes wedding receptions and wakes.

International travel will resume from Monday 17 May but extra safeguards will be put in place for people returning from some countries to prevent coronavirus re-entering Wales. A traffic light system, aligned with England and Scotland, will be introduced. Countries will be classified as green, amber and red. This means people living in Wales will be able to travel to a small number of foreign destinations without the need to quarantine on their return. Mandatory quarantine for countries not on the green list remains in place.

From Monday 24 May, a paper-based vaccination status will be available for people in Wales who have had 2 doses of vaccination and need to urgently travel to a country that requires covid vaccination proof.

However, the Welsh Government continues to advise people to only travel abroad for essential purposes.

Caution still needs to remain as the Coronavirus is still with us. Ceredigion residents and visitors must keep following the guidance for Covid-19 infection rates to remain low. Keeping a social distance, wearing a face covering and washing hands regularly are vital to keep our county safe.

Enjoy Ceredigion safely and responsibly.  

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Safe visiting opportunities in Care Homes being put into place

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FOLLOWING Welsh Government’s announcement of moving to Alert Level 2 on Monday, 17 May, families of Council-run Care Homes are reassured that further enhanced visiting opportunities are currently being reviewed and progressed.

The Care Homes will be contacting the designated visitor of those residents who are currently cared for in bed to arrange indoor risk assessed safe visits from Monday 17 May onwards.

Visitors and residents will be offered options regarding their preferred location for the visit. This includes safe visiting options (for example a Pod) or outdoors (weather permitting). The length of time for visits will be extended.

As part of this important piece of work, questionnaires will be sent to families. This will ensure that residents have their voice and wishes centrally captured and used to support with planning and implementing any changes.

The safety of residents, staff and families will be central to all of the visiting opportunities that will be put in place.

All the Care Homes are looking forward to welcoming families back.

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Cllr Paul Hinge elected Chairman of Ceredigion County Council

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COUNCILLOR Paul Hinge has been elected as the Chairman of Ceredigion County Council for 2021-2022 during the Annual Meeting held virtually on Friday 14 May 2021.

This concludes Councillor Gareth Davies’ term of office, where he has steered the Council through an unprecedented time in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Following being elected as Chairman, Councillor Paul Hinge accepted the position and addressed the Council saying that becoming Chairman of the Council was a great honour. 

Originally from Cardigan, Councillor Paul Hinge now lives in Bow Street and represents Tirymynach ward on Ceredigion County Council. He is also the Council’s Armed Forces Champion and has campaigned extensively for veteran rights over the years as a veteran himself.

Councillor Paul Hinge, Chairman of Ceredigion County Council, said: “As a child born in Cardigan a number of decades ago now, I could never have envisaged then that one day I would be taking one of the highest elected civic roles in my home county as I have done so here today; this is a very proud moment in my life. I would like to thank my fellow councillors for entrusting me with this role for the forthcoming municipal year. I would also like to give a special thank you to Councillor Gareth Davies for his unstinting work in such difficult times in this last year, it’s been an honour to have been his Vice Chairman. I look forward now to being Ceredigion County Council’s Chairman in the year ahead”.

Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council, added: “I would like to congratulate Councillor Paul Hinge on his election as County Chairman and wish him well for the coming year. I would also like to thank Councillor Gareth Davies for steering the Council’s virtual meetings so smoothly and skilfully over the last year.”

Councillor Ifan Davies from Lledrod ward was elected as the Council’s Vice-Chairman. The Reverend Richard Lewis was appointed as the Chairman’s Chaplain for 2021-2022.

Questions for the Former Chairman

Councillor Gareth Davies, Llanbadarn Fawr Padarn ward, was the Chairman of Ceredigion County Council during 2020-2021. Here we look back at his year which has been very different in terms of all of the restrictions and adjustments.

What was it like to be the Chairman of Ceredigion County Council during the pandemic?

It was quite an unusual experience compared to previous years. Of course, nobody foresaw how the pandemic would affect our lives, nor how long it would last. We have all had to adjust the way we live and work. It was a bit of a disappointment that I did not have the opportunity to represent the county in any official events during my time. As an individual who has links with the Tregaron area, it was also sad to hear that the National Eisteddfod would be postponed. However, having said that, I’m extremely proud that I live in Ceredigion where the effects of the pandemic have been amongst the best in the United Kingdom.

What was the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge was learning how to chair a virtual meeting. With over fifty people in attendance, it was not possible to see everyone on the call at the same time. Everyone else had to learn as well, and, as a result, the meetings took a litter longer than usual. I hope that the Council members feel that I have been a fair Chairman and that everyone had the opportunity to speak if they wished to. Everyone is coping well with the system by now.

What was the best thing about your experience?

I consider myself very privileged, and I was delighted that the elected members of Ceredigion County Council gave me the opportunity and trusted me to be Chairman. The year did not turn out as I had expected. But the safety and the health of Ceredigion’s residents is far more important than anything else.

What is your message for the new Chairman?

I very much hope that the new Chairman will have the opportunity to do the role justice, and I wish him well for the coming year.

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