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Cases are spreading fast – help stop the transmission now

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The number of COVID-19 cases in Ceredigion continue to increase at an alarming rate and have seen the highest rate of cases in Ceredigion since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of cases in Ceredigion is now at 1,163.8 per 100,000 of the population with 846 cases in the last 7 days. Ceredigion has seen the largest increase across Wales in the last week.

If you are a positive case, please ensure that you continue to self-isolate for 10 days and that you respond to a call or text from the Contact Tracers. By responding and identifying your contacts, you will help stop the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities. Also, please take up the opportunity of getting vaccinated – it is never too late to get your first, second or booster vaccine.

As a result of Omicron cases rising across Wales, Welsh Government have put in measures to reduce transmission.

On 26 December at 6am a modified level 2 came into place, with the following restrictions and guidance:

  • Nightclub closures
  • 2m social distance from others, including at work
  • Face covering to be worn in pubs and restaurants if not eating or drinking
  • All sporting events, both professional and community are played behind closed doors
  • Rule of 6 in hospitality, theatres, cinemas
  • Licensed premises need to take contact details, pre bookings and put appropriate measures in place
  • Try and limit your social contacts when mixing indoors
  • Large events not allowed (indoors or outdoors)
  • Organised events will be limited to 30 people indoors and 50 people outdoors
  • No limit to number of people in weddings, funerals. Venues need to regulate and put COVID-19 safety measures in place. Guests are advised to take a Lateral Flow Test before attending.

Here’s a summary of the changes to the self-isolation rules, which was implemented on 22 December:

·         All over 18s who are fully vaccinated (having received two full doses of an approved vaccine or one dose of the Janssen vaccine) and children aged 5 to 17 will be asked to take lateral flow tests every day for 7 days if they are contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

·         They do not need to self-isolate unless they have a positive lateral flow test or develop symptoms. In either of these cases, they should book a PCR test as soon as possible.  

·         Anyone who meets the above criteria and is currently isolating as a contact can stop isolating on 22 December and use daily lateral flow tests instead. This includes anyone isolating as a contact of a confirmed or suspected Omicron case.

·         Our position remains unchanged for unvaccinated adults who must continue to isolate for 10 days. Our position on children under 5 also remains unchanged and they are not required to self-isolate or test as contacts.

·         These changes simplify our current approach to self-isolation. Anyone who is fully vaccinated or aged 5 to 17 can access daily contact testing instead of self-isolation, regardless of whether they are a household or close contact. This also removes our previous specific regulations on contacts of Omicron cases.

·         The NHS Covid app will be updated in due course and additional messaging will be provided.

With cases rising sharply in the county we urge you to keep following the guidelines. If you display any symptoms associated with the coronavirus, self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test – https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

The main symptoms include:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough
  • a loss or change to sense of smell or taste

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

Careful steps

Remember that we can all take steps that can make a difference to protect each other, our friends, our families and our communities. These include:

  • get your booster
  • if you have symptoms, self-isolate and book a PCR test
  • Flow before you go; if you do not have symptoms, take regular lateral flow tests before going out – whether that’s to a New Year’s Eve party; shopping in the sales; visiting friends or family; going to any crowded or busy place or before travelling
  • Keep indoor areas well ventilated
  • keep your distance when you can
  • wash your hands
  • wear a face covering. If you’re in the pub or restaurant, pop your face covering back on if you’re not eating or drinking.

Hywel Dda University Health Board now invites anyone over the age of 18 years, plus those in a higher priority group, to drop-in to a Mass Vaccination Centre (MVC) for their vaccination. For more information, please visit https://hduhb.nhs.wales/healthcare/covid-19-information/covid-19-vaccination-programme/

To protect frontline public services and keep disruption to a minimum we all need to take responsibility and play our part in keeping Ceredigion safe.

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Health

Bereavement books to support children at Bronglais Hospital

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THANKS to donations, Hywel Dda Health Charities has purchased a collection of children’s books on bereavement for the Meurig oncology ward at Bronglais Hospital.

The books help families to support children when there has been a terminal cancer diagnosis.

Ellen Masters, Meurig Ward Administrator, said: “By having these books on the ward we are able to guide and support children and young people dealing with bad news and bereavement.

“Using stories and activities can be a really good way to discuss issues with a child who has been bereaved, helping them to explore feelings and emotions around loss.

“Parents also appreciate having something they can read to children which deals sensitively with the issues.”

Pictured with some of the books is Senior Ward Sister Alaw Ciornei.

Nicola Llewelyn, Head of Hywel Dda Health Charities, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “The support of our local communities enables us to provide services over and above what the NHS can provide in the three counties of Hywel Dda and we are extremely grateful for every donation we receive.”

For more details about the charity and how you can help support local NHS patients and staff, go to www.hywelddahealthcharities.org.uk

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Health

NHS Dental Treatment in Wales Still 55% Lower Than Pre-Pandemic Levels

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RESPONDING to figures released this week showing that the number of courses of NHS dental treatment are still 55.1% lower than the year prior to the pandemic, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have reiterated their calls for the use of dental hygienists and dental nurses to be increased to help clear backlogs.

Overall, there was a decrease of 35.5% (539,959 patients) in the total number of patients treated, and the percentage of the total population treated decreased by 17.0 percentage points. This is the largest decrease for both adults and children since the series began in the 24-month period ending March 2006.

The figures also show a worrying decline in the number of children treated decreased with a reduction of 33.6% (125,246 patients).

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS told The Ceredigion Herald: “The figures we see today are very concerning. An inability to access an NHS dentist continues to be one of the main concerns I hear from my constituents.

“Just over the course of this summer, the largest town in Powys lost two out of four of its dental practices and the picture is similar across much of Wales.

“Everyone understands the challenges faced by dentistry following the pandemic. However, there are actions the Welsh Government can take both in the here and now and in the longer term to help clear backlogs and get NHS dentistry back on track.

“When I’ve spoken to industry experts over the summer they have all said the same thing, increasing the number of dental nurses and dental hygienists, as well as broadening the work they are allowed to do will help clear backlogs.

“I will continue to press Labour to make these changes as soon as possible.”

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Health

Local Businesses help raise astonishing £10,000 for Cardio-Respiratory Ward at Bronglais Hospital

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THE ORGANISERS of the 2021 Aberystwyth Businesspersons’ Lunch have donated the £10,000 proceeds to the Cardio-Respiratory Ward at Bronglais Hospital.

Consultant Cardiologist Dr Donogh McKeogh; Aled and Rose Rowlands;

John Davies’ widow Ann; Frank Bridle; John’s daughter and son, Angharad

and Rhodri; and Iestyn Leyshon

The lunch last December was in memory of well-known local businessman, jeweller and musician John Davies, who had helped organise the annual lunch for many years but sadly passed away just a few months before.

“John was such a lovely man, a pillar of the town and so well thought of, that we decided it was fitting that the lunch should be in his memory and that the proceeds should go to the cardiac unit where he had been treated for so many years,” said Aled Rowlands, who organised the lunch along with Frank Bridle, Layla Mangan, Gary Pemberthy, Huw Bates and Iestyn Leyshon.

“It was a very successful day, with nearly 200 people enjoying a lunch, comedian, band, auction and raffle. It was a fitting tribute to John who was such a big part of the town.”

John Davies joined his parents’ business at T J Davies at the age of 16 where he worked for 64 years after leaving Llandaff Cathedral School. He passed away in August 2021, at the age of 80.

John’s wife Ann and children Angharad and Rhodri said: “We were delighted at the generous amount that was raised in his memory at the Businesspersons Christmas lunch.

“Charity work was important to John, through his membership of the Lions Club and it is fitting that the money raised went to a department where he personally received such care and attention from Dr McKeogh and his team.

“John will be remembered not only as a businessman but also as a keen and talented trumpeter, playing with Aberystwyth Town Band, Aber Jazz and Philomusica, to name but a few, as well as playing carols with the Town Band every Christmas Day around Bronglais Hospital wards and care homes in the town.”

Pictured at the cheque presentation at Bronglais Hospital are (from left) Consultant Cardiologist Dr Donogh McKeogh; Aled and Rose Rowlands; John Davies’ widow Ann; Frank Bridle; John’s daughter and son, Angharad and Rhodri; and Iestyn Leyshon.

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