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Carmarthen County Council urge public to consider isolating before Christmas as Covid-19 accelerates

PEOPLE in Carmarthenshire are being asked to consider isolating themselves to protect their families in time for Christmas with another sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in our communities.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) team is experiencing a huge surge in demand as the virus is spreading so rapidly, with around 600 new cases coming in over the last few days alone.

With the current isolation regulations standing at 10 days, it means anyone contacted from today – December 15 – will be told they have to isolate on Christmas Day.

People who have recently tested positive are being asked to get in touch with potential contacts themselves, as whilst the TTP team will make contact as soon as they can, they cannot guarantee to call within 24 hours due to the huge surge in cases.

The acceleration of the spread in Carmarthenshire is a serious concern – latest available figures show there are now 413.7 cases per 100,000 (as at 9am on 14/12/20) – up significantly on the case rate released just last Friday, which showed 367.1 per 100,000, and 252.2 the week before.

The council is asking people to do more to protect themselves, not just to ease the pressure on health and social care services, but to prevent potentially spreading the virus to their families over the Christmas period.

Employers are being asked to ensure they are supporting staff to work from home, in line with Welsh Government advice, and people are being urged to stay as local as possible to finish their Christmas shopping – both to limit the spread of the virus and to support small community traders.

Leader of the council, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said: “We want everyone to be able to enjoy Christmas, but the surge in cases we’re currently experiencing in Carmarthenshire means it’s inevitable that some people will be isolating over Christmas and the New Year, or worse still suffering with Covid-19.

“We can only hope that for most people this is just a minor illness. But as we all know, Covid-19 is unpredictable and unfortunately some people are becoming severely ill or losing loved ones to this terrible virus.

“This is a very serious situation – we are so concerned that in the run-up to Christmas and with the virus spreading so quickly in Carmarthenshire, we are asking people to consider self-isolating to protect themselves and their families.

“Please don’t invite people into your home, please don’t mix with others – please, so far as you can, keep yourself to yourself and do what you can to have a safe Christmas.”

As the Covid-19 situation continues to evolve – including changes to the self-isolation period and the roll-out of the vaccine – the council is encouraging people to stay up to date with information from official sources.

For further information, advice and regular updates specific to Carmarthenshire, visit www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales and for national information, visit gov.wales.

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