he Welsh Government’s Health Minister has confirmed that a Community Testing programme of asymptomatic people, will commence across the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board area from Wednesday, March 3.
Focusing on key areas that have been identified as “hot spots” for continued high levels of COVID-19 infections, the programme will operate across Community Testing Outreach Centres in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend and Merthyr Tydfil.
Residents over the age of 11, even if they have already received a vaccination, in each of the areas identified by the local authorities, who do NOT have symptoms of COVID-19, are encouraged to take a free test at their local centre. No booking is necessary.
All businesses whose staff cannot work from home – particularly those working in transport (such as bus or taxi drivers), food retail workers or those in the construction or manufacturing industry – to also encourage their employees to take a test to protect their colleagues and families.
Each of the identified areas have demonstrated continuingly high infection rates of COVID-19 and the Community Testing programme is aimed at identifying those residents who may have COVID-19 but are displaying no symptoms, and this approach is key to helping to stop the spread of the virus locally.
Dr Kelechi Nnoaham, Director of Public Health at Cwm Taf Morgannwg commented:
“This programme of testing asymptomatic members of the public, forms a vital part of our attempts to identify and isolate cases of COVID-19 within our communities in order to halt transmission of the virus.
“We know that one in three people who have Coronavirus have no symptoms. This means that many of us will not know that we are spreading the virus to our loved ones.
“Late last year, we held a mass testing pilot in Merthyr Tydfil and the lower Cynon Valley which provided some crucial information in understanding how the virus was spreading throughout those local communities.
“I appeal all of those over the age of 11 who are living, working, or studying in each of the targeted local areas to go and get a free test and to play their part in keeping their community safe. It is important to remember that this programme is only for individuals who do NOT have symptoms of COVID-19 and are not currently self-isolating.”
You will be able to find out if your community is affected by checking your local authority website.