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New variant of Coronavirus is spreading in Powys

Coronavirus Testing Units open 7 days a week to protect communities from new variant of the virus.

Coronavirus Testing Units open 7 days a week to protect communities from new variant of the virus.

Powys residents aged 70+, including vulnerable people and frontline health and care staff have passed 33,000 vaccinations, a significant milestone for the mass vaccination programme.

The mass roll out of the vaccine in Powys has been nothing short of amazing, with staff and volunteers going above and beyond to ensure people are given the opportunity to be vaccinated at the earliest opportunity. However, all this hard work could be undone if people become complacent around social distancing and personal hygiene following their vaccination.

The new variant of the virus can spread more easily, and has been circulating everywhere in Wales since early January. The new variant is significantly more infectious, and if we do not take extra care, this variant will continue to spread amongst our communities.

National and local mobile test units and staff have been tirelessly testing people all across Powys for nearly a year, ensuring residents have a fast and accurate test within 24hrs. With a new variant that can pass more easily between people, the testing teams are urging people to continue to their nearest testing unit if they become unwell with any of the signs and symptoms which are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste. Powys Teaching Health Board are continuing to engage with Welsh Government and NHS Wales colleagues to develop further testing options which aim to control the virus.

Even if you’ve had your COVID-19 vaccine, it’s important that you continue to follow national guidelines. You could potentially still carry and transmit the virus to other vulnerable people, even if you are protected.

The infection rate continues to remain high in Powys and across Wales, so it is more vital than ever that if you are feeling unwell, are showing any signs or symptoms of coronavirus, you must first self-isolate immediately, and book a test as soon as possible. Social distancing and personal hygiene is still the most effective way to avoid catching the virus.

People should be reassured if they receive their vaccination, but like all vaccines, whether it be flu or other viruses, they offer a high level of protection, but will not be 100% effective for everyone. People could potentially still catch coronavirus without showing any clear signs and symptoms, then pass it onto somebody who could potentially become very ill.

Stuart Bourne, Director of Public Health (Powys Teaching Health Board)

Please remember, all of Wales is in lockdown (alert level 4) where people must follow national guidelines and:

  • stay at home
  • meet only the people you live with
  • work from home if you can
  • wear a face covering where required
  • wash your hands regularly
  • stay 2 metres from anyone you do not live with

Everyone should follow this guidance whether or not they have received COVID-19 vaccination.

More information about what we will all need to do at Alert Level 4 is available from the Welsh Government Website at What you need to do at alert level 4.

Appointments in Welshpool, Knighton, Newtown and Brecon can be booked through the UK Government national booking portal, either online at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, by phone on 119, or 18001 119 for people with hearing or speech difficulties. This is also the way to request a home testing kit.

Residents in and around Builth Wells can make an appointment at the local testing unit by calling 01874 612228 or by emailing [email protected].

For more information about COVID-19 testing in Powys, visit the health board’s website at www.pthb.nhs.wales/coronavirus/coronavirus-testing

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