Council doesn’t rule out local lockdown amid Holyhead’s ‘extremely concerning’ infection rate
Gareth Williams, local democracy reporter
Holyhead’s Covid-19 infection rates are responsible for over half of Anglesey’s total for March, council bosses have revealed amid “extreme concern” over stubbornly high figures.
As a result, council bosses have not ruled out the possibility of a local lockdown or closing the area’s schools once again in a bid to help curb transmission.
Anglesey currently has the second-highest seven-day infection rate per 100,000 people across Wales, despite cases generally dropping nationwide with some counties not displaying any new cases at all.
But of the 11 cases recorded on Ynys Môn for Tuesday, six of these were in the port town, with Holyhead also making up 11 of Monday’s island-wide figure of 15.
Today, the authority confirmed that 54% of the 174 positive Coronavirus cases on Anglesey through March – identified through the Test, Trace and Protect team – have been in and around Holyhead.
And although some cases have links to the recent outbreak at Ysbyty Gwynedd, household, cross-household and workplace transmission in the Holyhead area is also said to be on the rise and a “significant cause for concern.”
Prevention and Surveillance Group chairman and deputy council chief executive, Dylan Williams, said: “The situation in Holyhead and recent increase in cases is extremely concerning.
“We must all play our part now by following the all-important guidance – sticking to social distancing, wearing a mask when we need to and not mixing with family and friends. We understand that these measures are tough on everyone it is the only way we can return to some sort of normality.
“We continue to work with our partners and will be presenting our latest update to the Welsh Government shortly. The current situation in Holyhead will figure very prominently in any future talks over the coming days.”
He added that with GP practices also starting to contact people about second vaccine doses, he stressed the importance of people attending their appointments to ensure the vaccinations have maximum effect.
The council leader, Llinos Medi, added: “We are fast approaching the first anniversary of the first Coronavirus lockdown. Whilst these lockdowns have been essential to protect public health – they have also taken their toll on everyone.
“The last 12 months have been incredibly tough and challenging for us all, but we cannot let all this hard work go to waste. We must remain as vigilant as possible and keep following the national guidance to protect ourselves, families, friends and communities.”
The multi-agency team working to protect residents is currently looking at ways to curb the spread – which could include closing schools in the area once again as well as a local lockdown.
As a result, residents are being urged to:
- Self-isolate immediately if they, or anyone in their home, is showing any coronavirus symptoms and go for test as soon as possible.
- Share all relevant information with TTP tracers and advisors in the event of a positive test – the places visited and contacts. Keeping information from them could endanger the health of friends, family and the wider community.
- Follow current Welsh Government guidance, namely not entering other people’s homes; working from home if possible; limiting the number of people met socially and shopping alone if possible.
Holyhead’s mobile coronavirus testing centre is currently located at the Stanley Crescent car park. Residents showing any symptoms should start self-isolating along with all their household members and arrange a test as soon as possible. If you do go for a test, it is vital that everyone in your household remains in self-isolation until you get your result.
Residents should book a test before visiting the testing centre by phoning 119 or through the online portal.