County at centre of Welsh Delta variant outbreak steps up testing call
Jez Hemming, local democracy reporter
New collection points across Conwy are part of a drive to get people without Covid symptoms tested as the county tries to contain the spread of the Delta variant.
Four in every five cases of coronavirus in Wales are via the new strain, formerly known as the India variant, and Conwy had an outbreak in the Penrhyn Bay, Llandudno and Llandudno Junction areas three weeks ago.
Public health officials today confirmed community transmission is occurring all across the country and Conwy has seen 198 cases of Covid in the 21 days to June 20 – the highest in the north of Wales.
Responding to the growing issue, which Deputy chief medical officer for Wales Dr Chris Jones called “approaching the third peak” of the pandemic, Conwy county council has moved to get as many people tested as possible.
It has established collection points for lateral flow testing kits in five leisure centres. They are:
- Llandudno Swimming Centre – Mon to Thurs 6am-9pm; Fri 6am-8pm; Sat and Sun 8am-4pm
- Llandudno Junction Leisure Centre – Mon to Fri 6am-9pm; Sat and Sun 8am-1pm
- James Alexander Barr Tennis Centre – Mon to Fri 9am-9pm; Sat and Sun 9am to 12pm
- Abergele Leisure Centre – Mon to Fri 6.30am-8.30pm; Sat & Sun 8.30am-1.30pm
- Hwb yr Hen Ysgol Llanrwst (for LFD collection between 9am-5pm)
Cllr Charlie McCoubrey, leader of Conwy county council said: “Testing those without symptoms is an important tool in the fight against Covid-19.
“Each positive case identified can help prevent many more infections. These new collection points at locations across the county, will make it easier for everyone to access this rapid testing, free of charge.”
Around one in three people with the virus have no symptoms but can still infect others and the lateral flow tests are aimed at those residents.
The call comes against a backdrop of trying to get all adults inoculated with both jabs of the Covid vaccine in what has been called a “race against time”.
The lateral flow kits can provide results in around 30 minutes and instructions on how to use them and record the results are included.
In Wales, you can get lateral flow tests for you and your household if:
- You are a volunteer
- You cannot work from home
- You are an unpaid carer
- You are visiting Wales from elsewhere
- You are travelling to other areas of the UK
If you get tests through your employer or education setting you should continue to do so.
If you are unable to collect testing kits in person, you can order them for home delivery on the Welsh Government website. People with symptoms of Covid-19 should not take a rapid test, they should stay at home and book a PCR test online or by calling 119.