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Daily reporting of Covid stats to end with scrapping of routine testing in Wales

31 Mar 2022 2 minute read
Coronavirus cases in Wales

Katy Jenkins, local democracy reporter

The changes to Covid-19 testing this week are likely to mean an end to daily case figure reporting across Wales.

News outlets across the country have routinely published daily case figures for local areas since Public Health Wales set up its reporting dashboard early in the pandemic in 2020 with infection rates and deaths – and later vaccination rates – of every local authority included.

With the scrapping of routine testing – with all PCR testing site in Wales closing today (March 31) and the end of free lateral flow tests for asymptomatic people – the data will no longer be available.

Health and social care workers will still have access to free lateral flow testing twice a week but from Friday, April 1 only those eligible for Covid-19 treatments can order PCR tests for at home.

Routine asymptomatic testing in childcare and education settings, except special education provision, will stop at the end of the term on April 8.

Strong guidance

There is strong guidance from Public Health Wales to continue to self-isolate for five days if testing positive although the legal requirement to do so ended on March 28.

In reference to the future of Covid reporting Dr Chris Williams, Consultant Epidemiologist for Health Protection at Public Health Wales, said:

“Public Health Wales monitors a wide range of seasonal respiratory viruses without recourse to population level testing.

“Any arrangements once mass-testing ends will in likelihood mirror arrangements with other viruses.

“The future surveillance of covid-19 is currently under review and we will announce changes to publishing the data dashboard once this is confirmed.  This will likely be in a phased way from the current dashboard, moving to surveillance integrated with other respiratory infections over this year, depending on how testing behaviours and the epidemiological situation varies over time.”

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Brian Coman
Brian Coman
2 years ago

Thank goodness no more doom mongering from the FM.
His final one last week did not have one positive sentence in it.
Paranoia levels amongst the worried well still appear to be high…and can the councils now take all the defunct signage away….

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
2 years ago

What a daft idea. The Covid Pandemic is not over as the virus has not yet reached the stage were it can be labelled ‘endemic’. Endemic diseases are controllable and fairly predictable. This disease is not and the fact that people are not taking it seriously is one of the reasons why the infection rate is so high. The disease is not mutating to become more mild and manageable. Each of the last waves of the virus have come from quite separate sources rather than a single source that is mutating down to being less dangerous. That Omicrom has not… Read more »

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