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New Covid facilities in Holyhead for those without symptoms as ‘concerning’ spike in cases continues

23 Mar 2021 3 minute read
Holyhead Harbour. Picture by Darren Glanville (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Gareth Williams, local democracy reporter

Further Covid testing facilities are to be set up on Anglesey to tackle the ‘concerning’ number of cases in the Holyhead area.

The facility at Holyhead Leisure Centre is expected to open later this week and is exclusively for those not displaying any symptoms and not needing to self-isolate while awaiting results.

With the town and wider Holy Island showing an incidence rate several times higher than the island’s and national averages, mass testing of those not showing any symptoms is now being seen as vital in order to stop further spread.

Measures already introduced include extra tests being made available for families with secondary school age children and tests being delivered to homes.

There is also a walk-in and drive-through testing centre for those displaying symptoms at Stanley Crescent Car Park on Victoria Road, which is open 8am-8pm, with no need to book in advance.

Ffion Johnstone, area director for the West of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “We’re all concerned by the rise in cases in Holyhead and action is needed to respond as a community to protect our residents.

“By testing more people, including those without symptoms, we are able to find more positive cases of the virus and break chains of transmission.”

‘Community transmission’

In total 58 positive cases were recorded between March 13-20, with another 10 recorded in Holyhead itself over the subsequent three days.

Council leader Llinos Medi told a meeting of the council’s Executive on Monday: “Much work has been ongoing through the weekend to bring all the testing plans together.

“A lorry arrived on Sunday with tests for families, and during the day today (Monday) volunteers will start the work of providing households with tests.

“This is going to take a few days so I would ask for patience, but has been coordinated through the housing department and Medrwn Môn and I’d like to thank them.

“Work is also ongoing to set up a testing centre at the leisure centre, working with the ambulance service, which will hopefully be operational by the end of the week for those displaying no symptoms to simply turn up.

“Of course the existing testing centre is already open for all to walk in if they are displaying any symptoms.”

Referring to the spate of cases in Holyhead, she added: “This is the first case we’ve had on Anglesey where we’ve seen widespread community transmission, so it has prompted a different response to what we’ve seen previously.

“While thanking everyone for the co-operation thus far, I’d ask the people of Holy Island to please take these tests so that they protect themselves and the community as a whole.”

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