Anglesey Council gearing up for ‘challenging’ Covid winter despite vaccination hopes

Anglesey Council is gearing up for a “challenging” Covid winter despite remaining hopeful that the vaccination roll-out will keep hospital admissions and serious illness to a minimum.

The latest infection rates for every 100,000 people on the island had increased over the seven days leading up to October 13, standing at 532.5 compared to 488.3 the previous week.

With 472 individual cases having been recorded over the past 10 days, members of the authority’s Corporate Scrutiny Committee were told that officers were keeping an eye on the figures with the aim of nipping any potential clusters in the bud.

Pointing to the efforts undertaken during 2020 and 2021, which included ramping up community testing in Holyhead following a local outbreak,  it was confirmed that the emergency team remains on stand-by.

“If there a cluster or situation that was of concern, we would react in the same way as we did previously,” said the council leader, Llinos Medi.

“We have been looking at plans and if we had to carry out mass testing, how would we react.

“This will be a challenging winter but I’d like to reassure you that the structures remain in place both locally and regionally.”

Annwen Morgan, the chief executive, added: “The data is high now but that’s the case for Wales as a whole.

“When we started this emergency anything over 50 infections per 100,000 was flagged up as red, but that’s gone out of the window now.

“The situation can change on a daily basis. Officers are studying the data and trying to find if there are any clusters.”

Dylan Williams, the deputy chief executive, added that the ‘goalposts’ had moved since the introduction of the vaccine, however.

“Over 53,000 residents have received their first or both jabs, with another 4,000 having received their booster vaccinations so far.

“As a result, what’s happening is while the case rights may be high, those needing treatment in hospital remains reasonably and consistently low.

“That’s the most important factor which is being monitored now, those needing treatment in hospitals.

“The loosening up of regulations has made it easier to spread the virus, schools remain open despite cases remaining high.

“But we hope to turn the corner sooner rather than later.”

Since the start of the pandemic, the 2020/21 Annual Performance Report also  noted that almost 800 people had put their names forward to volunteer with Medrwn Môn, with 589 active volunteers during the first half couple of weeks of the lockdown.

With 466 active volunteers still on the books, they are assisting around 650 people on the island with various tasks from shopping to medication deliveries,  with the Neges scheme also delivered over 3,000 meals to individuals, couples and families during the pandemic.

The report, which was accepted by the committee, will be presented to the full council for final approval.

North Wales Chronicle | Anglesey