More than 6,500 coronavirus tests carried out in Holyhead and Holy Island after high case rate

MORE than 6,500 tests have been carried out as part of the community testing scheme in Holyhead and Holy Island.

The multi-agency Incident Management Team was set-up to respond to high coronavirus rate in the Anglesey area and introduced a comprehensive community-testing programme on Sunday, March 21.

Since then thousands of rapid lateral flow, door-to-door and community centre tests have been administered with a total of 40 confirmed cases.

Health experts maintain that continued testing of residents and workers will remain after the number of new cases in Holyhead and Holy Island remains higher than the national average.

Testing is being delivered in partnership between the Welsh Government, UK Government, Isle of Anglesey County Council, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), Public Health Wales, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, local volunteers and the Ministry of Defence, with logistical support from the Armed Forces.

The tests administered so far include:

• more than 3,600 rapid LFD Covid-19 testing kits for secondary school pupils (years 7 to 13) and their family bubbles collected.

• more than 1,800 PCR tests returned following door to door visits in the main areas impacted on Holy Island.

• more than 800 people attending the testing centre at Stanley Crescent Car Park, Victoria Road, Holyhead, for those displaying Covid-19 symptoms

• more than 350 people attending the new community-testing centre at the Holyhead Leisure Centre – for those not showing Covid-19 symptoms.

• 40 confirmed Coronavirus cases which resulted in 154 people being required to self-isolate as close contacts

Anglesey Council chief executive Annwen Morgan said: “Just a few weeks ago, the situation in and around Holy Island was very concerning. As partners, we acted quickly and in the best interests of local communities and residents to protect public health.

“We must, of course, continue to remain as vigilant as possible and keep following the national guidance to protect ourselves, families, friends and communities.”

Dr Chris Johnson, consultant in health protection for Public Health Wales, said: “Despite the initial high incidence rate of coronavirus cases on Holy Island, the results seen so far are encouraging and we are reassured about undetected spread of infection in the community.

“Testing asymptomatic residents and workers, identifying positive cases and then getting them to isolate remains integral to beating the virus. We expect the community testing centre at the Holyhead Leisure Centre to stay open for a few more weeks; giving those who live and work in the area peace of mind.”

Teresa Owen, executive director of Public Health at BCUHB, said: “We know that up to a third of those who test positive for coronavirus have no symptoms at all and can spread it without knowing. That is why the testing of asymptomatic individuals is so important.”

“The testing capability achieved here by Incident Management Team partners in such a short space of time has been incredible and I would like to thank the residents and communities of Holyhead and Holy Island for embracing the testing regime during such a difficult time.”

All residents and visitors are urged to continue to follow national guidance, including social distancing, wearing a mask and not to meet with other households indoors.

North Wales Chronicle | Anglesey