Covid-19 cases have dropped but county's contact tracers are still busy

A person receiving their Covid-19 vaccine

18 May 2021

A person receiving their Covid-19 vaccineCovid-19 case rates in Powys have dropped - to 7.6 per 100,000 people over seven days (up to 12 May) - but the county's contact tracers are still extremely busy.

The teams employed by Powys County Council (PCC), with funding from the Welsh Government, are still calling residents who have tested positive, and their close contacts, to advise them to self-isolate, but they are now also contacting travellers arriving at Cardiff Airport and are making and receiving calls for the mass vaccination programme.

Between 9 June 2020 and 11 May 2021, they dealt with 4,427 people in Powys who had tested positive for Covid-19 and 13,766 of their close contacts. And during the same period dealt with 1,455 people from other parts of Wales who had tested positive and 813 of their close contacts.

Since 27 January this year, up until the end of March, when shielding for clinically vulnerable residents of Wales was paused, the Powys Test, Trace, Protect teams also made 12,834 welfare calls and between 27 January and 11 May answered 48,506 incoming mass vaccination calls for Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB). And between 7 April and 11 May they contacted 3,269 travellers arriving in Wales, from overseas, to give advice on self-isolation and testing measures.

Cllr Graham Breeze, PCC's Portfolio Holder for Corporate Governance, Engagement and Regulatory Services, said: "Thanks to Powys residents sticking to the rules, the work of our Test, Trace, Protect service and the rapid pace of the mass vaccination programme being delivered by our partners, PTHB, we have seen the case rates for Covid-19 drop dramatically in the county. However, this has not meant our contact tracing teams have had nothing to do, as they have been re-tasked to other work that also supports the well-being of our residents: firstly, making welfare calls and then more recently supporting the mass vaccination programme and checking on travellers arriving in Wales.

"Our Test, Trace, Protect staff have made a significant contribution to keeping our residents safe and will be needed, unfortunately, for some time to come as our Health Service partners continue with the mass vaccination programme, while restrictions are eased, and with the assessment of the threat posed by new variants of Covid-19."

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