Test Trace Protect is now live in Rhondda Cynon Taf and across the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board region, with all residents and key workers within the area showing symptoms of Coronavirus urged to apply for a test.
Test Trace Protect is a key aspect of Welsh Government’s Covid-19 recovery plan, helping to find a way for people in Wales to live and work alongside the virus, whilst containing its spread.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, in partnership with Bridgend and Merthyr Councils, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and Public Health Wales will be undertaking Test Trace Protect for people in the region – carrying out contact tracing for people who test positive for Coronavirus, and providing public health advice and further testing for those people they have been in contact with if they show symptoms.
The aim of Test Trace Protect is to isolate Coronavirus from our communities, protecting family, friends and neighbours, keeping one step ahead to prevent widespread infection within our local area.
The introduction of Test Trace Protect coincides with the Welsh Government announcement that lockdown restrictions are to be eased on June 1 to allowing members of two households to meet outside as long as they are staying ‘local’ and maintain social distancing.
Even with the introduction of Test Trace Protect and the easing of lockdown restrictions, it is more important than ever for residents to abide by social distancing rules, such as keeping 2 metres from people who you do not share a household with, frequently washing your hands, working from home if it possible, avoiding public transport and areas where social distancing is difficult, as well as self-isolating and booking a test if you show symptoms.
A significant increase in Coronavirus cases could overwhelm Test Trace Protect, increase pressure on the NHS, and potentially cause a tightening of lockdown restrictions – this is not what anyone wants after the extraordinary personal sacrifices residents have made over previous months, which have got us to this stage.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “We are working with partners across the region to ensure we are ready to protect residents from Coronavirus as restrictions are lifted, so people can start getting on with their lives, seeing their loved ones, and rebuilding their livelihoods.
“The last few months have been challenging for everyone, but Test Trace Protect provides us with a tool to manage Coronavirus transmission effectively, and gives it nowhere to hide where it can cause us harm.
“Test Trace Protect has been created with the sole purpose to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, and I urge all residents to fully engage with the process. This hasn’t been created to catch people out about their whereabouts or who they’ve had contact with, the more open and honest people are with Contact Tracers, the faster we can defeat Coronavirus and return to the way of life we had before.
“The easing of lockdown restrictions will be welcomed by many, but these cautious steps towards some normality mean that we have to be even more aware of maintaining social distancing measures, which will continue for some time to come. I cannot stress how important it is for people to the social distancing measures, such as keeping 2 metres apart and regular washing of hands.
“Coronavirus is extremely contagious, we have seen how fast it can spread, having devastating impacts for everyone. However, in partnership with residents and support from our communities, we can all play a crucial role in stamping this virus out.”
Contact tracing means people may be asked to self-isolate multiple times as the more often people come into contact with others, the more likely it is that they will be required to self-isolate, however, this will be essential to break the transmission of Coronavirus.
Rhondda Cynon Taf has a range of support available to assist people who are self-isolating if it required, and information on available support will be provided to all those who need to self-isolate as a result of testing positive for Coronavirus.
If you, or someone living in your home, have symptoms of Coronavirus, you can book a test here.
For more Coronavirus information, advice and support in Rhondda Cynon Taf, please visit: www.rctcbc.gov.uk/PublicHealthRCT
Posted on Monday 1st June 2020