Following discussions with other Local Authorities, the local Health Board, the Welsh Government and Military Planners, the mass testing pilot currently operating in Merthyr Tydfil will be extended to the lower Cynon Valley area from Saturday, 5th December.

No booking is necessary and residents who are not displaying symptoms of COVID-19 in the following electoral wards are urged to take a free test during the testing period between Saturday 5th December and Sunday 20th December:

The areas in lower Cynon Valley covered in the mass testing pilot are 

• Abercynon

• Mountain Ash East

• Mountain Ash West

• Penrhiwceiber

• Aberaman South

These electoral wards have seen some of the highest cases per 100,000 in recent weeks and identifying residents who may have COVID-19 but have no symptoms could be key to helping stop the spread of the virus. 

The main testing centres will be at Cynon Valley Indoor Bowls Centre, Mountain Ash, and Abercynon Sports Centre.  Please note that the Cynon Valley Indoor Bowls Centre will operate throughout the 16 day period, whilst Abercynon Sports Centre will stop functioning as a main testing centre from 19:00 on Sunday, 13th December.  From this point, the mass testing pilot will transition to community testing sites which will be located throughout the lower Cynon Valley area, in addition to the Cynon Valley Indoor Bowls Centre, and further details will be provided on the further sites in the coming days.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, said: “Following several weeks of planning work, the Welsh Government has now confirmed that the mass testing pilot will soon be made available for residents in the lower Cynon Valley area following its extension from Merthyr Tydfil.  This is an integral part of our fight against the virus, as it gives us a greater understanding of the prevalence and level of transmission within our communities.

“Following the positive progress seen in the downward trajectory of daily cases and the positivity rate after both the local measures and the national firebreak lockdown, it is now important that we identify and isolate those who are asymptomatic within our communities to break those chains of transmission as cases are now starting to rise again.

“We are urging all of those living, working or studying in the lower Cynon Valley area who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 or are not currently self-isolating to take the test in order to protect themselves and, more importantly their loved ones or work colleagues, as it it possible to have COVID-19 with no symptoms yet still being able to transmit this to others that you come in to contact with. 

“It is hugely important that those who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 do not use the mass testing centres – please continue to book a test either via the online forms or by calling 119.”

The 2 main test centre locations are: 

  • Cynon Valley Indoor Bowls Centre, Mountain Ash (CF45 4DA)
  • Abercynon Sports Centre (CF45 4UY) 

Further sites will be announced in the coming days.

The Mass Asymptomatic (no symptoms) Serial Testing (MAST) is being piloted in Wales in Merthyr Tydfil County Borough and the lower Cynon Valley area of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough. The aim is to inform a blueprint for how mass testing can be achieved and how fast and reliable COVID-19 rapid testing can be delivered at scale.

Whole testing in Merthyr Tydfil and the extension of the pilot to the lower Cynon Valley area, aims to protect those at the highest risk and confirm asymptomatic cases to help prevent and reduce transmission in communities even further, helping our communities to return to normal as soon as possible.

Posted on Friday 27th November 2020

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