Covid: Holyhead steps up tests to tackle 'concerning' case rate

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Holyhead aerial view showing the port and town behind itImage source, Getty Images
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Holyhead's case rates are more than three times higher than the rest of Anglesey

Extra Covid testing is being rolled out in Wales' largest port to tackle a "concerning" rise in positive cases.

Holyhead is the second highest Covid hotspot in Wales, behind Mynydd-bach in Swansea, with 39 cases recorded in the past week.

A makeshift testing clinic will be set up in Holyhead Leisure Centre for those displaying no Covid symptoms.

Anglesey has around 100 cases per 100,000 people compared to Wales' average of 41.

"This is the first case we've had on Anglesey where we've seen widespread community transmission, so it has prompted a different response to what we've seen previously," council leader Llinos Medi said.

She urged everyone to get tested to "protect themselves and the community."

Measures already in place to stop further spread of the virus include tests being delivered to homes and more tests for families with children in high school, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Ms Medi told a meeting of the council's executive on Monday that "much work has been ongoing through the weekend to bring all the testing plans together".

She said "it would take a few days" to roll out plans but it has "been coordinated through the housing department and Medrwn Môn and I'd like to thank them."

Even though the facility is for those who are asymptomatic, she said the existing testing centre at Stanley Crescent Car Park on Victoria Road is open for people to walk in without an appointment if they have symptoms of Covid-19.

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A testing site expected later this week will be for those not displaying Covid symptoms and not needing to self-isolate while awaiting results

Ffion Johnstone, area director for the west of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: "We're all concerned by the rise in cases in Holyhead and action is needed to respond as a community to protect our residents.

According to the health board, three in one people with Covid-19 do not show any symptoms.

"By testing more people, including those without symptoms, we are able to find more positive cases of the virus and break chains of transmission," she added.