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Pembrokeshire County Council: Leader’s update on coronavirus

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FURTHER to the Leader’s announcement at the Cabinet meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council on Monday, 9th March, the Authority’s Leader, Councillor David Simpson, has provided a further update:

“As you will no doubt be aware, the Government yesterday announced that the country has now moved into the ‘delay’ phase of the response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and as a consequence has brought in a number of additional control measures.

“I firstly want to emphasise something that the Prime Minster announced yesterday. Importantly, it is now requested that anyone who develops a temperature or new continuous cough to self-isolate for seven days regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas.

“The advice is that in such circumstances people do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation but, if their symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after seven days, they should contact NHS 111 online at: 111.nhs.uk

“I reassured you on Monday that our services will continue. I want to provide you some feedback as to what we are doing.

“The management and organisation of the response is being co-ordinated through our senior officers with a number of planning cells established to co-ordinate the Council’s work.

“Each is led by a senior member of staff and addresses:

• the impact on our community. Vulnerable people are potentially a major concern. Plans and actions are being reviewed and put in place to address this
• the huge concerns which exist about the local economy, employment, poverty impacts, support to businesses, and the like. We are also in the process of putting in place advice and providing signposting for matters such as announcements in the March Budget, Public Health Wales advice and links, and advice services from the Council

• a review of plans to deal with this difficult situation so that services can continue to function with as little disruption as possible. We are looking at which of our services are critical. The plans that are already in place are being fine-tuned towards this specific issue.
• the collection and analysis of data, statistics. We are looking ahead as much as possible to ensure we have as complete a picture as possible of the situation not only in Pembrokeshire but nationally.
• a review of operational arrangements covering matters such as cleaning management, care support etc.
• updating media and communications. This includes sharing information, signposting people to advice, and dealing with enquiries we are receiving.

“Some of the tangible things we have already done include:

• posting advice on the Coronavirus on the main Pembrokeshire County Council website and our social pages with links to Public Health Wales; advice on the Coronavirus for places of education and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance
• issuing Human Resources guidance to internal staff
• signing off communication guidance for Social Services. This covers communications, reporting requirements, finance and payments and infection control and personal protection equipment
• offering advice to schools and governing bodies.

“This is a fast-moving situation and is unprecedented. A further important message from the Government yesterday was that, given now the need for people to self-isolate if they develop symptoms, this will have a huge impact on our community.

“We are doing all we can, working with our key partners such as the Health Board, to put in place planned measures to support our community.

“But it is also important that we work together and start to consider what we can do to help the more vulnerable people in our community. We are also developing community help initiatives for the coming weeks and this also forms part of our planning work.

“I also want to thank the work of Council staff, our partners and all those involved in helping to develop these plans and solutions to the difficult situation that exists.

“I want to close by continuing to reassure you that the detailed planning arrangements mentioned above are well underway and, that by working together, we can ensure that the County Council and Pembrokeshire are as well placed as possible for whatever challenges we may face.”

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Pembrokeshire residents aged 75 to 79 years to receive their first COVID vaccine

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LETTERS will arrive in the coming days inviting Pembrokeshire residents aged 75 to 79 years to receive their first COVID vaccine at a mass vaccination centre, Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) has announced.

The letter will provide an appointment time at one of the following mass vaccination centres: Haverfordwest – Pembrokeshire Archives, Prendergast; and Tenby – Tenby Leisure Centre.

These mass vaccination centres will provide a safe environment, space to maintain social distancing while allowing more people to be vaccinated as efficiently and as quickly as possible.

It is vital that you make every effort to attend your appointment.

You will need to delay your vaccination if you have had a positive coronavirus test within 28 days of this appointment or if you are unwell with a fever, have a new continuous cough or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell.

Please let us know if you cannot attend or need to delay your appointment as soon as possible by calling the number provided in your appointment letter. This will mean we can give your appointment to someone else and save NHS resources.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Until now we have been using our mass vaccination centres to vaccinate our front-line staff in health, social care and care homes. With over 85% of front-line health workers having had their first dose, and seeing rapid progress with care home staff and social care staff, we are now moving onto the next phase of our delivery plan.

“The opening of our mass vaccination centres to the public will allow us to offer more people a vaccine as soon as supplies are available to us. If you have received an invitation it is because you are in a priority group and at greater risk of complications if you catch COVID-19.

“Vaccines are safe, effective and save lives and the COVID vaccine offers our community hope. By receiving your vaccine, you will continue to play your small but incredibly important part in protecting yourself, the most vulnerable in our communities and our local NHS. Thank you.”

When you attend your appointment please bring with you:

Your appointment letter

Some ID such as your passport, driving license or utility bill in your name
A face mask (if you don’t have one, you will be given one)
People aged 80 years and over will continue to be invited by their GP practice to receive the vaccine, all of which have now received a supply of vaccines. The health board has also commissioned GP practices to vaccinate housebound patients and residents in our care homes.

Hywel Dda UHB is working to offer a vaccine to everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 by mid-February. People over 70 years of age and everyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable as part of priority group 4 will be invited next to receive a vaccine. The health board will provide further information at the earliest opportunity.

Please do not attend any vaccination venue without an appointment and do not contact your GP, pharmacy or health board to ask when you will be invited. People are being invited to receive the vaccine in order of priority and we thank you for your patience.

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A4076 reopens following accident where everyone ‘miraculously walked away’

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THERE was a road traffic accident in icy and snowy conditions on the A4076 Dredgemans Hill on Sunday afternoon.

Emergency services were called to the scene at around 1.30pm to an accident involving a number of vehicles.

A number of readers sent photos in to the Herald.

The road re-opened at 3pm after a brief closure.

A witness said: “It was a miracle but we have all walked away from this.”

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Welsh Conservatives appoint new Senedd Leader

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IT HAS been announced that Andrew RT Davies MS has been appointed as the new Leader of the Welsh Conservative Group in the Welsh Parliament.

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, Andrew RT Davies MS said: “Becoming leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd once again is a great honour and privilege, and I’m pleased to enjoy the unanimous support of my colleagues to take us forward after a difficult few days for us all.

“On behalf of the Group I want to pay tribute to Paul Davies for his service as leader. Paul is not only a colleague but a trusted friend, who has served his constituents and party with distinction, and will continue to do so.

“There is urgent work in front of all of us and our immediate focus will be continuing to hold the Labour administration in the Senedd to account on vital issues such as the vaccine rollout, and fighting May’s election alongside our excellent slate of candidates and dedicated volunteers.

“We are in a moment like no other, and the COVID-19 pandemic has sadly only served to shine a spotlight on the challenges in people’s everyday lives; challenges that have been made all the harder by twenty of Welsh Labour Government failure.

“From our fragile economy to ever increasing NHS waiting lists, people in Wales have been badly let down by successive Labour administrations. Let me be clear; devolution isn’t the issue, it is the socialists in the Labour Party, and Wales deserves better.

“In just over 100 days, the Welsh public will head to the ballot box to decide on the future they want for our country and in the coming weeks and months the Welsh Conservatives will put forward a positive plan to get Wales moving again and build back our country better than ever.

“This will be in tough election during a tough time for our country and whereas other parties want to use this period to divide and separate, we’ll seek to unite our country and deliver a strong voice for Wales, in a strong United Kingdom.”

Chairman of the Welsh Conservative Group in the Senedd, Janet Finch-Saunders MS said: “Following a meeting of the Welsh Conservative Group in the Senedd this morning, I’m pleased to confirm that Andrew RT Davies has been endorsed unanimously as our new leader in the Senedd.

“As Chairman of the Group, I want to say thank you to Paul Davies for his immense efforts in the post since 2018. Paul played a key role in our record-breaking General Election in 2019, whilst setting the groundwork ahead of May’s Senedd election.

“Our attention now turns to May and taking the fight to the Labour Party.”

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