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CORONAVIRUS: It’s ‘crunch time’ for Pembrokeshire

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PUBLIC service leaders in South West Wales have issued a stark warning to residents and communities in Pembrokeshire after new figures showed coronavirus cases are growing in the county.
Pembrokeshire County Council, Hywel Dda University Health Board and Dyfed-Powys Police are working closely with Public Health Wales and Welsh Government officials to respond to growing concerns about increased community spread of the virus.

They are urging people and businesses to take action now to avoid local restrictions being brought in that could affect people living in the county.

Numbers are now rising in Pembrokeshire with 37 new positive cases in the county in the seven days between the 3rd and 9th October.

Sadly, to date Public Health Wales have recorded 69 deaths in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area from people who caught the virus.

People are being asked to take the risk seriously and consider how their actions may impact on more vulnerable members of our communities.

Pembrokeshire County Council Leader, David Simpson, said: “I am imploring the people of Pembrokeshire – and visitors – to follow the advice from our health experts and to halt the spread of coronavirus in our county.

“This advice is based on scientific evidence and we must all play our part in reducing the spread of the virus.

“Make no mistake, failure to act now will impact on our daily lives and potential restrictions will be imposed on us

“This is crunch time. If we don’t follow the simple safety messages, we are increasing the risk of entering a lockdown situation again and nobody wants that to happen.

“So please, follow the precautions, look after one another and stay safe.”

Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda, added: “Coronavirus remains a very serious illness, especially for the elderly and those with existing risk factors.

“What’s most concerning about the spread of the virus in Pembrokeshire is that we have not yet been able to identify a common pattern of infection – it appears to be affecting people from a number of age groups, backgrounds and geographical locations.

“As we and our partners in Public Health Wales and local authorities deal with these clusters, it’s of paramount importance that we protect our essential services as much as possible.

“I would urge the public to remain vigilant and follow the rules, including wearing face coverings that cover the mouth and nose, keeping two metres away from others outside of their household bubble, as well as washing hands regularly, or using a hand sanitizer if hand washing is not possible.

“It’s also critically important that people self-isolate if you or anyone in your household develops Covid-19 symptoms and that you book a test, as there is plenty of capacity.”

Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police, Mark Collins, said: “It is very concerning that we are seeing increased community spread of the virus in Pembrokeshire, and now is the time for each and every one of us to step up and be more vigilant in complying with the current necessary restrictions and behaviours.

“Please remember that in addition to the Wales-wide restrictions, Welsh Government can impose local restrictions for specified areas where there has been an increase in the number of cases of the virus.

“So, if we want to avoid these additional local restrictions, we must all act now and ensure that we support the current rules as far as possible.

“Our officers continue to be visible in our local communities, maintaining safe distances when we engage with residents, and will explain the circumstances and encourage people to do the right thing in complying with the restrictions.
“We know it’s tempting to gather with friends and family, but it’s vitally important that we stick to the rule of six indoors from an extended household only – including in pubs and restaurants, and outside only gatherings of up to 30 are permitted.
“Faced with non-compliance, and if considered necessary and proportionate to help stop the spread of the virus, we will take enforcement action against those flagrantly or persistently breaching the regulations.”

The key messages are simple:
• keep at least two metres distance from people not in your household
• wash your hands regularly
• wear a face covering in indoor public places, shops and on public transport
• do not meet with more than six people indoors from your extended household (not including children under 11)
• do not meet with more than 30 people outdoors.

The main symptoms of Covid-19 are:
• a high temperature: this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
• a new, continuous cough: this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
• a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste: this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

Anyone who develops any of these symptoms must follow self-isolation guidance and arrange a test as soon as possible, only leaving home to get tested.

If a Covid-19 test is required, this should be arranged via the UK Booking Portal: https://gov.wales/apply-coronavirus-test
or by ringing 119.

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Permit applications open for Tenby pedestrianisation scheme

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is now accepting applications for vehicle access during this year’s Pedestrianisation of Tenby.

The scheme, which is due to start on Monday, July 5 and conclude on Friday, September 10, will again see the walled town divided into three ‘zones’, each having varying degrees of vehicle access.

Whilst all necessary plans are being put in place for it to start and finish on the above dates, the scheme will remain under constant review in light of Government guidance relating to Covid-19, and the Council will provide any updates as necessary.

Possession of an ‘access permit’ does not provide any exemption from Government restrictions, and any regulations relating to travel and the occupation of holiday accommodation or second homes must be observed at all times.

Following the success of last year, the permit application process will continue online, with paper application forms and guidance notes no longer being delivered to residents and businesses.

The application form and guidance notes are available from pembrokeshire.gov.uk/tenby-pedestrianisation

Residents and business within Tenby are encouraged to complete the application process as soon as possible, to ensure that there is sufficient time for the application to be processed.

Permits will be issued approximately 7-10 days prior to the start of the scheme.

For enquiries, e-mail tenby.pedestrian@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

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Join the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Panel as an independent member

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THE Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel is looking for two members to join them in their work to support and challenge the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Panel is made of up of members nominated by Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys county councils along with at least two independent members.

Opportunities have now arisen for two independent members to join the Panel and carry out key statutory roles that will support the Commissioner exercise his role effectively.

Members will be expected to attend and take part in regular meetings and take part in decision making, creating reports and making recommendations to the Commissioner.

They will review the Commissioner’s annual draft Police and Crime Plan and annual draft budget, review and scrutinise his decisions and actions, and if necessary review the proposed appointment or removal of the Chief Constable and other senior police force appointments.

Applicants will need to demonstrate that they can take a balanced and objective approach in supporting the Panel and the Commissioner, make strategic and well-informed decisions, and interpret and question financial, statistical and performance related information.

They will also need to be able to act as a ‘critical friend’, challenging views or proposals for change constructively.

Applications close on May 31, and appointments to the Panel will be made until October 31, 2024. 

For further information, visit www.dppoliceandcrimepanel.wales

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Successful Fire Service and Health Board partnership to enhance COVID-19 vaccine roll out comes to end

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TUESDAY 11 May 2021 marked the end of a hugely successful partnership between Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Hywel Dda University Health Board, initiated to enhance the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine to the communities of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

Since February, Community Safety Staff from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have transported 125 passengers over 9450 miles to ensure they were able to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.

Chris Davies, Chief Fire Officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Recognising the configuration of our Service, the areas we cover and indeed the people we employee, this seemed an ideal opportunity for us to widen our response to the pandemic and support our partners in safeguarding our communities.

“Whilst we already collaborate with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust, this opportunity enabled us to expand our assistance further within the health arena. This partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board was the first of its kind for Fire and Rescue Services in Wales and paved the way for a number of similar partnerships for us and the other Fire and Rescue Services in Wales.

“I am extremely proud of our staff who have participated in this collaboration and have made a huge difference to the lives of so many people. Their contribution has without doubt had a positive impact on our response to this global pandemic”.

Mydrian Harries, Corporate Head of Prevention and Protection for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, coordinated the Service’s response to this call for assistance.

“Our communities are at the heart of our core business. Knowing we were in a position to make an impact, we put in place a robust solution in record time, to not only ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff, but to also safeguard those who were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination, but may have had barriers preventing them from attending their appointments.

“Using this partnership as template within which we could expand, we have since been able to offer our assistance to other Health Boards across the Service area. Indeed, a group of 10 vaccine heroes from our Service have joined Powys Teaching Health Board’s vaccination team, playing their part in distributing vaccines at mass vaccination sites in Newtown and Builth Wells. This is another fantastic example of how working together has been vital in our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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