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Contact tracing starts on Monday with testing for key workers and care homes

Contact tracing is rolling out in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot from Monday, starting initially with testing for key workers and care homes.

corona testing unit

Swansea and Neath Port Talbot councils are redeploying staff to support Swansea Bay University Health Board deliver the Welsh Government's Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) programme which will help ease the country out of lockdown.

Contact tracing means testing people for coronavirus, tracking the spread of the virus and then tracing the people an infected person has come into contact with.

People who have come into close contact with someone who's tested positive for the virus will then be asked to self-isolate.

Swansea Bay UHB has already set up two testing units at Liberty Stadium and Longlands Lane Playing Fields in Port Talbot to help get tests done to implement the first stage of the strategy being introduced across Wales.

Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council, said that it made sense to take a phased approach, beginning the programme with key workers and at care homes before rolling it out to other sectors and the general public over the coming weeks.

"We have testing and tracing teams who are ready to go and will be getting to work from Monday. Their focus initially will be on the key workers and those living and working in care homes because their needs are most urgent.

"Our testing units are geared-up for dealing with this group first. When we are ready to test other groups and the general public we will let them know.

"In the meantime we'd urge people to continue to follow the Welsh Government coronavirus guidance and maintain the two-metre distancing rule to help protect the NHS and keep each other safe."

Cllr Peter Richards, Cabinet Member for Social Services at Neath Port Talbot Council also warned people to be on their guard for scams being operated by criminals in relation to the Test, Trace Protect programme.

He said that being part of the testing or tracing programme was free so no-one would be asked for bank, PIN or payment details. Nor will anyone be asked for information about other accounts such as social media accounts. Nobody will be asked to call back on premium numbers such as those beginning with 09 and 087.

Cllr Richards added: "Our TTP effort is a vital new phase in the battle against coronavirus and will play an essential role in supporting the easing of lockdown. We are here for the people of Neath Port Talbot and Swansea at this challenging time."






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