Organisations on the frontline of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan’s response to Covid-19 have come together to warn that they are facing an emergency situation as recorded cases of Covid-19 in the region reach record highs.
The Police, University Health Board, Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan councils are extremely concerned by sharp rises in transmission and test positivity rates as well as the sheer numbers of cases.
More people are contracting Covid-19 and resources are severely stretched with medical professionals under significant pressure.
Hospital resources are being tested and staff pushed to the limit following their experience at the sharp end of the pandemic.
There have now been nearly 16,000 confirmed cases within Cardiff and the Vale,11 people are currently in Intensive Care Units and 278 medical and nursing staff are currently unable to work in the Health Board because they are self-isolating due to Covid.
A large number of police officers are also self-isolating after contracting the virus on shifts that regularly involve breaking up illegal gatherings.
Now the bodies responsible for keeping people safe during the pandemic are appealing to the public to address the behaviours that have put Cardiff and the Vale on course for crisis.
Aside from keeping two metres apart, regular hand-washing, and wearing a face covering when needed, it is important to:
• Avoid car sharing.
• Work from home wherever possible.
• Avoid social interaction if you need to visit a place of work.
• Avoid socialising and mixing in other people’s homes.
• Conduct Christmas shopping alone.
It is also important to self-isolate and get tested if showing any symptoms and to self-isolate if another member of the household is showing symptoms.
Fiona Kinghorn, Executive Director of Public Health at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: “It is alarming to see the cases rise so quickly in just seven days so we need to act urgently if we are to turn this around.
“It is really important that people of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan please follow the guidance to minimise the risk as much as possible.
“We are very concerned that our primary care and hospital services are now under sustained pressure due to Covid, and sadly the number of people who we are getting very unwell is increasing. Unfortunately, we are likely to see that translate through into more deaths too.
“While we do have a vaccine that we have started to roll out, this is a 9 – 12 month programme and will take some time, so now is not the time for us to be complacent. The virus is still prevalent in our communities and our hospitals and by practicing social distancing, washing our hands regularly and wearing face coverings we are all doing our bit to help.
“We would ask that you please try and stay at home, please do not mix with other households unnecessarily, work from home if you are able, and if it is essential to go out please do so in quieter periods. These small steps can really help us all to keep our communities safe.”