A FURTHER 51 cases of coronavirus have been recorded across the Hywel Dda health board region according to the latest figures released by Public Health Wales today (Tuesday, November 24).

There were 32 new cases in Carmarthenshire, with 10 in Ceredigion and nine in Pembrokeshire. That takes the overall figures to 3,023 in Carmarthenshire; 483 in Ceredigion and 823 in Pembrokeshire.

Across Wales as a whole, PHW reported a further 595 positive tests, for a total of 73,828.

There were 21 more deaths across the country, for a total of 2,406. There have been 107 deaths in the Hywel Dda area.

A mobile testing facility is currently in operation in Cardigan at the swimming pool car park following a spike in the number of cases in the area. People must make an appointment before going to the testing facility.

A total of 13 schools across south Ceredigion and north Pembrokeshire have been closed, while a number of shops and businesses have also shut as officials from Ceredigion County Council conduct a huge contact tracing exercise in a bid to halt the spread of the virus.

A Ceredigion Council spokesperson said: "These decisions have not been taken lightly but there is a need to act quickly to avoid further spread of the virus within our communities. We ask that during these 14 days, that social contact is kept to a minimum.

"All confirmed contacts of positive cases must remain at home for 14 days to reduce the possible spread of the virus to family, friends and the wider community.

"Anyone with symptoms, no matter how small, must follow self-isolation guidance and arrange a test immediately, only leaving home to get tested. No one should go to work or leave the house if they have any symptoms. You can apply for a test on https://gov.wales/apply-coronavirus-covid-19-test or by phoning 119.

"Do not hesitate to book a test if you have any symptoms – there is no need to be embarrassed about needing to get a test. But you should only get a test if you have any symptoms. A negative test one day does not mean that you won’t be positive on another day. This is why the next 14 days are critical to stop the spread of the virus.

"If you’ve been identified as a contact, you must still self-isolate for the full 14 days, regardless of a negative test result."

Dr Giri Shankar, incident director for the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “Public Health Wales strongly advises the public to take personal responsibility for their actions and to ensure that we are all doing as much as possible to limit the transmission of Coronavirus.

“We would remind everyone that Coronavirus is still active in our communities, and therefore this does not mean a return to normality.

“We ask the public to observe the new regulations and to limit their contact with other people as much as possible so that we all work together to bring the numbers of positive cases down.

“This means staying out of other people’s homes, limiting the times and the numbers of people that you meet, maintaining social distancing and hand hygiene, working from home if you can, and self-isolating if you show symptoms of coronavirus or are asked to do so by contact tracers.

“All of these actions will help to break the chains of transmission, reduce the spread of the virus, and keep people safe.

“We understand that people will want to carry on with their Christmas shopping now the fire-break has ended. We would suggest to try to visit shops during off-peak times, to always maintain social distancing and to wear a face covering if you can. Options such as ‘click and collect’ or online purchasing may also be something to consider.

“We recognise that many people may be finding life more challenging, resulting in difficulties with mental health. There are many agencies which provide help and support, including the C.A.L.L. helpline on 0800 132 737, which will refer callers to the most appropriate organisation according to their needs.

“If you are in severe mental distress or are having suicidal thoughts, please contact Samaritans Cymru free on 116 123. You can also find sources of advice and guidance on our website if you need some help or are worried about a loved one.

“NHS Wales is still here to help you if you need care, and it’s important you continue to attend appointments and seek help for urgent medical issues.

“You should phone beforehand and follow any guidance your local surgery, dentist, optometrist or health service has put in place to protect you and staff, including the need to keep 2m away from other patients.

“If you or a member of your household develop symptoms of the coronavirus, such as a cough, fever or change in sense of taste or smell, you must self-isolate immediately and book a free coronavirus test at gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

“Information about the symptoms of coronavirus is available on the Public Health Wales website, or via the NHS 111 Wales symptom checker.”