There have been 88 new cases of coronavirus reported in the Hywel Dda health board area today (Friday, November 20).

The breakdown between the three counties is as follows; there have been 64 new cases recorded in Carmarthenshire, 14 in Pembrokeshire and 10 in Ceredigion.

This brings the total amount of cases recorded in the three counties by Public Health Wales to 4,025; 2821 in Carmarthenshire, 774 in Pembrokeshire and 430 in Ceredigion.

In Wales as a whole 1,020 new cases have been recorded today. This brings total recorded amount of cases in Wales to 70, 517.

There have been 31 new coronavirus related deaths reported to Public Health Wales today. This brings the total amount of coronavirus deaths to 2,338.

Dr Robin Howe, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said:

“From tomorrow, Saturday 21 November, everyone living, working and studying in Merthyr Tydfil County Borough will be eligible for a free COVID-19 test whether they have symptoms or not.

“This mass testing exercise will help to understand how the virus has spread in Merthyr and to break the chains of transmission in the area. Merthyr has one of the highest rates of Coronavirus in Wales and this will help to get the virus under control.

“Public Health Wales encourages as many people as possible to come forward to be tested. For the first time in Wales, Lateral Flow Devices will be used which give a result within 30 minutes. For more information about the testing exercise visit the MTCBC website.

“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.”