A week has now passed since the introduction of our local coronavirus restrictions, so we thought it would be an opportune time to write to you, with an update on the latest position.
First and foremost, we would like to thank each and every one of you for your ongoing efforts to help control the spread of this deadly virus. None of us wanted these restrictions imposed on our daily lives, but it’s been great to see the resilience and determination of the community response.
The vast majority of people across the county borough are co-operating with the rules and we are seeing high levels of compliance in terms of the use of face masks, social distancing, adhering to the travel restrictions and Test, Track and Protect protocols.
Our partners in Gwent Police are also reporting the same positive picture overall across the county borough. Our own enforcement teams have been working closely with shops, pubs, supermarkets and other premises to ensure everyone is aware of their obligations. We are working hard to support and encourage the local business community, but it is important to note that we also have powers of enforcement if required.
We know the situation in schools is a concern for many families. Please be assured that robust plans and protocols are in place to respond to any confirmed cases within school settings. The health, safety and wellbeing of children is our main priority and everything possible is being done to keep them safely in school.
Temporary testing facilities were established in Ystrad Mynach and Caerphilly over the past week or so. These are now being decommissioned having served their purpose. These were always intended to be a temporary provision to help us understand and track the spread of coronavirus within the community. Through these local testing centres we have tested many people, but these numbers have now reduced significantly. Another testing centre has now been provided in New Tredegar for a week to serve communities in the north of the county borough. Thereafter, the many testing stations across the region will be available to those who require it.
It’s a little early to determine if our collective actions have reduced the spread of the virus. The figures are being monitored on a daily basis, but we won’t see the impact of the interventions for at least 3 weeks. At that point, we will formally review the position jointly with Welsh Government.
The Council has continued to work tirelessly since the initial lockdown was announced back in March. We have reshaped and reconfigured our services in order to respond to the pandemic, whilst continuing to support the most vulnerable people within our communities. Our staff and local councillors have been amazing and we cannot thank them enough for their continued professionalism and dedication.
Our message going forward is simple – Your response so far has simply been astounding, but please continue to work with us as we are certainly not out of the woods yet!
Working together, with each and every one of us doing our bit, we can and will combat the spread of this terrible virus.