Officers leading Pembrokeshire’s response to Covid-19 are urging everyone to stay home unless absolutely necessary.
It follows news that positive cases in Pembrokeshire increased by more than 30% in the week ending 7th January.
The county recorded 316 new positive tests for the virus from 1st to 7th January.
This compares to 240 new positive tests in Pembrokeshire during the previous week.
“This is a really difficult time in the pandemic and Pembrokeshire is not immune,” said Darren Thomas, helping to lead the Covid-19 response at Pembrokeshire County Council
“We are working hard to try and help keep people safe, and work with our partners to roll out the biggest vaccination programme we have ever seen.
“But I cannot stress enough: The virus is active within our communities and Covid positive rates are increasing.
“Do not mix with others – even outdoors – and do not go anywhere unnecessarily. Please stay at home.”
He said the Council are very concerned that some people may still be going about their day-to-day lives as if nothing was happening.
“We are very aware this situation will be frustrating and worrying to many people, but the choice is a grim one. This virus is a killer. It can kill you, your family and your friends.
“But if you stay at home, you remove the risk. Please follow the rules.”
The Leader of the Council, Cllr David Simpson, thanked everyone in Pembrokeshire who are diligently following the rules.
“We’re really grateful to you,” he said. “You are making a difference. Thank you.”
But, he said, some people’s behaviour needed to change.
“Please phone your friends and family instead of visiting them. Please shop less frequently.
“Start and end your exercise from your home – do not drive to do exercise or visit local beauty spots. They will still be here for you once we’re out of lockdown.”
Cllr Simpson added: “It is already an extremely stressful time for the doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff in Pembrokeshire.
“Please do not be the cause of someone ending up in critical care at Withybush Hospital. Please don’t be the cause of a family losing a loved one.
“We cannot over-emphasise this message: Stay at home.”
The Council’s message is in line with the Welsh Government, whose rules under the current Alert Level 4 are as follows:
Only go out to:
· Shop for essentials
· Work, if you can’t from home
· Exercise locally – but do not drive to exercise
But remember to:
· Keep 2m distance
· Wash hands
· Wear a mask, where needed
· If you are shielding, self-isolating or just need some help, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Community Hub is there for you. Staff can help with shopping, collecting prescriptions, having a supportive chat on the phone, signposting you to other helpful organisations, and more.
Cllr Tessa Hodgson, Cabinet member for Social Services, said: “We understand that these are unsettling times for many people but my message is simple: please don’t be afraid to ask for help.
“The Hub was specifically set up to help Pembrokeshire people throughout the pandemic and the staff are ready and waiting to do what they can to support you through these difficult times.”
For those who are online, the web pages contain some useful information, including a directory of community support: www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/communityhub
The Hub can be contacted on 01437 776301 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
At present the Community Hub’s hours are Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.