Families are being urged to stick to important social distancing rules after a cluster of Covid-19 cases have been linked to potentially illegal household gatherings in the Briton Ferry area.
23 confirmed cases – 22 in Neath Port Talbot and one in Swansea – have been traced back to birthday celebrations and members of an extended family visiting each other indoors, against the current social distancing rules.
Contact tracers are also worried this might not be the total figure, as there has been a reluctance amongst some of those who’ve tested positive to share details of their close contacts.
People living in the Briton Ferry, Cimla and Resolven areas who have Covid symptoms – a fever/new cough/loss of taste/smell or any flu-like symptoms are being advised to get tested straight away.
“We’re aware of an extended family and friends who have apparently been going in and out of each other’s homes, which is not currently allowed,” said Swansea Bay UHB Director of Public Health, Dr Keith Reid.
“Being so familiar with each other, there has also been little or no compliance with social distancing, wearing facing coverings, etc, which has increased the likelihood of the virus being passed on.”
He said it was very disappointing that tracers experienced a lack of cooperation from some of those who tested positive. By not sharing details of their contacts this had slowed investigations and allowed the virus to carry on spreading.
“If you test positive, please be open and honest with the tracing team. The details remain confidential and are used for contact tracing purposes to stop the virus in its tracks.”
Dr Reid added:
“We know that the majority of people do stick to the rules, and we thank them for their patience and cooperation. But we are not out of the woods yet. The numbers of positive cases in the Neath Port Talbot and Swansea areas have started to go in the wrong direction again, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure they come back down.
“The rules are there for a reason – to safeguard people and slow the spread. A significant number of cases now are down to household gatherings which should not be happening in the first place.
“You might think that because it’s your family member you’re meeting up with that it doesn’t matter, you couldn’t infect each other. But that’s wrong, and a totally false sense of security.
“The virus doesn’t care if you’re related. In fact, it thrives on close contact. Which is why we’re now dealing with this cluster in the Briton Ferry area.”