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Asymptomatic testing centre at Winter Fair helps to Keep Powys Safe

Outside the asymptomatic testing centre are (from left to right) Jake Offord, Powys County Council’s Interim Asymptomatic Testing lead; Nigel Brinn, Powys County Council’s Executive Director for Economy and Environment; Cllr Beverley Baynham, Powys County

Over 7,500 rapid lateral flow test (LFT) kits were handed out from the asymptomatic testing centre that was set up to test visitors attending this year’s Winter Fair without a COVID pass, the county council has said.

The centre, which was at the Royal Welsh Showground while the Winter Fair took place, was organised by Powys County Council and Powys Teaching Health Board, who have been leading the county's approach to Test Trace Protect, in partnership with the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society.

77 people were tested at the centre over the two days and only one person testing positive. The individual was advised to follow Welsh Government advice by booking a PCR test and self-isolate.

While operating, the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd Lesley Griffiths MS visited the centre to speak to staff and to thank those involved in Test Trace Protect for their work throughout the pandemic.

The Minister was welcomed to the centre by Cllr Rosemarie Harris, Leader of Powys County Council.

“We are very grateful to the Minister for visiting the centre during the Winter Fair to meet our hard-working staff in the Test Trace Protect programme,” said Cllr Harris.

“The Winter Fair is an important event that attracts visitors from across Wales and beyond and we’re proud that it takes place in our county. However, we continue to feel the impact of the pandemic so we need to ensure that these events are held safely.

“The asymptomatic testing centre was important to test those who did not have a COVID pass and check that they did not carry Coronavirus. This way, all visitors enjoyed the Winter Fair safely and we did everything we can to Keep Powys Safe.”

Adrian Osborne, Programme Director for COVID Vaccination and Test Trace Protect with Powys Teaching Health Board said: “Testing is even more important than ever following the identification of the Omicron variant and confirmation of the first cases in the UK.

“Our partnership for the Winter Fair is helping to Keep Wales Safe. And alongside out work on Test Trace Protect, the show ground has also been playing a vital role as a COVID vaccination centre over the last year and will continue to do so in the weeks ahead.”

Steve Hughson, Chief Executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, said: “Running safe events is a priority for the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society and we have worked closely with the Welsh Government, Public Health Wales and Powys County Council to ensure we comply with COVID restrictions on site.

“The creation of a dedicated testing facility on the show ground is an outcome of that excellent partnership working. As we reflect on a successful Winter Fair, we now look forward to getting back to normal with a full diary of events in 2022.”