Identifying and testing people who could potentially be spreading coronavirus without knowing has taken a significant step forward with the distribution of Lateral flow devices (LFDs) to workplaces and closed settings across Powys.
Later flow testing is used to identify people with COVID-19 who are not showing any signs or symptoms of carrying or transmitting the virus.
Stuart Bourne, Director of Public Health in Powys said: “We know that around round 1 in 3 individuals with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms, and if left undetected, they will continue to spread the virus amongst our communities, and potentially onto vulnerable people at great risk.
“The testing of asymptomatic staff working with vulnerable people, especially within closed settings, can potentially identify individuals at the earliest opportunity who might otherwise pose a risk.
“Being able to test people without symptoms is an important tool in the fight against coronavirus, and every positive case identified can help prevent many more infections. Whilst the number of positive cases has been gradually falling, we will potentially see a rise in cases as LFD testing finds cases that would otherwise not have come to light due to a lack of symptoms.
“The LFDs are easy to use and give results in just 30 minutes. They are easy to interpret and can be used in a wide range of settings such as schools, workplaces, hospitals and care homes. They are not as accurate as other tests, and it is especially important that anyone with a negative result continues to follow the advice set out below.
“Controlling the spread of COVID-19 will continue to be a major challenge over the coming months ahead, but it is hoped the distribution and use of LFDs will play a part in reducing the spread of the virus in certain closed settings.
“The infection rate remains high in Powys and across Wales, so it is vital that if you are feeling unwell and showing any signs or symptoms of coronavirus, that you self-isolate immediately, and book a test as soon as possible. Social distancing and personal hygiene is still the most effective way to avoid catching the virus; remember, hands, face, space.”
Please remember, all of Wales is in lockdown (alert level 4) where people must follow national guidelines and:
Everyone should follow this guidance whether or not they have received COVID-19 vaccination.
More information about what we will all need to do at Alert Level 4 is available from the Welsh Government Website at What you need to do at alert level 4.
Appointments in Crickhowell, Rhayader, Newtown and Brecon can be booked through the UK Government national booking portal, either online at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, by phone on 119, or 18001 119 for people with hearing or speech difficulties. This is also the way to request a home testing kit.
Residents in and around Builth Wells and Welshpool can make an appointment at the local testing unit by calling 01874 612228 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about COVID-19 testing in Powys, visit the health board’s website at www.pthb.nhs.wales/coronavirus/coronavirus-testing