More than a quarter of Swansea's Covid cases linked to household gatherings

More than a quarter of coronavirus cases in Swansea in the last week have been linked to household gatherings in the Clase area, the health board has said.

At least 50 positive cases out of a total of 185 have been traced to the north of the city, which is 27% of the reported cases.

The infection rates have been increasing in this area due to people holding indoor house-parties and also regularly popping in and out of each other's homes.

The health board is warning families to keep to the rules this Easter as the recent outbreak has caused the virus to spread across the city.

Swansea Bay are urging people to get tested if they develop any symptoms

Currently, two large clusters of positive cases have been identified, along with three small family clusters and four schools but investigations continue.

This comes shortly after another household gathering in Briton Ferry led to 23 peopletesting positive for Covid-19.

Swansea Bay are now urging people to get tested if they start to develop any symptoms. These may include a temperature, new cough, loss of taste or smell or any flu-like symptom, including headaches and fatigue, or symptoms which are unusual for them.

Coronavirus rates have been increasing in Swansea Bay over the last couple of weeks with the current figures for Swansea standing at 71.7 per 100,000 population, and 65.6 per 100,000 for Neath Port Talbot.

Dr Reid is urging people to follow the rules over Easter

That’s an 18% increase for the health board over the last seven days, and higher thanWales' current average of 40.6 cases per 100,000.

Swansea Bay Director of Public Health, Dr Keith Reid, said that he was extremely disappointed that some people were still not getting the message about social distancing. He said: “To be crystal clear, it is against the current rules to invite people into your home for a party, a cuppa, or any social get together.

“You might think it’s harmless, but it’s not. These incidents in Clase and Briton Ferryjust go to show how indoor gatherings can quickly escalate into scores of peoplecatching the virus.

“The virus loves physical close contact, and it circulates much easier indoorsbecause there’s no fresh air to blow it away.

“Everyone might seem perfectly healthy, but remember that this is a sneaky virus. Inmany cases an infected person has no symptoms at all and is blissfully unaware thatthe welcome hug they just gave you also gave you Covid.”

Dr Reid also urged people to stick to the rules and to meet other households outside this Easter.

He added: “With a dry weather forecast for Easter, just wrap up warmly if it’s a bit chilly, and enjoy a get-together in the fresh air.

“Be safe in the knowledge that if you stick to the rules you can still enjoy thecompany of your loved ones, but with minimal risks.

“The last thing anyone wants is to find out after a party that a family member hasbecome seriously ill, or passed on the virus to someone else who may becomeunwell or worse. It’s just not worth it.”