Residents in Bridgend county borough can now take advantage of free community testing facilities at the Ogmore Valley Life Centre.
With no appointments necessary, the walk-in centre in Ogmore Vale is available until Tuesday 13 April between 9.30am-6.30pm Monday to Friday, and 10am-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
As part of the second phase of the community testing programme in the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board region, three different centres will be opening up this month in the county borough.
Anyone who lives, works or studies in the county borough can now get tested at the centres. This also includes anyone visiting the county borough.
Angela Jones, Deputy Director of Public Health at Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB said: “One in three people with coronavirus show no symptoms. Community testing is an important part of our strategy to identify and isolate these asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 in our communities.
“We know asymptomatic testing works, as our mass testing pilot at the end of the last year was found to have prevented more than 350 cases of coronavirus and saved the NHS more than £10 for every £1 spent.
“We’re not carrying out asymptomatic testing in the Cwm Taf Morgannwg area because we’re expecting cases to rise, but because we want to keep them low.
“By preventing people from unknowingly spreading the virus, we can make sure infection rates continue to fall in Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend and Rhondda Cynon Taf. This is especially important as restrictions ease over the next few weeks.
“It’s down to the support and hard work of our communities that case rates are falling. To keep rates low, we’d like to encourage everyone living or working in areas where the community testing programme is available to get a free test at their local centre. You should visit your local authority’s website for full details on the community testing programme in your area.”
From March 3 to March 31, during the first phase of community testing, a total of 1,664 people were tested in Bridgend county borough. Of these, just one person had a positive Covid-19 result.
The Leader, Cllr Huw David said: “Community testing is available for anyone over the age of 11, who does not have Covid-19 symptoms and who is not self-isolating.
“We currently have one of the lowest infection rates in the UK and we want to keep it that way.
“The purpose of community testing is to help prevent asymptomatic people from unwittingly spreading the virus to their family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues and others.
“By identifying cases of Covid-19 in people with no symptoms, these individuals can then go on to self-isolate which will prevent the risk of spreading the virus within our communities, and in turn reduce the risk of others becoming seriously unwell.”
Because it is possible for people who have been vaccinated to still carry the virus, the testing includes residents who may have already undergone a test or who have received a dose of the vaccine.
Next week, from Wednesday 14 April to Tuesday 20 April, testing will take place at the Evergreen Hall, Angel Street, Bridgend CF31 4AD.
Then, from Wednesday 21 April to Wednesday 28 April, testing will take place at the Awel-Y-Mor Community Centre, Hutchwns Terrace, Porthcawl CF36 5TP.
At the centres, staff will show people to booths where they can carry out a swab test. Each swab is processed upon the premises, and participants will be contacted with the results within 30 minutes.
If a positive result is recorded, the participant will be asked to self-isolate while arrangements are made for them to receive a confirmatory test along with further advice and support.
Anyone taking part should not eat for 30 minutes beforehand. To speed up the registration process, you can also download a Covid-19 QR code app by visiting the Covid-19 webpage (External link – Opens in a new tab or window) at the NHS website.