Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has confirmed that it is extending the length of time that its mobile coronavirus testing facility will be based in Maesteg following a large increase in the number of positive cases in the Llynfi Valley.

Latest statistics have revealed that 159 valley residents tested positive for coronavirus in just a four-day period last week.

The testing facility, which is based at the site of the former Revlon / Cosi factory off Oakwood Drive in Maesteg (CF34 8TS), will continue to be available between 9am-4pm for seven days a week until 17 December, but appointments must be booked in advance by visiting the Welsh Government website or by calling 191.

Bridgend County Borough Council, the health board and the Department of Health and Social Care are also preparing to open a new, long-term testing facility which will be established in the Bowls Hall car park of Bridgend Recreation Centre.

When it opens on Thursday 10 December, it will initially be subject to phased opening times before moving to a regular schedule of 8am-8pm, seven days a week. Appointments at the long-term facility will also need to be booked in advance.

Council Leader Huw David said: “This worrying rise in the number of people who have been infected with coronavirus needs to be treated as a wake-up call.

“The fact that figures have increased so significantly in the Llynfi Valley within such a short period of time is of major concern, and I urge all residents to think about what behaviours and actions may have caused this.

“People are dying from coronavirus and our hospitals are at risk of becoming overwhelmed. We absolutely have to take the situation seriously and do all that we can to limit potential exposure.

“News that a vaccine is being rolled out is of course excellent and a reason for optimism, but it will take some time before the full benefits of this are felt on a wide scale. In the meantime, the coronavirus is very much with us, and we have a duty to do all that we can to keep family, friends and ourselves as safe as possible.

“Wear a mask where appropriate, wash your hands regularly, use sanitiser and observe social distancing wherever possible at all times.

“The mobile testing facility’s presence in Maesteg is being extended, and the long-term site in Bridgend is almost ready to offer residents fast, free coronavirus tests.

“Residents should only attend a mobile testing centre if showing symptoms of coronavirus such as a high temperature, a new persistent cough, or a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell.

“After the test, you must go home to self-isolate immediately until the results have been confirmed and do not undertake any activities that risk you coming into contact with other members of the public.

“While most people receive their results via text message the day after taking a test, some may take a little longer.

“For more information about ways you can get a Covid-19 test, call 119 or visit the coronavirus page at the Welsh Government website.”

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