COVID-19: Anglesey Council joins contact tracing pilot

It’s been revealed that Anglesey has joined a pilot contact tracing scheme to tackle the coronavirus outbreak in Wales.

The Betsi Cadwaladr health board is running one of four trials of the Test, Trace, Protect strategy, which is due to be rolled out by the Welsh Government on Monday 1st June.

The pilot is concentrating primarily on Anglesey Council staff, particularly those in the care sector – anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is being referred to the contact tracing process.

Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, said: ”All health board and local authority partners have responded with determination and commitment to operationalise the tracing plan set out in Test, Trace, Protect.”

”The reality is that the strategy will only work if we make full use of the existing local knowledge, skills and expertise, and I am grateful to Anglesey Council for their key role in making the pilot such a success.”

The new strategy involves asking people to report symptoms, testing anyone in the community showing symptoms of the virus and tracing those they have come into close contact with. Similar schemes were rolled out in England and Scotland on Thursday.

The council’s CEO, Annwen Morgan, said the scheme was a priority: ”Taking part in this project will allow us to contribute towards the national effort to protect the health and well-being of the people of Wales as well as our own residents here on Anglesey.”

The Welsh Government says it will build on the existing contact tracing expertise of local health boards and use local authorities to deliver the scheme on the ground.

Three other pilots involving the Hywel Dda, Powys and Cwm Taf Morgannwg health boards have been running since mid-May. Anglesey joined the North Wales scheme last Tuesday.

Council leader Llinos Medi said staff had already been redeployed to work on Test, Trace, Protect. She added: ”Their work, and that undertaken in other pilot areas, will be vital in informing the strategy on a national basis and ultimately help towards easing current restrictions.”

”We are proud to be part of this important pilot and the important national Test, Trace, Protect strategy, which will help save lives.”

The launch of the contact tracing scheme is expected to follow the latest Welsh Government review on lockdown measures. First Minister, Mark Drakeford, is due to announce any changes on Friday lunchtime.

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