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COVID-19 is now circulating widely in Carmarthenshire with the rate of infection growing every day.
Carmarthenshire County Council is issuing an urgent plea, asking people to limit their contacts with other people in efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
The positive case rate in Carmarthenshire has now surpassed 360 per 100,000 people - the highest case rate recorded in the county and a cause of serious concern.
Latest figures (as at 1pm on 10/12/2020) show the case rate is now 367.1, up from 252.2 in the previous seven days.
The number of people self-isolating - either as a precaution or because they have Covid-19 - is also having a serious impact on the running of essential services including schools and social care.
Test, Trace, Protect teams are working around the clock to deal with the growing number of cases.
Leader of the council, Cllr Emlyn Dole, is urging people to limit their movements to stop the virus spreading so easily.
“It’s alarming how quickly the virus is spreading in Carmarthenshire - we’re seeing the numbers go up every week, and this is happening because people are not taking enough care,” he said.
“Because the virus is now circulating so widely in our communities it is impacting on the local workforce and essential services.
“This week we have seen many schools announce that they are moving to remote learning. Our schools have worked incredibly hard to provide safe environments, with extra measures in place to protect pupils and staff. Evidence is showing us that the problem is not in our schools, but in our communities. But it has become increasingly difficult to manage schools with so many staff having to isolate.
“We have to keep people safe, and we have to protect our health and social care services.”
He added: “This has got to be a collective effort - we must all now make sacrifices to protect each other. At the rate this virus is spreading, I fear what lies ahead unless we all take action now.
“If you want to spend Christmas with your family we’re asking you to please limit your contacts with other people - if you have to go out, keep your distance from others, wash your hands and wear a mask, and only visit the homes of people in your bubble.
“With many children now home from school I am also directly appealing to parents - your children should be at home learning, not going out and about with their friends. Please keep them home, stay together, and stay safe.”
As the Covid-19 situation continues to evolve - including changes to the self-isolation period, the roll-out of the vaccine, and the closure of outdoors attractions announced this week alone - the council is encouraging people to stay up to date with information from official sources.