Councils “crucial” to COVID-19 contact tracing

Welsh Government has confirmed that council environmental health officers will be deployed as part of a mass community contact tracing drive in the planned next phase of Coronavirus response efforts.

In his press conference on Monday, First Minister Mark Drakeford outlined that public health surveillance measures would be needed to control the “inevitable” spread of the virus within communities once lockdown restrictions are eventually lifted.

Mr Drakeford confirmed that council public health teams, along with other environmental health colleagues, would be mobilised to spot, trace and isolate new cases of the virus. It is also likely that many more people will need to be recruited to help with the work “on the ground”.

Councillor Dafydd Meurig (Gwynedd), WLGA Spokesperson for Regulatory Services said:

“Councils’ environmental health teams are fully and professionally recognised to undertake infection control procedures and are ideally placed to lead community contact tracing in their areas. This is bread and butter work them, and our officers are standing by ready and eager to assist in this next phase of the work to halt the spread of the virus.

“Dedicated officers in trading standards and licensing services, who are similarly proficient and skilled, are also prepared to be redeployed to help with the vital contact tracing work.”

“As the First Minister said, councils have done a fantastic job in recent weeks in urgently tending to local communities’ needs. Councils’ combined professional and local knowledge will continue to be crucial to contain the virus in our communities when current lockdown restrictions are eased.”

Cynghorau yn “hollbwysig” i olrhain cyswllt COVID-19

Mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi cadarnhau y bydd swyddogion iechyd amgylcheddol mewn cynghorau yn cael eu defnyddio fel rhan o ymdrech dorfol i olrhain cyswllt yn y cyfnod nesaf o’r ymateb i Coronavirus.

Yn ei gynhadledd i’r wasg ddydd Llun, amlinellodd y Prif Weinidog Mark Drakeford y bydd angen mesurau gwyliadwraeth iechyd cyhoeddus i reoli lledaeniad “anochel” yr haint o fewn cymunedau unwaith y caiff y cyfyngiadau clo eu codi yn y pen draw.

Cadarnhaodd Mr Drakeford y bydd angen timau iechyd cyhoeddus cynghorau, ynghyd a chydweithwyr eraill iechyd cyhoeddus, i ganfod, olrhain ac ynysu achosion newydd o’r feirws. Mae hefyd yn debygol y bydd angen recriwtio llawer mwy o bobl i helpu i ymgymryd â’r gwaith “ar lawr gwlad”.

Dywedodd y Cynghorydd Dafydd Meurig (Gwynedd), Llefarydd CLlLC dros Wasanaethau Rheolaethol:

“Mae timau iechyd amgylcheddol ein cynghorau yn lwyr gymwysedig ac wedi eu cydnabod yn broffesiynol i ymgymryd â gweithdrefnau rheoli heintiau ac felly yn y safle gorau i arwain y gwaith o olrhain cyswllt yn eu hardaloedd. Dyma waith bara menyn iddyn nhw, ac mae ein swyddogion yn barod ac yn awyddus i gynorthwyo yn ystod y cyfnod nesaf o’r gwaith i atal yr haint.

“Mae swyddogion ymroddgar o fewn gwasanaethau safonau masnach a thrwyddedu, sydd yn gymwys â’r gallu, hefyd yn barod i gael eu hadleoli o’u gwaith bob dydd i helpu gyda’r gwaith hollbwysig o olrhain cyswllt.

“Fel y dywedodd y Prif Weinidog, mae cynghorau wedi gwneud gwaith ardderchog dros yr wythnosau diwethaf i ymateb i anghenion cymunedau lleol. Bydd eu dealltwriaeth broffesiynol drylwyr o’r gwaith ynghyd ag anghenion lleol i gynnwys y feirws yn ein cymunedau pan y caiff y cyfyngiadau presennol eu lleddfu.”