Please see message below from Powys Teaching Health Board:

Thank you for everything you have been doing during this challenging year to support communities across the county and to Keep Powys Safe. As the festive period fast approaches, we are encouraging everyone to please think carefully about what you ‘should do’ rather than what you ‘can do’.

Coronavirus is spreading faster and wider in Wales than at any other point in this pandemic. Our public services are under intense pressure as they work around the clock to care for people and keep Wales safe. Frontline workers are putting everyone’s health and care first, every day. But as the virus continues to spread, so too does the strain on our NHS and other public services. We must do everything we can to protect our NHS and save lives. The virus is also having a major impact on our emergency services. Over the coming days and weeks, we need to make sure they are there for those who really need them – for real emergencies. Thank you so much to all of you who continue to follow the rules.

Sadly, as coronavirus cases grow ever higher, our chances of catching and spreading this awful virus also increase. To keep yourself and your loved ones safe this Christmas, please avoid mixing wherever possible For most people the virus will cause a mild illness but there are many who are at risk of serious illness if they catch it. Too many families have already lost loved ones to this terrible virus – if we don’t act now, even more deaths will follow. And, these pressures also mean that public services are less able to respond to the many other needs that we all have. Our actions and decisions over the festive period, and in the coming weeks and months, will shape Wales for years to come.

Please, let’s all think carefully before we act – and protect our public and emergency services so they’re there for when we really need them. And, ahead of the Christmas and New Year period I wanted to share with you a few updates on COVID-19 prevention and response in Powys Teaching Health Board.

1. Coronavirus Testing in Powys

It remains vitally important for everyone to get tested if they have Coronavirus symptoms – new continuous cough, fever (high temperature) or loss of change to sense of smell and taste.   Our Coronavirus testing options remain unchanged in the week ahead, with home testing kits available across the county as well as the option of visiting a testing centre in Brecon, Newtown, Llanidloes, Ystradgynlais and Builth Wells.   Full details of how to book a test in Powys are available from our website (link below) and updates are also shared regularly through our social media channels.   We continue to be grateful for your support in promoting the availability of Coronavirus testing to Powys communities.   The image and text below provide a short and simple message that you can share through your own channels if you wish.

2. Travelling to Coronavirus Tests

We recognise that the issue of travel to and from testing centres can be a source of anxiety in our communities.   We continue to reinforce the importance of travelling safely to and from the test, and also promoting the option of home testing to reduce the need for travel and for people who are unable to travel to a testing centre.   Information about safe travel is available on our website (link below) and is being shared regularly through our social media channels.   The image and text below provide a short and simple message that you can share through your own channels if you wish.

When you go for a Coronavirus test you MUST follow the self isolation rules: Information about Coronavirus testing is available from the PTHB website:

3. COVID-19 Immunisation in Powys

COVID-19 vaccination is under way in Powys, with the first vaccinations beginning last week for frontline health and care employees. More information about the roll out of COVID-19 vaccination to other groups will be available soon.   Due to the limited quantities of the COVID-19 vaccine presently available – as well as the very stringent requirements for temperature control and storage – our first vaccinations in Powys are focusing on frontline health and care employees.   We expect to receive more supplies of vaccine on a weekly basis, and there are good signs that more different types of vaccine will become available soon. This means that we are making plans for vaccination of other national priority groups, beginning with care home residents and people aged over 80. We expect this to begin in the New Year, and we will be contacting people direct to arrange an appointment.   We also currently expect that when priority groups are offered COVID-19 vaccination, this will also be offered to their unpaid carers.   Advice on national priority groups is provided by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation.   The COVID-19 vaccination is currently only available through our vaccination hubs for frontline health and care employees. Please do not contact your GP Practice, pharmacist or hospital for an appointment.   We know this can be an anxious time, but we are working very hard to ensure that all those eligible receive their vaccine in turn as supplies are provided to us.   Understandably, there will be a lot of questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. You can find answers to most frequently asked questions on the Public Health Wales COVID-19 vaccination information pages.   We have also added a new section to our own website about COVID-19 vaccination (link below) and information is also being shared through our social media channels.   The image and text below provide a short and simple message that you can share through your own channels if you wish.

Almost 3000 health and care staff will receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Powys by Christmas. Vaccination for care home residents and people aged 80 and over will begin early in the new year. Information about COVID-19 vaccination in Powys is available from the PTHB website at