Six more people have died from coronavirus in Wales, according to the latest figures from Public Health Wales.
The data, released on Sunday January 16 and covering a 24-hour period up to 9 a.m. on January 14, shows 2,133 new positive cases to bring the total to 740,742.
The total number of people who died within 28 days of testing positive in Wales has now reached 6,689.
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The latest infection rate, based on the seven days to January 10, is 1,109.1 cases per 100,000 people – down from the 1,274.2 recorded on Friday. This is expected as the change in testing rules impacts the weekly infection rate. Anyone who has a positive lateral flow test, but does not have symptoms, will no longer need to take a PCR test to confirm they have Covid, which will impact testing numbers.
The highest infection rate in each Welsh local authority for the seven days between January 4 and January 10 was Neath Port Talbot with 1,331.3 cases per 100,000, followed by Wrexham with 1,276.9 and Blaenau Gwent with 1,206.7.
Cardiff recorded the most positive cases in the last 24 hour period with 270, followed by Swansea with 169, RCT with 137, Caerphilly with 132, Neath Port Talbot with 129, Newport with 124 and Carmarthenshire and Wrexham with 111.
Meanwhile, Bridgend had 90 new cases, Conwy had 89, Vale of Glamorgan had 87, Monmouthshire had 83, Pembrokeshire had 72, Torfaen had 69, Flintshire had 66 and Denbighshire had 59.
The lowest number of cases were found in Merthyr Tydfil with 53, Gwynedd with 47, Anglesey and Powys with 45, and Blaenau Gwent and Ceredigion with 35.
The percentage of positive tests is also falling. In the seven days to January 10, a total of 41.4 tests across Wales returned a positive result, up from 43.2% reported on Friday.
The highest positivity rates were in Anglesey (45.9%), Swansea (44.0%) and Neath Port Talbot and Flintshire with (43.9%).
As of January 13, there were 1,158 people in general and acute hospital beds with coronavirus (confirmed, suspected and recovering), down from 1,189 on January 12. In this data, the number of confirmed Covid patients fell from 911 on January 12 to 886 on January 13.
There were 31 people in ventilated intensive care beds with confirmed Covid-19 on January 13. This has now receded several days after an Omicron wave spike of 39 people with confirmed Covid in ventilated intensive care beds on January 5.
A total of 2,499,752 people received one dose of the coronavirus vaccine and 2,334,096 received both doses. Meanwhile, 1,765,080 people have received their booster shots in Wales. The Welsh Government confirmed that all eligible adults had been offered one by the end of December.
Infection rate per 100,000 people in each area for the seven days until January 9:
Aneurin Bevan University Board of Health
Blaenau Gwent: 1,206.7 (instead of 1,445.7)
Newport: 1,179.2 (instead of 1,322.8)
Caerphilly: 1,197.3 (instead of 1,415.4)
Torfaen: 1,014.3 (instead of 1,131.3)
Monmouthshire: 748.5 (from 833.1)
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Council
Conwy: 1,190.2 (instead of 1,385.6)
Anglesey: 1,113.6 (instead of 1,247.8)
Gwynedd: 880.7 (from 987.5)
Denbighshire: 1,030.3 (from 1,151.6)
Flintshire: 1,120.4 (instead of 1,310.7)
Wrexham: 1,276.9 (instead of 1,366.6)
Cardiff and Vale University Health Council
Cardiff: 1,084.8 (from 1,380.2 previously)
Vale of Glamorgan: 943.2 (previously 1,238.1)
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
Merthyr Tydfil: 1,150.4 (instead of 1,212)
Rhondda Cynon Taf: 1,197.9 (instead of 1,404.7)
Bridgend: 1,180.6 (instead of 1,357.4)
Hywel Dda University Health Board
Carmarthenshire: 1,184.5 (was 1,349.8)
Pembrokeshire: 863.9 (from 996.7)
Ceredigion: 683.7 (from 802)
Powys Teaching Health Council
Powys: 976.3 (instead of 1,107.7)
Swansea Bay University Health Council
Neath Port Talbot: 1,331.3 (was 1,579.7)
Swansea: 1,185.9 (instead of 1,420.3)
Wales total: 1,109.1 (vs.1,274.2)
Headlines from the latest ONS Infection Survey released at 2pm on Wednesday January 12 suggest the percentage of people testing positive for Covid had risen slightly between December 28 and January 3, following a rapid increase at the approaching Christmas.
He estimates that 169,100 people in Wales, or one in 20 people, had Covid in the first week of January, the same percentage as Scotland and Northern Ireland. He estimates one in 15 in England had Covid that week.
On Saturday January 15, Wales began the return to zero alert measures, as part of a two-week plan set out by the Prime Minister.
Mark Drakeford announced that the measures will be phased in starting with the number of people who can be present at an outdoor event increasing from 50 to 500 on January 15.
The next phase of lifting restrictions is scheduled for January 21, when crowds can return to major sporting events. This will be followed by the reopening of nightclubs on January 28 and the removal of the rule of six and table service in hospitality.
Meanwhile, from January 28, working from home will remain “important” and part of Welsh Government guidelines, but will no longer be a legal requirement.
The Welsh Government has warned that a full move to the zero alert level will depend on further improvements in the public health situation.
Prime Minister Mark Drakeford said: “I want to thank everyone for following the rules we’ve had in place since Boxing Day to help keep Wales safe while the fast variant of Omicron has swept through our communities.
“I would also like to thank everyone involved in our vaccination program for the enormous effort made to give a booster to almost a third of the population since the beginning of December – this has been vital in increasing our protection against Omicron.
“The actions we took together helped us weather Storm Omicron. The latest data suggests positive signs that the peak may have passed. We can now look to the future with more confidence and plan to start Phase out Alert Level Two restrictions, starting with outdoor measures.
“But the pandemic is not over. We will be monitoring the public health situation closely – this is a fast and volatile variant that could suddenly change. I urge everyone to continue to follow the rules and to get vaccinated to keep Wales safe.”
Conditions permitting, Alert Level Two restrictions will be phased out.
From Friday January 21, Wales would move to alert level zero for all outdoor activities. This means that there will be no limit to the number of people who can participate in outdoor activities:
- Crowds will be able to return to outdoor sporting events;
- Outdoor hospitality could operate without reasonable additional measures;
- The Covid Pass will be required to access larger outdoor events.
If the downward trend continues, from Friday 28 January Wales would move to alert level zero for all indoor activities:
The three-week cycle would be reintroduced from February 10, when the Welsh Government will review all remaining measures at the zero alert level.
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