Four more people have died from coronavirus in Wales, according to the latest figures from Public Health Wales.
The data, released on Friday January 14, and covering a 24-hour period, showed 2,864 new positive cases to bring the total to 738,609.
The total number of people who died within 28 days of testing positive in Wales has now reached 6,683.
Read more:Shortage of staff, increase in Covid cases and frustrated patients: working in a medical practice in the valleys in winter
Due to Welsh Government changes to testing rules, with people who are asymptomatic and test positive in a lateral flow test being told they no longer need PCR confirmation, PCR test data taken by people with symptoms should be considered in conjunction with LFT data.
The two graphs below show the latest data for both types of testing with the PCR infection rate showing a rapid drop since January 1 and the lateral flow data, which is more delayed, showing a peak roughly at the same time.
PHW’s latest infection rate, based on the seven days to January 9, is 1,274.2 cases per 100,000 people – down as expected from 1,492.4 recorded on Thursday as the change in LFT tests impacts the weekly infection rate.
The highest infection rate in each Welsh local authority for the seven days between January 3 and January 9 was Neath Port Talbot with 1,579.7 per 100,000, followed by Blaenau Gwent with 1,445.7 and Swansea with 1,420.3.
Cardiff recorded the most positive cases in the last 24 hour period with 362, followed by Swansea with 243, RCT with 214, Caerphilly with 187, Carmarthenshire and Wrexham with 157, Neath Port Talbot with 153, Newport with 150.
Meanwhile, Conwy had 127 new cases, Pembrokeshire had 114, Bridgend had 109, Flintshire had 101, Gwynedd had 87, Anglesey and Blaenau Gwent both had 78 and Denbighshire had 75.
The lowest number of cases were found in Vale of Glamorgan with 70, Powys with 68, Torfaen with 67, Monmouthshire with 63, Ceredigion with 48 and Merthyr Tydfil with 42.
The percentage of positive tests is also falling. In the seven days to January 8, a total of 43.2% of tests across Wales gave a positive result, up from 44.6% reported on Thursday.
The highest positivity rates were in Anglesey (46.9%), Swansea (46.4%) and Neath Port Talbot (45.9%).
As of January 13, there were 1,127 people in general and acute hospital beds with coronavirus (confirmed, suspected and recovering), down from 1,159 on January 12. In this data, the number of confirmed Covid patients increased from 930 on January 11 to 886 on January 13.
There were 31 people confirmed in ventilated intensive care beds with Covid-19 on January 12. 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.
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Infection rate per 100,000 people in each area for the seven days until January 9:
Aneurin Bevan University Board of Health
Blaenau Gwent: 1,445.7 (instead of 1,756.3)
Newport: 1,322.8 (instead of 1,585.2)
Caerphilly: 1,415.4 (instead of 1,671.7)
Torfaen: 1,131.3 (instead of 1,384.6)
Monmouthshire: 833.1 (from 939.8)
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Council
Conwy: 1,385.6 (instead of 1,582.7)
Anglesey: 1,247.8 (from 1,429.1)
Gwynedd: 987.5 (instead of 1,129.6)
Denbighshire: 1,151.6 (was 1,372.1)
Flintshire: 1,310.7 (instead of 1,525.3)
Wrexham: 1,366.6 (instead of 1,624)
Cardiff and Vale University Health Council
Cardiff: 1,380.2 (instead of 1,448.9)
Vale of Glamorgan: 1,238.1 (was 1,330.2)
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
Merthyr Tydfil: 1,212 (instead of 1,603)
Rhondda Cynon Taf: 1,404.7 (instead of 1,657.5)
Bridgend: 1,357.4 (instead of 1,629.4)
Hywel Dda University Health Board
Carmarthenshire: 1,349.8 (was 1,528.3)
Pembrokeshire: 996.7 (was 1,213.7)
Ceredigion: 802 (instead of 945)
Powys Teaching Health Council
Powys: 1,107.7 (instead of 1,289.7)
Swansea Bay University Health Council
Neath Port Talbot: 1,579.7 (was 1,893)
Swansea: 1,420.3 (instead of 1,659.2)
Wales total: 1,274.2 (vs.1,492.4)
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.
Wales will return to zero-level alert measures over the next fortnight under plans set out by the Prime Minister.
Mark Drakeford has announced that the measures will be phased in and start from Saturday January 15, with the number of people who can be present at an outdoor event increasing from 50 to 500.
From January 21, crowds will be able to return to major sporting events, 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 phasing out Alert Level Two restrictions, starting with outdoor measurements.
“But the pandemic is not over. We will be monitoring the public health situation closely – this is a fast and volatile variant that could change suddenly. 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 Saturday 15 January, the number of people who can be present at outdoor events will increase from 50 to 500.
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:
- Nightclubs may reopen;
- Working from home would remain important but would no longer be a legal obligation;
- Businesses, employers and other organizations must undertake a specific coronavirus risk assessment and take reasonable steps to minimize the spread of the coronavirus;
- The Covid Pass will be required for entry to nightclubs, events, cinemas, concert halls and theatres;
- The rule of six, table service and physical distancing of two meters are no longer required in the hotel industry.
Self-isolation rules for anyone who tests positive for Covid and face covering rules for most indoor public places will remain in effect after January 28.
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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