The number of people who have died after contracting coronavirus in Wales has risen by three, it has been announced.
Public Health Wales confirmed on Monday, June 29, that the total number of fatalities since the outbreak began has now reached 1,507.
But as it can take two or three days for reports of deaths to reach the NHS trust, not all newly-reported deaths have occurred in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, PHW said the number of lab-confirmed positive cases of coronavirus in Wales has shot up by 116 to bring the total to 15,717.
Merthyr Tydfil recorded 97 of these new positive cases, which is understood to be accounted for by a testing programme at the local authority’s Kepak meat processing plant.
Public Health Wales has now told household contacts of workers who tested positive at the weekend to self-isolate.
Coronavirus testing at the facility at the weekend identified 101 confirmed cases out of the 810 people tested on Saturday. This brings the total number of cases identified at the site since April to 130.
Meanwhile, 10 local authorities reported no new Covid-19 cases on Monday, including Blaenau Gwent, Newport, Torfaen, Conwy, Flintshire, Vale of Glamorgan, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea,
And even though testing capacity stands at 12,300 each day in Wales, just 3,342 were carried out on Sunday, June 28.
New coronavirus cases reported in Wales today
Cumulative number of deaths reported in Wales
The latest figures were announced following a press conference with First Minister Mark Drakeford, who gave a crucial update on the situation in Wales.
He announced from Monday, July 6, people from two separate households will be able to join together to form one exclusive extended support bubble – providing cases of Covid-19 continue to decline over this week.
It coincides with the plan to lift the “stay local” requirement on the same day.
These two measures combined will allow many families to be reunited for the first time since lockdown measures were introduced.
Mr Drakeford said: “I know people are missing seeing their families. We have some headroom to make a further change to the rules next week and we will introduce this new concept, which will enable people living in two separate households to form one extended household – they may be part of the same family or they may be close friends.
“This new arrangement will mean people can form one extended household and can meet indoors.”
The Welsh Government said it had drawn on experience from around the world where this concept has been successfully introduced, including in New Zealand.
Extended households are already in place in Scotland and care, and support bubbles are in place in England and Northern Ireland.
Under the new arrangements, which will come into force on July 6 as long as cases of coronavirus continue to decline:
- People will only be able to be part of one extended household;
- Everyone joining the extended household must belong to the two households, which form the extended household;
- The extended household must contain the same individuals for the foreseeable future;
- If one member of an extended household develops symptoms of coronavirus, the entire extended household will need to self-isolate, not just those living together;
- It will be important for the extended household to keep records to help with contact tracing in case someone in the extended households tests positive for coronavirus.
The First Minister added: “We are continuing to learn about coronavirus – the evidence we have about the virus tells us that meeting people outdoors, maintaining social distancing and good hand hygiene remains is the best and lowest risk option.
“Together we have made significant progress over the last few months in slowing the spread of this virus. Together we can continue to keep Wales safe.”
On Monday, thousands of pupils across Wales were able to return to school for the first time since lockdown began in March.
However, only a limited number will be allowed back in one go over the next three or four weeks, to what the Welsh Government has described as the opportunity to “check in, catch up and prepare”.
Online learning will continue but all pupils are being offered an experience of school before the summer holidays.
Meanwhile, there have been two other reported outbreaks at meat processing plants, one at 2 Sisters in Llangefni, Anglesey, and one in Rowan Foods in Wrexham.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said on Monday that there were 210 positive cases at 2 Sisters on Friday, while at Rowan Foods there were 166.