STAFF who are managing the Test, Track and Protect (TTP)  in Powys are confident they can deal with spikes in positive coronavirus cases.

Powys County Council (PCC) and Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB) are working together on the project.

They have also helped deal with coronavirus outbreaks at meat processing plants in Anglesey and Wrexham.

Members of the Health and Care scrutiny committee were told at their meeting on Wednesday, July 22 that so far Powys County Council’s TTP success rate was is still 100 per cent.

Councillor Amanda Jenner, (Trewern – Conservative) said: “If we were to have a local spike around Welshpool or one of the other towns, would we have the capacity in our systems to up the amount of testing quite quickly?”

TTP operational manager, Jo Weale, answered that increasing testing can be done quickly.

“We are working with the health board and they react very quickly and are out straight away testing,” said Ms Weale.

At the moment a team of 19 made up of a manager, clinical lead and four contact tracers from PTHB, then 12 contact advisors and administrator from PCC are doing the work.

Other teams remain on standby in case of a rise in coronavirus.

Councillor Roger Williams (Felinfach – Liberal Democrat) asked how contact testing worked.

Cllr Williams, said: “You said in the presentation that 50 that had tested positive had been tracked.

“Does that mean it’s just the 50, or their contacts?”

Ms Weale, replied: “The 50 that we’ve tracked have all been the positive cases, they have all been traced.

“Some people have just had household contacts.

“In the past week others we have traced have had up to seven contacts as they have been going to places.”

Cllr Williams asked how people had reacted to the phone call telling them they needed to isolate for 14 days?

Ms Weale said: “Most had been very good but not everybody has wanted to isolate. It is explained to them, our advisors have a script to follow explaining how important it is to stay at home and stop the spread.

“The experience we had when we were dealing with the Wrexham cases people were going to work, and we were saying to them you mustn’t do this.

“They didn’t understand so we explained to them the sooner you stay at home and stop the spread the sooner we get back to normal.”

Cllr Williams said he was pleased to hear this.

On Wednesday, July 22, Public Health Wales, Powys Teaching Health Board and Powys County Council released a joint statement confirming a cluster of cases in the Welshpool area.