NINE new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Powys by Public Health Wales today (October 16).

The total number of lab-confirmed cases of the virus in Powys since the outbreak of the pandemic now stands at 623, with Public Health Wales confirming nine new cases overnight from Thursday, October 15. It breaks a three-day run of reported cases breaking double figures, following 11, 19 and 10 cases being recorded for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

There have been no more deaths in Powys, meaning the number of confirmed deaths of people due to Covid-19 remains at 15.

PHW's figures mostly involve hospital deaths and only include cases when the virus has been confirmed in a laboratory test. The figures do not include deaths of residents from Powys in hospitals in England, although these are included in Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.

Figures from the ONS, considered a stronger indicator of the overall impact of the virus, and which are based on all deaths where Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate, stand at 95 in Powys, where it has remained since mid-August.

The county's infection rate now appears to have passed 25 cases per 100,000 people – the trigger point at which the Welsh Government is thought to start monitoring the advance of the virus, but still well below the level at which a local lockdown is imposed.

Powys stats:

Confirmed cases – 623

New cases in October 16 data – 9

Rate of new cases per 100,000 in week to October 13 – 52.9

Powys position among Welsh local authorities for rate of new cases – 20th out of 22

Newly-confirmed cases day-by-day:

Friday, October 16 – 9

Thursday, October 15 – 10

Wednesday, October 14 – 19

Tuesday, October 13 – 11

Monday, October 12 – 5

Sunday, October 11 – 9

Saturday, October 10 – 9

Friday, October 9 – 8

The national picture:

Five more people have died with coronavirus in Wales and 979 have tested positive, according to the latest figures from PHW, pushing the number of people to have tested positive across the country beyond 34,000, to 34,005.

It said there have been a total of 1,703 deaths since the pandemic began.

There was one death each in the Cardiff and Vale, Aneurin Bevan and Swansea Bay health board areas and two in Cwm Taf in Friday’s figures.

Seventeen areas in Wales continue to be subject to local lockdown restrictions put in place, affecting more than two million people. In Cardiff University, testing is taking place on the campus, and its figures show that as of Tuesday 1,983 students were self-isolating.

First Minister Mark Drakeford announced on Friday lunchtime that people in Wales are facing a national lockdown lasting at least two weeks in plans described as a "fire-break".

He said it would be a "short, sharp" circuit-breaker to slow down the virus. A decision is likely to be made on Monday, while talks continue with health officials, scientific advisors and councils over the weekend.

Meanwhile, a health board battling Covid-19 outbreaks at three of its hospitals is preparing to admit more patients to its field hospital on Friday.

Cwm Taf Morgannwg reported 47 deaths from infections caught in hospitals in Llantrisant, Merthyr Tydfil and Bridgend. It has more coronavirus patients than at any time since the pandemic began, according to NHS Wales figures.

The health board's boss said it faced "incredibly challenging circumstances".

Public Health Wales' statement:

Dr Chris Williams, incident director for the Covid-19 outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “Cases of coronavirus continue to rise in all parts of Wales, including in areas where local restrictions are in place.

“The public health message has not changed and is as important as ever; it is vital that people in every part of Wales stick to social distancing guidelines – that’s staying two metres away from others, avoiding socialising with people outside your household, and washing hands regularly. They must also self-isolate immediately when asked to do so.

“We have seen an increase in transmission of the coronavirus in social settings and would like to remind the public that the virus spreads really well in social situations. If you need to visit these type of venues, then:

· Don’t mix with anyone other than the people that you live with;

· Stay 2m apart from people that you don’t live with;

· If you are contacted by the Test, Trace, Protect service, then please be honest about where you have been and with whom – the contact tracers aren’t going to judge you, they are trying to restrict the spread of the virus. By giving them the correct information you will help others avoid infection, and possibly getting seriously ill.