Another 67 people have died with coronavirus in Wales but the number of new cases has dropped below 1,000 for the first time in weeks.
Latest figures from Public Health Wales published on Friday, January 22 show 801 new cases of the virus have been recorded to bring the total since the pandemic began to 185,836. The overall death total with lab-confirmed coronavirus now stands at 4,459 in Wales.
Following the latest figures, the Wales infection rate is now down to 271 cases per 100,000 people based on the seven days up to January 17. That is a decrease on the 281.2 previously reported.
Moving below a level of 300 cases for every 100,000 and remaining there over a sustained period is one of the key benchmarks for moving out of alert level four lockdown.
However other measures watched by the Welsh Government suggest any change may not come quickly. The percentage of tests coming back positive is still significantly above the 10% benchmark. See the full details of the lockdown tiers here.
PHW data also shows 212,317 people have now received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of 10pm on Thursday, up 21,882 on the figure published on Thursday. It is the biggest daily leap since the start of the vaccination rollout. There are 415 people who have received both of their vaccine jabs.
Uptake of the first dose by priority group (according to PHW)
- 80 years and older: 55,441 received first dose (30.2%).
- Care home residents: 9,966 received first dose (59.9%).
- Care home workers: 21,409 received first dose (69.8%).
- Healthcare worker: 90,349 received first dose (percentage not given).
The percentage of tests producing positive results in the week to January 17 is now 16.5%, a fall on the 30% positivity rate recorded over the Christmas period. Locally, the areas with the highest positivity rates are Wrexham with 26.5%, Flintshire with 20.8% and Bridgend with 20.6%.
These figures are based on the date tests were done, not the date test results were included on the system. The data is correct up to 9am on January 21.
Deaths reported today: 67.
Cases reported today: 801.
Number of tests carried out: 14,968 (Up from 13,057).
Total deaths with lab-confirmed coronavirus in Wales: 4,459.
Total number of people who have received a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine: 212,317.
Total number of people who have received a two dose course of Covid-19 vaccine: 415.
Wrexham remains the local authority with the highest infection rate in Wales with a seven-day rate of 660.5 cases per 100,000 population, which is down from 673 on Thursday.
Flintshire has the second highest rate with 464.4 cases per 100,000, down from 479.2 the day before.
Bridgend is third with 330.5 per 100,000 population, down from 357.
Flintshire had the highest number of new cases report on Friday with 77, followed by Wrexham with 76, Carmarthenshire with 56, Neath Port Talbot with 47, Cardiff and Newport with 44 and Denbighshire and RCT both with 43.
Meanwhile Gwynedd had 37 new cases, Caerphilly and Bridgend had 28, Anglesey and Vale of Glamorgan had 27, Monmouthshire had 22, and Conwy and Swansea had 21.
Several local authorities report less than 20 new cases including Torfaen with 18, Powys with 17, Merthyr Tydfil and Ceredigion with 11, Pembrokeshire with 10 and Blaenau Gwent with nine.
Cases per 100,000 for rolling seven days (January 11 to January 17)
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
Newport: 309 (Down from 318.7)
Torfaen: 248 (Down from 260.7)
Caerphilly: 244.1 (Down from 246.9)
Monmouthshire: 187.1 (Down from 193.5)
Blaenau Gwent: 161.7 (Down from 176.1)
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Wrexham: 660.5 (Down from 673)
Flintshire: 464.4 (Down from 479.2)
Denbighshire: 331.3 (Down from 345.9)
Gwynedd: 203.9 (Up from 200.7)
Conwy: 169.8 (Down from 187.7)
Anglesey: 131.3 (Unchanged)
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Vale of Glamorgan: 291.9 (Down from 309.9)
Cardiff: 282.1 (Down from 282.6)
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
Bridgend: 330.5 (Down from 357)
Merthyr Tydfil: 263.6 (Down from 286.8)
Rhondda Cynon Taf: 245.4 (Down from 254.1)
Hywel Dda University Health Board
Carmarthenshire: 261.7 (Down from 278.1)
Ceredigion: 151.3 (Down from 155.4)
Pembrokeshire: 161.3 (Up from 153.4)
Powys Teaching Health Board
Powys: 189.5 (Unchanged)
Swansea Bay University Health Board
Neath Port Talbot: 251.9 (Down from 266.5)
Swansea: 183 (Down from 202.4)
Wales total – 271 (Down from 281.2)
Speaking on Friday, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “More people have been vaccinated in the six weeks since vaccination began, than have tested positive for coronavirus in Wales over the course of the pandemic. This is a real step forward in our vaccination programme.
“Vaccination is our number one priority. We are on target to hit our first milestone of offering vaccination to the first four priority groups by mid-February. There is a massive amount of work going on in Wales to make this happen.”
He added: “It is your hard work – your efforts every day and your sacrifices – which are helping to bring this virus under control.
“Thank you for staying at home. You are protecting the NHS and you are saving lives.”
All of Wales remains in full lockdown at alert level four which means that:
- People must stay at home, except for very limited purposes
- People must not visit other households, or meet other people they do not live with
- Many types of businesses are required to close.
The level four restrictions apply to the whole of Wales and will continue until January 29 when they will be reviewed again. Read what needs to happen for restrictions to be eased in Wales here.
Find out how many cases are in your area
Dr Giri Shankar, incident director for the Covid-19 outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “We are increasingly confident in the data which is showing a consistent downward trend in the numbers of positive cases in Wales.
“However, the numbers of cases is extremely high, and this is placing extreme pressure on our NHS Wales hospitals.
“The new variant of coronavirus prevalent in many parts of Wales is up to 70% more transmissible, so it is still vital that everyone continues to remain vigilant, by staying at home and sticking to the rules. This way we will avoid adding to the pressure on hospitals and will keep people safe.
“All of Wales remains in lockdown. We ask that the public adopts the same mindset for this lockdown as they did in March 2020. We understand that people are fatigued but because the new, more infectious variant of coronavirus is circulating across Wales it is vital that we all keep to the lockdown restrictions and do not meet other people.
“This means that you must stay at home. If exercising outdoors, please do this alone or with members of your household or support bubble only. Shop online, but if you do need to visit essential retail then do this alone, if possible, to minimise numbers of people in retail spaces, and avoid stopping to chat with people outside your household. If you must leave home keep your distance, wash your hands regularly, and wear a face mask when required according to the regulations.
“Public Health Wales urges everyone to follow the rules, to avoid transmission of coronavirus and to protect everyone in our communities, including the most vulnerable.”