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Council implements contingencies in response to COVID-19

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council is preparing and implementing a comprehensive response to coronavirus (COVID-19) to prevent and limit the spread of the outbreak as far as possible.

A tactical command group bringing together the council’s leadership team is implementing contingency plans and taking special measures to help protect residents.

The council continues to take advice and direction from Public Health Wales and Welsh Government, and is working with multi-agency partners to prepare for what may be a lengthy period of disruption.

Council Leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said communities should be reassured by the wide-scale contingency planning being implemented to deal with the developing situation.

“We have a strong team of officers working together to prepare and respond to what is a unique and evolving situation,” he said.

“At this time, it is important that we continue to take all necessary precautions to ensure the most vulnerable people in our communities are protected.

“Inevitably, there will be some disruption to council-run services and we ask that people understand that any decisions we make are with the over-riding consideration of the health and wellbeing of our staff and our communities.

“We have the flexibility to make local decisions, and would rather be over cautious in efforts to prevent spread.

“Already we have implemented some early measures, including restricting visits to our residential care homes, suspending day centre services, and asking headteachers to rearrange events that would involve large gatherings of pupils, parents and guests.

“We are also increasing cleansing of our buildings and public spaces.

“We continue to take advice from Public Health Wales and Welsh Government relating to schools and other settings. Please be assured that we are taking all necessary precautions.”

He added: “I am proud of how our staff are pulling together to rise to this challenge. This is an unprecedented situation for us, but we are preparing well and staff are responding admirably, working differently – simple measures such as holding video conferences, for example – and supporting colleagues where needed.”

Communities are being urged to look to official sources for advice and information, including the council’s website and social media feeds, Public Health Wales and Welsh Government, to avoid unnecessary spread of misinformation.

Regular updates will be made as and when required to inform communities about disruptions to council-run services.

Wendy Walters, the council’s Chief Executive, said: “I’m sure that people will appreciate that our focus and priority at the moment will be on dealing with our preparation and response to this evolving situation.

“Whilst we will try to maintain a level of business as usual, I hope people will understand that we may be unable to respond as quickly as usual to routine enquiries whilst our teams maintain their focus on issues of priority.”

For updates, official advice and information, visit newsroom.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/coronavirus

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We are recruiting – staff needed

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The council is urgently seeking more staff as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

We are looking to recruit people into a number of jobs throughout Carmarthenshire to help keep frontline services running, but particularly need carers, cleaners and catering staff.

No previous experience is needed, as full training will be provided.

The council offers good rates of pay and flexible hours. Full and part-time, permanent and temporary contracts are available.

The council also has vacancies for social workers so if you have the relevant qualifications and experience please get in touch.

Deputy Leader Cllr Mair Stephens, executive board member for recruitment and training, said: “It is vital that we keep our essential frontline services running during this crisis; and as a result, we have some vacancies that we need to fill immediately.

“We may also start to see staff shortages in some areas in the coming weeks, so we need to be prepared to fill these.

“We are urging people who are in a position to apply for these jobs to please contact us, your community needs you. Don’t worry if you don’t have experience in these areas as full training will be given.

“As well as recruiting new staff, we are also redeploying staff where possible from non-critical services to other roles as and when needed.

“I want to reassure residents we are doing all we can to protect frontline services during this extremely difficult and uncertain time.”

We want to make the application process as easy as possible, so only the mandatory fields on the application form will need to be completed along with a brief statement. Applicants will be contacted by telephone following their application.

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Over 100 iPads handed out to council care homes

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More than 100 iPads are being handed out to council care homes in Carmarthenshire so that residents can communicate face to face with their loved ones.

It comes after visiting restrictions were placed on residential homes across the UK in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The 110 tablets will be distributed across the seven homes, which accommodate 248 beds, and will ensure residents maintain contact via video calling their families and relatives whilst they are staying indoors to protect from the risk of contracting coronavirus.

Staff have been working closely with families to ensure they keep contact with their loved ones in this evolving situation.

Executive board member for social care, Cllr Jane Tremlett said: “We are pleased we have been able to provide all our care homes with iPads which will help residents to keep in touch with their family members during these unprecedented and challenging times. Understandably these necessary restrictions placed on our care homes will cause distress to both the relative and resident so the use of this technology will hopefully help to close that gap. Already we have seen some positive results and residents have been overjoyed to see their family faces.”

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Abergwili: Police investigate death of couple in property on High Street

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating the sudden death of a man and a woman who died in a property at High Street, Abergwili, Carmarthen.

A spokesman said: “Police were called to the address shortly after 6pm on Thursday, 26 March 2020. Officers are currently investigating the circumstances of the deaths, which are being treated as unexplained.

“They are not being linked to COVID-19 at this time.

“Next of kin and HM Coroner are aware.”

The family said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John David Bound and Gwendoline Christine Bound.

“The family wish for their privacy to be respected in their time of grief.”

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