Twelve more people have died with coronavirus in Wales as the country's infection rate soars above 600 cases per 100,000 people.
The Public Health Wales data published on Monday, September 27 - which covers 48 hours - also revealed there were 5,659 new positive cases, bringing the total number since the pandemic began to 347,300
The latest seven-day infection rate across Wales based on the cases for every 100,000 people (seven days up to September 22) has consistently climbed over the past week and has now reached 633.2 – up on the 593.9 reported on Friday. It is the first time the seven-day infection rate has reached over 600 cases since December 2020.
Due to reasons beyond their control, there were significant delays in Pubic Health Wales publishing this latest update on their dashboard. Another update is likely to be published at midday on Tuesday, September 28.
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The local authority with the highest infection rate in Wales is Neath Port Talbot with 928.7 cases per 100,000 population over seven days followed by Merthyr Tydfil with 865.3 and Rhondda Cynon Taf with 846.4.
Positivity rates across Wales have reached 15.2%, with Neath Port Talbot having the greatest proportion of tests coming back positive at 19.4%. Positivity rates are higher than 11% in all 22 local authority areas in Wales.
The areas of the country recording the highest numbers of Covid cases in the latest 48-hour period were Cardiff with 596, Rhondda Cynon Taf with 573, Swansea with 514, Caerphilly with 442, Neath Port Talbot with 356, Carmarthenshire with 344 and Newport with 323.
Meanwhile Vale of Glamorgan had 296 new cases, Bridgend had 214, Gwynedd had 210, Powys had 196, Flintshire had 187, Torfaen had 178 and Conwy had 169.
Areas with fewer than 150 new cases included Blaenau Gwent with 148, Pembrokeshire with 144, Wrexham with 140, Denbighshire with 135, Monmouthshire with 128, Merthyr Tydfil with 104, Anglesey with 92 and Ceredigion with 90.
As of September 24 there were 564 people in general and acute hospital beds with coronavirus (confirmed, suspected, and recovering) – down from 574 which was reported in the figures as of September 23.
Betsi Cadwaladr UHB had the most Covid patients in general and acute hospital beds on September 24 with 145 followed by Aneurin Bevan UHB with 135, Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB with 100, Cardiff and Vale UHB with 74, Swansea Bay UHB with 67, Hywel Dda UHB with 41, and Powys Teaching Health Board with two.
As of September 24 there were 46 people in invasive ventilated beds in Wales with coronavirus – down from 48 on September 23. Hywel Dda UHB had the most with 12 while Betsi Cadwaladr UHB had 10, Swansea Bay UHB had eight, Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB and Cardiff and Vale UHB both had six, and Aneurin Bevan UHB had four.
In terms of the vaccination rollout in Wales the PHW figures show 2,374,984 people are recorded as having received a first dose of the Covid vaccine and 2,220,762 are recorded as having had both doses.
Uptake of the first vaccine dose by priority group (according to PHW):
Uptake of the second vaccine dose by priority group (according to PHW):
Infection rate for every 100,000 people in each area for the seven days up to September 19:
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
Blaenau Gwent: 674.2 (up from 624.1)
Newport: 636.2 (up from 552.1)
Caerphilly: 810.7 (up from 751.6)
Torfaen: 636.4 (up from 555.5)
Monmouthshire: 376.4 (up from 309.8)
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Conwy: 674 (up from 639.9)
Anglesey: 484 (up from 425.5)
Gwynedd: 539.5 (up from 506.6)
Denbighshire: 605 (up from 553.8)
Flintshire: 572.1 (down from 574)
Wrexham: 416.3 (up from 367.8)
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Cardiff: 530.9 (up from 490)
Vale of Glamorgan: 738.1 (up from 705.2)
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
Merthyr Tydfil: 865.3 (down from 867)
Rhondda Cynon Taf: 846.4 (up from 793.3)
Bridgend: 540.6 (up from 501.2)
Hywel Dda University Health Board
Carmarthenshire: 623.5 (down from 625.1)
Pembrokeshire: 434 (up from 366.4)
Ceredigion: 459.5 (up from 400.3)
Powys Teaching Health Board
Powys: 446.3 (up from 444)
Swansea Bay University Health Board
Neath Port Talbot: 928.7 (up from 909.9)
Swansea: 775.7 (up from 752.7)
Wales total: 633.2 (up from593.9)
The ongoing pandemic has been very challenging for almost everyone and unsurprisingly it's led to some people seeing an impact on their mental health and wellbeing.
The Samaritans has put together a series of tips for taking care of your mental health at the moment, with their experts suggesting the following strategies:
There's help available if you need it
Mind Cymru infoline is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm. To contact them call 0300 123 3393.
Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (in the UK and Republic of Ireland this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).
C.A.L.L. (Community Advice & Listening Line) offers emotional support and information/literature on mental health and related matters to the people of Wales and can be contacted on 0800 132 737 or through the website.
The NHS offers help and advice through its 111 service.
The rise in community infection rates is causing huge issues for many NHS services, including in hospital A&E departments, the Welsh Ambulance Service and general practice.
Earlier this month WalesOnline visited both the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff and Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend to speak to exhausted staff about current pressures and what they expect to happen this winter. Please click here and here respectively to read those stories.
Meanwhile a frontline paramedic has described the "tidal wave" of patients it is now dealing with as more members of the public opt dial 999 for non-urgent reasons. Please click here to read that one.
And a Welsh GP has shed light on how primary care is dealing with an unrelenting surge in the volume of calls it's receiving as the workforce is stretched to its limits. Please click here to read that story.
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