WALES has reported more than 1,000 new cases of coronavirus today on the even of the country's first mass testing exercise.

Data released by Public Health Wales on November 19 shows that the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board reported a further three deaths following the six recorded on Thursday.

Since the pandemic began, 507 have died after testing positive for coronavirus.

In the North Wales region, a total of 92 new coronavirus cases were recorded today.

In Merthyr Tydfil, where mass testing will begin from tomorrow, there were 33 new cases.

The number of new cases by local authority area in North Wales (total in brackets):

Anglesey: 1 (867)

Conwy: 13 (1,684)

Denbighshire: 8 (1,682)

Flintshire: 36 (2,795)

Gwynedd: 1 (1,321)

Wrexham: 32 (3,532)

Wales figures:

Nationally, a total of 1,020 cases were reported across Wales, bringing the total number of positive cases to 70,517 since recording began.

Sadly, a further 31 deaths were recorded, bringing the total number to 2,338.

Latest PHW statement:

Dr Robin Howe, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “From tomorrow, Saturday November 21, everyone living, working and studying in Merthyr Tydfil County Borough will be eligible for a free COVID-19 test whether they have symptoms or not.

“This mass testing exercise will help to understand how the virus has spread in Merthyr and to break the chains of transmission in the area. Merthyr has one of the highest rates of Coronavirus in Wales and this will help to get the virus under control.

“Public Health Wales encourages as many people as possible to come forward to be tested. For the first time in Wales, Lateral Flow Devices will be used which give a result within 30 minutes. For more information about the testing exercise visit the MTCBC website.

“Public Health Wales strongly advises the public to take personal responsibility for their actions and to ensure that we are all doing as much as possible to limit the transmission of Coronavirus.

“We would remind everyone that Coronavirus is still active in our communities, and therefore this does not mean a return to normality.

“We ask the public to observe the new regulations and to limit their contact with other people as much as possible so that we all work together to bring the numbers of positive cases down.

“This means staying out of other people’s homes, limiting the times and the numbers of people that you meet, maintaining social distancing and hand hygiene, working from home if you can, and self-isolating if you show symptoms of coronavirus or are asked to do so by contact tracers.

“All of these actions will help to break the chains of transmission, reduce the spread of the virus, and keep people safe.

“We understand that people will want to carry on with their Christmas shopping now the fire-break has ended. We would suggest to try to visit shops during off-peak times, to always maintain social distancing and to wear a face covering if you can. Options such as ‘click and collect’ or online purchasing may also be something to consider."