Covid: Illegal party-goers who misled contact tracers 'put people at risk'

22 April 2021, 16:47 | Updated: 22 April 2021, 16:53

Contact tracers were misled, officials have claimed
Contact tracers were misled, officials have claimed. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

Revellers at an illegal house party have "put people at risk" after misleading contact tracers about the event.

At least six people who attended the gathering in Derwen Fawr, west Swansea, tested positive and 13 contacts are being tested, officials said.

However, the effort to track everyone connected to the party was hindered when some who attended claimed they were not in Swansea at the time, and that the party took place elsewhere.

Authorities said the house's occupiers denied it happened at first.

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Swansea Bay University Health Board's Director of Public Health, Dr Keith Reid, said: "The misleading information provided by some people in this case had a detrimental effect on both the speed of the investigation, and the tracers' ability to identify exact routes of transmission and protect the public.

"This caused the potential for further spread within the community and placed the wider community at risk.

"We're currently aware of six positive cases, and at least 13 contacts with connections to the gathering at the Swansea address. We are continuing to monitor the situation for further cases."

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Public health officials have urged everyone to behave responsibly, not to organise large gatherings and co-operate fully if contact tracers get in touch.

Swansea Council environmental health workers gathered evidence which uncovered what had happened at the April 10 party.

Suspicions were raised after two men and two women tested positive within a short timeframe.

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It comes as Swansea continues to top the tables in Wales for confirmed cases, though officials stressed the picture is improving.

Dr Reid added: "We know that the vast majority of people respect the rules.

"They understand they are there to safeguard public health, and do their best to abide by them.

"But the behaviour demonstrated by the individuals in this case is extremely disappointing. Not only did their decision to hold a party put others at risk, but they made matters worse by then misleading contact tracers.

"That it needed a concerted investigation by officials to get to the bottom of it is shocking."