Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus should book a test online or by calling 119 to go to an existing test site for a PCR auto swab test.
The tests will be carried out in partnership between the Welsh Government, the UK Government, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board and the Ministry of Defense, with logistical support from the armed forces.
The areas of the lower Cynon valley covered by the mass test pilot are:
- Mountain Ash Est
- Mountain Ash West
- Aberaman Sud
Check the coronavirus rates where you live:
The two main testing centers are the Cynon Valley Indoor Bowls Center in Mountain Ash and the Abercynon Sports Center. Other sites will be announced in the coming days.
The Welsh government said these areas had recorded some of the highest cases of coronavirus per 100,000 in recent weeks and identifying residents who may be carriers of the virus but not showing any symptoms could be key to help to stop its spread. Check out the latest infection rates for all of Wales here.
The mass test program will use lateral flow devices (LFD). Anyone who visits one of the asymptomatic testing sites in the Lower Cynon Valley will be tested using the devices that can return results in about 20 to 30 minutes.
If a person tests positive, they will be asked to go home so they can self-isolate immediately.
The Welsh government has said it will closely monitor the number of positive results to help them better understand the spread of the virus, which in turn will inform actions to prevent further transmission.
Minister of Health Vaughan Gething said: “The Merthyr pilot continues to perform well with almost 8,000 tested in the pilot’s first six days. I am happy that we are now able to expand the mass testing program to the Lower Cynon Valley.
“As pilot Merthyr Tydfil has shown, mass testing allows us to better understand the prevalence within the community and the number of people with coronavirus. It also identifies how many people in the community are asymptomatic.
“The coronavirus is not gone and we must all work together to fight this deadly virus. I want to thank all the members of Merthyr Tydfil who made the pilot project a success and I encourage the people of the Lower Cynon Valley to get tested. “
Rhondda Cynon Taf’s head of council Andrew Morgan said: ‘After several weeks of planning work, the Welsh government has now confirmed that the mass test pilot will soon be made available to area residents of the lower valley of Cynon after its extension from Merthyr Tydfil.
“It’s an integral part of our fight against the virus because it allows us to better understand the prevalence and level of transmission within our communities.
“Following the positive progress observed in the downward trajectory of daily cases and the positivity rate after local measures and national firewalls lockdown, it is now important that we identify and isolate those who are asymptomatic within our communities to breaking these chains of transmission as cases start to rise again. ”
Dr Kelechi Nnoaham, Director of Public Health at Cwm Taf Glamorgan University Health Board, said: “As a university health board, we are supporting testing across an entire area in Merthyr Tydfil and the Lower Cynon Valley using a new type of test that delivers results in 30 minutes.
“The rate of Covid-19 infection is still very high in our communities and by engaging in this screening program, the people of the lower Cynon Valley can play a major role in protecting everyone in our communities.