Barry Rees MBE, Corporate Director stated “I am very proud to receive this honour in recognition of the fantastic teamwork that has contributed to Ceredigion’s fight against coronavirus. It would be far more appropriate for this to be a team honour rather than an individual one, so I want to acknowledge the work of many valued colleagues working for Ceredigion County Council who have continued to provide ongoing leadership, support, inspiration, resolve and initiative throughout this crisis. All of this enabled us to put my initial idea of a local contact tracing system into practice in less than a week at the early stages of the pandemic.

I also wish to acknowledge the close partnership working that has developed with the Council’s partners in relation to coronavirus, particularly Hywel Dda University Health Board, our neighbouring local authorities and Public Health Wales.

As well as rolling out local contact-tracing at a very early stage, the Council has put in place a number of measures in an attempt to keep the residents of Ceredigion as safe as possible and I accept that some of these have been less than popular amongst some. However, we continue to be driven by our aim to protect our residents, particularly the more vulnerable and we are tremendously grateful to the vast majority in Ceredigion who have made sacrifices in order to comply with guidance and advice.

Over the last fortnight or so, we have seen the highest number of coronavirus cases in Ceredigion since the pandemic began, which is a stark reminder that the job isn’t yet done and we are likely to have a very difficult winter ahead. I would appeal to everyone to bear with us and continue to follow coronavirus guidelines closely so that we can continue to protect people until we can safely and gradually get back to something close to normality.”