Service restrictions have been put in place at a hospital in Wales after 82 cases of coronavirus were confirmed.
A major outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant.
The hospital said the “significant temporary service restrictions”, which includes suspending planned surgery, will be put in place from 2pm.
A statement from the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board said: “Given the extent of this outbreak, and on advice of Public Health Wales, the Health Board is taking a number of urgent and significant actions to ensure the safety of our staff, patients and communities.”
The Royal Glamorgan Hospital is in Rhondda Cynon Taf, which is currently in local lockdown.
The hospital said the emergency department will remain open for walk-in patients and those who can be treated in the ambulatory care department.
Welsh Ambulance Service (999) patients (excluding children) will be diverted temporarily to alternative sites.
Paul Mears, chief executive of Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, said: “We recognise the concern that these temporary changes will cause and would like to assure our patients and communities that managing this outbreak is our key priority.
“Our teams continue to work to take all necessary measures to achieve this and we have taken range of swift and decisive actions to try to manage this outbreak which include immediate closure of affected wards, risk assessments of affected and at-risk wards, reviews of infection prevention and control measures and their implementation, increased testing of healthcare staff and testing of all hospital admissions.
“These decisions have not been taken lightly, and we understand that they will impact our patients, their families, our staff and partner organisations. However, the safety of our patients and staff is of the utmost importance and we believe this is the right course of action, based on the professional advice given to us.”
The 12 areas of Wales under local lockdown restrictions are: Caerphilly county borough, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, Blaenau Gwent, Cardiff, Swansea, the town of Llanelli, Neath Port Talbot, the Vale of Glamorgan, and Torfaen,
From Thursday at 6pm, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy and Wrexham all in North Wales will also join the list of areas under local lockdowns.
On Tuesday, Public Health Wales said a further three people had died with coronavirus in Wales, with 366 people testing positive.
As of 9am on Tuesday, there had been a further 7,143 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK – the highest daily figure recorded since the outbreak began, although far more tests are being carried out than in the spring.
A further 71 people had died within 28 days of testing positive, bringing the UK total to 42,072