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Provides information about the number of people tested for coronavirus in Wales up to 17 May 2020.

First published:
19 May 2020
Last updated:

The Welsh Government is leading a consortium of stakeholders within Wales to deliver our national plan for COVID-19 testing. Details of the plan which has been in place since 28 March.

Our national testing plan has two main aims:

  1. to reduce the harm caused by coronavirus
  2. to help the public and professionals get back to their normal daily lives

On 15 April, the Health Minister commissioned a rapid review of the testing regime to identify where improvements could and should be made. These are all recommendations of a review ordered by the Health Minister following concerns that not enough tests were being carried out under the current system.

Read further information.

Who gets tested

Our current phase of activity of the testing plan is focussed on our critical workers, symptomatic patients in hospital and care homes.

In Wales, there are 483,000 critical workers; this includes 168,500 Healthcare workers, 9,900 police and prison staff. The broad categories of Critical Workers includes:

  • health and social care workers
  • public safety (emergency workers) and national security workers
  • local and national government workers
  • education and childcare workers
  • food and other necessary goods
  • transport
  • utilities, communication and financial services workers
  • key public service workers

Read more information.


This week, the daily testing capacity at the laboratory remains at 5,330. Mass drive-through testing centres are now fully operational in Cardiff, Newport, Swansea, Abercynon, Carmarthen and Llandudno, and 8 mobile testing units are also operating across Wales. Details of the local referral arrangements for booking tests through these facilities (including contact details) are published on the Welsh Government website.

Our approach to date has been to prioritise testing for people who are hospitalised or in care homes with symptoms, and key (critical) workers with symptoms. Our recently published Test Trace Protect strategy now means that testing is also available to members of the public with symptoms in order to trace the spread of coronavirus in Wales. Patients in hospitals and residents in care homes, and critical workers will however continue be prioritised according to daily testing capacity. From 18 May critical workers and members of the public in Wales will be able to access dedicated UK key worker and public testing portals to book home testing kits (the option to book a slot at a mass drive-through testing centre will be added to the portals shortly).  Further detail will be published here.

Testing in care homes has now been extended to all residents and their staff. Specifically, in care homes with ongoing incidents / outbreaks prior to May we will offer testing to all residents and staff who have not previously tested positive for Covid-19. Testing will also be offered to all symptomatic and asymptomatic staff and residents who have never tested positive for Covid-19 even where the home has not reported possible or confirmed cases. When available, serial antibody testing of care home staff will be undertaken so that we can estimate prevalence over time. Further information can be found on the Welsh Government website.


Data correct as of 13:00, 17 May 2020
COVID-19 Results at 1pm
Lab capacity 5,330
Total number of negative cases to date 38,369
Total number of positive cases to date 12,404
Total number of individuals tested 50,773
Total number of tests completed in last 24 hours 1,931
New positive cases in last 24 hours 101
Total number of tests completed* 59,908

* This includes individuals tested more than once

Who has been tested?

Position as of 17 May 2020
Key worker Positive Negative Number of tests
Healthcare worker 5,639 14,284 19,923
Care home resident 664 2,968 3,632
Care home worker 708 3,287 3,995
Educational institution worker / resident 15 234 249
Emergency services worker 136 547 683
Hostel or supported worker / resident 27 204 231
Household member of essential worker 259 2,135 2,394
Other essential worker 295 1,437 1,732
Prison or detention centre worker / resident 37 93 130


Where is testing taking place?

Overview of the all Wales position as at 17 May 2020
Location Capacity Daily Cumulative % results within 1 day % results within 2 days % results within 3 days
Tested in hospital No limit specified - 34,517 61.1 90.4 95.9
Tested at coronavirus testing unit 2,000 - 20,296 65.8 96.1 99.0
Tested at drive-through centres* 1,440 - 6,462 64.2 97.3 99.3

The results performance shown is not an end to end figure and only measure from the point a sample is received in a lab to the time that the result is authorised.  It does not indicate how long it takes for an individual to receive their result from point of testing. This information will be provided when the Testing referral app is available.

Read more detailed statistics about testing in Wales.