Hospitals have brought back the wearing of face coverings and reinstated social distancing measures following a recent surge in Covid infections and hospitalisations. MailOnline has more.
Trusts from Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Nottinghamshire, Devon and Wales have all reinstated guidance that urges people to mask-up because of a spike in infections.
Figures from NHS England show there were around 10,658 patients hospitalised with the virus on Monday.
Infections have doubled in a fortnight across England — with around 1,000 patients now being admitted with the virus each day.
However, only around a third of these are primarily being treated for the virus – the other two thirds are incidental admissions, being treated primarily for something else.
The Mail report continues:
Data from the Office for National Statistics showed 2.3 million people had coronavirus in the week ending June 24th, a 32% rise from the previous week.
There are fears that a new sweep of the latest Covid variant could decimate NHS staff levels once more, causing knock-on effects for ambulance wait times and the availability of specialists and operations.
Experts believe the latest flare-up in cases are likely linked to the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron, which could push the total number of patients above April’s peak of 16,600. Those variations are thought to be more infectious but just as mild as the original Omicron strain. The Government has said it is monitoring the situation ‘very quickly’ but does not yet plan to reintroduce restrictions.
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust claimed its update was to “reduce further spread of Covid and keep patients and staff safe”. Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, in Nottinghamshire, said it was “vital we take decisive action to protect our most vulnerable patients”. Similar reinstatement messages were put out by Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust and North West Anglia NHS Trust. The guidance is no longer legally enforceable.
When the national NHS masking rules were dropped on June 10th, local health bodies were given the power to draft their own policies, with several trusts still demanding patients and visitors wore face coverings.
Dr. Lara Alloway, Chief Medical Officer at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said:
We have taken the hard decision to require that surgical masks be worn by all persons – staff, visitors and patients – on our sites. This applies to all non-clinical areas, inclusive of corridors, waiting/ staff rooms and offices, as well as clinical areas such as wards. In addition, we strongly encourage social distancing of at least one metre in our hospitals whenever possible. These measures have been brought in due to a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 positive patients in our hospitals, very high rates in the community and increasing levels of staff sickness. At present, we are making no changes to our visiting policies.
The Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is recommending people over the age of 65 get another booster jab. The Chief Medical Officer of Moderna, however, has suggested they are given to everyone, including children. Does he have some other motive, perhaps?
The JCVI is also recommending booster jabs are given to care home residents, healthcare workers and people with certain health conditions – though how this will help control infections when the previous three jabs evidently have not is unclear.
UKHSA Chief Executive Dame Jenny Harries has encouraged all Brits to wear a face mask in “enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces”. Dr. Anthony Fauci in the U.S. said last week that we are “absolutely” still in a pandemic.
This is what they’re saying in the middle of summer. What will they be saying come autumn and winter? Many in the health sector and Government officials appear to have no intention of returning to pre-Covid normality, even as excess deaths from Covid remain low and most of the public are trying to move on.
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: A reader got in touch to say that Brittany Ferries has informed him that masks are now “requested” once again onboard (see below). One wonders how firm the “request” will be.