Covid-19 outbreak at St Helier Hospital forces partial lockdown

St Helier Hospital was forced to divert ambulances from its Accident and Emergency department yesterday after an outbreak of coronavirus was detected over the weekend.

Six patients are reported to have contracted covid-19 while in St Helier Hospital

Reports suggest that the hospital was placed in “partial lockdown”, with visiting restricted after six patients were found to have contracted the virus, some being treated in the renal unit, others while already in intensive care.

Covid-19 infections have affected several other hospitals recently, with the spread being linked to staff who have been unable to access regular and speedily processed tests.

Dr Ruth Charlton, the Epsom and St Helier NHS Trusts joint medical director, said today: “A small number of people have tested positive for covid-19 in the renal department and intensive care unit.

“The safety and wellbeing of our patients and staff is our priority and those who tested positive have been isolated from other patients, with arrangements in place to maintain safe and high-quality care.

“We urge people to attend their planned appointments, and our A&E remains open,” Dr Charlton said.

The hospital today maintained that “the situation is isolated to the hospital and there is currently no indication of wider community transmission.

“We will continue to carefully monitor the situation.”

Visiting has been restricted in some areas, with the Trust providing hospital-grade surgical masks at the entrances to our hospitals, asking “that all visitors wear one throughout their time on site”.

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