North Tees hospital announces 'difficult decision' to suspend visitors due to rising Covid numbers locally
Visiting at the University Hospital of North Tees has been suspended due to rising numbers of Covid-19.
Hospital chiefs for the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust announced what it said was a difficult decision on Saturday, January 1.
The trust stated: “Due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the local area, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has made the difficult decision to suspend routine visiting to the University Hospital of North Tees.
“Under exceptional circumstances, visitors will still be welcomed. Family members are asked to contact the ward on which their relative is based to discuss individual circumstances.”
The Trust said it will review the situation constantly over the Bank Holiday weekend.
It added: “We ask everyone in our community to continue to do their bit in the fight against COVID-19 by having the vaccine and booster, which is safe and effective, wearing masks when required, practising social distancing and washing their hands thoroughly and often.”
The announcement came after NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor said some hospitals could be forced to exclude visitors as part of the “difficult choices” made to hinder the spread of the contagious Omicron variant on wards.
Hartlepool recorded another 267 lab confirmed Covid-19 cases on December 31 and 189,846 for the UK as a whole.
A statistician at the University of Cambridge said the actual number of daily cases could be closer to half a million.
But writing in the Daily Mail, the Health Secretary Sajid Javid said restrictions on freedom "must be an absolute last resort".