Coronavirus: Nearly half of staff treating COVID-19 patients at Weston General Hospital test positive

May 27, 2020

A Somerset hospital that has closed to new admissions due to a high number of coronavirus cases has said nearly half the staff treating these patients have tested positive themselves.

A spokesperson for University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust told Sky News on Wednesday that 40% of a "limited group of staff" working with COVID-19 patients at the Weston General Hospital in Weston-super-Mare had been infected.

Responding to claims of a memo sent to NHS staff in the region, the spokesperson added that all staff at the facility were now being tested.

It comes after the hospital was forced to stop admitting new patients - including to A&E - since 8am on Monday, which the trust's medical director, Dr William Oldfield, said was due to "a high number of patients with COVID-19".

He said on Tuesday there was an "emerging picture" of asymptomatic staff also testing positive for the virus.

"Any members of staff who have tested positive have self-isolated in line with national guidance," said Dr Oldfield.

"We are also in the process of testing all staff in clinical areas at the hospital who may have had some patient contact."

The hospital also confirmed it had introduced measures to restrict staff movements.

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Dr Oldfield added: "Appropriate levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) are available and this is being used in line with Public Health England guidance, and there have been significant efforts to minimise unnecessary staff movements across the hospital."

Patients needing care are currently being directed to other hospitals and facilities in the region.

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