Health chiefs in plea as Covid-19 hospitalisations rise

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With the number of hospitalisations and, tragically, deaths from coronavirus rising once more, health chiefs in Wolverhampton are urging people to adhere to the new local restrictions which came into force this morning (Wednesday 14 October). The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is expected to increase further in the coming days – putting additional pressure on the NHS as it heads into the busy winter period.Follow Rule of 6 outside square

Now David Loughton CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, and John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, have united to call on residents to protect their friends and family by doing all they can to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Mr Loughton CBE said: “I have been a chief executive for over 30 years, and never have I had to deal with anything like we have been experiencing since March. In March, my life, your life and the NHS changed forever, and we are still recovering from that first wave of Covid-19. My staff are tired, yet they come into work every day ensuring they deliver the best patient care. We are working hard to make sure those whose treatments were delayed are safely restored now so they can get the care they need. My plea to you is please follow the lockdown rules so that we can continue to fight against Covid-19. Help me and my teams by preventing any further increases in hospital admissions and our staff can continue to focus on their ‘day job’ – treating and caring for you and your loved ones.”

Mr Denley added: "Infection rates across the country have increased dramatically in recent weeks and sadly this is now being translated into increased hospital admissions and deaths here in Wolverhampton and elsewhere. Indeed, nationally there are now more patients in hospital with coronavirus than there were at the start of the UK-wide lockdown in March. So, the message is clear; we need to act swiftly, and we need to act now. Everyone has a role to play in the fight against Covid-19 and we've shown that, as a city, our actions can have an impact. Thanks to the efforts of residents since local restrictions were introduced last month, the infection rate in Wolverhampton remains much lower than in other parts of the country. We’ve also been working closely with the NHS and Public Health England to ensure services can continue to operate, and to tackle outbreaks in care homes, schools and other settings as soon as they occur. But there’s still more we must do – and we need everyone to take the measures which have come into effect today extremely seriously in order to protect each other and keep everyone safe. The new rules are mandatory, so please follow them."

The revised restrictions came into effect at midnight as part of the Government's three-tiered approach to tackle the spread of coronavirus. Wolverhampton has been placed in the High alert category (tier 2) meaning that, from today:

  • You must not socialise with anybody outside your household or your care or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in public
  • You must not socialise in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or park (other than where specific exemptions apply in law)
  • Pubs, restaurants and bars must continue to close at 10pm. Takeaways can operate after 10pm but only via delivery service, collection or drive-through
  • You can continue to travel to open venues, but you should reduce the number of journeys you make and avoid travel to Very High alert levels where possible
  • You must self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms of Covid-19, not matter how mild
  • At all times, you must follow social distancing rules, wear a face covering where required (unless you are exempt) and work from home if possible.

For full details of the Covid-19 High Alert restrictions, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/covidalert.

Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell. People with symptoms should immediately self-isolate and book a test by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119. People can now get tests up to eight days after first developing symptoms.

Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will be asked to share information about people that have been close contacts recently.

Latest data shows there were 103.67 cases per 100,000 residents in Wolverhampton over the seven days to 11 October.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus.