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Visiting suspended at two Londonderry hospitals over Covid-19 spike


Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry

Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry

Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry

Two hospitals in Londonderry have been forced to stop permitting visitors to patients, following a “sharp rise” in Covid-19 admissions.

The Western Trust said visiting has been paused at the Altnagelvin and Waterside Hospitals.

The pause on visiting arrangements will apply from midnight on Friday for a period of one week initially, with the trust adding this will be “subject to daily monitoring and review”.

Coronavirus Data Graphs

This week 27 elective procedures were cancelled across the trust because of rising admissions.

They added however that visiting will still be permitted in exceptional circumstances, such as end of life care, subject to a local risk assessment.

The Derry City and Strabane District Council area has the highest infection rate in Northern Ireland.

It is at 372.1 cases per 100,000 people.

The rate for Northern Ireland as a whole is 181.2 per 100,000 people.

Western Trust Chief Executive, Neil Guckian said: “We have seen a significant recent spike in Covid-19 transmissions and this is particularly prevalent in the North West where it is currently the highest rate in the region, with the Derry and Strabane Council area having reached 372.1 per 100k today”

“Additionally, in recent days, we have experienced a number of visitors to our Altnagelvin Hospital who have since confirmed through track and trace that they are Covid-19 positive.

“This is a serious concern and with the sharp rise in patient admissions to our hospital, the impact this has both in terms of staffing and bed capacity in the hospital and with the increase in Community transmissions, we have had to make the decision to temporarily pause visiting to our Altnagelvin and Waterside hospitals.”

“This rise in transmission and admissions is also coming at a time when the Trust continues to deal with the additional pressures faced in our Emergency Departments.

“I understand that this may be very disappointing for the local community. However the safety of our patients and staff will always be our first priority.”

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