More than 300 in Devon hospitals with Covid, says NHS

Nurse giving a vaccine

People are being urged to wear masks - and get a jab - Credit: Getty Images

More than 300 people are in Devon hospitals suffering with Covid-19, the NHS says.

This, added to more than 1,000 hospital staff being absent from work due to the illness, has prompted NHS Devon to issue new advice over facemasks at surgeries, care homes and hospitals.

As Covid-19 rates rise, people attending health appointments at their GP or in
hospital are being strongly encouraged to wear a mask. 

The same advice is being issued to people visiting friends or family in hospital or a care home.

An NHS Devon spokesperson said there are currently six times as many people in Devon’s hospitals with Covid-19 than the beginning of June; more then 300 patients, with more than 1,000 hospital staff absent due to Covid-19; four times the number in early June.

Community Covid-19 rates are less accurate, they said, due to reduced testing, but have seen similar increases. 

This impacts on NHS services, leading health bosses to ask the public for their support.

Dr Nigel Acheson, chief medical officer for NHS Devon, said: “Covid-19 is still very much a part of our lives. 

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"We want to minimise the impact it has on our services and our ability to tackle the waiting lists that have built up during the pandemic.

"We’ve tightened infection prevention and control measures in hospitals, GP practices and other healthcare settings and we’re asking you to support us. 

"Please wear a mask to your appointment and when are visiting a loved one, stay away if you have symptoms of Covid-19 and continue to social distance and wash your hands."

Meanwhile, it is not too late for people to have any Covid-19 vaccinations they are eligible for. Appointments can be booked online or by calling 119 and walk in clinics are published on the NHS website.