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Hospital bans visitors as Covid-19 cases rise and two more patients with virus die

PUBLISHED: 17:48 09 November 2020 | UPDATED: 17:48 09 November 2020

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has imposed more visitor restrictions amid a rise in coronavirus cases. Photo: Nick Butcher

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has imposed more visitor restrictions amid a rise in coronavirus cases. Photo: Nick Butcher

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People will not be able to visit inpatients at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, as extra coronavirus restrictions were put in place.

NNUH chief nurse Professor Nancy Fontaine. Photo: NNUHNNUH chief nurse Professor Nancy Fontaine. Photo: NNUH

Bosses at the hospital, which today confirmed two more patients with coronavirus had died, said the decision to impose further visiting restrictions had not been taken lightly.

But they said, amid rising cases and admissions, it was necessary to keep staff, patients and families safe.

Professor Nancy Fontaine, the hospital’s chief nurse and director of infection prevention and control, said: “We have not taken this decision lightly as we know the impact it has on patients and their families, and we’d encourage people to use our ‘virtual visiting’ service where we can arrange video calls between them and their loved one in hospital.

“With Covid-19 cases rising in the community and admissions increasing, we must all do everything we can to reduce transmission and keep our staff, patients and families as safe as possible.

“You can help us too by following national guidance by wearing a face covering in enclosed public spaces, social distancing and regular hand washing.”

The restrictions were announced on the day that the hospital confirmed two more patients with Covid-19 had died. Both were men and both had underlying health conditions.

One was a man in his 40s and the other was in his 60s.

On Sunday, a man in his 70s, who did not have any underlying health conditions and had tested positive for the virus, was confirmed to have died, the day after a man in his 60s with underlying health conditions died - the first death at the hospital of a patient with Covid-19 for more than a month.

There will be a number of exemptions from the ban on visitors, including for carers, parents visiting children, were patients are receiving end-of-life care or where there is a significant deterioration, for parents with babies in the neonatal intensive care unit and for birth partners of women in labour and on ante and post-natal wards.

The hospital is continuing to ask patients to attend the emergency department and outpatient appointments alone, if possible.

MORE: Revealed: The hospital data which convinced Norfolk MPs to vote for lockdown


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