Visiting suspended at Morecambe Bay hospitals including Royal Lancaster Infirmary due to rise in Covid levels
Visits to all Morecambe Bay hospitals have been stopped for at least two weeks due to rising coronavirus levels in the community.
Bosses at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) said the decision had been taken in agreement with other local hospitals.
It comes as the first death as a result of Covid-19 was recorded within the trust since May 25, bringing the total to 582 since the pandemic began.
Latest figures show the Covid-19 infection rate in the Lancaster district has continued to rise, with 678 people reporting positive tests in the seven days up to July 12 - the same as the previous week.
The city currently has an infection rate of 456 based on a rolling seven-day period up to July 8.
This is based on the number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, and compares with an England average of 327.
Sue Smith, executive chief nurse and deputy chief executive of UHMBT, said visits to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Furness General Hospital in Barrow and Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal will still be allowed for children, patients with dementia and those receiving end of life care.
In a statement released today, Tuesday, she said: “We know that visiting is extremely important for the recovery of patients, but we have to keep our patients and colleagues’ safety paramount.
“In agreement with other local hospitals, we regret the need to suspend the visiting arrangements we have in place for at least two weeks as we are seeing cases in our hospitals and the community rise.
“Visiting will still be allowed for children, for patients being treated under John’s Campaign (for patients with dementia) or those patients receiving end of life care.
"Our wards will liaise with patients’ loved ones directly. Thank you for your understanding.”