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Compulsory masks reintroduced in Hampshire hospitals

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Mandatory face masks are being reintroduced in Hampshire hospitals as of today (Friday) due to an increase in the number of Covid cases and admissions.

The news will affect the foundation trust’s hospitals in Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester.

The trust isn’t making any changes to its visiting policy. Two visitors are currently allowed per patient at any one time.

The change affects Basingstoke, Andover and Winchester hospitals
The change affects Basingstoke, Andover and Winchester hospitals

A 34 per cent increase in the number of cases means around one person in 30 in England is now infected with coronavirus, while the number of Covid-19 positive patients in hospitals has risen by nearly 40 per cent in the last week.

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust is yet to follow suit, and has been approached for comment.

Dr Lara Alloway, chief medical officer at Hampshire Hospitals, said: “From today we have taken the hard decision to require that surgical masks be worn by all persons – staff, visitors and patients – on our sites.

“This applies to all non-clinical areas, inclusive of corridors, waiting/staff rooms and offices, as well as clinical areas such as wards.

“In addition, we strongly encourage social distancing of at least one metre in our hospitals whenever possible.

“These measures have been brought in due to a significant increase in the number of Covid-19 positive patients in our hospitals, very high rates in the community and increasing levels of staff sickness.

“At present, we are making no changes to our visiting policies.

“We know that these changes are challenging and we would like to reassure everyone that they will only be in place for as long as they are necessary to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors and staff.”

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