Coronavirus: Weston hospital to re-start admitting new patients

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Weston General HospitalImage source, AFP/Getty Images
Image caption,
Weston General Hospital had been closed since Monday, 25 May

A hospital that was forced to shut because of high numbers of coronavirus cases is to start admitting new patients again.

Weston General Hospital closed when patients on a non-Covid ward tested positive along with about 100 staff.

Medical director Dr William Oldfield, said "strict criteria" were now in place before patients were accepted.

He also said the Somerset hospital had been "deep cleaned" and staff tested to confirm they do not have coronavirus.

It is hoped the A&E department will open by the end of next week.

Image source, AFP/Getty Images
Image caption,
All staff have been tested for coronavirus since the outbreak was detected

"We have tested all current inpatients for coronavirus infection and this has shown no new cases in our non-Covid wards since the temporary measures were introduced," Dr Oldfield said.

"This indicates no in-hospital transmission of infection and clearly demonstrates that the actions we have taken are working, thus ensuring our patients and staff remain as safe as possible.

"We have enough staff to safely operate services and they have all been tested, at least twice, or completed recommended isolation periods, to confirm that they do not have coronavirus infection."

The hospital was temporarily closed on 25 May and the town's Conservative MP John Penrose said some staff who did not know they had the virus "were wandering around without any symptoms and without realising it, were spreading it".

"The hospital realised that actually it was in danger of starting an outbreak rather than being the answer to solving one," he said.

"They very sensibly locked themselves down.

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