Four hospitals close wards due to norovirus and flu
Eight wards across four hospitals have been closed to visitors due to an outbreak of norovirus and the flu.
People are being asked to stay away from the affected wards at North Tyneside, Wansbeck and Hexham General Hospitals and Blyth Community Hospital.
Unaffected wards will be open for one hour from 14:00 GMT but there is a limit to two visitors per bed.
A spokesman said: "We realise that this will disappoint people who have loved ones on these wards.
"Please rest assured that our doctors, nurses and the whole team around them are doing everything they possibly can to get them open."
The closed wards are:
- North Tyneside General Hospital - wards 5, 12 and 15
- Wansbeck General Hospital - wards 5 and 9
- Hexham General Hospital - wards 2 and 4
- Blyth Community Hospital - ward 1
The announcement comes as the North East Ambulance Service reduced its operating level from extreme to severe pressure.