No change to hospital visiting rules in NHS Borders despite move to Level One

There will be no change to hospital visiting rules in NHS Borders despite the move to Level One at 6pm on Friday, following a Covid-19 outbreak at Borders General Hospital.

NHS Borders said Ward Seven at the hospital, in Melrose, is now closed to admissions.
NHS Borders said Ward Seven at the hospital, in Melrose, is now closed to admissions.

A further five cases of Covid-19 have been identified on Ward Seven of the hospital, bringing the total to 13.

The ward was closed to admissions after the outbreak was announced on Wednesday.

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NHS Borders announced on Friday that there will be no change to hospital visiting rules as part of the area’s move to Level One as a result of the outbreak.

Ordinarily in Level One, two designated visitors are allowed as part of essential visits, observing social distancing.

In Level Two just one visitor is allowed, and this will remain the case in NHS Borders.

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Ward locked down after coronavirus outbreak in Borders General Hospital

Associate Director of Acute Services Gareth Clinkscale said: “Covid-19 is very infectious and spreads quickly between people. This is why outbreaks happen in hospitals where a number of people are sharing facilities. However, it doesn't just occur in healthcare settings; it can also start abruptly, and spread quickly through communities.

"A multinational disciplinary team is continuing to oversee the management of the outbreak and the situation is being reviewed and monitored, very closely. There are robust infection prevention and control measures in place across NHS borders to keep our staff and patients as safe as possible.

"We would like to take this opportunity to remind people of the importance of observing all the infection prevention and control measures that are in place across our healthcare settings. Please wear a face covering, sanitise your hands on entry and exit, and observe physical distancing.

"Although the Borders is moving to level one of the tier system at 6pm today. Due to this outbreak there will be no change to current visiting arrangement across our sites. This decision will be reviewed next week.”

Dumfries and Galloway will also move from Level Two to Level One at 6pm on Friday.

The Western Isles, Highlands, the Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands are already in the level.

Those in Level One areas can meet others from other household outdoors, and in restaurants or pubs, which can stay open until 10.30pm and serve alcohol.

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