Shropshire Star

Mask wearing rules return to community hospital after 'respiratory symptoms' reported

A cluster of staff and patients suffering with what has been described as 'respiratory symptoms' led to a community hospital bringing in rules requiring face masks in some areas.

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Whitchurch Community Hospital

Masks have not been needed in hospitals for some time after the relaxing of Covid rules but were re-introduced at Whitchurch Community Hospital last week.

The Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust (Shropcom) has not said whether a new Covid outbreak had been feared.

And it said on Tuesday that, after a reduction in respiratory symptoms, it was hoped the hospital could return to 'green' in the next 48 hours.

A spokesperson said: "There was a small cluster of staff and patients presenting with ‘respiratory symptoms’ in Whitchurch Community Hospital last week.

"Therefore, in order to be extra vigilant and keep both our staff and patients safe and well, the trust has followed infection prevention advice for the week and enacted our ‘traffic light system’ of posters to alert staff and visitors to wear masks as an extra layer of protection.

"On our ward areas where we have a large number of frail patients we have enacted, for a short period, the red light process. This means that staff wear masks at all times - and the remainder of the hospital is on an amber level where staff only wear masks when undertaking direct patient contact.

"Over the last week we have seen a reduction in the ‘respiratory symptoms’. We are monitoring daily with the plan to return to green within the next 48 hours and continue to provide care without the constant wearing of masks."