Andrew Davis, deputy medical director at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Thanks to everyone’s efforts, Northern Devon has been fortunate to see low rates of COVID-19 in our community. However, as in other parts of the country we are now seeing a gradual resurgence of infections.
“We currently have a low number of COVID+ patients, who are on a separate COVID ward. This number is low compared to elsewhere in the country. Our testing quickly identified these patients as COVID+ and they were immediately isolated. They were then contact traced to reduce the risk to anyone else.
“We have measures in place at the hospital to ensure that we can care for COVID+ patients whilst continuing with urgent care, planned elective surgery and outpatient appointments. COVID+ patients are cared for in a completely separate area of the hospital and all patient care is running as normal. People should still keep their appointments. We very much want to see our patients.
“I’d like to reassure everyone that it is our top priority to keep everyone safe. We have learned a lot from the first wave and we continue to use this knowledge and thorough infection prevention controls to keep staff and patients safe. We are well prepared to handle an increase in COVID-19 cases in Northern Devon and have robust plans in place to manage winter pressures alongside.
“The continued threat of COVID-19 is real. You can help us by following the government guidelines: Hands, Face, Space. Please don’t ignore symptoms, in yourself or in your household. We all need to look after ourselves and each other.”