Coronavirus: Weston hospital staff ‘unknowingly spread virus’

coronavirus weston hospital staff unknowingly spread virus - Coronavirus: Weston hospital staff 'unknowingly spread virus'Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption All staff have been tested for coronavirus since the outbreak was detected

A coronavirus outbreak at Weston General Hospital was caused by staff who did not know they had the virus, according to the town’s MP.

Conservative MP John Penrose said health chiefs told him it “did not come from anywhere else”.

He 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 temporarily closed on 25 May.

“It wasn’t until they [staff who had the virus but were showing no symptoms] were found in a routine test everyone went, ‘hang on there’s a problem here’.

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

“They very sensibly locked themselves down,” added Mr Penrose.

There had been speculation the outbreak was linked to crowds of people visiting the seaside town.

North Somerset Council also said there was no current evidence to show the virus had spread to the wider community from the hospital outbreak.

The local authority said cases in North Somerset did not appear to be “significantly higher than other parts of the South West” and cases were on a “downward trend”.

Debbie Stark, deputy regional director for Public Health England South West, said: “Our initial review has concluded that the recent spike in cases seen in North Somerset is associated with the increases reported by the hospital.

“Cases in care homes and the wider community appear to be in line with other areas.

“This is the first stage in a longer piece of analysis to ensure we identify any other concerns.”

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Weston General Hospital has been closed since 25 May

Matt Lenny, director of public health for North Somerset Council, said: “We believe we are not seeing widespread transmission of the virus beyond what is typical for other local authorities in our area.

“Even with the additional cases found over recent weeks, the concentration of cases in our community is still in line with other areas in the South West.”

However, he added there was “no room for complacency” and “we will remain vigilant in watching how the virus progresses”.

North Somerset Council has also advised that all schools in the area can re-open from Monday, 8 June.

Back to: Home Bristol News

You may also like...