Snapshot data shows ‘significant increase’ in west Hertfordshire hospital Covid cases in October

The 'snapshot' data was presented to the board meeting of the West Herts Hospitals Trust on Thursday

Wednesday, 11th November 2020, 11:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th November 2020, 11:02 am

Hospitals in west Hertfordshire are set to hang plastic curtains between beds in isolation areas, as part of measures to halt the spread of Covid-19.

The measures emerged in a report to the latest board meeting of the West Herts Hospitals Trust on Thursday (November 5).

Meanwhile ‘snapshot’ data presented to the board pointed to a “significant increase” in the number of patients with Covid-19, between September and October – and to a “significant increase” in Covid-19 sickness absence amongst staff.

Snapshot data shows ‘significant increase’ in west Hertfordshire hospital Covid cases in October

According to a monthly snapshot of data, on October 15 there were three patients with confirmed Covid-19 being treated in intensive care.

On other wards, there were a further 34 patients who were confirmed to have Covid-19, up from 10 recorded in ‘snapshot’ data from the previous month.

And – according to the data – there were a further eight suspected cases, down from 14 suspected cases the previous month.

One of those cases recorded as Covid-19 positive was classed as being ‘definite’ hospital acquired, which means the patient tested positive more than 15 days after admission.

And another was classed as ‘probable’, which means the patient tested positive between eight and 14 days after admission.

According to a report to the board, all patients are being tested on admission – and screened again five or six days later.

It says that plastic screens are now being trialled in open bays at the hospital – and that plastic curtains are to be used to ‘support separation and segregation’ of beds in isolation areas and in the children’s emergency department.

Meanwhile the data also shows that number of staff absent as a result of Covid-19 on October 15 was 246 – up from 40 in the ‘snapshot’ data from the previous month.

Of those, it was reported that 174 were self-isolating – compared to 18 the previous month.

No staff members tested positive for Covid 19 in October, according to the data in the report.

Commenting on the level of staff absence, following the meeting of the board a spokesperson for the Trust said: “The figure of 246 includes household contact and test and trace absence, which are a subset of the staff absence figure of 246.

“The total absence figure of 246 is under five per cent of our workforce.

“These figures are higher than our usual absence figures which, on the whole, are good.

“The increasing rate is in line with the local increase in Covid-19 cases and the accompanying isolation requirements.”