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"Emerging picture of asymptomatic staff testing positive for Covid-19"

NHS bosses say they are working to reopen the A&E at Weston-super-Mare hospital as soon as possible.

It’s been closed to new admissions since Monday, along with the rest of the hospital, following a rise in coronavirus cases.

We’re told staff who are ‘asymptomatic’ have been testing positive for the virus.

All staff in clinical areas are currently being tested

Dr William Oldfield, medical director at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The safety and wellbeing of our patients and staff continues to be our top priority.

“There are currently a high number of patients with coronavirus in the hospital. We have tested all inpatients and will undertake retesting in line with national guidance, and we have appropriate segregation in place for patient care.

“Testing for symptomatic staff and household contacts has been offered across the Trust since the beginning of April.

“In addition, there is an emerging picture of asymptomatic staff testing positive for the virus. Any members of staff who have tested positive have self-isolated in line with national guidance. We are also in the process of testing all staff in clinical areas at the hospital who may have had some patient contact.

“Appropriate levels of Personal Protective Equipment are available and this is being used in line with Public Health England guidance, and there have been significant efforts to minimise unnecessary staff movements across the hospital.

“The trust has been working with its partners across the health and care system to ensure that new patients continue to receive the care and treatment they need.

“Well established arrangements are in place for any emergency referrals to Weston to go to other healthcare providers, new patients continue to have access to treatment and care in other appropriate healthcare settings in the area should they need it, and we are contacting patients who have planned appointments to discuss alternative arrangements.

“We are continuing to take the necessary steps with the aim of re-opening the A&E department and accepting new patients as soon as possible.” 
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