Hospital continuing to monitor Sandwell coronavirus cases
Hospital bosses say they are continuing to monitor coronavirus outbreaks in a borough and stand ready to scale-up services.
Sandwell has experienced a surge in Covid-19 cases over recent weeks which have made it one of the UK virus hotspots, creating speculation about the prospect of a local lockdown.
Hospital cases have been brought down to around single figures but there are concerns a local surge could once again put pressure on Sandwell Hospital.
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The latest board report from the trust which runs the hospital said: "We are keeping a close eye on community Covid-19 cases and are requesting more regular reports from Public Health England to indicate if there are increased cases in the community which suggests localised outbreak that may have an impact on the hospital admissions but also help feed into any discussions we have on lifting restrictions on visitors.
"There are 3 small community outbreaks currently being managed by PHE in the Black Country."
As of July 30 there were 16 coronavirus patients being cared for by the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust's two hospitals, with two in intensive care.
Employers have been urged to inform the borough council of any cases among their workforce amid concerns the virus is spreading among workers following the recent outbreak at CBS Packaging in West Bromwich which saw more than a third of its workforce test positive. Sandwell Council has set up its own test and trace system in a bid to track as many Covid cases as possible.
Dr David Carruthers, medical director at the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, which runs Sandwell General, told the E&S last week it was “well prepared” for an increase in patients and urged the public to continue following guidance around hand-washing and social distancing.