Sheffield hospitals bring back mask rules as Covid-19 and flu cases rise

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People have been urged to avoid clinical settings if they have virus symptoms.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has asked staff, visitors and patients to wear face masks in its hospitals and community hubs once again, following a "significant" rise in Covid cases.

In a statement, the Trust said: "The number of cases of Covid-19 has risen significantly over the last few weeks both locally and nationally and so we are taking some precautionary measures to limit the spread of both Covid and other respiratory viruses. 

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"Along with our staff, visitors, outpatients and anyone accompanying them are asked to wear masks in all clinical areas and anywhere they will be in close contact with others for longer periods of time.

"Please ask a member of staff if you do not have a mask and they will provide you with one.

"We are also asking that anyone coming into our hospitals or community hubs please sanitise their hands, keep their distance from others and avoid visiting if unwell with viral symptoms such as cough, cold or fever."

NHS England guidance states that individual trusts can decide their own mask-wearing rules based on local infection rates. 

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In the seven days leading up to October 14, across the UK, 12,123 people were infected with Covid. This was a 25 per cent drop on the seven days before that, but still a notable increase on summer rates.

The Trust's statement adds: "If you are eligible for a Covid-19 or Flu vaccine, please consider getting yourself protected which in turn helps reduce the risk of transmission."

3,854,884 people aged 75 and over had the Spring booster vaccine across the country, an uptake of 70 per cent.

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