'Warning lights flashing' as Rotherham sees first coronavirus deaths in a month

Four in critical care and two dead – Rotherham residents have been warned to follow government rules after the hospital starts to see corornavirus patients again.

Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 4:45 pm

Rotherham’s local outbreak engagement board heard on Friday, September 25 that the number of people with COVID-19 being admitted to hospital in Rotherham has risen to 17 – including four in critical care. Five weeks ago there were no COVID patients at the hospital.

There have been at least two COVID-related deaths in the borough over the last fortnight, following a month without a COVID fatality.

The rate of infection in Rotherham had now risen above 50 per 100,000 population, with the most common cause being community transmission, meaning that people are catching the virus most often during social or family contact. The data shows a wide spread of infection across the borough with connections between families, friends and social circles.

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Dr Richard Jenkins.

Rotherham Council leader and chair of the LOEB, Coun Chris Read, said: “People have been through so much already this year it is understandable that they are tired and don’t want to face a new wave of restrictions. None of us wants to go back to the dark days we saw earlier this year, but the warning lights are now flashing.

"As a community, we must find the strength and the determination to do all that is needed to keep each other safe and to keep Rotherham open, or else we will face new restrictions very soon.

"We appreciate that the rules can seem very complicated, but if everyone does the basics: wearing a face covering, keeping your distance from everyone and anyone that you don’t live with – and not gathering in groups, and washing your hands regularly, we can and we will get through the months ahead.”

Dr Richard Jenkins, chief executive of The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “While the number of hospital inpatients who have tested positive for COVID-19 is still far lower than it has been, we are starting to see numbers increase with 17 positive patients in the hospital on 25 September.

"As we head towards flu season, it is as important as ever that we all continue to work together to reduce the risk of infection.”