Hull facing 'public health crisis' as Covid infection rates soar to highest in England

12 November 2020, 15:58 | Updated: 7 June 2023, 08:56

Hull has the highest seven-day average in England, while a local hospital has warned things are 'really bad'
Hull has the highest seven-day average in England, while a local hospital has warned things are 'really bad'. Picture: PA
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Hull is facing a public health crisis after its seven-day rolling average of coronavirus cases hit the highest number in England, a local health chief has warned.

Julia Weldon, the city's director of public health, said on Thursday new Covid-19 cases had now skyrocketed to 726 per 100,000 people - the highest in England.

This includes 161 people currently being treated with the disease in Hull's two hospitals, which Ms Weldon said could rise to 500 "in the next couple of weeks".

Sixteen of those patients are currently in intensive care.

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Speaking BBC Radio Humberside, she then urged locals to pay attention to the latest restrictions, adding: "It's a really worrying picture [...]

"I can't stress enough how serious this is. This really is a public health crisis.

"We know we're in the middle of a pandemic but for us in Hull it has become more serious."

Hull Royal Infirmary (HRI) emergency department has issued a similar call for vigilance after seeing a "huge rise" in cases.

It said on Twitter: "Our department and @HullHospitals are seeing a huge rise in #COVID19 cases. We urge the public to please follow @PHE_uk guidance on #HandsFaceSpace.

"It's bad this time round... really bad!"

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On 12 October, there were just 14 patients being treated by the two hospitals covered by the Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, with a rise to 68 patients on 28 October.

This, therefore, marks a huge increase in November, with the now more than a hundred patients with the disease.

As a result, some routine surgeries are due to be cancelled.

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"We've seen a sudden and dramatic increase in patients with Covid-19 who need to be admitted to our hospitals over the past fortnight and it's continuing to climb, reflecting the high numbers of people in the city currently being diagnosed with the virus," chief operating officer Teresa Cope said.

"It has become increasingly clear that if we are to have the capacity and staff to care for these patients, we have to reschedule our other work.

"We are deeply sorry to every person affected by this decision. We assure them that we will seek to restart all of our services as soon as possible."