Visiting at all Southern Trust hospitals remains suspended due to high COVID levels

Increased levels of COVID-19 in the Southern Health Trust area has led to visiting at all sites and hospitals remaining temporarily suspended.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 10:33 am

As some parts of Northern Ireland life are beginning to ease due to the reduction in COVID-19 cases, the situation in the southern region remains strictly regulated.

Almost 15,000 people have tested positive in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District. The Trust also takes in Mid Ulster as well as Newry, Mourne and Down council areas which have a total of around 22,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19. The majority of those testing positive in these areas are aged between 20 and 39 years old.

A spokesperson said: “The Trust is following the latest regional Surge level 5 arrangements regarding visiting .

Craigavon Hospital.
Craigavon Hospital.

“Given the increased levels of COVID-19 currently circulating in this area, in order to protect visitors, patients and staff, visiting on all sites and facilities remains temporarily suspended.

“However as per regional guidance , end of life visits will be accommodated for relatives where there is a COVID secure environment which constitutes the majority of areas on our hospital sites. Unfortunately, there are a small number of high acuity areas within our hospitals which are not COVID secure without the appropriate level of PPE, therefore we may be unable to facilitate end of life visiting to these areas at this point within this current surge. This will be reviewed continually and all efforts will be made to facilitate an end of life visit where possible .Birthing partners continue to be permitted.

“We fully appreciate this is very difficult for families, but in the interests of safety, we regret that this is absolutely necessary at this time and would ask all to fully comply with these arrangements.

“We are encouraging virtual visits through personal smart phone technology or devices available in wards supported by ward staff. Relatives who need help with this can call our Virtual Visiting co-ordinator between 9am and 5pm on 077 7651 6419 to set this up with their loved on.

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