51 dead in bleak week at Blackpool Victoria Hospital – where doctors fear new wave of Covid admissions after Christmas

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Dr Jim Gardner has sent his condolences to “all the families” involved, with Whinney Heys Road Hospital’s coronavirus death toll now standing at 442.

He said: “This is clearly an important and disturbing and sad number for all involved,” and said that some have died with Covid and some have died because of it.
There were 122 Covid-positive patients in hospitals on the Fylde Coast yesterday, up from 138 last week and 166 the week before, in what Dr Gardner called a “gentle but not dramatic drop” in numbers.

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Dr Jim Gardner, Medical Director of Blackpool Victoria Hospital, gives his weekly coronavirus briefing on Wednesday December 2, 2020 (Photo: Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
Dr Jim Gardner, Medical Director of Blackpool Victoria Hospital, gives his weekly coronavirus briefing on Wednesday December 2, 2020 (Photo: Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
Some 94 people were in Vic’s Covid headquarters, while 22 were at Clifton Hospital in St Annes.
Six were in the intensive care unit, a number that remains unchanged from last Wednesday’s total.
Although the infection rate within the community continues to decline, from 210.1 per 100,000 people in the seven days as of November 28 to 156.3 in the previous seven days, he said that a “level extremely high ‘over 60 years old still tests positive.
Age is the biggest risk factor, with people over 60 more likely to die than younger people.
Dr Gardner has also expressed concern over plans to let families mingle over Christmas.
He said in his weekly Covid briefing: “Now that we are moving from a full lockdown to a tiered system, we are obviously thinking about the weeks ahead.
“Frankly, from the hospital’s point of view, we are concerned about Christmas and the level of social gatherings and interactions that are going to take place, while understanding that people need to have the opportunity to enjoy the time. ”
Dr Gardner urged people to “think about their plan” and keep their homes well ventilated – which studies show reduces the risk of transmission in confined spaces.
It comes after the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said being with friends and family on Christmas “isn’t worth putting them or putting yourself in danger”.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, added: “We all have to look at the life we ​​might play with in the decisions we make.
“The Covid-19 pandemic will change the way we celebrate, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate. We can still celebrate. ”
Dr Tedros said people can try to stay safe by partying in their homes and avoiding gatherings with many different households and families coming together.
A safety measures checklist for the holiday season can include meeting outdoors with people from a different household, maintaining physical distance, wearing a mask, avoiding crowded malls. , shopping at less busy times or shopping online, he suggested.
Dr Tedros reminded people to distance themselves, wear masks and wear hand sanitizers when they are at airports and train stations or on planes and buses.
He said, “If we can’t celebrate as usual this year, make a plan to celebrate with your family and friends once it’s safe to do so. We know it will be safe. It’s a question of time. ”
Many scientists and public health experts also doubt plans that will allow families to reunite.
Up to three households can form an exclusive “bubble” to meet at home from December 23 to 27.
Festive traditions such as Santa’s caves, Christmas carols, and Nativity plans can also move forward, albeit under regulations that vary from region to region.
Nurseries in schools will only allow the public to level one and two zones, subject to “appropriate safeguards.”
For the proud parents of level three, which currently includes all of Lancashire, schools are advised to use the live broadcast or record the plays.
Although national health officials have said the “default position” is that families should be able to visit loved ones in care homes before Christmas, they have issued advice warning homes to use only care homes. Artificial Christmas trees, wipe down decorations and do not have festive ornaments in the event of an outbreak.
Dr Gardner said he believes doctors will be the first to source the Pfizer vaccine, which was approved yesterday, with refrigerators to store vaccines already delivered.
He said there was “light at the end of the tunnel” and said the bosses were preparing to offer the vaccines to the community as they got the green light.

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