The latest on coronavirus at Chesterfield Royal Hospital as England’s chief medical officer warns hospitalisations could hit large numbers
Chesterfield Royal Hospital has issued an update on coronavirus as people across England are urged to act with caution once restrictions end on Monday.
Bosses at the Royal announced earlier this week that staff and visitors will “still be expected” to wear a face covering after Monday, July 19 – the day when all coronavirus measures will cease.
Currently, the hospital is caring for seven patients with a positive diagnosis of Covid-19, three of whom are receiving critical care, and said it is constantly reviewing the situation.
It comes as figures from Derbyshire County Council’s Covid Surveillance report revealed that the number of Covid-19 cases identified by testing in Chesterfield tripled in the fortnight up to July 9, rising to 464.3 per 100,000 population compared to 146 in the previous 14-day period.
Speaking ahead of ‘Freedom Day' on Monday, England’s chief medical officer told an online seminar hosted by the Science Museum that the pandemic still had a "long way to run in the UK" as he warned of the potential for the situation to become very dangerous for individual hospitals.
Prof Whitty said: "I don't think we should underestimate the fact that we could get into trouble again surprisingly fast.
"I think saying the numbers in hospital are low now, that does not mean the numbers will be low in hospital in five, six, seven, eight weeks' time.
"They could actually be really quite serious."
He added: "We've still got 2,000 people in hospital and that number is increasing. If we double from 2,000 to 4,000 from 4,000 to 8,000, 8,000 and so on it doesn't take many doubling times until you're in very, very large numbers indeed."
Prof Whitty also cautioned that "we are not by any means out of the woods yet", but added that "we are in much better shape due to the vaccine programme, and drugs, and a variety of other things".
He said it was crucial that people in England "take things incredibly slowly" from July 19 - adding that he anticipated most people would still take precautions, such as wearing a face covering to protect those around them who are high risk.