HEALTH chiefs have decided to reopen Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s adult in-patient wards at 2.30pm today (Thursday, February 23).
Bosses took the drastic step of closing the hospital to visitors on February 15 after the contagious Norovirus winter vomiting bug struck eight wards.
Hospital chiefs are calling on visitors to be vigilant when the facility opens its doors again.
A spokesman said: “The development comes with restrictions for visitors as some of our wards still harbour Norovirus cases.
“Visiting will be at the ward matron’s discretion and hand washing with soap and water before entering a ward environment will be mandatory as part of ongoing measures to stop the spread of the bug.
“The difficult decision to close was taken due to the unusually high level of Norovirus cases and we have started to see a decline in the number of new cases detected.
“The level of public support, goodwill and co-operation in helping us to cope with this outbreak has been magnificent and throughout this period we have been mindful that it has put considerable strain on patients and visitors who have been unable to see each other.
“Despite this improvement, there are still Norovirus cases on our wards and the virus is still present in the community so visitor numbers will be limited to two adults only for each patient and for a time period of one hour per visitor.
“Matrons and senior ward staff will also have the authority to curtail ward visits if a visitor appears to be unwell or they do not adhere to the strict hand hygiene measures that are in place.
“If you are feeling unwell for any reason then please do not visit the hospital or any other community area. Also remember that you are still infectious for 72 hours after symptoms – vomiting, diarrhoea, chills, aches and flu-like symptoms – subside.
“This has been a very difficult period for patients, visitors and staff and everybody at the trust would like to thank the community for its efforts in helping to limit the spread of Norovirus.”