Face coverings have been reintroduced in hospital settings following a continued rise in Covid-19 cases in Wolverhampton.

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust is asking that patients and visitors wear a mask, if they can, in all areas of New Cross Hospital, West Park Hospital and Cannock Hospital from today (Monday 11 July).

Data released on Friday from the Office for National Statistics showed that a total of 2.7 million people in private households in the UK were estimated to have had coronavirus in the last week of June – up 18% from 2.3 million the previous week.

Professor David Loughton CBE, Chief Executive of The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: “For those of us who work in healthcare the message that Covid-19 hasn’t gone away has been a consistent one and we know that the virus will continue to challenge us – as it is now.
“We are seeing a rise in cases within the community, in our hospitals and amongst our workforce, and that has prompted our move, along with national guidance, to reintroduce face masks from today.

“This applies to all staff, visitors and patients who are able to wear a mask and has been put in place to reduce the risk of transmission. We thank our communities for working with us to keep everyone as safe as possible.”

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "We have seen a sustained rise in Covid-19 cases over recent weeks, and I am sure most of us will know someone who currently has the virus. Many more of us might have it without realising, as universal testing is no longer available.

"Therefore, the decision to reintroduce face coverings in its buildings is a prudent move by The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and I would encourage patients and visitors to follow the guidance if they possibly can.

“Residents also need to consider now, more than in recent months, that national guidance is still in place which recommends wearing face coverings in crowded places, to help prevent the spread of the virus.”

She added: "Fortunately, despite rising infection rates, the number of people falling seriously ill or dying with Covid-19 remains comparatively low, and that's primarily due to the impact of the vaccine. 

"So, if you haven't already had your first or second jab, or your booster, please get it as soon as possible. Remember that getting your booster when it is due is particularly important because we know that the effectiveness of the vaccine wanes after time."

For details of local walk in Covid-19 vaccination clinics, please visit Find a walk-in coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination site. People can also book an appointment via Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination or by calling 119.