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Coronavirus: King's Lynn hospital volunteers urged to stay away due to increasing cases

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Volunteers have been told to stay away from Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital because of the increase in coronavirus cases, it has been confirmed today.

The move is said to be necessary to protect the hundreds of people who give their time at the Gayton Road site, as well as patients and staff.

And bosses say they're looking at ways in which volunteers may be able to help remotely.

QEH General Views of the outside of the hospital. (41429704)
QEH General Views of the outside of the hospital. (41429704)

Dr April Brown, the hospital's chief nurse, said this morning: “As cases rise locally and nationally, and consistent with the recent reintroduction of visiting restrictions at the Trust, we have taken the difficult but proactive step of pausing support from our volunteers on site until further notice.

"This step has been taken as a precautionary but necessary measure to ensure we keep our much needed and hugely valued volunteers safe alongside our patients and staff.

"We are exploring ways in which our volunteers can offer support from afar and we hope to welcome them back on site as soon as it is safe to do so.”

The hospital currently has around 350 volunteers, who gave 38,000 of their time last year alone.

It is understood that some had only begun to return in recent weeks, following the initial Covid-19 lockdown.

In its latest update, issued on Monday, the QEH said it was treating 14 patients for coronavirus, three of whom were in critical care.

That figure has more than trebled from the four which was reported two weeks ago.

However, Public Health England analysis has suggested case rates in West Norfolk as a whole may be slowing, as levels in other districts increase.

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