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Covid still ‘very evident’ in Nottinghamshire’s hospitals, say health bosses

Covid is still “very evident” in Nottinghamshire hospitals a day after the lifting of all remaining legal restrictions – with  beds still filled with patients who have the virus

Amanda Sullivan, accountable officer for the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said the virus is still “very much in our communities and in our hospitals”.

During the last in a series of pandemic-specific briefings to regional media, public health leaders in the city and county also said there could be at least four of five years ahead as we “learn to live safely” with Covid.

Ms Sullivan said the numbers of people in local hospitals were coming down slowly – but there were still 12 deaths in Nottinghamshire in the week to 23 February compared with 10 the previous week.

She said: “We saw 114 admissions in the week to 20 February compared to 138 the previous week.

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“We had 306 people in beds in hospital with Covid on 22 February compared to 303 the prior week.

“The overall direction is slowly reducing in hospitals. We had three people so seriously ill with Covid they needed to be on a ventilator.

“This is the lowest number we have seen since the beginning of the pandemic.”

Jonathan Gribbin, Director of Public Health at Nottinghamshire County Council said the county is reaching “a significant milestone, but not yet the final destination”.

He stressed the importance of people taking a test if they have symptoms and staying at home if they test positive – despite the legal requirement to self-isolate ending on Thursday (24 February ).

The Government has also announced that from 1 April, free PCR and lateral flow testing for the virus will end.

Lucy Hubber, Director of Public Health at Nottingham City Council, said: “For me, there is absolutely no dilemma – if somebody feels they have got symptoms, they should get tested, and if they test positive they should stay at home.

“If you don’t feel great, I would recommend that people think about the importance of their plans and make a judgement.

“If we are asking people to either lose out by not going to work, or to participate in buying tests, it is bound to hit some people harder than others.
“We absolutely want to make sure that those communities and people working in high risk settings are still able to gain access to testing.”
But she added that the anticipation is that public health will be “stepping back” from community testing from 1 April.
She added that free tests are currently still available in libraries, pharmacies and online.

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