TWO elderly people have died after testing positive for coronavirus.
The man and woman in their 70s, who were under the care of the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, both had significant underlying heath conditions.
It has not been made clear at which of the trust’s sites – which includes Dewsbury Hospital – the pensioners died.
Martin Barkley, chief executive of Mid Yorkshire, said: “Sadly, we can confirm that two patients who were being cared for at our hospital sites and had tested positive for Covid-19, have died.
“Both of these patients were in their 70s and had significant underlying health conditions.
“Clearly it is a distressing time for the families and our thoughts are with them.
“The trust is continuing to follow all of the appropriate infection control guidance to provide safe and effective care to our patients.”
There are now more than 3,000 confirmed cases of the flu-like virus in the UK, and the death toll has reached 137.
The UK government has told everyone in the country to avoid “non-essential” travel and contact with others and crowded places, such as pubs, clubs and theatres, in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
All schools in the district will close their doors at the end of today (Fri), except for vulnerable pupils or children of key workers.
The advice from Public Health England states: “The most common symptoms of coronavirus are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or high temperature.
“If you have these symptoms, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for seven days from when your symptoms started. You do not need to call NHS 11 to go into self-isolation.
“If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after seven days, contact NHS 111.”
Trust officials have announced further restrictions on visiting times across all its sites due to the pandemic.
One immediate family member or carer will be allowed to visit patients at the Trust’s hospitals, including Dewsbury, between 2pm and 3pm or 6.30pm and 7.30pm.
People will not be able to attend both sessions, with visitors being asked to choose one of the two slots.
No children under the age of 12 are permitted to visit without permission of the ward manager or a senior nurse.
A spokesperson said the decision had been taken to “protect everyone as much as we can” from the spread of coronavirus.
Yesterday North Kirklees GPs instigated a ‘total triage’ system. This means patients will receive a consultation either on the phone or by video link with a clinician.
The clinician will then decide if the patient needs a home visit or to come to the surgery, or an alternative nearby practice.
A face-to-face appointment will then be made if necessary.