The number of people with COVID-19 being admitted to hospital in Rotherham has risen to 17 including four patients in critical care. Five weeks ago there were no COVID patients at the hospital.
Meeting last week, Rotherham’s Local Outbreak Engagement Board discussed the recent rise and also heard that there have been at least two COVID-related deaths in the borough over the last fortnight, following a month without a COVID fatality.
The rate of infection in Rotherham had now gone above 50 per 100,000 population, with the most common cause of infection being community transmission, meaning that people are catching the virus most often during social or family contact. The data shows a wide spread of infection across the borough with connections between families, friends and social circles.
The Board also heard that:
- The NHS COVID-19 smartphone app is now operational, and helping people in the borough to keep each other safe
- The police have and will use new powers to fine people gathering in groups of more than six people, and those who put others at risk of infection by failing to isolate when required to do so
- The Council expects within weeks to begin to be able to make financial support available to those on low incomes who need to self-isolate and who would otherwise being penalised financially for doing the right thing
People must do everything they can to protect themselves and their loved ones from coronavirus infection is the clear message from Rotherham’s Council and health chiefs.
Rotherham Council leader and chair of the LOEB Cllr Chris Read said: “People have been through so much already this year it is understandable that they are tired and don’t want to face a new wave of restrictions. None of us wants to go back to the dark days we saw earlier this year, but the warning lights are now flashing.
“As a community, we must find the strength and the determination to do all that is needed to keep each other safe and to keep Rotherham open, or else we will face new restrictions very soon.
“We appreciate that the rules can seem very complicated, but if everyone does the basics: wearing a face covering, keeping your distance from everyone and anyone that you don’t live with – and not gathering in groups, and washing your hands regularly, we can and we will get through the months ahead.”
Dr Richard Jenkins, Chief Executive of The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, added: “While the number of hospital inpatients who have tested positive for COVID-19 is still far lower than it has been, we are starting to see numbers increase with 17 positive patients in the hospital on 25 September. As we head towards flu season, it is as important as ever that we all continue to work together to reduce the risk of infection.”