Covid wards reinstated in Lincolnshire hospitals due to sharp rise in cases

Coronavirus numbers have risen sharply in Lincolnshire’s hospitals resulting in the reinstatement of COVID wards this week.

Coronavirus cases in hospitals are rising.
Coronavirus cases in hospitals are rising.

Director of operations Claire Reybould told the board of Lincolnshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group there had been 16 patients at the beginning of June to 73 this week – though the number had decreased on Wednesday to 64.

She told members: “[It’s] still significantly higher than we would have expected so it’s clear that we are in another wave at the moment.”

She said the pattern of infections, mostly where COVID was not the primary reason for being in hospital, was more like the second wave of COVID than the first.

However, she said it was starting to impact on staffing.

Other blue light services such as fire and rescue were also being impacted and further rises were also taking place in care homes, Mrs Reybould told the board.

However, she said vaccines were still weakening the link between serious illness and infection.

She repeated a message to residents to come forward to make sure they were up-to-date with their jabs.

COVID wards have been reinstated this week in order to help hospital bosses safely manage infection prevention control.

“In summary, we have been dealing with a lower number of COVID patients, but that is really increasing. However, it’s more the associated challenges.

“It is going to remain challenging, particularly over the coming months and as we head into winter, so we need to keep focused on that.

Andy Fox, Lincolnshire County Council’s Consultant in Public Health said there were 1,500 people officially testing positive in Lincolnshire last week, but that ONS modelling expected significantly higher numbers.

He said the figures equated to around 200 per hundred thousand population. In May it was as low as 40-50.

“We don’t have a huge statistical confidence in that rate given the low numbers of people taking the tests but it does follow the ONS picture of a significant steady increase.”

He said the majority were still the Omicron variant.

However, he told members Lincolnshire was “not leading the way nationally by any stretch of the imagination”.

Bosses are planning for an autumn vaccination campaign with expectations the spring booster will begin waning around that time.