As Plan B measures are eased, NHS organisations across the North East and North Cumbria are reminding the public that infection control measures are still in place across healthcare settings to help protect both patients and staff.
People are asked to continue wear a face mask, socially distance and wash their hands regularly when in pharmacies, GP surgeries, clinics, hospitals and on patient transport to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Dr Neil Halford, interim medical director, North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System, has said it is still a “busy and challenging time” for health services in the region and has urged people to take their Covid and flu jabs.
He added: “It continues to be a busy and challenging time for health services across the North East and North Cumbria.
“While it looks like things are heading in the right direction we remain cautious.
"The numbers of patients in hospital with Covid-19 in the region remains broadly the same as it was this time last week, and is still higher than we would like.
"We have started to see a small decline in the number of staff absences which is encouraging, as well as seeing infection rates in the community also falling.
“While plan B restrictions are being lifted, infection control measures across healthcare settings will remain in place.”
He continued: “We would like to thank the public for their support and ask that they continue to wear a mask and wash their hands when visiting any healthcare settings such as pharmacies, GP surgeries, clinics, hospitals and on patient transport.
"Please also follow the rules around visiting, many of our hospitals have restrictions in place to help keep patients and staff safe.
“People can help by getting their covid and flu vaccines. If you have a health problem, we are here for you – please use services sensibly by thinking pharmacy, GP and 111 online first and only call 999 or use A&E when it’s a life-threatening condition.”
There are currently 1,039 patients in hospital with Covid-19 across the North East and North Cumbria, with around 40 per cent of hospital workforce absences being Covid-19 related.