Healthcare settings providing NHS care are reintroducing face masks in the face of rising Covid-19 cases.
NHS England has asked dental practices, hospitals and GP practices throughout the Midlands to return to mandatory mask wearing.
It follows a 97% increase in hospital Covid-19 cases in acute trust settings and a significant spike in the use of critical care beds.
On a national level, Covid-19 cases have increased by almost 20% in a week, with one in 25 people estimated to have had the virus at the end of June.
Any infection prevention measures are now a ‘matter for local discretion’, as described by NHS England.
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Next Covid wave
The NHS England Midlands regional team sent out a letter asking providers to review their guidance. It proposed a return to universal mask wearing for all staff, including primary care settings.
‘It is apparent that we have entered the next Covid-19 wave,’ the letter reads.
‘Across the last seven days we have had a 97% increase in our nosocomial covid-19 cases in acute trust settings and a 25% increase in our mental health settings; this has also included a rise in the numbers of patients who have been admitted into critical care beds.’
It added that there has also been an increase in Covid-related staff absences.
The Midlands is not the only area announcing a return to mandatory face masks. Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Southampton are just some of the other trusts that have also made the move.
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