Fewer patients in Vic with Covid – but eight more die as sombre milestone in Blackpool is passed

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The number of people being treated for Covid in hospitals on the Fylde coast has dropped for the first time in weeks.


Dr Jim Gardner, medical director at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Clifton Hospital in St Annes, said 40 patients within 14 days of diagnosis are being cared for, with 33 on general wards, five fighting for their lives, and two at Clifton.

“This time last week I reported 54,” he said during his weekly coronavirus briefing on Wednesday afternoon.

“That number has moved in the right direction.”

Inside Blackpool Victoria Hospital's Covid Intensive Care Unit (Picture: Chimane Moore)

Inside Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s Covid Intensive Care Unit (Picture: Chimane Moore)

An extra 23 people remain in hospital due to Covid but are no longer within that 14 day period, Dr Gardner added, while he said he hopes the hospital is following a national downward trend of admissions.

“But I think frankly it’s too early to say,” he warned.

The community infection rate is also falling, Dr Gardner said, from the “high-500s” to 465 per 100,000 in Blackpool.

“We’ll hope that trend continues in that direction,” he said.

But another eight people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid, taking the Vic’s death toll past 800 to 808.

Sending his condolences to their loved ones, Dr Gardner said: “Frankly it’s an ongoing situation for us all. It’s important we are thoughtful about that.”

The hospital’s visiting policy has been eased, he added, with visitors allowed into all areas except for a “couple of wards where we have a high density of Covid positivity,” Dr Gardner added.

These are wards two and five, plus some parts of critical care, while there are varying degrees of restrictions in different parts of the hospital, with visitors urged to check them before going.

Face coverings must be worn, with masks and hand gel at the entrances, with two metres distance practised where possible.

Dr Gardner said those over 50 are now being offered booster vaccinations through, with the Vic giving boosters to all frontline NHS workers.