Coronavirus: Doncaster Royal Infirmary treating COVID-19 patient as staff member tests postitive

Doncaster Royal Infirmary is treating a coronavirus patient – and a staff member at the hospital has reportedly tested positive.

Saturday, 21st March 2020, 7:32 am
Updated Monday, 23rd March 2020, 8:16 pm

According to an internal email sent to Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust staff and seen by the Free Press, it said DRI had admitted its first coronavirus patient.

The email, headed: “Covid 19 patient in DRI and staff member tests positive,” was from the Trust’s Chief Executive Richard Parker.

It reads: “To keep colleagues up-to-date with developments, I can share with you the news that we have admitted our first Covid-19 positive patient who is now being cared for at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

DRI is treating its first COVID-19 patient.

“Separately, a member of staff has also returned a positive swab for the virus, and is at home and self-isolating.

“Throughout the past number of weeks, we have been busy putting in the necessary precautions and safeguards in place for the inevitable increase in Covid-19 patients, and as a Trust we are working to national guidance to ensure that we are compliant with Infection Prevention and Control measures to minimise any associated risks.

“Finally, I must remind you all to continue to wash your hands regularly with soap and water, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth and use, and discard, tissues if you cough.”

We have contacted the Trust for further comment.

Coronavirus: the facts

What is coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

What caused coronavirus?

The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.

How is it spread?

As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

What are the symptoms?

The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.

What precautions can be taken?

Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.

Should I avoid public places?

The advice now is to avoid public places and any non-essential travel. Travel abroad is also being advised against for the next 30 days at least, and many European countries have closed their borders.

What should I do if I feel unwell?

Don’t go to your GP but instead call NHS 111 or look online at the coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and what to do next.

When to call NHS 111

NHS 111 should be used if you feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms, have been in a country with a high risk of coronavirus in the last 14 days or if you have been in close contact with someone with the virus.

Sources: World Health Organisation and NHS