COVID levels in Worcestershire are at their highest levels since October 2023 as people have been told to wear facemasks while at hospitals.

Covid patients are having to spend extended amounts of time in hospital, Worcestershire's NHS Trust revealed. 

These figures have been revealed after Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust re-introduced the mask mandates in its hospitals on Thursday (June 27). 

According to the Trust, it was to 'protect staff and patients from risk of infection' after a spike in cases. 

The number of Covid positive hospital patients across the Trust- 71 people- is the highest number seen since October 2023. 

Over the past 28 recorded days, there have also been 136 confirmed across Worcestershire- more than double the previous four weeks. 

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It has included a massive spike recently, with 41 per cent of the months' Covid cases coming in the past seven recorded days. 

However, 20 of the county's 136 confirmed cases between May 30 and June 26 were recorded in Worcester. 

Sarah Shingler, chief nursing officer at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We currently have 71 Covid positive inpatients across the Trust. 

"This is the highest number of Covid positive inpatients seen since October 2023 and the amount of time our Covid positive patients need to be in hospital is increasing.  

“With the number of Covid-positive patients increasing, we have reintroduced the use of masks in all clinical areas for staff, patients and visitors until further notice.

“This measure is necessary to protect colleagues and our patients from the risk of infection, and we are grateful for the support of those visiting and working in our hospitals."

The new face mask rules will apply to staff, patients and visitors at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre, and Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester until further notice. 

The Trust provides a wide range of services to a population of 592,158 people in Worcestershire as well as caring for patients from surrounding counties and further afield.

We contacted Worcestershire County Council's cabinet member for health and wellbeing, Cllr David Ross but he was unable to comment by the time we went to press.