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Oxford Health NHS Trust still patients can still have up to two visitors for at least an hour every day

A surge in Covid cases has prompted two hospital trusts to re-introduce mask-wearing in clinical areas.

Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) and Oxford Health (OH) NHS Trusts have both changed their rules.

Visitors are welcome at both trusts, including two for at least an hour every day, if acceptable to the ward, at OH’s facilities.

OH operates services in Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Buckinghamshire and Somerset.

Its chief nurse Marie Crofts said: “We have a duty of care to do all we can to limit the risk of infection.

“With Covid-19 on the increase in the community, we ask you to please wear a mask while you are with us. Together we need to do all we can to protect each other and our patients.”

Dr Anny Sykes, OUH’s interim chief medical officer, said: “We will continue to support our patients and their visitors to wear face masks in all areas of our hospitals if that is their preference, and mask dispensers will remain in place in the various entrances to our hospitals.”

Infections ‘still down’

Across the UK, the latest figures show an estimated 2.3 million people or one in 30 has the virus.

Hospital cases and infections are still down on earlier peaks but health chief Dame Jenny Harries told the BBC on Sunday that there could still be an impact on treating other patients.

Anyone who has flu-like or Covid-19 symptoms or feels unwell is told not to attend any hospital.

OH delivers specialist mental health services in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire and Bath and North East Somerset.

It also provides community health services in Oxfordshire, including dementia services and school nurses.

Minor injuries units in Abingdon and Witney and first aid units in Wallingford, Chipping Norton and Bicester, are also operated by the trust.

OUH runs the John Radcliffe and Churchill Hospital in Oxford, the city’s Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and the Horton General Hospital in Banbury.

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