Norovirus latest: Restrictions remain in place in the North East
Visitor restrictions are still in place in hospitals across the North East because of a norovirus outbreak.
These were introduced a fortnight ago in nine hospitals in an effort to contain the virus, after more than 170 were affected by the illness, a vomiting bug which strikes in winter.
All of the hospitals are run by the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
These were slowly relaxed but in the past 24 hours there has been an increase in the number of wards closed to visitors to seven.
These are wards four, five and nine of Wansbeck General Hospital, wards eight, and 12 of North Tyneside General Hospital, ward four of Hexham General Hospital and ward one of Blyth Community Hospital.
Visiting is permitted for one hour – from 2-3pm – on unaffected wards and limited to two visitors per bed.
Children under 16 have been urged to stay away from hospitals because of this outbreak and another of flu.
A spokesman for the trust said: “We know not being able to visit a relative or loved one when they are sick is hard and are doing everything we can to allow as much access as is safe – we are hugely grateful for the support our staff have received from the public and ask that this understanding continues.In areas where visiting is open please remain vigilant: wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water – not alcohol gel.
“Please do not visit if you have symptoms of norovirus or any respiratory or flu-like symptoms; you will only endanger yourself, our staff and your loved ones.”