The Bedford Independent can reveal that as of yesterday (Monday), there are currently 90 patients in Bedford Hospital who have tested positive for Covid-19 (coronavirus).
Not only is this a third higher than the peak during the first wave, this is an increase of 2,200% in the space of four weeks, from the four patients that were being treated on 16 October.
One patient is currently being treated in ICU and in the last two weeks, nine people who had tested positive for Covid-19 have died at Bedford Hospital.
Cllr Louise Jackson, the portfolio holder for health at Bedford Borough Council appeared on BBC Three Counties Radio on Monday morning to discuss the latest coronavirus cases at the hospital.
At the time of the interview, the number of cases was 76. Later that morning the figures had been updated to reflect the higher number of 90 inpatients.
She told the Bedford Independent, “At the peak of the last wave there were 69 Covid patients in Bedford Hospital, so this much higher number of infections in the hospital is extremely worrying.
“The hospital remains open, and you should seek medical attention if you need it, but we need to work together to keep our acute services accessible.
“The rate of infection in Bedford continues to rise, and it is apparent now that our more vulnerable, older populations are being impacted.
“These numbers reinforce the importance of our message – we must all play our part, observe the lockdown and reduce the spread of the virus. Remember – Hands, Face, Space.”
Paul Tisi, Joint Medical Director at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust said, “We would urge patients to continue to come forward and get the medical help they need.
“We have made many changes to the way we operate to keep patients and staff safe so it is important that patients continue to attend their appointments.”
Commenting, Mohammad Yasin, MP for Bedford and Kempston, said, “The surge in Covid hospital admissions is a stark reminder that we must not be complacent about this highly infectious virus and must follow the lockdown rules to break the chain of transmission.
“Although treatment for Covid-19 has improved to prevent as many deaths as we saw in the first wave, the hospital admission rates are higher.
“Covid-19 is dangerous and not just for older and vulnerable people. We know the long-term effects of the virus can be debilitating even after a mild infection response. Knowing a vaccine is on the horizon is great news but it won’t help in this very worrying second wave.
“We must all follow the lockdown rules to stop the virus spreading through the community and risk prolonging the restriction measures.”