THREE Covid wards are now open at a major Teesside hospital after 30 virus patients were admitted to a trust in the space of 48 hours.

Officials at South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust have confirmed 84 people with Covid are now being treated at its sites – with three virus wards operating at James Cook Hospital. 

Eight of the 84 are receiving critical care. 

It comes after figures on Tuesday showed 54 Covid patients were being treated at the trust – 10 of whom were receiving the highest level of care. 

Hospital officials say Covid patients being seen are younger than those cared for in previous waves. 

Trust leaders have urged Teessiders to remain cautious.

A South Tees spokesman said: “Although the number of people in hospital is much lower than we saw in the winter thanks to the success of the vaccination programme, the rise in community infection rates has meant we have seen an increase in patients needing Covid care. 

“That is why it is so important that people get double-jabbed, stick to the rules around hospital visiting, which remains restricted, stay vigilant and exercise caution. 

“The increase in community infections has inevitably impacted on our colleagues as well as the wider public and everyone is working hard to make sure patients – including those whose care has been disrupted by the pandemic – receive the care they need.  

“The experienced clinicians who have guided our response throughout the pandemic are reviewing the situation on a day-by-day basis.”


Restrictions on visiting which have been in place throughout the pandemic remain – with outpatients urged to attend clinics and appointments on their own wherever possible. 

Yesterday, Middlesbrough’s seven days rolling covid rate per 100,000 people exceeded four figures for the first time since case recording began.

It has prompted calls for people to keep wearing face masks on trains, buses, taxis and in crowded indoor spaces after rules relax on Monday. 

On Tuesday, South Tees public health chief Mark Adams revealed 15 of the 54 patients on hospital wards were aged over 70 in a presentation to Middlesbrough health scrutiny panel.