VISITORS who are exempt from Covid-19 restrictions on visiting hospital patients are being asked to take a lateral flow test and ensure they have a negative result before attending hospital from today.

Visiting is restricted at the James Cook and Friarage hospitals, along with the South Tees Hospitals Trust’s community wards at Redcar Primary Care Hospital, The Friary Community Hospital and East Cleveland Primary Care Hospital.

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But there are still some exceptions where one visitor is permitted.

These exemptions include end-of-life care, birthing partners, the children and young people’s unit, the neonatal unit and those supporting someone with dementia, a learning disability or autism.

As an extra precaution, from today anyone aged 11 years or older who is exempt from the restrictions will be asked to carry out a lateral flow test on the morning of their visit and bring proof of their negative result with them.

Visitors will be asked to show their negative test result from the NHS app or the text message or email that confirms registration of their result.

Anyone who cannot use a smartphone or computer can bring their negative test with them in a clear sealable bag or provide photographic evidence.

Deputy chief nurse Lindsay Garcia said: “Visiting has remained restricted on our sites throughout the pandemic to protect our patients, service users and colleagues.

“Like other hospitals, we have seen an increase in Covid-19 admissions so to help us keep everyone as safe as possible we are now asking those who are still able to visit to do a lateral flow test before they attend and we thank the community for their support with this.” 

Anyone who has a positive lateral flow test result should stay at home and follow national testing and isolation guidance.

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