Hospital Covid deaths almost twice figure before March lockdown

PUBLISHED: 16:03 05 November 2020

The number of COVID-19 related deaths at Lister Hospital since lockdown began has been revealed. Picture: Danny Loo.

The number of COVID-19 related deaths at Lister Hospital since lockdown began has been revealed. Picture: Danny Loo.

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The number of patients dying of Covid-19 in Hertfordshire hospitals was almost twice as high in the days before a second lockdown was announced as it was in the days before the first one.

In the seven days up to October 27 – the most recent full week of verified data – 11 patients died.

The rising death toll in the county is one of several data sets which the Herts Comet has converted into exclusive graphs, so readers can trace the trajectory of the second wave.

Six deaths were registered by the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust – which runs St Albans City and Watford General hospitals - and five by the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which oversees Lister Hospital in Stevenage and The New QEII in Welwyn Garden City.

In the seven days before the first national lockdown began on March 23, there were six deaths from the virus across the two trusts.

The number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 was also higher this time around.

On October 27, 54 beds were occupied by coronavirus patients – 36 at the West Herts trust, 16 at the East and North trust and two at the Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust.

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On March 23, only 33 beds were occupied by Covid patients.

News of rising hospitalisations and deaths comes as Stevenage’s own case numbers continue to rise.

Cases have increased in the borough every week since late September. In October, confirmed infections doubled twice in three weeks.

On October 2, there were 19 confirmed cases. By October 9 it doubled to 38. The following week, October 16, it rose to 44. Then it more than doubled again to 89 by October 23.

The most recent government data ends on October 30, when Stevenage’s case number rose slightly, to 91.

On October 30, there were 91 confirmed Covid-19 infections in Stevenage - up slightly on the week before. Picture: GettyImages/iStockPhoto/Richard Johnson.On October 30, there were 91 confirmed Covid-19 infections in Stevenage - up slightly on the week before. Picture: GettyImages/iStockPhoto/Richard Johnson.

The borough’s infection rate on October 30 was 103.6 cases per 100,000 people.

It was on October 30 that plans for a second national lockdown were first reported. MPs voted to impose it on Wednesday, November 4, and it came into effect on Thursday, November 5.

Covid-19’s incubation period means it could take weeks before any impact is seen, as infected patients can carry the virus for over a week without experiencing symptoms and seeking a test.

When the first lockdown began on March 23, Stevenage had just three confirmed cases. Its case load during the first wave did not peak until more than two weeks later, on April 8, when there were 52 cases.


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