Face masks made mandatory again in North Tees and Hartlepool hospitals amid rising Covid cases

Wearing face masks has become mandatory again in hospitals in the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust area.

This comes under a month after the measure was scrapped.

It is being reinstated amid a rise in Covid cases on Friday 8 July.

The Trust said it had 64 in-patients with the virus on 30 June, up from 11 on 1 June.

In-patients will be asked to wear a mask while in bed and while away from their bed space if this can be tolerated, and out-patients will need to wear masks throughout their consultation or treatment.

People visiting friends and family will be required to wear a mask while on the ward and are reminded to book a visiting appointment.

The rule applies to the University Hospital of North Tees, University Hospital of Hartlepool and Peterlee Community Hospital.

Karen Sheard, deputy chief nurse, said: "We all hoped we would never have to make this decision.

"Covid-19 remains a serious threat and we cannot and will not compromise the safety of our patients and colleagues.

"We ask everyone to do their bit by wearing a mask when visiting our hospitals."