Hospital Covid deaths almost twice figure before March lockdown

PUBLISHED: 16:03 05 November 2020 | UPDATED: 16:06 05 November 2020

The West Hertfordshire NHS Hospitals Trust, responsible for Watford General, recorded six Covid-19 deaths in the seven days up to October 27. Picture: Danny Loo.

The West Hertfordshire NHS Hospitals Trust, responsible for Watford General, recorded six Covid-19 deaths in the seven days up to October 27. 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 Ad 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.

But the latest numbers suggested the transmission could be slowing down in St Albans, with cases down by 17 per cent.

The latest testing data shows that on October 30, there were 122 confirmed cases in St Albans, giving the district an infection rate of 82.2 cases per 100,000 people.

A week earlier, on October 23, there were 147 confirmed cases and the infection rate was 99.

However, this is not the first recent drop in case numbers and overall, the infection rate has steadily risen since mid-August.

On October 30, St Albans had 122 confirmed coronavirus cases - down slightly on the week before. Picture: GettyImages/iStockPhoto/Richard Johnson.On October 30, St Albans had 122 confirmed coronavirus cases - down slightly on the week before. Picture: GettyImages/iStockPhoto/Richard Johnson.

On August 21, there were 11 confirmed cases. By September 25 it was up to 48. Two weeks later, on October 9, it had almost tripled to 132.

The following week, October 16, there was a 17 per cent drop back down to 109 cases. But seven days later the rate shot back up by 35 per cent to 147.

Covid-19’s incubation period means it could take weeks before any impact is seen from the second lockdown, 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, St Albans had 17 confirmed cases. Its case load did not peak until more than two weeks later, on April 7, when there were 89 cases.


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