A UK hospital has stopped taking new admissions because of the high number of patients already there with COVID-19.
Weston General Hospital in Somerset said it has brought a temporary halt to accepting new patients as so many are battling coronavirus.
The hospital in Weston-super-Mare stopped taking new admissions, including into its A&E department, from 8am on Monday "to maintain patient and staff safety".
University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust said the measure is "precautionary" and the situation will be kept under review.
Weston General Hospital is temporarily stopping accepting new patients, including A&E, as of 8am today (25 May). Arrangements are in place for new patients to have continued access to treatment & care in other appropriate healthcare settings if needed. https://t.co/PRpmwOMqzw— University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS FT (@uhbwNHS) May 25, 2020
The trust said there are arrangements in place for new patients to access treatment and care "in other appropriate healthcare settings in the area should they need it".
According to the government, more than 36,000 people have died in UK hospitals after testing positive for COVID-19.
Dr William Oldfield, medical director at the trust, said: "As with any hospital, the number of patients with COVID-19 will frequently change as people are admitted and discharged.
"We currently have a high number of patients with COVID-19 in Weston General Hospital.
"Whilst the vast majority will have come into the hospital with COVID-19, as an extra precaution we have taken the proactive step to temporarily stop accepting new patients to maintain patient and staff safety.
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"This is a clinically led decision and we are being supported by our system partners to ensure that new patients receive the care and treatment they need in the appropriate setting, and we are continuing to provide high-quality care to existing patients who are being treated in the hospital.
"We have a robust coronavirus testing programme in place for patients and staff to identify cases quickly, with appropriate measures taken by clinical teams as required.
“We will keep the situation under constant review."
Instead of using the hospital, patients have been told they can access local GP practices and minor injuries units.
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