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23 December 2020

Health bosses at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals are appealing to people not to let their guard down and stick to COVID-19 safeguards

Health bosses at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals are appealing to people not to let their guard down and stick to COVID-19 safeguards, following news that a variant of the COVID-19 virus is now known to be in many communities across the UK.

Whilst the variant virus does not appear to increase the risk of serious illness or need any different treatment to the existing COVID-19 it is much more easily transmitted between people and so health bosses are asking local communities to continue to be vigilant in following the existing national guidance (

Professor Chris Morley, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We have plans in place to manage this new development and we have had an early indication the variant might already be circulating in the community through work we have been doing with our research colleagues. This work has been looking at linkages in the genome sequencing of positive COVID-19 cases. The results have very recently flagged a small number of patients who have the variant strain. These patients were already being cared for with enhanced infection control measures as with all our COVID-19 patients. The care these patients receive is not any different because it does not appear that the new variant makes people any more ill, or increase mortality. However, the reason we are concerned is because it is more easily transmitted between people. That is why we are appealing to people to be extra vigilant in following the hands, face, space guidance so the virus is not passed between people and we don’t see a further rise in COVID-19 cases.

"We should stress there is currently no impact on our planned operations and appointments but we are asking those patients coming into our hospitals to ensure they are also extra vigilant before they attend and during their visit. Patients need to wear a mask, keep a 2m distance from others and wash or gel their hands on entry to the hospital and throughout their visit.

"We know everyone is tired of the current situation and the restrictions in place, but we are urging people to please take this seriously and do the simple things already advised to limit transmission of the virus. Avoid unnecessary contact with other people and if you do have to be in contact keep at least 2m between you. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 then please get a test immediately and self-isolate as advised. It really is important and ensures we are not overwhelmed with COVID cases in our hospitals.”

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