A HOSPITAL in a seaside town closed this morning after a surge in coronavirus cases.

Weston General Hospital in Somerset stopped receiving new patients from 8am – including those requiring its A&E.

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Weston General Hospital shut to new patients this morningCredit: London News Pictures

The hospital’s trust assured the move was a precautionary measure because of the high number of coronavirus patients in the hospital.

The trust added that arrangements have been made for new patients to receive care in other locations nearby.

New patients have been told they can used the NHS 111 service to get directed to local GP practices.

In April, at the height of the coronavirus crisis, Watford General Hospital temporarily told patients not to attend even in an emergency when it declared a “critical incident”.

Dr William Oldfield, medical director at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation 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.

“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.

“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.”

One zoologist who has family in Weston said the increasing number of visitors to the town has caused a surge in Covid-19 cases.

She said the visitors have flocked to the area, packing onto beaches and parking illegally on the roads.

Dr Naomi Harvey tweeted: “I have family in Weston who have been reporting for the past 1.5 weeks that there’s been a worrying surge in visitors to the town, crowding together on the beaches and leaving cars parked illegally on the roads.

“Can’t help but feel like this is the consequence of all of that.”

The current lockdown rules for England allow Brits to go to the beach to sunbathe as long as they are able to follow social distancing measures.

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