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Statement on first COVID-19 deaths in Cornwall

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust has confirmed that four patients who had been cared for at Royal Cornwall Hospital, and had tested positive for COVID-19, have died this week.

The patients were all over 70 and had underlying health conditions. 

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The RCHT says their families have been informed about the cause of death and are following national guidance.

Julian German, Leader of Cornwall Council, said: “We are deeply saddened to note the first deaths in Cornwall relating to Coronavirus. Our thoughts go out to their families and friends at this incredibly difficult time.  

“I want to reassure residents across Cornwall that we are working closely with our health colleagues to support their efforts to manage Coronavirus.  

“It is vital that we stay united as a community and look out for each other – especially older residents and people with underlying health conditions – and that we follow the Government’s advice on social distancing and avoiding non-essential travel. 

“Everyone at the council is working extremely hard to make sure the core frontline services that residents rely on the most can keep running while this situation is ongoing. 

“I’d also like to pay tribute to those working in health and other front-line services. They are doing a remarkable job in difficult circumstances.” 

Steve Brown, Deputy Director of Public Health at Cornwall Council, said: “My sincere condolences are with the families, friends and loved ones at this sad time.  

“We are working with health colleagues to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and ensure the people of Cornwall are protected. Everyone has a role to play in reducing the risk of infection.

“The best action we can all take to prevent spread of the virus is to follow the Government’s advice on social distancing, avoiding non-essential travel and following the NHS advice. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time, and if you cough or sneeze cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or cough into your elbow. If you use a tissue throw it away immediately – catch it, bin it, kill it.  

“Clean down surfaces regularly and practice good hand hygiene when you arrive home, get to work, and before you eat and drink.”  

The Government has issued guidance to reduce the spread of infection which requires anyone who has symptoms of a coronavirus infection – a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature (37.8 degrees centigrade or higher) – to stay at home for seven days from the point that their symptoms first started.   

This will help protect others in the community while the individual is infectious. You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after seven days, visit NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.   

The latest government advice is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

 

Story posted on 21 March, 2020