A third of the 521 Covid-19 deaths at Princess Alexandra Hospital happened in January
A third of all 500-plus Covid-19 deaths at Harlow's Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) in the coronavirus pandemic happened last month.
January saw 179 PAH patients die within 28 days of a Covid-19 diagnosis. In all, there have been 521 Covid-related deaths at what is the general hospital for the Bishop's Stortford area in the 11 months to February 20.
But the mortality rate has fallen sharply this month. The 34 Covid deaths at PAH between February 1 and 20 represents a 75% decrease on the 135 who died in the first 20 days of January.
Total Covid admissions to PAH since March last year reached 1,268 on Valentine's Day – up just over a quarter (25.9%) from 1,007 on January 17.
But latest figures show that on February 16 there were 80 Covid patients at PAH – down 62% from the peak of 210 on January 5.
Five patients were being treated while on mechanical ventilation, which is back to a level not seen since December 20 and well below the winter peak of 18 on January 11.
The number of cases in the five council areas – including East Herts and Uttlesford – served by the hospital has more than halved in a fortnight, down 55.4% to 485 in the week to February 16 from 1,087 in the week to February 2.
The news comes in the same week as data showing that patients at PAH who had to wait more than 12 hours for admission more than doubled between December and January.
The hospital is run by PAH NHS Trust (PAHT), which also operates Herts and Essex Hospital in Bishop’s Stortford and St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping. PAHT serves a catchment area of almost 500,000 people in west Essex and east Hertfordshire.
According to latest figures, in East Herts, 129 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the week to February 16 – a slight increase on the previous week's 122 (to Feb 9) but 66.9% down on the 390 people in the week to Jan 26.
The district’s infection rate is 86.1 per 100,000 population – down from 144.2 two weeks earlier. The latest figure is below that of 100.5 (down from 241.1) for Hertfordshire and 110.6 (down from 230.9) for the East of England, and has dipped beneath the England-wide district average of 128.5, which is down from 233.7 two weeks earlier.
The figures for the five council areas in PAHT's catchment area over the seven-day period to Feb 16 compared with the week to Feb 9 (in brackets) are:
Uttlesford – 73 (89) tested positive; infection rate is 80 (97.5) per 100,000 people
East Herts – 129 (122) tested positive; infection rate is 86.1 (81.5) per 100,000 people
Broxbourne – 94 (150) tested positive; infection rate is 96.6 (154.2) per 100,000 people
Harlow – 115 (149) tested positive; infection rate is 132.1 (171.1) per 100,000 people
Epping Forest – 74 (154) tested positive; infection rate is 60 (116.9) per 100,000 people
The figures for the five council areas in PAHT's catchment area over the seven-day period to Feb 9 compared with the week to Feb 2 (in brackets) are:
Uttlesford – 89 (139) tested positive; infection rate is 97.5 (152.3) per 100,000 people
East Herts – 122 (216) tested positive; infection rate is 81.5 (144.2) per 100,000 people.
Broxbourne – 150 (248) tested positive; infection rate is 154.2 (254.9) per 100,000 people
Harlow – 149 (231) tested positive; infection rate is 171.1 (265.3) per 100,000 people
Epping Forest – 154 (253) tested positive; infection rate is 116.9 (192.1) per 100,000 people.