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Fewer Covid-19 patients in Princess Alexandra Hospital as cases drop in all five council areas it serves

The number of patients being treated for Covid-19 in Harlow's Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) has dropped amid falling cases of infection in the area served by the hospital.

On Tuesday January 5, PAH – which is the general hospital for the Bishop’s Stortford area – had 210 people with the deadly disease, a total which had doubled in ten days since Boxing Day.

But on Tuesday (Jan 12) this number had dropped to 188 – and it did get as low as 176 on Sunday (Jan 10). The high during the first wave of the virus last spring was 141.

Of these 188 patients, 18 were in mechanical ventilation beds, the most in nine months but below the spring 2020 peak of 28.

The number of daily admissions of Covid patients has dropped since the high on January 3 of 32 – which was three-and-a-half times as many in one day as the nine admitted in one week to mid-December. Since January 3, the daily admissions have fluctuated between eight and 26. Last spring's high was 36.

The total number of Covid patients treated at PAH since the start of the pandemic to Sunday (Jan 10) is 932 – half of these have been admitted since November 5.

The Harlow 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, 900 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the week to Sunday (Jan 10) – down 242 on the number for the previous week.

The district’s infection rate is 601 per 100,000 population – down from 762.6 a week earlier. The latest figure is below the county and regional levels of 703.7 for Hertfordshire and 665.3 for the East of England, and only just above the England-wide district average of 592.9, which is down from 612.1 in the previous week.

The figures for the five council areas in PAHT's catchment area over the seven-day period to January 10 compared with the week to January 2 (in brackets) are:

  • Uttlesford522 (815) tested positive; infection rate is 571.8 (892.8) per 100,000 people
  • East Herts900 (1,142) tested positive; infection rate is 601 (762.6) per 100,000 people.
  • Broxbourne1,032 (1,344) tested positive; infection rate is 1,060.9 (1,381.6) per 100,000 people
  • Harlow1,078 (1,249) tested positive; infection rate is 1,238.1 (1,434.5) per 100,000 people
  • Epping Forest1,191 (1,916) tested positive; infection rate is 904.4 (1,454.9) per 100,000 people.

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