Calls for calm from health boss as Sunderland coronavirus patient is treated at South Tyneside District Hospital

A health boss has reassured families the wider risk of coronavirus “remains low” as Sunderland's first confirmed patient to have the illness is treated at South Tyneside District Hospital.

The diagnosis was confirmed on Monday, March 9, by Public Health England, which announced one patient in Sunderland had tested positive for Covid-19 and was receiving treatment at South Tyneside District Hospital.

Now Tom Hall, Director of Public Health at South Tyneside Council, has moved to reassure families that teams are working hard to keep people “healthy and well” with services across the borough running as usual.

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In a statement, he said: “A patient who has tested positive for COVID-19 is currently receiving care at South Tyneside District Hospital. We’d like to send our best wishes to the affected individual and their family.

South Tyneside District Hospital

“We understand that this news may be unsettling and people might be feeling worried, so we’d like to reassure you about what we’re doing to help keep you healthy and well

“South Tyneside council is working closely with Public Health England, the NHS and all our health and care partners to prevent further spread of the virus. The wider risk to people in the borough remains low.

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“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and follow national and regional advice. We have plans and procedures in place for handling this sort of situation, which we regularly exercise and train for. All local services are continuing to run as usual.

“In the meantime, we’re asking everyone to take simple, common-sense steps to help prevent the spread of the virus and protect yourself, your family and your community.

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The huge electronic board on the A194 at Jarrow, giving drivers advice on how to reduce their risk of getting coronavirus.
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Typical symptoms of coronavirus include a cough, high temperature and shortness of breath.

Families have also been advised to get the latest information and advice about the virus directly from the NHS, and contact 111 if they have travelled to a country or area with a high risk, or been in close contact with someone who has the illness.