EIGHT more cases of coronavirus have been linked to the “ongoing outbreak” at the Borders General Hospital (BGH).
The new cases bring the total number during the hospital outbreak to 22.
NHS Borders made the announcement in a press release issued at 4.04pm today (Monday, December 14).
The outbreak was initially announced by the health board on December 9, with Ward 7 closed for non-essential visits.
However, NHS Borders has said that Ward 7 will now reopen this evening after it was deep-cleaned and all staff were tested.
The health board’s associate director of acute services, Gareth Clinkscale, said: “COVID-19 is very infectious and spreads quickly between people.
“This is why outbreaks happen in hospitals where a number of people are sharing facilities.
“However it doesn’t just occur in healthcare settings; it can also start abruptly and spread quickly through communities.
“A multidisciplinary team is continuing to oversee the management of the outbreak and the situation is being reviewed and monitored very closely.
“There are robust Infection Prevention and Control measures in place across NHS Borders to keep our staff and patients as safe as possible.
“We would like to take this opportunity to remind people of the importance of observing all the infection prevention and control measures that are in place across our healthcare settings.
“Please wear a face covering, sanitise your hands on entry and exit and observe physical distancing.
“Visits to the Borders General Hospital remains limited to essential visits only.
“This decision will be reviewed again on Wednesday and we thank you for your understanding. People should continue to attend appointments as normal.
“Visiting to Community Hospitals remains unchanged with local restrictions in place at Hay Lodge Hospital.”