WITH Isle of Wight Covid cases on the rise, St Mary's Hospital has closed a number of inpatient wards to visitors and introduced further safety measures.

The trust says the changes are due to a rise in positive Covid-19 patients being treated at the hospital.

The inpatient wards now completely closed to visitors to help reduce the number of people entering the hospital are:

• Appley

• Luccombe

• Colwell

• Short Stay Unit

• Acute Assessment Unit

• Intensive Care Unit

• St Helens

Chief nurse, Mary Aubrey said: “We are still very much living with this virus and the additional visitor restrictions are absolutely necessary to minimise the spread and help protect the most vulnerable in our care.

"Restricting visiting is not a decision we take lightly; patients look forward to visitors and contact with family is an important part of their recovery but we must continue to take this seriously and put the safety of our patients and our staff first.

“I know that it continues to be an unsettled time for us all, especially family and friends who will want to keep in touch with their loved ones whilst they are in hospital.

"If you do want to get a message, including photos to a family member you can contact our Patient Experience Team at iownt.message-to-loved-ones@nhs.net and they will ensure your message reaches them.

“All our staff are working incredibly hard to keep everyone safe.

"If you have a hospital appointment please attend alone unless in absolute exceptional circumstances.

"You will be asked to wear a mask before entering the building and to wait outside until it is time for your appointment if you arrive early.

"Please be respectful to our staff and do your bit by following the guidance when coming to your appointment. The measures we have put in place are for everyone's safety and we really need your support to be able to continue caring for people in a safe way."