Could Leeds be heading for Tier 3? - What we know so far
The leaders of councils across West Yorkshire met government ministers yesterday to discuss "worsening" Covid rates in the area - amid fears Leeds could soon move into Tier 3.
Here is what we know so far:
Why are the leaders meeting the government?
They met with government ministers on Tuesday to discuss proposals to strengthen community engagement, test and trace and supporting the vulnerable "while protecting jobs and livelihoods".
What did leaders of the councils say following the meeting?
In a statement released on Tuesday night, the leaders said: "This afternoon we met with Government ministers to discuss the worsening COVID-19 infection rate in the region and our proposals to strengthen community engagement, test and trace, and supporting the vulnerable while protecting jobs and livelihoods.
"Discussions remain ongoing and will continue tomorrow.”
-> West Yorkshire councils in Tier 3 crunch talks as city's hospital admissions riseWhy are discussions ongoing?
As reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post, there are are more Covid patients currently in Leeds Hospitals than at the peak of the pandemic.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said there are 263 patients currently in their beds who have tested positive for Covid - including 22 in intensive care.
Are the number of patients similar to the peak of the pandemic?
Managers said the pressure on beds has become "far greater than in the first wave".
The trust said they are "currently working very hard to ensure they treat as many patients as possible" - while ensuring they provide a safe hospital environment.
Covid patients are being treated separately to those who test negative, the trust said.
Will patient numbers increase?
The number of people in critical care is expected to increase over the next 48 hours in the hospitals.
Covid patient numbers have increased from 148 on Tuesday Oct 20 to 263 on Oct 27.
The trust said this demonstrates "how quickly the virus is spreading".
Older people with respiratory conditions have made up the majority of the admissions, the trust said.
What did Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust say?
In a statement released on Tuesday, the trust said: "Not only is the number of COVID cases increasing but so is the rate of increase.
"Local modelling based on prevalence data indicates that it may continue to rise for the next two weeks
"We are using evidence gained during the first wave of the pandemic to increase capacity on a planned and phased basis to deal with rising numbers of COVID patients.
"Our current overall bed occupancy is far greater than in the first wave so there is very significant pressure on our inpatient capacity."
What about operations?
The trust are standing down some planned operations due to current pressures in the hospital.
Some patients will have their treatment postponed, with only essential operations going ahead in most cases.
The trust said they are also offering daily fly vaccination clinics to protect the health of staff.
What is the trust's advice to Leeds residents?
The statement concluded: "Our message to patients and the people of Leeds is that we would encourage them to use health services when they need them.
"Advice on the right service to use is available via NHS 111 online or by telephone.
"We support the messages from the local authority asking people not to mix with others unnecessarily and reduce social contact, where possible.
"We ask that people do this to protect NHS staff so that we can care for others."
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