THE number of patients testing positive for Covid-19 at Salisbury District Hospital is now higher than the maximum number of cases during the first wave in April.

As a result the hospital has announced that all visiting has been suspended, except for visiting those receiving end of life care and patients with special needs.

The decision has been made to protect patients and staff, and support the safe operating of the hospital.

This follows the news that 47 patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus are currently being cared for at the hospital - an increase from 22 cases a week ago.

A spokesperson has confirmed that this number exceeds the maximum numbers of cases at the hospital in mid-April, the first peak of the pandemic.

Judy Dyos, director of nursing, said: "This rate of increase means that the difficult decision has been made to suspend all visiting except for those patients approaching end of life or with special care needs.

"We are asking that anyone planning to visit a loved one at the hospital to contact the ward in advance and consider alternative methods to stay in touch.

"All departments at the hospital remain open and we would encourage patients with appointments to attend as planned.”