A patient who tested positive for Covid-19 has died at North Devon District Hospital.
Figures from NHS England released on Tuesday (October 20) confirmed the patient died on Saturday, October 17.
It is the first coronavirus-related death recorded at the hospital in Barnstaple since May 26, and was one of eight deaths in Devon hospitals confirmed on Tuesday.
Of those, five were recorded at Torbay Hospital, and two were recorded at Derriford Hospital.
On Friday (October 16), North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust confirmed there had been an outbreak of the virus among a ‘low number’ of patients at the hospital.
Deputy medical director Andrew Davis said measures were in place to ensure coronavirus patients could be cared for while the hospital was still able to continue with urgent care, planned elective surgery and outpatient appointments.
He added: “Covid-positive patients are cared for in a completely separate area of the hospital and all patient care is running as normal. People should still keep their appointments. We very much want to see our patients.
“I’d like to reassure everyone that it is our top priority to keep everyone safe.
“We have learned a lot from the first wave and we continue to use this knowledge and thorough infection prevention controls to keep staff and patients safe.
“We are well prepared to handle an increase in Covid-19 cases in Northern Devon and have robust plans in place to manage winter pressures alongside.
“The continued threat of Covid-19 is real. You can help us by following the government guidelines: Hands, Face, Space. Please don’t ignore symptoms, in yourself or in your household. We all need to look after ourselves and each other.”
A further 14 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed across North Devon and Torridge on Tuesday, with nine in North Devon and five in Torridge.
A total of 87 people have tested positive for the virus in the last seven days, with 63 cases in North Devon and 24 in Torridge.
Information on local clusters as of October 21 says there are 16 cases across Barnstaple area wards including Roundswell and Landkey, 10 cases in Ilfracombe East, seven in Ilfracombe West, nine in Lynton and Combe Martin, six in South Molton and six in Braunton. Other areas are listed as having zero to two cases.
In Torridge, there have been seven cases across Bideford area wards and four cases in Appledore and Northam, as well as four cases in the collective area of Holsworthy, Bradworthy and Welcombe.
On Tuesday, NHS England said a further 134 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 31,181.
Patients were aged between 36 and 100. All but six, aged between 68 and 91, had known underlying health conditions.