Two hospitals are facing an “urgent situation” after a number of nurses tested positive for Covid-19.
Patients at Llandovery Community Hospital and Amman Valley Hospital, both in Carmarthenshire, West Wales, are being cared for in isolation due to the outbreak.
Hywel Dda University Health Board, which manages both sites, has not said how many people at each location have tested positive, but has confirmed that both patients and members of staff are affected.
Among them are nurses who have tested positive and are self-isolating as a result.
The health board admitted it was a challenge to sustain hospital services, with both workforces under “significant constraints”.
The health board is now, along with local GPs and the Community Health Council, developing contingency measures which will allow it to provide safe care for patients, reports Wales Online.
The temporary measures are expected to be finalised at some point on Monday.
Jill Patterson, director of primary care, community and long term care at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “Covid-19 is a huge challenge affecting us in Hywel Dda, as it does other NHS organisations across the UK.
“We are facing an urgent situation at Llandovery Community Hospital and Amman Valley Hospital, but I can assure patients, their families, and the local communities that any changes we make would be temporary and in the best interests of patients.
“While we acknowledge that we have staffing challenges, particularly as a result of Covid-19, our staff are working exceptionally hard to continue to provide the very best care given the difficult circumstances and I applaud their incredible efforts.”
While temporary measures are drawn up and agreed upon, patients at Amman Valley Hospital and Llandovery Hospital are being cared for according to infection prevention guidelines, with social distancing and personal protective equipment in use.
“The wellbeing of patients is our number one priority so any decision made will be in their best interests, “ said Dr Granville Morris, who works at Amman Valley Hospital.
“Our staff have worked tirelessly ever since the first positive Covid-19 case at Amman Valley Hospital, and I’m deeply proud of them.”