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Coronavirus forces second practice to shut after GP tests positive


By Nicola Merrifield
Reporter
10 February 2020

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A practice has been forced to shut temporarily after one of its GPs tested positive for coronavirus, while another has now reopened following a scare.

It is understood that two of the eight people diagnosed in the UK are GPs, according to reports.

Local press reports suggest Brighton-based County Oak Medical Centre closed suddenly yesterday (Monday) after its GP was tested positive for the virus. It is advising its patients to contact NHS 111 if they have any concerns.

Meanwhile, Brackley Medical Centre in Northamptonshire was also closed as a precautionary measure. It reopened yesterday ‘following the surgery being cleaned in line with national protocols and guidelines,’ according to a note on its website.

At County Oak Medical Centre, the practice’s voicemail stated on Monday that the centre had to shut ‘due to an urgent operational health and safety reason’ – and it remains closed this morning.

County Oak Medical Centre operates out of two sites, Warmdene Surgery and Deneway Surgery, which are both closed and between them serve 16,961 patients.

County Oak Medical Centre now undergoing a deep clean and aims to reopen to patients as soon as possible after the precautionary measure.

The GP who contracted the virus is understood to be a former partner at the practice, who is believed to have worked an administration shift at the centre last week. They are not believed to have seen any patients during the shift.

The GP’s husband and nine-year-old son were two of the five British people to have coronavirus diagnosed while at a ski resort in France.

None of them is said to be in a serious condition and all are believed to have been infected by a father from nearby Hove who picked up the bug in Singapore.

A male doctor is among four people from Brighton who are now confirmed to have been infected while staying at the French resort at the same time, and they are being kept in isolation in London.

There are eight confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, with the Government announcing new powers today to detain people suspected of having the new form of the virus.

Guidance was released by Public Health England at the end of last month, advising GPs to shut any patients suspected of having the virus in the consultation room if they believe they could be infected.

PHE is trying to contact anyone else who is thought to be at risk of contracting the virus.

NHS Brighton and Hove CCG has been contacted for comment.

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