HOSPITAL chiefs in Dorset are currently reviewing policies around wearing face masks as Covid infection rates increase.

At present University Hospitals Dorset NHS Trust, which runs Royal Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch hospital, requires the wearing of face masks in all clinical areas.

Coronavirus case rates in the BCP Council area have been increasing since late May.

The infection rate for the conurbation in the seven days to May 26 was 61.7 cases per 100,000 people. The latest rate for the seven days to June 26 said the rate of infection was 202.3 cases per 100,000 people.

University Hospitals Dorset recorded its lowest number of patients with Covid in 2022 on May 29 with 17 people.

This number had steadily increased in the weeks that followed to 75 on June 18. Since then it has fallen slightly, with the most recent figure from June 28 reporting there were 61 patients at the trust’s hospitals with coronavirus.

Latest figures showed no patients were on mechanical ventilation on June 28 and this had been the case for the five days prior to that.

A spokesperson for University Hospitals Dorset said: “We are reviewing our policy around masks in line with local Covid case rate data to identify if any changes are required.

“Our current policy to wear masks in all clinical areas remains.

“In addition, while we review practice for all other areas, we would like to remind patients and visitors that masks are available at entrances.”

Masks are currently not required in public areas of University Hospitals Dorset sites, including entrances, waiting areas, corridors and restaurants.