VISITING at all of Worcestershire's community hospitals and mental health wards will remain closed this week following a rise in coronavirus cases.

The county's health and care NHS trust suspended visiting on Friday following a rise in Covid-19 cases in parts of the county.

The ban has now been extended, which means visiting remains closed at the community hospitals in Bromsgrove, Malvern, Tenbury, Pershore and Evesham, as well as at the Wyre Forest Ward at Kidderminster Hospital.

Worcester City Inpatient Unit also remains closed to visitors.

The trust said there will be some exceptions to the rule, including visiting for patients who are receiving end of life care.

A spokesman for the trust said: "Any relatives with a visiting appointment booked for this week will be offered a virtual visit supported by ward staff.

"The situation will be reviewed again at the end of this week."

The ban covers all Worcestershire’s mental health and recovery wards, although mental health units in Herefordshire, which are also run by the trust, are unaffected and visiting remains open on an appointment only basis.

Visiting at acute hospitals in Redditch, Worcester and Kidderminster have remained closed since the Covid-19 outbreak in March.