Two GP practice staff members have tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19).
As reported last week, Chelston Hall Surgery in Torquay closed last week, until at least 16 March.
At the time, a notice on its website stated that this was on the advice of Public Health England, ‘to help to contain the spread of coronavirus’.
But NHS Devon CCG has now said that two employees were diagnosed with the infection, and the rest of the workforce was advised to self-isolate for 14 days.
The practice’s 20,000 patients can still access GP services during this period. NHS Devon CCG is responsible for ensuring patients continue to have access to primary care whenever a local practice temporarily closes.
Dr Steve Harris, the CCG’s strategic clinical lead for primary care, said: ‘GP practices only close as an absolute last resort.’
Some 38 of England’s current total of 319 confirmed cases are situated in the South West, with Devon named the worst-hit region in the country outside the capital.
As of 8 March, there was a combined total of 18 cases in Devon and Torbay. Only London, with 61 cases, and the South East, with 43, have higher incidences.