A hospital was “completely full” on Tuesday and has unprecedented staff sickness levels due to Covid-19, its chief executive said.
The James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston in Norfolk, had 13 Covid patients on Christmas Eve but that number has now risen to 51.
Currently 11% of its staff are absent, compared to its usual rate of about 4%.
Chief executive Anna Hills said it was “one of the most challenging times” for the trust.
Ms Hills told a meeting of the hospital’s council of governors: “We’ve had to extend our Covid patients into other wards – so we have one infection control ward. We’ve had to extend into a second ward and then this week we’ve had to extend into a third ward.
“On top of that, we’ve got staff sickness levels the likes of which we’ve never seen before.”