A CORONAVIRUS outbreak has been confirmed at a Tyne Valley hospital.

A number of staff members at Ferndene Hospital in Prudhoe are currently self isolating after testing positive for the virus.

Gary O’Hare, executive director of nursing and chief operating officer at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, confirmed an outbreak had been declared - but stressed that only a small number of staff were in isolation.

He said: "We can confirm that a small number of our workforce from Ferndene are self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19.

“We have undertaken testing and contacting tracing and it would appear that these cases were a result of contact outside of work. We adhere to strict procedures on the use of PPE at all of our hospital sites.

"We have declared an outbreak in line with national guidance and are working closely with the regional Health Protection Unit following their protocols for the investigation and management of outbreaks.”