Front-line health workers are bracing themselves for a “tsunami” of demand as covid rates continue to rise on Teesside.
NHS data shows all boroughs in the region are recording climbing virus rates in the community.
Demand has remained high at both North Tees and James Cook Hospitals as staff battle winter pressures as well as covid cases.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust was treating 164 covid patients on Sunday.
This is down from more than 190 people it was treating in the final week of December.
However, the continuing winter pressures and rise in community cases have prompted a dire warning of future demand.
A trust spokeswoman said: “While it looks like a slight drop, we’re waiting for an absolute tsunami.
“We’re in readiness for the post Christmas influx.
“The areas we cover in Hartlepool are seeing rates massively increasing.”
Figures show Hartlepool’s rolling seven day rate of covid cases has risen…