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Casualty spoilers: Devastated Connie faces COVID-19 crisis

Amanda Mealing as Connie Beauchamp exhausted and marked from PPE
Connie Beauchamp (Amanda Mealing) as you've never seen her before... (Image credit: BBC/Alistair Heap)

Connie Beauchamp and the Holby ED team are caught in killer COVID-19 nightmare when Casualty returns, with one precious member of the team succumbing to the virus...

Casualty returns to BBC1 this week with a hard-hitting episode about working on the frontline as the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic takes hold…

Warning: Contains Casualty spoilers about the long-running medical drama’s first episode of 2021, including the death of a show favourite.

This powerful new story follows Casualty favourites as they first get to grips with the pandemic and prepare for an influx of deathly ill patients. Deftly exploring the realities experienced by frontline workers, from department heads Connie Beauchamp and Jacob Masters to receptionist Noel Garcia and hospital porter Rosa Cadenas, this is must-see TV.

Connie in control… but for how long?

Connie before lockdown

Connie - the calm before the storm (Image credit: BBC/Alistair Heap)

As the bleak news filters in from Europe, clinical lead Connie Beauchamp (Amanda Mealing) reacts in her usual organised and forthright manner. She admirably attempts to prepare Holby ED, as much as she can, for an influx of COVID-19 patients.

Although the UK has yet to go into lockdown forward-thinking Connie organises a Hot Zone for infected patients, orders screens for the ED and chases down as much Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as possible, while trying to reassure her dedicated medical team.

Elsewhere in Casualty

David explains to Will why he bought his own face mask

David (Jason Durr) resorts to buying a face mask online as news of PPE shortages dominate the news (Image credit: BBC/Alistair Heap)

Connie’s not the only one making plans. Paramedic Lev Malinovsky decides to move out of the family home. But it’s not due to accusations he’s had an affair (even though he has!). It’s so his nurse wife Faith Cadogan can stop working and care for their son Luka, who’s battling cancer.

Elsewhere Fenisha Khatri tells boss Jan Jenning she needs to step down from paramedic duties due to having asthma. But is this a white lie to conceal her secret pregnancy and keep her unborn baby safe?

MORE: Di Botcher on Jan Jenning's future at Casualty

Meanwhile, doctor Dylan Keogh and nurse David Hide resort to ordering their own masks.

Rosa begins a new role at the hospital as a Health Care Assistant

And nurse Robyn Miller offers to learn some sign language so she can communicate with co-worker Jade Lovall. Jade's concerned PPE will affect her ability to hear and lip read colleagues...

Casualty Patient Zero

Jacob in full PPE

Could Connie lose Jacob (Charles Venn) during the pandemic? (Image credit: BBC/Alistair Heap)

The ED’s first COVID patient marks a turning point for the team. Soon they’re overrun, exhausted, scared and tasked with making too many heartbreaking life and death decisions.

MORE: Charles Venn on Connie and Jacob's new affair

A Casualty favourite dies

Inevitably a number of team members - including Connie’s lover Jacob - falls ill with COVID, adding to the horror. Tragically one much-loved Casualty regular succumbs to the virus.

All the team are devastated, but Connie is hit particularly hard by the tragedy and blames herself…

This must-see episode of Casualty airs on BBC1 at 7.35pm, Saturday 02 January 2021.