North Shore Hospital's Emergency Department closed after positive COVID-19 patient

The AM Show 20/08/2021

People needing emergency care are being diverted from Auckland’s North Shore hospital and Short Stay Surgical Unit after a patient tested positive with COVID-19. The patient was being treated prior to their COVID-19 diagnosis however the DHB is assuming that the individual could have been infectious during admission.

A Press Secretary for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern commented this morning,

"The hospitals will be making statements shortly, but North Shore Hospital is diverting patients elsewhere and is standing up testing of staff and patients."

North Shore Hospital's Emergency Department and Short Stay Surgical Unit have been closed today after a new confirmed COVID-positive patient had been earlier admitted to the hospital for an unrelated condition. 

The Ministry of Health said in a media release,

"Affected staff will be stood down and advised to follow public health advice and potentially exposed current patients will be notified and isolated as well as tested in the hospital," the Ministry of Health said. 

"Patients already discharged will be followed-up by public health officials.

"The affected parts of the hospital will be deep cleaned today and then reopened as soon as it is safe to do so."

The patient has since been transferred to Waitakere Hospital.

The department will be deep-cleaned and will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.

UPDATE: 30 healthcare workers have had direct contact with the patient

NRHCC has said that up to 120 staff at North Shore Hospital may have been in the same area at the same time as a COVID-19 case and 30 of them had direct contact with the patient.

The 30 staff are now stood down and extra staff are being sourced from outside the region to help. Testing is currently being set up for those affected.

"Approximately 107 patients were in the affected areas at the same time as the positive patient. Of these, 29 remain admitted as inpatients and are being isolated and tested for COVID-19. Seventy-eight have been discharged and are self-isolating at home and are being followed up by public health officials."