11 Sep 2021

Covid-19: Three new cases connected to Middlemore Hospital

9:26 pm on 11 September 2021

Three people including a five-month-old baby who presented to Middlemore Hospital this week have tested positive for Covid 19, Ministry of Health says.

A security guard worked at Middlemore Hospital's emergency department on Thursday last week while symptomatic with Covid-19.

Photo: LDR / Stephen Forbes

A woman who presented to and was discharged from the hospital's Birthing and Assessment Unit on Wednesday has since tested positive, Counties Manukau District Health Board said via a statement issued by the ministry.

A parent and their five-month-old baby who arrived at the hospital's Kidz First Emergency Department yesterday afternoon have also returned positive results.

Both the Birthing and Assessment Unit and Kidz First Emergency Department are being treated as potential exposure sites.

Potential exposure at Birthing and Assessment Unit

A woman who had a routine antenatal assessment at the hospital on Wednesday, 8 September, developed symptoms the following day, the dhb said.

The dhb was notified today that she underwent testing and returned a positive result.

She is now in a managed isolation facility.

"During her time at the birthing unit, the woman was asymptomatic and had answered no to screening contact questions - indicating she had had no exposure to Covid-19, no symptoms of Covid-19, nor had been at any location of interest." the dhb said.

"As the woman was at the birthing unit within a 48-hour window prior to developing symptoms, ARPHS has deemed that some staff members and patients are considered contacts."

The dhb is in the process of establishing how many patients will be deemed contacts, and said it will contact them "to ensure they are informed and able to isolate safely".

They are also working to understand if any staff are deemed contacts.

"Counties Manukau DHB thanks the woman in question for recognising her symptoms when they developed and for undergoing a Covid-19 test as soon as possible.

"Doing so has enabled Counties Manukau DHB and ARPHS (Auckland Regional Public Health Service) to trace any potentially impacted staff members and patients as quickly as possible."

Potential exposure at Kidz First ED

A parent and their five-month-old baby visited the children's' emergency department yesterday afternoon, and have since returned positive Covid-19 results, the dhb said.

"The parent answered negative to screening contact questions - indicating they had had no exposure to Covid-19, nor having been at any location of interest. However, the child was identified as being symptomatic by clinical staff in triage."

Because of this, the child was managed under the hospital's "Covid pathways" - a system in place for all suspected patients. Part of the process includes being tested.

"As a hospital admission for the presentation was not required, the parent and their child were discharged and advised to isolate at home," the dhb said.

"All staff were wearing the appropriate PPE, including N95 masks and goggles. For this reason, no staff members are required to stand down."

All people in ED are required to socially distance and adults are required to wear a mask, however, acting "out of an abundance of caution", ARPHS (the authority caring for these cases) is investigating five potential contacts, the dhb said.

More information on both cases will be available tomorrow, the ministry said.

String of cases connected to hospital

These new cases follow two other cases connected to the hospital in recent days.

A man who was admitted last weekend spent hours in a small ward with other patients. He was initially admitted to a part of the hospital for people with a low risk of Covid-19 but later found to have the coronavirus.

One-hundred and forty-nine patients and staff were tested as a result and all returned negative day 3 tests.

In another case, 36 patients and some visitors were considered potentially exposed after a woman went to the emergency department on Thursday morning with an issue unrelated to Covid. She said she had no exposure to the virus, no symptoms, and had not been at any locations of interest.

She spent time in the Emergency Department and Adult Short Stay ward before deciding to go home, but a Covid-19 test taken at the hospital later came back positive.

The woman is now in managed isolation.

Seven police officers who also interacted with the patient have been stood down.

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