Wards temporarily close to visitors due to COVID-19
Rotorua Hospital’s Older Persons and Rehabilitation (OPRS) Service and Taupō’s Inpatient Unit are temporarily closed to visitors following patients testing positive for COVID-19.
Yesterday [Tuesday], a patient in Taupō Hospital’s Inpatient Unit tested positive and was transferred to Rotorua Hospital as per normal procedure. The Taupō Inpatient Unit is now closed to visitors. Two possible close contacts were isolated in single rooms and all patients in the ward have been tested.
In Rotorua Hospital’s OPRS Unit, routine testing on Wednesday 22 June found two patients were positive with COVID-19. Eighteen patients have since tested positive and the ward is closed to new admissions.
Chief Operating Officer Alan Wilson says as soon as the first patients tested positive in OPRS the Unit was closed to visitors and the plan to manage the outbreak was initiated. This included implementing infection prevention control measures and informing the whānau of patients of what was happening.
Staff in OPRS have also been tested for COVID with nine testing positive. These staff members are now recuperating at home.
Alan Wilson says tracing of the initial infection is underway but it is unlikely the source of the COVID entering the unit can be found.
“Although visiting hours are restricted, our hospitals are open for visitors so it’s very possible that the infection has been brought in by visitors or staff who had no symptoms.
“This is just one of the challenges that we face as we try as a country and health service to live with COVID. It is therefore critical that all staff, visitors and support people must continue to wear masks appropriately when in hospital to protect patients and staff,” Alan Wilson says.
“It is also a reminder that COVID remains an issue in our community and people should remain vigilant- wear masks, stay two metres away from people you don’t know, wash your hands frequently and make sure to get your full course of COVID immunisations. "
"While most people who are healthy and vaccinated will have milder illness, COVID is potentially more dangerous for people who are unwell and already in hospital.”