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Central Otago Health Services has limited visitor and accompanying person numbers as part of comprehensive plans developed for Dunstan Hospital as Covid-19 spreads within the community.

As of last week, visitors to the Vincent ward are limited to one person at a time unless by prior arrangement, and only one person can accompany a patient to outpatient or X-ray appointments.

Clinical director Mark Smith and nursing director Tina Gilbertson said Dunstan Hospital would care for and treat Covid-positive patients with transfers to Dunedin Hospital if appropriate to their clinical condition.

Infection prevention and control precautions, including some negative pressure rooms, were in place to mitigate any cross-infections between staff and patients. All healthcare workers were critical workers, and the hospital would follow Ministry of Health guidance if and when staff tested positive.

It would continue to work with the District Health Board and Southern Community Labs to utilise all testing types as per their advice in line with ministry guidance.

Dr Smith reminded the public to follow the messaging from the Ministry of Health and the Government.

“This is to help keep us, our whanau and community safe, and reduce pressure on the health system,” he said.

“Please get vaccinated/boosted when you are due, wear masks, social distance, wash hands, scan in, and get tested if you have any potential Covid symptoms.”