Queenstown Lakes Hospital reopening

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There have been no new cases of Covid-19 confirmed at Queenstown Lakes District Hospital after two nurses tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week.

And the hospital’s inpatient ward will reopen in a limited capacity with 40 staff able to return to work.

Southern District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming told media yesterday that 83 staff at the hospital were tested – and while 20 test results were outstanding, those results were for staff not considered close contacts and were expected to return negative results.

All of the results were expected to be returned today.

After the second nurse was found to have been infected on Tuesday and the blanket testing approach was adopted, only the emergency department remained open in the main building with the maternity ward functioning from another building.

Mr Fleming said that move had already been planned as part of the health board’s pandemic planning, but the positive tests for staff had moved the plans ahead rapidly.

When the first staff member tested positive for the infection earlier this week the decision was taken to test all staff present at the hospital 48 hours prior to the Covid-19 symptoms showing.

After the second nurse tested positive, all staff were tested as a precautionary measure.

Meanwhile the SDHB area continues to have the most cases in New Zealand, with a total of 108 cases after ten new cases were announced today.

In the SDHB area the Queenstown Lakes district has more than any other area with 38 confirmed cases.

Dunedin has 35 confirmed cases, including one probable.

Invercargill (18), Central Otago (8), Southland (6), and Clutha (3), make up the rest.

Otago Daily Times