COVID-19 exposure cases at Middlemore Hospital

Middlemore Hospital entrance. Photo: Jarred Williamson.

The Ministry of Health is confirming that three people who presented to Middlemore Hospital in recent days have tested positive for COVID-19.

The three people include a woman undergoing antenatal care, a parent and a five-month-old baby.

On Saturday afternoon, Counties Manukau District Health Board - DHB was notified that a woman who had been in its care underwent COVID-testing and returned a positive result after developing symptoms post-discharge.

The woman presented to and was discharged from Middlemore Hospital’s Birthing and Assessment Unit on Wednesday, September 8 following a routine form of antenatal assessment.

She developed symptoms the following day and after receiving health advice from her midwife, underwent a COVID-19 test which returned the positive result. The woman 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.

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

Counties Manukau DHB is in the process of establishing how many patients will be deemed contacts and will contact them to ensure they are informed and able to isolate safely.

They are also working with Occupational Health and ARPHS to understand the contact status of any impacted staff, and the related requirements.

“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,” says a Counties Manukau DHB spokesperson.

“Doing so has enabled Counties Manukau DHB and ARPHS to trace any potentially impacted staff members and patients as quickly as possible.

Kidz First ED potential exposure
A parent and their five-month-old baby who arrived at Middlemore Hospital’s Kidz First Emergency Department on Friday afternoon have also returned positive COVID-19 results.

The parent and their child are under the management of ARPHS.

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.

As such the child was managed under Middlemore Hospital’s COVID pathways, which is in place for all COVID suspect patients. Part of this process includes undergoing a COVID swab.

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

“All staff were wearing the appropriate PPE, including N95 masks and goggles. For this reason, no staff members are required to stand down,” says a Middlemore Hospital spokesperson.

“In line with COVID-19 guidelines, all presentations to ED are socially distanced and adults are required to wear a mask. However, out of an abundance of caution, ARPHS is investigating five potential contacts.

“We continue to encourage people to get tested if they have symptoms.

More information on both these cases will be available today, Sunday September 12.

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