Coronavirus: Queenstown Lakes District Hospital under extreme pressure after two nurses test positive for COVID-19

Queenstown Lakes' District Hospital is closed to inpatients with two nurses now testing positive for coronavirus COVID-19.

The hospital has been scrubbed from top to bottom and all staff members are being tested - putting extreme pressure on the hospital service.

There's high security - the main building of the hospital is taped off and out of bounds.

"At the moment, the emergency department is still open," Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said. "So there's an ability to respond to acute needs. 

"It's just the inpatient care, which is usually a very small number of people anyway. That will either go to Dunstan or to Invercargill."

The nurse who first tested positive didn't look after any coronavirus patients - putting the spotlight on community transmission.

"This was the thing that we hoped wouldn't happen of course," Queenstown Mayor Jim Boult said. "Frontline medical [staff] are doing an absolutely outstanding job."

Central Otago is one of the country's COVID-19 hotspots. More than 30 people in the Lakes District have been diagnosed with the virus - some from the World Hereford Conference and others through community transmission.

There are concerns medical staff are now being infected - highlighting the calls to respect the lockdown.

"We've got a few people in the community who are just giving the middle finger to that. I'm sorry, that's not acceptable," Boult said.

Meanwhile, Queenstown's Orbus company has brought in extra staff and is rotating buses after one of its cleaners tested positive.

And extra security measures are in place at the Aspiring Lifestyle Retirement Village in Wanaka after a staff member contracted the virus.