Coronavirus: 3 Canterbury DHB staff linked to Rosewood Rest Home cluster test positive

Three staff from the Canterbury District Health Board have tested positive in relation to the COVID-19 cluster at Rosewood Rest Home and Hospital, a DHB spokesperson has confirmed.

On Tuesday, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced a further three deaths related to the COVID-19 cluster at the Christchurch rest home. The death of a man in his 70s in Wellington was also announced, bringing the total death toll in the country to nine. 

Six of those deaths were related to the cluster at Rosewood.

"This is the largest number of deaths we have reported on any day in New Zealand from Covid-19," Bloomfield said in announcing the deaths. "It is a sobering reminder of what is at stake here."

The DHB spokesperson said two of the three staff members who tested positive had been working in the isolation ward at Burwood Hospital with a group of patients transferred there from Rosewood on April 6.

The third staff member worked at Rosewood and was involved in the transfer of residents to Burwood Hospital last week.

"As a result of these three confirmed cases, 63 close contacts are now at home in self-isolation.

"The three DHB staff members are well enough to be cared for at home."

Health workers at some hospitals - including Burwood - have expressed concern over a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) available for staff.

Earlier this week a nurse at Burwood told Newshub there isn't adequate protection for workers - that's despite Dr Bloomfield repeatedly stating there is plenty available.

Six aged care facilities across the country have recorded COVID-19 cases.

A family member of one of the latest victims at Rosewood told Newshub that current Government regulations around social distancing are "stealing people's chances to say goodbye".

The person, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was devastated that he couldn't be with his 92-year-old father at Burwood Hospital before he died just before midnight on Monday.

He is now pushing the Government to change the rule to allow families to be with their dying relatives.

Dr Bloomfield said the issue was being investigated.

There are currently 15 significant COVID-19 clusters in the country, with the largest being centred around Marist College in Auckland.

Dr Bloomfield said on Tuesday the country was "past the peak" of COVID-19 infections but it was necessary to remain vigilant to avoid more spread.

Fifteen people remain in hospital due to the virus, three of which are in ICU.

Currently there are 1366 confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases in New Zealand.