Coronavirus: Hamilton nurses test positive for COVID-19

Waikato Hospital.
Waikato Hospital. Photo credit: Newshub.

Two nurses who work in the same ward at Hamilton's Waikato Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19.

They and other nurses they work with have been stood down.

"The staff acted in line with DHB policy to stand down if they are unwell," said Waikato DHB chief executive Kevin Snee, adding that the hospital was taking "all precautions".

"There is a very small risk of transmission even in those without symptoms and we have therefore taken a very precautionary approach.

"Staff who were working on that ward during the previous week (March 31 to April 6) have been stood down as we obtain more information regarding the nursing movements to enable us to return those staff where there is no risk back to the workforce as quickly as possible."

No patients currently being cared for the ward - which serves mostly people aged 65-plus and most at risk of death if they contract the virus - have tested positive. 

"The staff on the ward have displayed great resilience and professionalism in dealing with this issue and we thank them for their openness and understanding," said Dr Snee. "We expect to have many of them resume work in the next few days."

Family members of the infected and exposed staff have been informed, Dr Snee said. 

As of Wednesday at 1pm, New Zealand had 1210 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which has killed more than 88,000 people across the world.