Coronavirus: Invercargill woman dies in hospital after contracting COVID-19

An Invercargill woman has died of COVID-19 after battling with the virus for two weeks in hospital.

Jocelyn Finlayson, 62, was in intensive care on a ventilator after the virus took over her lungs, reports RNZ.

The Otago Daily Times was informed she died overnight by her son. Her daughter Nicole told RNZ previously the family had not been allowed to say goodbye. 

"When she was taken to the hospital, no one could hug her goodbye," she said.

Although they were not able to say goodbye when their mother was taken to hospital, arrangements were made for Finalyson's family to be beside her when she died, according to the Southern District Health Board. 

"While our patient was unable to have visitors over the past weeks, arrangements were made for her family to be with her last night as she passed away," it said in a statement on Thursday.

Despite being able to be there for her mother in her final moments, Nicole says the communication about her mother's condition had been confusing and upsetting.

On Tuesday, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said none of the patients in hospitals across the country were critical, and on Wednesday he said everyone was in a stable condition.

After listening to the news, Nicole said she was over the moon, thinking her mother had improved. 

"I rang my dad to see if he had received a further update from the hospital - he hadn't. I rang the hospital and they confirmed she was still critical. This was a little heartbreaking," she told RNZ. 

The Ministry of Health says the term "stable" means a patient's condition has not changed. 

The fact the person was in intensive care denoted the seriousness of their condition, it said in a statement. 

On Thursday afternoon Bloomfield apologised to Finlaysons family after confusion over her status in hospital.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said they would work on classifications of patients to avoid a repeat.