Coronavirus: Three Waitakere Hospital staff test positive for COVID-19

Three Waitakere Hospital staff have tested positive for coronavirus, Waitematā DHB has revealed.

The staff members had been working in a ward where COVID-19 patients from St Margaret’s Hospital and Rest Home were transferred due to a staff shortage.

In a statement to media, the DHB said it is now taking "immediate steps" to manage the risk to patients and staff at the hospital.

"As soon as we became aware of these cases, we moved quickly to respond and we will take all appropriate actions to minimise any risks," Waitematā DHB Deputy CEO Dr Andrew Brant explained.

"It is unclear at this stage whether contact with those patients was the source of the staff contracting COVID-19 or whether any of the cases are linked. Full personal protective equipment (PPE) was made available and worn by staff at all times in this area.

"The DHB has an auditing programme in place on the appropriate use of PPE for all COVID patients. An urgent review is in progress to understand how and where the infection may have occurred."

Waitematā DHB is now undertaking contact-tracing of staff and patients. Some staff have also been stood-down from work as a precaution, and are self-isolating as they wait on test results.

Waitakere Hospital has closed affected wards to further admissions, and is considering more precautionary measures for patients who may have come into contact with the infected staff members.

It still has capacity to admit patients to other parts of the hospital, however.

The new cases are likely to be confirmed in the Director-General of Health's coronavirus briefing at 1pm on Friday.

In New Zealand there have been 1474 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19. Nineteen people have died with the disease here, while 1229 people have recovered.