Coronavirus: Person tests positive for COVID-19 after showing up at Middlemore Hospital for unrelated issue

A person has tested positive for COVID-19 after turning up to Middlemore Hospital for treatment for an issue unrelated to the virus.  

Counties Manukau DHB advised the Ministry of Health of a possible COVID-19 exposure event at Middlemore Hospital on Friday night.

The patient answered 'no' to all screening questions related to the virus, but while in triage, clinical staff noted the patient was displaying a COVID-like symptom and took steps to investigate, isolate and test. 

The patient subsequently returned a positive COVID-19 result and was moved to a COVID-19 isolation ward at Middlemore Hospital. 

The patient was wearing a mask at all times in the emergency department. 

All staff were wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and as such no staff members are required to stand down. 

Counties Manukau Health’s Infection Prevention and Control team are working with the Auckland Regional Public Health Service to identify potential contacts. 

The Ministry of Health reminded New Zealanders that it is important that people seek help when they’re sick and know that hospitals are safe. 

This comes after another 27 cases of COVID-19 were reported on Saturday afternoon, with five which are yet to be linked. 

All the new cases were found in Auckland, which is at alert level 3. 

"Fourteen of these are household contacts, eight are known contacts and five are under investigation to determine how they are linked to the current outbreak," the ministry said in a statement. 

"Due to the highly infectious nature of the Delta variant within households, we expect to see fluctuations in case numbers at this stage in the outbreak." 

There have now been 1295 cases in this outbreak, all but 22 in Auckland/upper Hauraki. 

Ten of Friday's 19 cases have exposure events, the ministry said. 

Just 10 cases from the past two weeks remain not epidemiologically linked to known clusters. There are 22 people in hospital, three in ICU or HDU.