The Southern DHB is stressing the importance of people advising of COVID-19 symptoms when they are being admitted to hospital, so precautions can be taken to safeguard hospital staff and other patients.
This follows an incident at Southland Hospital last week where a patient, who has since tested positive for COVID-19, was admitted to hospital needing surgery and did not disclose symptoms until after they had shared a room with two other people, and after surgery had been performed.
The other two patients have tested negative for COID-19 but are still in 14 days isolation.
Thirteen hospital staff have been contacted – 11 are self-isolating and two are considered to be casual contacts.
Southern DHB has assisted three of these staff with accommodation.
Public Health staff have been managing the situation and no details about the patient will be disclosed for reasons of privacy.
Southland Hospital EOC Controller Jo McLeod said, “Our thoughts are with the patient and we understand this has been a very difficult situation.
We just want to reinforce that it is very important for patients to disclose any symptoms that they may have, even if they don’t seem serious or significant at the time. This means that we can ensure that they are cared for in the right place, with the right equipment, protecting them, their families and our staff.”
Southern DHB is assuring people:
- You will receive treatment whether you are COVID positive or not;
- It is vital you disclose any symptoms to enable staff to don PPE to keep everyone safe;
- Non-disclosure can have a significant impact on health services as staff must stand down for 14 days.
If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP – don’t show up at a medical centre