Ward Temporarily Closed to Visitors due to COVID-19 | Northland DHB

Ward Temporarily Closed to Visitors due to COVID-19

Ward 1 at Whangarei Hospital is temporarily closed to visitors following some patients testing positive for COVID-19.

Interim district director Tracey Schiebli says as soon as there was an increase in patients testing positive in the ward, it was closed to visitors and the plan to manage the outbreak was initiated. This included infection prevention control measures and informing the whānau of patients of what was happening.

“Although visiting hours are restricted, our hospitals are open for visitors, so the infection may have been brought in by visitors or staff who had no symptoms.

“This is just one of the challenges we face as a country and health service to live with COVID-19. It is therefore critical that all staff, visitors and support people must continue to wear masks appropriately when in the hospital to protect patients and staff,” Tracey Schiebli says.

Measures such as temporarily closing wards are put in place when there is a spike of a contagious virus/infection within a localised area. Other examples where this action has been taken in recent years include norovirus or influenza outbreaks.

There is also a significant community spread of COVID-19 in Northland, with over 200 new cases reported daily this week.

  • There have been 280 new cases of COVID-19 notified in Northland in the 24 hours to 6am today, Thursday 14 July.
  • These include 156 cases in Whangārei District, 84 cases in Far North District, 40 cases in Kaipara District.
  • There are 1,596 active cases in Northland currently.
  • 43,016 people have recovered from COVID-19 in Northland.
  • There are 14 cases currently in hospital.

"This reminds us that COVID-19 remains an issue in our community, and people should remain vigilant.  Wear masks, stay two metres away from people you don't know, wash your hands frequently, stay home if you're sick, get tested, and get your full course of COVID-19 immunisations."

"While most people who are healthy and vaccinated will have a milder illness, COVID-19 is potentially more dangerous for people who are unwell and already in hospital."

All other parts of the hospital remain open to visitors. A patient may nominate up to two people who can visit them during their stay in hospital. These two visitors must be registered on the Northland DHB Visitor App before they visit. Two nominated people can visit each day, at separate times of the day.

Everyone is asked to not visit a Northland hospital if they are unwell, and all visitors must wear a mask throughout their visit.

The visitor policy for ward 1 will be reviewed on Monday 18 July.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccination or testing go to our website. https://www.northlanddhb.org.nz/(external link)

Other information

Free rapid antigen tests (RATs) and face masks are now widely available

  • You do not need COVID-19 symptoms to order RATs
  • Free rapid antigen tests (RATs) are available from a range of locations, including testing sites, marae and pharmacies
  • You can order free RAT home testing kits for yourself or on behalf of someone else. You will need access to a mobile phone to confirm your order
  • You will get an order number. You can then pick up your RATs from a collection site or have someone collect it for you.

 

Where to order RATs

Face masks

Face masks are now free with RAT tests.

Wearing face masks can reduce new cases of COVID-19 by as much as 53 percent.

Face masks reduce the number of virus particles someone with COVID-19 can spread and prevent you from inhaling virus particles.

The best protection is when everyone wears a face mask.

  • You can get free face masks when you pick up RATs from a testing centre.
  • You do not need to have COVID-19 symptoms. P2/N95 face masks will be available for people who are at higher risk of severe illness.

Where to wear your mask:

  • When using public transport, e.g., on a flight, taxi or bus
  • When visiting a public place.

Find out more here.(external link)

-ENDS-

For further information, please contact Liz Inch, Communications Manager

Phone 09 4304101 ext. 60518 

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