Covid-19 Delta outbreak: New ED patient infection exposure case at Middlemore Hospital

South Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital is once again at the centre of a Covid-19 infection exposure event after a person seeking treatment at the emergency department tested positive.

Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield revealed today a person had presented to the hospital seeking treatment at its emergency department but not showing any sign ofthe infection.

The person was swabbed as part of wider testing under way at the hospital and returned a positive test.

“They were screened and had no risk factors or symptoms but they were tested as part of the wider surveillance testing they are doing and was found to have a positive test,” he said.

Bloomfield said the person was now being interviewed to determine whether there was a link to the community.

If there were any locations of interest they would be published as soon as possible, he said.

It’s the fourth case in just over a week where infected patients have arrived at the hospital for treatment unaware they had Covid-19.

Last week four people who presented to Middlemore Hospital tested positive for Covid-19, including a woman who was discharged from the hospital’s birthing unit, a 5-month-old baby and a woman connected to the Mongrel Mob.

Health officials said the woman who had been in the care of the hospital’s Birthing and Assessment Unit on Wednesday after a routine antenatal assessment returned a positive result for Covid-19 after developing symptoms post-discharge.

Staff and patients were considered contacts of the woman as she had been at the birthing unit within a 48-hour window before developing symptoms.

On Friday a parent and their 5-month-old baby arrived at the hospital’s Kidz First Emergency Department also returned positive test results. The parent had answered no to screening questions, but clinical staff identified the child as being symptomatic. Both returned positive results.

Staff were wearing full PPE at the time, but health officials said five potential contacts in the emergency department at the same time were being followed up out of an abundance of caution.

On Thursday a woman connected to a Mongrel Mob gang pad in South Auckland went to the hospital’s emergency department with a health issue unrelated to Covid-19 and also tested positive after she was admitted to the Adult Short Stay ward. Health officials claimed she self-discharged before getting her results.

When she was found at the Takanini Mongrel Mob Pasifika gang property she was taken into the Jet Park quarantine facility with at least one other gang member testing positive and a number of others now isolating.

Days before, a patient who tested positive was left alongside others in a shared ward while his test results were being processed.

As a result 29 doctors, nurses and staff were considered close contacts and put into isolation.

Those in the ward alongside him had so far returned negative results.

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