Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Another Middlemore Hospital patient tests positive for virus; attended ED today

Another patient at Middlemore Hospital has tested positive for Covid-19.

The Ministry of Health tonight confirmed the person came to Middlemore’s Emergency Department today.

In a statement tonight, the ministry said Counties Manukau DHB’s information was that the patient presented with a non Covid-related issue “and answered all screening questions in the negative, indicating their having had no exposure to Covid-19, no symptoms of Covid-19 nor having been at any location of interest”.

“The patient was assessed in the ED and spent a short amount of time in the Adult Short Stay ward before making the decision to self-discharge,” the statement said.

“The patient did consent to a Covid-19 swab but made the decision to leave prior to the result being available.

“The patient has now been informed of the positive result and is isolating under the management of public health.”

Middlemore Hospital’s Infection, Prevention and Control and Occupational Health staff are working with the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) to assess the risk of the exposure, the ministry says.

All staff in the ED and Adult Short Stay area were wearing the appropriate PPE required for this area of the hospital, including N95 masks and goggles.

The risk to these staff members is considered “extremely low”. No staff are being stood down.

Inpatients who were deemed close contacts of the patient in question have been identified, informed and isolated.

“As is usual practice for a confirmed positive COVID-19 patient, ARPHS is undertaking a case investigation to ensure all impacted patients are informed and advised on the precautions they should take.”

The Herald understands a letter with information regarding the case was given to all patients in the ED.

A person inside the department said they received the letter on Thursday evening.

“I came here to be treated and get better … not to get ill with something else that could be avoided if managed well,” the person said.

Earlier this week, a man at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland tested positive for Covid-19.

The three patients most at risk of contracting Covid-19 from that man – with whom they shared a room – have returned negative day three tests.

That man was admitted to Middlemore Hospital on Saturday after arriving complaining of abdominal pain, Health Minister Andrew Little said.

When the man came down with a fever, a Covid swab was taken. However, hospital staff made the call to “leave him where he was” – in a ward with other patients – as they waited for a test result.

The man subsequently tested positive, leading to 29 staff at Middlemore Hospital now being considered close contacts and being stood down for 14 days.

Initial screening of the patient on his admittance included being asked if he had been at a Covid-19 location of interest. The man said he hadn’t, meaning there was nothing to indicate that he was at risk of having Delta.

Last month, at the begining of the Delta outbreak, an emergency department staff member at Middlemore tested positive for Covid-19.

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