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Home Health News Australia coronavirus: almost two dozen healthcare workers and patients diagnosed with Covid-19...

Australia coronavirus: almost two dozen healthcare workers and patients diagnosed with Covid-19 – The Guardian

Almost two dozen healthcare workers and patients have been diagnosed with Covid-19 in recent weeks in Victoria, with four patients and a staff member of Brunswick private hospital in Melbournes north among the new cases announced on Wednesday.
A spokeswoman for Brunswick Private said thorough pandemic planning meant the situation was being handled appropriately and with immediacy.
Staff and patients suspected of contact with these confirmed cases have been notified, and advised of the necessary actions to take, she said. The hospital is liaising with the department of health to conduct contact tracing. In the meantime, patient admissions and visitor access has ceased until further notice.
Only one infected patient remains in the hospital, and is currently under isolation in a separate unit from other patients, with dedicated staff. Another infected patient is isolating at home while the remaining cases have been sent to other hospitals for treatment.
With a record 191 new cases for the state announced by the premier on Tuesday and 134 further cases announced on Wednesday, the Melbourne metropolitan area will go back under lockdown from midnight, with people only allowed outside their homes for essential services, work, school and childcare. The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, acknowledged that as the cases increased, contact tracing was becoming increasingly difficult, which in part had prompted the lockdown.
These are unsustainably high numbers of new cases, he said. It is simply impossible with case rates at this level to have enough contact tracing staff, to have enough physical resources, no matter where they come from, no matter what uniform they wear, in order to continue to suppress and contain this virus without taking significant steps.
If we were to fail to take those steps, then it wont be a couple of hundred cases per day, it will be many more than that and will spiral well and truly out of control.
On Tuesday, two Ambulance Victoria paramedics tested positive for the virus, while a third tested positive on Wednesday, and all are in isolation with contact tracing underway. Meanwhile, nine cases have been linked to the Northern Hospital in Epping, made up of eight staff and one household contact of a staff member.
Ambulance Victorias chief executive, Tony Walker, said paramedics wear personal protective equipment at all times. We take every precaution to minimise the rate of infection amongst our frontline workforce and we remind the community of their vital role in stopping the spread of Covid-19, he said.
The Northern Hospital emergency department remains open but is operating with reduced services and some ambulances are temporarily being diverted to other hospitals.
The emergency department will undergo continuous deep cleaning for the next two weeks and close contacts are being identified and quarantined, the hospital said in a statement. All staff in the emergency department are being tested as a precaution.
Other cases in health workers include a case at the Royal Melbourne hospital. A case was announced at the Alfred hospital earlier in the week, with the health worker attending the hospital while infectious. A spokeswoman for The Alfred said on Wednesday this has now risen to two cases.
All Alfred Health services are continuing as usual, she said. Staff in all clinical areas at Alfred Health are now required to wear a surgical mask to increase their protection against Covid-19.
A healthcare worker at the Joan Kirner womens and childrens hospital, a close contact of a known case who was already in quarantine, is also among those who tested positive.
Meanwhile numerous aged care staff and residents throughout Victoria have tested positive. Five of the new Victorian cases announced on Wednesday included five positive cases linked to aged care services, where cleaning, contact tracing and testing is under way. A staff member worked for two days while infectious while at the Doutta Galla Lynchs Bridge aged care residence in Kensington.
Other cases include a resident at the Glendale aged care facility in Werribee; a staff member who worked at the Uniting Age Well facility in Preston; a staff member at BaptCare Karana in Kew; and an aged care worker with Mercy Health who provided aged care services to clients in their homes.
On Wednesday NSW Health announced a woman in her 30s from south-western Sydney also tested positive, and further investigations were under way to determine whether it was a historical infection or a more recent one. Her close contacts include staff at Liverpool hospital.
Meanwhile, the number of patients in Victorian hospitals with Covid-19 has continued to increase, with 41 people in hospital, and seven of those receiving intensive care.

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