TODAY |

Over 70 staff at Queenstown hospital in isolation after two nurses contract coronavirus

Multiple medical staff in Queenstown are awaiting results after two nurses tested positive for Covid-19.

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The Southern District Health Board is testing all close contacts to the staff member and has carried out extensive cleaning at the lakes district hospital. Source: 1 NEWS

The Southern District Health Board is testing all close contacts to the staff members and has carried out extensive cleaning at the Lakes District Hospital.

In total, 74 other staff members there will be, or have been, tested.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield gave an update on the hospital’s functionality today.

“At the moment the emergency department is still open so there's an ability to respond to acute needs," he said.

“It's just the inpatient care - which is usually a small number of people anyway - that will either go to Dunstan or Invercargill.”

An investigation is underway into how the first nurse confirmed positive contracted the virus.

The health worker had not directly been caring for two Covid-19 patients at the hospital.

The second nurse to test positive only had very mild symptoms, and attended work for one shift while infectious. All close contacts, including four patients, are being followed up and asked to self-isolate.

The Queenstown Lakes District is already a hotspot for the virus.

So far, 31 cases have been recorded there, with a number of cases likely due to community transmission.

New Zealand currently has a total of 647 Covid-19 cases with one death.