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Staff in full protective equipment to be stationed outside emergency departments at Hawke’s Bay hospitals

Staff in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be stationed outside emergency departments at hospitals in Hawke’s Bay as the region makes temporary changes in response to Covid-19.

Medical workers wearing protective suits. Source: Associated Press

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health Dr Rachel Eyre said the changes were being made to protect vulnerable patients and staff.

“We need to put sensible measures in place to reduce the chance of any infection spread,” she said.

The staff in full PPE outside emergency departments will double-check travel history and the reason for coming to the emergency department.

“We are currently in the ‘Keep it out, Stamp it out’ phase and this is a necessary step to protect our patients and our staff so that we can continue to focus on providing care,” Dr Eyre said.

The DHB is limiting the number of people coming into its facilities from 5pm tonight, with changes including:

·         One support person only to accompany people presenting to Emergency Department

·         Villa Outpatient Appointments– one support person per patient.

·         Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) – parents only visiting

·         All remaining inpatient wards and services – one visitor per patient at any one time.

·         No children under 16 to come hospital visiting.

·         Visitors will not be allowed to visit any COVID-19 patients

·         Maternity – one support person only. Must sign in and sign out.