Exposure event at Tauranga Hospital | Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand | Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty

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Exposure event at Tauranga Hospital

25 February 2022

On Thursday 24 February, a COVID-19 exposure event was identified at Tauranga Hospital’s Orthopaedic Ward involving 68 people.

Tauranga Hospital has been preparing for possible cases of COVID-19, and had a number of precautions in place to minimise the risk of the virus spreading in the workplace, like wearing appropriate PPE and following the best-practice infection control processes.

As a prudent measure, at 1pm yesterday the hospital’s Orthopaedic Ward was immediately closed to new admissions and visitors, although the risk to Tauranga Hospital staff and operations was considered low.

  • Of the 68 people identified as contacts, 42 were staff who completed a RAT test – all tests came back negative. The staff members will monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Of the 24 patients, 21 returned negative PCR tests, and one refused a swab – this patient is in isolation and being treated as if COVID-19 positive.
  • Two patients returned positive PCR tests and are also in isolation and receiving treatment for COVID-19.

The patients in isolation are in the new negative pressure ward recently opened for patients.

The Orthopaedic Ward reopened for admissions and visitors later last night, after the results of the 68 people was known.

As the Omicron outbreak grows, it’s not unexpected to see more exposure events in the community and workplaces – including increasing numbers of close contacts who need to be tested.

Dr Kate Grimwade lead the investigation undertaken by Infection Control medical staff.

Acting Chief Operating Officer Bronwyn Anstis says she is incredibly pleased with the speed with which the staff identified and managed the event. “We’re very grateful to our amazing staff for the work they are doing at this time to care for the people of our community and help keep everybody safe.”  Bronwyn Anstis also thanked PathLab for urgently processing the PCR tests.