Investigation launched into COVID-19 clusters at NI Hospital

As more patients test positive for COVID-19 at a ward in Craigavon Hospital, the Southern Health Trust has launched an investigation.

Friday, 28th August 2020, 2:15 pm

The Trust said a further four patients connected to the Haematology Ward at Craigavon Hospital have tested positive for the virus in the last 48 hours.

Six patients have previously tested positive and eight members of staff connected to that ward have also tested positive and are self isolating.

In their latest update today at 1pm, a Southern Health Trust spokesperson said that in the Emergency Department the number of staff to test positive remains at three with 21 members of staff ‘currently off self-isolating as a precaution’.

The spokesperson said: “Approximately 150 staff members from within the department have been tested. All results to date are negative.

“One of the positive staff members from ED had covered a shift in a Trauma theatre CAH

“As a precaution, seven members of staff from T&O theatres are currently off self-isolating but no further positive cases have been reported from this group.

“As a result of reduced staffing levels, the theatre department is unable to provide double trauma lists daily to meet with demand.

“A planned Orthopaedic surgical list on Wednesday 2nd September has been cancelled to ensure there is trauma list provision.

“There is no impact to the Trauma theatre sessions Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday Monday.”

Meanwhile in the Haematology Ward four patients connected with the ward have tested positive within last 48 hours. Six patients previously reported as positive.

Eight members of staff have tested positive and are currently off and self-isolating.

A Trust spokesperson said: “Contacts of these staff members have been identified and are isolating as a precaution.

“All other members of staff connected to the ward are being tested again as a precaution,” said the Trust spokesperson adding that a detailed investigation is on-going.

The Ward remains closed to new admissions.

The spokesperson added: “Trust staff continue to work closely with the Public Health Agency to manage the situation. The PHA Contact Tracing Service has been following up with any confirmed contacts within the wider community. The safety of patients, staff and wider contacts remains a priority.

“There will be no routine visiting to the ward until further notice unless in exceptional circumstances.”

Virtual visiting is available on request by contacting 077 7651 6419 between 9am and 5pm.

“Covid-19 continues to rise in our community. We urgently appeal to everyone to wash their hands and maintain social distancing.

“As the Health Minister has stated publicly, clusters and outbreaks are anticipated in hospitals, we all have to do everything we can to limit the spread of the virus and deal with any outbreaks swiftly and effectively.”

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