Visiting restricted at Timaru Hospital after exposure events

Visiting was restricted at Timaru Hospital on Saturday afternoon. (File photo)


Visiting was restricted at Timaru Hospital on Saturday afternoon. (File photo)

Visiting has been restricted at Timaru Hospital until at least Monday after “a number’’ of patients and staff across wards tested positive for Covid-19.

On Saturday Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand South Canterbury announced it was ‘’temporarily suspending visiting at Timaru Hospital from 2pm due to Covid-19 exposure events’’.

The organisation’s interim district director Jason Power said it had made the decision to restrict visitors “to ensure the safety of our staff, patients and visitors’’ over the weekend.

The organisation confirmed there were 23 Covid-19 cases in the hospital on Sunday, up from 21 on Saturday and 19 on Friday.

* Visitor protocols at Hospice South Canterbury change at alert level 2
* Existing health measures in place for Timaru Hospital visitors
* Seven patients in Timaru Hospital with respiratory syncytial virus

Director patient nursing and midwifery Lisa Blackler said the ‘’necessary steps’’ were being taken to ‘’ensure that exposure events are contained’’.

This included monitoring patients closely for signs and symptoms of Covid, she said.

‘’Our staff are doing an outstanding job given the continued high occupancy levels in Timaru Hospital.

“We commend our staff for their effort and dedication to patients and their community.’’

Visitor exceptions applied to the children and maternity wards which allowed for one visitor at a time with a maximum of two visitors per day between 2pm and 8pm, and maternity services which meant support partners were able to be in the birthing suite.

Those visiting patients on compassionate grounds were also an exception, but those visitors needed to arrange their visit with the ward’s charge nurse manager before going to the hospital, she said.

‘’We apologise for the inconvenience these restrictions cause for patients and their whānau.’’

The restrictions would be reviewed, and an update provided on Monday, she said.

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