Person on Canberra maternity test positive for COVID
The Minister of Health trusts the infection control measures at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children.
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2021-09-29T05: 30: 00 + 10: 00
A positive COVID-19 case was discovered at a maternity ward at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children last week, but the health minister is convinced that infectious disease experts have the situation under control.
The case was discovered Thursday, but Health Secretary Rachel Stephen-Smith would not reveal whether it was an employee or mother who got the virus to protect the patient’s privacy.
“Experts in the prevention and control of infections and infectious diseases and in collaboration with the public health team responded quickly and managed the risk and identified and contacted affected staff or patients. And all the areas that have been affected by this have been deeply cleaned,” she said.
“We can not 100 percent guarantee that someone with COVID will not show up in any part of our healthcare system, but the prevention and control measures and infection measures we have in place are designed to protect everyone.”
It is not known how many staff or patients came into contact with the positive case, but no further cases are linked.
The health minister said the case was not announced publicly because all contacts could be contacted directly.
“There have been a number of potential exposures at both our hospitals and community health services where we have been able to identify everyone involved.
“We give them direct notice. These are not communicated as public exposure sites, so most of them are not discussed in public.”
There is no requirement for non-symptomatic patients to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival at Canberra’s hospitals, but this policy remains under review by the Clinical Health Center.
Stephen-Smith said rapid antigen testing was not appropriate in health settings because PCR testing was more accurate and could be quickly processed in the hospital.
Those who come in case of emergency with COVID-19 symptoms are tested and treated in the red zone.
Women who give birth who show symptoms have additional requirements to wear personal protective equipment and masks in the hospital.
Visitors have been excluded from Canberra hospitals since the lockdown began on August 12, unless in special cases it was at birth, end of life and childcare.
She said expectant parents should feel safe going to the hospital for the birth of their child.
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