Australia

Sydney hospital’s emergency department closed after positive COVID-19 case attended


The emergency department at Mount Druitt Hospital in western Sydney has been closed for deep cleaning after a person infected with coronavirus went there.

The person presented at the hospital on Saturday with respiratory symptoms and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.

They were transferred to Westmead Hospital for treatment while the Mount Druitt Hospital emergency department was shut for deep cleaning.

Ambulances are currently being diverted to nearby hospitals but local health authorities expect the deep clean to be completed by Monday morning.

“Investigations are underway to assess potential close contacts, including staff and patients,” Western Sydney Local Health District said in a statement.

“Anyone determined to be at risk of possible exposure is being contacted by the Public Health Unit and health advice provided.”

The potential exposure incident comes as NSW continues to “mop up” from two coronavirus outbreaks in Greater Sydney.

Thousands of residents from the northern part of Sydney’s Northern Beaches celebrated “Freedom Day” on Sunday, having been let out of lockdown.

But it wasn’t all good news, with NSW recording three new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday – all close contacts of prior cases.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Sunday the three cases were a reminder of the need to remain on high alert.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant echoed the premier’s call, asking the community to keep COVID-19 testing rates high as health authorities sought out the remaining strands of the outbreaks.

“These next 14 days is going to be pivotal,” she said.

Dr Chant said Sunday’s three new cases were only recently identified by contact tracers as close contacts.

A number of new venues, including the Costco in Casula and Myer in Bankstown, have been declared potential exposure sites.

Late on Sunday, NSW Health also issued a health alert for Bankstown Central Shopping Centre over two separate days, as well as a Service NSW site in Bankstown and a Thai supermarket at Marrickville.

Anyone who visited these venues at specific times must get tested immediately and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, ACT, Tasmania.



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