Four staff test pos­i­tive

Waikato Times - - Front Page - Ellen O’Dwyer

Four staff mem­bers at a Hamil­ton rest home have tested pos­i­tive for coro­n­avirus.

The staff at Atawhai As­sisi Home on Matangi Rd were part of a group of 27 staff mem­bers who were stood down due to contact with a res­i­dent who tested pos­i­tive for the virus on Sun­day, March 22.

Tama­here Even­tide chief ex­ec­u­tive Louis Fick told Stuff staff mem­bers who re­ceived pos­i­tive tests for the virus had in­formed him re­cently.

On Thurs­day, Di­rec­tor­Gen­eral of Health Ash­ley Bloom­field said a Hamil­ton rest home was the site of a clus­ter of cases the Min­istry of Health had iden­ti­fied.

Fick said none of the four staff mem­bers who tested pos­i­tive for the virus are in hospi­tal. They are at home in iso­la­tion.

He was not ex­actly sure how many of the 27 stood down staff had been tested for Covid-19 – the Min­istry of Health had not in­formed him as of yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

He had sent an email out to do a stock­take of how many staff had been tested and what symp­toms they had ex­pe­ri­enced.

‘‘The staff have been re­spon­si­ble.

‘‘Those who have tested pos­i­tively have been in­form­ing me, some who have tested neg­a­tively have also in­formed me.’’

He knew of one staff mem­ber with Covid-19 who had ex­pe­ri­enced symp­toms of head and body aches.

Atawhai As­sisi Home and Hospi­tal has 86 beds at its New­stead fa­cil­ity.

It is run by Tama­here Even­tide which houses a separate home and vil­lage in Tama­here.

Around March 10, a res­i­dent at the New­stead fa­cil­ity had his daugh­ter visit­ing from Aus­tralia. Af­ter her ar­rival home in Aus­tralia she tested pos­i­tive for Covid-19.

About 10 days later, the res­i­dent was tested and re­ceived a pos­i­tive re­sult for Covid-19 on March 22.

Twenty seven staff mem­bers were then stood down, Fick said.

It was ‘‘dif­fi­cult to com­ment’’ as to whether staff mem­bers could have passed on the virus to other res­i­dents dur­ing that win­dow, he said.

As far as he knew ‘‘no other res­i­dent has been tested be­cause no-one is show­ing symp­toms’’.

‘‘We are mon­i­tor­ing each per­son’s con­di­tion con­tin­u­ously.’’

When asked whether Fick was wor­ried for res­i­dents, Fick said he was ‘‘al­ways wor­ried’’. ‘‘I’m wor­ried for my staff too.’’ As with the rest of the coun­try, the rest home is in lock­down, he said.

Re­main­ing staff in the rest home and hospi­tal were in personal pro­tec­tive equip­ment (PPE) while car­ry­ing out their jobs, Fick said.

‘‘Res­i­dents are con­fined to their own room.

‘‘Of course we want them to be out and about but that’s not pos­si­ble at the mo­ment.’’

Reg­u­lar clean­ing and strict hy­giene was be­ing put in place in line with DHB pro­to­cols, Fick said.

Yes­ter­day, Bloom­field con­firmed New Zealand had iden­ti­fied 78 new cases of Covid19, in­clud­ing 73 con­firmed and five prob­a­ble cases.

Clus­ters of the virus were be­ing in­ves­ti­gated at a Hamil­ton rest home, a Welling­ton wedding, Marist Col­lege in Auck­land, a group of peo­ple who re­cently went to the US, the Here­ford Con­fer­ence in Queen­stown, and a per­son in contact with some­one on the Ruby Princess cruise ship now in the Hawke’s Bay.

‘‘I’m wor­ried for my staff too. As with the rest of the coun­try, the rest home is in lock­down.’’

Louis Fick

Tama­here Even­tide chief ex­ec­u­tive

DO­MINICO ZA­P­ATA/STUFF

Atawhai As­sisi Rest Home near Hamil­ton has been in lock­down since a res­i­dent tested pos­i­tive on Sun­day.

Atawhai As­sisi Rest Home.

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