Four staff test positive
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.’’
Tamahere Eventide chief executive
Atawhai Assisi Rest Home near Hamilton has been in lockdown since a resident tested positive on Sunday.
Atawhai Assisi Rest Home.