ER shut af­ter in­fec­tion

Hermanus Times - - VOORBLAD - Rick Marais and An­nette Theron Hermanus Times,

The readi­ness of Hermanus Hos­pi­tal to treat pa­tients test­ing pos­i­tive for Covid-19 was ques­tioned by some af­ter it closed its Emer­gency Cen­tre for san­i­ta­tion on Satur­day.

Roche Butler, spokesper­son for the West­ern Cape Depart­ment of Health in the Over­berg Dis­trict, how­ever, says the hos­pi­tal is pre­pared and was fol­low­ing pro­to­col by clos­ing the Emer­gency Cen­tre af­ter a staff mem­ber work­ing in the Emer­gency Cen­tre of Hermanus Hos­pi­tal tested pos­i­tive for Covid-19.

“Fol­low­ing a Covid-19 con­fir­ma­tion at a fa­cil­ity, the af­fected unit is cleaned and sani­tised ac­cord­ing to pro­to­col. This can en­tail the unit or fa­cil­ity clos­ing, de­pend­ing on the af­fected area. Fol­low­ing pro­to­col, the Emer­gency Cen­tre at Hermanus Hos­pi­tal closed for 24 hours for de­con­tam­i­na­tion. To en­sure con­tin­ued ser­vice de­liv­ery, the emer­gency ser­vices for walk-in pa­tients were moved to the Out Pa­tients Depart­ment (OPD) and those trav­el­ling via EMS were taken to Cale­don Hos­pi­tal. All close con­tacts have been placed in quar­an­tine for 14 days,” says Butler.

“Hermanus Hos­pi­tal is pre­pared for pa­tients test­ing pos­i­tive for Covid-19 and cur­rently has a 15-bed Covid-19 ward and iso­la­tion units able to ac­com­mo­date Covid-19 Pa­tients.” Butler con­firms that the Emer­gency Cen­tre at Hermanus Hos­pi­tal re­opened on 17 May and the en­tire hos­pi­tal is fully op­er­a­tional.

The Hermanus Police sta­tion was also closed on Satur­day for san­i­ta­tion af­ter a police of­fi­cer sta­tioned at Hermanus tested pos­i­tive for Covid-19. This is the sec­ond in­ci­dent of a police of­fi­cer sta­tioned at Hermanus test­ing pos­i­tive for the virus and the sta­tion be­ing closed for san­i­ta­tion (‘Po­lice­man tests pos­i­tive’, 16 April 2020).

Brig Dono­van Heil­bron, clus­ter com­man­der of the Over­berg, ex­plained the sta­tion was opened the next day (Sun­day) and the com­mu­nity ser­vice cen­tre had to be moved to the front of the build­ing to be able to still as­sist com­mu­nity mem­bers.

“The mem­ber who tested pos­i­tive is cur­rently in self­iso­la­tion at home. Sev­eral mem­bers un­der­went test­ing as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure and the sta­tion was sani­tised by disas­ter man­age­ment,” stated Brig Heil­bron.

By Tues­day 19 May, the Over­berg recorded 58 con­firmed in­fec­tions with 25 re­cov­er­ies. Over­strand make up the ma­jor­ity of cases with a to­tal of 24, Thee­wa­ter­skloof jumped to 21 cases on Tues­day, Swellen­dam recorded 11 cases and Cape Agul­has re­mained at two con­firmed cases.

The Over­berg also recorded it’s first coro­n­avirus death in the Swellen­dam mu­nic­i­pal­ity. “The de­ceased is a 62-year-old male pa­tient who tested pos­i­tive for the coro­n­avirus,” says Butler. “He also had an un­der­ly­ing med­i­cal con­di­tion. Our deep­est con­do­lences go out to his fam­ily dur­ing this time.”

Coro­n­avirus hot spots are be­ing iden­ti­fied across the Over­berg re­gion. Police blocked a road to the small com­mu­nity of Ge­naden­dal on Sun­day and ap­plied ac­cess con­trol af­ter a spaza shop owner tested pos­i­tive for the coro­n­avirus. Ac­cord­ing to Brig Heil­bron the bar­rier was put in place to pre­vent cars with Cape-Town li­cence plates from en­ter­ing the town. Heil­bron con­firmed that four spaza-shops have been closed. Heil­bron and Hu­man

Rights Com­mis­sioner, Chris Nis­sen, vis­ited Ge­naden­dal on Mon­day to quell res­i­dents’ con­cerns about the ef­fects of the coro­n­avirus.

In Grabouw, res­i­dents took to so­cial me­dia to ex­press con­cern about the first pos­i­tive coro­n­avirus case at the ap­ple farm, Two-a-Day. The fac­tory out­side Grabouw was closed for de­con­tam­i­na­tion over the week­end.

Dimitri Jacobs, a hu­man re­sources di­rec­tor at Two-aDay, said they re­ceived con­fir­ma­tion of a pos­i­tive coro­n­avirus case on Sun­day evening. “We im­me­di­ately no­ti­fied the Depart­ment of Health, the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Com­mu­ni­ca­ble Dis­eases and the Depart­ment of Labour. Peo­ple who have had close con­tact with the per­son who have been tested pos­i­tive have been iden­ti­fied and the Depart­ment of Health will con­tact them.”

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