Investigations into a coronavirus cluster at two Sydney hospitals are under way, with five cases now linked to Liverpool and Concord hospitals, while a hospital cluster in southeast Queensland is also growing.
In Sydney, more than 100 employees are now in isolation following testing as experts look into possible sources of the outbreak.
Five cases have now been linked to the latest Liverpool and Concord hospitals coronavirus cluster.
Two staff at Liverpool Hospital and one at Concord Hospital are believed to have been infected by a doctor, who worked at both facilities.
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The doctor was understood to be wearing full personal protective equipment at the time.
NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said staff and patients will be interviewed “many times” to get a full picture of how the virus had spread.
“There is nothing clear-cut here,” she said. “We’re obviously very keen to look at how transmission occurred in these settings.”
There are now five cases linked to the cluster.
Concord Hospital has cancelled non-urgent surgeries until Friday and workers from other hospitals could be redeployed to cover shortages as a result of the outbreak.
OUTBREAK IN QUEENSLAND
Meanwhile, reinforcement staff have been sent in to a hospital in southeast Queensland as a COVID-19 outbreak grows.
Another nurse has tested positive at Ipswich Hospital. The woman in her thirties takes the total number of cases connected to the cluster to five.
Queensland Health director-general John Wakefield said the health worker had contracted the virus from one of her colleagues, more than 200 of whom had gone into quarantine.
“She was identified as a contact of that previous case,” Dr Wakefield said.
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“In that way, we knew she was in a place of safety, if you like, in terms of her quarantine, and she was obviously subsequently found to be positive after that test. The link is direct.”
Dr Wakefield said the outbreak has been contained to staff members working in the COVID ward, or their close contacts. That means it hasn’t spread beyond that to different parts of the hospital.
“At this stage the emergency department staff that had previously been under quarantine have tested negative and are now back at work,” he said.
“Elective surgery as a consequence for the next few days has had to be reduced … obviously our focus is on the patients who are affected by that.”