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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

Counties Manukau DHB has advised the Ministry of Health of two COVID-19 exposure events at Middlemore Hospital.

Both cases arrived at Middlemore’s Emergency Department last night seeking treatment for issues unrelated to COVID-19.

In the first case, the patient answered no to all screening questions but, while in triage, clinical staff noted a very minor cough and took steps to isolate and test them. They subsequently returned a positive COVID-19 result.

This patient is now in COVID-19 isolation ward at Middlemore Hospital.

In the second case, the patient answered yes to one of the screening questions, which was also a symptom consistent with the non-COVID-related reason for going to hospital. They were tested and given initial treatment.

After learning of their positive test result, the second patient chose to self-discharge but is now being managed by the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS).

All staff were wearing the appropriate PPE and as such no staff members are required to stand down.

Acting out of an abundance of caution, ARPHS have determined that 66 patients should be considered as close contacts as a result of both exposure events.

To date, 34 of these patients remain in the hospital and have been moved to isolation wards, while 32 patients who have been discharged or did not require admission following their ED visit are now under the management of ARPHS for testing and follow up.

The risk to public health of these events is deemed to be low. A further update will be available at the 1pm tomorrow.