Concord Hospital in Sydney’s west has gone into lockdown, closing its doors to all visitors until at least Friday.
The drastic move comes after several healthcare workers at the hospital tested positive to coronavirus, sparking fears that vulnerable patients could become infected.
There are five cases linked to Concord Hospital, including the initial emergency ward worker who worked a shift while infectious on September 1.
The hospital will be closed from 8am on Wednesday to 10am on Friday for deep cleaning of all wards.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was ‘concerning’ that a person became infected after touching a surface in the hospital.
‘I am always concerned about those cases, because every case can blow out if you don’t contact trace and isolate,’ she told The Today Show.
‘But what is concerning about the Concord Hospital example is that health are still doing discussions but they suspect that this is a case where someone has picked it up from a surface, because everybody who got it was wearing a mask and full PPE.
‘This is really contagious … whilst the pandemic is around and until we have a vaccine, all of us have to be cautious and assume we have got it or that people we are interacting with have it as well.’
NSW Health assured families of patients that there would be arrangements for people to contact loved ones by phone or video calls.
‘There is no evidence that there is ongoing risk in the hospital and patients should continue to visit to receive the medical care they need,’ NSW Health said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) said those identified as contacts are being tested, and are isolating at home for 14 days.
‘As an additional precaution, all staff on the aged care wards are wearing full personal protective equipment (gowns, gloves, masks and goggles) to minimise risks to patients,’ SLHD said in a statement.
‘We know this is a worrying time, but we would like to thank you all for your patience and understanding.’
More to follow.