NZ health officials investigate mystery hospital covid ‘short stay’ case

Middlemore Hospital
Auckland's Middlemore Hospital ... a mystery case of covid-19. Image: Claire Eastham-Farrelly/RNZ

RNZ News

New Zealand health officials are investigating a mystery case of covid-19 who spent time in hospital and interacted with seven police officers before she knew she was infected.

The woman was swabbed as a precaution when she went to Middlemore Hospital yesterday for a non covid-related reason.

She spent two hours at the hospital’s emergency department and short stay ward, and the positive result came back after she had left.

She had also had contact with seven police officers on Wednesday morning.

The officers were wearing masks but have been stood down as a precaution.

The hospital staff were wearing full protective gear and are deemed to be low risk, but 36 patients were being asked to isolate.

New Zealanders are being told to keep covid-19 testing numbers up over the weekend ahead of next week’s alert level decision.

Monday alert levels meeting
Cabinet will meet on Monday to decide whether any parts of the country can move down an alert level.

More than 14,000 swabs were processed yesterday.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said 7000 of those tests were from the Auckland region.

“This continues to be giving us confidence about the outbreak, and whether or not it is controlled, and one thing I would like to emphasise is this weekend is critical that we get high testing numbers.

“So anyone who is symptomatic, particularly in Tāmaki Makaurau, please do go and get a test.”

The numbers

  • There are 11 new cases of covid-19 in the community today.
  • There are now 879 total cases, with 288 cases having now recovered.
  • There are 29 unlinked cases, including six from today.
  • Six new cases are in managed isolation and two historical cases were reported today.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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