Two nurses at Waikato Hospital test positive for COVID-19

By Jessica Tyson

The Waikato District Health Board has confirmed two nurses have tested positive for COVID-19.

The nurses, who work in the same ward at Waikato Hospital, stood down immediately on developing symptoms.

Waikato DHB Chief Executive Dr Kevin Snee says the hospital was taking all precautions.

“The staff acted in line with DHB policy to stand down if they are unwell.  However, there is a very small risk of transmission even in those without symptoms and we have therefore taken a very precautionary approach, says Dr Snee.

“Staff who were working on that ward during the previous week (March 31 to April 6) have been stood down as we obtain more information regarding the nursing movements to enable us to return those staff where there is no risk back to the workforce as quickly as possible.”

The ward provides general medical services, mostly for older people who are 65 years or older. There are no COVID positive patients in the ward at present.

Dr Snee says staff have all the recommended PPE available to them and are trained in its use in addition to facemasks being available for casual contacts with patients and other staff.  

The DHB has informed all staff and has discussed the situation with all of our affected inpatients and, where appropriate, their family members.

“The staff on the ward have displayed great resilience and professionalism in dealing with this issue and we thank them for their openness and understanding. We expect to have many of them resume work in the next few days.” Dr Snee says.

According to the Ministry of Health’s latest statistics, there are 163 people with COVID-19 in Waikato.