Friday 24 September LATEST UPDATE.

The Mater Hospital at North Sydney has confirmed 14 people; eight staff members, five patients and one carer have tested positive for Covid after an outbreak emerged last weekend.

All elective surgery will be postponed for at least one week.

“The private hospital has been supporting the state’s public health system during the current outbreak and it is understood some of the positive cases have been linked with transfers from public hospitals,” a Mater spokesperson says.

The total number of cases increased from 11 to 14 overnight on Wednesday.

“Immediately after becoming aware of these cases, The Mater commenced testing of patients and staff who may have been exposed to Covid-19,” a Mater spokesman said in a statement.

“All of our Covid positive staff cases are now in isolation and are being supported by The Mater.

“The Mater is identifying contacts of these patients and staff and has sought advice from Northern Sydney Local Health District to ensure the health and safety of all patients and staff is maintained.

Patients who have tested positive have been moved to public hospital units.

“In light of this situation, we have suspended all elective surgery this week and implemented increased PPE for all impacted areas of the hospital,” the spokeperson says.

“As an added precaution, the Mater is now surveillance testing all staff every 48 hours.”

Maternity Ward Update

At this stage there is no evidence of COVID exposure in the Maternity Unit and the Mater has adopted several initiatives to segregate the Unit from other hospital activities.

“We are carefully managing all Maternity patients on Level 3 and our Obstetric Theatre (which is separate to our main operating theatres) is available for emergency caesareans where necessary,” the spokesperson says.

The Mater Hospital wishes to advise it is taking the following steps:

  1. All staff and current patients (plus partners) are being screened every 48 hours.
  2. All expectant mothers and their partners are asked to test every 72 hours, from 38 weeks.
  3. A dedicated surgical support team has been assigned to the Obstetric Theatre on Level 3.
  4. 
We have dedicated housekeeping and catering staff who work exclusively in Maternity.
  5. We have arranged contactless delivery of supplies to Level 3.

Patricia Ritchie Centre for Cancer Care & Research

At this stage there is no evidence of COVID exposure in the PRC and it continues to operate under strict screening and COVID protocols and the Mater has adopted several initiatives to segregate the Unit from other hospital activities.

“Furthermore, dedicated Housekeeping and Catering staff have been allocated exclusively to the Unit and contactless delivery of supplies has been arranged,” the spokesperson says.

“Our breast care nurses have been allocated exclusively to specific areas of the hospital to further minimise any risk of cross-infection.”