Sick child getting treatment in the cancer ward of a Melbourne hospital tests positive to coronavirus – forcing staff into isolation as health authorities scramble to find source of infection
- A child in an oncology unit at a Melbourne hospital has contracted coronavirus
- The child has been receiving treatment in the ward for ‘some time’ now
- Officials are scrambling to determine the source of the child’s infection
- Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said it hasn’t come from family or staff
The child has been receiving treatment in the cancer ward at Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne for ‘some time’ now, so medical experts are concerned about how the child was exposed to the virus.
Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley on Monday morning confirmed several staff had been forced into 14-day isolation since the diagnosis.
‘Without wanting to breach the confidence of the family involved, it doesn’t appear to have come from the family,’ Mr Foley told radio station 3AW.
‘Nor does it appear to have come from the rest of the unit there,’ he added.
‘I understand the child has been in hospital for quite some time.’
The child has been receiving treatment in the oncology ward at Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne for ‘some time’ now, so medical experts are concerned about how the child was exposed to the virus
The condition of the child is not clear, Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The Royal Children’s Hospital confirmed it was treating one patient who has tested positive for COVID-19 inside the Kookaburra oncology ward.
‘As is our usual practice in these situations, all staff working on the ward have been notified, along with current inpatient families and any who may have been discharged since September 30,’ a statement from the hospital read.
Contact tracing is underway for staff identified as close contacts, and some are in self-quarantine as a precaution.
‘Just as COVID-19 is impacting our state, it is to be expected that the RCH will also be impacted. Our staff are trained and prepared for such an outcome, and remain committed to protecting our patients, their families and our team.’
Healthcare workers are working around the clock to keep Melbourne on track to beat COVID-19. Pictured: Staff at a testing facility in Shepparton, Victoria, on October 15
Details about the child’s diagnosis come as Victoria recorded just four new cases of COVID-19 overnight and one new fatality
Mr Foley said staff and patients are still being tested for coronavirus, but that there have not yet been any clear links or answers about how the child contracted the deadly respiratory virus.
The hospital would continue to support the family involved during the ‘unsettling’ time.
Since the pandemic took hold in Australia in early 2020, the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne has treated 20 children for COVID-19 as inpatients.
As part of measures taken to ensure the safety of staff and patients, visitors have not been allowed on site since March.
Parents and guardians of patients, as well as all staff, are required to undergo a health screening and temperature check before entering the hospital.
Mr Foley said staff and patients are still being tested for coronavirus, but that there have not yet been any clear links or answers about how the child contracted the deadly respiratory virus. Pictured: Children playing at Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured centre) arrives to a press conference in Melbourne on October 18
Details about the child’s diagnosis come as Victoria recorded just four new cases of COVID-19 overnight and one new fatality.
The latest figures bring the state’s death toll from the virus to 817 and the national figure to 905.
It’s the sixth day in a row the state has recorded a a single digit increase in new cases.
The figures, confirmed by the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday, bring Melbourne’s 14-day rolling average down to 7.2.
Regional Victoria’s two-week case average remains at 0.5.
There are 15 cases for the fortnight up to Friday which have no known source.
VICTORIA’S PATHWAY OUT OF LOCKDOWN
The state government has mapped a new pathway out of lockdown for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria that depends on stamping out COVID-19 cases in the community which have an unknown source.
STEP ONE: From 11:59pm Sunday
* Two-hour outdoor time limit scrapped
* 5km travel restriction extended to 25km
* Outdoor gatherings up from five to 10
* Face-to-face allied health appointments to resume
* Tennis courts, golf courses and skate parks will reopen
* Outdoor swimming pools open to a maximum of 30 swimmers
* Hairdressers can reopen
* Outdoor real estate auctions permitted with up to 10 people, plus staff
STEP TWO: From 11:59pm on November 1:
* Up to two people, plus dependents, allowed to visit a home per day
* All retail shops can open
* Hospitality: maximum of 20 indoor seated customers (subject to one per four sqm), maximum of 50 outdoor patrons (subject to one per two sqm)
* Beauty and personal care services open
* Wedding groups of up to 10 permitted
* Up to 20 mourners allowed at funerals
* Outdoor religious gatherings and ceremonies capped at 20 people
MAJOR RESTRICTIONS REMAIN:
* Approved face masks must be worn at all times outside home
* Work from home if possible
* All businesses must have a COVID-safe plan