Update from Bay of Plenty District Health Board

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The health, welfare and wellbeing of our staff and patients continue to be our highest priority as we continue our fight against COVID-19. A Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) nurse who works in the adult mental health unit at Tauranga Hospital has tested positive for COVID-19. Our thoughts are with this hardworking nurse and we are hopeful of a swift recovery.

The nurse, who works at Te Whare Maiangiangi, is now recovering in isolation at home and being supported by family and DHB staff.

The staff member became symptomatic mid-week and was tested at a local community based assessment centre (CBAC) on Thursday.  A positive test result was returned Friday night.  The nurse had been following all appropriate guidelines relating to essential health workers, and has not been at work since becoming unwell.  We are very confident that this staff member was scrupulous in following guidelines to protect themselves and others.

Bay of Plenty DHB can confirm 21 staff members have been in contact with the nurse.  They have all been stood down, placed in isolation, and are being tested.  As a precautionary measure, staff members who return a negative test result will be required to self-isolate for 14 days from their last contact with the affected nurse.

In addition, all patients who had contact with the nurse have been tested for COVID-19.  This includes 14 patients who are currently being cared for on the ward and three who have been discharged.  All patients will be required to remain in quarantine/self-isolation, either on the ward or in the community.

Management of this, including contact tracing for staff and patients, is being coordinated by Toi Te Ora Public Health.

The ward has been closed to new admissions, and we are working with Whakatāne Hospital and Lakes District Health Board to continue to provide care for our patients.

Staff are continuing to use appropriate PPE as recommended by Ministry of Health guidelines.


Simon Everitt
Interim CE, BOPDHB