Elective services at Dunedin Hospital are planned to resume
next week as the number of new norovirus cases continues to
Otago District Health Board operations manager Megan Boivin
said it was hoped all wards would be reopened today once they
had been cleaned.
The number of patients in isolation has dropped from 30 to
18, with only 15 of those suffering from norovirus.
Six more patients and staff have fallen ill with the highly
contagious virus since yesterday, compared with 11 yesterday,
24 on Wednesday and 16 on Tuesday.
In total 73 patients and almost 100 staff have fallen prey to
Visitor restrictions would still be in place during the
weekend and the main entrance would continue to be manned by
security staff, she said. Hand hygiene protocols will be
enforced for those who are allowed access to the hospital.
Next week 2pm to 8pm visiting hours would be strictly
enforced and visitors would not be allowed outside of these
hours, Mrs Boivin said.
The only exemptions to the stricter hours would be the
neonatal intensive care unit, the intensive care unit and the
Those attending outpatient clinics next week will be asked to
go straight to their appointment and refrain from spending
more time than they need to in other areas of the
Visiting restrictions were lifted at Waikari Hospital
More than 2,300 procedures, including elective surgery,
outpatient visits and planned admissions, have been
Those patients would not go to the bottom of the waiting list
as the hospital had made a commitment to give them treatment,
Mrs Boivin said.
Chief medical officer Richard Bunton said there would be
increased waiting times for some services as a result of the
norovirus outbreak and hospital lock-down.
Good hand hygiene is the most important way people can
protect themselves from the spread of illness. Hands should
be washed for 20sec with soap and water and then dried
thoroughly for 20sec with clean towels.
Anybody with diarrhoea or vomiting should stay away from work
or school, or not visit hospitals or rest-homes, until they
have been free of all symptoms for 48 hours.