Ross Home and Hospital, in Dunedin, is likely to be in
lockdown until Monday, following a gastroenteritis outbreak.
About 30 residents and 12 staff have been ill with
gastroenteritis, which originated from a resident who
transferred from an eighth-floor ward of Dunedin Hospital.
Meanwhile, the outbreak that threw parts of Dunedin Hospital
into chaos this week is easing. One ward had reopened
yesterday. The other affected ward remains designated for
Presbyterian Support Otago services for older people director
Maurice Burrowes said the Ross Home outbreak started on
Tuesday. Affected residents and staff had been ill with
vomiting and/or diarrhoea.
''It's relatively short and sharp - eight to 12 hours, and
no-one's had to be hospitalised.
''We've been fortunate that it hasn't impacted too
significantly in our staffing, and that the wider community,
family, and friends, have been understanding and can see why
we've had to close the doors for the moment.''
The facility would reopen its doors on Monday, depending on
whether there were new cases. Yesterday afternoon Mr Burrowes
said there had been three new cases in the previous 24 hours,
none of them among staff.
The first ill resident had transferred from a Dunedin
Hospital eighth-floor ward on May 17. The person did not show
symptoms for a couple of days. The eighth floor was not
affected by the Dunedin Hospital outbreak at that stage, Mr
The bug had affected all units in the facility, which has 125
The results of tests to determine the type of gastroenteritis
would not be known for at least a week. Mr Burrowes said the
Southern District Health Board formally advised rest homes on
Thursday of the hospital outbreak, which perhaps could have
been sooner. He would be following up with the board to
discuss the matter.
SDHB patient services medical director Dick Bunton said there
had been one new case of gastroenteritis at the hospital, in
a patient. The situation was easing, Dr Bunton said yesterday
''I won't pretend that we've got a surfeit of beds and we're
back to complete normality, but it is better.''
Fewer patients had presented at ED yesterday than on
Thursday. ED had been stretched coping with higher than usual
number of presentations, and a lack of patient flow caused by
Mr Bunton confirmed one patient waited 26 hours to be
discharged from the ED. He was not sure if it was due to the
stress on the department.
More elective surgery operations had to be postponed
yesterday. He did not know many.
The intensive care unit had been at capacity all week,
unrelated to gastroenteritis. No patients had been
transferred from ICU to other centres, although that was an
option, Mr Bunton said.
Clutha Health First chief executive Ray Anton said the
Balclutha hospital's inpatient ward remained closed to
admissions due to gastroenteritis, but would hopefully reopen