Patients told to advise surgical teams of Covid infections

The Medical, Surgical and Rehabilitation wards at Southland Hospital remain closed to visitors due to several Covid infections at the hospital.

Southern District Health Board general manager Southland Simon Donlevy said there were 19 patients at the hospital with the virus and the visitor restrictions remained to protect vulnerable patients.

We are currently unable to transfer any patients to Dunedin Hospital due to capacity issues, Mr Donlevy said.

“Over the past 6 weeks or so, we have transferred approximately 15 patients to Dunedin in order to preserve our Covid beds and continue to allow patient flow.  

“We have not been able to transfer patients for the last 48 hours due to capacity issues that exist across the District,” he says.  

“We understand that ongoing visitor restrictions may be distressing for patients and their families, and we thank you for your patience and understanding. We appreciate you supporting our health care team to keep our community safe. “ 

Visiting is available under compassionate grounds and people were advised to contact the ward for further information.  

Current visiting restrictions remain for all other areas with patients to the Emergency Department and Outpatients allowed one support person.

The SDHB revealed today there were 38 people with Covid-19 in Southern hospitals. Along with the 19 in Southland, there were 17 in Dunedin, one in Lakes and one in Clutha.

Covid-19 and Surgery

The SDHB are also advising patients who are awaiting surgery to let their surgical team know immediately if they have had Covid-19 or get it while waiting for surgery.

There is evidence that Covid-19 infection near the time of an operation can increase complications such as pneumonia and blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolus).  

Your surgical team need to know when your Covid-19 infection happened so that they can take this into account when balancing the risk of delaying the surgery with the risk of complications that could arise because of your Covid-19 infection. 

So that you can get the best care and treatment possible it is very important that if you are scheduled for surgery and you get Covid-19, you call your surgical team immediately. The team can then discuss the best way forward with you. 

Most operations can still safely take place following 4 to 8 weeks after recovery from Covid-19. Your surgical team will be able to discuss what is best for you in your individual situation.  

Please remember the following: 

  • If you have had Covid-19, tell your surgical team immediately
  • If you catch Covid-19 while waiting for your surgery, tell your surgical team immediately 

Southern case numbers

Although Covid hospitalisations in the South appear to be increasing, the total number of active cases in the district continues to slowly decrease.

Total number of active Covid cases in the South (past 7 days):

  • May 13 - 5096 cases
  • May 14 - 5046 cases
  • May 15 - 4961 cases
  • May 16 - 4855 cases
  • May 17 - 4844 cases
  • May 18 - 4562 cases
  • May 19 - 4411 cases

Total the total number of active cases is slowly trending down. Graph:
Total the total number of active cases is slowly trending down. Graph:

The SDHB also revealed where in the South today's new cases were located.

  • Central Otago 36 new cases
  • Clutha 21 new cases
  • Dunedin 263 new cases
  • Gore 16 new cases
  • Invercargill 97 new cases
  • Queenstown-Lakes 67 new cases
  • Southland 33 new cases
  • Waitaki 58 new cases




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