Ward visits paused due to Covid exposures

Several wards at Southland Hospital have been closed to visitors after multiple Covid-19 exposures on Sunday and yesterday.

In a press release, the Southern District Health Board announced the medical, surgical and rehabilitation wards at the hospital in Invercargill were closing to visitors at 6pm yesterday.

Visiting restrictions were being tightened for the protection of vulnerable patients, and the SDHB understood the changes would be distressing for patients and their families.

Visiting was still available on compassionate grounds; people could contact the relevant wards directly to discuss that.

There was no end date for the new restrictions given.

Restrictions on other wards were remaining at their present settings.

Patients visiting the emergency department or outpatient services were still allowed one support person, while users of maternity services and the children’s ward should contact the wards for visitor information.

Meanwhile, there were 569 new Covid-19 cases in the SDHB area yesterday, Ministry of Health figures showed.

That took the total active cases in the region to 4961.

Recovered patients in the South were at 72,518, and there had been 47 deaths to date.

Nationally there were 54,397 active cases, after 7108 new cases were reported.

Late last week the SDHB announced it would no longer release local Covid-19 figures daily, but rather twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays.