Covid exposure inside Royal Children’s Hospital cancer ward

Melissa IariaNCA NewsWire
Not Supplied
Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

A cancer ward at Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital has been listed as a Covid exposure site.

The Royal Children’s Hospital CEO Bernadette McDonald said the exposure is understood to have happened inside the hospital’s cancer ward a few days ago with a parent testing positive.

“The positive result has just come through a couple of days ago,” Ms McDonald said.

“But mum and dad had been in a couple of days before that.”

Contact tracing was under way, Ms McDonald said.

Royal Melbourne Hospital COVID Ward
Camera IconA parent of a patient at the Royal Children’s Hospital has caught Covid. David Caird Credit: News Corp Australia

Ms McDonald said the hospital aimed to strike a balance in allowing parents and carers to visit children.

“We’re really committed to the care of our children and finding that balance so they have mum and dad with them, but that does allow exposure sites to happen and that’s what’s happened in this case,” she said.

Mr McDonald said the hospital had single rooms available to isolate patients safely, and their parents or carers with them.

She said the hospital had clear screening in place.

“Every time we get an exposure site it’s concerning to all of us and we’re trying to minimise it as much as possible,” she said.

“But we do know that Covid in children is not as extreme as it does affect adults. But all children no matter where they are, are monitored very closely, whether they’ve got Covid or not and if they happen to become Covid positive, there’s an increased monitoring.

“This is something we’re seeing on a regular basis and that’s why we have our screening processes in place.”

There are currently 12 Covid positive children under the hospital’s care, with eight in its hospitals in the home program and four in inpatient wards.

“We are seeing Covid positive children coming to the emergency department, being cared for and then going home,” Ms McDonald said.

“They’re usually turning up with something else, some other illness or injury, and they just happen to be Covid positive as well.”

Originally published as Covid exposure inside Royal Children’s Hospital cancer ward

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