A POSITIVE test in a John Hunter maternity ward patient a week ago has led to six COVID infections linked to the hospital.
Hunter New England Health has confirmed the mother of a newborn baby tested positive while a patient on September 26 after she alerted staff she had begun to experience respiratory symptoms.
Medical staff immediately isolated the woman and swabbed her for COVID.
The woman subsequently tested positive.
Hunter New England Health's COVID-19 response medical controller Dr Paul Craven said a further five parents had since tested positive while in isolation.
"Following her diagnosis, close and casual contacts on the maternity ward and in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at John Hunter Children's Hospital, where her child is being cared for, were immediately contacted, tested and told to isolate," he said.
"This included parents and staff."
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Staff caring for the families have all tested negative and were wearing personal protective equipment.
Dr Craven said Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) babies had been assessed as having been at low risk of COVID exposure, but multiple tests had confirmed none had contracted the disease.
"The babies continue to receive high quality care from our dedicated nursing staff and neonatologists," Dr Craven said.
Exposure sites in the hospital have been deep cleaned and the NICU continues to operate with strict COVID protocols.
Parents not exposed can still visit their newborns, while those required to isolate can use the unit's camera system to log on and see their children 24 hours a day.
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