Visitor who evaded security at North Shore Hospital has Covid

Source: 1News

Around 20 North Shore Hospital staff may be required to stand down after a man who later tested positive for Covid-19 evaded security to visit a patient.

Group of doctors in a hurry down the hospital hallway for emergency

"These North Shore Hospital-based staff will undergo testing and will be away from work until they are cleared to return," the Waitematā District Health Board's executive director hospital services, Mark Shepherd, and Covid-19 executive lead Tamzin Brott told 1News in a statement.

The man "acted evasively" to breach the hospital's strict Alert Level 4 rules on Thursday, September 16.

"He bypassed our front-of-house screening processes while staff were assisting another person and hid from security staff before running into a lift.

"He briefly visited Ward 7 and our Assessment and Diagnostic Unit before he was confronted by security and escorted from the building."

The man was on the premises for "just under 30 minutes in total".

He tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday, September 20.

The hospital has since been advised by the Auckland Regional Public Health Service to "act cautiously for the period inclusive of September 16".

The hospital's Occupational Health and Safety team is now reaching out to around 20 staff who encountered the man during his unauthorised visit.

"At this stage, it is not clear whether all of these will need to be stood down," Shepherd and Brott said.

However, the man's visit has been considered "very low" risk as there had been "no direct contact with patients".

"This situation is disappointing and is very much against the spirit of the sacrifice Aucklanders have made under Alert Level 4 over the last five weeks.

"This person has acted deceptively to break the rules everyone else has followed and potentially exposed people to the virus in the process."

North Shore Hospital is now working closely with police and the Ministry of Health.