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Response to NICU parent testing positive for COVID-19 

After the parent of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) baby tested positive for COVID-19 today, we immediately activated our plans to prevent the spread of the virus within the hospital and keep babies in our care safe. Movements in and out of NICU have been restricted, and we’re testing all staff, whānau and babies in the unit as a precaution.  

We have plans in place to manage staffing levels until it is safe for everyone to return to work. Some expectant mothers may be transferred to other maternity units if their baby is likely to need NICU care that can be provided from neighbouring units.

We are working closely with Auckland Regional Public Health Service to contact trace. All of the babies in the unit and those who have recently been discharged are being monitored closely as part of their on-going care and treatment. Our initial investigations suggest the risk to babies in the unit is low.  

We know this is a time of much uncertainty. We are providing support to any parents, patients and staff members who need it. This includes supporting the COVID-19 positive parent and their family, who our thoughts are with as they manage the stress of the positive test result as well as the worry around having a newborn baby in intensive care.

The public can be assured that if they, their child or a loved one need our care, they will be safe at Auckland City and Starship Hospitals.

Our message to the public is:  

  • We’re here to provide essential and urgent medical care. We’re doing everything we can to keep you or your loved one and our staff safe.
  • We have full confidence in our measures and our staff to manage this situation safely. 
  • If you have an emergency, you go into labour, or your child or whānau member is ill, please follow the normal procedures. Dial 111 or our emergency departments will be operating to provide appropriate care.  
  • As you usually do, if have a health issue that isn’t an emergency, please call your GP or give Healthline a call on 0800 611 116 or or 0800 358 5453 for COVID-related questions or concerns.
  • Some planned and scheduled appointments have been postponed as a result of our
    COVID-19 response, or converted to virtual appointments where possible. Patients are being contacted directly by one of our hospital team to reschedule appointments.
  • If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, get tested and stay home until you receive a negative result and no longer have symptoms.    

Visitor restrictions remain in place at all of our facilities, including at Auckland City Hospital, Starship Hospital and Greenlane Clinical Centre.  

Along with other agencies, we’re continuing to investigate and update our response as the situation evolves. Information will be provided on our website and social media channels when there are updates. 

We want to say thank you to our patients, parents and whānau, and the public for their understanding and patience during this time.

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