Two hospital workers in Sydney’s west test positive for COVID-19 – plunging staff into isolation
Staff at Liverpool Hospital have had to go into quarantine after two workers tested positive for coronavirus.
An internal email sent to workers at the hospital in Sydney’s west on Tuesday said the staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24-hours.
The confidential email was revealed to Deborah Knight during her afternoon radio show on 2GB and said close contacts were identified and have been self-isolating.
‘Please be advised that in the last 24 hours, two Liverpool Hospital staff members have tested positive for COVID-19,’ it reads.
‘This further highlights the importance of the need to ensure that staff are physical distancing when on-site, as well as out in the community.’
‘While this may result in increased anxiety within our staff, patients and community, we are doing our utmost to ensure that there has been no spread within the facility and we will advise you of any further updates as soon as able.’
The hospital general manager urged staff to continue to wear masks especially when social distancing is not an option.
‘It is one of the ways we can protect not only ourselves, but others,’ the email said.
The news comes as NSW recorded its biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases in four months on Tuesday with 22 infections.
Four of the new cases reported on Tuesday are in hotel quarantine, two are from Victoria and eight are linked to a cluster at Tangara girls’ school in Cherrybrook, in Sydney’s northwest.
The 22 new cases is NSW’s highest daily figure since April 17, when there were 29 cases – a gap of 116 days.
NSW health authorities are working to trace the source of the now 17-strong coronavirus cluster associated with the independent Catholic school.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned the state was ‘on a knife’s edge’ as it attempts to prevent a Victoria-level second wave.
‘At least a third, or eight, of those are from the new cluster at the Tangara School,’ Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Tuesday.
‘Any new cluster is a concern. I anticipate the number of that cluster will grow.’
The eight Tangara school cases include five students, a staff member and two social contacts of confirmed cases.
Ms Berejiklian admitted she was ‘paranoid’ about her own movements and urged residents to only go out when necessary as ‘we are in a state of high alert.’
‘My anxiety has not subsided in relation to what a knife’s edge NSW is on but we need to keep pulling together, doing the right thing, and keep maintaining our social distance and most importantly, even with the mildest symptoms stay home and get tested,’ she said.
The premier said she expected the Tangara school cluster to spread even further and asked schools to stop extracurricular activities.
‘You cannot undertake those activities you would do outside of a pandemic, whether it’s onsite gatherings, mingling between students and others in extracurricular activities,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘I’m absolutely paranoid about what I do myself, the worst thing to be would be unintentionally give it to others.’
There were 13,257 tests done in the 24-hour reporting period, compared with 19,920 in the previous 24 hours.
The premier reiterated the state remains on high alert against the spread of the virus, following a serious outbreak in Victoria.
‘We are in a pandemic – every organisation, every entity needs to abide by the COVID-safe plans,’ Ms Berejiklian said.