News Coronavirus Seven staff test positive to COVID at busy Melbourne hospital
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Seven staff test positive to COVID at busy Melbourne hospital

northern hospital covid
People requiring urgent care can still attend the emergency department (file photo). Photo: ABC
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Seven staff from Victoria’s busiest emergency department have tested positive to COVID-19 in the past five days.

A spokesperson from the Northern Hospital in Epping said extensive contact tracing was underway following the positive test results, and added the hospital’s emergency department was undergoing a deep clean.

“All staff in the emergency department are being tested as a precaution,” the spokesperson said.

Non-urgent elective surgeries and outpatient appointments have been postponed to free up capacity at the hospital, which will allow the emergency department to remain open.

People requiring urgent care can still attend the emergency department. However, people with minor, less-urgent conditions have been told to seek medical advice from their general practitioner in the first instance.

Sources from the hospital have told the ABC only ambulances with code one emergencies where a person is time-critical are being taken to the hospital’s emergency room, and all other ambulances were being diverted to The Alfred hospital.

The Northern Hospital would not comment on ambulance diversions.

It comes after Victoria recorded 127 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the highest number of cases since the pandemic began.

A man in his 90s and a man in his 60s have died from the virus, taking the state’s death toll to 22 on Monday.

Meanwhile, police officers continue to guard people living in nine public housing towers in Melbourne’s north that were placed into lockdown at the weekend.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews also announced on Monday the border with NSW would be closed from Wednesday, with a permit system for people who need to travel into NSW.