Five new cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed in NSW as a Sydney hospital races to get its emergency department back up and running.
Of the new cases, three are directly linked to the Berala cluster. A fourth case, a person who presented to the emergency department of Mount Druitt Hospital in western Sydney, was reported after the 8pm cut-off and will be included in Tuesday’s numbers.
Their household contact has also tested positive.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the case remained under investigation.
“There’s no direct link at this stage,” she said.
Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said the person had presented at emergency with COVID-19 symptoms on Saturday before returning a positive result on Sunday night.
The emergency department is closed and doctors and nurses have been stationed outside in case anyone turns up for urgent treatment.
Current patients are being diverted to other hospitals, and doctors are being urged to refer people to Blacktown Hospital instead.
“The risk assessment is currently being evaluated. As you know, we take a very precautionary role given the importance of healthcare workers being COVID-free and also the fact that emergency departments have a lot of vulnerable people attend with underlying health conditions,” Dr Chant said.
She agreed it was concerning when any patients or staff were exposed.
Health officials will now working to determine the movements of any employees and other patients to determine whether they will be required to isolate and get tested.
Dr Chant was not able to confirm whether or not the patient was wearing a mask when they presented at the hospital.
“The general approach would be that patients are asked to wear masks. Some patients with respiratory symptoms or when they’re very unwell aren’t able to tolerate a mask and so it is a clinical decision.”
More to come