Covid exposure in Royal Children’s Hospital cancer ward

A pediatric cancer ward in a large hospital has been exposed to the corona virus and contact is now being sought.

A cancer ward at Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital has been listed as a Covid exposure site.

Bernadette McDonald, CEO of the Royal Children’s Hospital, said the exposure allegedly occurred in the hospital’s cancer ward a few days ago, with a parent testing positive.

“The positive result just came in a few days ago,” said Ms. McDonald.

“But mom and dad were in a few days earlier.”

Contact tracing was underway, Ms McDonald said.

Ms McDonald said the hospital is aiming to strike a balance in allowing parents and carers to visit children.

“We’re really committed to taking care of our kids and finding that balance so that they have mom and dad with them, but that allows exposure sites to happen and that’s what happened in this case,” she said.

Mr McDonald said the hospital had single rooms available to safely isolate patients, and their parents or carers with them.

She said the hospital had a clear screening.

“Every time we get an exposure site, it’s a concern for all of us and we try to minimize it as much as possible,” she said.

“But we do know that Covid is not as extreme in children as it is in adults. But all children wherever they are are closely monitored whether they have Covid or not and if they happen to become Covid positive there is increased monitoring.

“This is something we see on a regular basis and that’s why we’ve set up our screening processes.”

There are currently 12 Covid-positive children in the care of the hospital, with eight in the hospitals in the home program and four in clinical wards.

“We see Covid-positive children come to the emergency department, be cared for and then go home,” Ms McDonald said.

“They usually show up with something else, another illness or injury, and they also happen to be Covid positive.”

Originally published as Covid exposure in the cancer ward of the Royal Children’s Hospital

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