Traralgon maternity ward, Indigenous clinic locked down after COVID-19 exposure



A maternity and paediatric ward at an eastern Victorian hospital is in lockdown after being exposed to a COVID-positive person while a local Indigenous medical clinic has been identified as a tier-one exposure site.Key points:A maternity and paediatric ward in Gippsland is in lockdown after a person infected with COVID-19 attended yesterdayTwo new COVID cases today take the Latrobe Valley’s outbreak to 26 casesThe hospital says it will “continue to support women who are in an advanced state of labour”  The positive case, who attended the Latrobe Regional Hospital in Traralgon on Wednesday, has been transferred to a Melbourne hospital.Traralgon is in Latrobe City which started a seven-day lockdown at midnight Tuesday amid spiking COVID cases spiked after an illegal grand final gathering on the weekend. Two new cases were reported today, amid a record high number of Victorian cases, taking the Latrobe Valley’s coronavirus outbreak to 26.The Gippsland Public Health Unit (GPHU) says the Thomson women’s, children and birthing unit at Latrobe Regional Hospital is now locked down.It also said the hospital would “continue to support women who are in an advanced state of labour”. The biggest maternity hospital in Gippsland is on bypass after a COVID-19 exposure.(Unsplash: Charles Eugene)Maternity ward on bypassA hospital spokeswoman confirmed the ward was on bypass for new births unless women were in late-stage labour and unable to travel.”Warragul and Sale are taking [maternity patients] for the next few days,” the spokeswoman said.The Traralgon hospital is the largest maternity hospital in Eastern Victoria, and the only one capable of taking high-risk pregnancies.”Women and newborns currently on the unit are being cared for by midwives who were not on duty at the time of exposure,” the GPHU statement said.The exposure period started at 12:30pm on Wednesday, September 29.Indigenous people among COVID-19 outbreakIn another worrying development, the Indigenous-run Ramahyuck Medical Clinic in Morwell has been listed as a tier-one exposure site. And the acting chief executive of the Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation, Chris Cliffe, confirmed that there were indigenous people among those to test positive to COVID-19 in the Latrobe Valley outbreak.”We are all worried, not just for the indigenous community but for everyone in the (Latrobe) Valley,” Mr Cliffe said.He said many staff have been forced into isolation, but so far most had returned negative tests for the virus. Anyone who worked or attended the medical centre on September 22  from 3.30pm to 5.00pm and September 23 from 9.30am to 11.00am must get tested and isolate for two weeks.



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