Sydney’s frontline health workers in the COVID firing line as doctors, paramedics test positive
As the battle continues to halt COVID in the community, there are disturbing cases of the virus breaching New South Wales’ healthcare defences.
There are fears frontline staff and patients have been exposed at two hospitals, an ambulance and an aged care facility.
Find out the latest on Sydney’s COVID outbreak in the video above
At Liverpool Hospital, a doctor contracted the virus from a COVID-positive patient and then went to Campbelltown Hospital.
Up to 120 staff members there have needed urgent COVID tests.
At the Liverpool Ambulance Centre, three paramedics have tested positive, with as many as 60 staff members likely to be considered contacts.
It’s not known how many NSW paramedics have been vaccinated.
At Westmead Hospital, cleaners in the COVID ward claim they have been refused adequate personal protective gear such as fitted respiratory masks.
A COVID positive cleaner has caused a scare at the Minchinbury Manor aged care home.
But in some good news, 187 tests of residents and staff all came back negative on Friday.
Mother-to-be Ashley Vanleeuwen is due to have her first baby in two weeks at Campbelltown Hospital.
But newly introduced restrictions mean her partner must leave the maternity suite as soon as the baby arrives.
“It just causes me massive anxiety,” Ashleigh said.
“I want him to be able to experience meeting his child with us.”
New South Wales recorded 97 new local virus cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday.
At least 46 of those were out in the community for part or all of their infectious period.
The outbreak has passed 1000 cases since its commencement on June 16.
The Australian Medical Association on Friday called for a harder NSW lockdown, including the closure of all non-essential retail and business activity.
It also wanted stronger limits on travel distances from home.
But Premier Gladys Berejiklian said any new restrictions should have a clear health benefit.
“We need to make sure that any decisions we take will have the desired effect of reducing those numbers,” she told reporters.
“The worst thing we could do is put in additional measures which don’t have the desired effect … that is why it is important for us to focus on the data.”