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Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital cancer ward locked after visit from Covid-infected parent

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A cancer ward at a children’s hospital in Melbourne has been locked, forcing young patients and their parents to be isolated in their rooms for two weeks.

A parent unknowingly infected with Covid visited their child in the Kookaburra ward of the Royal Children’s Hospital for three days from Saturday to Monday.

The department is now on the number one list of exposure sites and all close contacts must be isolated for two weeks regardless of test results.

Affected hospital patients and their parents or carers have been placed in single rooms in the hospital to be quarantined and not allowed to leave.

An infected parent of a patient visited Melbourne’s Kookaburra ward for three days from Saturday to Monday and recently tested positive for Covid-19, forcing the ward to go into lockdown

Patients who would be discharged during their 14-day quarantine may go home, but must remain in isolation.

Meals will be provided to caregivers along with patients and Covid-19 testing will be conducted on a regular basis.

‘While you are in isolation in your child’s room, you are not allowed to leave the room for a certain period of time. No other caregivers, siblings or visitors are allowed in your room. We also ask you to keep your room door closed as much as possible during this period.”

“We understand that this news may be disturbing and that you may be concerned about your child’s health and your own health. Rest assured that this period of isolation will not jeopardize your child’s clinical care,” the letter reads.

The hospital’s director, Bernadette McDonald, said contact tracing is currently underway.

The hospital scare comes after Victoria suffered a further 1,420 new Covid cases and 11 deaths on Wednesday (pictured in South Bank, Melbourne)

The hospital scare comes after Victoria suffered a further 1,420 new Covid cases and 11 deaths on Wednesday (pictured in South Bank, Melbourne)

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

‘But we do know that Covid in children is not that extreme.

“We’re glad we have a lot of single rooms, so we can isolate people quite safely.”

She said the hospital’s policy allows one parent or guardian to visit a child “so that their care is maximized and they feel less anxious.”

“That’s a good balance between limiting visitors and no visitors or parents at all,” Ms McDonald said.

‘We have very clear screening processes.’

The hospital scare comes after Victoria suffered a further 1,420 new Covid cases and 11 deaths on Wednesday.

The numbers come after the state posted a record 1,763 cases on Tuesday – by far the most new Covid-19 infections in Australia in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

The 11 deaths — the most in one day during the state’s latest outbreak — include two residents in their 90s, six in their 70s and one in their 50s, 60s and 80s.

Meanwhile, hundreds of 12th grade students at two Melbourne schools have been forced to self-isolate after taking exams with Covid-infected classmates.

Roxburgh College and Point Cook Senior Secondary College in Melbourne’s north and south west have both reported multiple positive cases in students taking the General Achievement Test (GAT) on Tuesday.

Health workers are seen at a vaccination center in Melbourne.  Victoria registered another mountain of infections on Wednesday with hundreds of 12th-year students forced into isolation

Health workers are seen at a vaccination center in Melbourne. Victoria registered another mountain of infections on Wednesday with hundreds of 12th-year students forced into isolation

The schools have sent letters to parents asking anyone who attended the on-site assessments to stay at home and ‘restrict their movement’ until told otherwise.

The two schools will also be closed until further notice to limit the spread of the virus.

Victorian Covid-19 test commander Jeroen Weimar said 562 of Wednesday’s cases — nearly 40 percent of all new infections — were found in the northern suburbs of Craigieburn, Roxburgh Park and Broadmeadows.

As many as 100,000 Victorians are now locked in self-isolation as the Delta outbreak continues to escalate in the state.

Supermarkets, GP surgeries and public transport services are all facing serious staff shortages, amid urgent calls for health authorities to reduce the time close contacts must spend in seclusion.

More than 350 Australia Post employees have been forced into isolation after coming into contact with a known case of coronavirus.

Meanwhile, restrictions in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley region have been eased overnight as Shepparton, Moorabool and Mitchell Shires remain in lockdown.

As many as 100,000 Victorians are now locked in self-isolation as the state's Delta outbreak continues to ramp up

As many as 100,000 Victorians are now locked in self-isolation as the state’s Delta outbreak continues to ramp up

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