An Auckland rest home which has been hit by Covid-19 is moving more residents into hospital today.
Three ambulances were at the CHT St Margaret's Hospital in Te Atatu this morning to take patients to Waitākere Hospital. They were accompanied by a security guard, who stood at the entrance to the facility.
A cluster of Covid-19 cases has been confirmed at the rest home, forcing a large number of staff into self-isolation.
Waitematā DHB is helping to temporarily transfer residents to the hospital to overcome those staffing shortages.
The DHB said nine residents were transferred to hospital today. Six residents were transferred yesterday.
Some of the residents required medical support, though the DHB would not confirm their conditions, citing privacy restrictions.
The residents would be returned to St Margaret's when there was enough staff to care for them.
Meanwhile, DHB staff had been stationed at the facility to assist with management of other residents.
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As of yesterday, St Margaret's had been linked to 20 cases of Covid-19, after two more cases were confirmed in the previous 24 hours.
"The DHB will apply its compassionate visiting guidelines to allow the loved ones of residents to visit them where appropriate," Waitematā DHB said yesterday.
"The transfers will ensure the residents receive the support they need while St Margaret's staff are cleared to return to work.
"A number of Waitematā DHB staff continue working inside the facility to help maintain business-as-usual care to other residents."
CHT Healthcare Trust chief executive Max Robins said the cluster included people within the home and in the community, all linked by transmission.
Because of the evolving situation, Robins would not provide a breakdown of who was a positive or a probable Covid-19 case, or how many people were in precautionary isolation.
He was not sure how the virus got into St Margarets.
The first positive result in the cluster was confirmed early in the month, and the facility has worked closely with Auckland Regional Public Health Service since.
St Margaret's is one of five aged-care facilities around the country where clusters - 10 or more positive cases - have been confirmed. A review of aged-care facilities' response to the Covid-19 outbreak is underway.