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Seven staff test positive at Melbourne's busiest emergency hospital

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Seven staff from Victoria’s busiest emergency department have tested positive to COVID-19 over the last five days.

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A spokesperson from the Northern Hospital in Epping said extensive contact tracing was underway following the positive test results, and added the hospital’s emergency department was undergoing a deep clean.

“All staff in the emergency department are being tested as a precaution,” the spokesperson said.

Non-urgent elective surgeries and outpatient appointments have been postponed to free up capacity at the hospital, which will allow the emergency department to remain open.

People requiring urgent care can still attend the emergency department, however people with minor, less-urgent conditions have been told to seek medical advice from their general practitioner in the first instance.

Sources from the hospital have told the ABC only ambulances with code one emergencies where a person is time-critical were being taken to the hospital’s emergency room, and all other ambulances were being diverted to The Alfred Hospital.

The Northern Hospital would not comment on ambulance diversions.

It comes after Victoria recorded 127 new cases of COVID-19, the highest number of cases since the pandemic began.

A man in his 90s and a man in his 60s have died from the virus, taking the state’s death toll to 22 on Monday.

-ABC

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