A statement from The Royal Children’s Hospital

The RCH is Victoria’s dedicated paediatric pandemic hospital and our team – like all Victorian hospitals – have prepared ourselves to respond to increased case numbers and outbreaks.

We currently have one patient, one staff member and two parents who have tested positive to COVID-19 in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Butterfly Ward). These cases were notified at different times and a connection between all four has not been confirmed. We extend our thoughts and wishes to each of those members of our RCH community.
We alerted all of Butterfly team and inpatient families as soon as we became aware of these cases and have maintained regular contact.

As a result of contract tracing, and in line with guidelines, there are currently 17 RCH staff, seven patients and three parents identified as close contacts of these cases, all of whom are undertaking the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. As the RCH has sufficient numbers of trained intensive care staff, patient care for our most vulnerable patients will not be compromised.

We appreciate that this information may be unsettling and concerning – as it is for all of us at the RCH.

Just as COVID-19 is impacting our state, it is to be expected that the RCH will also be impacted. Our staff are trained and prepared for such an outcome, and remain committed to protecting our patients, their families and our team.
The RCH has not allowed visitors onsite since March, before hospital visitor directives were issued. Any parent, guardian or staff member entering the hospital must undergo health screening and temperature checking before being allowed access.

We continue to work closely with the Department of Health and Human Services to finalise contact tracing for these Butterfly Ward cases and ensure the highest level of response.

We encourage anyone who has questions to contact the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 or visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

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