District Health says hospitals ready for COVID surge

Wyong Hospital SignThe entrance to Wyong Hospital on the Central Coast.

Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) says it is well-prepared for the anticipated demand on hospitals because of increasing COVID-19 patients, expected to hit a peak in October.

CCLHD says there are no COVID-positive confirmed cases at Wyong Hospital at present, however, there are a number of COVID patients at Gosford Hospital, some who have transferred there from out of the area.

Last Thursday, September 16, a woman in her 20s died at Gosford Hospital after contracting COVID-19.

She had an underlying medical condition and was not vaccinated.

NSW Health said she was a resident of a Life Without Barriers group home for the disabled in Wyong, where she acquired her infection.

“We are deeply saddened about the death of a young woman we provide support to and share our sincere condolences to her family and friends at their considerable loss,” said a spokesperson for Life Without Barriers.

“Our priority is offering our support and care to her family and providing assistance they need at this difficult time.”

It was the second COVID-related death within a week as the coronavirus now appears to have a grip on the Central Coast and, other than hospital patients, there are about 200 people who are self-isolating at home and receiving care from the Health District.

Health authorities remain particularly concerned about the spread of the virus throughout the northern suburbs.

There are 73 positive cases still under investigation to determine the source.

In the past week, from Wednesday, September 15, there have been another 156 new cases with 83 linked to known cases and only 42 already in self-isolation.

The number of cases in the past week has jumped from 278 to 434 (as at September 21).

Health authorities are expecting that the spike in local COVID cases will also mean that the number of hospitalisations will increase over the next few weeks.

A spokesperson for Central Coast LHD said strict plans and protocols were in place for staff who cared for patients with COVID-19, including treating them in separate areas with separate staff where possible to minimise the risk of transmission, including in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

“COVID preparedness modelling released by NSW Health has indicated that the demand on hospitals will be at its highest in October.

“Hospitals and staff in NSW are among the best placed in the world to manage the ongoing challenges of this pandemic, but we acknowledge the Delta variant is placing a strain on the system.

“There is currently sufficient ICU capacity in NSW public hospitals but to reduce hospital and ICU admissions and deaths among adults, vaccination on national scale is essential.

“(Our local hospitals) have well-developed workforce surge and demand management plans in place to ensure we have capacity to care for COVID-19 patients who need to be hospitalised.

“We are currently caring for a number of COVID patients, some of whom have been transferred from out of area as part of NSW Health’s networked hospital system.

“This system ensure patients can be transferred or redirected to other hospitals where necessary, including private hospitals.

“We also have teams in the community who can support people with COVID-19 who do not require hospital care,” the Health spokesperson said.

Sue Murray