Cape Town clinic temporarily shut due to Covid-19 infections
The Du Noon community health centre in Cape Town was temporarily closed for decontamination on Thursday after three healthcare workers tested positive for Covid-19.
Provincial health department spokesperson Natalie Watlington said staff who had been in contact with the trio were sent home for isolation. As the pandemic spreads faster in the Western Cape, health facilities are bracing themselves for more Covid-19 cases.
“As announced previously on several times, we expect to see an increase in cases at areas where gatherings take place — health facilities are such areas as well,” she said.
Watlington said the clinic’s emergency unit was expected to be reopened at 8pm on Thursday evening while its outpatient department would reopen at 7am on Friday.
“The facility has followed the guidelines for infection and prevention control to ensure that all areas where these staff members were present have been deep cleaned. Once these areas are ready and the remaining staff have been screened and found not to pose a risk they can resume duty in these areas,” she said.
Provincial health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said as the pattern of the spread of the virus developed, it had become clear that new clusters of infections were concentrated in places where people congregated such as health facilities.
“Over the last few days we have found positive cases of staff at various health facilities across the province,” she said. They included District Six community day centre, Matthew Goniwe, Retreat clinic, Valkenberg, and Dr Abdurahman CHC.
“The safety of our staff and clients is of utmost importance, which is why certain protocols are followed to ensure the facility can continue to render services. This may entail closing the facility for a short period of time or adjusting the patient flow so that the affected area can be decontaminated while service delivery continues,” she said.
“In the event a positive case is confirmed at any health facility, the health facility or specific contaminated areas within the facility may be temporarily closed to allow for the containment of the spread of the virus and decontamination.
“All staff in the affected areas are screened. Testing will be done for those who are deemed at risk and will be sent home while awaiting their results,” said Mbombo.