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At least 10 staff members at Boitumelo Regional Hospital in Kroonstad have tested positive for COVID-19, the Free State health department has said.

In a statement, the department said two doctors, five nurses as well as two clinic support and one administration staff members tested positive for the respiratory disease and measures were underway to contain the situation at the hospital.

“Contact tracing is done, quarantine of those who tested positive and decontamination of the affected areas is also done without closing the entire facility,” provincial health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said in the statement released Tuesday evening.

He said the department briefed all staff reporting for night duty on Tuesday evening about the situation at the hospital and facilitated their screening to determine close contacts for testing and decontamination.

“Health MEC Montseng Tsiu, head of department Dr David Motau and senior management had an extensive briefing session with unions about plans implemented by the department to curb the situation from getting out of hand,” Mvambi said.

“The department made a commitment that tomorrow there will be further briefings with other staff and careful monitoring of the environment to ensure that no patients and members of the public get infected.”

The Free State now has 501 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 226 recoveries and 11 deaths.

About 20 new cases have been recorded in the province over the last 24 hours, with Mangaung having four new cases, Fezile Dani 12, Lejweleputswa three and Xhariep one.

About 2 455 010 people have been screened and the National Health Laboratory Service has conducted 35 137 tests in the province, while an estimated 5 368 of 5 553 known contacts have been successfully traced and tracked.

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