A man in his 70s is now the second person from the Rosewood Rest Home to die from coronavirus.
Director of public health Dr Caroline McElnay confirmed on Saturday a total of four people have now died from Covid-19 in New Zealand, with two of those deaths linked to the Rosewood Rest Home.
The man who died on Saturday had underlying health conditions and more deaths from the rest home cluster could not be ruled out, McElnay said.
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Twenty residents from the rest home were moved to Burwood Hospital on Monday. As of Friday, six of them, including the two who died, had tested positive, seven were probable cases, and the remaining seven were not showing symptoms.
There were now 30 cases linked to the rest home cluster, Canterbury DHB chief executive David Meates confirmed. He acknowledged Saturday’s death with “great sadness”.
“We express our deepest sympathies to the man’s family,” he said.
On Friday, a woman in her 90s became the first person from the rest home, and the second person in New Zealand, to die of coronavirus.
Her family were unable to be with her at the hospital because of alert level 4 restrictions, McElnay said, adding that hospital staff were able to provide her with comfort and support before she died on Thursday morning.
The first person to die of the virus was West Coaster Anne Guenole, aged in her 70s. She died in Grey Base Hospital, in Greymouth, on March 29.
Stuff previously spoke to the son of an elderly Rosewood resident, who was moved to Burwood, who criticised the CDHB and rest home management for a lack of communication about his father’s condition.
On Friday, he said the first he learned about the woman’s death was through the media. His family were now “way more worried” because the woman had been in the same bubble as his father.
“More deaths of such a frail and vulnerable group seem inevitable.”
Communication had been “seriously poor”, the man said, adding “it would be so easy to communicate just a little bit”.
Stuff has tried several times to get comment from Rosewood, a private facility owned by Malcolm and Lynda Tucker. A woman at the rest home said on Friday all communication had to go through the CDHB.
The Ministry of Health on Monday identified Rosewood as the location of the first cluster of 10 or more Covid-19 cases in Canterbury.
The first resident in the hospital-level dementia unit at the facility returned a positive test last Friday.
All 20 residents in the dementia unit, where all the infected residents resided, were moved to a ward at Burwood Hospital on Monday to be isolated together.
Earlier this week, CDHB chief executive David Meates said they were being kept together because it was highly likely they had already been exposed.
On Friday, just hours after the first Rosewood death was confirmed, the CDHB announced a further 20 residents in the hospital-care wing would be relocated to other rest homes due to struggles with finding replacement staff.
Meates said the families had been central in the decision-making behind where residents were relocated.
Twenty-four residents will remain at Rosewood.