Royal Melbourne Hospital on high alert

The Royal Melbourne Hospital is on high alert after a patient inadvertently spread COVID while awaiting surgery.

There are hundreds of medical staff currently in isolation after the patient – who went in for heart surgery on August 12 – passed on the virus to another patient and a visitor.

There have now been seven cases linked to the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the cluster is expected to grow.

Originally the patient was not tested for COVID because he had come in from Shepparton which was deemed a low-risk area at the time.

As a result, health authorities have been prompted to test all patients for COVID prior to surgery.