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Unknowingly Covid-infected Victorians showing up to emergency departments for minor ailments

Victorians are showing up to overrun hospital emergency departments unknowingly infected with Covid despite often not needing urgent care.

The revelation was made by The Alfred’s head of emergency Dr Carl Luckhoff who said embattled healthcare workers were stretched thinner than ever during the Omicron surge.

Royal Melbourne Hospital COVID Ward
Camera IconVictorian healthcare workers are battling the state’s biggest case surge yet. David Caird Credit: News Corp Australia

“(Patients) should ask if they have an emergency that requires attention now, and when they do present, please be aware that hospitals are under immense pressure and will continue to be,” he told Herald Sun.

“There are people who do come in and who end up going home, not every patient I see necessarily needs to be in the emergency department but we will always do what we can to care for you.”

Dr Luckhoff also stressed Covid was so rampant across the state that patients will often not be aware they’re infected before presenting for treatment.

Camera IconPeople line up at the Melbourne The Alfred Hospital for Covid testing as numbers continue to grow in Victoria. NCA NewsWire/ David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

“There is no doubt the staffing issues are tremendous,” he said.

“We don’t have the staff and services that we’re used to and, to some degree, we’re now acting on plans we’ve been making since the pandemic started.”

There are currently 752 people in hospital with Covid across Victoria.

In total, 104 are in intensive care while 23 are on a ventilator.

The state now hosts 146,863 active infections — almost two thirds of which were recorded in the past two days alone.

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