10th resident of Mercy Aged Care in Albury, NSW, dies as COVID-19 cases fall again in aged care homes

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Mercy Aged Care in Albury, NSW, is scheduled to allow visitors on Saturday after a 10th resident, a man aged in his seventies, died with COVID-19 on Sunday.

The man had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and had underlying health conditions.

Mercy Aged Care ended its 30-day lockdown on Sunday night and is in a two-week surveillance period, which means residents can move freely within the home but visitors are not allowed. It is expected to welcome visitors from Saturday.

At 8am last Friday, there were 411 active cases (313 residents and 98 staff) of COVID-19 related to aged care across 34 residential aged care homes, which is a significant drop from last week’s figures.

It is the third successive week the number of COVID-19 cases in residential aged care homes has fallen. Encouragingly, the number of homes with COVID-19 outbreaks has also dropped.

Federal Government data shows that since COVID-19 entered Australia, 3,175 residential aged care residents have caught the COVID-19 virus and 2,730 residents have recovered. Almost 2,830 staff also caught COVID-19 and 2,690 have recovered.

Of the total 503 outbreaks in residential aged care facilities, 264 (52%) involved a single case of COVID-19. As at 12 November 2021, 85% of all residential aged care facilities have had no cases of COVID-19.

The Australian death rate is 0.46% (4.6 in 1,000) against the total number of residential aged care beds across the country.

Professor Adrian Esterman, a South Australian epidemiologist, stated on Twitter yesterday that NSW’s seven-day moving average is down to 221, and the basic reproductive number (REFF) is 0.94. In Victoria, the seven-day moving average is up to 1023 and the REFF is 0.91. ACT had a seven-day moving average of 11, with a REFF of 0.89. It is considered that cases are declining if the REFF is below 1.