14 new deaths linked to aged care in Victoria as Premier Andrews responds to St Basil’s criticism

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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed 322 new COVID cases in Victoria in his daily update on Monday, down from Sunday’s total of 394 new cases.

The state now has 7,869 active cases with 1,756 linked to aged care settings.

The number is a drop from last week’s daily high of 725 new cases, but Premier Andrews said it was still to early to say if the state had turned a corner.

“If I could paint you a picture that had any kind of reliability for next week, let alone five weeks away, then of course I would,” Mr Andrews said.

“We are seeing some stability. That’s a good thing. But that’s not enough.”

The Premier confirmed 19 new deaths including a man in his 50s, a woman in her 60s, two men in their 70s, one man and six women in their 80s and one man and seven women in their 90s. 14 of these deaths have been linked to aged care outbreaks.

The major Victorian aged care outbreaks include:

  • 188 cases linked to Epping Gardens Aged Care in Epping (16 new cases since Friday)
  • 171 cases linked to St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner (10 new cases since Friday)
  • 146 cases linked to Estia Aged Care Facility in Ardeer (2 new cases since Friday)
  • 125 cases linked to Kirkbrae Presbyterian Homes in Kilsyth (6 new cases since Friday)
  • 106 cases linked to BaptCare Wyndham Lodge Community in Werribee (26 new cases since Friday)
  • 97 cases linked to Estia Aged Care Facility in Heidelberg (3 new cases since Friday)
  • 93 cases linked to Outlook Gardens Aged Care Facility in Dandenong North (23 new cases since Friday)
  • 88 cases linked to Arcare Aged Care Facility in Craigieburn (4 new cases since Friday)
  • 79 cases linked to Glendale Aged Care Facility in Werribee (6 new cases since Friday)
  • 78 cases linked to Aurrum Aged Care in Plenty (4 new cases since Friday)

Victoria has 640 people currently in hospital with COVID including 47 in ICU.

Andrews on St Basils – “Public health team did the very best job they could”

Premier Andrews responded to criticism surrounding the handling of the St Basil’s outbreak.

“I don’t accept that the public health team did anything other than the very best job they could in full accordance with protocols,” he said.

“I’m not here to have a crack at people at St Basil’s, but I will say: one minute we didn’t do enough, and the next minute we did too much.”

“There’s a lot of emotion in that. There’s not much to be gained by me trying to unravel that. We sent an entire workforce home because we did not have confidence that they were putting in place infection prevention and control. And that’s what we did. And we were criticised for that.”

Lags in PPE

Premier Andrews also touched on further criticisms of lags between PPE orders and arrivals, saying that while the system wasn’t perfect the state had all the PPE it needed.

“There’s no issue about the quantities that we’ve got. The distribution network is, I think, working well. But no system’s perfect. It may need to improve further,” he said.

“There might also be some communication challenges at that hospital level too, just to make sure that staff have got every sense that whatever they need, they’ll get.”