20% of Victoria’s active cases in aged care – as PM acknowledges aged care workers’ efforts

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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed 450 new COVID cases in Victoria, down from Thursday’s total of 471 and Wednesday’s high of 725.

The state now has 7,637 active cases with 1,548 linked to aged care facilities – or 20% of active cases.

This comes after the state introduced tough new lockdown measures this week, which the Premier touched on in his briefing.

“What I would say is this, this is what is necessary. It’s never been done before,” he said.

“It cannot be made perfect. It will always be imperfect. But any challenges, any imperfections in these rules are not for the lack of effort and not for the want of trying.”

“Everyone is working very, very hard. Again, we’ve always been up-front about this, that there would, potentially, need to be changes, refinements, further work done, and we’re open to that.”

The Premier confirmed 11 more deaths, with seven linked to aged care.

The deaths include a woman in her 50s, two men in their 70s, three men and three women in their 80s and two women in their 90s.

The major Victorian aged care outbreaks include:

  • 172 cases linked to Epping Gardens Aged Care in Epping (3 new cases since Thursday)
  • 161 cases linked to St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner (1 new case since Thursday)
  • 144 cases linked to Estia Aged Care Facility in Ardeer (no new cases since Thursday)
  • 119 cases linked to Kirkbrae Presbyterian Homes in Kilsyth (2 new cases since Thursday)
  • 94 cases linked to Estia Aged Care Facility in Heidelberg (no new cases since Thursday)
  • 84 cases linked to Arcare Aged Care Facility in Craigieburn (1 new case since Thursday)
  • 80 cases linked to BaptCare Wyndham Lodge Community in Werribee (no new cases since Thursday)
  • 74 cases linked to Aurrum Aged Care in Plenty (2 new cases since Thursday)
  • 73 cases linked to Glendale Aged Care Facility in Werribee (1 new case since Thursday)
  • 70 cases linked to Outlook Gardens Aged Care Facility in Dandenong North (2 new cases since Thursday)

Don’t read too much into one day’s figure – Prof Sutton

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton also appeared at the briefing, encouraging people to look at trends rather than single day spikes when considering the effectiveness of lockdown measures.

“We’ve seen very significant ups and downs with numbers. That can occur with batching of results from our laboratories,” he said.

“But the trend overall is that we’re kind of sitting at 400 to 500 cases a day. That is relatively flat over the last week.”

“We are now looking to see the effects of various interventions, obviously masks may show in the numbers in days to come, and obviously the stage 4 restrictions will show after that.”

PM acknowledges aged care workers   

Prime Minister Scott Morrison fronted the press in a separate briefing, acknowledging the work of aged care workers during the pandemic.

“It’s Aged Care Employee Day today, and I want to thank all of them for the amazing job they’re doing. Many of us across the country know from personal experience just how amazing people are who look after our elderly in our community,” he said.

“They are a true inspiration, and in a time like this, particularly when they’re working under extreme pressures as we’ve been seeing in Victoria recently, they’ve showed what a tough job that they do with great care, great love and great compassion, and I want to thank them for the job they do.”

“Whether they’re doing it incredibly hard in Victoria today or other parts of the country, where it is a job they do every day under more routine circumstances, a terribly important job, and we acknowledge the great contribution they make to our country and the care of our elderly.”