Aged care homes on Sydney’s Northern Beaches directed to ban visitors after NSW records five new COVID-19 cases – one an aged care worker

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NSW has recorded a further five COVID-19 cases overnight after a 45-year-old man was the first confirmed case of community transmission in more than two weeks on Wednesday.

NSW Health has confirmed two Northern Beaches residents returned positive results on 16 December with some media reports claiming the couple, in their 60s and 70s, did not self-isolate while awaiting their test results.

The positive cases led to calls for Northern Beaches residents to get tested if they had any symptoms (pictured) before another two mystery cases, one an aged care worker, were recorded on Thursday morning.

The aged care worker, aged in her 50s, works at Aveo’s Pittwater Palms retirement village in Avalon, which offers retirement living, serviced apartments and respite care. Her husband has also tested positive.

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant says the worker came forward for testing after seeing Wednesday’s public health alerts and had no symptoms.

Aged care worker attended identified hotspot

In a statement on Thursday, Aveo said the staff member tested positive after they attended a hotspot identified by NSW Health.

“The staff member is well and we will continue to monitor their wellbeing during this time,” it said. “We have asked staff who had come into close contact with the staff member to get tested and self-isolate at home.”

“We commenced precautionary contact tracing and have now handed that information to the Public Health Unit, who will commence a formal process to identify anyone who may require testing and self-isolation.”

“We want to assure you that no further staff or residents at Pittwater Palms has tested positive for COVID-19 and no others are displaying symptoms or are unwell at this time.”

The sixth case was a musician in his 60’s and the partner of one of the earlier cases, who had played at a number of RSL Clubs across the city in recent days.

Premier says homes won’t reopen until outbreak is contained

A number of Northern Beaches aged care homes have been ordered to ban visitors while health authorities try to contain the spread of the virus.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed the lockdown of the aged car05e homes and said they won’t be lifted until the State Government is confident that they have contained the outbreak.

NSW Health is urging anyone in the Northern Beaches region with the slightest symptoms to come forward for testing.

People who visited a number of venues are also being asked to get tested and self-isolate immediately – you can find the full list on the NSW Health website.