Aged Care Minister announces immediate testing for three northwest Tasmanian homes after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

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A sign that the Government is serious about ensuring Australia’s aged care homes don’t follow the example of those in Europe and the US.

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck has announced immediate testing for COVID-19 at the three aged care homes on Tasmania’s North West Coast where a staff member who worked across all three sites has tested positive for coronavirus.

Commonwealth emergency response teams will be mobilised at the three homes to provide:

  • additional workforce where required to maintain safe levels of care;
  • adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE); and
  • support and advice on COVID-19 infection control procedures.

Teams arrived on site at each home yesterday to start testing all residents and staff.

“We will provide assistance as necessary for surge workforce given diminished capacity in the region,” Minister Colbeck said.

“It is vital that we act quickly to understand the situation and get on top of any potential cases.”

Tasmanian Public Health Services has said that so far, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any of the three homes, but results from one resident who had shown signs of mild respiratory illness were expected yesterday.

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