Aged Care Minister warns of more aged care deaths following 35 Melbourne outbreaks – 24 outbreaks solely linked to staff

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Senator Richard Colbeck says there will be “tragic results” after outbreaks were identified in at least 35 aged care homes across Melbourne this week.

“We have quite a few residents now who have contracted the virus and unfortunately that’s going to lead to tragic results,” he said.

Speaking on Radio National about the Government’s new requirement for residential care and home care staff in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire to wear masks, Minister Colbeck said of the 35 outbreaks in aged care services in Melbourne, 29 were linked to aged care homes – meaning six are linked to home care services.

Only five of these 29 outbreaks have infected residents – the other 24 only involve staff.

“Four of those outbreaks predated last week, but the rest are new,” he said.

“Most of the cases that we have are in fact staff presenting with COVID-19. It’s not residents as such. There are five facilities where residents have contracted COVID-19, two of those are very concerning, there are quite large numbers in those facilities… but mostly it’s staff.”

Minister Colbeck also said COVID positive residents had been moved out of Menarock’s Essendon home in Melbourne because the facility has shared rooms and shared bathrooms, making it impossible for residents to be isolated.