Aged care nurse at QLD Govt-run who tested positive for COVID-19 provides cautionary tale for village and aged care operators

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As reported in The Daily RESOURCE, the Enrolled Nurse had travelled out of the area to Brisbane before returning to work as a receptionist at the state-run North Rockhampton Nursing Centre.

QLD Health says she was infectious from 3 May and began showing symptoms on 5 May but continued working.

Her positive test last Thursday night set off a chain of events as over 40 of the 180 staff at the home were forced into quarantine, over 35 lower-risk residents were moved out to hospitals and all of the staff and 115 residents were tested along with around 700 members of the local community over the weekend – over 1,000 people.

While none has so far tested positive – labelled a “miracle” by QLD Health Minister Steven Miles, and perhaps only due to the fact the Nurse was not working directly with residents – the case shows that providers must remain on guard against coronavirus – including village operators.

Case in point: with restrictions in NSW eased on Friday, 2GB’s Ray Hadley reported yesterday on a group of 20 people seen on the balcony of a retirement village singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to another resident – a clear violation of the five-person limit for visiting homes.