In what Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews described as “a very tough, tough day’’, the state has recorded its deadliest 24 hours since the pandemic began with a record new 723 COVID-19 cases and 13 more deaths.
Ten of those deaths are believed to be aged care residents, Mr Andrews said.
The Premier also indicated the high number of cases was due to the increasing number of positive cases in aged care – though he appeared reluctant to criticise the sector.
“I’m loathe to go into too much detail, because I frankly don’t want it to be read as a criticism of any one sector,” he said, before going on to state:
“So, the point that I make is that there are a number of positive cases in aged care, and therefore they are being reflected in these numbers.”
Victoria now has 5,385 active cases with 913 of those spread across 87 aged care homes – that’s around 17% of the state’s active cases.
The latest deaths included three men and three women in their 70s, three men and two women in their 80s and two men in their 90s.
Mr Andrews said some of the worst-hit homes – including Kirkbrae Presbyterian Homes in Kilsyth, Outlook Gardens in Dandenong North and Heritage Care’s Epping Gardens home – were now being run by Victorian health authorities.
The outbreaks at Kirkbrae and Outlook Gardens were stable, while Mr Andrews said Epping Gardens remained “a very challenging environment”.
St Basil’s was being managed by the Federal Government, he confirmed.
“There’s still significant work that needs to be done there, and is being done,” Mr Andrews said.
While providing his daily update on the grim tally, Mr Andrews announced that from Sunday 2 August (11.59pm), a face covering will be mandatory in Victoria whenever residents leave home. The change expands a rule already in place in Melbourne.
The major aged care outbreaks included:
- 111 cases linked to St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner (22 new cases since Wednesday)
- 94 cases linked to Estia Aged Care in Ardeer (3 new cases since Wednesday)
- 90 cases linked to Epping Gardens Aged Care in Epping (4 new cases since Wednesday)
- 81 cases linked to Kirkbrae Presbyterian Homes in Kilsyth (3 new cases since Wednesday)
- 67 cases linked to Estia Aged Care in Heidelberg (11 new cases since Wednesday)
- 62 cases linked to Menarock Life Aged Care in Essendon (no change)
- 56 cases linked to Glendale Aged Care Facility in Werribee (two new cases since Wednesday)
- 52 cases linked to BaptCare Wyndham Lodge in Werribee (1 new case since Wednesday)
- 49 cases linked to Outlook Gardens Aged Care in Dandenong North (5 new cases since Wednesday)
- 42 cases linked to Arcare Aged Care in Craigieburn (1 new case since Wednesday)
But despite his support for the aged care sector on Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison had a warning for providers yesterday – see the next story.