COVID-19 virus numbers in latest outbreak a credit to aged care sector

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Sadly, a fifth resident from Hardi’s Wyoming Aged Care facility at Summer Hill in Sydney’s inner west has died from COVID-19 and there have been new outbreaks at six more facilities in the past week.

The number of aged care facilities with active outbreaks of COVID-19 among residents and staff in NSW has topped 19 with homes in Bexley, Peakhurst, Pendle Hill, Penrith and Randwick among the latest.

The total number of active cases in NSW facilities has reached 114, including 71 aged care residents and 40 staff members. There have also been nine resident deaths.

In addition to the deaths at the Wyoming facility, three residents died at Allity’s Greenwood Aged Care in Normanhurst (pictured).

25 residents at Richmond Club’s Hawkesbury Living Nursing Home, have been transferred to Nepean Private, Nepean, and Hawkesbury hospitals after 11 residents and six staff contracted the virus.

On Tuesday, it was revealed four residents of St George Care Group’s St George Aged Care at Bexley have contracted coronavirus after an infected staff member worked one shift.

Separately, a cleaner is thought to have caught COVID-19 and brought it into Uniting’s Edinglassie Lodge in Penrith. Four residents then contracted the virus and have been taken to hospital for treatment.

Despite the new outbreaks, the sector is still tracking well compared to last year when there were no vaccines available.

At the peak of Victoria’s second wave, which occurred just over one year ago, there were 6,767 active cases and COVID-19 outbreaks were affecting 216 residential aged care facilities. Tragically, there were 678 deaths among aged care residents.

In comparison, up to 25 August 2021, there had been 38 outbreaks in residential aged care facilities during the current outbreak in NSW, and just 12 of these included positive cases among the residents. In total, residents have accounted for only 92 COVID-19 cases while 74 have been among residential aged care staff. While any death is tragic, the nine confirmed COVID deaths among aged care residents is far below last year’s tally.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the rate of COVID-19 vaccination for aged care residents for first doses was 89% and second doses was at 84.4%.

“That alone has saved we know hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of lives,” he said.