Federal Government to give $60M to impacted aged care facilities

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The Federal Government is handing out $60 million to support COVID19 measures for impacted aged care facilities until 30 June 2022 as the Victorian outbreak continues.

This is a second tranche of COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program grants that will be available from this week to support providers with costs incurred from 28 May 2021 to 31 March 2022. The program has already given $61.2 million in grant funding, reimbursing providers for certain expenses incurred from managing care recipients and staff needing to isolate due to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection.

Meanwhile, Victoria’s State Government has stepped in to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for aged care and disability workers after Federal Aged Care Services Minister Richard Colbeck said just over 31,000 out of about 300,000 aged workers had been given two doses of vaccine nationally.

For five days, from Wednesday, aged care and disability workers will have a priority lane at 10 vaccination hubs in Victoria.

Senator Colbeck said aged care providers were not obliged to report to the Government which of their workers had received a jab.

“We’re asking the aged care providers who hold the data to report that information back to us,” Senator Colbeck said, who added he expects to get the data on Friday.

“At this point, we don’t have that consolidated and so we can make it easy for aged care providers … we’ve asked them to report that alongside their flu vaccination data.”

A second resident at Arcare aged care facility in Maidstone, 8km north-west of Melbourne CBD, has tested positive for coronavirus.  

In a bad week for the Morrison Government, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt also had to correct himself after stating only six aged care facilities in Australia had not been visited in the national vaccination rollout.

Hunt told Parliament on Tuesday he had misread information provided by the Health Department which stated 20 aged care facilities were yet to receive a first dose of the vaccine, which is a credible total with approximately 9,000 services across the country and the vaccine shortages.

Aged care workers were among the 1A priority group meant to have been fully vaccinated within six weeks of the rollout commencing on 22 February.

Greater Melbourne’s fourth lockdown was extended to 11.59pm on Thursday 10 June. Restrictions in regional Victoria will be eased at 11.59pm on Thursday.