More deaths as cases of COVID-19 in NSW aged care residents and staff fall

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The number of COVID-19 cases at aged care homes in NSW is beginning to decline in residents and workers – will it stay low however?

On Monday, the Commonwealth Department of Health said there were 381 active cases of COVID-19 in aged care services across the nation (278 in NSW, 103 in Victoria).

As of 8am on Friday, it was made public that there were 169 active cases in NSW aged care residents – down 14 from last week – and 41 active staff member cases – down 16 in NSW.

The largest outbreak in the last week emerged at IRT Tarrawanna Care Centre, in Tarrawanna, a northern suburb of Wollongong, 68km south of Sydney’s CBD.

The 14 residents and one staff member with the virus were experiencing mild symptoms or none at all, IRT CEO Patrick Reid said on Monday. He added the wife of a resident transferred to hospital had since tested positive for COVID-19.

Eight of the residents with COVID-19 remain at IRT Tarrawanna Care Centre, with regular monitoring and support, and strict infection control protocols in place, including confinement to their rooms, regular deep cleaning, and rapid antigen testing of all staff before they start each shift.

Sadly, there were further deaths recorded in the state’s aged care homes this week with six deaths in the seven days to Friday last week.

This morning it was announced a man aged in his 90s died at the Hawkesbury Living Aged Care Facility in Richmond, where he acquired his infection. He had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and had underlying health conditions. There are now seven deaths linked to an outbreak at the facility.

A fully vaccinated woman, aged in her 70s with underlying health conditions, was also announced on Wednesday to have died at the Allity Beechwood Aged Care (photo) home in Revesby, 22km southwest of Sydney’s CBD. where she acquired her infection. This is the seventh death linked to an outbreak at the aged care facility.

On Tuesday, it was announced a man, aged in his 80s, who died at Campbelltown Hospital, was a resident of the Hawkesbury Living Aged Care Facility in Richmond, 63km northwest of Sydney’s CBD, where he acquired his infection. He had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and had underlying health conditions.

In addition, a woman, aged in her 80s, died at the Hawkesbury Living Aged Care Facility in Richmond, where she acquired her infection. She had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and had underlying health conditions. There are now seven deaths linked to an outbreak at the aged care facility.

A woman, aged in her 90s, from south western Sydney, died at Liverpool Hospital, it was announced on Monday. She had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and had underlying health conditions and was a resident of the Allity Beechwood Aged Care Facility in Revesby, where she acquired her infection.

It should be noted Australia’s aged care homes have had the lowest fatality rates of residents of any country in the world during the coronavirus pandemic.

But there is concern among operators about the impact that the easing of lockdown restrictions and increased visitation will have on case numbers in aged care, which have historically increased in line with community infections.

Watch this space.

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