Politicians silent as 10 aged care residents die from COVID-19 daily for past month

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In the election run-up, neither Labor nor the Coalition mentioned the fact that aged care residents make up 20% of the country’s COVID-19 deaths.

In the 29 days between 5 May and 3 June, 290 residents have died from coronavirus, which means that on average 10 people a day are dying. To put this into context, one in five people dying from COVID daily in Australia are in residential aged care.

1,643 residents have been reported to have died from COVID this year. 686 died in 2020 and 231 last year.

This is despite the latest Department of Health data stating 176,201 residents (93.7%) have had at least three doses of vaccine against the coronavirus. In addition, 1,548,686 people aged over 65 have received a fourth “winter” dose.

NSW (183), Victoria (182) and Western Australia (126) have more than 100 residential aged care homes with more than one case of the coronavirus.

At 8pm on 5 May, there were 5,455 active COVID-19 cases in 775 active outbreaks in residential aged care facilities. Of these, 3,408 cases are in residents and 2,047 cases are in staff.

The five aged care homes suffering the most, according to the Department of Health, are:

  • Regis Greenmount in Greenmount, Perth Hills, WA, 118 (79 residents, 39 staff), 
  • Italian Aged Care’s Villa Terenzio in Marangaroo, 18km north of Perth’s CBD, 113 (12, 101), 
  • Fullarton Lutheran Homes in Fullarton, an inner southern suburb of Adelaide 105 (43, 62), 
  • Aegis Shoalwater in Shoalwater, an outer southern suburb of Perth, WA, with 99 cases (46 and 53), 
  • Meath Care’s Dr Mary Surveyor Centre in Kingsley, 20km from Perth’s CBD, 99 (29, 71), and 
  • Coolibah Care (Mandurah Retirement Village Inc) in Mandurah, 72km SSW of Perth, 98 (59, 39)

Both Catholic Healthcare’s 120-bed Bodington in Wentworth Falls in the NSW Blue Mountains, and Uniting AgeWell Box Hill, 14km east of Melbourne’s CBD, sadly recorded five deaths in the week to 3 June.