QLD latest state to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for residential care workers as outbreaks hit 24 NSW aged care homes with 10 more under surveillance

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More states have taken up the Federal Government’s 17 September deadline for residential care workers to have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as the NSW COVID-19 crisis continues to worsen.

24 aged care facilities in NSW are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks, and another 10 under close surveillance due to recent cases, as Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned on Wednesday, the State “hasn’t seen the worst of it”.

This information graphic was provided by the Federal Department of Health, showing two residents have died from COVID-19 at Hardi’s Wyoming Nursing Home in Summer and one person who caught COVID-19 at RFBI’s Hawkins Masonic Retirement Village in Edgeworth, Newcastle, has passed away.

In addition, the ACT has a potential outbreak in LDK Seniors’ Living Greenway Views facility in Tuggeranong, Canberra, after a worker tested COVID-19 positive and unknowingly worked three shifts while infectious. All of its facilities are locked down.

Compared to last year however, Australia is performing well overall.

As of 11 September 2020 – 12 months ago – there were 83 active outbreaks in residential aged care in Victoria (82) and Queensland (1) among residents (454) and staff (166) and 580 aged care residents with COVID-19 died. 213 out of 2,706 aged care facilities across Australia had active COVID-19 outbreaks with 98 homes experiencing one case. Of the 115 outbreaks with two or more cases, almost all were in Victoria (110) followed by NSW (four) and Tasmania (one).

The stark difference is the number of aged care residents who have been vaccinated since last year. Almost 390,000 residents have now received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 275,000 have had a second dose.

61% of aged care workers have had at least one vaccine dose, which is a significant increase on 43% four weeks earlier. Queensland on Tuesday became the fourth State to mandate at least one vaccine by 17 September as a condition of employment. Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia have already imposed such a mandate.