QLD relaxes COVID-19 aged care visitor requirements as more homes record cases

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Queensland Health has dropped its COVID-19 visitor entry restrictions and visitor requirements to residential aged care homes despite the number of facilities recording coronavirus cases rising.

Operators of aged care homes are no longer required to collect visitor and volunteer contact information, proof of vaccination or vaccination exemption through the Check-In Queensland App or display the QR code at all entrances to the facility, said Queensland Health, adding visitors must still wear masks inside aged care homes.

According to official data, there were 154 aged care homes in Queensland with two or more cases of the virus, the second highest state behind NSW (188).

The homes with the highest numbers of the virus were:

  • 161 (41 residents, 120 staff) – Italian Aged Care’s Villa Terenezio (pictured), Marangaroo, 18km north of Perth’s CBD;
  • 150 (107 residents, 43 staff) – Regis Blackburn, 16km east of Melbourne’s CBD;
  • 144 (104 residents, 40 staff) – Aegis Stirling, Yokine, 7km north of Perth’s CBD;
  • 130 (48 residents, 82 staff) – Aegis Banksia Park, Calista, a southern suburb of Perth; and
  • 122 (64 residents, 58 staff) – Nazareth Care’s Nazareth House Ballarat, 110km northwest of Melbourne’s CBD.

There were 5,011 active COVID cases in 627 active outbreaks in residential aged care homes across Australia on 1 July. Of these, 3,281 cases were in residents and 1,730 cases were in staff.

Another 58 residents died in the seven days to 1 July, with 1,964 aged care residents reported to have died from COVID this year.

In total, 66.1% (91,451) of aged care residents have received a further (Winter) dose of COVID vaccine.

Health Minister Mark Butler said the number of residential aged care residents who have had their fourth dose has risen substantially in the last 10 days.