Shocking reality of Omicron: deaths of residents in aged care homes rise sharply

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The number of deaths from COVID-19 hit a record high on Tuesday with the highly transmissible Omicron variant also causing a record number of patients in hospitals.

The grim situation is reflected in the aged care sector, with the latest data showing a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases and sadly, deaths. Over 1,000 of Australia’s 2,700 aged care homes now have active cases of COVID-19.

In the week ending 14 January, Federal Government data stated there were 7,014 active COVID-19 cases (3,208 residents and 3,806 staff members) in 1,107 federally-funded residential aged care homes. 39 residents had died in that week. Seven days earlier, there were 3,205 active cases (1,370 residents, 1,835 staff) and 20 residents had died since 23 December last year.

NSW Health and the Victorian Health Department have stopped providing daily information on the cases and deaths in aged care.

The Queensland Government said yesterday two aged care residents had died from COVID-19, both with underlying health conditions. 24 hours earlier, it was recorded that two aged care residents, who had not had booster jabs, had died.