Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has delivered a stinging rebuke to providers outside of the Government sector, saying he wouldn’t want his mother to be living in ‘private’ aged care while providing his daily update on the state’s coronavirus tally.
Mr Andrews confirmed 384 new cases on Tuesday after Monday’s record 532-high and six more deaths – four linked to aged care.
These included one person aged in their 70s, three aged in their 80s and two aged in their 90s, bringing the state’s total death toll to 83.
Victoria now has 4,775 active cases in total, with 769 linked to aged care.
Monday’s case tally includes:
- 88 cases linked to Estia Aged Care in Ardeer (six new cases since Monday)
- 86 cases linked to St Basil’s Home for the Aged in Fawkner (two new cases since Monday)
- 82 cases linked to Epping Gardens Aged Care in Epping (the same as Monday)
- 76 cases linked to Kirkbrae Presbyterian Homes in Kilsyth (19 new cases since Monday)
- 62 cases linked to Menarock Life Aged Care in Essendon (the same as Monday)
- 53 cases linked to Glendale Aged care in Werribee (the same as Monday)
- 51 cases linked to Baptcare’s Wyndham Lodge in Werribee (28 new cases since Saturday)
- 50 cases linked to Estia Health Care in Heidelberg (the same as Monday)
- 40 cases linked to Outlook Gardens Aged Care in Dandenong North (29 new cases since Sunday)
- 39 cases linked to Arcare Aged Care in Craigieburn (the same as Sunday)
260 people are now in hospital, including 45 in intensive care.
Beds and workers freed up
The Premier confirmed elective surgery other than Category 1 cases would be suspended to free up hospital beds and staff to help deal with the surge in aged care cases.
Eastern Health and the Eye and Ear Hospital are reported to be closing beds, with nurses moved into aged care settings to take over the clinical care of residents.
“It’s about having staff who are able to provide care and support to the most vulnerable residents in and coming out of private sector aged care,” Mr Andrews said.
Vote of no-confidence in private aged care facilities
The Premier also said the State Government would do everything they can to move residents into hospitals from facilities where Government had “no confidence in infection control.”
“I cannot stand here and tell you that I have confidence that staff and management across a number of private sector aged care facilities are able to provide the care that is appropriate to keep their residents safe,” he said.
“If I could say that, I would. We don’t run this sector but the residents in these homes are all Victorians. The Commonwealth government has asked for help and that is exactly what my Government and our agencies will provide to them.”
Mr Andrews said it was not the time to “be a commentator” on the aged care sector but added he wouldn’t want his mother to live in some of the facilities hit by outbreaks.
“My mother is in her mid-70s, with underlying health issues but she lives at home. Some of the stories we’ve seen are unacceptable and I wouldn’t want my mum in some of those places,” Mr Andrews said.
The Health Minister Greg Hunt offered a different view of the sector however – see this story.