A woman in a Victorian aged care home has again tested negative to COVID-19 after the facility went into lockdown earlier this week over an initial positive test.
HammondCare’s Caulfield Village shut its doors after the woman tested positive on Monday before a second swab came back negative on Tuesday.
Today, a third test has also come back negative.
HammondCare chief executive Dr Stephen Judd said the first test occurred “out of an abundance of caution” because the resident had a cough, but no other symptoms.
Judd said: “As soon as a decision was made to test the resident, we implemented our outbreak plan for the 12-person cottage and when it came back positive, we locked down the whole site, isolated the cottage and staff and implemented our full pandemic plan.
“Our key priorities were then to care safely for the affected resident, stop the spread of possible infection in the home, ensure the other 11 residents in the cottage were appropriately isolated and also well cared for, and to provide clear and regular communication to families.”
More than 200 other residents and staff have been tested and all results to date are negative, Judd said.
He commended staff for their response to the lockdown and said some elected to live in the cottage as testing and tracing continued.
The affected cottage will remain in lockdown until June 1, though HammondCare hopes to lift restrictions in other part of the Caulfield Village sooner.
Earlier this week, Victoria’s deputy chief health officer Annaliese van Diemen said all positive tests are treated seriously, with the facility managed as if it were an outbreak site while further testing was undertaken.
“A subsequent negative test doesn’t negate the first positive test,” she said on Tuesday.
Caulfield Village wasn’t the only home in the state to go into lockdown due to COVID-19.
Villa Maria Aged Care Home (VMCH) in Bundoora closed its doors after a resident went to hospital at the weekend with a temperature of 39 degrees Celsius and returned an inconclusive COVID-19 test result.
The resident later returned home, as they were no longer displaying any symptoms.
Further testing produced a negative result with the outcome of another test expected today.
VMCH chief executive Sonya Smart said the provider was taking no chances and following the Department of Health’s protocols.
“Family members are regularly updated, and all residents and staff closely monitored,” Smart said.
“All residents who have had close contact with the person are now in isolation within our residence. Staff who have had close contact with the person are in self-isolation at home.”
All residents and staff who have been tested since 18 May have returned a negative COVID-19 test result.
And in Camberwell, a resident at Lynden Aged Care was diagnosed with COVID-19 and was being treated in isolation at a metropolitan hospital, prompting the home to also go into lockdown.
van Diemen said an extensive exercise was underway in terms of cleaning, contact tracing and testing of residents and staff.
Meanwhile, MiCare on Tuesday had two residents who were showing flu-like symptoms tested for COVID-19 at its Kilsyth homes, Overbeek Lodge and Margriet Manor, but yesterday announced that both tests came back negative.
As a result, the facility removed the enhanced visiting restrictions it initially put in place.
“We are entering into the cold and flu season and should Elders display such symptoms, they will be tested when instructed by their GP,” the provider said in a statement. “As a precaution, we are expecting to be testing continuously for COVID-19 during the winter months to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our Elders.”
It said it would continue to be on maximum alert for COVID-19 for the foreseeable future.Do you have an idea for a story?
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