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Photo: AAP Image/Dean Lewins

NSW coroner to probe Newmarch virus deaths

The NSW coroner will investigate a spate of coronavirus-related deaths at a western Sydney aged care home.

Newmarch House became the centre of a virus cluster in western Sydney when about 70 people became infected and 17 residents died after an employee worked six shifts despite having mild coronavirus symptoms.

As of Sunday, all residents and staff who tested positive for COVID-19 at the Anglicare-run facility had been cleared.

“The state coroner has accepted jurisdiction for COVID-19 related deaths of residents from Newmarch House,” a statement from the Department of Justice said on Wednesday.

“Police will prepare a brief of evidence for the coroner.”

Meanwhile, a Victorian aged care centre was put in lockdown after a worker tested positive to coronavirus.

The carer at Embracia Aged Care in Reservoir was confirmed on Tuesday to have the virus.

The worker was picked up as infectious after going for routine testing, Health Minister Jenny Mikakos told reporters.

The aged care worker is self-isolating at home, and all staff and visitors considered to be close contacts will be put into quarantine.

“Even one case in an aged care home is classified as an outbreak,” Mikakos said.

Embracia Aged Care general manager Damien Lippiatt said the employee last worked on May 27, and did three other shifts in the previous two weeks.

Lippiatt said the staff member visited their GP as soon as they started showing symptoms, and praised their quick action in informing Embracia as soon as their results were known.

He said in a statement on Wednesday that the first round of testing of all residents and staff returned only negative results.

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