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Covid-19 pop up testing site in Mernda at Woodland Waters Reserve. Photo: NCA NewsWire/Sarah Matray

More virus cases, deaths in Vic aged care homes

More aged care homes in Victoria have faced coronavirus outbreaks with three further deaths linked to the sector.

Three of the latest five deaths in the state were connected to aged care – a woman in her 70s and two men in their 80s and 90s.

Victoria’s COVID-19 death toll hit 49 on Thursday with the national total now at 133.

The latest deaths follow two men aged in their 90s, linked to aged care settings, confirmed dead on Wednesday.

A day earlier, two female residents of aged care facilities hit by coronavirus outbreaks were confirmed dead.

Among 45 outbreaks across Victorian aged care facilities, 383 staff and residents have tested positive.

The outbreak at St Basil’s Home for the Aged in Fawkner has grown to 69 cases among staff and residents, while 54 people at Estia Health have contracted the disease.

A new cluster has also emerged at Kirkbrae Presbyterian Homes in Kilsyth, with two staff and one resident testing positive.

Nine residents at Embracia Moonee Valley contracted the virus, three of whom have died, and at least six staff also tested positive, general manager Damien Lippiatt told AAP.

A staff member told the organisation they had the virus on July 9, four days after working their last shift while asymptomatic.

The centre has been in lockdown since July 9, with hundreds of staff and residents tested and a third round of results due this week.

Health Minister Greg Hunt told 3AW on Thursday where the virus was detected in aged care centres, there was an immediate process to ensure all staff and residents were tested.

“This is a daily, hourly, watching and action process. Masks are being provided to every aged care facility that needs them,” he said.

The aged care quality and safety commissioner will step in and take over aged care centres if there’s concern for residents, he said.

Chief health officer Brett Sutton said the majority of Victorians were contracting the virus at work or in health or aged care settings.

Premier Daniel Andrews said aged care workers are among the about 53 per cent of people who did not isolate between having their virus test taken and receiving the result, because of the insecure nature of their work.

“They’ll look at their bank balance, they’ll look at the fact that if they don’t work the shift, they won’t get paid for the shift, they don’t have sick leave,” he said on Wednesday.

The data was collected by the public health team from Victorians who tested positive between July 7 and July 21.

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