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Minister for Health Greg Hunt. Photo: AAP Image/James Ross

Vic aged care staff to work at one site

Victorian aged care workers are being urged to only work in one facility while the state deals with a surge in COVID-19 cases.

On Sunday, Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the industry would work to
identify existing workforce sharing and negotiate safer arrangements across the sector.

In the statement, Hunt promised that no aged care worker would be disadvantaged by the plan.

“There will be the capacity for additional funds for additional periods of work for individuals to remain within a single aged care facility,” Hunt told reporters on Sunday.

“That is the goal which we have agreed upon with the support of the workforce and Victoria and the aged care facilities.”

Hundreds of staff and aged-care residents have been infected with the virus in the state, with outbreaks at numerous aged care centres.

Victoria yesterday recorded its 14th consecutive day of a triple-digit increase in cases, with 383 new cases announced.

In recent days, staff have worked across multiple aged care centres and authorities have then confirmed outbreaks at those sites.

The government previously announced a one-off $1,500 payment to support Victorian aged care workers who have been instructed by the department to self-isolate or quarantine at home but can’t rely on sick leave while missing work.

The Victorian government also promised more infection control training for aged care staff and increased contact tracing.

Hunt also said that the federal and state government were working with private hospitals so that those with capacity and adequate staff resourcing will open wards to residents requiring medical attention or who cannot safely isolate in their facilities.

Last week, Hunt announced that aged care staff who work in residential facilities or provide home care in Victoria’s lockdown zones would be required to wear surgical masks and committed to making available four million masks to that end.

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