Victoria has announced 19 deaths due to COVID-19 today, and 322 new cases of the virus on the state’s deadliest day of the pandemic.
The new figures, officially released ahead of the Premier’s press conference for the first time, eclipses the previous record death toll of 17, which was reached on Sunday.
Ten of those deaths were connected to aged-care outbreaks, taking the death toll of aged care residents to 172 in Victoria and 203 nationwide.
According to the health department there are currently 1011 active cases of coronavirus in Australian aged care homes – all in Victorian homes – but there are some arguments about the figures as the situation changes minute on minute.
There are currently 30 active cases of the virus among home care recipients, again, all located in Victoria.
The largest outbreaks in the country are currently:
- 186 cases have been linked to Epping Gardens Aged Care in Epping (91 residents, 64 staff, 31 contacts)
- 169 cases have been linked to St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner (84 residents, 59 staff, 26 contacts)
- 146 cases have been linked to Estia Aged Care Facility in Ardeer (51 residents, 66 staff, 29 contacts)
- 123 cases have been linked to Kirkbrae Presbyterian Homes in Kilsyth (49 residents, 47 staff, 27 contacts)
- 105 cases have been linked to BaptCare Wyndham Lodge Community in Werribee (54 residents, 36 staff, 15 contacts)
- 96 cases have been linked to Estia Aged Care Facility in Heidelberg (27 residents, 51 staff, 18 contacts)
- 93 cases have been linked to Outlook Gardens Aged Care Facility in Dandenong North (38 residents, 43 staff, 12 contacts)
- 87 cases have been linked to Arcare Aged Care Facility in Craigieburn (35 residents, 31 staff, 21 contacts)
- 78 cases have been linked to Glendale Aged Care Facility in Werribee (39 residents, 25 staff, 14 contacts)
- 77 cases have been linked to Aurrum Aged Care in Plenty (46 residents, 20 staff, 11 contacts)
Although numbers in the state remain high, the number of new cases announced is the lowest in 13 days. Premier Dan Andrews warned the effect of stage four restrictions could take some time to be reflected in the state’s figures.
“So we’re probably seeing the tail end of the stabilisation that was the product of the stage three rules,” he said.
“Obviously, any day where there are fewer cases than the previous day is a good one.”
A concern for Victorians is the high rate of community transmission that have no known source. 2700 confirmed COVID-19 cases around the state had no known source and remain the primary concern of health authorities.
Also of concern is the 1000 known cases of COVID-19 among healthcare workers in the state.
Commission to look at COVID-19 response in sector
The pandemic response of three NSW aged care homes where residents died of coronavirus will be put under the microscope during a royal commission this week.
Ross Low, the CEO of BaptistCare, which operates Dorothy Henderson Lodge, is among seven witnesses expected to give evidence during Monday’s hearing.
Six residents at the home in northern Sydney died of the virus, including three people who were among the first four COVID-19 fatalities in the country.
The commission will examine the aged care sector’s preparedness and whether there was a lack of clarity around the roles of authorities in their response.
Grant Millard, boss of Anglicare Sydney which runs Newmarch House where 19 residents died, is scheduled to front the commission on Tuesday.
Both homes lost almost their entire workforce within days of the first positive case, a scenario not contemplated in either provider’s crisis plan, the commission will hear.
Representatives from industry regulator the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and the federal department of health, plus workers’ unions will give evidence during the three-day hearing.
Virus cases and a death at Opal Care Bankstown home will also be examined.
Victoria’s aged care outbreak is not part of the commission’s scope due to a lack of time, resources and sensitivities regarding the current situation.Do you have an idea for a story?
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