Two Sydney aged care homes run by Anglicare Sydney – the operator of Newmarch House – have been locked-down after at least two staff members tested positive for Covid-19.
One staff member at the 127-resident Mildred Symons House aged care facility at Jannali in Sydney’s south, and another at the nearby Mary Andrews aged care facility in South Hurstville, have returned positive Covid-19 results.
At least one of the workers was completely unvaccinated against Covid-19.
Anglicare Sydney is the operator of Newmarch House, in Sydney’s west, where 19 residents died last year after contracting Covid-19, in what was then one of the nation’s worst outbreaks.
Newmarch House one year on. Source: The Klaxon
The Klaxon has been told no Covid-19 infections have been recently connected to Newmarch House.
The worker at the Hurstville facility, which has 50 residents, is believed to have been infectious while at work on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week (July 29 to July 30).
The worker at the Jannali facility, who “was not vaccinated against Covid-19”, was believed to have “been infectious while working overnight on Tuesday 27 July”.
That’s despite NSW Health and Anglicare Sydney having been aware of the Covid-19 positive cases since the weekend.
NSW Health was alerted to the Hurstville worker infection on Saturday (July 31) and both NSW Health and Anglicare Sydney became aware of the Jannali worker infection on Sunday (August 1).
After The Klaxon approached NSW Health late this afternoon we were provided with two pre-prepared media statements, each carrying today’s date, August 3.
Anglicare Sydney did not respond to The Klaxon’s requests for information.
NSW Health said it has “recommended that no visitors or non-essential staff are permitted to enter” either the Hurstville or Jannali facilities “until further notice”.
NSW Health said “residents” at both the Hurstville and Jannali facilities had high vaccination rates.
The statements made no mention of vaccination rates among staff.
“While aged care and the roll-out of vaccinations in aged care facilities is the responsibility of the Federal Government, NSW has stepped in to assist following the diagnosis of the staff member,” the two NSW Health statements say.
NSW Health spokeswoman Maxine Brennan confirmed the statements related to different aged care workers, but did not respond when asked if any other Anglicare Sydney staff or residents had tested positive for Covid-19.
Crying poor: Anglicare CEO Grant Millard. Source: The Klaxon.
Residents at both the Hurstville and Jannali facilities had “been tested on-site as directed by NSW Health” and were “being managed as close contacts as investigations continue”.
Major aged care operator TriCare last week told a senate committee that only “around 25 per cent” of its workers had received their first Covid-19 vaccination, which was below the national average of 32%.
As reported by The Klaxon, TriCare CEO Kerin McMahon told the inquiry she didn’t know how many of her staff had been fully vaccinated.
She took the question “on notice”.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said all aged care workers must have received at least one Covid-19 shot by mid-next month, or be barred from the industry.
The Prime Minister has provided few other details.
Aged care experts say access to vaccines is the biggest problem facing workers.
More to come.
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