More COVID-19 cases in NSW aged care home

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Two more aged care residents in a Sydney nursing home have reportedly tested positive to COVID-19.

Kathie Melocco, whose parents live at SummitCare home at Baulkham Hills, is angry her father is one of three residents who contracted the virus from an unvaccinated carer.

She’s also told Sydney radio 2GB SummitCare sent an email to families on Sunday night saying a further two residents had tested positive to the virus. That would take the tally to five.

The email said the residents were comfortable and asymptomatic but were being transferred to Westmead Hospital as a precaution.

Ms Melocco is furious families weren’t told that two thirds of the carers at the home had not been vaccinated.

“Dad was vaccinated and after all the trouble we’ve had in aged care (we assumed) that the jab was given to staff at the same time,” she said.

“No-one told us they weren’t vaccinated and as a family we have right to know.

“In aged care, it’s one of the most dangerous places in Australia.”

Last week, national cabinet agreed all aged care facility workers must be vaccinated, with everyone to get at least one jab by September.

SummitCare chief operating officer Michelle Sloane said on Sunday only a third of the facility’s workforce have had a shot, after two of the home’s workers tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Council of Aging Chief Executive Ian Yates said the vaccine rollout to aged care workers had been too slow and he had been “very concerned about this for a long time”.

“We have basically got all homes covered, the vast majority of residents covered, but the way that COVID has entered aged care in the past has always been through asymptomatic staff,” he told Nine’s Today show on Monday.

“They need to speed up the vaccination of staff everywhere. This is not just a Sydney problem, this is a problem around the country.”

Meanwhile, NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys has warned cafe owners who refuse to wear masks risk having their businesses closed down, saying “there is simply no room for that in these times”.

“It is pretty simple, you know. It is not just about you. This is a community effort, it is an effort right across the state,” he told Nine.

“Please play your part and we will see us return back to some sort of normality.”

Meanwhile, NSW Health has issued another ten COVID alerts for venues across Sydney including a Coles in Maroubra and a Woolworths in Hillsdale, both in Sydney’s east.

Alerts have also been issued for numerous bus routes around Strathfield in Sydney’s west and train routes from Penrith, the north shore line, the Bankstown line and the inner west line.

There were 16 local COVID-19 cases recorded in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday.

Three of those cases were out in the community during some or all of their infectious period. There have now been 277 local COVID-19 cases reported since June 16.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the dip in case numbers was a good sign, and urged residents to respect stay-at-home orders if they want any hope of emerging from lockdown on Friday.


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