536 active cases linked to aged care facilities

Victoria has recorded an alarming number of active cases linked to aged care facilities.

Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed today there were now 536 active cases among 38 aged care facilities, with numbers spilt almost equally among staff and residents.

There are now a number of significant outbreaks at aged care facilities including:

• 74 cases linked to St Basil’s in Fawkner;

• 71 cases linked to Estia Health in Ardeer;

• 60 cases linked to Menarock Life in Essendon;

• 44 cases linked to Estia Health in Heidelberg.

• 49 cases linked to Glendale Aged Care in Werribee;

• 23 cases linked to Baptcare Wyndham Lodge in Werribee; and

• 22 cases linked to Regis aged care in Brighton.

Victoria recorded 357 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to Saturday, which is lower than the record 484 cases on Wednesday.

Mr Andrews said the state was working with the Commonwealth, which regulates the private aged care sector. Facilities are run by a mix of both church, charitable and for-profit organisations.

“Aged care settings, particularly with many casual workers, are a really challenging setting, and we see that both in terms of the number of cases and also the number of people who are by the very nature of these settings frail and aged,” Mr Andrews said.

“It is a very, very challenging environment, and I want to send my support and assurance to all families and staff, all of those involved in aged care, that many different steps have been taken, processes have been put in place.”

Mr Andrews said the state was working closing with the Commonwealth Government, aged care providers and unions to consolidate shifts into single sites so workers, which are often casual workers, are not moving between multiple sites.

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He said the Commonwealth was also providing financial support to ensure that this doesn’t financially disadvantage workers, who may have less shifts because they are only working at the one aged care site.

“We don’t manage these facilities, of course, but we are working very carefully, very hard and very carefully, to make sure that we have got other financial support,” he said.

Overall there are 3995 active cases across Victoria and 313 of these are linked to healthcare workers, which Premier Andrews said was a significant challenge in terms of furloughing staff and managing rosters.

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