The death toll of the coronavirus outbreak at Newmarch House in Western Sydney has now reached 16.
This terribly sad news comes as the latest resident died Tuesday morning after testing positive to COVID-19.
Since the outbreak first began on April 13, there have been a total of 66 infections linked to the home, including 37 residents and 29 staff members.
“We extend our sincere condolences to the family for whom this is both distressing and tragic”, Anglicare Sydney shared in a statement.
“The incredibly contagious nature of the virus is evidenced by the fact that in the last 24 hours three staff members of Newmarch House have tested positive.
“They are now self-isolating. The positive test results were discovered during our daily, rigorous testing regime which is now being applied to all staff working at Newmarch House prior to the commencement of their shifts.”
Stand down, alleged breach
On Tuesday the facility’s operator, Anglicare, confirmed they had stood down one of the health professional contractors from Aspen Medical over alleged breaches in infection control.
An Anglicare spokesperson reported the alleged breach in relation to personal protective equipment (PPE) protocol.
“We take our PPE protocols seriously. It’s vital to protect those we’re caring for from this terrible virus,” they said.
Aspen Medical was still waiting on a detailed report from Anglicare before further comments would be provided..
“Once we have the facts, we will investigate the matter thoroughly and provide our staff member with a fair and balanced hearing,” Aspen Medical said in a statement.
It’s not a blame game
Dr Kerry Chant, NSW Chief Health Officer, has cautioned against laying blame over the COVID-19 outbreak at the aged care home.
“Human nature is of course you’re going to go and pick up a resident who has fallen on the ground even if it means touching them or your mask dislodges in that process.”
“We need to show care and compassion for staff who are working in these facilities,” Dr Chant said.
“We grieve for his death”
The 71 year old man that passed away after testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday, was reported to have no immediate family members.
According to a statement from Anglicare Sydney, he was “well cared for by the dedicated staff of Newmarch House”.
“On behalf of our resident, we grieve for his death and we value that he was part of our Anglicare family while we cared for him.
“His passing highlights how terrible this virus is and how devastating it is for the elderly in our community,” Anglicare said in a statement.
Image source – istock licence – the image does not depict real people.