The cluster of COVID-19 cases at Melbourne’s Menarock Life aged care facility has grown to 28, and all 14 infected residents have been transferred to hospital for treatment.

The other 21 Menarock residents are being re-tested for the deadly virus, according to a statement from the aged care provider.

Menarock has employed an infection control coordinator on site, and has gained PPE supplies from the national stockpile, according to a statement from the provider. It now has additional testing capabilities, and an emergency surge workforce.

“We appreciate that this is a very difficult time for our Menarock community at Essendon. We are working closely with federal and state health authorities and infection control experts to manage this COVID-19 outbreak”, said Menarock LIFE CEO, Kath Warren.

In the latest update, Victoria has recorded 270 new COVID-19 cases, its third-highest daily number of cases, and its highest-ever positive test rate.

Hospitals brace for a “couple of hundred” COVID-19 patients

There are now more than 1,800 active cases in Victoria. Chief health officer Brett Sutton has urged hospitals to prepare for a “couple of hundred” patients.

“That’s a really significant number of people with coronavirus and it does mean that in the next fortnight, we’re going to see a number of people who will require hospital,” he said.

“There’s often 10 to 20 per cent of all coronavirus infections who require hospitalisation, so that’s a couple of hundred individuals at least.

“They will require hospitalisation in the next couple of weeks,” Mr Sutton said.

Mr Sutton said there are seven outbreaks in nursing homes that are a serious concern.

All residents should be evacuated: Bill Shorten

Bill Shorten, who is the federal member for Maribyrnong, where Manarock is located, has called for all residents to be evacuated.

“I think the facility needs to evacuate everyone,” Mr Shorten said, according to a report in The Australian

“I understand that it’s difficult to self isolate in this facility, that people share bathrooms,” he said

Victoria records highest testing rate

Victoria processed 21,995 tests on Monday, making a positive test rate of 1.23 per cent. By comparison, the previous high, recorded on Sunday, was 0.9 per cent, and 0.77 per cent on Friday.

The state has seconded staff from Ambulance Victoria, Medibank, Telstra, Qantas and Jetstar to boost its contact tracing team.

A New South Wales aged care facility, Prestons Lodge, has also gone into lockdown after a man who tested positive to COVID-19, and who is part of the Crossroads Hotel outbreak, visited the facility.

At least 35 confirmed cases in aged care

Victoria now has at least 35 aged care homes and services impacted.

The Department of Health has confirmed cases among staff in the following homes:

 

  • BaptCare’s The Orchards Community in Doncaster

 

 

  • Benetas St George’s in Altona Meadows

 

 

  • BlueCross Ivanhoe

 

 

  • Aurrum Aged Care facility in Healesville

 

 

  • Holmwood Aged Care facility in Healesville

 

 

  • Doutta Galla, Lynch’s Bridge site in Kensington

 

 

  • Uniting AgeWell facility in Preston

 

 

  • Mercy Health at home aged care service

 

 

  • Assisi Aged Care facility in Rosanna

 

Cases have also been detected among residents in the following homes:

 

  • Japara Central Park Aged Care in Windsor

 

 

  • Lifeview Willow Wood in Cranbourne

 

 

  • Royal Freemasons Springtime in Sydenham

 

 

  • Rosstown community aged care facility in Carnegie

 

Image: sasirin pamai, iStock.

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