Nursing home coronavirus cases climb to 30

After 20 residents and ten staff were infected with the coronavirus at Newmarch House nursing home in western Sydney, Anglicare Sydney said staff and management were “greatly distressed for our residents and their loved ones.”

“The NSW Public Health Unit are investigating the source of these cases. As a precaution, residents who tested negative are being re-tested again,” Anglicare said in a statement.

An Anglicare spokesman told Eternity that a worker who came to work at Newmarch House for six days while infected with COVID-19 was a permanent part-time member of staff. She is believed to be the source of the infection.

NSW’s chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said at a press conference that the staff member was “distraught” about the infections

“I have spoken to the director of the public health unit and this person is absolutely mortified,” she said.

“So, I think I would urge people to remember that the symptoms of COVID can be incredibly mild and the key point is do not go to work.

Anglicare said “We have contacted all relatives of our residents infected. Our staff that have tested positive are self-isolating at home on full pay.”

Anglicare added that it has deployed a specially trained team of staff assigned to care for the residents who have tested positive. This team is wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE), following strict infection control procedures and caring solely for these residents.

“We continue to closely monitor all our residents and staff at Newmarch. We are grateful to the support provided to us by NSW Health and Australian Health Departments.

“Since the outbreak at Newmarch House was first confirmed to us at 10.40pm on Saturday 11 April, Anglicare has been working closely with NSW Health as well as auditing and reassessing our procedures that have been in place since the beginning of March 2020.

“The safety, health and wellbeing of our residents, staff and volunteers is our number one priority during this challenging time.”