A tremendous health response is underway at four elderly care facilities after being linked to Victoria’s growing Covid-19 outbreak.
There are fears that more cases will emerge in the elderly after three of the five new local infections were linked to the sector on Monday.
Health Secretary Martin Foley said one was the son of the first elderly care case reported at the Arcare Maidstone facility on Sunday.
Another case was a worker in the same nursing home – the woman who wasn’t vaccinated worked alongside the original case.
Mr Foley said the third case was a resident of the Arcare Maidstone home. She was a woman in her 90s, asymptomatic, and hospitalized.
This means that two employees and one resident at Arcare Maidstone have a total of coronavirus. It was also announced on Monday that another employee at the BlueCross Western Gardens nursing home in Sunshine tested positive on Sunday evening.
Two other Royal Freemasons locations were also on high alert after two employees – one from the Coppin Center and the other from the Royal Freemasons Footscray – worked at the Arcare Maidstone facility last week.
The Royal Freemasons were informed of the connection at 6 a.m. on Sunday and immediately locked the facilities, notified the Department of Health and began the full PPE and testing of all residents and staff.
At this point in time, no Royal Freemasons employees or residents have tested positive.
Arcare Maidstone made a public statement Monday that the sick resident received a dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
A letter sent to families for the elderly by BlueCross Western Gardens and posted on 3AW said residents were quarantined in their rooms and were symptom free after a worker tested positive on Sunday night.
The worker was a close contact with a positive worker in another elderly care facility. It is unknown if the Blue Cross Western Gardens employee worked with the other positive geriatric carer.
Labor MP Bill Shorten said earlier Monday that he heard secondhand from Arcare Maidstone that the virus had spread to other partially vaccinated residents.
“What is worrying is that both the employee who had positive results and a resident, possibly two (who) contracted Covid, were vaccinated in the first round,” he told ABC.
“I’m just saying, and I think everyone who’ll listen, that we need two vaccinations.
“When I hear the federal government say that vaccination is kind of the goal … you need two. One is not enough. “
Health Secretary Greg Hunt announced the worker felt sick and was tested on Friday. The following day he returned a positive result.
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“The joint work between the Commonwealth and the Victorian Government began immediately. I believe both the Commonwealth-run Victorian Aged Care Response Center, in partnership with the Victorian Department of Health, has followed an exemplary process so far, ”he said on Sunday.
“You were vaccinated on May 12th, so it has been some time since the worker was vaccinated and done under the residential residential program.”
The health minister said 53 of the center’s 76 residents had consented to be vaccinated.
Mr Shorten admitted that it was a “concern” that 15 percent of residents had turned down the vaccine, but said the Arcare center was “lucky” to have leftover vaccines on May 12.
“I am also concerned that Mr. Hunt believes everyone had a dose in our care … it doesn’t match what I hear on the spot,” he said.
“But of course when people refuse to get vaccinated, all I have to do is tell them why?
“Even if you think you are bulletproof, just think about your neighbor in the hallway or the worker who looks after you.”