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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Sydney aged care worker tests positive to coronavirus

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An aged care worker in Sydney’s northwest has been diagnosed with COVID-19 but almost all of the nursing home’s residents are fully vaccinated.

NSW recorded 24 new local COVID-19 cases on the fifth day of Greater Sydney’s two-week lockdown, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian admitting the virus is “continuing to circulate” in the community.

Almost all of the 149 residents at the Baulkham Hills facility are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and the home has been deep cleaned and is now in lockdown, authorities say.

SummitCare says no other workers or residents have tested positive to COVID-19 to date and residents and staff in contact with the infected nurse will be tested daily.

“We are committed to ensuring our staff and residents are virus-safe and are working with industry experts and government stakeholders to ensure we continue to achieve this goal,” SummitCare said in a statement today.

The new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday included a student nurse who worked at Fairfield and Royal North Shore hospitals in Sydney.

Two of the nurse’s contacts – another healthcare worker at RNS, Fairfield and Royal Ryde Rehabilitation Hospital, as well as the aged care worker – were deemed COVID-positive after the 8pm deadline.

The 24-year-old student nurse worked up to five days while infectious, but the other healthcare workers are not believed to have worked during the infectious period. The case has sent hundreds of contacts into isolation.

Berejiklian said 12 of the 24 reported cases were out in the community while infectious, urging people to stay home as much as possible.

“People going about their business, shopping and interacting with others is causing the virus to continue to circulate,” she told reporters.

“If we want the lockdown to succeed, all of us to have minimise our movements, minimise our interaction with others, as difficult as that is.”

Berejiklian also announced mass COVID-19 vaccination hubs would be established in Macquarie Fields, in Sydney’s southwest, and Wollongong as well as another large clinic in Sydney’s CBD.

It’s hoped the hubs will boost the number of jabs administered in NSW to 200,000 a week and enable authorities to dramatically ramp up vaccinations once the government’s supply of Pfizer vaccine increases.

Additionally, in two weeks a pilot program will begin with 22 pharmacies in remote NSW administering the AstraZeneca jab.

The Bondi cluster at the centre of Sydney’s outbreak now numbers 175 and the total number of cases since the outbreak began on June 16 stands at 195.

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