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Friday, December 8, 2023

Twelve test positive in Newcastle aged care facility, Hunter lockdown to continue

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ABC Newcastle has reported that 11 residents and one worker have tested positive to Covid-19 in a local aged care facility.

The positive cases have emerged after a worker at Hawkins Masonic Village in Edgeworth tested positive on Monday, having exposed 62 residents and 33 staff to the virus.

Frank Price, the CEO of RFBI, which runs the facility, said all of the infected have been hosptalised as a precaution. He said 10 out of the 11 residents are fully vaccinated.

Price told the ABC he expected the number of cases at the facility will grow, mainly due to the second staff member, who was unvaccinated, working throughout last week and early this week, potentially exposing more residents and staff members.

“To be quite realistic I think the likelihood of more COVID-19 positive cases is a real possibility,” he told ABC Newcastle.

“We are testing all of our residents and all of our staff members this afternoon.”

Price said staffing the facility is proving a major problem.

“The challenge we have is that if this second staff member ends up having infected more of our staff we’re going to find our workforce basically all in isolation or furloughed, and if that’s the case we’ve got a real challenge,” he said.

Price said he had asked for assistance from several bodies which were meant to be offering emergency staff or surge workforce, but had so far not been successful.

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