But the employee of the western Sydney aged care facility did not go to work while infectious, NSW Chief Health officer Dr Kerry Chant confirmed.
After some staffers had complained about bleeding noses and pain from daily swaps, testing is now being carried out on every second day, or on alternate shifts.
“And you’ll find that goes above and beyond any screening recommendations given,” Dr Chant said.
During yesterday’s morning shift at Newmarch House, 101 staff were tested.
The new cases come as the premier confirmed NSW would not implement the easing of social distancing restrictions set out in today’s National Cabinet meeting.
READ MORE:Timeline of the deadly coronavirus outbreak at Newmarch House
Coronavirus curve ‘flat’
Australia’s Deputy Chief Health Officer says the country’s coronavirus curve has flattened but warns more outbreaks are possible.
In the past 24 hours, Australia has recorded 20 new cases taking the total to 689, Professor Paul Kelly told Today.
“It has been flat. A lot of those cases are related to the two large outbreaks we are dealing with at the moment, one at the Newmarch aged care facility and Cedar Meats in Melbourne,” Prof. Kelly said.
READ MORE: All your coronavirus restriction questions about Mother’s Day, interstate travel and more answered
“When you look outside of those things, actually there are very few cases right around Australia and in many states, still no cases at all for quite some time.”
He said the easing of any social distancing rules would “be gradual”.
Despite Newmarch House recording 16 deaths from COVID-19, the aged care sector was faring well compared to other countries such as Canada or the UK, he said.
“We have done extraordinary well keeping it out of aged care facilities,” he said.
But the situation could change if restrictions were eased too soon, Prof. Kelly added.
“We’re always preparing for the worst but hoping for the best. Will it happen again? It might. But the best way of making sure it doesn’t happen is to keep that curve flat.
“If there are very few cases around in the community, it is not going to get into your aged care homes.”
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