Australia (9news)

Police investigation clears aged care worker after centre lockdown due to positive COVID-19 test

By June 30, 2020 No Comments
The aged care centre worker who tested positive to coronavirus after turning up for work for six consecutive days is unlikely to be the subject of any charges after police completed their investigation.
At least six staff and four residents from Newmarch House near Penrith have contracted deadly COVID-19.
The entrance to Newmarch House in Sydney's west, where a coronavirus outbreak was started by an infected worker.
The entrance to Newmarch House in Sydney’s west, where a coronavirus outbreak was started by an infected worker.(Google Maps)
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant described the worker as feeling “absolutely mortified” at the rapid spread of the virus through the home.
“That worker is incredibly distraught about the circumstances,” Dr Chant said.
Yesterday morning there were two known infections. By Tuesday evening there were eight cases, with two more added to the total today.
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The facility of 100 elderly is now in lockdown, with fears Newmarch House could become the next Dorothy Henderson Lodge, another Sydney aged-care facility where six residents died of the virus.
Forty staff are also in quarantine, and will be tested along with all residents.
Police had been investigating a possible breach of the Health Act at the centre, but found that the woman was not symptomatic while at work.
She was last at the centre on April 2 and tested positive on a later date after coming into contact with somebody who was not from the centre, who later also tested positive for the deadly virus.
“No further police action is expected to be required,” police said in a statement.
Dr Chant said her team was using learnings from the deadly Dorothy Henderson Lodge outbreak, specifically the behaviour of coronavirus in an aged care environment.
“Strident procedures” were needed to fight an outbreak in a home of elderly residents, she said.
NSW Health was closely monitoring the facility and tight protective measures had been deployed.
READ MORE:The eligibility requirements you must meet to be tested for COVID-19 in each state
Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd called the development at Newmarch House “very concerning”.
“Some of our most vulnerable citizens reside in these settings,” he told Today.
“If people who are working in these facilities have even the slightest symptoms … they must stay at home and they must get tested before returning into the workplace.”
NSW reported 16 new cases of coronavirus overnight, taking the state’s total to 2886.
Authorities are concerned not enough testing is being carried out, possibly masking the true infection rate in the state.
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The COVID-19 hotspots in Sydney where NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant  wants to see an increase in testing, to track community transmission.
The COVID-19 hotspots in Sydney where NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant wants to see an increase in testing, to track community transmission.(9News)
Total number of COVID-19 cases in New South Wales, Australia.
Total number of COVID-19 cases in New South Wales, Australia.(9News)
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