News Coronavirus New coronavirus infections in NSW rise by 29 as number of cases at aged-care facility spike

New coronavirus infections in NSW rise by 29 as number of cases at aged-care facility spike

aged care coronavirus nsw
The garden at Anglicare's Newmarch House in western Sydney. Several staff and residents have coronavirus. Photo: Anglicare
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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed 29 new COVID-19 cases, taking the state’s total to 2,926.

The state is seeking to increase screening after fewer tests were conducted over the Easter long weekend.

Meanwhile, there has been a spike in the number of cases at Anglicare Newmarch House in Western Sydney – the aged-care facility where a staff member worked six shifts despite having mild COVID-19 symptoms.

NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said there had been 14 new infections there, taking the total number of staff and residents who have tested positive for coronavirus to 29.

She also said a seven-week-old boy was among NSW’s latest number of infections.

A total of 4,988 people were tested in the state yesterday.

Dr Chant said three of the 29 new cases were overseas acquired and 20 were locally-acquired either from confirmed case or from a cluster.

The source of the remaining six cases is unknown.

Victoria records just one new case

Just one new coronavirus case has been recorded in Victoria overnight.

“There were 2700 tests that were completed over the last 24 hours with just one positive result,” Premier Daniel Andrews said on Friday.

“That, I think, gives you a really clear indication that this strategy is working.”

It means there are now 1302 COVID-19 cases in Victoria.

There are 32 coronavirus patients in hospital, including 13 in intensive care.

Amid the improving infection rate, the state government announced a $261 million training package to help Tafe and training schools deliver online education.

Victoria remains in stage three lockdown to contain the pandemic’s spread, with people urged to stay at home, unless it’s essential to leave.

NSW looks at schooling options

Ms Berejiklian said plans to return NSW students to on-site schooling in mid-May did not mean schools will go “back to normal”.

“Unfortunately it will be a very long time before we get back to normal,” she said.

Yesterday, the Premier said she wanted some students to return to face-to-face learning from week three of term two, which begins on May 11.

Today, she clarified that further, saying: “We are considering our options around a rostering system which will have some students go back on a particular day to increase that level of face-to-face [teaching].”

“Because the alternative is that unfortunately students could face up to a year or longer at home and we don’t think that’s appropriate.”

Ms Berejiklian also encouraged anyone “working with vulnerable people” to be proactive about being tested if they had symptoms.

Her warning came as 14 new infections were confirmed at Newmarch House in Caddens, where a staff member went to work despite having mild coronavirus symptoms.

The NSW Nurses and Midwives Association yesterday called for Health Minister Brad Hazzard to apologise after he criticised the employee in a press conference earlier this week.

“No doubt she thought she was doing the right thing, [but] she was unfortunately not doing the right thing,” Mr Hazzard said.

However, earlier in the week Dr Chant described the health-care worker as “mortified” and “distraught”, while Ms Berejiklian previously said she “empathised” with the worker.

“I feel for her and want to tell her directly she did nothing wrong,” Ms Berejiklian said during a press conference this week.

“All of us empathise with her. She did the right thing. As soon as she realised she could have been in contact with someone with the illness, she got tested.”

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said on Wednesday that there were no plans to charge the worker, citing a lack of both “malice” and “reckless intent”.

-with agencies