News Coronavirus Fourth resident of Newmarch House dies after testing positive for COVID-19
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Fourth resident of Newmarch House dies after testing positive for COVID-19

A fourth Newmarch House resident has died after testing positive for COVID-19. Photo: AAP
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Anglicare have reported that a fourth resident of Newmarch House, who had tested positive for COVID-19, died very early on Thursday.

The 79-year-old woman was suffering from multiple, serious health issues. The cause of death is yet be formally determined.

Her death brings the national toll up to 76.

Five new cases of COVID-19 were earlier reported in NSW on Thursday, for the second consecutive day.

They took the state’s coronavirus tally to 2979, including 21 people in intensive care.

Elsewhere, NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said specialist doctors and nurses had been deployed to the 95-resident Newmarch House in Caddens.

The home has 29 residents and 15 staff confirmed with COVID-19, and 55 staff in isolation.

The federal government has activated a “surge workforce”, including an emergency response team, to support the home’s operator, Anglicare.

On Wednesday, Aged Care and Senior Australians Minister Richard Colbeck said Anglicare would call a resident and family meeting on Thursday.

Representatives from the Department of Health, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner, and the Older Persons Advocacy Network will attend.

National deputy chief health officer Paul Kelly said unlimited workforce support had been offered to help the home cope with having a large number of residents with COVID-19 and many staff absent due to close contact with a coronavirus case.

“We’re really scratching around to have adequate staff there. Today we’re happy we’ve got a good number of RNs (registered nurses), a little short on carers. We have been reaching out to agencies locally,” Anglicare chief executive Grant Millard told ABC TV.

Strict isolation protocols are in place for residents.

A 92-year-old woman was the latest death at Newmarch House on Tuesday. The deaths of a 75-year-old man at St George Hospital and an 80-year-old woman at Gosford Hospital brought the NSW toll to 33.

Victoria confirms latest coronavirus death

Victoria has recorded its 16th coronavirus fatality after a man in his 60s died in hospital.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos confirmed on Thursday the man, who had underlying health conditions, had succumbed to the virus in hospital overnight.

“I want to express my thoughts and my sympathy to his family,” she said.

The man had not travelled overseas and likely contracted COVID-19 in the community, Ms Mikakos said.

Only one new case of coronavirus was reported in Victoria in the past 24 hours.

“This is a very promising result, we have seen a stabilisation of the numbers in recent days and, in fact, there have been no further cases of community transmission,” she said.

New cases in Tasmania

Four new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Tasmania overnight, all in the state’s north-west cluster.

Two are workers at either the North West Regional Hospital or North West Private Hospital in Burnie, the centre of the region’s outbreak.

The North West Regional Hospital in Burnie. Photo: ABC

One of the new cases is a contact of a confirmed case, while the fourth is under investigation.

More than half of Tasmania’s 205 cases are linked to the north-west outbreak that forced authorities to close both hospitals, quarantine staff and enact tough social restrictions in the region.

Public health director Mark Veitch said anyone in the state’s north-west with virus symptoms, such as a runny nose, cough or sore throat, should contact authorities and arrange testing.

Eight people have died from the virus in Tasmania and 77 have recovered.

No new cases in Western Australia

The state’s tally of recovered cases is 458 and just 81 remain active after a second straight “zero-case” day.

There are 24 coronavirus patients in Perth hospitals, including five in intensive care, and about 1000 people are being tested every day.

Western Australia’s health minister has criticised private schools for shutting out students as WA recorded another day with no new coronavirus cases.

-with AAP