News Coronavirus Two more infections in COVID-hit Sydney aged-care home

Two more infections in COVID-hit Sydney aged-care home

Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

NSW has had a drop in coronavirus cases but a series of health-order breaches – including by footy players – and a growing nursing home cluster show there is more work to be done to stop the spread.

On Monday, it was confirmed that two more residents from SummitCare home in Baulkham Hills had been infected with COVID-19.

It brings the total number of residents infected by the virus to five.

Families of residents of the facility have been asking why two thirds of its staff have not had a COVID vaccination.

Kathie Melocco, whose parents live at SummitCare home at Baulkham Hills, is angry her father is one of three residents who contracted the virus from an unvaccinated carer.

She confirmed the two new infections to Sydney radio 2GB on Monday.

“Dad was vaccinated and after all the trouble we’ve had in aged care [we assumed] that the jab was given to staff at the same time,” she said.

“No one told us they weren’t vaccinated and as a family we have right to know.

“In aged care, it’s one of the most dangerous places in Australia.”

In a letter to residents on Sunday, SummitCare said the residents were “resting comfortably and not displaying any symptoms”.

The operator said the residents – whose age and genders have not been confirmed – would be transferred to Westmead Hospital.

There is deep concern for those who live at the home west of Sydney, even though 96 per cent are fully vaccinated.

  • Click here to see the full list of exposure sites

Three COVID infections had already been confirmed after the virus was brought into the home by staff. They are men in their 80s and 90s and a woman in her 80s.

All have had both doses of the vaccine and are said to be in good spirits, with no symptoms.

SummitCare’s chief operating officer Michelle Sloane said the home was “unlucky” to get the virus.

Only a third of SummitCare Baulkham Hills staff have had a shot. Photo: Richard Crookes Construction

Two of the nursing home’s workers tested positive for COVID-19 last week. One was unvaccinated and SummitCare was unclear about the vaccination status of the other.

At least 140 of the home’s 200 workers are in 14 days of self-isolation.

Elsewhere, however, NSW is starting to see an overall downward trend in new cases.

The three aged-care home residents were among 16 local COVID-19 cases reported in NSW on Sunday.

They included three who were out in the community for some or all of their infectious period.

NSW has had 277 local COVID-19 cases since June 16.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged residents to respect stay-at-home orders if they want any hope of emerging from lockdown on Friday.

Police are enforcing the laws – but that hasn’t stopped even some high-profile Sydney residents flouting the laws.

On Sunday, it was revealed that police were investigating NRL players who allegedly had a party in Shellharbour on Saturday night.

St George Illawarra players are accused of breaking stay-at-home orders to attend a party at forward Paul Vaughan’s house.

The Dragons confirmed that some players were under investigation, with the number who attended the party believed to be between 10 and 15.

Any party would have been a clear breach of not only NSW law, but also the game’s bubble.

NSW Police fined 86 people for breaching health orders on Saturday.

Among those fined $1000 for breaching public health orders were four people found travelling 150 kilometres from their Maroubra home.

“It really stresses me out when we hear examples of businesses not doing the right thing, of individuals not wearing masks when they need to,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Because when people don’t do the right thing – even if it’s a handful – it impacts the rest of us.

“We don’t want to see that jeopardise the good work we’ve been doing.”

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said public places such as pubs and restaurants had previously been the main sites of transmission, but now homes were the “most dangerous place”.

“Aussies tend to think of their home as their castle, but right now it can be COVID central,” Mr Hazzard said.

-with AAP