News State Victoria News St Basil’s chairman stands down as data shows 580 coronavirus aged-care deaths, mainly in Victoria

St Basil’s chairman stands down as data shows 580 coronavirus aged-care deaths, mainly in Victoria

There are 25 Victorian aged care homes that have recorded death tolls in the double-digits, with St Basil's the hardest hit. Photo: ABC News/Joseph Dunstan
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The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia says the chairman of the Melbourne nursing home at the centre of the nation’s most-deadly aged care COVID-19 outbreak has stepped down.

According to a new snapshot from the Federal Health Department, St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner in Melbourne’s north has had 183 coronavirus cases and 44 deaths.

The home is operated by the Greek Orthodox Church, which announced on Friday that St Basil’s chairman Konstantinos Kontis had resigned from his position.

However, the church said Mr Kontis had been asked to remain on the St Basil’s board to deal with practical and legal issues stemming from the pandemic.

In a Facebook post, Archbishop Makarios Griniezakis, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, said “with the help and prayers of our faithful people, we will move forward to a new day”.

“… the efforts to stem the pandemic in certain residential aged care services in Victoria, as well as to support them, did not go as well as people had hoped,” the post said.

The ABC tried to contact St Basil’s and Mr Kontis for comment but did not receive a response.

The new Federal Health Department data shows 95 per cent of Australia’s coronavirus aged care deaths have occurred in Victoria.

St Basil’s has had the highest number of coronavirus deaths, with 44 residents who have died with COVID-19.

Of the home’s 183 COVID-19 cases, 92 residents and 91 staff have been infected.

National snapshot: COVID-19 outbreaks in aged care homes

Active outbreaks 83
Active resident cases 454
Active staff cases 166
Deaths 580
Total residential of outbreaks 213
Number of services resolved 130
Number of services with only one case of COVID-19 98
Total resident cases 1,967
Resolved resident cases 925
Total staff cases 2,082
Resolved staff cases 1,916
Source: Australian Government Department of Health

The national snapshot shows there have been 580 aged care residents in Australia who have died with COVID-19 and 2,082 cases among staff.

All but 29 deaths were in Victorian aged care homes.

The data shows 580 nursing home residents have died with COVID-19. Photo: ABC News/Nic MacBean

High case numbers among aged care residents and staff

There are 25 nursing homes in Victoria that have now recorded death tolls in the double-digits.

COVID-19 deaths of aged care residents

St Basil’s Homes for the Aged – 44
Epping Gardens – 36
Kalyna Care – 24
Twin Parks Aged Care, Reservoir — 21
Baptcare Wyndham Lodge – 20
Kirkbrae Presbyterian Homes – 20
Newmarch House Aged Care* (NSW) – 19
Mecwacare John Atchison Centre – 18
Bupa Edithvale – 17
Estia Health Ardeer – 17
Japara Goonawarra – 17
Doutta Galla Yarraville – 16
Glendale Aged Care – 16
Rosehill Aged Care – Menarock Life – 16
Mercy Place Parkville – 15
Craigcare Pascoe Vale – 14
Gregory Lodge – Royal Freemasons – 14
Arcare Craigieburn — 14
Arrum Plenty – 13
BlueCross Autumdale – 13
Benetas St Georges – 12
BlueCross The Boulevard – 11
Ruckers Hill – BlueCross – 11
Estia Health Heidelberg West – 10
Grace of Mary Greek Cypriot Elderly Hostel – 10
Outlook Gardens Aged Care — 10
*Newmarch House’s 19 deaths includes 2 people who died with COVID-19 but were considered to have passed away from other causes.

Source: Australian Government Department of Health

There are 83 active outbreaks in residential aged care homes.

The data also shows 82 of these aged care centres are in Victoria and one is in Queensland.

Other Victorian nursing homes to record double-digit deaths are Epping Gardens with 36 resident deaths from a total of 187 cases, including 85 staff.

Kalyna Care in Delahey in Melbourne’s north-west has had 100 cases and 24 resident deaths.

Twin Parks Aged Care in Reservoir in Melbourne’s north has had 21 resident deaths.

At Baptcare Wyndham Lodge in Werribee there have been 217 cases and 20 resident deaths.

Coronavirus cases at the home have included 99 residents and 118 staff.

In Kilsyth, in Melbourne’s outer east, Kirkbrae Presbyterian Homes has had 20 resident deaths and 115 cases, including 54 staff.

The data shows 19 deaths for residents at Newmarch House at Kingswood in Sydney’s west, including two people who died with COVID-19 but were considered to have passed away from other causes.

The 71 cases at Newmarch House included 37 residents and 34 staff.

The Victorian data comes from the Public Health Events Surveillance System (PHESS), while other information has been collected by the federal government.

Flu deaths down markedly

The data also shows the aged care death rate is lower this year than last year, despite the pandemic.

To July 31, 32,398 aged care residents have died, compared to 33,383 at the same point in 2019.

The snapshot concludes that is likely due to increased influenza immunisation rates, and increased infection control protocols introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The data also found a drop in aged care deaths from the flu.

Last year, 837 older Australians died of the flu, compared to just 28 so far this year.