The federal government has launched independent reviews into the COVID-19 outbreaks at two Victorian aged care facilities linked to more than 400 cases combined including almost 200 residents.
The reviews into St Basil’s Home for the Aged in Fawkner and Heritage Care’s Epping Gardens Aged Care in Epping are examing the extent, impact, management and contributory causes of COVID-19 outbreaks at these homes over two months.
St Basil’s Home for the Aged reported its first case of COVID-19 on 8 July but the health department was not aware until six days later. On 23 July all staff were considered close contacts to positive cases and had to be replaced.
There are 213 cases linked to residents and staff from the facility and their contacts, Wednesday’s update from the Victorian health department shows.
This total includes 92 residents and 91 staff from the facility, according to the Commonwealth’s new weekly COVID outbreak report released on Saturday.
Heritage Care’s Epping Gardens facility has 219 cases linked to it as of Wednesday, including 102 residents and 85 staff members.
The Department of Health said the government was committed to learning from the experiences of the COVID outbreaks.
“The purpose is to derive lessons learned from these outbreaks, in order to inform management of potential future outbreaks and to support Australia’s aged care sector to manage similar situations now and into the future,” the Department of Health said in a statement.
The reviews are being conducted by Professor Lyn Gilbert and Adjunct Professor Alan Lilly, who also undertook the independent review into the COVID-19 outbreak at Anglicare’s Newmarch House in Caddens in western Sydney (read our story here).
Professor Gilbert and Professor Lilly have commenced the investigation, which involves speaking with stakeholders including residents and their representatives as part of their investigation.
The final report is due in mid-November.