There are now six cases of coronavirus among people at a Sydney aged care facility including four residents and two staff members, the state’s health department has confirmed.
On Friday morning, New South Wales Health reported a second employee of Dorothy Henderson Lodge was the sixth person from the BaptistCare NSW & ACT facility to test positive to coronavirus (COVID-19) after a 94-year-old resident tested positive on Thursday evening.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant told a press conference on Friday morning that they were undertaking daily reviews and swabs of those considered at risk.
She acknowledged the support of BaptistCare and facility staff.
Last night Dr Chant said the source of infection was under investigation as none of those infected had recently travelled overseas.
“We are testing a further seven residents at the facility and two staff and I want to assure these people if they require hospitalisation we will transfer them immediately,” Dr Chant said in a statement on Thursday evening.
NSW Health and BaptistCare confirmed the first case from the facility on Wednesday as 50-year-old female assistant in nursing at Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Macquarie Park in Sydney was diagnosed with coronavirus.
NSW Health confirmed on Wednesday evening that a 78-year-old female resident at the facility also tested positive.
It then confirmed an 82-year-old male resident of the facility, who was already being cared for in hospital, and a 95-year-old resident, who passed away on Tuesday in hosptal, both tested positive.
BaptistCare said in a statement on Wednesday that it was “working closely with the NSW Health to ensure the safety of our residents and staff.”
BaptistCare chief executive officer Ross Low, along with health and infection experts, will address aged care stakeholders at Deartment of Health forum on Friday to help providers prepare for a coronavirus outbreak (read more here).
Dr Chant paid thanks to BaptistCare for its quick response in supporting the public health response.
“As soon as this information was discovered, NSW Health personnel attended the facility where the woman worked, and assessed residents for respiratory illnesses including COVID-19,” Dr Chant said.
The first aged care worker diagnosed had been caring for 13 residents and those remaining in the facility were immediately placed in isolation.
On Thursday morning Dr Chant told ABC Radio Sydney that NSW infection control staff were regularly visiting the facility and testing residents showing new symptoms.
She said the residents who were cared for by the infected nurse remained in isolation and other residents were staying in their rooms.
Dr Kerry Chant passed on her sympathy to the family of the 95-year-old resident who died on Tuesday.
The 82-year-old male and 78-year-old female residents are in hospital as is the aged care nurse, who has worked at the facility for more than two decades.
Further comment has been sought from BaptistCare.
This story has been updated with new information as it comes in on Friday.
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