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Aged care facilities brace for COVID wave

Aged care providers are calling for urgent action to protect residents and staff from a winter COVID-19 wave.

July 25, 2022
25 July 2022

More than one third of Australia’s aged care facilities are battling COVID-19 outbreaks with 6000 residents and 3400 staff infected.

The Aged and Community Care Providers Association said its members are calling for urgent action to protect residents and staff from a winter COVID-19 wave.

The association’s interim chief executive Paul Sadler said 10-15 per cent of staff are already isolating or quarantining at home, and the coming weeks will put intense pressure on residents and workers.

“The increased availability in surge workforce including the Australian Defence Force over the past week has been welcome, but there is still a shortfall,” he said. 

“The reality is we can’t leave older people without adequate levels of care for too long.”

Mr Sadler said 2301 residents have died in 2022, including 114 in the past week.

He called for more support for a surge workforce, including ADF personnel, until at least September.

As the latest wave continues to sweep the nation, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese conceded it was understandable some Australians were confused about the latest advice for wearing face masks.

While there is no fresh mask mandate, most states and territories are advocating their use indoors or when social distancing is not possible. 

Australia’s death toll has surpassed 11,000, rising by 36 on Sunday.

NSW reported 14 deaths, Victoria 12, and there were seven in Western Australia, two in Tasmania and one in South Australia.

As of Sunday, 71.1 per cent of eligible Australians had received three or more vaccine doses.

Booster coverage includes 95.3 per cent of eligible aged care residents. 

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