Covid-19 Australia: Second Melbourne Arcare aged care resident tests positive to coronavirus

Second vulnerable aged care resident tests positive to Covid in Melbourne after two unvaccinated workers caught the virus

A second aged care resident in a coronavirus-stricken home in Melbourne has tested positive to Covid-19.

The vulnerable patient is the second resident at Arcare in Maidstone to catch the virus after two workers tested positive, sending the home into lockdown.

It has since emerged that the initial worker was not fully vaccinated, and the second worker didn’t even have their first jab.

The first resident to test positive, a 99-year-old woman, is now in hospital. 

The second resident, 89, who is the cousin of the first positive resident and living in an adjacent room, was recorded a positive test on Tuesday but was reported by Victoria’s Health Department on Wednesday.

‘Arcare is saddened to report that we have one additional resident at our Maidstone residence who has tested positive to COVID-19 today,’ CEO Colin Singh said in a statement. 

‘We are COVID swab testing these team members before they start to ensure they are safe to work.

‘We have been delivering activity packs to our residents today and team members who are isolating are ringing residents to offer a listening ear and emotional support.’ 

At this stage it remains a mystery how the the Arcare worker who first contracted the virus became infected and the state’s contact tracers are desperately trying to find the missing link.

Victoria’s gruelling lockdown was extended as state officials warned the coronavirus outbreak ‘will explode’ if restrictions were to ease in Melbourne.

There were six new cases being reported on Wednesday, bringing the cluster, associated with the Indian double mutant strain, swelled to 60. 

The federal government had declared on February 16 that all aged care facilities would be fully vaccinated by March 30 – but now with Victoria’s lockdown to be extended for another week, the promise has not yet delivered. 

Back in January, the body in charge of guiding Australia’s coronavirus response – The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee – did not opt to carryout mandating vaccinations for aged care workers.  

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt on Monday, asked the committee to reconsider their stance.  

‘In terms of mandatory, we are referring that question again to the medical expert panel of state chief health officers and Commonwealth officials, so that has been referred at the request of the Prime Minister and myself,’ Mr Hunt said. 

More to follow. 


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