New Covid outbreak at St Basil’s aged care home in Melbourne

St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Melbourne is dealing with another outbreak of Covid-19, almost two years after 45 residents died from the virus.

The federal Department of Health and Aged Care on Tuesday confirmed 14 residents and one staff member had recently tested positive for the virus at the Fawkner facility.

The current outbreak was declared on 2 July and the facility is being provided with a range of commonwealth supports including onsite infection prevention and control, a department spokeswoman said.

She said all residential aged care facilities had been provided with a supply of personal protective equipment in preparation for winter.

Additional PPE could be requested from the national medical stockpile if current supplies were exhausted or commercial suppliers were unavailable.

Forty-five residents of St Basil’s – a non-profit residence run by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia – died from Covid-19 in 2020, con el coroner’s court hearing last year that another five residents also died from neglect during the same period.

En total, 94 residents and 94 staff contracted the virus between July and August 2020.

El lunes, WorkSafe charged the facility with nine breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

It alleges that in July 2020, after the facility was notified a worker tested positive to Covid-19, St Basil’s failed to require workers to wear PPE.

It also allegedly failed to train workers how to safely don and remove the equipment, verify that staff were competent using it, tell staff when it should be used and supervise its use.

The maximum penalty for each of the alleged offences if St Basil’s is found guilty is a fine of $1.49m.

The coronial inquest is on hold while the chairman, Kon Kontis, and the director of nursing, Vicky Kos, fight an order that they give evidence about their involvement in managing the outbreak on grounds of self-incrimination.

Seperate civil action against the facility is already before the Victorian supreme court.

St Basil’s has been contacted for comment.

The latest outbreak comes amid concerns about the growing number of Covid-19 infections in Victoria as more transmissible Omicron subvariants spread in the community.

Un total de 10,056 people tested positive for the virus in the state on Wednesday, bringing the number of active infections to 50,376, mientras 23 deaths were recorded. Acerca de 523 people are in hospital battling the virus, incluso 29 in intensive care and five on a ventilator.

As of 1 mes de julio, existen 5,011 active Covid-19 cases and 627 active outbreaks in residential aged care facilities across Australia. Of these infections, 3,281 cases are in residents and 1,730 cases are in staff.

New South Wales has the most outbreaks in aged care at 188, followed by Victoria with 140.

There have been 2,881 deaths related to aged care outbreaks since the start of the pandemic.

With AAP

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