Monash Health takes over Covid home

A cleaner at the front door of Outlook Gardens aged care facility on 29 July. 212209_01 Picture: GARY SISSONS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Monash Health has taken over the running of an aged-care home in Dandenong North as Victoria recorded a staggering 723 new Covid-related cases and 13 deaths on 30 July.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced the move at the 95-bed Outlook Gardens facility, which is linked to at least 44 Covid-19 cases.

At least twenty-one residents who tested negative had been transferred to South Eastern Private Hospital in Mulgrave.

Monash Health nurses had been working shifts in the facility since Monday 27 July in what were “a very challenging set of circumstances”.

Mr Andrews said the situation at the home was now “stable”.

Outlook Gardens is one of four Melbourne private aged care homes now being managed by either the Commonwealth or state health networks.

The others are St Basil’s Home for the Aged in Fawkner, linked to at least 89 Covid-19 cases as of 29 July, Epping Gardens Aged Care (86) and Kirkbrae Presbyterian Homes in Kilsyth.

More than 200 aged-care residents had been transferred to public and private hospitals.

Aged care outbreaks, with 913 active cases and more than 100 new infections, was a significant factor in the record rise, Mr Andrews said.

An unconfirmed 10 of the 13 deaths in the past 24 hours were thought to be linked to aged care.

They included six people in their seventies, five people in their eighties and two in their nineties.

The state’s Covid-19 death toll is now 105.

In hospital, there are 312 Covid-19 patients, including 34 in intensive care.

Mr Andrews identified workplace transmissions as another significant factor.

The daily numbers won’t fall until more people stopped going to work while Covid-positive or were sick and awaiting test results, he said.

Mr Andrews gave the example of Australian Defence Force doorknocking teams discovering a positive Covid-19 case had gone to work.

Other visited Covid-19 positive cases weren’t clear on their ‘stay-at-home’ obligations, Mr Andrews said.

“This is a test for all of us. This silent enemy will win if we let it get the better of us.

“Many more people will die and opening up will be only further away.”

Since last week, more than 1000 workers have been granted $300 to encourage them to stay home while awaiting test results.

The Government also offers $1500 for workers who test positive and were in insecure work without sick leave.

This week, the Government declared “some private (aged care) providers are struggling to maintain staffing levels and basic standards of care”.

Mr Andrews said at the time that the homes weren’t run by the Victorian Government but “we will do everything we can to take care of them”.

“The Commonwealth has asked for our help and that’s exactly what they’ll get – we will send in our public health teams, our nurses and other support staff to make sure residents are safe.”

Outlook Gardens has not returned the Star Journal’s calls.


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