Two thirds of the staff at a locked-down Sydney nursing home are still unvaccinated, despite the vaccine being available for months and recently made mandatory.
Three elderly residents at the Summit Care facility in Baulkham Hills tested positive to Covid-19 on Saturday night, a man and woman in their 80s, and a man in his 90s.
Two of the patients were transferred to Westmead Hospital as a ‘precautionary measure’, while the third is in isolation at the nursing home.
Three elderly residents at the Summit Care facility in Baulkham Hills tested positive to Covid-19 on Saturday night, a woman in her 80s, a man in his 80s and a man in his 90s
Two of the patients have been transferred to Westmead Hospital as a ‘precautionary measure’, while the third remains in isolation at the nursing home
All three of the infected patients have been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine.
The facility was plunged into lockdown on Friday after an unvaccinated nurse tested positive to coronavirus.
A second nurse at the home tested positive on Saturday.
Summit Care chief operating officer Michelle Sloane said none of the three elderly patients were seriously ill.
‘My understanding is they’re all resting very comfortably none of them were displaying symptoms,’ she said.
She explained precautionary measures taken in transferring two patients to hospital were due to ‘public health’ considerations around isolating them in the facility.
The third patient was not admitted to hospital due to his family not wanting to separate their relative from his wife.
A person in PPE is seen arriving at Summit Care aged care facility in Baulkham Hills on July 4
Lona Patrick, a resident of the Summit Care Facility in Baulkham Hills, is loaded onto an ambulance after contracting Covid-19
They are isolating together in a room in the home under strict infection control protocols, with the man’s wife testing negative so far.
Speaking at Sunday’s Covid-19 update NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the residents would have continual cycles of testing and isolation procedures.
Though the residents’ condition was ‘encouraging’, these protocols would remain in place at the nursing home for 14 days since their exposure to the infected nurse.
Yesterday, 226 residents and staff were tested for coronavirus with all but the three infected residents returning negative results.
Summit Care said 96 per cent of the 149 residents were vaccinated.
The home is being monitored by an emergency force of surge workers, with three-quarters of the home’s staff also forced in to a two-week isolation.
‘Of 210 staff in total, of that there’s probably 70 to 75 per cent at home in isolation – it could be higher,’ Ms Sloane said.
Michelle Sloane, Summit Care’s Chief Operating Officer, (pictured) said of the three elderly patients, none were seriously ill, with two transferred to Westmead Hospital
Ms Sloane explained precautionary measures taken in transferring two patients to hospital were due to ‘public health’ considerations around isolating them in the facility
‘Of 210 staff in total, of that there’s probably 70 to 75 per cent at home in isolation – it could be higher.’
Ms Sloane said though she ensured none of her regular Baulkham Hills staff worked at any other facility, only one-third had been vaccinated.
Once the outbreak was brought under control, all staff would be vaccinated on-site.
‘We’ve been advised that to do it now is of no benefit to anyone and if anything, it might mean that they suffer from some side effects of the vaccines and we might lose more staff,’ Ms Sloane said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday announced that Covid-19 vaccines would become mandatory for aged-care workers.
He said the mandatory vaccines would also apply to anyone who worked, either directly or indirectly, in hotel quarantine – including drivers.
Allan Patrick, resident of Summitcare Aged Care Facility in Baulkham Hills, is loaded into an ambulance after contracting Covid-19
Yesterday, 226 residents and staff were tested for coronavirus in the Summit Care facility, with all but the three infected residents returning negative results
Despite aged care workers and residents being in the initial Phase 1a rollout, many are still not vaccinated.
Of the 910 deaths in Australia from Covid-19, 685 were aged care residents.
Aged-care workers at the Summit Care facility did not expect to receive their first dose until mid-September.
Ms Sloane said she had personally spoken to the children of the three infected patients, with all of the residents’ families also alerted to the outbreak.
The facility is undergoing deep cleaning, with daily testing protocols for staff and residents to continue.