Two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in a Caddens nursing home.
A resident and an employee of Newmarch House have been diagnosed with the virus, while another resident has been tested and is awaiting results.
“All residents in the home are in self-isolation in their own rooms,” Newmarch House owners Anglicare said in a statement.
“All staff have been directed to wear full PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) when caring for residents.”
Staff who have been in close contact with either the resident or affected staff member are self-isolating at home, self-monitoring for symptoms, and will be tested if they show any symptoms.
“All families of the residents have been contacted and all staff who work at the site have been briefed,” the Anglicare statement said.
“Anglicare is deploying staff specially trained in working with COVID-19 and will now work solely with the resident who has tested positive.
“Anglicare is working closely with the NSW Public Health Unit to identify further cases of COVID-19.”
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said he was concerned some health workers were still going to their jobs despite feeling unwell.
“It appears some staff are still going to work even when they have symptoms,” he said.
“If you’re working in an aged care facility you are working with some of the most vulnerable people in our community. Please don’t go to work if you’re feeling sick.”
Meanwhile, residents in the Penrith Local Government Area are being urged to get tested for COVID-19 even if they only have minor symptoms.
NSW Health officials are concerned about community transmission in the area and have loosened restrictions around testing.
“Even if they have very mild symptoms we are asking people to go to their GP, one of the COVID-19 clinics or a hospital to seek testing,” NSW Health Acting Director Dr Christine Selvey said.
“We want to make sure if community transmission is happening we’re able to know that and people with COVID are identified early and their contacts traced to interupt anymore spread of the virus.”
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.