A 13th resident of Newmarch House who had been diagnosed with Coronavirus has passed away, as the crisis at the nursing home continues.
An Anglicare spokesperson confirmed the resident passed away on Thursday afternoon.
“The family has been contacted as have all the relevant authorities,” the spokesperson said.
“This is a time of great grief for the family and we want to extend our deepest sympathies.
“The Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on all our residents and families as well as our staff over the last three weeks.”
A further three residents were confirmed COVID-19 positive yesterday, sparking major concerns about the ongoing spread of the virus in the nursing home.
“This is despite us having strict procedures and enforced infection control practices in place,” the spokesperson said.
“You will appreciate this is further distressing news. These new cases may reflect historical transmissions and reflect the rigorous and ongoing testing at Newmarch House. We will be investigating further how this has occurred.”
This morning, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said NSW Health was continuing to work with Newmarch House and the Commonwealth Government in regards to infectious diseases control.
“We’ll be having another infection control review and they’ll be going through all of the details of the cases to look if there’s any learnings or things we need to strengthen,” Dr Chant said.
Dr Chant said NSW Health was investigating how more residents were becoming infected – either by staff at the facility, or by “something we’re missing”.
In the wake of the outbreak, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian this morning said she would welcome a national Code of Conduct for aged care providers to ensure a high level of standards was consistent across centres.
Meanwhile, Dr Chant this morning urged people in the Penrith Local Government Area with even minor respiratory systems to come forward and get tested for Coronavirus.
She said genetic testing indicates a virus strain circulating in the area, associated with Newmarch House and other clusters.
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.