Apr 29, 2020

Five people die in 24 hours at Newmarch nursing home

It is with sadness we report that five people have died in a 24-hour period as a result of COVID-19 at Newmarch House in Sydney’s western suburbs.

Yesterday’s deaths mean 11 people have now passed away at the aged care facility since 11 April, when the virus was first detected at Newmarch House.

The outbreak was started by a member of staff who unknowingly came to work while infected.

Now a total of 54 residents and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 at the facility, which is located in the Sydney suburb of Penrith.

“Tragic time”: Anglicare

In a statement on its website, Anglicare Sydney said it was “deeply saddened” by the news.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to these families for the losses they are experiencing,” the statement said.

“This is a tragic time not only for the families who have lost their loved ones but for other residents and families. 

“It is also taking a deep toll on our staff who cared for and knew these residents and families so well.”

Anglicare said it will be “some weeks” before Newmarch House is clear of the virus.

Anglicare is receiving support from NSW Health, Nepean Blue Mountains Local Area Health Network, an Infectious Diseases Specialist and the Commonwealth Government.

88 deaths from COVID-19 in Australia

There have been 6,738 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia, of which 88 have died. 

New South Wales is the worst-hit state, with a total of 3,016 coronavirus infections, including 41 tragic deaths.

Information about COVID-19 for aged care providers is available on the Department of Health website.

If you are concerned about COVID-19, you can contact the National Coronavirus Helpline for information and advice on 1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Tragically, since the time of publishing, Newmarch has revealed another resident has passed away bringing the total deaths at the home to 12. New South Wales Labor leader, Jodi McKay, said residents with COVID-19 are not being given the option to go to hospital. Anglicare CEO Grant Millard says more deaths are expected.

Image: NADOFOTOS, iStock. Model is posed, does not reflect actual people or events.

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  1. Maybe we should think about suing aged care facilities when they aren’t hiring more cleaners to discenfect the facilities and keep on top of hygiene instead of using the overworked AINs to pick up all the cleaning and spot cleaning. As if we aren’t working over and beyond as it is leaving kitchen staff and laundry and the 5 cleaners only that work at mine to do barely much more than they usually do. I have seen how bad the situation is on Dementia specific wards where tables are not discenfected after residents have been put to bed with handprints and food still stuck to the tables and the floors in the common areas still stained with food and drink where nobody has swept. The kitchen pantries are often still dirty as AINs are having to dish and prepare plates for food distribution as catering are not allowed to go onto the Dementia wards. This is extra work for AINs that are supposed to be looking after our most vulnerable. We should not be doing more work that takes us away from your loved ones. We need more staff. We should not be going around spot cleaning and discenfecting areas where all these visitors go when they are allowed to visit (2 visitors per day per resident) now that is alot of visitors if you look at the no of residents in facilities!! Like nothing has changed only more work for AINs! We need more cleaners at this time! Come on guys! Be realistic. Nothing has changed in my facility! As I keep telling you the AINs are taking on all the extra cleaning, laundry handouts and food distribution. Why are we only getting $23 an hour for all this extra stress? They don’t pay me enough for all this drama. I don’t want any “retention” monies from the government (goodness knows if we would ever see it anyway. Out place will probably pocket it and not hand it over to deserving staff as they are already beginning to bring their fists down on the no of contince pads we use!!!) No I would rather the government give all aged care staff a pay rise! Now that may ” retain” us all!! And stop hiring staff that can’t speak English and take long term staff’s shifts. We should be “retaining” long term staff and having staff work full-time. A great way of preventing any virus is to have mostly full-time staff sonas not to have many new staff working other jobs and spreading viruses so as they can pay their Bill’s. Disgusting business to work in. If I had known what aged care was like years ago there is no way I would have applied. And I am one of the best carers there. Only a few of us I can say actually do give a damb. Others work in aged care as a means to an end!

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