Apr 14, 2020

Resident Tests Positive In Facility Where Sick Nurse Continued Working

An aged care home in Western Sydney has one resident that tested positive to COVID-19 and another sick resident awaiting test results after a careless employee – who also tested positive – worked six shifts while showing visible symptoms of the virus.

The female nurse worked shifts at both the Anglicare Newmarch House in Caddens and Greystanes Disability Services in Leura, which now has health authorities scrambling to identify residents and staff who may also be infected as a consequence.

It is believed that the woman worked two shifts at Greystanes Disability Services in Leura, which now has all residents isolating in their own rooms and six staff in self-isolation at home.

Greystanes Disability Services, Chief Executive, Robert Tinsey, said one house in Penrith had been placed into quarantine after the worker tested positive.

“Everyone is in good health and spirits so far and we’re hoping that will remain,” he said.

In a statement, Anglicare said residents at Newmarch House were in isolation and staff were now wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).

“All residents in the home are in self-isolation in their own rooms,” the statement said.

“All staff have been directed to wear full 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.”

Anglicare also revealed that the families of all residents have been made aware of the circumstances, and that staff who have been specifically trained in working with COVID-19 will now work solely with the resident who tested positive.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the worker had put vulnerable people at risk.

“Unfortunately, the potential is disastrous consequences if you’re working with some of our most vulnerable people,” Mr. Hazzard said on Monday.

“No doubt she thought she was doing the right thing. Unfortunately, she wasn’t doing the right thing.”

“The simple message here is if you’re working at an aged care facility, you are working with some of our most vulnerable people in (the) community, please just don’t go.”


Photo Credit – iStock – Heiko Küverling

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  1. I have to say that in aged care with so many staff working casual and part-time is it any wonder she decided to work. She is probably an incredibly busy woman in her personal life and probably didn’t think that she had this disease and just kept on keeping on to pay her Bill’s. Until aged care start hiring full-time staff what security do some of these people have to keep a roof over their heads. It’s all coming to a head now isn’t it? Pathetically low wages and no security of full-time work has proven to be the catalyst of this virus spreading amongst the aged care industry around the world. Tell her to get a job at Aldi where the base wage has now gone up 10% at $28.00 an hour. Less responsibility and a much more secure pay. Just a thought!


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