Aged care time bomb: ADF to stay on as one in three aged homes infected

ADF support for Australia’s aged care sector has been extended until at least the end of September, with Covid-19 outbreaks infecting 6000 residents and 3400 staff across the country.

Jul 25, 2022, updated Jul 25, 2022
One in three aged care facilities across the nation are battling Covid infections Photo: ABC

One in three aged care facilities across the nation are battling Covid infections Photo: ABC

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles says more than a thousand outbreaks have occurred at facilities nationwide.

“And so it’s important that we need to be doing everything we can to meet the challenge of that,” he told ABC News on Monday.

“It’s not just extending the military support to aged care, it’s actually increasing it up to 250 personnel through until the end of September.”

Marles said it was important to note the solution to the crisis was not a long-term one and that it was fair to describe it as “an extreme measure”.

“Given the number of outbreaks that we’ve got right now, this is the right thing to do and I’ve got no doubt that those personnel will equip themselves professionally and fantastically in the way they do their work.”

Aged and Community Care Providers Association interim chief executive Paul Sadler says up to 15 per cent of staff are isolating or quarantining at home and the coming weeks will put intense pressure on residents and workers.

“The reality is we can’t leave older people without adequate levels of care for too long,” he said at the weekend

Sadler said 2301 residents had died in 2022, including 114 in the past week.

As the latest virus wave continues to sweep the nation, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese concedes it is understandable some Australians are confused about the latest advice for wearing face masks.

While there is no fresh mask mandate, most states and territories are advocating their use indoors or when social distancing is not possible.

Australia’s death toll has surpassed 11,000, rising by 36 on Sunday.

NSW reported 14 deaths, Victoria 12, and there were seven in Western Australia, two in Tasmania and one in South Australia.

As of Sunday, 71.1 per cent of eligible Australians had received three or more vaccine doses.

Booster coverage includes 95.3 per cent of eligible aged care residents.

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