The outbreak at numerous aged care facilities around Melbourne, especially St Basil’s in Fawkner, has caused other facilities to fear for their residents and take additional precautions.
Fronditha Care, a not-for-profit aged care provider caring predominantly for Greeks across Melbourne, is currently in a heightened state of vigilance after a staff member from its residential aged care facility in St Albans (THALPORI) tested positive to COVID-19 on Wednesday, 22 July. The positive result set the outbreak management plan into motion which meant the staff member in question, who had last worked on 20 July and had worn a mask, was stood down and all residents were isolated and monitored for symptoms.
Out of the 59 residents, one tested positive and was transferred to hospital for further monitoring for other medical reasons as per the instructions of the family GP.
Fronditha Care CEO Michael Malakonas said that a previous positive test had been noted on 10 July in a completely different incident and the facility had managed to contain the spread back then. The outbreaks at other facilities have served as a warning to Fronditha. “We learnt the importance of having enough PPE, the appropriate training and working effectively with the regulatory health authorities,” he told Neos Kosmos, however despite immediate testing it will be a minumum of 14 days – potentially 28 – from 22 July before the provider knows for certain that it is in the clear.
On Friday, Fronditha Care’s administration told Neos Kosmos that there had been no new cases, however a second round of testing had been conducted on Thursday for residents and staff members on Friday with results still pending.