Albury’s Mercy Place aged care facility is not allowing any visitors — except for compassionate end-of-life visits — as they try to manage a COVID-19 outbreak that has claimed nine lives.
- Nine residents at Mercy Place Albury have died, three over the weekend from COVID
- Most residents are vaccinated, although some have chosen not to be
- No visitors are allowed during the outbreak, and unvaccinated people will not be able to visit when they reopen
Three residents died over the weekend, one woman in her 80s and two women in their 90s.
One of the women was fully vaccinated, one woman had received one dose and the other was unvaccinated.
The aged care facility confirmed residents had made their own decisions about being vaccinated.
“At our home, every staff member is vaccinated, and the overwhelming majority of residents are fully vaccinated,” a Mercy Health spokesperson said.
They said the centre had hosted several onsite vaccination clinics to boost the numbers, including last week when another 10 residents who had previously not wanted the vaccination or had been living elsewhere took the jab.
Mercy Health says they were pleased to see some of the previously unvaccinated residents choose to take up the opportunity.
The outbreak at Mercy Place started on October 17, and 30 residents and six staff members have since tested positive for the virus.
‘Not an ongoing cluster’
Murrumbidgee Local Health District’s acting public health director Alison Nikitas said it was very sad to hear of another death in the community on Sunday.
“We extend our condolences to the family of that lady on her sad passing,” she said.
“There is positive news in that no new cases have been identified for more than 10 days now, so that’s not an ongoing cluster.”
Following the clearance of seven residents, there are now only three active resident cases in the home.
Once they reopen, Mercy Health has confirmed that unvaccinated people will not be able to visit.
Aged care residents can have up to five visitors per day in Victoria, with unvaccinated visitors allowed as long as they avoid common areas.
But in NSW, residents are only permitted to have two fully vaccinated visitors aged 12 years and over, plus two children aged under 12 years per day.
“Given our current outbreak, we are taking every precaution to prevent COVID-19 from re-entering our home,” the Mercy Health spokesperson said.