Unread emails left at least 10 residents unvaccinated at the time an aged care worker tested positive to COVID-19, the facility linked to Victoria’s latest outbreak has revealed. 

Key points:

  • Arcare’s Kylie Thomas has revealed vaccine consent forms “for whatever reason had not been actioned”
  • The email issue did not affect the three residents who contracted COVID-19 during the outbreak
  • All but two residents have now opted to have the vaccine 

Arcare’s Victorian state operations manager Kylie Thomas told ABC Radio Melbourne “around 10” of the 76 residents at Maidstone were impacted by the email error.

“That has changed across the Arcare business nationally and we now have a very tight system in place to track all consent forms.” 

When questioned about how this happened, Ms Thomas said the problem was with “the person who was monitoring the email box” and she couldn’t “go into that publicly”.

“It certainly was not systemic; it was not the majority of residents,” she said.

Ms Thomas said the consent form was not an issue for the three clients who tested positive for COVID-19, who had all received at least one dose.

The three residents were transferred to hospital after contracting the virus, but their symptoms are understood to have been mild.

Only two residents refused vaccines

Arcare was first notified that a staff member at Maidstone had tested positive for COVID-19 on May 29.

In a media statement on May 31, Arcare said only 53 of their 76 residents at Maidstone had consented to receive the vaccine.

Today, Ms Thomas said just two residents had refused to be vaccinated.

“What I can say to you now is … 49 are fully vaccinated, 26 have had their first dose,” she said.

On Monday, Arcare declared their Maidstone COVID-19 outbreak was “over” following advice from the Western Public Health Unit.

“We were well prepared after our outbreaks last year,” Ms Thomas said.

“Sadly, we didn’t think we’d be in this position again, but we certainly had a thorough outbreak management plan.”

Ms Thomas said the three Arcare residents who are being cared for in hospital were still returning positive coronavirus tests earlier this week, but all clients and staff at the facility itself had been cleared.

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Unchecked email inbox left residents of aged care home at centre of Melbourne COVID outbreak unvaccinated
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