COVID-19 aged care restriction as New South Wales homes close doors to visitors

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New South Wales aged care centres will be closed off to visitors for 14 days as fears continue to mount over the spread of COVID-19 in Sydney’s CBD.

NSW Health ‘strongly advised’ any Greater Sydney or Central Coast aged care home to close its doors to visitors until September 12. 

That means no visits on Fathers’ Day on September 6. 

The advice comes despite no residents or staff currently testing positive to COVID-19 in the state.

‘These are precautionary steps to prevent the entry of COVID-19 into this vulnerable setting,’ NSW Health said in a statement.

New South Wales aged care centres (pictured, Anglicare Newmarch House in western Sydney) will be closed off to visitors for 14 days as fears continue to mount over the spread of COVID-19

State premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) said residents needed to take care to avoid further restrictions

State premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) said residents needed to take care to avoid further restrictions

Mosman Rowers, on Sydney’s lower north shore, also closed for a deep clean after a COVID-19 positive person visited on Monday and Tuesday

Mosman Rowers, on Sydney’s lower north shore, also closed for a deep clean after a COVID-19 positive person visited on Monday and Tuesday

Staff will also be required to wear face masks while working in the facilities.

NSW Health said it was concerned the current outbreak of COVID-19 in Sydney might reach the vulnerable residents in nursing homes.  

Two Sydney sports clubs have also been put on high alert after COVID-19 positive people visited the premises.

Randwick Golf Club, in Sydney’s east, closed on Friday after a person visited the club on Tuesday.

Mosman Rowers, on Sydney’s lower north shore, also closed for a deep clean after a COVID-19 positive person visited on Monday and Tuesday. 

Staff who may have come into contact with the guest have also been told to isolate and get tested. 

Concerns have also been raised after it was revealed almost half of Sydney-based COVID-19 patients did not seek testing until at least three days after their symptoms developed.

The concerns come after almost half of Sydney-based COVID-19 patients did not seek testing until at least three days after their symptoms developed (pictured, health worker tests a driver for COVID-19 at Rozelle)

The concerns come after almost half of Sydney-based COVID-19 patients did not seek testing until at least three days after their symptoms developed (pictured, health worker tests a driver for COVID-19 at Rozelle)

State premier Gladys Berejiklian said residents needed to take care to avoid further restrictions. 

‘We have to be vigilant every single day and we had to state that has numbers will go up and down marginally for the next little while and we need to make sure that they don’t get to a situation where we are having to impose further restrictions,’ she said.

The state reported 14 new infections on Saturday. 

Fourteen cases have so far been linked to the City Tattersalls Club in Sydney. 

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said the growing cluster linked to the City Tattersalls Club gym was proof how quickly virus outbreaks can spiral out of control.

NSW Health said it was concerned the current outbreak of COVID-19 in Sydney might reach the vulnerable residents in nursing homes (pictured, a security guard speaks to a driver at the Anglicare Newmarch House aged care home)

NSW Health said it was concerned the current outbreak of COVID-19 in Sydney might reach the vulnerable residents in nursing homes (pictured, a security guard speaks to a driver at the Anglicare Newmarch House aged care home)

‘It highlights how quickly COVID-19 can spread in the sense we have a seeding event, its amplification and then that has seeded other workplaces and lead to exposure in the community to a number of venues that we have announced,’ she said.  

The NSW Education department issued an alert on Friday afternoon for parents to collect their children from Double Bay Public School in Sydney’s east and Homebush Public School in the west saying it was closing the schools.

‘NSW Education has been advised by NSW Health that a Double Bay Public School staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, as well as a staff member at the Cubbyhouse Childcare, an out of school hours centre located at Homebush Public School,’ the statement said.

Randwick Golf Club, in Sydney’s east, closed on Friday after a person visited the club on Tuesday

Randwick Golf Club, in Sydney’s east, closed on Friday after a person visited the club on Tuesday

The alert came after two other schools were closed on Friday – Ryde Secondary College, in the city’s northwest, and St Gertrude’s Catholic primary school in Smithfield in Sydney’s west.

All staff and students have been asked to self-isolate while contact tracing occurs and the schools are deep cleaned.

It comes as Dr Chant changed her mind about private school sporting competitions, allowing them to resume from Saturday. 

Meanwhile NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has established a committee to crack down on quarantine hotels and security guards after more than 350 guests in mandatory quarantine at Sydney’s Travelodge had to be moved to another city hotel.

‘I have set up a new committee that will audit not just the security guards but they will also audit the hotels in terms of the cleanliness and the cleaning, and the sorts of briefings that hotel staff are getting,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.

The move came after two security guards contracted coronavirus and Mr Fuller said 12 security guards had already been sacked from the hotel quarantine program.

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