Newmarch nursing home confirms another coronavirus death as national toll rises to 96

Staff members at Sydney's Newmarch House will be tested for coronavirus daily and infected residents will be housed in a separate wing of the facility.

There are now 14 deaths linked to the coronavirus outbreak at Sydney's Newmarch nursing home.

There are now 14 deaths linked to the coronavirus outbreak at Sydney's Newmarch nursing home. Source: AAP

Tough measures are being put in place to stem new infections inside a Sydney nursing home that has now been linked to 15 coronavirus deaths.

Anglicare, the operator of Newmarch House in western Sydney, confirmed on Monday that a 15th resident had died after contracting COVID-19. 

"His passing highlights how terrible this virus is and how devastating it is for the elderly in our community," the company said in a statement. 

The latest death brings the national coronavirus toll to 96. 

Staff members at Newmarch House will be required to undergo daily COVID-19 test to contain an outbreak that has resulted in the deaths of 15 elderly residents.

Healthy residents will also be separated from infected residents in a separate wing while NSW Health has deployed two infection control nurses to review procedures inside the facility.

There are now 63 infections linked to the Newmarch House coronavirus cluster, including 26 staff members and 37 residents.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the daily tests would be implemented in an attempt to manage the outbreak, after a 76-year-old resident died at Nepean Hospital on Sunday.

The state's chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said one of the new cases at the facility was a close contact of another case who had been in isolation for a period of time and subsequently developed symptoms.

The source of the second case is under investigation.

A security guard speaks with people arriving at the Anglicare Newmarch House in western Sydney.
Source: AAP

Mr Hazzard has defended the staff who initially spread the infection, saying controlling the virus was "like almost going to the moon".

But he has also conceded there had been breaches of health protocols.

"It only takes a moment. Our doctors are highly trained, but like everybody else you can make a mistake."

NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay has called on the government to give all Newmarch House residents, even ones who were healthy, the option of being moved to the public hospital system.

Anglicare announced on Sunday the family support program, which will involve a scheduled daily call from a registered nurse to a resident's dedicated contact.

Anglicare Sydney chief executive Grant Millard said the initiative - which begins on Tuesday - will help address communication issues that were raised by residents' family members last week.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.


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Published 4 May 2020 at 11:56am, updated 4 May 2020 at 3:12pm