The operator of a northwest Sydney nursing home where five residents have contracted the coronavirus admits there would be no one to provide care if employment was restricted to those already vaccinated.
The NSW premier, meanwhile, has again pleaded with residents to do the right thing ahead of the scheduled end of a 14-day lockdown on Friday.
NSW recorded 35 new local COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, including two more aged care residents at SummitCare in Baulkham Hills.
Both were women in their 70s and one was unvaccinated. Five SummitCare residents to date have been confirmed virus-positive, with four fully vaccinated.
Two thirds of the facility's workforce of around 200 people were unvaccinated, with jabs for aged care workers not mandatory until September.
SummitCare chief operating officer Michelle Sloane said on Monday she'd personally urged staff members to seek out COVID-19 vaccination. However the operators are not yet in a position to insist they get jabbed.
With only nine per cent of Australians aged over 16 fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ms Sloane said all frontline services were grappling with the same problem.
"If we said to all of our unvaccinated staff 'don't come to work', there'd be no one to care. That is not just us but every aged care business across Australia and every hospital across Australia," Ms Sloane told reporters.
"While we take the right precautions with the right masks and the right protective gear, those residents are as safe as our staff are safe."
It comes after two SummitCare staff members worked while infectious.
Kathie Melocco, whose parents Allan and Lona Patrick live at SummitCare, is angry her 88-year-old father is one of the residents who contracted the virus.
Ms Melocco said families weren't told about the low rates of staff vaccination.
"Dad was vaccinated and after all the trouble we've had in aged care (we assumed) that the jab was given to staff at the same time," she told 2GB radio.
"In aged care, it's one of the most dangerous places in Australia."
There were also five new cases connected to flight VA524 from Gold Coast to Sydney, on which an infected air crew member worked, and a student at Rose Bay Public School in Sydney's east has been diagnosed with the virus.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday said 11 of the 35 overall cases were out in the community during part or all of their infectious period.
She said health authorities were currently collating data on the current lockdown in Greater Sydney and surrounds, scheduled to conclude on Friday, and would soon be ready to provide advice to government on the way forward.
She reiterated her view this week was "critical" for the course of the outbreak, which has reached 312 people since emerging in Bondi in mid-June.
"The lockdown certainly has been effective in not doubling and tripling the figures that we were worried about," Ms Berejiklian told reporters.
"My colleagues and I have started planning for various contingencies and we are looking forward to receiving the health advice in the next few days."
NSW Health has issued another ten COVID alerts for venues across Sydney including a Coles in Maroubra and a Woolworths in Hillsdale, both in Sydney's east, as well as construction sites in Auburn and Toongabbie.
Authorities later issued an alert for Meriton Suites in Waterloo on Saturday evening after a group held a party in an apartment, against stay-at-home rules.
Three people who attended the party have caught COVID-19 to date and both NSW Health and NSW Police are investigating the event.
Alerts have also been issued for numerous Sydney bus and train routes.
Australian Associated Press
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