Around 40 vulnerable settings, such as aged care homes, disability homes, hospitals or detention facilities, have been exposed to COVID-19 says ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman.
The Canberra Times understands at least six of those exposures occurred in aged care homes.
"In the ACT, we have around 40 high risk settings, which include both aged care residential aged care and disability facilities where there has been at least one exposure," Dr Coleman said.
"What we are definitely not seeing are the high rates of transmission and the high rates of illness that we saw in NSW and Victorian residential aged care facilities in our previous waves of COVID-19."
ACT Health said it was no longer possible to provide detailed information on COVID-19 cases in residential aged facilities because of the high number of Omicron cases in the ACT.
It said it works closely with residential aged care facilities following exposures.
Aged care homes that have been exposed to the virus include Villaggio in Page, Kangara Waters Retirement Village in Belconnen, Warrigal Calwell in Tuggeranong and three Goodwin Aged Care providers.
Three staff members and one resident has texted positive at Villaggio in Page, and two Warrigal Calwell residents tested positive. One Kangara Waters staff member has been confirmed positive.
A letter from Villaggio Page care manger, Steve Weckert, on January 4, said the aged care home was in lockdown.
"At present we remain at one resident testing positive and three staff members testing positive," the letter said.
"At this stage we are in lockdown until the 13th of January 2022, but this date has the potential to change daily."
The letter said no visitors were permitted, and any laundry or care packages had to be approved.
Warrigal in Calwell has also confirmed two residents and one staff member have tested positive.
"All who have tested positive are fully vaccinated and are in isolation. They are being closely monitored several times daily to ensure there are no changes to their health condition," spokesperson Sarah Galvin said.
"Special outbreak meetings have been held including representatives from the ACT Health and the respective public health unit, to make sure all outbreak precautions are being implemented appropriately and in accordance with strict infection control practice.
"Warrigal's regime of daily rapid testing and regular PCR testing has been very helpful to monitor everyone's condition."
A letter from Nia Briguglio to families of residents at Kangara Waters was sent on December 29. It said an employee had tested positive to the virus.
"Affected residents will be isolating in their rooms where possible, and all residents are being monitored regularly for symptoms, including frequent checks of temperature, blood pressure and oxygen saturation rates," Ms Briguglio said.
The Wattle, Grevillea, and Bottlebrush areas of the centre have been closed to visitors.
"We may be able to arrange with ACT Health for compassionate visits in limited circumstances, such as for end of life. Residents from these areas are unable to leave the centre for any reason, other than for medical care," the letter said.
"All other residents are able to have one visitor per day. All visitors need to be over 12 years of age. They will need to wear additional PPE, including P2/N95 masks and eye protection, and undertake a rapid antigen test."
The cases follow the news that multiple residents and staff members at Goodwin Retirement Living centres across Canberra have also contracted COVID-19.
In a letter to residents, executive manager Erik Boddeus said a number of staff and contracted employees had tested positive at Goodwin House and Goodwin Living in Ainslie, David Harper House and Ralph Cartwright Centre in Monash.
This comes after it was announced on Monday that a staff member at Goodwin House had tested positive.
In addition, Mr Boddeus confirmed one resident in Goodwin Village Ainslie and two residents in Goodwin Village Monash had also been diagnosed with the virus. The residents are recovering at home with support from staff, family and ACT Health
"[Staff members were] asymptomatic while attending work and got tested and quarantined as soon as they developed symptoms," he said.
"Goodwin is working closely with ACT Health and the commonwealth and are responding in accordance with their advice. We understand how distressing this is for residents, families, and friends. The safety and wellbeing of our residents is our top priority, and we are working tirelessly to protect the Goodwin family."
Aged care homes with confirmed exposures to COVID-19
- Villaggio in Page
- Kangara Waters Retirement Village in Belconnen
- Warrigal Calwell in Tuggeranong
- Goodwin House and Goodwin Living in Ainslie
- David Harper House
- Ralph Cartwright Centre in Monash
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