Australian Aged Care Sector Facing Staff Shortfall Amid COVID-19 Surge In Winter
Australian aged care providers have called for urgent action to prevent coronavirus outbreaks in facilities.
According to data released by the Aged and Community Care Providers Association on Sunday, 6,000 aged care residents and more than 3,000 staff at 1,013 facilities were infected with COVID-19 as of Thursday.
It represents more than one third of Australia’s aged care facilities dealing with current coronavirus outbreaks, according to Australian Associated Press.
More than 2,300 aged care residents have died with COVID-19 in 2022 including 114 in the past week.
Paul Sadler, the interim chief executive of the association, said in a statement that up to 15 percent of the aged care workforce is currently in quarantine.
“The increased availability in surge workforce including the Australian Defense Force over the past week has been welcome, but there is still a shortfall,” he said.
“The reality is we can’t leave older people without adequate levels of care for too long.
“The coming weeks are critical for aged care. We must do all we can to put the protection of older people first and support our aged care workers,” he added.
COVID-19 cases in Australia are expected to surge in the coming weeks, with the government warning millions of people could get infected.
There were more than 30,000 new COVID-19 cases reported across the country on Sunday and more than 30 deaths.
As of Saturday, approximately 71 percent of eligible Australians had received three or more vaccine doses and 31 percent four doses.