Residential aged care staff experiencing surge in COVID-19 infections


As of January 11, 2024, Australia is experiencing 459 active COVID-19 outbreaks in residential aged care facilities, with a total of 3,195 active cases. Since January 4, 2024, there have been 204 new outbreaks, 32 new resident deaths, and 2,961 combined new resident and staff cases reported. The total number of residential aged care facilities affected is 2,858, with 2,135 active resident cases and 1,060 active staff cases.

Since the last update on January 4, Active staff cases have increased from 790 to 1060 cases nationally, a concerning trend that is adversely impacting an already stretched workforce. (Editor: if you would like to share some of your own experiences email our news desk:

The outbreak situation varies across different states and territories, with New South Wales having the highest number of facilities with outbreaks (146) and active cases (688). The mortality rate due to COVID-19 in permanent residents in aged care facilities is recorded at 1.3% between July 2023 and November 11, 2023. Since the onset of the Omicron outbreak in mid-December 2021, there have been 115,364 deaths in residential aged care, with COVID-19 accounting for 4.4% of these deaths.

The latest data suggests a relatively low number of people over the age of 65 having received a booster dose.

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According to Daniel Seldon of Aussie Pharma Direct, “As of January 10, 2024, only 30.1% of aged care residents nationally had received a booster dose in the last six months. That’s a rather concerning figure and needs to improve if we are to keep our elderly safe and healthy.”

The workforce is actively involved in managing outbreaks, with surge staff filling a total of 190,634 shifts, including 797 in the past 7 days. Oral antiviral treatments, such as Lagevrio and Paxlovid, have been distributed, and vaccination efforts continue.

In terms of infection control, the government is prioritising vaccination programs, conducting spot checks, and reinforcing the importance of uptake through various communication channels. The total quality assessment and monitoring activities conducted by the Commission include 5,960 infection control and PPE protocol spot checks in residential aged care facilities from March 1, 2020, to January 11, 2024.


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