Four residents at Newmarch House aged care home in Sydney’s west, linked to one of Australia’s worst outbreaks of COVID-19, have been tested for coronavirus after showing flu-like symptoms.

Key points:NSW Health said one resident of Newmarch House who has been tested today had returned a negative resultOther test results are expected to be available later tonight Nineteen residents died after a COVID-19 outbreak at the Anglicare Sydney facility

The aged care home was locked down earlier this year after a worker with mild symptoms worked six days at the facility while infected with COVID-19, causing an outbreak.

Nineteen residents died from coronavirus-related illnesses after the first case was detected in April, accounting for almost a fifth of all deaths from coronavirus nationally.

A further 37 residents and 34 staff members contracted the disease.

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Anglicare Sydney, which operates the facility, declared it COVID-19 free on June 15 but said the four residents had been tested after showing flu-like symptoms.

In a statement, Anglicare Sydney said a number of precautionary measures had been put in place.

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“The residents have been tested, are isolated and their families have been contacted,” the statement read.

“Staff attending them are wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE).”

Staff are wearing masks and continuing to adhere to strict infection control protocols when attending all other residents.
Only one resident from Newmarch House passed away in hospital.

The aged care home said all other residents were being encouraged to stay in their rooms, but would be monitored to make sure they kept up social distancing if they chose to leave.

NSW Health has confirmed there were four residents being tested, after Anglicare initially said there were three.

“One resident has returned a negative result and the other test results are expected to be available later this evening,” NSW Health said in a statement.

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Anglicare Sydney said it was in regular contact with the families of all residents.

“We will review all these measures over the next few days as we wait upon the test results from NSW Health,” a statement read.

This week it was announced that Anglicare could face a class action from Shine Lawyers over the deaths.

National practice leader Lisa Flynn said the law firm would allege the aged care provider was negligent in its handling of the crisis and breached its duty of care to residents.

“This virus was brought into the nursing home by a staff member who was sick and should not have presented to work on multiple occasions while exhibiting symptoms,” she said.

“Grieving relatives want to know why their loved ones weren’t immediately taken to hospital after testing positive so they could receive the high-level clinical care they needed.”

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