Seven residents of Anglicare's Mildred Symons House Jannali test positive to COVID-19

COVID cluster: Mildred Symons House nursing home at Jannali.
COVID cluster: Mildred Symons House nursing home at Jannali.

Seven residents of a Jannali nursing home have tested positive to COVID-19 after a staff member worked there while infectious.

South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) confirmed the outbreak at the Anglicare-run Mildred Symons House nursing home at Jannali while responding to questions from the Leader.

The Leader learned about the outbreak from a social media post, which also said ill residents were being denied hospital treatment, purportedly due to high case numbers.

The centre, which is home to 122 residents, is in lockdown.

A SESLHD spokeswoman said that on September 6, NSW Health was alerted that a staff member at Mildred Symons House, Jannali had tested positive to COVID-19.

"It is believed the worker was potentially infectious while working five shifts between August 30 and September 4," the spokeswoman said.

"The worker had received one vaccine dose and was awaiting their second."

She said that since that time, SESLHD had worked with the facility to identify residents and staff who were at risk of exposure.

"Regular testing has revealed COVID-19 infection in seven residents so far, all from the one ward area," she said.

"In order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, NSW Health has recommended that no visitors or non-essential staff are permitted to enter Mildred Symons House until further notice.

"Staff are carefully monitoring residents for any symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath.

"South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) is working closely with the facility to ensure the health and safety of all residents and staff is maintained."

The spokeswoman said the vaccination roll-out to aged care facilities was the responsibility of the federal government, however NSW Health assisted with the management of COVID-19 cases in the facilities.

"Residents with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 who are fully vaccinated are transferred to hospital only if their condition warrants admission," she said.

"A decision is made on a case-by-case basis.

"Decisions on the most appropriate clinical care, including the location of that care, are made in consultation with clinical staff and residents and their families.

"All positive and close contact residents are monitored closely by the care team at the facility, general practitioners and the SESLHD clinical response team, which includes infectious diseases specialists, infection control experts, public health clinicians, geriatricians and nurses.

"There are clear protocols in place for any resident who deteriorates or develops COVID-19 symptoms to be assessed by SESLHD's specialist clinical team and aged care facility.

"Staff can also call the clinical team 24 hours a day for immediate advice or to check on a resident if their condition changes unexpectedly.

"Transport to hospital continues to be available for residents who need further treatment for COVID-19 or any other medical condition, which has already been the case for many residents in residential aged care facilities since this latest outbreak commenced."

It is the second time in as many months the aged care centre has been the subject of a COVID scare.

South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) confirmed last month it was one of two Anglicare aged care centres in St George and Sutherland Shire that were in lockdown after staff members tested positive to COVID-19.

The other was Mary Andrews Village at South Hurstville.