An aged care facility in Dubbo, where all staff and residents have been fully vaccinated, has been hit with a COVID outbreak when a staff member tested positive this week, after last working on Wednesday.
St Mary's Villa in Darling Street underwent a deep clean and all staff and residents were tested, resulting in three residents and an additional staff member returning positive results.
How the original staff member contracted the virus is still under investigation.
A Catholic Healthcare spokesperson said "comprehensive COVID-19 infection control protocols are in place and we are working closely with the NSW Public Health Unit."
"The home has been deep cleaned and testing will be repeated over the coming days for residents and staff and we are providing residents and families with regular updates."
At the time of print, no one required transfer to hospital.
"The three residents are well and being cared for in the aged care facility and the amazing team that's able to provide a safe environment in that facility," Western NSW LHD Chief Executive Scott McLachlan said. "It's a timely reminder of the critical point that when we know COVID is in our community, the protection and support around our elderly, frail people can never be more important."
The revelation came on a worrisome day for local health authorities, with an additional 31 new cases in Dubbo to 8pm Thursday, bringing the city's total to 537, and the total for the Western LHD to 719.
Among those 537 are a number residing in a unit block in Church Street.
"For all the residents of those units, we've put in place a lot of things to help both protect them, and anyone who comes in and out of the facility," Mr McLachlan said. "There's been a lot of work with police...with the Department of Community and Justice in trying to find suitable housing for people
"We've had a team come in to help understand the circumstances of everyone living in every unit, the situation that they're living in, the support they might need, the food and other supplements to stay in their flats, and any of the clinical care that's needed for all of those people."
Of the additional 53 cases in the region, at least nine were infectious while in the community in Dubbo.
There are currently 12 people in Dubbo Hospital, six in the Intensive Care Unit and three of those who are ventilated.
There are more than 440 people with COVID being cared for in their homes or one of the NSW Health-run accommodation sites.
More than 200 people across the Western Local Health District have recovered from COVID-19.
Bourke saw 11 additional cases up to 8pm Thursday, six in Bathurst, two in Walgett, and one each in Narromine, Gilgandra and Forbes.
A large number of venues of concern were added across the region.
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