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Almost 600 COVID-19 cases at Victoria aged care homes

COVID-19 cases at Vic aged care homes
Photo: Victoria virus death toll expected to rise
More than 550 Victorian aged care residents and staff have been infected with coronavirus, as the state marked its deadliest day.

Hundreds of Victorian aged care residents and staff are battling COVID-19, with the death toll expected to rise in the nation's hardest-hit state.

Victoria recorded Australia's highest single daily death toll of the pandemic on Sunday with 10 deaths and 459 new cases.

The state now has 71 of the country's 155 deaths - 22 more than NSW - while 228 Victorians remain in hospital, including 42 in intensive care.

Seven of the deaths are linked to outbreaks at aged care facilities, while the youngest was a man aged in his 40s.
It is the second virus fatality of a person younger than 50 in Australia, after a 42-year-old crew member of the Artania cruise ship died in a Perth hospital in April.

There are currently 560 active cases linked to residents and staff of at least 40 aged care facilities across the state, including 82 cases at Estia Health in Ardeer and 78 at St Basil's Homes for the Aged in Fawkner.

The federal government held an online information session with families of residents at St Basil's on Sunday night, after they gathered at the facility earlier in the day.

The families said they did not know if their relatives had been transferred to hospital with COVID-19 or what their condition was.

"We understand the emotional impact the situation is having on residents, staff and families," Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said in a statement.

"Our priority remains the health and wellbeing of those residents who remain on-site while also ensuring families have the information they need."

Premier Daniel Andrews said outbreaks in aged care, healthcare, abattoirs and warehouses were largely behind Victoria's second surge.

He said the health crisis has "very graphically exposed" insecure work as a structural weakness in the state's economy.

"There is a $300 payment available if are you in insecure work in between getting the test and getting the results," Mr Andrews said, urging those with even the mildest symptoms to get tested then immediately self-isolate.

Earlier in the week, Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton predicted that with hundreds of new cases daily, authorities expect a number of people to die in the next two weeks.

He said many would likely be aged care residents.

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