3 NSW Aged Care Residents Are Asymptomatic After Catching Virus

July 3, 2021 Updated: July 3, 2021

Three aged care residents at a northwest Sydney facility have caught COVID-19 from an infected staff member but are asymptomatic and in good spirits, operators say.

SummitCare Baulkham Hills said in a statement on Sunday the residents were transferred to Westmead Hospital as a precautionary measure but are doing well.

A SummitCare spokesman has attributed the lack of symptoms to the effectiveness of the vaccines. “The fact that the affected residents are showing no symptoms at this stage shows their early vaccinations have worked,” he said.

Two of the three residents were fully vaccinated against the virus.

Almost all of SummitCare Baulkham Hills’ 149 residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

All other tests on workers and staff at the Baulkham Hills facility have returned negative so far and the site is in full lockdown. Deep cleaning is taking place.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian, meanwhile, says it is “too soon” to tell whether the lockdown of Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, and Wollongong will be extended beyond July 9.

NSW is in a critical phase of its two-week lockdown, with cases uncovered in the coming days to help determine if stay-at-home orders have to be extended.

The state recorded 35 local virus cases in the 24 hours to 8 p.m. Friday, bringing the current outbreak to 261 cases.

While it’s the highest daily case number since the state’s first wave in early 2020, the majority of cases are of the Delta strain—which is more infectious but could potentially be less deadly, pending further study—and have been in isolation for their entire infectious period.

“If all of us continue to do the right thing, we’re able to leave the lockdown in a timely way. The next few days will be telling,” Berejiklian told reporters.

She said authorities wanted to see a rise in the proportion of new cases that were already in isolation, with the next several days critical to the lockdown effort.

Authorities listed a string of new exposure sites across Sydney on Friday and Saturday.

The latest cases show the epicentre of the outbreak has shifted from the city’s east, to the western and southwestern suburbs.

Anyone who has been in the centre of Auburn in Sydney’s west since June 27 is being told to get tested, even if they don’t have symptoms.

New close-contact exposure sites were late on Saturday announced at Hop Hung Asian Grocery in Lakemba on June 30 and Strathfield Plaza Medical Practice on July 1.

Meanwhile NSW has lifted stay-at-home orders for travellers from Western Australia, the Northern Territory and parts of Queensland as restrictions in those states and territories have eased.

NSW Labor health spokesman Ryan Park on Sunday said in a statement the government should incentivise COVID-19 vaccination by offering additional “Dine and Discover” hospitality vouchers to those who get the jab.

Park said this would help boost vaccination rates while injecting money into local business.

The government has previously said supply issues, rather than a lack of demand, are to blame for low vaccination coverage.

The Epoch Times contributed to this report.