Speaking at the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 yesterday, Federal Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck defended the performance of the aged care system against COVID.
“I don’t accept that the system is in complete crisis,” Colbeck said. “My view, and the data supports that, is that the sector is performing and has performed exceptionally well in the work that it’s doing.”
Here are some key numbers.
The number of aged care residents who have died because of COVID-19 since the first Omicron case was recorded in Australia in November 2021. More than 30,000 staff and residents have been infected.
The number of residential aged care facilities with active COVID outbreaks as at 28 January: 555 in NSW, 296 in Victoria, 220 in Queensland, 149 in SA, 20 in the ACT, 17 in Tasmania and four in the NT.
The number of shifts going unfilled each week in the sector according to Aged & Community Services Australia. The figure represents about a quarter of all shifts.
The percentage of aged care residents who have received a COVID booster. 89% of residents have received two doses.
How much more likely someone over 70 is to die from COVID if they are unvaccinated compared to fully boosted, according to the University of Queensland (updated for Omicron). Those over 70 with boosters are also 2-8x less likely to die than those over 70 with two doses.