04 March 2020

An 82 year old aged care resident has been confirmed as the latest person to be diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in NSW to 16.

The male resident is currently being cared for in hospital, while the aged-care nurse, a woman in her 50s, who had been caring for him also remains in hospital after testing positive yesterday.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said, “sadly, a 95 year old female resident died late Tuesday night in hospital after developing a respiratory illness”.

“We express our deepest sympathies to her family and are expecting tests results later tonight to confirm whether this lady’s death is linked to COVID-19. The public will be updated as soon as we have test results and her next of kin are informed,” Dr Chant said.

Dr Chant said the aged care nurse, who is being cared for at Royal North Shore Hospital, is much-loved and has worked at Dorothy Henderson Lodge at Macquarie Park for more than two decades.

Dr Chant paid thanks to BaptistCare, who operate the facility, for its quick response in supporting the public health response.

“As soon as this information was discovered, NSW Health personnel attended the facility where the woman worked, and assessed residents for respiratory illnesses including COVID-19,” Dr Chant said.

Dr Chant also clarified that a Macquarie University lecturer identified by the tertiary institution as a confirmed case, is a man who has previously been diagnosed having returned from Iran. He is not an additional case in NSW. We also can confirm he did not attend the university following his return from overseas travel.

NSW has planned for a situation where there is community spread of COVID-19 in Australia through the development and deployment of whole-of-government and NSW Health Influenza Pandemic Plans which are available on the NSW Health website.

Please consider calling your GP or healthdirect for advice on 1800 022 222. GPs can arrange for COVID-19 testing, or if you are very unwell, you can also call ahead before attending your local emergency department for assessment.​