HomeNewsAustraliaSt Basil's Fawkner charged with workplace safety breaches over 2020 COVID outbreak

St Basil’s Fawkner charged with workplace safety breaches over 2020 COVID outbreak

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St Basil’s Fawkner in Melbourne’s north has been charged today with failing to provide a safe working environment during the COVID-19 pandemic, ABC News has reported.

Victoria’s workplace regulator, WorkSafe, has charged the aged care home with nine breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act following its investigation into the Fawkner facility.

The charges relate to the facility’s alleged failure to implement the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) after one staff member tested positive for COVID-19 in July 2020.

A subsequent outbreak at the aged care facility, which remains the subject of a coronial inquest, resulted in 94 staff members testing positive for the virus and 45 residents dying of COVID-related complications.

The facility could face fines of up to $1.49 million for each of the offences WorkSafe has alleged occurred under the Act.

Victoria’s workplace regulator, WorkSafe, has charged St Basil’s Fawkner.

The case is due to appear in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on August 1.

This comes as leading Australian geriatrician, Associate Professor Michael Murray, pointed out on Sunday the ‘depressingly low’ vaccination rates against COVID-19 within the Greek community in Australia.

Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, the Assoc. Prof. said COVID-related deaths in aged care homes had now overtaken those in hospital intensive care units.

“We’re seeing more COVID-related deaths than the ICUs and disproportionately in culturally and linguistically diverse groups, particularly the Greek community, where the vaccination rate remains depressingly low,” Murray said.

The Assoc. Prof. added that some of those who have died were partially unvaccinated due to their personal beliefs about COVID immunisation, but others had been advised by their adult children not to get vaccinated.

Source: Victorian Health Department.

This new Victorian government data comes as Australia recorded its 10,000th COVID-19 death on Sunday.

Nationally, there were 1906 deaths from COVID-19 in aged care between January 1 and June 24, compared to 686 during 2020 and 231 in 2021.

Interim chief executive of the Aged and Community Care Providers Association, Paul Sadler, said it was vital the federal government urgently addressed aged care workforce shortfalls, to avoid staff shortages and interruptions during COVID or flu outbreaks.

READ MORE: Greek Australian youth set the example in NSW by getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald.

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