Bupa outbreak: COVID-19 case numbers surge at Traralgon facility

Tessa Randello

Bupa Traralgon is now home to the largest cluster of coronavirus cases in an aged care facility outside of Melbourne and the Geelong corridor, the Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed.

There are now 12 cases of COVID-19 at the Park Lane facility, with four new infections recorded over the weekend – three employees and one resident.

The first cases – a staff member and resident – were confirmed on July 27 after a visiting health professional, who later returned a positive test result, visited the care home on July 16.

Another resident tested positive on August 3, two residents on August 4 and three staff members on August 6 – one of which had been isolating for a fortnight.

In light of the surge in case numbers, Bupa Traralgon also yesterday advised residents could be cared for in the family home and return to the facility at a later date.

“While some families may choose this option, for those who remain in our care, we continue to do everything possible to eliminate this virus and minimise its impact as best we can. We will not stop working to protect our residents and employees,” a spokesperson said.

The 3844 postcode is also home to the largest number of coronavirus infections in Gippsland, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, with 19 of Latrobe City’s 22 active COVID-19 cases based in 3844.

On Friday, two members of Fitness 4U in Traralgon tested positive for coronavirus.

Other cases in the Latrobe Valley have been traced back to the Moe Early Learning Centre (2), TAFE Gippsland’s Yallourn campus (1), AGL Loy Yang A power station (1) and Australian Paper’s Maryvale mill (1).

Residents and staff at Bupa Traralgon underwent another round of testing yesterday.

A spokesperson said Bupa Traralgon had made a concentrated effort to keep families informed about their loved ones and operations within the home.

“We know it’s a difficult and worrying time for everyone,” they said.

“Our amazing care home staff are working with great dedication under incredibly challenging circumstances to make sure our residents continue to be safe, comfortable and properly cared for, like always. We realise communication is crucial.

“In return, we’ve received many touching messages of support from our residents’ families, and these have really buoyed the spirits of our people.”

The 3844 postcode includes: Blackwarry, Callignee, Callignee North, Callignee South, Carrajung, Carrajung Lower, Carrajung South, Flynn, Flynns Creek, Koornalla, Loy Yang, Mount Tassie, Traralgon, Traralgon East, Traralgon South, Tyers).