The worker at the centre of an aged-care COVID-19 outbreak thought she was fatigued from working two jobs to make ends meet.
The worker at the centre of an aged-care COVID-19 outbreak thought she was fatigued from working two jobs to make ends meet.

Worker at centre of aged care cluster ‘inconsolable’

The distraught carer linked to a coronavirus outbreak in a Western Sydney old people's home thought she was just fatigued when she went to work while infectious, a source close to the matter said.
The number of COVID-19 cases inside Anglicare's Newmarch House at Caddens jumped to 15 on Thursday, up from two on Monday.
The carer believed to have gone to work there while infectious with the virus told others she thought she was just tired.

Newmarch House has gone into complete lockdown as the number of confirmed cases rises. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Newmarch House has gone into complete lockdown as the number of confirmed cases rises. Picture: Jonathan Ng

"She is inconsolable, she has been given counselling to try to come to terms with what's happened - she had absolutely no idea she had the virus, she came to work fatigued but thought it was the result of juggling two jobs and her responsibilities at home," said a source

close to the case told The Daily Telegraph.

"She's a low paid worker from Western Sydney who was struggling to make ends meet.

The woman was criticised by Health Minister Brad Hazzard on Monday but Premier Gladys Berejiklian leapt to her defence on Thursday after police cleared her of any wrongdoing.

"I think everybody feels for her because I know how I'd feel if unintentionally passed the disease onto anybody," Ms Berejiklian said.

Lionel Fowler, 87, thinks there were up to six cases in his ward alone.
Lionel Fowler, 87, thinks there were up to six cases in his ward alone.

"I feel for her and want to tell her directly that she has done nothing wrong … she did the right thing."

Opposition Health spokesman Ryan Park called for Mr Hazzard to apologise.

"Instead of treating this poor worker like a scapegoat, Brad Hazzard should be making sure we're preventing future crises," Mr Park said.

The woman is believed to have attended five shifts at Newmarch House and also went to work at a disability services home in nearby Jamisontown.

There have been calls from the opposition for Brad Hazzard to apologise to the worker. Picture: Jonathan Ng
There have been calls from the opposition for Brad Hazzard to apologise to the worker. Picture: Jonathan Ng

She was only tested after it became known she was a confirmed contact of another positive person not connected to the care home.
An 87-year-old resident confined to his room inside Newmark House, Lionel Fowler, told The Daily Telegraph he did not know if he had been in contact with the infected worker.

"I have no idea but I'm not sick so maybe I wasn't," Mr Fowler said.

"I've been tested and I think they're going to do another one because I think it was five or six people in my ward that were effected.
" (Newmarch House) have handled the whole thing very well as far as I'm concerned.

"The place is in lockdown and all the staff are wearing gowns and gloves."

Originally published as Worker at centre of aged care cluster 'inconsolable'

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has defended the woman at the centre of the outbreak.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has defended the woman at the centre of the outbreak.

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