Health Minister's warning of 'disastrous consequences' from one behaviour

The NSW Health Minister is warning people not to go to work sick adding there are potentially “disastrous consequences”.

Brad Hazzard told reporters on Monday an aged care worker at the Anglicare Newmarch House aged care facility at Caddens, in Sydney’s west, who was unwell went to work for six straight days.

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He wouldn’t go into details other than “she had symptoms of illness”.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard speaks at a press conference.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said people can't go into work if they feel sick. Source: AAP (file pic)

“No doubt she thought she was doing the right thing,” he said.

“She was unfortunately not doing the right thing and the message for all of us is don't go to work.

“If you're feeling sick and you're working in an aged care facility, you are working with some of the most vulnerable people in our state, please don't go to work.

“The potential is disastrous consequences if you're working with some of our most vulnerable people.”

Twenty-one of NSW’s cases came from Dorothy Henderson Lodge aged care facility and four came from Opal Aged Care Bankstown, according to NSW Health.

When asked if he blamed the worker’s actions on “pure ignorance”, the minister replied “it is difficult to blame in that sense”.

A medic performs COVID-19 tests on a member of the public at a drive-through COVID-19 testing center on Bondi Beach in Sydney.
A medic performs coronavirus testing at a drive-through facility in Bondi, Sydney. Source: Getty Images

Instead, he reiterated his message.

“I don't have mum and dad any more but if they were in an aged care facility and it was in lock down, I would want to know that the aged care facility was taking every possible step to keep them safe,” Mr Hazzard said.

“The message here is to aged care facilities, you need to step up and make sure your staff understand the message but also the staff need to understand you have chosen this very honourable profession to work with our older citizens who are vulnerable, please listen to the health message - don't go to work if you're feeling sick.

“It is pretty simple.”

As of Monday, 26 NSW residents have lost their lives to COVID-19.

The states also has nine news cases of the virus taking the state’s total to 2,863.

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