The Commonwealth and Victorian governments have established an aged care response centre to assist with the growing crisis in the sector, which has been severely hit by the second wave of coronavirus.
Victoria recorded a further five deaths on Saturday, bringing the national total to 145.
The latest deaths involved four women in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, and a man in his 80s.
There are now over 500 infections in aged care facilities across the state, evenly split between health workers and residents.
The new Victorian aged care response centre will assist with workforce provisions, the prevention of outbreaks and support for providers.
"That is a very important step forward in helping to coordinate, helping to ensure rapid response where these cases are occurring," federal Health Minister Greg Hunt told reporters on Saturday.
Staff shortages are a problem in Victoria as workers are required to self-isolate while awaiting test results, and only allowed to work at one site.
Senior federal Labor frontbencher Katy Gallagher said the impact of the COVID-19 on aged care homes has highlighted the fragility of insecure work in the sector.
"Working week-to-week, that's presented some real challenges in keeping workers safe, and the people they care for," said Senator Gallagher, who chairs parliament's COVID committee that scrutinises the response to the pandemic.
"The situation is unfolding fast in Victoria," she told ABC television.
Victoria recorded a further 375 virus cases on Saturday, which Mr Hunt described as "stable but significant numbers".
He said there are now 1470 members of the ADF assisting in the state, and help from 28 ADF teams door knocking for contact tracing where people have not responded to a phone call from health authorities.
"That's an immensely important step. It's about making sure that the spread doesn't continue. It's about saving lives and protecting lives," Mr Hunt said.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews again thanked people for wearing a mask, which became compulsory in lockdown areas this week, describing them as essentially the stage four in tackling the "stubborn" second wave of the virus.
"If they are worn by everybody then we may not need to go further (with restrictions)," he told reporters in Melbourne.
NSW recorded 15 new cases on Saturday. Eight were associated with the Thai Rock restaurant cluster in Sydney and six were returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
NSW Health said four cases were associated with a series of funeral gatherings and a church service attended by a woman in her 40s from the Fairfield area.
Queensland recorded no new cases of coronavirus overnight, but Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles said his team remain on high alert as COVID-19 continues to spread among the community in southern states.
The state has re-imposed a ban on pub-goers standing at bars or high tables.
"For as long as there are this level of new active cases and particularly unsourced community transmission in Victoria we will keep those restrictions in place," he told reporters in Brisbane.
He reminded Queenslanders in the hotspot of Fairfield in NSW they have until 1am on Monday to return home or face mandatory two-week hotel quarantine at their own expense.