COVID-19 tests Southern Cross Care staff

Southern Cross Care staff have been run off their feet testing and retesting residents and staff for COVID since the recent positive cases were reported amongst the staff.

On December 30, two staff initially reported positive; one at work with no contact with residents and the other tested positive before returning to work.

Zoe Tonkin, the Southern Cross Manager said “As soon as we received the positive results we immediately enacted the COVID plan, closed the facilities and tested everyone. “

Everyone meant 500 tests across all sites including the Mildura site.

One resident later tested positive and is in isolation.


Ms Tonkin said they have been doing around 100 RAT tests at Aruma lodge every 5 days to keep on top of the virus.

She explained the residents at Aruma are able to walk around within the homes but cannot have visitors or leave the home.

“In extenuating circumstances people can talk to loved ones through a window but it only takes one mistake for COVID to enter so this is a very exceptional event and at this point it’s better for people to wait and visit when we reopen,”she said.

After the resident was found to be positive they did PCR tests on 100 staff and residents at Aruma Lodge, “ We are waiting for some good news today as we did PCR tests this week and are waiting for their results.”

She said half of the results have already arrived and they have been clear of COVID.

If all goes well she expects Aruma Lodge to welcome visitors on January 17.

Zoe Tonkin had nothing but praise for her staff.

“Staff have been amazing,” she said.

She said everyone, including herself, are feeling tired but they are still doing a great job.

The updates for visiting will appear on the Southern Cross Facebook page and relatives will be contacted by phone individually.

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