Elderly COVID patients at an Illawarra aged care facility have been confined to their rooms or transferred to hospital as IRT works to contain an outbreak that has grown to 15.
The 14 residents and one staff member at Tarrawanna Aged Care Centre were experiencing mild symptoms or none at all, IRT boss Patrick Reid said on Monday.
All are fully vaccinated, except for one resident who has had one dose.
Mr Reid said six of the residents had to be transferred to hospital on Friday - three with mild symptoms were taken to Wollongong Hospital due to underlying health conditions, while the other three, who were either asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms, were taken to Lawrence Hargrave Hospital as a precaution.
The wife of one of the patients also chose to transfer to Lawrence Hargrave Hospital and had since tested positive for COVID-19.
The other COVID patients remain at the centre, with regular monitoring and support, and strict infection control protocols in place, including confinement to their rooms, regular deep cleaning, and rapid antigen testing of all staff before they start each shift.
"We understand it is a challenge for residents to be confined to their rooms but we are doing all we can to keep them entertained with activities, exercises and special treats for their enjoyment provided by our catering team," Mr Reid said.
A team was making regular phone contact with the nominated representatives of all residents in the centre, to provide them with daily updates.
Staff members were also assisting residents when needed to connect with family and friends via video and phone calls, IRT said.
Further testing of residents and employees will be conducted on Tuesday as the centre consults with Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and other relevant health authorities.
IRT confirmed last Thursday that an initial two residents had tested positive for the virus, and at that time one was asymptomatic while the other had mild symptoms.
By Friday, that number had increased to six residents.