NSW coroner to probe Newmarch virus deaths

The NSW coroner will investigate a cluster of 17 coronavirus-related deaths at Anglicare's Newmarch House aged care home as the state recorded no new cases.

Heather McNab
Australian Associated PressJune 3, 202010:02pm

The NSW coroner will investigate a spate of coronavirus-related deaths at a western Sydney aged care home.

Newmarch House became the centre of a virus cluster in western Sydney when about 70 people became infected and 17 residents died after an employee worked six shifts despite having mild coronavirus symptoms.

As of Sunday, all residents and staff who tested positive for COVID-19 at the Anglicare-run facility had been cleared.

"The state coroner has accepted jurisdiction for COVID-19 related deaths of residents from Newmarch House," a statement from the Department of Justice said on Wednesday.

"Police will prepare a brief of evidence for the coroner."

Meanwhile, no new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in NSW for the first time in almost a week and the third time since the start of the pandemic in late February.

Zero cases were recorded from 7000 tests in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, NSW Health said in a statement, with two people currently in intensive care.

There have been no local transmission cases in NSW for one week.

"Although no new cases were recorded in the past 24 hours, the virus is still likely to be circulating in people in the community," NSW Health's Dr Jeremy McAnulty said on Wednesday.

"The risks of outbreaks or a resurgence of cases remains."

With the number of new daily cases remaining low, the NSW government on Tuesday announced gyms, dance studios and fitness centres could reopen within a fortnight while children's community sport would return next month.

Up to 10 people would be allowed to partake in classes of dance, yoga or pilates from June 13 while up to 100 people will be permitted inside an indoor venue such as a gym.

Indoor pools and saunas can also reopen with restricted numbers as well as tattoo and massage parlours.

Children's community sport can resume from July 1.

"It won't be exactly like it was, but it sure as heck is going to be as close as possible in a COVID-19 environment," NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said on Tuesday.

Mr Hazzard also noted the Berejiklian government was "very keen" to catch up on the backlog of elective surgeries, suspended in March amid the crisis, and hoped the NSW health system could restore 75 per cent of elective surgical capacity by the month's end.

NSW Police, meanwhile, have resumed stationary random alcohol breath testing after halting the roadside practice in March over COVID-19 safety concerns.

RBT sites will be reestablished from Wednesday morning and an enhanced police presence on NSW roads has been promised for the June long weekend.

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