Major outbreak at Newcastle nursing home

Eleven residents and three staff at an aged care facility in Newcastle, in the NSW Hunter region, have tested positive to coronavirus.

A staff member who worked at RFBI Hawkins Masonic Village last Wednesday is thought to have unknowingly brought the virus into the facility while infectious.

The employee started showing symptoms on Friday and was tested on Sunday.

Eleven residents and three staff members at the RFBI Hawkins Masonic Village in Newcastle have tested positive for COVID-19.

By Monday morning, four residents had cold-like symptoms and had already been tested before the staff member notified the aged care home they had the virus.

"This morning RFBI was informed that all four of these residents have tested positive to COVID-19," a statement from the nursing home said.

"All are fully vaccinated and are doing well."

Today seven more residents and two more staff members tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of cases at the home to 14.

"All residents who have tested positive reside in Acacia House and all bar one of the residents are fully vaccinated," the spokesperson said.

"I am pleased to confirm that all residents are doing well, however as a precaution all residents who have tested positive are being transferred to John Hunter Hospital.

"Our staff who have tested positive are also doing well and self-isolation. We are checking in with them daily.

"These staff members have been working regularly in the Village until 9 August when they entered self-isolation and, sadly, we are expecting to see further staff and residents infected."

Separately – one of the facility's "Care at Home" workers and two residents at the RFBI Hawkins Masonic Retirement Village – a separate home – have been identified as close contacts of other community cases and are self-isolating.

Newcastle and the Hunter region went into a week-long lockdown last week under the same stay-at-home orders as Greater Sydney.

However, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned today that it was likely the lockdown would be extended beyond the initial seven days.

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