Authorities say the coronavirus outbreak in Victoria has reached a tipping point now it has spread to 63 aged care facilities across the state.
More than 54 residential homes have been impacted, with 170 residents and 146 staff confirmed to have the virus.
Another nine in-home care services have also been impacted, with four elderly and six staff also testing positive to the deadly disease.
Authorities said the growing infection rate was particularly worrying given the elderly were most vulnerable to the virus.
Aged care providers are pushing for any resident who tests positive to COVID-19 to be transferred to hospital rather than receive treatment at their residential facility, arguing they are not set up for proper isolation or for the acute care needed to manage the illness.
Minister for Aged Care Richard Colbeck told Sky News those who genuinely needed hospital treatment would receive it.
“Some of them won’t want to go to hospital and some of them clinically won’t need to go to hospital,” he said.
“We need to make sure that the capacity in the hospital system remains there to take care of those that genuinely need it.
“And those that genuinely need it should and will go to hospital.”
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