Aged care doctor who visited Carlton facility diagnosed with COVID-19

A doctor who visited a Carlton aged care facility has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The Victorian Public Health Unit confirmed the GP was considered infectious during one visit to Rathdowne Place aged care facility on March 25, where he saw two residents for a very short period of time.

One employee is considered to have been in close contact with the GP and is now self-isolating at home as a precautionary measure.

The granddaughter of a woman who lives in the home, and wants to remain anonymous, received an email notifying her of the doctor's positive diagnosis on March 29 and is worried about her grandmother, who she fears she may never be able to see in person again.

"It’s just that awful feeling that if she’s locked in and safe is one thing, but locked in with COVID-19, even without COVID and locked in for six months, will I ever get to see her again at 98?" she said.

"Everyone is struggling with something and we are otherwise all very comfortable in life really."

In an email to residents' families, Krishan Sivagnanam, the general manager of Australian Unity, the company that runs the facility, said based on advice they had received, the residents and employees didn't require testing due to the lack of close contact and because no one was showing symptoms.

As a precaution, the nursing home will monitor the temperatures of all residents and of employees before they begin their shifts, and there will be extra cleaning done for the next five days.

"This situation understandably makes many of us anxious about how the virus may impact us, our families and friends. The safety and wellbeing of our residents and employees remains our top priority during this time. Australian Unity is well prepared for this situation and we ask for your continued understanding and cooperation," Mr Sivagnanam said in the email.

"We are continuing to manage the situation in accordance with the current public health advice and are following appropriate infectious disease management protocols."

Rathdowne Place Aged Care has been contacted for comment.

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