A resident who died in Sydney’s Newmarch House had recovered from coronavirus and died of an unrelated illness, NSW Health says.
NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty said the infectious disease doctor looking after the Newmarch residents does not believe the death was related to COVID-19.
“The doctor is in the best place to understand what the illness was and the cause of death,” he told reporters on Saturday.
“Without going into personal details, we understand that the person had COVID, had recovered, had other illnesses, and was elderly and died.
He acknowledged COVID-19, like any other illness, could influence the person’s stamina and ability to recover.
The woman, aged in her 90s, was among 37 residents and 32 staff to have contracted the virus to date.
Sixteen residents have died.
As he reported five new cases and a record number of testing, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard resisted calls to say when the state will join other jurisdictions in lifting restrictions.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison – with the backing of the national cabinet – announced on Friday a three-stage plan to lift restrictions across Australia.
But it’s up to individual states and territories when they are implemented.
Mr Hazzard stressed NSW, as the state with the largest population and number of cases, would do what was best for the safety of its citizens.
“I understand the energy and exuberance in wanting us to lay out a timetable,” the health minister told reporters on Saturday.
“Each time we make a change, we have to be able to have good information and good insight as to the likely consequences.”
He said zero cases in a day wasn’t a prerequisite for the move to the first stage of restrictions lifting.
But he said discussions with Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant were ongoing.
“We will come back to you as soon as we can with a reasonable way forward,” he said.
Saturday marked the return of on-site property auctions and inspections while schools will resume some face-to-face learning from Monday.
Two adults and their dependent children can also visit another household anywhere across the state – including visits for Mother’s Day.
Mr Hazzard urged people to “keep your mum safe” by maintaining social distancing.
“I know it’s tough – it’s really tough – to not be able to hug your mum or kiss your mum but it would be the wisest course not to do that,” he said.
“No vaccine means we are still vulnerable and we need vigilance.”
With the removal of one previously reported coronavirus infection, NSW’s total stands at 3051.
Some 300 people still have COVID-19 while another 201 are less than three weeks from symptom onset or recovery data is not available.
NSW Health is treating 110 active cases. Seven of the eight people in intensive care require ventilators.
The death toll remains at 46.
Originally published as Latest Newmarch resident death not virus