Surge in aged care deaths
By the first week of July, nursing homes had reported 2055 deaths related to COVID during 2022, Department of Health and Aged Care data shows.
The number dwarfs the death tolls of 231 in 2021 and 686 in 2020.
The 2972 COVID-related aged care deaths since the start of the pandemic accounted for 29 per cent of the COVID death toll among the total population, which was 10,190.
Departmental statistics also show a sharp upturn in aged care COVID fatalities, with almost 100 residents dying from COVID each week by early July.
This was well above the weekly average of 69 since the beginning of March, when the previous Omicron wave ended.
The surge in the weekly number of deaths was accompanied by a steep rise in the number of active nursing home outbreaks.
Annie Butler, federal secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) called on the public to wear masks, stay home while sick and ensure their vaccinations are up to date, to help relieve pressure on aged care services.