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Queensland students return to school; Australia’s border re-opening looms; Cleo Smith’s parents recount ordeal

Dr Coatsworth has called for urgent changes to be made to combat Australia’s aged care crisis, including ensuring every resident has received a booster shot.

“The tragedy in aged care is not a tragedy of death, it’s a tragedy of isolation. It’s a tragedy of lack of human dignity,” he said on Today.

“Until we sort of understand that, then we’re not going to be able to move forward with a solution.”

He said infection control policy-makers needed to come up with “a new paradigm” that would allow people to see their relatives even in centres dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks – as long as the resident in question did not have the virus.

“If they are just a COVID contact, they should be allowed to be seen,” Dr Coatsworth said.

“Because that’s the most important thing if you’re in a nursing home. To have contact from your family. Not to be protected from COVID-19.

“Because ultimately we are going to have to live with that. One thing you can’t live with is not holding the hand of your relative in their last weeks or months.”

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