The number of Australians who have died from COVID-19 has passed 11,000

Australia reached a grim Covid mark as the death toll passed 11,000.

As the country sweeps through a deadly winter wave of the virus, aged care facilities are calling for urgent action to protect residents and staff.

A third of the country’s elderly care facilities have contracted the virus as of Thursday, with 1,013 facilities reporting cases of 6,000 residents and 3,400 employees.

Of those infected across the country this week, 114 have died, and the death toll rose by more than 100 on Saturday.

Victoria recorded the largest number of deaths this week at 44, while New South Wales followed closely with 41 deaths.

Queensland has eight deaths, South Australia and the ACT have recorded three, Western Australia has two, and Tasmania has recorded one.

The Northern Territory was the only state or territory to pass the week without a virus death.

Saturday’s alarming toll ended the grim statistic, with deaths since the start of the pandemic reaching 11,134.

The alarming reminder that the pandemic is far from over has prompted the Association of Seniors and Community Care Providers to demand better protection for residents and staff.

The association’s interim chief executive Paul Sadler said the pressure is mounting on aged care workers, with 10 to 15 percent of employees already self-isolating or quarantining at home.

“The ACCPA is concerned that up to two-thirds of nursing homes could be actively affected by the outbreak over the coming weeks,” Sadler said in a statement on Sunday.

“The increased availability of a growing workforce including the Australian Defense Force over the past week has been welcome, but shortages remain.”

Mr Sadler is urging the federal government to fix chronic workforce shortages and implement reforms recommended by the recent Royal Commission on Aged Care.

“The coming weeks are critical for elderly care,” he said.

“We must do everything we can to put the protection of the elderly first and support our aged care workers.”

The chief executive said 2,301 residents have died from the virus so far this year.

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