Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orders".

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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:10 am

8 AUGUST QLD

Queensland records no new cases on 200th day since start of pandemic
Queensland COVID-19 snapshot:
Confirmed cases so far: 1,088
Deaths: 6
Tests conducted: 668,751

Queensland has recorded no new cases of COVID-19 on their 200th day since the state's first infection.

The number of active cases statewide is 11. The state has also near doubled their test rates, conducting 150,000 in the last fortnight.
https://twitter.com/qldhealthnews/statu ... 5135325184
The positive news comes as Queensland locks down its borders to NSW and the ACT today.

The state's Chief Health Officer, Jeannette Young, said the results were "excellent news", however it she was not certain the state had escaped a second wave.
"It is really, really important we don't relax," Dr Young said.
"I hope we've avoided the worst but we need to check to see what happens tomorrow and Monday before we can say for sure."
Coronavirus outbreak risk remains real, Queensland authorities warn, as border shuts to NSW and ACT
Key points:
Medical authorities agree this weekend is critical if Queensland is to prevent a fresh outbreak
The Queensland border is now closed to everyone from NSW and the ACT

With the Queensland border now closed to some 14 million Australians, authorities have warned this weekend is no time to ease off on social distancing and undo the hard work that has prevented another major COVID-19 outbreak.
There is a growing sense Queensland might have avoided a disaster after serious concerns about two women who acquired coronavirus in Melbourne and spread it to three others last week.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said there was still a risk of community transmission this weekend, even with the border shutting to Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT from 1:00am (AEST).

"We can start to think we might be able to relax at the start of next week if we have another two days of no new community acquired cases," she said.
"It's too soon to relax, it's far too soon — we've still got to be really, really careful and diligent as we continue to go forward.
"So please, we can't yet relax this weekend. It is really important if anyone is unwell, or develops any symptoms, to isolate and get tested.
"This weekend is critical, it will be a tough decision to make on Monday [easing restrictions] if we have seen large breaches of my directions — then I will have to take that into consideration about the advice I give the community."

University of Queensland virologist Ian Mackay said he was surprised the latest outbreak had sparked so few new cases.
"I do not think it is luck, I think it is the really hard work of our expert crack troops who work in public health in Queensland," Dr Mackay said.
"It shows that what it really takes is cutting down movements, isolating people from people — so infected people from non-infected people — and really just looking to test and find all those cases.
"When you do that you can see the virus doesn't just spread randomly, it does need prolonged contact and close contact, so it holds true today as it did back in January."

Dr Mackay agreed Queensland was at a critical containment juncture this weekend.
"It is a critical weekend because it is possible people may have been incubating illnesses during the week and thought, 'oh I will hold off to get tested until the weekend'," he said.
"We need to put as much time behind us as we can to be absolutely sure that there are not little clusters out there that have been percolating or incubating and about to flare up."

'Extremely busy night' for hotel quarantine
In the toughest border crackdown Queensland has seen since the pandemic began, nearly 14 million Australians from Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT have been banned from entry.

Queenslanders who missed the 1:00am deadline to get home now have to fly in and quarantine at their own expense.

Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler from Queensland Police said there were lengthy delays as people attempted to get into Queensland before the border closed.
"Between 1:00am and 6:00am this morning we had to turn around 142 people at the borders here," he said.
"Unfortunately that included 18 Queenslanders who had to be turned around and then will obviously have to make their way back into Queensland by air.

He said 64 people were put into hotel quarantine in the last hours before the border closed.
"Between 10:00pm and 1:00am we did see an influx of people requiring quarantining," he said.
"So these were people, Queenslanders, returning home before that 1:00am deadline.
"It was an extremely busy night for our hotel quarantine people."

He said there was also a very long line-up of cars with delays of more than 90 minutes.
"Having to work with some of those people on the side of the road, to explain what the situation was, of course created some of those delays," he said.
Tweed resident Anne Luder was stopped at the Coolangatta checkpoint this morning because the pass she printed yesterday was no longer valid.

SES volunteers were on hand to help her obtain a new Border X pass, allowing her to move freely between the border zone.
"I don't mind doing any of this," she said.
"I'd rather be doing this than being in lockdown."

'Happy to keep the southerners out'
Goondiwindi Regional Council Deputy Mayor Rob McKenzie said the council was not consulted on the 'border bubble' and local government areas would have been more appropriate than postcodes.
"You can drive 100 kilometres around this country and not blink an eye," he said.
"Just to go to town get essential needs, do business, see a doctor, kids to go to school even and you might go three postcodes.
"It's really causing a lot of headaches."
"Farming and agriculture not being able to access some of the essential workers they need such as agronomists to make sure their crops get sprayed at the right time … it's very very important," he said.

Farmhand Peter Paesler works on properties on both sides of the border but remained optimistic.
"It's just the waiting … printing off paper after paper," he said.
"Prevention is better than cure.
"We're happy to keep the southerners out."

Restrictions can trigger 'distress' and 'anxiety'
Counselling psychologist Christine Bagley-Jones said the ever-changing border rules and tough on and off again restrictions are causing high levels of anxiety in people.
"I feel like it is having a huge impact on people that are usually very calm by nature simply because of the continual flux," she said. "I think at the very mildest form it would definitely be a sense of being unsettled and unsure about what tomorrow might bring and in a more severe sense, distress presentation like severe anxiety. Especially for people who have a history of anxiety.
"They are scared and they are also not use to having to operate in his very compliant way so it is hard for the mind to suddenly feel comfortable with getting up each day and conducting yourself normally, because there is no normal anymore.
"That can lead to a sense of being overwhelmed.
"People who have concerns about their health can be really triggered by hearing about how close to the bone we are in terms of kicking off more cases in Queensland.
"And we have to remember we are all vulnerable to this pandemic and just because we are sitting sweet at the moment, it does not mean it is going to be like that in the future if we let our guard down.
She was not surprised about people falsifying border declarations or trying to
"sneak" over the border with such onerous restrictions now imposed.

She said because we live in a democratic society, we are not used to being told what to do, and being fined or facing jail time for doing the wrong thing.
"Unfortunately the rebel in a lot of us makes it hard for us to just feel happy and content for us to oblige by what the new rules are," she said.
"There seems to be some sort of innate element in a lot of us, that just wants to push back.
"We then have to have that override button in our mind that says no, this is for the greater good, this is for my benefit.
"There is logic in the restrictions."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-08/ ... d/12530256

She said the state had to keep a close eye on NSW.
Ms Young said the number of people attempting interstate travel needed to decrease to avoid the spread of the virus and relieve pressure on authorities attempting to deal with the new border restrictions.
"We need to reduce the number of people crossing the border. There are just so many people attempting to cross the border," she said.
Brisbane refugee protest on Story Bridge postponed as police voice coronavirus concerns
A refugee protest planned for Brisbane today has been postponed after Queensland police met with organisers.

Local authorities had voiced concerns that the planned sit-in on the Story Bridge in the city's CBD would seriously increase the risk of another coronavirus outbreak.

Organisers announced on social media overnight that the demonstration would be put on hold for a week.

About 3,000 people had expressed interest on social media in attending the protest.
"We're postponing our Mass Sit-in on the Story Bridge #FreeTheKP120 by one week," said a post on the Refugee Solidarity Brisbane/Meanjin Facebook page.
"We're going to use that week to better prepare ourselves to resist police threats of violence and repression, and ensure the safety of the people coming to our action."

Yesterday afternoon, Queensland Police Service (QPS) reached an agreement with protest organisers to meet next week to listen to their demands.

Today, the state's Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath won a Supreme Court action to "cancel" the protest.
"The Supreme Court has banned organisers from attending the planned protest and prohibited them from encouraging others to attend," she said.
"The organisers have also been ordered to publish a notice on Facebook and other platforms telling their followers that the protest has been cancelled."

As of 1:00pm Saturday, they were yet to do so.

Activists have been protesting against the detention of about 120 refugees and asylum seekers in the Kangaroo Point Motel, under the Federal Government's medevac laws.

Refugee Action Collective Queensland and Refugee Solidarity Brisbane/Meanjin have been threatening to shut down the nearby Story Bridge if their demands are not met.

Their three demands are:

No more forced transfers to high-security facilities
Permission for those in detention to exercise and connect with the community
Detainees to be released by Christmas
In the Facebook post, the organisers said they postponed today's sit-in "in good faith", despite having reservations about what would come out of next week's meeting.
"QPS lie ... we don't trust them," the post said.
"But we’re willing to take their offer of a meeting in good faith — our friends want free movement, and we've gotta take the shot."

As of Saturday morning Queensland had gone five days without reporting any new cases of coronavirus.

The state shut its southern border to New South Wales on Saturday morning.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/brisbane ... d=msedgntp


Planned protest shut down by Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Queensland has ordered an injunction on a planned protest today in Brisbane.

It means the organisers are not permitted to attend or promote the protests.

They must notify their followers that the demonstration has been cancelled.
"I'm sympathetic to the cause of these protesters but now is not the time to put the lives of Queenslanders at risk," Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.
"They should not be causing chaos on the streets of Brisbane."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... r-BB17Iinl

NSW – QLD BORDER
Travellers told to expect delays as Queensland locks down borders
Queensland's hard border lockout is now in force with millions of people from NSW and the ACT banned from entering.

From now on, anyone who has been in a hotspot will have to quarantine at their own expense and return travellers will have to drive themselves to an airport in NSW and fly into Queensland.
The website for people to access border passes is now up and running, however people have been told to expect lengthy days as the day goes on with traffic getting heavier throughout the morning.

This morning saw a trickle of cars crossing various border checkpoints allowing police to stop and check cars for the valid border passes.

Police have said they understand checking all vehicles is a time-consuming exercise however they have made no apologies, insisting the measures are necessary to protect the state against the spread of the virus.

https://twitter.com/maccolahan9/status/ ... 3906162691
Border towns will have a special bubble for those living in NSW but living in Queensland or vice versa. This means you can cross freely but no further north or south outside that bubble. The bubble includes people living in the Tweed Heads and Gold Coast council areas.

Police have told 9News confusion over border passes has already contributed to delays this morning with people stopping to ask authorities questions about the border bubble.

Police have asked people to access information about the bubble online to avoid longer delays for essential travellers.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

Two hour wait to cross NSW-Qld border last night
There was a last minute dash from New South Wales into Queensland last night.
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

142 people turned around at NSW-Qld border
8 Queenslanders will have to quarantine at their own expense upon crossing the border.
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

8 AUGUST NT
Coronavirus means fewer health specialists visit the NT. What's the plan post-election?
Andrew Veal from Humpty Doo in Darwin's rural area is scared he'll lose the ability to walk altogether before getting the spinal surgery he needs.

The 56-year-old can walk for only about two hours a day and describes the pain he lives with daily as "excruciating".
"I've got a fractured vertebra, it's got several fractures in it and the hole for the spinal cord to go through is almost closed up — it's about half a millimetre thick and it compressing all the nerves in the spinal cord," Mr Veal said.
"The doctor said I'll be unable to walk if it's not operated on."

Mr Veal first saw a neurosurgeon at Royal Darwin Hospital in November 2019, and was referred on to a visiting interstate specialist.

In March, the 56-year-old saw a specialist from Sydney and Mr Veal said he was told his operation had been classified as a category one and he needed the procedure within 30 days.

That same month, NT Health postponed all category two and three surgeries to conserve resources such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and to give Territory hospitals time to prepare for an influx of COVID-19 patients.

A few weeks later, when Mr Veal called the surgical team to check when his procedure was scheduled, he said he was told his operation was actually a category three and had been postponed.

Now, nearly five months later, Mr Veal has still not had his operation and said the pain was "getting worse and worse every day".

Mr Veal was one of hundreds of Territorians who had their operations delayed during the coronavirus pandemic and lives with uncertainty due to a lack of visiting specialists.

The ABC has taken a look at the NT's specialist health coverage after a reader asked the NT 2020 election You Ask, We Answer project to investigate.

It has become apparent that during the COVID-19 lockdown, there are less specialist medical services because these specialists cannot or will not fly in. What will a future government do to ensure Darwin and rest of the NT has good specialist health coverage? — Ann, Northern Suburbs

Here's what we found.

What is happening with visiting specialists?
NT Labor Chief Minister Michael Gunner said, as he understood it, elective surgeries across the Territory had now "gone back to normal".

But Mr Gunner also said there was still an issue getting specialists to travel to the NT because many health experts were either reluctant to travel during the pandemic or unwilling to quarantine upon their arrival.
"Some surgeons want to stay in their home town, so surgeons are either not travelling or not wanting to do the 14 days' quarantine when they get here," he said.

Australian Medical Association NT branch president Dr Robert Parker agreed that the pandemic had deterred specialists from coming to the Territory.
"People like Andrew who require highly specialised types of surgeries, when you get visiting surgeons, it can obviously be interrupted by the whole issue of COVID and quarantining and the desire of specialists of people coming into the Territory," he said.
"The whole issue of travel and going back and forth in COVID I suppose has reduced the appetite of a number of specialists."

Dr Parker said the availability of surgeons for "super specialties" could be quite problematic.
"Unfortunately the Northern Territory doesn't have certain types of surgery usually available such as cardiothoracic surgery, because we don't really have the population to justify that level," he said.

In a statement, a Top End Health Service spokesman said the coronavirus pandemic had seen NT Health "face unprecedented circumstances" and they were now working with stakeholders to manage a list of those waiting for elective surgery.
"We have also seen a change in surgeons due to the need for health professionals throughout the nation to aid areas which are currently battling the pandemic," he said.
"We understand this is distressing for our patients and we sincerely apologise."

What about post-COVID?
NT Labor Health Minister Natasha Fyles, Country Liberal Party leader Lia Finocchiaro and Robyn Lambley from Territory Alliance were all asked, if their party was elected next month, what they would do to ensure Darwin and the NT more broadly had good specialist health coverage post-pandemic.

They all sang the praises of telehealth, which has helped connect Territorians with specialists from across Australia and overseas during the pandemic.

But none of the three parties detailed a clear plan to ensure there was good specialist health coverage for people across the Northern Territory's 1.421 million square kilometres if elected on August 22
"The COVID-19 pandemic has seen many adjustments in our day-to-day," Ms Fyles said.
"One significant change for health has been the uptake of telehealth, which has been exponentially expanded to provide Territorians with access to specialist health services despite the health emergency.
"A Territory Labor Government will continue to build on partnerships with other jurisdictions for highly specialised services."

The CLP is yet to announce health policy, but says it will do so prior to the election.

Ms Finocchiaro said they were committed to the provision of health services that were accessible for all Territorians — no matter where they lived.
"Telehealth has proven instrumental for Territorians who haven't had access to their regular services during the COVID-19 crisis and we will further explore its application to address shortages of specialist services," she said.
"Specialist medical services is just one health challenge the Territory is dealing with at the moment as a result of COVID-19, and we need to ensure there is a safe way for them to be delivered."We will work through the challenges that the COVID-19 crisis presents to ensure good specialist health coverage."

Ms Lambley, whose electorate is in Alice Springs, said there was no doubt that access to health specialists in the NT had been affected by the pandemic.
"Until our nation returns to normal, where people are able to travel, we will need to far more greatly rely on telehealth for access to specialists who are based interstate."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

Country Liberals election comeback under threat in Katherine from coronavirus and Territory Alliance
Katherine small business owner Jocelyn Dunning is hoping for a change of government.

Her trucking operation shifts freight from Darwin and Katherine to remote communities.

She is tired of waiting for upgrades to the remote dirt roads her trucks rattle along every day and thinks Labor has neglected the region while pouring cash into the capital.
"Just look at the money that's been spent on Garramilla Boulevard — how many millions did that cost for a waste of a piece of road?" she asked.
"So much is spent in Darwin, the remote places don't get the support we deserve."

She thinks property crime in Katherine is another unsolved problem and does not believe the government's plans will fix it.

But it's not a Country Liberals comeback she is hoping for when Territorians go to the polls this month.

She's interested in new party Territory Alliance and thinks they have "some great policies".
"I think we need a change Territory-wide," she said.

Government's handling of coronavirus an issue
Before the last election, the Country Liberals had won every poll in Katherine since the seat was created three decades ago.

They lost it in a 13 per cent swing in the party's Territory-wide wipe-out in 2016.

But Labor's Sandra Nelson only won with the help of preferences and is now retiring after one term in office.

With a margin of just 1.6 per cent, Katherine is one of the key seats the Country Liberals have been hoping to reclaim in their attempted comeback from near-annihilation.

But they were not counting on the emergence of the Territory Alliance or the COVID-19 curveball.

Labor's handling of the pandemic has won praise from many, including tourism business owner Annabel Curtain.

The border closures and travel restrictions would have shut down her outback experience shows that normally attract interstate and international visitors.

But subsidies from both the federal and NT governments and Labor's tourism voucher scheme are helping her hang on.
"We received support through the Small Business Survival and Revival funds, and the operational boosts, which have been amazing," Ms Curtain said.
"The Gunner Government has done very well throughout COVID."

Labor's Kate Ganley only entered the race in June after a long search for a replacement for Sandra Nelson.

But the former HR consultant and electorate officer is hoping the government's management of the health crisis and immediate economic impacts will help her keep the seat.

Even the town's mayor, Fay Miller, who held the seat for the Country Liberals, thinks Labor's COVID management — as well as a divided conservative vote — has improved the government's chances.
"If you'd asked me last year I would have said that anyone standing against the local member would be fine, but things have changed a lot, COVID's changed the world," she said.

Could the CLP stage a come-back in Katherine?
The Country Liberals candidate is local hairdressing business owner Jo Hersey.

Her task is to win back voters who dumped the party at the last election, when the primary vote in Katherine halved.

Jo Hersey thinks the Country Liberals have shaken off the reputational damage done by scandals in the party's last term in office.
"I don't think we need to be focussing on the past. We have fresh, grassroots people coming into the election in August," she said.

She thinks community concern about the economy, government debt and crime will return Katherine to the Country Liberals.
"I've door-knocked nearly the whole electorate, and people are concerned about the lack of business, and shops closing down in the main street," she said.

The opposition says its $4 million commitment to upgrade the Katherine Museum will help boost tourism and it has promised a feasibility study into a bike path to Katherine Gorge.

Kate Ganley talks up Labor's tourism spending in the region including at Nitmiluk National Park, increased funding for youth diversion and the construction of new public housing.

Labor and the Country Liberals are united on the key issue that sets the Territory Alliance apart — plans to frack in the Beetaloo Basin, for which Katherine would be the frontline service hub.

Fracking and infrastructure emerge as key issues
Territory Alliance candidate Melanie Usher says the party's promise to ban fracking is being well-received even among conservative voters.
"I've been really amazed at the number of Katherine people who are anti-fracking behind closed doors," she said.

Ms Usher counts herself as a conservative and her recruitment to Territory Alliance was the talk of the town in June.

A long-term Country Liberals member and staffer to federal senator Sam McMahon, she jumped ship after missing out on Country Liberals pre-selection.

She said the decision to sign up with ex-Country Liberals chief minister Terry Mills came on the urging of "just an incredible number" of Katherine voters and a sense that her old party was "taking Katherine for granted, as a given".
"I thought 'let's give Katherine a choice and good competition for the election this time'," she said.

The new party has promised more money for Katherine than the other two outfits combined — the high school would be among the first prioritised in a school infrastructure program funded by $100 million in borrowings.

Katherine mayor and Country Liberals stalwart Fay Miller says she is ready to work with whoever wins government.

But she voices concern about a potential split in the conservative vote.
"I am a conservative voter and people know that, but I have to say, Labor has stuck together through thick and thin, and the conservatives still manage to haggle," she said.

A preference swap is now locked in between the Country Liberals and Territory Alliance and neither party has ruled out a coalition to form government.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

8 AUGUST WA
Western Australia's border might not open for a YEAR
It will be months or even a year before Western Australia reopens its borders, the state's leader has said on the day it was originally slated to welcome interstate travellers once more.

Premier Mark McGowan announced on June 23, when Victoria only had a couple of hundred active cases, that the borders would not reopen on August 8 as planned.

On Saturday, he said it could be a year before they do.
'It's a long way away. I can't put a date on it, but it is certainly months,' he told reporters.
'As to whether it's before the end of the year, as to whether it's before the middle of next year, I cannot put a date on it.'
'Every time you try and put a date on it, you have to change.'

Western Australia eradicated community transmission in April, but the number of active cases in NSW and Victoria continue to grow each day.

Mr McGowan has previous ruled out a travel bubble with other states which have maintained low cases, and says the eastern states will have to eliminate community spread before he will consider lifting border restrictions.

His strict stance triggered a legal battle with Clive Palmer, who is challenging the border closures in the High Court.
'What I can guarantee you is we won't bring down the borders before we're forced to by the High Court, which hopefully doesn't happen, or before we get health advice it's safe to do so,' Mr McGowan said on Saturday.

It comes as the further easing of restrictions in the state have been delayed again.

The last remaining restrictions on gatherings within the state's borders had been due to end last month, allowing capacity crowds of 60,000 at Optus Stadium and the removal of the two square metre rule at pubs and other venues.

But WA's chief health officer has again recommended delaying the move to phase five, citing concerns over outbreaks in the eastern states.

Premier Mark McGowan says it won't come into effect until August 29 at the earliest.
'As a nation, we have entered the most dangerous phase of this pandemic,' he said on Friday.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

WA doctors demand PPE, as COVID-19 anxiety grows
More than 1,100 Victorian healthcare workers have been infected with the virus and doctors say that risks are being repeated in Western Australia.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

WA Government unveils plan to spend $150 million on tourism under coronavirus plan
Key points:
WA tourism landmarks, including Rottnest Island, will receive upgrades
It is hoped the upgrades will help attract interstate visitors in future
The Premier says it is still too early to say when the hard border will lift

The West Australian Government will spend $150 million upgrading infrastructure at tourism destinations across the state, including Rottnest Island, Perth Zoo, Kings Park and Karijini National Park in the Pilbara region.

A total of $31 million will be spent to upgrade roads and water supply infrastructure on Rottnest Island, which has reopened to tourists after being a quarantine zone earlier in the state's COVID-19 response.

The Perth Zoo will receive $10 million to upgrade its cafe and function areas, while improved campsites and boardwalks will be constructed at Karijini National Park.

Another $20 million has been set aside for bike trails in Kalamunda and Mundaring, in the Perth Hills, as well as in Albany, Denmark and Margaret River.

Just over $1 million will be spent building a permanent stage to host art and cultural activities at Kings Park.

The Government has also committed nearly $4 million to draw tourists to Aboriginal cultural sites for attractions such as "camping with custodians" on the Dampier Peninsula, in the Kimberley.
Image
Campsites and boardwalks will be upgraded at Karijini National Park

"[This] is a great opportunity for Western Australia because of our huge, rich and diverse Aboriginal cultural offering," Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said.

Premier Mark McGowan said while some WA towns had been overflowing with visitors from Perth since regional travel boundaries were lifted, the recovery package was necessary to continue the state's economic recovery amid the pandemic.

Mr McGowan said the program — which is part of the Government's $5.5 billion economic recovery plan in response to the pandemic — also included affordable airfares to further encourage West Australians to explore their home state.

Recently-announced discounted flights to Broome and Kununurra sold out in seven days.

The Government said more flight deals to tourism destinations around the state would be announced, including to areas such as Monkey Mia, Carnarvon and Albany.

Mr Papalia said the investment would also help to attract interstate tourists to WA when the hard border was removed.
"We're fixing things up and ensuring they can meet the demand of the future," Mr Papalia said.
"Once we come out into the post-COVID world and continue to operate more openly and are able to attract people from further afield, it will ensure that we continue to have world-class destinations for people to visit."

Tourism businesses welcome investment
Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall said he was delighted to see investment particularly in nature-based tourism attractions in WA.
"This is going to be critical to give West Australians new reasons to go back to regional destinations, to come into Perth for a staycation and of course it will be critical to bring back the out-of-state visitor when they return," he said.
"We need to create new experiences — we haven't had a lot of new things to do, particularly in Perth, for quite some time."

Mr Hall said the $1 million investment in the Tourism Attractions Case Management framework would encourage private investment in new tourism experiences in the heart of Perth.
"It can be very difficult for new tourism attractions and experiences to start up, it's a complicated bureaucratic regime to get through and the Government's commitment of $1 million to case manage those private investments through the framework will really assist the private sector."

Hard border removal a 'long way away'
Mr McGowan said it was still too early to say when the state's hard border would be lifted, but said it would be "certainly months" away.
"As to whether it's before the end of the year, as to whether it's before the middle of next year, I cannot put a date on it," he said.
"Every time you put a date on it, you have to change."

Mr McGowan reiterated that he would not remove the hard border until community transmission in the eastern states had been eliminated.

However, the Government may be forced to reverse its policy if Clive Palmer wins his legal challenge in the High Court.

Mr McGowan said he was disappointed Mr Palmer had not dropped the legal action.
"He's not listening to Western Australia, the Prime Minister, senator [Matthias] Cormann or myself — that's my main disappointment," he said.
"What we're trying to do here is save the lives of West Australians and make sure that our economy can function properly within our borders. It's really straightforward."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-08/ ... s/12537930

Kimberley region hosts the Derby Bullerama and Picnic Races
https://www.facebook.com/DerbyVisitorCe ... 8519950050
As Australia's eastern states grapple with coronavirus lockdowns, northern WA is very different. Over 1,000 people from across the Kimberley have this weekend gathered for the first big event since March.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

8 AUGUST FEDERAL

New coronavirus payments help families with foster children, but advocates want ongoing assistance
With two daughters into their teens and a house renovation nearing completion, Anthony and Tiffany Alps made a decision that would significantly change multiple lives.
"We didn't want to be rattling around this big old house on our own so we decided to look into fostering," Ms Alps said.
"We just decided we had space in our lives for more children, we still wanted children running around the house and out on the lawn."

They now have four foster children — two sets of siblings — but fostering did not come without challenges.
"Our 12-year-old, when he first arrived, he was very traumatised and he pretty much rejected us," Ms Alps said.
"It was a big learning curve for us ... we were pretty naive, at first."

Three years after that first decision, they say fostering has paid significant benefits — both for the couple and the children in their care.
"They have just blossomed, they are very settled and secure now," Ms Alps said.
"The rewards far outweigh all the hard work that we have done and it has brought us closer together as a family."

Payments to help foster carers
But advocates warn that the economic and social consequences of COVID-19 have presented significant difficulties for carers.

Foster Care Association WA director Fay Alford said carers were often left trying to look after multiple children, who could no longer attend school or day care at the peak of the pandemic, while juggling work or sudden unemployment.
"Carers struggled because of home schooling, trying to deal with six or so kids some people, and that was hard for people," Ms Alford said.
"We have got families out there with large sibling placements that may have lost work or seen reduced hours.
"Home schooling for kids, we had a lot of calls around that."

The State Government is trying to help people in that situation with one-off assistance payments, designed to help carers cope with the financial impact of coronavirus.

The payments will total $500 for the first child in care and $250 for each subsequent one.

With more than 7,000 West Australian children in care, the payments will cost $3.68 million.

Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk said she hoped the move would make a significant difference in helping to cover additional costs confronted by carers during the worst of the pandemic.
"Those carers stepped up and we are very grateful," Ms McGurk said.
"Many of these carers are low income, they are people who care for multiple children or their circumstances mean they need a particular hand at this time."

Help welcomed but calls for more assistance
Ms Alford said the cash payments, to be rolled out over the next month, would make a big difference.
"It will help enormously, just with everyday stuff," she said.
“It will be a big help."

But she said ongoing support for foster carers remained a substantial issue.
"We would like our general subsidy to be looked at and reviewed," Ms Alford said.

Ms McGurk said the Government was aware of the issues confronting foster carers.
"We are doing what we can to continue to support them, such as by ensuring they are prioritised through government services," the Minister said.
"We acknowledge that it is challenging and that the money is not always there when it needs to be.
"But this one-off payment shows that there were particular challenges during COVID and we are very grateful for what our carers do for us."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

8 AUGUST NZ

Ardern unveils $300m jobs fund during Labour re-election launch
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has started her Labour Party's bid for re-election unveiling a $300 million jobs fund.

Ms Ardern touted the effective eradication of coronavirus in her country as the reason she was able to hold the re-election event in Auckland's Town Hall.

Labour isn't expected to unveil a wide range of policies during this election campaign but rather to centre on the need for continuity and stability, labelling the election a "COVID election".

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/ar ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:16 am

9 AUGUST
AUSTRLALIA'S DEADLIEST DAY ,17 DEAD IN VICTORIA.

139 NEW CASES OF HEALTHWORKERS INFECTED IN VICTORIA.

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CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12469
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:45 am

9 August VIC
Victoria records 394 new coronavirus cases and a record 17 deaths
Victoria has recorded a record 17 deaths from coronavirus and 394 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. — the highest number of people to die from the disease in a single day in Australia since the pandemic began.

Premier Daniel Andrews said 174 of the cases were those with no known close contact who was already infected - describing the mystery infections as the state's 'biggest challenge'.
'They're the ones that are incredibly challenging from a containment point of view, and that's what's made fundamentally necessary these really very challenging settings,' he said.

The daily infection total dropped below 400 cases after 450 infections on Friday and 466 on Saturday, a marked decrease from the state's record of 725 cases on Wednesday.

The new deaths - 10 of which were linked to the aged care sector - include 2 men in their 50s, 5 men in their 70s, 4 women and 2 men in their 80s and 2 women and 3 men in their 90s.

Victoria and Australia's previous deadliest day during the pandemic had been on Wednesday when 15 deaths were recorded.
COVID-19 has now claimed 210 lives in Victoria since the pandemic began. The national death toll stands at 295.
Here are the main points from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews' coronavirus briefing on Sunday
There are 14,659 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Victoria, with 634 Victorians in hospital, 43 of those in intensive care.
The Premier he said 26 people were on ventilators.
The state currently has 7,854 confirmed active cases of the virus.

He said about 500 of those cases are in regional Victoria, with the great majority in metropolitan areas.
Of those active cases, 994 are healthcare workers.

Unknown sources of infection pose biggest challenge
Mr Andrews said 2,758 cases in the state were from an unknown source — an increase of 174 since Saturday.
He said those "mystery cases" pose the biggest challenge to Victorian health authorities. These cases are also referred to as "community transmission" by health experts.
"Even large numbers in known contained outbreaks are, to a certain extent, less significant than the smaller number of cases where we simply can't find the circumstance or the point of origin," Mr Andrews said.
"Where did that person get the virus from? They're the ones that are incredibly challenging from a containment point of view, and that's what's made fundamentally necessary these really challenging settings, these really difficult decisions we've had to make to drive down movement, and therefore, drive down the number of cases."

Mr Andrews said a total of 1,801,385 tests have been processed in the state since the start of the pandemic.

He said 41,416 tests were processed in the last day alone.

$59.7 million in funding for mental health services
Victoria's Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley announced $59.7 million in funding to tackle mental health problems arising from the pandemic.

Mr Foley said the funding was in response to the increasing demand for acute services in clinical settings and the broader Victorian community.
He said there had been a 23.3 % increase in Victorians presenting at acute settings with a mental illness since the end of July.

Mr Foley said the funding was aimed at extending mental health services and community mental health programs run Monday to Friday to seven days a week, as well as extending daily operating hours.
The funding will also fast-track recommendations from the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health system, by adding 144 beds in the Barwon region, western suburbs, northern hospital catchment and Melbourne mental health catchments.
"We know that particularly at the moment, we want to keep those people with mental illness away from emergency departments," he said.
"Emergency departments are busy at the best of times, particularly now in the height of a pandemic.
"We want to make sure that we keep those people who need support for mental illness with the support that they need in the community."

Depression and anxiety rising
Extra funding has also been allocated to further roll out the Hospital Outreach Post-Suicidal Engagement (HOPE) program across the state.

Mr Foley said the program was aimed at supporting Victorians suffering depression and anxiety due to the stress of the pandemic.
"The pandemic is stressful. The pandemic is seeing anxiety and depression levels rise quite substantially, but there is help out there. There is support out there," he said.
"And all levels of government are cooperating [at] an unprecedented level with record levels of support to make sure that message of hope, of resilience and recovery is at the forefront of what we do.
"We know that the greatest indicator to prevent someone's suicide is to deal with that person in the community when they've expressed suicide ideas or attempted suicide in the past.
"And the best way to do that is to use our links in our community sector, in our hospitals and in those communities, wrap services around people to make sure that we give them a pathway to recovery."

He said Victoria has seen a 9.5 per cent year-on-year increase of presentations for self-harm in emergency departments since the end of July.
Of those cases, there had been a 33 per cent increase in the number of people under 18 presenting with self-harm.

Extra funding to counsel nurses, midwives and carers
Mr Andrews announced $250,000 in additional funding for a counselling service for nurses, midwives and personal care workers.

He said healthcare workers were facing a "very challenging set of circumstances", especially nurses and other workers who have gone into aged care settings.
"You can't unsee what you've seen. There is a degree of trauma, a degree of previously unknown levels of really, really challenging circumstances," he said.
"It's an incredibly difficult area in many of the settings. That's not to say it's easy across the board. Our health heroes are doing an amazing job and it's appropriate that we stand with them."

The funding is additional to $350,000 in funds provided for such counselling services earlier this year.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp


'More families are planning funerals'
The Premier said the state was likely seeing the "tail end" of the effect of Melbourne's stage 3 restrictions' stabilising effect on numbers.

But he said the state's reproduction rate was still sitting at roughly one, or just under, meaning "every person who has it is giving it to at least one other".
"We have to drive that so that every second or third or fourth person who has it is infecting someone else, and that's where we'll see the numbers halve and halve again and become more manageable," he said.

Shortly after Sunday's coronavirus update, police issued 27 fines and arrested six people at an anti-mask protest at State Parliament Melbourne's CBD.

Twenty-four fines were for people leaving home for a non-essential reason and one was for not wearing a mask.

One of the protest's organisers is expected to be charged with further offences.

In the past day, Victoria Police issued 268 fines for coronavirus breaches, including 38 for failing to wear a face covering and 77 for breaching curfew.

Some examples of breaches included a man helping a friend move a TV, a man having four friends over to watch football, and a woman who admitted driving over 20 kilometres from Scoresby to Patterson Lakes in Melbourne's east.

Mr Andrews said people failing to follow coronavirus restriction rules had contributed to rising case numbers in the state.
"Sadly, tragically … more families are planning funerals," he said.
"I do not want a situation where the bad behaviour, the poor choices of a smaller number of people in any way detract from, I think, a growing number of Victorians who are doing the right thing."



Mr Andrews on Sunday also announced the state was setting aside another $250,000 - on top of the $350,000 promised in June- to provide free counselling for health workers on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Victorian premier and Mental Health Minister Martin Foley revealed the measures as part of $59.7million in additional funding for the state's mental health sector.
'This is a very challenging set of circumstances and particularly for those nurses and personal care workers who have gone into aged care settings in fundamental crisis,' Mr Andrews said. 'You can’t unsee what you’ve seen.'
Increased demand for mental health services in Victoria
Patrick McGorry, the Executive Director of Orygen and a Professor of Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, says young people are particularly at risk.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Victorian Government announces $60 million funding boost for mental health services
Beyond Blue CEO, Georgie Harman, says the funding boost will keep people connected to mental health services within the community.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

'Mystery cases' continue to grow in challenge for authorities
Cases connected to aged care settings have continued to grow, with a total of 1,748 active infections in the state — 60 more than Saturday.

However, the total number of healthcare workers with active coronavirus infections has dropped slightly, from 998 on Saturday to 994 on Sunday.

The number of confirmed cases of community transmission without a known source has grown by 174 overnight to a total of 2,758.

Mr Andrews described those "mystery cases" as one of the state's biggest challenges in fighting the pandemic.

There are now 634 Victorians in hospital, 43 of whom are receiving intensive care.

More than 41,000 coronavirus tests were processed in the state on Saturday, taking the total conducted since the pandemic began to 1,801,300.

Australian finance minister Mathias Cormann meanwhile said on Sunday morning he now supported Western Australia's border closure - having initially criticised state governments imposing unnecessary harm 'for no or very little public health upside'.
'Given what’s been happening in Victoria and where the country is at, we support the current state border arrangements, including here in Western Australia,' he told ABC's Insiders.

On Saturday Mr Andrews announced 466 new cases as the state's COVID-19 death toll climbed to 193, with the national tally rising to 278.
Mr Andrews warned Victoria is not likely to see a steep decline in coronavirus infections for 'a little while' amid strict stage four lockdown.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the state was seeing a 'stabilisation' of cases with daily number around the 400 and 500 mark each day.
'That is not good enough but it's a positive that we have averted an exponential increase through the last couple of weeks,' he said.
Professor Sutton said the introduction of stage three restrictions in early July had prevented about 20,000 cases developing.
'But we can't have 500 cases every single day and the associated morbidity, hospitalisation, intensive care requirements and debts associated with that number every day,' he said.
'Stage four restrictions will make a difference but we won't see them for another week or more.'
The tough stay-at-home restrictions, which include an 8pm-5am curfew for metropolitan Melbourne, have been in place for almost a week.
There are also fears Victorians could be left without medicine, alcohol and school supplies after major businesses were closed by the state's stage four lockdown.

Victoria records another 174 'mystery cases' today
Victoria's Premier, Daniel Andrews, says the NEW 174 'mystery cases' remain the biggest challenge to containing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Australia Post was told it could keep open 200 outlets facing closure but the business is struggling to operate with just two thirds of its staff.
Chief executive Christine Holgate said there could be long delays as demand for deliveries soars amid Melbourne's strict Stage 4 lockdown.
She said that demand in coronavirus-stricken suburbs was already up 200 per cent and orders from Chemist Warehouse, Dan Murphy's and Office Works were under pressure.
Ms Holgate said Australia Post was responsible for deliveries for 200,000 online businesses and had a team of 21,000 people in Victoria.
'All the major medical distribution centres are based in Victoria. API, Sigma - they supply pharmacies right across the country,' Ms Holgate told the Australian Financial Review.


https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/vi ... d=msedgdhp

Victoria's health minister responds to criticism coronavirus disaster
Jenny Mikakos has penned an emotional response in defence of her dealing with the growing outbreak of COVID-19 in Victoria.

The Victorian health minister took to Twitter overnight to respond to critics of her handling of the pandemic, where she claimed there is 'no detailed go-to manual of how to respond to these pandemics'.
'Responses need to be calibrated and adjusted, continually evolving to changing circumstances,' she wrote.
'Since the first case in January, a huge effort by thousands of health care workers and many others has seen a huge amount of good work achieved in preparing our health system.
'It was work that needed to be done quickly and nimbly because the virus would not wait and no doubt, mistakes were made along the way, because humans are flawed yet contagious viruses are unforgiving.'
Calls have mounted for Ms Mikakos to resign after she failed to respond to questions about Victoria's bungled hotel quarantine outbreaks in a parliamentary meeting.
She was called 'smug' and a 'disgrace' in parliament on Wednesday during the first sitting of Victoria's upper house since June 18.

Ms Mikakos said she was 'deeply sorry' and prepared to 'let the cards fall where they may' as former judge Jennifer Coate conducts an inquiry into the bungled hotel quarantine program.
'Since that fateful day on 25 January, when we had our first-ever case, I've worked every day to keep everyone safe,' she added.
'I have put every ounce of energy I've had into that effort. If it wasn't enough, then I'm deeply sorry.
'I've always striven to be upfront and measured about the challenges facing us. So it pains me to see the incorrect assumption made that somehow I can single-handedly report on the actions of countless individuals and many agencies involved in our pandemic response.
'Let the independent judge do her job, let the cards fall where they may. I believe there is nothing to fear in seeking the truth. The truth will set you free.'
The Andrews government have said several times it would be inappropriate to comment on the hotel quarantine inquiry before the investigation is finished.

Numerous breaches from hotel quarantine in the state lead to an increase in new cases in the second wave of infections through May and June.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told ABC the program had 'serious failures' with 'deadly consequences' and Victorians had the right to know what went wrong.
'There needs to be accountability, there needs to be an explanation,' he said.
'Victorians deserve that, Victorians want that, Victorians need that at this difficult time. They're being asked to make major sacrifices right now.'

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Wyndham City Council tops list of cases in Victoria
The Wyndham City local government area in Melbourne's south west, has consistently been topping the list for numbers of coronavirus. It's leading to unease and confusion about whether it's safe to even leave the house.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Victorian Government backflips on pet rescue ban during COVID-19
The Victorian Government has backflipped on denying people access to animal shelters, now allowing residents to pick up a pet as long as they follow social distancing.

As part of Stage 4 restrictions, public access was originally banned to animal shelters in Victoria.

That included owners whose pets were lost and later temporarily homed by an animal welfare group.
The Lost Dogs Home in North Melbourne is one of a number of shelters that lobbied the government to allow people to reunite with their pets, reclaim lost dogs and cats and adopt animals.

Today they were informed that Victorian residents would now be allowed to leave their home to collect a new pet or to arrange care for their pets, as long as they return home immediately afterwards.
"You should contact the location to arrange an appointment and ensure you can follow their processes for reducing the risk of transmitting coronavirus (COVID-19)," a spokesperson for the government said.
"If you are picking up a pet you should keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others and practice good hygiene, including washing your hands regularly. You are also required to wear a face covering.
"In metropolitan Melbourne, the collection of new pets must not take place during the curfew period of 8:00pm - 5:00am."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

Coronavirus triggers drop in prisoner numbers and an opportunity to reinvent the criminal justice system, lawyers say
A dramatic decline in the number of people behind bars during the coronavirus pandemic presents a significant opportunity for governments to review policies that had been driving up prisoner numbers before the crisis, experts say.

Efforts to stem the flow of people into custody and a reduction in some crime has likely contributed to the substantial drop in prisoners in NSW and Victoria, with new data published this week by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) showing the number of adult prisoners fell almost 11 per cent, or 1,508 people, between March 15 and May 10.

A similar trend is emerging in Victoria, where the overall prison population fell almost 13 per cent between the end of February and the end of June, according to data released last month by Corrections Victoria.

In both states — the worst-affected by COVID-19 in Australia — remarkable decreases were seen in the female prison population, which in NSW fell by 18.7 per cent between February and May. The number of women behind bars in Victoria dropped 22.6 per cent between February and June to just 404 prisoners, down from an historic high of 611 in March 2019.

BOCSAR executive director Jackie Fitzgerald said most of the decline in the overall NSW prison population was due to a decrease in the number of people on remand — those who have been charged but not convicted — which fell by 21.2 per cent during the height of the COVID crisis.
"The community lockdown saw falls in many crime categories which led to fewer charges," Ms Fitzgerald said. "In addition, operational changes within the justice system have had an impact, including the postponement of court cases, changes in bail decisions and the release of people on remand."

'Too many people in custody on minor charges'
Lawyers and advocates say the figures should spark a close examination of punitive policing practices, restrictive bail laws and funding for community support services, all of which have been blamed for a surge in prisoner numbers in recent years.

It comes as pressure continues to mount on governments to release lower-risk prisoners from custody in order to lessen the impact of potential coronavirus outbreaks.

For months advocates have been warning prisons and prisoners are at increased risk of infection because of factors like overcrowding, poor hygiene standards and many prisoners' compromised health, especially that of Indigenous people, who are massively over-represented in the criminal justice system.
"There is a real opportunity to think about how reducing the flow of people into the corrections system that has been happening because of COVID can be sustained to make the criminal justice system work more effectively," said Dan Nicholson, executive director of criminal law at Victoria Legal Aid.
"In particular there is a great opportunity for police to exercise better discretion ... in their decisions to charge and remand people — would they be better off being cautioned or diverted out of the system?
"In the current circumstances, we'd like to keep as many people out of custody as we can, unless there is a real risk to public safety," Mr Nicholson said.
"But we're still seeing too many people in custody on relatively minor charges, and they're ending up in custody more because of the issues in their lives than the offences they've committed."

COVID a factor in bail decisions
In Victoria there has also been sharp focus on the state's bail laws, which have been criticised for making it harder to keep people out of custody — particularly women, whose offending tends to be less serious than men's.

Courts have been weighing the potential impacts of the pandemic as part of bail decisions, with judges considering factors like justice system delays and the health risks of outbreaks in prisons.

Elena Pappas, lawyer and co-founder of the Law and Advocacy Centre for Women, said more of her organisation's female clients are being granted bail as a result.
"It seems like the churn of people through the court system hasn't reduced, though, which is disappointing," Ms Pappas said.
"At the front end, it's still left to judges and magistrates to decide things like whether to grant bail on a case by case basis — there has been no systemic change to say, for example, let's rethink the provisions of the Bail Act that have caused an upsurge in the prison population recently, particularly for non-violent offenders."

Still, Ms Pappas said the pandemic seems to have triggered a "shift in thinking" in how to support people who are at risk of criminalisation — for example, the Government's commitment to sheltering homeless Victorians until April next year.

The drop in the state's prison population, she said, "presents an opportunity for us to critically assess our restrictive bail laws but also our reliance generally on prisons going forward".
"We don't need to place such a huge reliance on remand as a way of controlling people before their legal matters are finalised," Ms Pappas said. "If we can invest in the front end as we've done during the COVID crisis and increase community supports, it does work."

Prison 'a policy choice, not an inevitability'
In addition to court delays and suspensions, frontline workers in NSW say a few other "surprising" factors may have helped push down prisoner numbers.

Mindy Sotiri, director of advocacy, policy and research at the Community Restorative Centre in NSW, said many of her organisation's clients who were serving prison sentences were "unexpectedly" granted parole.

Unlike some lawyers in Victoria, however, Dr Sotiri said she had observed a "significant change" in policing practices, including in communities where police often "target" people already caught up in the criminal justice system.
"A lot of our clients have regular contact with police and we saw that ease off during the COVID period, so less intense levels of police surveillance," she said.

On the flipside, many people who left prison in recent months struggled to find accommodation and other support, she said, which was made even more difficult given the pressure community services were under to meet surging demand and adhere to social distancing restrictions.
"It really highlights the fact that ... people walk out of prison every single day with no support services, no money, nowhere to live, no plan. It's just that during a pandemic this becomes a public health issue, something that impacts all of us."

Ultimately, though, the figures are "a success story", Dr Sotiri said, and show "what is possible with the right amount of political will".
"To have 1,500 people suddenly no longer in the system, to stem the flow of receptions into prison in such a short space of time — albeit because of a really significant health crisis — is cause for optimism, because it shows incarceration is a policy choice, not an inevitability," she said.
"We had a situation where if transmissions had started to occur in prisons, it would have been an absolute crisis because of the level of over-crowding. I think the government took that risk very seriously.
"But what we now need to start thinking about is, in times where we're not dealing with considerable health concerns, why is it okay to have a really over-crowded prison system? And why aren't we looking at ways to empty it in the ways we've done in this past few months?"

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

Health officials call for 'behaviour change' to stop COVID spread
Professor Anna Peeters is the Director of the Institute for Health Transformation at Deakin University, and she says 'wide scale behaviour change' is difficult to achieve.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

HOSPITALS
Victorian coronavirus infections in healthcare workers nears 1,000 as COVID-19 cases rise
Nearly 1,000 Victorian healthcare workers currently have COVID-19, raising concerns about the capacity of the workforce and health system to deal with the continuing coronavirus crisis.

Of the 7,808 active infections confirmed by Saturday, 998 were healthcare workers — a huge jump of 140 since Friday and a doubling in cases in less than a fortnight.

A further 1,688 active cases are linked to aged care settings; a mix of workers, residents and some close contacts.
"The rate of growth is something that is of profound concern," emergency physician Stephen Parnis said.
"Health workers … have been infected with the virus in a number of settings, in the community as well. But my worry is that the numbers getting infected at work now are going up.
"We need to understand how and why and where we're getting infected as a matter of absolute urgency."

The most recent data, provided by the Victorian Government on Thursday, showed nurses accounted for about 42 per cent of the cases.

Just over 50 per cent were "other healthcare" workers — which includes disability workers, pharmacists, paramedics and other allied health professionals.

What was not reflected in the daily numbers is how the infections were contracted, or the healthcare workers taken out of the workforce to isolate for 14 days after possibly being exposed to the virus.

Victoria recorded 466 cases on Saturday, 450 on Friday and 471 on Thursday — down from an all-time high of 725 on Wednesday.

Community transmission cases, where the source of the infection cannot be traced back to a known source, rose by 130 on Saturday.

While health authorities and experts believe there are signs Victoria's coronavirus numbers are stabilising, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said infections needed to be driven down more.
"We can't have 500 cases every single day and the associated morbidity, hospitalisation, intensive care requirements and debts that are associated with that number every day," Professor Sutton said on Saturday.

Hospitals under pressure even as 'better news' emerges
Professor Sutton said the estimate for the effective reproduction rate was sitting below 1 at around 0.9 — meaning on average, each active case infects 0.9 people.

He said the stage 3 restrictions imposed on Melbourne had averted an estimated 20,000 cases, but that it could be more than a week before stage 4 restrictions have an impact.
"It's better news than we had last week and the week before, that's for sure," said Nancy Baxter, head of the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at Melbourne University.

Professor Baxter said she was confident the stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne and stage 3 stay-at-home orders across the rest of Victoria would drive the numbers down.
However, a portion of each day's positive cases is likely to become unwell, possibly requiring hospitalisation, even as numbers trend downwards.
There were 592 people with COVID-19 in Victorian hospitals on Saturday, including 44 in intensive care.
The state has been preparing surge capacity since the pandemic began in January, and has cut non-urgent elective surgeries to free up space.

Professor Baxter said while she did not predict the state would reach its ICU capacity, the current level of infection was still "straining the healthcare system".
"It means basically, the hospital has to focus on COVID, and basically COVID only," she said.
"And that's not tenable. So even if we don't have every ICU bed taken up, we need to get these numbers down to allow these hospitals to do things other than treat COVID patients."

Concerns have also been raised that aged care residents being transferred to hospitals could place further strain on the emergency system.

Dr Parnis said with 400 to 500 cases per day in Victoria, "that is something that is putting enormous pressure on the healthcare system at the moment".
"What concerns me is if we are feeling the pressure, the strain on resources, people and ill-health workers with 44 intensive care patients, what would that be like as numbers increase?" he said.

He said with thousands of cases averted, Victorians should take some credit for what they had already done, but that the "harsh, painful lockdown is absolutely necessary" to prevent a further surge.

Coronavirus 'exploits the weak and frail' in health systems
There have been recurring concerns about the personal protective equipment (PPE) available to healthcare workers during the pandemic.

Responding to concerns about a shortage, Premier Daniel Andrews said with tens of millions of gloves and millions of surgical masks and face shields in the state, there is more than enough PPE for those on the front line.

Dr Parnis said while access to PPE was one thing, another key element was making sure it was used appropriately in healthcare settings.
He said there were common reports of people having to take potentially infected clothing home to wash it, or inadequate space in break rooms for people to safely distance.
"Coronavirus, in the same way it exploits the weak and frail in our community … it does the same thing to our health system," he said.

Dr Parnis said the other obvious concern was the number of healthcare workers who would become very sick as a result of their illness.
A number of doctors have spent time in intensive care units, including a doctor in his 30s.
"When you're a health worker, you've got that knowledge about what the virus is capable of doing. You've seen it," he said.
Other than the immediate physical health risks, Dr Parnis said one of the biggest dangers faced by the community was deteriorating mental health.
Dr Parnis said he himself had been dreaming about the virus, "where I am anxious or worried about being in close proximity to people".
"Now, if I'm doing that as a senior medical professional, I worry about every other Melburnian and Victorian," he said.
"And I think continual attention and care to our mental health as well as our physical health is one of the highest priorities that we can have at the moment."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Tackling a rise in virus cases among healthcare workers
Infectious Diseases Physician, Professor Sharon Lewin, is the Director of the Doherty Institute and she says there's no evidence the virus is mutating to be 'deadlier.'

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp


Graduate medics tell us what it is like to go from university student to frontline worker
When the 2019 class of doctors, nurses and paramedics graduated, they knew working would present some challenges.

None of them could have imagined they would be on the frontline of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

In Melbourne, we meet four graduates to find out what it has been like fighting COVID-19 in their first job out of university.

Beth Mazzarella, 25, nurse at Western Health in Sunshine
COVID-19 was "a bit of a thing overseas" when Beth Mazzarella started working as a graduate nurse in January at Sunshine Hospital in Melbourne's west.

By the time she finished her rotation in the respiratory and infectious diseases unit, they were a "fully-fledged" COVID ward.
"It was scary at the start," Ms Mazzarella said.
"Seeing what was happening overseas, particularly in Italy where they were deciding who to give care to, and who to refuse care.
"Luckily, that hasn't happened in Melbourne yet."

Ms Mazzarella said she felt safe and supported during her time in Sunshine hospital's coronavirus ward, but it was clear they were preparing for a crisis.

It wasn't only at work coronavirus was cause for concern.

Ms Mazzarella lives is in a share house 13 kilometres north of Melbourne with five other people.
"My partner and I had a few conversations about whether it was safe for me to come home because none of them work in the health industry," she said.

To mitigate the risks, Ms Mazzarella avoided taking anything from work home; getting changed and washing her scrubs at the hospital, as well as sanitising all her equipment and shoes.
"I had a bit of a scare, where I was working with someone that was found to be positive when we didn't expect it," she said.
"Thinking that I may have exposed other people to the virus was scary for me."

Now in the maternity ward, COVID-19 is presenting different challenges for her patients, limiting the number of support people they can have with them in hospital.
"I feel grateful to be starting my career during such an important time, when caring is so important," she said.

Patrick Maclean, 25, doctor at Sandringham Hospital
It was the sight of a long line snaking out of The Alfred's screening clinic that made graduate doctor Patrick Maclean realise the pandemic had really arrived.

It was early March and a GP in the nearby suburb of Toorak had just tested positive for coronavirus.
"We had a deluge of people coming into The Alfred to get tested," Dr Maclean said. "It suddenly made it feel quite real."

Dr Maclean started as an intern in the hospital's emergency department on January 6, 2020, after graduating in medicine at Monash University at the end of last year.

He worked at the COVID-19 screening clinic the day it opened.
"It has been a different year than I expected, but everyone has been very supportive," Dr Maclean said.
"Everyone has been learning together."

Intern doctors are required to do rotations in various areas of the hospital including emergency, surgery and medicine before deciding on a specialty.

As someone who is considering specialising in infectious diseases, being on the frontline during COVID-19 has at times been "exciting".
"The first couple of months I was just glued to the latest research and was fascinated by all the developments," he said.
"I think it is a great combination of pandemics and all the weird and wonderful infections that people have caught around the world."

Wesley Voogt, 31, graduate paramedic
In April, the Victorian Government announced they were bringing forward the recruitment of 120 paramedics to ensure "every part of our health system is prepared as it possibly could be" for COVID-19.

Wesley Voogt was one of those to get a call.
"I got the job I wanted, that's one of my positives out of this pandemic," he said.

Mr Voogt served in the navy for two years before moving to non-urgent patient transport while he studied paramedicine at Australian Catholic University.

He completed his degree at the end of 2019 and was hoping he'd get a job offer with Ambulance Victoria at the end of 2020.

The pandemic has given him the opportunity to get on the road sooner.
"Starting work as a paramedic is a steep learning curve no matter what, COVID-19 has just added to it."

As well as increasing the amount of PPE and hand sanitiser they use on the road, the coronavirus has changed how graduate paramedics are trained.
"The induction was all over Microsoft Teams," he said. "Assessment and study days are being done remotely."

In his two months on the road, Mr Voogt has dealt with some suspected and confirmed coronavirus cases.
"There has been a couple of jobs I've been to where I've made a difference with the patients," he said.
"Going in and being able to make them smile and help — that is why I got into it."

Audrey Grech, 27, doctor at The Alfred
When Audrey Grech started working at the respiratory ward of The Alfred Hospital in January, she was expecting to be confronted with some challenging situations.

She wasn't expecting a global pandemic.
"It's been a really interesting year, different to what I expected and imagined my career to start off like," she said.

Dr Grech graduated from The University of Notre Dame in Sydney at the end of 2019, before starting work at The Alfred hospital in her hometown Melbourne.

In the beginning, there was a lot of uncertainty about how to best treat patients and protect staff.
"Coming onto the COVID ward I was a little nervous," Dr Grech said. "But I think the hospital has done a fantastic job of keeping us safe."

In many ways, the pandemic has changed how the hospital operates and what interns are learning.

There has been a focus on communication with patients, critical care and telehealth, with less time on ward rounds and the physical examination of patients.
"We've had to face a lot more difficult conversations with families, who can't see people in hospital," she said

On the COVID ward, Dr Grech has spent time setting up video calls with families to keep patients connected.
"It's been good having the opportunity to talk to COVID patients and be there for them," she said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Secret plans reveal Royal Perth Hospital could be demolished and replaced with $2b facility
Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) would be demolished and replaced with a new $2 billion, 450-bed facility on Wellington Street, under plans drawn up by the West Australian Government.

But the Government is yet to decide whether to proceed with the plans, despite stark warnings the current facility is in "poor condition", "outdated", riddled with asbestos and fails to comply with scores of health and building safety requirements.

The secret plans, revealed to the ABC after a year-long battle under Freedom of Information (FOI) laws, would see most existing RPH buildings demolished and sold off with all clinical services consolidated into a multi-storey building next to the train line on Wellington Street.

The plans were submitted to Government in December 2018 but are yet to proceed beyond that, with Health Minister Roger Cook admitting a major redevelopment or rebuild was a long-term proposition.

The new RPH is estimated to cost $2.1 billion, with the Government hoping it could recoup $147 million of that cost from land sales.

The plans are one of three options presented in a business case for a redevelopment, but is by far the highest rated of those proposals.

Another option is a slightly less extensive new hospital on Wellington Street while maintaining some existing RPH facilities, while the third would largely leave the hospital as it is.

But Mr Cook insisted "doing nothing is not an option", conceding a significant upgrade was needed but indicating it would likely be years before anything went ahead.

Doctors demand action
In reports that cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, each option was rated against a set of criteria — with the full rebuild far outranking the other options, scoring 24 out of 25.

They also provided a concerning picture about the current state of RPH, listing a litany of problems with the existing facility.

Facilities do not meet health or building code regulations, many have not received required refurbishments and the emergency department is too small and under growing pressure, the reports warn.

Outdated inpatient wards that rely on communal toilets or showers and have a very high proportion of shared bathrooms also increase the risk of infections spreading through the hospital.

The buildings are also riddled with asbestos, are plagued by ongoing lift failures, are difficult for staff, patients and visitors to navigate and present a security risk because the multiple entry points create problems in terms of locking down the facility.

Australian Medical Association (AMA) WA president Andrew Miller said a major refurbishment or rebuild of the hospital was badly needed.
"It is essential that we get it going now," he said.
"Royal Perth Hospital is the tertiary hospital for the most rapidly growing part of Perth.
"We want to see a solid commitment and a decision about what they are going to do."

Maternity hospital top priority, Government says
Mr Cook said the Government was committed to keeping RPH, but was yet to decide what the future of the facility would look like.
"Leaving it as it is, is not an option," he said.
"There are some great opportunities here for Royal Perth Hospital to continue to be one of the jewels of the crown in our hospital system."

There is no financial commitment from the Government, nor a set timeframe, with any rebuild expected to be years away.
"It is a long-term project but we are committed to it," Mr Cook said.

A mooted replacement for King Edward Memorial Hospital, set to be built on the QEII Medical Centre site, is the Government's top hospital infrastructure priority.

The start of construction of the new maternity hospital remains years away, indicating any large-scale works at RPH are even further down the track.

"But we can walk and chew gum at the same time, it does not mean we do one project at a time," Mr Cook said.

Consultants brought in to consider future
The reports follow work conducted by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers and Hassell, with the PWC study costing the Government $301,466.

It culminated in three options being examined in detail, although one would mean no substantial change to the status quo — with minor upgrades continuing to the existing facility.

The highest-rated option, the full rebuild, is also the most expensive at $2.106 billion.

It would result in enormous changes to the current site, with a multi-storey hospital constructed on land next to the existing RPH north block on Wellington Street.

The current RPH buildings in the Goderich Street block would be demolished and sold, as would some other property, while heritage buildings would be leased out by the National Trust and the block that currently contains the main entrance to the hospital would be turned into an office and administration building.

The report suggests the new hospital could proceed without that office building conversion, saving about $180 million.

Another proposed option would construct a 400-bed new hospital on that same Wellington Street site, but involve less extensive other works while still allowing the Government to sell off surplus land on Goderich Street.

The existing north block would be maintained, with a new emergency department built within it.

Proposals would dramatically change Perth's east
That is estimated to cost $1.516 billion in its first stage, with the second stage a $560 million full refurbishment of north block.

The PWC report stated the project could generate up to $247 million in sales of surplus land while creating substantial urban renewal opportunities.
"Depending on market appetite, [there is] the potential to combine three Goderich Street lots into one super-lot to attract major developers," it stated.

They float mixed-use developments on surplus land, allowing for new high-rise office, residential and commercial projects in Perth's east.

Mr Cook said the ability to sell land around the hospital was a key benefit of a potential rebuild.
"We want [RPH] to be part of a modern hospital precinct and we want to take advantage of the real estate that surrounds the hospital, which might be surplus to need," he said.

The project would also upgrade access to RPH from McIver train station.

Major hospital upgrades in recent years
A rebuild of RPH would follow other new hospital developments over the past decade, which have significantly changed the WA health system.

Billions of dollars were spent building Fiona Stanley Hospital and the Perth Children's Hospital [PCH], with new facilities also built in regional cities including Albany and Busselton.

Those developments have not come without issues — Fiona Stanley was plagued by extensive teething issues while PCH opened years behind schedule and after substantial cost overruns, stemming in part from lead contamination in the water supply.

Dr Miller said he was confident a new RPH could be built for less than $2 billion.
"Maybe they do not go to the same specifications they did with Fiona Stanley or PCH, but get these beds out there into the community before it becomes a real crisis," he said.

But the Health Consumers Council expressed scepticism about whether a new RPH should be the top priority.
"Is this the best use of public money? I'm not sure if we have had enough of a conversation about it to say that," executive director Pip Brennan said.
"It seems like an awful lot of money."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

BREACHES

Mr Andrews responded to claims he was a 'tyrant' because of the ongoing stage-four lockdown by the founder of a lawn-mowing business.

Jim Penman of Jim's Mowing had argued there had been no cases where someone working in a garden on their own had led to an infection.

The under-fire premier argued that if every person argued they were 'low risk and should get a pass' then Melbourne and Victoria might as well be under the same relaxed restrictions as they were in July and June.
'That will just mean that we have zero chance, like no chance whatsoever, of driving these numbers down,' he said.

The rise to 7,854 active cases in Victoria comes as the state's police force battles to enforce Melbourne's unprecedented stage-four lockdown - having issued 268 fines for restriction breaches in the past 24 hours.

One case involved a man who said he was helping a friend move a television from Doncaster East to Dandenong in Melbourne's east and was planning to stop for a burger at a fast food outlet.

Another was a man found with four male friends who were visiting him in his bungalow in Mount Alexander, which is subject to stage three restrictions.

Police said the reason he gave for breaching the rules on home gathering - which ban all visits in Melbourne unless they are to deliver care or urgent and essential services - was they wanted to 'watch the footy'.

Only two people turned up to a ‘FREEDOM RALLY’ AKA COVIOD RALLY to protest the lockdown in Melbourne, despite up to 400 people being expected to kick off the illegal protest on the steps of Parliament on Sunday.
Footage shows a masked protester yelling for residents to stand together against mandatory vaccinations.

Earlier on Sunday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk revealed her state had recorded no new cases of the virus.

University of Queensland virologist Professor Ian Mackay had warned this weekend was vital for the Sunshine State in suppressing the spread of COVID-19.
'It is a critical weekend it is possible people may have been incubating illnesses during the week and thought I will hold off to get tested until the weekend,' he said.
'We need to put as much time behind us as we can to be absolutely sure that there are not little clusters out there that have been percolating or incubating and about to flare up.'

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Seven arrests, dozens fined at Melbourne anti-mask protest
7 people have been arrested and dozens fined after a "Freedom Day" anti-mask protest rally in the Melbourne CBD on Victoria's deadliest day of the pandemic so far.

Victoria Police confirmed the arrests in a statement, saying 27 fines had been issued for breaches of Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton's public order for people to stay home as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Most of those fined wore face coverings, despite the core claim of the protest.
Some of the protesters arrested were vocal in front of cameras as they were hauled away, with some describing the move by police as "Nazi Australia".

6 other people refused to tell police their details after being detained at the rally and were later released but each fined $1652.

In total, 24 of the fines were given to people for leaving their homes while in Melbourne's stage four restrictions lockdown zone for a non-essential reason.
Another person was also fined $2000 for not wearing a mask, which is also in breach of Mr Sutton's current public health orders.

Police say one of the organisers of today's rally was given a $1652 fine and is expected to be charged based on alleged offences linked to another protest to be held at a later date.

The fine comes after two other people, who were also protest rally organisers, were arrested earlier this week by police.
Separately, one man who was also allegedly breaching public health orders but not linked to the protest was arrested after being found in a stolen car by police.

The behaviour drew the criticism of Premier Daniel Andrews today, who said flouting public health orders poses serious risks to Victorians' wellbeing.
"There will always be a percentage of people who make decisions who think that they are much more in their interest rather than the community's interest," he told reporters.
"The point is - it's not in your interests.
"I've had to stand here the last few days and report two people in their 30s who have died. Just today - two people in their 50s.
"Around the world, people who are otherwise healthy of all ages have died because of this virus."
It comes as Victoria's COVID-19 death toll grew to 210 today, with 17 more people losing their lives to the virus.
Health authorities also announced another 394 new vases today, bringing the current total up to 14,659.

Almost 8000 cases are still active, and at least 174 are yet to be traced by authorities to any known infection.

Despite the continued spikes, Mr Andrews said he has confidence in the people of Victoria.
"We overcame fire, we overcame drought, we overcome lots of challenges. We are all resilient people," he said.
"I'm always very hesitant to try and take one day's data and turn it into a trend."

A new poll shows more than half of Australians surveyed believe police should have the power to fine those who spread COVID-19 conspiracy theories.

The latest 9Nation poll exclusive for nine.com.au revealed that 56 % of those surveyed think Australian police should be able to penalise those who intentionally induce chaos using misinformation.
<< I THINK THEY NEED TO BE TREATED THE SAME WAY TRAITORS AND SPIES ARE TREATED IN WAR TIME , AS THEY ARE NO LESS DAMAGING AND DISRUPTIVE AS SABOTEURS , AND THEY ARE INDEED SABOTAGING THE NATION’S WAR TO CONTROL OR EVEN ELIMINATE COVID19 >>

The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp, earlier today urged anti-mask protesters to call off the rally.
She told Weekend Today the demonstration was in defiance of expert medical advice.
"Don't do it. We are in the middle of stage four restrictions. We need to do the right thing and listen to our safety and health experts for the safety of everybody. Please do not attend the protest," she said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

Victoria police issue nearly 270 coronavirus breach fines in 24 hours
Almost 270 Victorians have been fined for breaching coronavirus restrictions, including a man helping a friend to move a TV across Melbourne.

Victoria Police issued a total of 268 fines to individuals, including 77 for curfew breaches, 38 for failing to wear a face mask when leaving home and 13 for vehicle checkpoint violations.

One case involved a man who told police he was helping a friend move a television some 27 kilometres from Doncaster East to Dandenong and thought it would be OK to stop at a fast food outlet to get a burger. He told officers he planned to make a pitstop to get a burger from a fast food restaurant.

Another involved a man who had four friends over to visit at his bungalow in the backyard of a Mount Alexander property in central Victoria to "watch the footy".
A Victorian man was fined for having mates over to watch the footy
A footy fan said he invited his four friends over to watch a game as an excuse for breaching COVID-19 restrictions.
Police handed him the $1,652 fine after finding the host with his mates at his Mount Alexander property, north-west of Melbourne, on Saturday.
The man was just one of 268 people who were found to have breached coronavirus restrictions across the state over the last 24 hours.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/melbourn ... d=msedgdhp

In Melbourne, a man was picked up at 2am for breaching the city's 8pm to 5am curfew after having drinks at a pub with friends.
All the cases occurred within the past 24 hours, Victoria Police said on Sunday.

Police also handed out fines to 38 people for not wearing a face-mask for an approved reason and 77 residents for breaching curfew.

Police also conducted 3841 spot checks on people at homes, businesses and public places across the state.

Under stage four restrictions applying to metropolitan Melbourne, people must stay at home between 8pm and 5am, unless they need to leave for work, medical care or caregiving.

Outside of those hours, residents can't leave home unless they are shopping for food or essential items, for exercise or permitted work and must stay within a 5km radius of their homes.

Under stage three restrictions applying to regional Victoria and Mitchell Shire, stay-at-home restrictions are in effect.

All Victorians must wear a face mask when they leave home.
Metropolitan Melbourne residents are subject to Stage 4 restrictions and must comply with a curfew between the hours of 8pm and 5am. During the curfew, people in Melbourne can only leave their house for work, and essential health, care or safety reasons.
Between 5am and 8pm, people in Melbourne can leave the home for exercise, to shop for necessary goods and services, for work, for health care, or to care for a sick or elderly relative.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/victoria-po ... n-24-hours

Victorian coronavirus hotel quarantine nurse alleges DHHS relaxed infection controls to appease guests
Departmental staff in charge of running Melbourne's quarantine hotels were more concerned with appeasing guests than infection control, according to a nurse who worked at the troubled facilities.
Some guests were given extra so-called "fresh air" breaks and took advantage of the increasingly relaxed system, threatening to self-harm if they were not given allowances to leave their rooms, the nurse — who does not want to be named — said.
She said she believed the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was unnerved by a suspected suicide that occurred at the Pan Pacific hotel in South Wharf in April, during the first two weeks of hotel quarantine coming into force.

The suspected suicide is being investigated by the coroner.

The nurse said the whole focus became about ensuring guests were satisfied, rather than quarantined.
"They were just trying to fix guests' anxiety, and as a result [staff] started having too many interactions with guests," she said.
"We should have been seeing them as infrequently as possible."

In one instance, the nurse said she was asked by a team leader to babysit one of the guest's children for a couple of hours so the guest could clean their room and have a break — a request she refused.

Guests in some hotels also communicated through Facebook groups, she said, discussing how to beat the restrictions, which put hotel staff under more pressure.
"Things like 'tell them you've got a psych issue and then they have to give you a fresh air break' were doing the rounds," she said.
"We had people calling us saying 'I'm going to kill myself if I don't have a cigarette outside right now'. You've got no choice but to take that threat seriously."

The nurse said guests were only meant to have two fresh air breaks a week, escorted by a security guard or a nurse for roughly 15 minutes, but this became more frequent for guests if they complained.

Some people were allowed to leave their room every day for a half-hour cigarette break because they became threatening and aggressive otherwise, she said.
"Human nature is that you will play up if you're given the scope to. And these people were allowed to," she said.

She said some guests and security guards did not wear their masks properly during the breaks, and in some instances guests were smoking and did not wear a mask at all.

At least one guest she escorted out for a cigarette break tested positive for COVID-19 a few days later.
"I had just been standing there a few metres from them while they had their mask off. Members of the public were also walking past. It shouldn't have been happening," she said.

The ABC has seen payslips showing the nurse worked at more than half a dozen Melbourne quarantine hotels between April and July, including the Stamford Plaza, where one outbreak occurred.

She said each hotel was run differently, depending on the DHHS member in charge.

When asked if there had been any changes in policy or attitudes after the suicide in hotel quarantine, Mr Andrews said the concerns raised by the nurse "probably speaks to at least that person's view ... a tone or atmosphere very much on the ground", rather than policy decisions.
"We did have a tragedy ... someone did take their own life in that program. That much is true," he said.
"But beyond that, I couldn't speak to some of the comments and appraisals that are made in that [ABC] report today, but that may well be of interest to Judge Coate."

Guards fist-bumped guests, shared lifts: nurse
The nurse also backed up previous whistleblower accounts about the standard of security guards at the hotel, saying she witnessed one fist-bumping a group of guests, multiple staff members travelling in lifts with guests and other security staff sitting down on their phones the entire day when they were meant to be actively guarding hotel floors.

However, she said some of the hotels she worked at had extremely good protocols in place, such as only the one staff member touching lift buttons or travelling in lifts with guests, and it was harder for guests to get special dispensations.
"If more people had spoken out from the start, maybe this wouldn't have happened," she said.

Victoria's current coronavirus outbreak, which has led to tough stage 4 restrictions, could potentially be attributed to the botched hotel quarantine system.

An independent inquiry into the system was expected to begin public hearings this week, but the implementation of stage 4 restrictions resulted in those hearings being delayed until August 17.

The inquiry will focus on the administration of quarantine by Unified at Rydges in Carlton and MSS Security at the Stamford Plaza, but industry figures said more needed to be done to weed out the second and third tier of subcontractors, which were relied upon to service the contracts.

The state's hotel quarantine system has been put on hold for international travellers during the surge in recent infections.

Messages reveal concerns guards fell asleep on the job
Security guards and subcontractors who worked at quarantine hotels have told the ABC they remain concerned that the inquiry will not fully uncover the litany of errors which plagued the scheme.

Messages sent via WhatsApp by a security guard manager to his staff, and seen by the ABC, indicate the manager was informed as early as April 27 that guards were falling asleep on the job at one hotel.

Other WhatsApp messages from a manager at Silvans Facility Services, which was subcontracted by Unified to provide guards at several hotels, show him telling his staff they should be grateful for the work, rather than complaining about conditions or disregarding instructions.

In early May, the manager forwarded a series of screenshots of messages from prospective guards who he said had contacted him in the past five hours seeking shifts.
"It breaks my heart to say no to them and makes me sad and some are ready to work for $15 an hour or 'wtever [sic] you can pay'. These guys are waiting to be exploited as they are so desperate," the manager wrote.
"I just wanted you all to understand my work is not easy. If you are not serious still and disregarding instructions and don't want to be a team player, then some of these people will replace you."

Silvans part-owner and national operations manager Kapil Bhatia declined to comment, but said he would cooperate with the inquiry if called.
Another guard who worked for Silvans said he received "perfect" access to PPE and training, and personally saw five guards being asked to leave their shifts because of a failure to wear masks or proper uniform.

A separate subcontractor who provided guards to Unified at Rydges said he had also seen staff sent home for minor uniform breaches, such as wearing the wrong socks.

He questioned whether the system failures were because of the behaviour of individual guards, rather than the contractors.

The subcontractor said the framing of cash payments as something solely pushed by employers was incorrect, as many employees requested to be paid this way to ensure they remained eligible for other government payments or did not breach visa conditions.

He also said reports that hotel guards were recruited via WhatsApp or Gumtree gave the false impression this was a new practice, rather than a necessary measure in an underregulated industry where demand for work can fluctuate wildly.

Dozens of guards can be required to fill shifts at short notice, a fact underlined in a text message seen by the ABC which was sent by a manager at the Security Hub, which was a subcontractor for MSS Security, requesting a guard to fill a shift with less than 10 hours' notice at the Stamford Plaza.

The Security Hub declined to comment, but a spokesman confirmed they planned to cooperate with the inquiry, which has listed it as one of 14 private entities of interest.

The Premier has declined to give detailed answers to questions about hotel quarantine while the judicial inquiry is imminent.

A DHHS spokesman declined to answer detailed questions about the quarantine program or allegations raised by the nurse, saying it would be inappropriate to comment while the inquiry remained ongoing.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/vi ... d=msedgntp
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:47 am

9 AUGUST NSW

10 new coronavirus cases recorded in NSW overnight
New South Wales reported 10 new coronavirus infections on Saturday.
Of those cases, 2 were international travellers in hotel quarantine, 4 of the cases are linked to a cluster associated with funeral events in Bankstown and surrounding suburbs, and 3 have no known source.

There are fears NSW is preparing for a second outbreak of infections with nine cases identified over the past week not linked to known clusters.
There were 31,681 tests reported in the 24-hour reporting period, compared with 24,421 in the previous 24 hours in which 10 cases were detected.
Coronavirus alert for multiple Sydney venues, with Tangara School for Girls closed for two weeks
Key points:
Tangara School for Girls will be closed until August 24
NSW Health has also alerted about an employee at Bunnings in Campbelltown, who worked August 2, 5 and 6
A healthcare worker in Hornsby Hospital's emergency department tested positive after working on August 6

A Sydney secondary school has closed for two weeks and all students have been told to self-isolate after two of them were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Health authorities have this weekend issued warnings about a fresh clutch of public spaces under scrutiny across Sydney after links to confirmed cases.

Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook in Sydney's north-west reported a second coronavirus case yesterday after the first case was reported on Friday.
The case from Friday is under investigation with no known source.
The school will now be closed for onsite learning until Monday, August 24.
NSW Health says all students must be tested as soon as possible and remain isolated, even if a negative test is returned.
Year 12 students at Tangara will start remote learning on Tuesday and will be advised tomorrow about their trial HSC exams.
All other students will commence home learning on Wednesday.
The junior school campus will also be closed until August 21, aside from students whose parents are unable to accommodate remote learning.
Tangara school to close for two weeks after second student tests positive
The principal of Tangara, Rita Sakr, announced late on Saturday the school would close with no secondary students permitted on campus until Monday, August 24.

All of those students and any other associated close contacts of the two students have also been asked to arrange for a COVID-19 test, but must remain in isolation for two weeks even if they test negative.

The Cherrybrook school was closed for cleaning on Friday after the first case was identified. Its junior school will also be closed to most students for the next fortnight.

Year 12 students will commence remote learning from Tuesday, and will be contacted regarding arrangements for their HSC trial exams on Monday. The rest of the secondary students will start remote learning from Wednesday.
"From the moment we were notified of a confirmed case ... we have been working very closely with NSW Health, the Department of Education and the Association of Independent Schools NSW to ensure that all steps are taken to maintain the safety of the Tangara and wider communities," Ms Sakr said.
"The safety and wellbeing of our staff, students and families is of paramount importance to us at all times."

The student who tested positive on Friday was one of a handful of cases of concern for NSW Health authorities, with no clear link to a known case.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... hp#image=1

Principal Rita Sakr said the wellbeing of staff and students was of "paramount" importance.
"It is a very important time for the Tangara community and it is important that we stay positive and unified in the days ahead," she said.

Elsewhere, Our Lady of Mercy College in Parramatta will be closed tomorrow for cleaning and contract tracing after a student tested positive for COVID-19.
Principal Marie Wood says it is working with NSW Health on advice for close contacts.
"Students and staff must self-isolate until receiving further advice from NSW Health or communication from the school," she said.
Our Lady of Mercy College will be closed on Monday while cleaning and contact tracing is undertaken. NSW Health confirmed on Sunday the student there was one of the two cases with no known source

The healthcare member worked one shift in the emergency department of Hornsby Hospital while infectious on August 6, from 11am to midnight, a spokeswoman for the health department said.

The worker is a household contact of another person who was also a confirmed case on Saturday.
"The staff member became unwell after their shift and immediately self-isolated and got tested for COVID-19," she said.

The worker was wearing a mask while in contact with patients, and NSW Health is in the process of identifying members of the public who had contact with the person, the spokeswoman said.

Other hospital staff who had contact with the person have been identified and instructed to self-isolate for 14 days.
"There is no impact on the services being provided by the Emergency Department," the spokeswoman said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... hp#image=1
10 new cases have been reported in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday.
7 were close contacts of known cases, including 1 member of a household of a Tangara student.
2 cases are under investigation.
Another case is a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.

NSW Health conducted 31,681 tests during the last reporting period, up from 24,421 the day before.
There have now been 3,672 confirmed cases in the state.

NSW Health has reiterated warnings over cases "circulating in the community", with nine cases over the past week not linked to known cases.
People who attended a service at St Agatha's Church in Pennant Hills on Wednesday, August 5 and Thursday, August 6 have been told to watch for symptoms after confirmation a case attended mass.
One of the cases reported in today's figures attended from 6:30am to 7:00am on both days before showing symptoms of the virus.
It is believed the infected person who attended services was a household contact of one of the Tangara students.

An alert was issued last night for Bunnings in Campbelltown after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.
The health authority said the employee wore a mask and practised social distancing, but customers who attended the store at the same time should monitor for symptoms.
The shift times were
Tuesday, August 2 from 11:00am to 7:00pm;
Wednesday, August 5 from 8:00am to 1:00pm;
and Thursday, August 6 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.
Anyone who visited a Bunnings store in Campbelltown this week is also being told to monitor for symptoms after an employee tested positive for the virus.

The Bunnings employee worked at the store from 11am to 7pm on August 4, from 8am to 4pm on August 5 and from 1pm to 3pm on August 6.

NSW Health said the employee was wearing a mask and practising social distancing during the shifts but customers who visited during these times are urged to monitor for symptoms.

Other staff members have been identified as close contacts of the employee and are self-isolating.

Bunnings chief operating officer Debbie Poole said the store "has undergone two deep cleans using disinfectants since the team member last worked in addition to the routine cleaning that occurs each day".

The store is also being cleaned a third time, she said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... hp#image=1
Other densely populated places reporting COVID-19 cases over the weekend are Hornsby Hospital on Sydney's Upper North Shore, where a staff member worked in the emergency department while infected.
The staff member worked Thursday, August 6 from 11:00am to midnight.
NSW Health says the healthcare worker is a household contact of another confirmed case.
The staff member was wearing a mask at all times in contact with patients and there is no impact on the emergency department, authorities said.


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ON THE NSW – VIC BORDER – COMMUNITY SPIRIT LIVES ON
All together now: Albury Wodonga Singing in Quarantine group returns, urging people to stay connected
A virtual singing group that started in Albury Wodonga and met weekly during Australia’s first coronavirus lockdown is back.

With a recent spike in coronavirus cases and the closure of the NSW and Victorian state border, the Singing in Quarantine group thought the time was right to get together again — virtually — so they will on Friday.

Nicki Strauss and Chantelle Hutchins, who started the group with Lauren Schmutter, said the group started as a way for the friends to stay in touch when stay-at-home restrictions were imposed in March to help fight the global pandemic.

Ms Strauss said the friends wondered how they would stay connected during lockdown and that led to the virtual choir idea.
"Chantelle, Lauren and I were messaging and we were like, 'What are we going to do?' and we were, 'Hey, let's start an online choir,' so we started the Singing in Quarantine Facebook group, we added our friends and the group grew quickly to nearly 250 people from around the world," she said.
"I think people were looking for something, they were looking for connection

Staying connected
During lockdown the group, of all levels of singing ability, produced 13 videos uploaded to YouTube and shared on social media.

Songs included Gangsta's Paradise by Coolio, Never Gonna Give You Up, by Rick Astley, Don't Stop Believin', by Journey, and songs from musicals including Hamilton and Rent.

Ms Strauss said the process was simple, each week they would give the group a new song, a session would be hosted on Zoom to go over vocals, singers would then have a couple of days to record an audio or video version of the song, the songs were submitted, audio mixed and a video was produced and uploaded.

Ms Hutchins said the group stopped producing weekly songs mid-May when restrictions from the initial lockdown eased.
"People were finding it hard to get audio and video done because life was starting to return to normal with people going back to work, school and other things," she said.

But, she said, now the Victorian and NSW border had closed and tougher restrictions were in force in Victoria, it was a good time to bring back for the group to start reconnecting.
"We have our family and friends on either side of the border but some of us can't see each other because the border is closed," Ms Hutchins said.
"Some of us have our families near us but some of us don't and are alone, so connections (like these) are so important."

Ms Strauss said although the group could not commit to producing a song a week this time, there would probably still be regular catch-ups.
"We will start again with a Zoom session this Friday and we will see how it goes from there," she said.
"Connection is so important in this current climate and if you like singing and dancing, this is a great way to connect safely at home."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

School moves into mask market by designing, printing, and donating 'ear savers' to health workers
A Bendigo secondary school is using 3D printing technology to make more than 300 'ear savers' for frontline healthcare workers.

A group of students at Girton Grammar School, who have parents that work in healthcare, came up with the idea during a class on empathy and emotional intelligence.

The school's head of technology and academic services, Rod Smith, said the project began during the first stage 3 lockdown while students were learning from home.
"We asked students to put themselves in someone else's shoes, thinking about our frontline workers and the issues they're facing at the moment," Mr Smith said.
"It was a common thread that the issues associated with having to wear a face mask all day, every day, meant that parents were coming home with discomfort around the back of the ears.
"We've got over a dozen 3D printers sitting at the school and it was a fairly simple leap to say 'well, let's actually put these printers to good use and do something that directly benefit the people in the community'.
"Who better than our frontline health workers?"

The small plastic clips hold the mask on from the back of the head, removing the need to loop the elastic around the ears.

Made from recyclable ABS plastic, they can be sterilised and reused.

Just like 'squeezing out toothpaste'
Sadly, the students could not get involved in the printing process as they were all learning from home during lockdown.

That was where a laboratory technician at Girton Grammar School, Peter Martin, joined the project.
"I just adapted the design to fit in our printers and away we went," Mr Martin said.
"It's like toothpaste squeezing out and builds up layer by layer."

Mr Smith commended Mr Martin for his work on the project, and says it effectively saved his job.
"He really made the process a lot more efficient with less material use," Mr Smith said.
"Instead of being stood down [while the school was closed], it gave him something to do.
"In the first round he managed to get 150 strips done.
"We donated those to the parent of one of the students at Bendigo Health who works in the ICU and apparently they were snapped up in 10 minutes."

The school's technology department is now rushing to keep up with demand.
"We have the printers running as we speak and we're quickly producing as many of them as we can," Mr Smith said.
"It takes about 10 minutes to print one, but we have over a dozen 3D printers here at the school so we can produce quite a few."

The school is expecting to 3D print at least another 150, but Mr Smith said they would be keen to print more.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

BREECHES

FOOTY PLAYERS MUCKING UP AGAIN = NRL players fall foul of strict COVID-19 rules
In Sydney = Brisbane Broncos' forward Tevita Pangai Jr. has been placed in isolation for two weeks after he became the sixth person within a week to breach the National Rugby League's strict COVID-19 protocols.

Pangai attended the opening of a barber shop in Brisbane on Saturday in breach of the protocols. He was tested for COVID-19 and could face further sanctions, the club said in a statement on Sunday.
"The Broncos are investigating the circumstances around the matter to determine what further action may be taken," the team said.
Dobbo on TPJ biosecurity breach
Broncos star Tevita Pangai Jr's biosecurity breach, involving bikies, has sidelined him for two weeks.
<< AND GIVEN THE STATE GOVERNMENT CAUSE TO RECONSIDER THE ( DUBIOUS ) VALUE OF CAVING INTO THE AFL & NRL AND COMMERCIAL NETWORKS ON BORDER SECURITY TO ALLOW THE 2020 SEASONS TO CONTINUE>>

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It was the second time in 48 hours the Broncos had to address breaches of the protocols, where teams have essentially been in 'bubbles' for several months to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Three of the team's staff, Allan Langer, Ryan Whitley and Blake Duncan were all placed in isolation after they attended a social function in Brisbane earlier this week.

They were fined A$5,000 ($3,597) each.

South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett was also fined A$20,000 ($14,314.00) this week for going to a restaurant with his partner while St. George-Illawarra prop Paul Vaughan was fined A$10,000 ($7,190) for visiting a cafe.

The breaches come on top of the news Brisbane would be without coach Anthony Seibold for the next two weeks after he was allowed to leave the team when they were in Sydney over the weekend to deal "with a serious family matter".
"He expects to be able to return to Brisbane within 48 hours but in line with COVID regulations he will need to self-isolate for 14 days once he is back in Queensland," Broncos Chief Executive Paul White said.
"Assistant coach Peter Gentle will coach the team in Anthony's absence."

Australia is experiencing a second wave of novel coronavirus infections, especially in the southeastern state of Victoria, prompting restrictions on inter-state travel.
<< BUT SPECIAL DISPENSATIONS HAVE BEEN GIVEN BY NSW & QLD TO ALLOW AFL & NRL PLAYERS TO TRAVEL CROSS THE CLOSED STATE BORDERS TO STAY IN FOOTY BUBBLES IN NEWCASTLE, GOSFORD, SYDNEY AND BRISBANE.>>

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North Queensland couple charged in Tweed Heads after crossing state border in allegedly stolen car and ramming police
A Queensland couple has been arrested and charged in New South Wales after using a ute that was allegedly stolen from a car dealership in north Queensland to ram police cars at Tweed Heads in northern New South Wales.

New South Wales Police said that about 2:00pm on Saturday, highway police were notified about a stolen Holden Colorado travelling south on the Pacific Highway.
Police began chasing the car but soon gave up for safety reasons.
The ute was later spotted in an underground car park in Tweed Heads.
New South Wales officers blocked the driveway with two police cars and approached the stolen vehicle.
They said a 20-year-old Mackay man, whose licence had been suspended, allegedly drove the ute at police and smashed it into their car.
Police said the driver reversed before smashing onto a second police car and driving off.
The car was found abandoned and an 18-year-old woman was arrested nearby.
The man was later arrested at a Tweed Heads hospital.

Police alleged the car was stolen from a Mackay dealership last Wednesday, then driven without proper number plates to Tweed Heads, more than 1,000km away.

The woman was charged for being a passenger in a stolen car, while the man was charged with six offences relating to allegedly stealing a car, evading police, using a weapon to avoid arrest and other offences.

Both were remanded in custody and are expected to appear in court in Lismore tomorrow.

It's unclear whether the couple crossed into New South Wales before or after the border closed at 1:00am on Saturday.

More than 150 vehicles denied entry TO QLD FROM NSW TODAY.
Since the Queensland border was closed to traffic from New South Wales, only residents in approved postcodes are permitted to travel into Queensland.
Queensland residents returning home are required to fly into the state and pay for their hotel quarantine, at a cost of about $200 a night.
As of this morning, police had checked 5,596 vehicles at the border, and 159 vehicles had been turned around, since the road crossing was closed to unauthorised travellers.

Queensland Police said they were not pursuing the couple for extradition as they have been charged in New South Wales.
Due to the pandemic, interstate police have been making border exchanges of prisoners, although it's not clear how that would work under the new border restrictions that came into effect yesterday.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

9 AUGUST ACT
At this COVID-19 testing site in Canberra, the nurses work to keep people calm
Cheryl Martine was a part-time nurse, helping care for her daughter's two children, when the coronavirus pandemic struck Australia.

Saddened by the loss of her husband, she had gone back to working as a registered nurse, a job she loved.

But she had more recently reduced her hours to one day per week and was planning to retire.

She now works four days a week and loves being a nurse more than ever, as she makes them laugh while testing them for coronavirus.

She is one of thousands across the country at the frontline of Australia's COVID-19 response.

'They've heard the horror stories'
By now, the rumours about the unpleasant nature of COVID-19 testing have spread far and wide.

Nurses at the EPIC testing centre in north Canberra say they can generally tell when someone is feeling anxious as they arrive, that they may have heard a few tales from those who came before.
"We try to allay that," Ms Martine said.
"I say, 'If you've heard the horror stories, don't panic, we're experienced, we know what we're doing, we're very quick.'"

Earlier on, the test for COVID-19 involved inserting a long swab — dubbed "the brain-scraper" — far into the nose, but now, it is shorter and less invasive.

Both the nose and throat are swabbed.

People react in different ways, with tears to the eyes, or they gag or sneeze.
"I say to people it's like when you dive into a swimming pool and the water rushes up your nose," Ms Martine said.
"So I've made more grown men cry in the last four-and-a-half months than in my entire life."

When it comes to children, they also have their tricks to ease any anxiety.

Ms Martine's colleague Tracey Clarke said humour was one successful approach.
"You try to make a joke; you might say 'I'm going to go as far into your nose as you do when you pull your boogers out,'" Ms Clarke said.
"You just try to relax them and explain exactly what you're going to do, that it shouldn't hurt.
"You take that time with each person."

She said handling people's emotions was all part of the job.
"When we're in that role we're the ones who are dealing with that anxiety," she said.

But they said they believed they were mostly successful.
"I'd say 60 per cent of people leave laughing," Ms Martine said.

Tiring job comes with rewards
At the age of 66, Ms Martine is considered to be in a higher risk category when it comes to the effects of coronavirus.

But she said she felt safe at work and was not concerned for her health.

She said she intended to delay her retirement until she was no longer needed for testing.
"I love being here — I actually feel safer here and I've never had any concerns about being contaminated," she said.

The role is not without its physical challenges, and after a few months she had developed some discomfort from leaning into car windows for hours on end.

That was despite a system that allowed nurses to swap roles to reduce any aches or chafing from the different masks they are required to wear.

But physiotherapy and a new rolling stool had since resolved those issues, she said.

She and Ms Clarke said they felt rewarded by the fact that they were helping Canberrans.
"One of the reasons I'm here doing this is I want to keep the community safe," Ms Clarke said.
"I have very elderly grandparents and I want to keep them safe in the community."

She had not seen her grandparents since beginning work as a testing nurse but said it was worth it to ensure they stayed well.
"They're not in a nursing home, they're in their own home — I want to keep them there," she said.

Ms Martine said she was grateful to Canberrans for being responsive to the testing requirements.

When an outbreak of coronavirus was confirmed at the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, they were kept at work for nearly three extra hours due to a sudden spike in demand.
"The Canberra community has responded and I think that's why our levels of COVID have reduced," Ms Martine said.
"I know we're small compared to the rest of the country and I think the rest of the country is doing the best they can do, but I think that we live in a community that is very aware."

'Warm, soapy water is just as good'
Both nurses have procedures at home to ensure their families stay safe.

Ms Martine said everyone washed their hands as soon as they arrived home, including her grandchildren.
"I'm very, very careful — I de-gown my uniform and it goes straight in the wash and it's washed separately."

Her advice to others was to keep it simple and make sure they washed their hands regularly.
"And not to worry if you don't have Pinoclean or Dettol wipes — warm, soapy water is just as good."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

Canberra residents stranded in Victoria due to coronavirus restrictions may get police escort home
Nearly 100 Canberrans are stranded in Victoria waiting to return to the ACT, after being prevented from crossing the border by New South Wales police.

Many were surprised to learn on Friday they would not be allowed to drive through NSW to the ACT, despite having permission from ACT Health to do so.

Under new hotel quarantine requirements in NSW, anyone entering the state from Victoria must pass through Sydney Airport.

Meanwhile, the ACT has again recorded zero new cases of COVID-19 and has been free of known cases for more than four weeks.

'Extensive efforts' being made to bring residents home
Canberra residents are now waiting in Victoria to learn if some agreement can be made between ACT and NSW authorities to allow them to drive home.

It is understood the primary reason for NSW authorities' reluctance to allow the ACT residents to drive home is the risk travellers with the virus may pass through regional towns along the route home.

For the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic read our coronavirus live blog.
The ACT Government has offered to send ACT police officers to escort the group directly back to Canberra, but that offer has not been taken up as yet.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr took to social media to warn those stuck at the border a resolution was still some time away.
"Extensive efforts [are] being made by the ACT to satisfy NSW concerns (police escorts etc)," he said.

Mr Barr has personally contacted NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to try and resolve the issue.
The only immediate option available to those in Victoria trying to return to the ACT is to travel into Melbourne and fly directly to Canberra.
Just one flight was available on Sunday.
Canberrans 'confused and frustrated' at the border
Flying is not an option for stranded Canberran Anne Cahill Lambert and her husband Rod Lambert.

Mr Lambert had been working as a locum doctor in north-east Victoria for the past four months.
His contract concluded last week, so the couple applied for permits to travel home and were given permission from both the ACT and NSW authorities to do so.
But when they arrived at the border on Friday "it all went to hell in a hand basket".

After being told they could not cross, Ms Cahill Lambert contacted the NSW COVID-19 service centre and was told their only option was to travel to Melbourne and fly to Sydney for mandatory quarantine.
"Without my car, without my dog, and without all the things packed in my car," she said.
"I was confused and frustrated, but more angry."
Ms Cahill Lambert also works in the health system. While she said she was committed to the public health directives, she was angry the rules were changed "at a moment's notice".
"I can't think in what realm you would instruct someone to go to Melbourne, which is the epicentre of the pandemic at the moment, and catch a flight in a confined space," she said.

Ms Cahill Lambert urged the NSW Chief Health Officer to consider adapting rules to individual cases.
"We're been isolated in north-east Victoria where there has been no cases [of COVID-19]," she said.
For now, Ms Cahill Lambert said she, her husband and dog were staying put and waiting for "common sense to prevail."
Image

Federal MPs given permission to travel to Canberra
Meanwhile, Federal MPs have been given exemptions to travel from Victoria to the capital ahead of parliament resuming on August 24.

As of 9:00am Saturday, 12 politicians and nine of their staff had been given permission to travel through NSW to Canberra, where they must spend 14 days in self-quarantine.

Victorian MPs have also been given the option of self-isolating at home in Victoria, and then travelling to Canberra.
But in a letter to all party leaders, Mr Barr said it was the strong preference of local health authorities that MPs self-isolate in the ACT.

Mr Barr said returning parliamentarians posed a "significant risk in the transmission of COVID-19".
"A transmission event could impact the entire workforce of the Australian Parliament House and potentially impact the function of the Government," he wrote.
"An outbreak could also adversely affect the broader Canberra community."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-09/ ... s/12538856

9 AUGUST FEDERAL

AFP arrest trio for trying to defraud coronavirus superannuation early access scheme
Three Queensland women have been charged with allegedly trying to defraud the Commonwealth Government's early access to superannuation scheme for more than $113,000.
The Australian Federal Police have charged the trio for submitting fraudulent applications, claiming to be other superannuation fundholders.

The AFP has charged a total of seven people with offences related to defrauding schemes set up to offer coronavirus financial assistance.

People experiencing financial hardship have been given the opportunity to withdraw $10,000 from their super funds last financial year, and another $10,000 this financial year.

AFP Deputy Commissioner Brett Pointing said they were determined to identify those who are defrauding the public.
"Make no mistake. If you try to steal the nest eggs of hard-working Australians, we will find you and charge you," he said.
"The AFP works around the clock to disrupt and charge offenders who are defrauding the public.
"These arrests are a timely reminder for Australians to make sure their personal financial details are secure — don't be an easy target for criminals."

The latest arrests followed police executing search warrants at five addresses in five South East Queensland suburbs — Morayfield, Worongary, Balmoral, Eagleby and Burpengary East — on August 6.

One of the women, 41, was refused bail and appeared in the Southport Magistrates Court on August 7.

She has been charged with conspiring to dishonestly obtain personal financial information.

Another 41-year-old woman will appear in the Pine Rivers Magistrates Court on September 2, while a 36-year-old woman will appear in Southport Magistrates Court on September 4.

Both are charged with three conspiring offences.

Shadow Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones has asked the Auditor-General to investigate the "robo-release" early access scheme.
"It is not clear how many have been hit by super thieves, because the threat was not detected by the ATO, but by an employee at a super fund," he said.
"The Auditor-General should take a close look and see how many more failures have slipped under the radar."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Young people who withdraw super may be $100,000 worse off in retirement, Labor says
<< ESSENTIALLY FUNDING THE “RECESSION” WITH THEIR OWN SAVINGS AND MOVING THE COSTS OF THIS IN THE SHORT TO MEDIUM TERM FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT , LABOR HAS BEEN UNEASY ABOUT ABOUT THIS SCHEME WHICH UNDERMINE THE UNIVERSIAL SUPERANNUATION SCHEME IN AUSTRALIA AS ESTABLISHED BY KEATING IN THE 70s >>
Young people will bear the brunt of the Covid-19 economic crisis, Labor has said, as it estimates a 25-year-old who withdraws $20,000 from superannuation may be left up to $100,000 worse off in retirement.

The opposition is stepping up its attack on the government’s handling of the early access to superannuation scheme, which allows people dealing with the adverse economic effects of Covid-19 to withdraw up to $10,000 this financial year. People were also able to access up to $10,000 last financial year.
The shadow assistant treasurer, Stephen Jones, said instead of receiving timely government support, “young Australians have borne the brunt of this crisis and will be forced to continue to pay the cost in years to come”.
“After taking into account inflation and cost of living, a 25-year-old who withdraws $20,000 will be between $80,000 to $100,0000 worse off in retirement,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

“A 35-year-old who withdraws $20,000 will be at least $65,000 worse off. Collectively, under 35s will be at least $51bn worse off at retirement.”

Labor released these estimates a few days after it asked the auditor general to look into what it described as failures in implementation of the super early release scheme.

The superannuation early release program has already paid out $32bn from retirement savings and is set to top $42bn by December – with concerns raised by former prime minister Paul Keating and others that 590,000 accounts have been emptied to zero.

While the opposition says it supported the original intent of the scheme, it argues there have been insufficient checks on whether people accessing their super are in financial hardship, and retirement savings have also been exposed to frauds and scams.

“They’re going to look back on this and think of this superannuation policy as being as dumb as the introduction of cane toads in Australia,” Jones told reporters.

“This is a bad policy that has been poorly implemented.

Allegations of identity theft involving 150 Australians prompted the government to temporarily halt withdrawals in May after police froze $120,000 believed to have been ripped off from retirement savings.

But the government has defended the scheme. In an interview with Guardian Australia last week, the assistant minister for superannuation, Jane Hume, said people had always been able to access their superannuation in times of financial distress, and she accused Keating of being out of touch.

“[It’s] extraordinary that a man in a Zegna suit on a generous parliamentary pension can sneer at the decisions made by ordinary Australians who are facing some of the most challenging economic circumstances we’ve ever seen,” Hume said.

Labor’s figures were based on the party’s own internal modelling.

Some of the calculations are broadly similar to estimates published by the Grattan Institute last week – although the thinktank argued that much of the losses to individuals would be offset by larger government-funded pension payments.

The Grattan Institute calculated that a 35-year-old who took out the full $20,000 allowed under the early release scheme would see their total superannuation income fall by about $80,000.

But the institute said such a person’s total retirement income would fall by only $24,000 in today’s dollars – or about $900 per year – because their financial situation would trigger higher pensions.

Brendan Coates, the Grattan Institute’s household finances program director, said the government’s priority when launching the early access scheme earlier this year was to get money out the door quickly. But he said it made sense to tighten the checking of applicants’ financial hardship to ensure people were genuinely eligible.

Coates reaffirmed the Grattan Institute’s longstanding position that the amount of compulsory superannuation paid by employers should not increase further, because of the potential effect on wages.

Hume told Guardian Australia the scheduled increases in compulsory super from 9.5% to 12% were already legislated so would be “very difficult to unwind”.

While the government had “no plan” to abandon the superannuation guarantee increases, it would be “irresponsible” not to consider the impact of the trade-off between super increases and wages, she said.

The government is considering a retirement incomes review, which was submitted to the prime minister and treasurer in late July.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/yo ... d=msedgntp

Federal Government open to more JobKeeper tweaks if economy deteriorates further amid coronavirus downturn
The Federal Government is leaving the door open to changing the rate of vital Commonwealth income support, with the Victorian coronavirus crisis biting hard and fuelling concerns the nation's economic recovery will be delayed for many months.

The JobKeeper wage subsidy and the JobSeeker unemployment benefit are due to change at the end of September, tapering off in line with the Federal Government's hopes the economy will start to recover from COVID-19.
JobKeeper is currently $1,500 a fortnight for each employee a business keeps on its books during the economic downturn, but will change to $1,200 for full-time workers and $750 for part-time and casual staff from September 28.
It is due to drop again to $1,000 for full-time staff in January, and $500 for casuals and part-time workers.

The JobSeeker unemployment benefit is also due to taper off, along the same timeframe.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann argued the Federal Government had shown it was "flexible" for many months, as it dealt with the "a rapidly evolving and fluid situation".
Senator Cormann suggested there could be room for more tweaks if the situation deteriorates further.
"Our intention is to transition the economy and to transition the fiscal policy settings back to the 'new normal' by the end of March," he told the ABC's Insiders program.
"But of course, depending on what happens, we don't know what we don't know, and we can speculate, but it might well be that things will be better than anticipated."
But in an interview with the ABC’s Insiders program, he clearly kept the government’s options open. Cormann said the Coalition had demonstrated, through its response to the crisis, that it was “prepared to make decisions in the context of an evolving situation based on the information that comes before us”.

“I’m not going to speculate. The policy settings are what they are. As we’ve demonstrated in the past, if facts change, we’ll reassess what may or may not be appropriate at the time.”

In a separate interview with Sky News this morning, the agriculture minister, David Littleproud, also said that the government would continue to be “agile” in responding to changing circumstances.

New forecasts by the Australian Treasury indicate the lockdown in Victoria will likely push unemployment in Australia up to 10% by the end of the year, and will cost the national economy between $10bn and $12bn.

The Coalition’s economic plans should become clearer in the run-up to 6 October, when it is due to hand down the annual budget, which was postponed from May because the government argued the outlook at that time was too uncertain.

But the new forecasts by Treasury last week indicate the economic and fiscal update published just weeks ago is already out of date.

Cormann declined to speculate on how much extra debt the government was prepared to incur, but insisted Australia’s level of borrowing “continues to be manageable” compared with the rest of the world.

The government, he said, was “focused on supporting Australians through this crisis, doing what needs to be done to respond to the health challenge and indeed to the economic and jobs challenge”.

Cormann hinted company tax cuts could be part of the government’s deliberations in the lead-up to the budget, saying he would “continue to focus on everything and anything we can do to make it easier for businesses to survive, to be viable, to be profitable, so that they can hire more Australians – and that will include a focus on the appropriate tax policy settings”.
The interview also showcased the dramatic shift in the federal government’s position over state border closures, amid growing concerns about the rise in infections in Victoria and very strong public support for the restrictions in WA.

Cormann – who argued in late July that governments “must not gratuitously impose unnecessary and avoidable economic or social harm for no or very little public health upside” – told Insiders on Sunday: “Given what’s been happening in Victoria and given where the country is at, we support the current state border arrangements, including here in Western Australia.”

He said the federal government had “changed our view as the position has evolved”. Asked about suggestions that the WA border might remain shut until next year, Cormann said the premier, Mark McGowan, had said “that he can’t put a date on it and that’s certainly right”.
“I’m sure that the premier, like everyone, would want those state borders to be able to come down at the earliest opportunity, but we just don’t know.”

A week ago, the prime minister, Scott Morrison, bowed to pressure from the state premier to end the federal government’s involvement in a high court case challenging WA’s border closure. In the last few days, the prime minister has personally appealed to the businessman Clive Palmer to drop the case altogether.

The Federal Government announced on Friday it would relax the eligibility rules for JobKeeper, to ensure more Victorian businesses were able to claim the payment.
That move added another $15.6 billion to the scheme, which was already the largest piece of government expenditure in Australian history, taking the total cost over $100 billion.

Labor said it would work with the Government to ensure the JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments were "adequate to the needs of the Australian community".
"Whether that is the level, or whether that is the dates on which JobKeeper is phased in and out, we will work cooperatively with the Government on each of these things," Shadow Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones said.
Mr Jones argued the Coalition was yet to outline a plan to create jobs as the economy recovered.

Government has changed its view on WA border
Earlier in the coronavirus crisis, the Federal Government had maintained a return to economic health would be assisted by open borders.
While the Commonwealth would like to see borders reopen, Senator Cormann argued it had changed its position on the matter — and understood why Western Australia had locked itself off from the rest of the country.
"We have changed our view as the position has evolved," he said.
"I mean, in an ordinary course of events, of course, all of us would want these state borders to be unnecessary."
The Commonwealth had joined a High Court challenge against WA's border closure, launched by controversial << CROOKED / CORRUPT>> businessman Clive Palmer.
The WA Government had criticised that decision, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison wrote to Premier Mark McGowan last week to inform him the Commonwealth was withdrawing from the case.
Attorney-General Christian Porter had argued the Commonwealth had joined the case because it dealt with constitutional matters, which the Federal Government had a clear interest in.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Victorian MPs quarantining in Canberra ahead of parliament
A series of ministers including the treasurer and the health minister are on their way to Canberra this weekend to quarantine for 14 days so they can attend parliament on August 24.
“The ACT chief health officer is also requiring they conduct a test at the 10 or 11 day mark.

And for the first time in history there seems to be the ability to join parliament remotely for some MPs who don’t want to quarantine,” Sky News Political Editor Andrew Clennell.
<< THEY PARTICIPATE VIA TELECONFERENCING FROM HOME OR THEIR ELECTORATE OFFICES >>
“Those making remote contributions will be able to ask questions and give speeches.
“They wont be included in votes.”

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp


Tensions rise in National Cabinet over COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria
Former NSW Liberal Leader, Kerry Chikarovski, and former NSW MLC and Australian Labor Party member, Meredith Burgmann, give their opinions on the latest tensions in National Cabinet over the COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria.
<< ISSUES ARE
RESPONSIBILITY OF FED GOVERNMENT FOR SITUATION IN VICTORIAN RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE
CULPERABILITY OF VIC GOVERNMENT FOR QUARANTINE BREACHES AND CONTRACTORS USED
SUPPLY OF PPES FROM NATIONAL DESASTER STORAGE
JOBKEEPER ISSUES – LOTS OF VICTORIANS ARE MISSING OUT >>

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Deputy CMO urges Australians to download and activate coronavirus contact-tracing app following updates
Australians are being encouraged to not only download but activate the COVIDSafe app on their phones, with the Deputy Chief Medical Officer arguing it has had "a number of recent and notable successes".

Nearly 7 million Australians have downloaded the contact-tracing app since its launch in April, but so far it has only identified a handful of new coronavirus cases.

One of the most recent examples was in New South Wales where the app helped health authorities trace 544 new contacts, two of whom tested positive to COVID-19.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said the app was "coming into its own" now that most states and territories were easing their restrictions and re-opening their economies.
"We see what happens when you have an essentially open economy as you do in New South Wales," he said.
"And that's where COVIDSafe comes into its own.
"That's where you're in touch with people who are strangers, potentially for prolonged periods of time, and it's difficult to identify who you were in touch with over the last 14 days."

The multi-million dollar app is designed to complement manual contact tracing of COVID-19 cases.

But its limited success has left it exposed to criticism, with Labor labelling it "a $2 million dud".

Its value was again called into question last week when Victorian health authorities revealed they had stopped using the app briefly because it was failing to pick up any new cases.

But Dr Coatsworth said the app was still functioning and a number of updates to the algorithm had "undoubtedly" improved its effectiveness.
"We want that app activated on your phones," he said.
"If you've got children, teenagers, young adults, encourage them to download and activate it as well."

With the nation anxiously waiting to see some results from Victoria's extraordinary lockdown, Dr Coatsworth says it appeared the state's COVID-19 cases are beginning to plateau.
"The challenging thing about COVID is that you never really know where you are on the curve," he said.
"It appears we're in the plateau but we're looking for the inflection point that tells Victorians that their efforts are being rewarded."

He had a message to all Australians about the collective effort required to prevent outbreaks of COVID-19 elsewhere in the country; keep up good hygiene and social distancing.
"We must continue to encourage our friends and family," he said.
"If you are a mother or a father whose teenager or 20-year-old doesn't appear to be getting the message, then now is of course the time to encourage them."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

IN THE RURAL AREAS
Australia’s sheep left without shearers as Covid halts travel from New Zealand
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Merino sheep are herded into pens ahead of shearing at Yathonga Station
It’s a tradition that stretches back decades. Every year, hundreds of New Zealanders fly in to Australia for the spring shearing season – a huge mobilisation of workers essential to the success of the nation’s wool industry.

In dusty sheds on outback farms they join up with local shearers and, between them, relieve five million sheep of their fleeces over eight weeks.

But this year, there is a spanner in the works.
Australia faces a desperate shortage of shearers for its 68 million sheep – and looming animal welfare issues – as hundreds of New Zealand shearers are barred from making their usual annual trip due to the Covid-19 pandemic, or are unwilling to do so as cases of the virus surge in parts of Australia.

The Australian industry is reliant on short-term shearing contractors from New Zealand and Britain, with at least 480 New Zealanders crossing the Tasman in August each year for the spring season. They bolster a local population that only numbers about 3,000 shearers, said Jason Letchford, a spokesperson for the Shearing Contractors Association of Australia.
“We’ve got two animal welfare issues looming … one is that shearing is facilitated at the right time, so that they’re in the right condition to deliver their offspring,” he said, referring to the current spring season, which started in August. “The second is going to be flystrike … If wool stays on the sheep for a longer period of time, we’re going to see an increased rate.”

Flystrike is a condition caused by blowflies laying their eggs on sheep; it can kill or require euthanasia of animals, and costs Australian farmers AU$280m (£154m) each year, according to Western Australia government figures.
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A sheep dog is seen WORKING merino sheep as they are herded into a pen at Yathonga Station.

Usually inhabitants of Australia and New Zealand – closely-tied neighbours – can move between the countries at will, with no visa needed, but the Covid-19 pandemic has led to strict border closures for both, with exemptions difficult to win. Only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to the country, and they are required to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel on entry.

Even if New Zealand shearers were able to attain Australian government exemptions to cross its borders – no attempts have proved successful so far – the contractors face costs of up to A$10,000 (£5,500) just for flights and quarantine upon arrival in each nation, Letchford said. New Zealand this week ruled that all those leaving the country for trips of fewer than 90 days – as many of the shearers would be – must pay for their own mandatory isolation on their return; they would also lose two weeks of income at each end of their trip while they quarantined.
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Shearers at Meadowlea Sheep Station in Kangaroo Island, Australia.

“We can’t expect Australia and New Zealand citizens to pick up our quarantine costs but the governments have got to work out the costs to the animal welfare if shearing isn’t going to happen,” said Mark Barrowcliffe, the president of the New Zealand Shearing Contractors Association. “If Australia wants us there bad enough, do they want to pick up the quarantine costs?”

There are other problems: flights across the Tasman have dried up, with Air New Zealand halting new bookings until at least 28 August. And as the Covid-19 crisis escalates in the Australian state of Victoria in particular, said Letchford, the trip was no longer appealing for New Zealand shearers.
“We’ve gone from two or three weeks ago having all these New Zealanders busting to get over here, chomping at the bit,” he said. “Now there are very few of them … they’re reading the newspaper like everyone else.”
New Zealand has successfully quashed the spread of the coronavirus for now, with no known community transmission, while Victoria’s capital, Melbourne,has entered its strictest lockdown yet after a resurgence in cases. New South Wales is also struggling with community outbreaks.

Glenn Haynes, a Shearing Contractors Association spokesman in South Australia, had helped facilitate some creative proposals to Australian authorities for how New Zealand shearers could enter the country; one in which the shearers would work at a remote property – where they would essentially be in isolation due to their location, thus sidestepping a fortnight in hotel quarantine – was unlikely to be approved, he said.

Another where four New Zealand shearers were offering to pay for their own quarantine costs was being considered, he added.

But it was still a far cry from the hundreds of contractors who usually arrive for the season, and money would be tight for many in New Zealand, Barrowcliffe said, with some looking for other farm work. New Zealand would then face a shearing shortage of its own in November, with Australian and British contractors unable to enter the country, he said.

Crossbred wool prices were already at record lows, Barrowcliffe added, and some farmers might choose not to shear animals before they were sent to the abattoir if they could not find enough shearers.
“The whole world’s jammed up at the moment,” he said.

Letchford and Barrowcliffe both said their governments had invested funds in training new shearers, but that would not happen quickly enough to save this season.

“How have we got to the point where we do not have enough people to harvest our primary production and we’re beholden to foreign labour? How did we drop the ball on that?” Letchford said. “The commercial reality is that we have this nice, fluid transient labour force where one in a hundred years it’s buggered up but usually it works really well.”
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/au ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
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Posts: 12469
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:48 am

9 AUGUST QLD

Queensland records no new cases on 200th day since start of pandemic
Queensland has recorded no new cases of COVID-19 on their 200th day since the state's first infection.

The number of active cases statewide is 11. The state has also near doubled their test rates, conducting 150,000 in the last fortnight.
https://twitter.com/qldhealthnews/statu ... 5135325184
The positive news comes as Queensland locks down its borders to NSW and the ACT today.

The state's Chief Health Officer, Jeannette Young, said the results were "excellent news", however it she was not certain the state had escaped a second wave.
"It is really, really important we don't relax," Dr Young said.
"I hope we've avoided the worst but we need to check to see what happens tomorrow and Monday before we can say for sure."

She said the state had to keep a close eye on NSW. Ms Young said the number of people attempting interstate travel needed to decrease to avoid the spread of the virus and relieve pressure on authorities attempting to deal with the new border restrictions.
"We need to reduce the number of people crossing the border. There are just so many people attempting to cross the border," she said.

Brisbane refugee protest postponed as police voice coronavirus concerns
The State Government has gone to court to stop a planned protest that threatened to shut down Brisbane's Story Bridge. Refugee activists say they were woken by police late at night and served with notices to appear.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

Planned protest shut down by Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Queensland has ordered an injunction on a planned protest today in Brisbane.
It means the organisers are not permitted to attend or promote the protests.

They must notify their followers that the demonstration has been cancelled.
Refugee protest cancelled at the eleventh hour
A refugee protest that threatened to close the Story Bridge was cancelled at the eleventh hour by organisers who claim police threatened them with violence and arrest.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp
"I'm sympathetic to the cause of these protesters but now is not the time to put the lives of Queenslanders at risk," Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.
"They should not be causing chaos on the streets of Brisbane."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

9 AUGUST SA
Tasmania’s Testing record smashed
South Australia's coronavirus testing record has been smashed with suburban clinics again inundated with those looking to get their COVID check.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

9 AUGUST TAS
Volunteers support foreign uni students amid COVID-19
Foreign students at the University of Tasmania are facing the pandemic while far from the comforts of home and family. But one man has organised an army of volunteers to reach out to the students.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

9 AUGUST NZ
New Zealand records 100 days without domestic virus case but warns against complacency
New Zealand marked 100 days without a domestic transmission of the coronavirus on Sunday, but warned against complacency as countries like Vietnam and Australia which once had the virus under control now battle a resurgence in infections.

New Zealand's successful fight against COVID-19 has made the Pacific island nation of 5 million one of the safest places in the world right now.

New Zealanders have returned to normal life, but authorities are concerned that people were now refusing testing, not using the government contact tracing apps, and even ignoring basic hygiene rules.
"Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can't afford to be complacent," Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.
"We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand," he said.

New Zealand has 23 active cases in managed isolation facilities, and 1,219 COVID-19 cases in all so far.

Vietnam, which went for three months without detecting any domestic transmission, is now racing to control a new outbreak in Danang.

Neighbouring Australia's second-biggest city, Melbourne, has gone into a six week lockdown due to a surge in cases. The second wave of cases in Melbourne has been largely a result of lapses in quarantining.
"For countries like Australia and New Zealand the source of such outbreaks is likely to be from managed isolation and quarantine facilities because of the large numbers of people held there and the multiple shifts of staff involved in looking after them," said Michael Baker, Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago.

There have been cases of returning New Zealanders sneaking out of quarantine, and other security slip ups.

New Zealand last week ramped up testing at quarantine facilities and clinics, and started work on technology to track people using Bluetooth technology.

Ardern kicked off her re-election campaign on Saturday calling it a 'Covid election'.
But a resurgence of cases due to "Covid fatigue" could spark a backlash against her, and give the opposition a chance to work their way back into the election contest.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/ne ... d=msedgdhp

9 AUGUST PNG
Coronavirus case emerges at second mine in Papua New Guinea
The novel coronavirus has been detected at a second mine in Papua New Guinea, after an employee at the Lihir Mine owned by Newcrest Mining Ltd tested positive for the disease.
The 30-year-old male, who flew in from Port Moresby at the end of July, is among 26 confirmed cases reported on Sunday by the National Pandemic Control Centre in the capital Port Moresby.

The island nation has now reported a total of 214 coronavirus cases and three deaths.

The Lihir mine case was detected during a routine screening process for all incoming workers who have to observe a mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival on the mine site.

It comes after PNG's Ok Tedi copper and gold mine suspended operations for at least 14 days from Wednesday, after seven workers tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

While the number of cases in PNG are still low compared with many other countries, they have jumped sharply over the past few weeks.
"This is a critical time for all of us," National Pandemic Response Deputy Controller Paison Dakulala said in a statement.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/co ... d=msedgntp

9 AUGUST SCIENCE
Top health experts warned six years ago a pandemic was likely
Top health experts warned a respiratory illness from Asia was likely to cause a pandemic and that mandatory isolation could be enforced, six years before COVID-19 reached Australia.

World Health Organisation professor Anne Kelso made the startling prediction during an episode of SBS Insight, which aired in September 2014.
'If we're talking about a new avian influenza then the most likely thing is it'll come from somewhere in Asia,' said.
'There are very high densities of bird populations living closely to humans, mixing with other animals which can also be infected with flu viruses like pigs. 'This can then spread like wildfire because it's a respiratory virus.'
Although the SBS segment was aired more than six years ago, it has resurfaced on the internet given the timeliness of the pandemic.

A raft of experts appeared on the talk show to give their insight into the worst case scenario, including predictions of mandatory quarantine and enforced social distancing.

Former Victorian Chief Health Officer Dr Rosemary Lester warned mandatory isolation could be enforced in the worst case scenario.
'We can force someone to stay quarantined,' she said.
'Each state and territory has public health laws which can require that people undertake certain actions including being isolated.'

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/to ... d=msedgntp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
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Posts: 12469
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:56 am

10 AUGUST
AUSTRLALIA'S DEADLIEST DAY !! AGAIN !!,19 DEAD IN VICTORIA.

THE 2ND WAVE
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CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12469
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:25 am

10 AUGUST VIC
Key takeaways from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews' latest coronavirus press conference
Key points:
The State Government has launched an in-home testing program for people who cannot easily travel to testing sites
Today's number of new cases is Victoria's lowest single-day increase since July 29
The Premier says it's too early to assess the impact of the latest restrictions on community transmission

Victoria COVID-19 snapshot
Confirmed cases so far: 15,251
Confirmed active cases: 7,880
Deaths: 246
Suspected cases of community transmission: 2,903
Cases in hospital: 650
Intensive care patients: 47
Cases in healthcare workers: 1,185 (active cases)
Active cases linked to aged care outbreaks: 1,838
Tests since pandemic began: More than 1.85 million

Key points:
WHO advisor Mary-Louise McLaws says Victoria "needs to brace itself for more grief" due to cases in aged care
Experts say whether daily death counts will continue to rise depends on the ages of recent infections

Victoria has recorded a record number of coronavirus deaths for the second consecutive day.

Here are the key points Premier Daniel Andrews made in his daily press conference on Monday.
Victoria has 322 new cases and 19 deaths
Mr Andrews said 322 new cases had been detected. He confirmed 19 people had lost their lives in the past 24 hours.
That makes it the deadliest day since the pandemic began. There were 17 deaths recorded yesterday, but that figure was revised down to 16 due to duplication.
That brings the state's death toll to 228, with 313 deaths nationwide
14 out of the 19 deaths were linked to aged care homes.
"On behalf of all Victorians, we send our best wishes, our love and support and condolences and sympathies to the families of those 19 Victorians. This will be an incredibly difficult time for them," he said.
More than 1,000 healthcare workers are now infected

There are 640 people in hospital, with 47 in intensive care units.
Of those, 31 people are on ventilators.
Victoria has cumulatively recorded a total of 14,957 cases of coronavirus. Of those, 7,869 are active cases.

More than 1,000 active cases are healthcare workers, while more than 1,750 are from aged care settings.
There are a total of 2,863 cases with an unknown source — an increase of 105 since yesterday.
There are around 500 active cases in regional Victoria, which is "relatively stable", Mr Andrews said.

It's too early to tell how effective stage 4 restrictions have been in Melbourne
"It is still very early for us to be trying to measure the impacts of stage 4," Mr Andrews said.

He said while there were fewer new cases reported today than in recent days, it was just one day's data.
"I think we've all got to be careful not to be getting ahead of ourselves," he said.

He said the numbers reflected the cumulative impact of mandatory masks and the end of stage 3 restrictions, and the numbers needed to be further reduced.

The Premier said he couldn't "give you a number" of the number of cases in Victoria that would signal an easing of restrictions.
"We can't predict where we'll be at the end of this," he said.
"But what we can be certain of — without any doubt — that if we don't limit movement, we've got zero chance — zero chance — of driving down these numbers."
'Mystery' cases continue to rise, as well as infections among healthcare workers
There are now 640 Victorians in hospital with coronavirus, including 47 people receiving intensive care.
Yesterday there were 634 people in hospital with 43 of those in intensive care.

The latest deaths take Victoria's COVID-19 death toll to 228 since the pandemic began.

One of the 17 deaths reported yesterday was removed from the tally due to duplication, the Premier said.

During today's press conference Ms Mikakos was asked about her Saturday night Twitter thread, in which she said she was "deeply sorry" if her work in handling the pandemic was not enough.

The Health Minister said her tweets "speak for themselves" and she did not want to be a commentator on herself.
"I have been concerned that the focus hasn't been, in terms of the public commentary, on the fight against the virus," she said.
"I think we need to all have a common purpose on focusing on fighting this virus and that's the message that I have tried to convey from the start".

The Premier said the number of community transmission cases increased by 105 overnight.
Since the pandemic started a total of 2,863 "mystery" cases — community transmission infections without a known source — have been recorded in the state.
Active infections among healthcare workers have also continued to climb, from 994 yesterday to 1,065 today.
The number of active cases connected to aged care has risen from 1,748 yesterday to 1,756 today.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... s/12540452
Poultry worker identified as one of Victoria's coronavirus victims
A 51-year-old man who worked at Turosi's Golden Farms Poultry plant near Geelong has been identified as one of Victoria's 228 coronavirus-related deaths, the company's chief executive said.
“From Newcomb, Geelong, he had worked at Turosi for more than 15 years and was a valued member of the Geelong team,” Phil Hand said.

Mr Hand said the company was told late on Sunday that the man had tested positive for COVID-19 and had died.
The DHHS lists 44 cases of coronavirus as being linked to the Golden Farms Poultry plant.
Mr Hand said the company’s sincere sympathy went to the man’s family and friends and added it would provide what support it could.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... s/12539636
Victoria's 19 new deaths due to COVID-19 include one male in his 50s, 1 female in her 60s, 2 males in their 70s, 1 male and 6 females in their 80s, and 1 male and 7 females in their 90s.
Of the deaths, 14 were linked to aged care outbreaks.

Speaking before today's death toll was released, Mary-Louise McLaws, an advisor to the World Health Organization and UNSW epidemiologist, said the number of infected aged care residents meant the state should prepare for a "large number" of further deaths.

She said without data of how the residents were presenting their symptoms, and their underlying health conditions, it was difficult to know how many would be expected to recover.

But she said more coronavirus deaths connected to aged care facilities would be certain.
"Victoria needs to brace itself for more grief," Professor McLaws said.
About one death for every 100 cases in Australia
There have been signs the stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne and stage 3 stay-at-home orders across the rest of Victoria are stabilising the number of daily cases and have prevented new infections.

Australian National University infectious diseases physician Peter Collignon said the curve was being flattened, and with the additional restrictions "it should be turned around".

But he said about one death occurs for every 100 cases in Australia, and deaths lagged behind notifications of new infections by about two weeks.

The number of people in hospital has been steadily climbing as cases have risen, up to the record-high 591 hospitalisations on Sunday.

Of those in hospital, 43 were receiving intensive care, including 29 on ventilators, Mr Andrews said.
Professor Collignon co-authored a May study comparing Australia's COVID-19 fatality rate to that of South Korea's.

The "crude" mortality rate of 1.4 per cent for Australia was based on data from late January to mid-May — lower than the rate of 2.4 per cent determined for Korea.

The study found as the age of the patient increased, so did the mortality rate, with a rate of about 20.1 per cent for people aged over the age of 80.
Professor Collignon said the second wave in Victoria was much bigger than when the study was completed, meaning there was the possibility more cases were not being detected.

Authorities are still concerned by the number of "mystery" community transmission cases, where the infection cannot be traced back to a known source.

Professor Collignon said the large number of nursing home residents, who are more likely to have underlying health issues, was also playing a role.

"The fact that this has gotten into nursing homes in Victoria … means the mortality rate may be higher," he said
Whether deaths have peaked could depend on the ages of new cases
Melbourne University epidemiologist Tony Blakely said the lag time between new infections being detected and people becoming seriously ill "would suggest deaths are yet to peak".

The state's three highest daily increases were recorded in the week between July 30 — with 675 infections recorded — and August 5 — an all-time high of 725 new cases.

But Professor Blakely cautioned it depended on the age profile of those who were being diagnosed with COVID-19.

For instance, he said, if the rates of older people getting infected peaked as the virus spread through aged care homes, "then we may have already peaked" if numbers are now trending younger again.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) does not provide an age breakdown for each daily case.
Professor Collignon agreed the age of confirmed cases would have an impact on how the next few weeks would play out in Victoria.
"Young people are not immune from getting the virus and having quite severe complications, they just happen to do it less often than people over the age of 80," he said.

He said preventing deaths came down to "the basics" — preventing the virus from spreading in droplets by staying away from each other and practising good infection control.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... n/12539306

To keep the COVID-19 outbreak under control we need to keep growth factor below 1.0
Australia's current growth factor is 0.98

Testing will come to the homes of vulnerable Victorians
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos announced new at-home coronavirus testing, aimed at those who struggled to leave their homes due to disability or mobility issues.
A new hot-line will be established, with a nurse being able to assess whether the caller needs to be tested.
Following a referral from a GP, testers will then attend the caller's home to examine them. Ms Mikakos said it was a free service.
"We know that, for some vulnerable people — some people who might be housebound due to disability or other chronic health conditions — it is challenging for them to be able to present to a testing station," Ms Mikakos said.

The Health Minister said the new program would help around 200 people each day.
Rapid response teams are also being deployed to sites of outbreaks and to boost testing.
"This is designed to essentially take a testing team on site to workplaces and other locations, be able to test people more quickly and make it more accessible than ever before," Ms Mikakos said.
Are you eligible for call-to-test?
If you live in Victoria, you may be able to receive an in-home coronavirus test.

To be eligible, you must have chronic health and severe mobility issues.

For the time being, the service is available to:

Metro Melbourne residents
Those aged five years and older
Those with coronavirus symptoms who are unable to leave their homes due to one of the following reasons:
An injury, chronic health issue, or frailty affecting mobility
Moderate to severe physical or psychosocial disability
Moderate to severe mental health or behavioural issues not otherwise classified as a psychosocial disability
Carer responsibilities for a person with a moderate to severe disability
Asymptomatic individuals that are eligible and are identified by DHHS as a close contact, and have received DHHS notification to get tested

To arrange a test, call 1800 675 398, then select option 9.

You will then speak to a trained nurse who will assess your eligibility. A GP referral is also required to access the service. You can get this from your own GP, or this can be arranged by an operator.

In-home tests are available seven days a week, between 10:00am and 2:00pm and take within 48 hours to arrange.

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There's no shortage of PPE, but 'no system is perfect'. it may need to improve further," he said.

"I'm certainly not aware of anything other than the timely delivery of what's needed."
He said there were "substantial reserves" of N95 masks.

There have been surveys of healthcare workers concerned about access to PPE, and Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, a former AMA president in Victoria, said he was still having trouble accessing PPE at his clinic in Melbourne's west.

Mr Andrews said state and federal health officials were working together to do the best they could.
"But there's always that search for constant improvement. This thing is not static. It changes every day," he said.
"Therefore, you've got to be nimble. You've got to try and be as flexible at you can be to try and meet the challenges that this virus throws up to us each day."

Mr Andrews said there was "no issue" about the quantity of personal protective equipment (PPE), but that there might be problems with communication at the hospital level.
COVID-19 is 'a wicked enemy' that flourishes when our guard is down
Mr Andrews thanked Victorians who were following the new restrictions.
However, he warned that while numbers appeared to be stabilising, the state was not out of the woods.
"It's very noticeable, travelling in and back to where I live in the middle south-eastern suburbs, there's just a fraction of traffic on the road," he said.
"A lot of the data confirms that as well. But it is really important that we all stay the course on this. It is a wicked enemy.
"It'll do everything it can to wear you down and that's when it absolutely flourishes."

COVID-19 patients' stories are being highlighted in new TV ads
New ads aimed to drive home the seriousness of the pandemic were shown at the start of the press conference. They focus on the real-life stories of people who have contracted the virus.

Another ad was filmed by nurses and healthcare workers, broadcasting messages in different languages to reach culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
One woman, June, spent 32 days in ICU: "They thought I might not live through the first night," she says in the ad.

Young couple Sarah and Sam, both midwives, described how being infected with COVID-19 was like nothing they had experienced before.
"It feels like coronavirus has attacked every one of my body systems," Sarah says in the ad.
"From those stories, all Victorians should be in no doubt that this is a matter of life and death — and even for those who are able to survive this virus, there are lingering consequences," Mr Andrews said.
"There are lingering impacts for many. That's not every patient, but it is enough, and it is random enough, that that should be a timely reminder that we are all in this together.
"Think about the person who is most important to you. And then think about them with a tube to help them breathe in intensive care for 32 days. That's how serious this is."

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HOSPITALS
Victorian doctors disturbed at patchy supply of PPE for Covid health workers
Senior doctors have spoken of feeling demoralised in their attempts to secure higher levels of personal protective equipment from hospital administrators, and say the approach to protection in some workplaces amounts to negligence.

In Victoria, there are 1,064 health workers with active infections of Covid-19.

On Monday the premier, Daniel Andrews, said of the PPE being provided to hospitals: “I’m certainly not aware of anything other than the timely delivery of what’s needed. The distribution network is, I think, working well.”

But Dr Mark Rudelic, an anaesthetist who works across Melbourne hospitals, said that in one hospital he and other staff read the latest international guidelines on PPE and recommended hospital administrators increase use beyond the Australian guidelines.
“We were told, ‘Just leave it to us. We have very clever people working on this,’ ” Rudelic said. “But when we tried to pin them down and get them to share their thoughts on better PPE recommendations, they didn’t have any.”

As more information about the virus and its spread had emerged, many health workers had begun pushing to use the more protective N95 masks more often, but even with Victoria in the middle of a second wave protocols around N95 use were “all over the place” between hospitals.
“Certainly now in a lot of the big hospitals you have to wear a face shield and N95 in any patient interaction, so it’s started to ramp up, but that’s not the case in every hospital,” Rudelic said.
“The premier keeps saying that we have loads of masks and gloves being distributed. Well if that’s the case, why are there still health workers getting infected? On Friday around 30% of the new cases announced that day were in healthcare workers. So what is going on?”

A senior ear, nose and throat surgeon who could not be identified over fear of repercussions said it was not about just having access to masks, but the right kind of masks. The most basic level of protection for doctors and nurses are surgical masks, all the way through to the top level of protection, a positive pressure personnel suit.
“And the middle ground between the two is what we call N95 or P2 masks, and this is for aerosol protection,” he said.
“Back when there was low community transmission, the advice was a surgical mask was sufficient for most health workers. But the guidelines haven’t changed to account for the unique situation in Victoria where we have higher levels of community transmission.
“I am swabbing people’s throats all day in Melbourne, and yet I have the same PPE guidelines as for surgeons working in Broome or Hobart. America and the UK say we need N95 masks for all health workers who have patient contact, especially those examining noses and throats, which is what I do every day.
“I feel like the Australian advice, especially the advice for Victoria, is behind the evidence.”

In some hospitals when he asked for an N95 mask for surgery he got it straight away, while in others, administrators and managers said no because then they would then have to provide a mask for everyone in his surgical team, including anaesthetists and nurses.
“They are worried it will set a precedent and everyone will want one,” he said. “Operating theatre supply is usually allocated by the nurse in charge or medical officer in charge on the day, and whether you get the mask you want depends on that.”

Prof Danuta Mendelson is the lead author of a paper to be published next week in the Journal of Law and Medicine, which found: “Although several international bodies have issued recommendations for a very high-level PPE to be used when [surgical] procedures are undertaken, the current PPE guidelines in Australia have tended to be more relaxed, and hospital authorities relying on them might not comply with legal obligations to their employee healthcare workers.”

Mendelson, the chair of law at Deakin University, told Guardian Australia she expects civil suits to be filed by health workers who contracted Covid after asking managers for higher levels of PPE.

We are not learning the same lessons history taught us before

Dr Michael Keane
“Workplace law is very clear,” she said. “In previous workplace actions, courts say very clearly that if you can’t provide a safe environment as an employer then you shouldn’t be operating. We know for some people who get the virus their are long-term impacts on their health which may affect their ability to work.
“There is enough in the literature to show masks are essential and paper surgical masks are often not enough, and the fact the hospitals didn’t stock more protective N95 masks or wouldn’t give them to staff will not protect employers from facing consequences. It would like an employer telling cleaners who wash windows in high-rise towers: ‘Well I’m out of safety harnesses.’ It won’t work. It won’t wash with the courts.”

The paper found some Australian hospitals provide PPE for teams performing intubation that leaves the neck fully exposed, which while still in compliance with Australian clinical guidelines, did not match international best practice.
“Some of the face shields provide no protection when teams perform intubation using the technique recommended for Covid-19 patients,” the paper found. “In such circumstances, virus-infected droplets from a coughing patient would go in a straight line from the patient’s mouth to under the lower edge of face shields that end at the chin level.
“In other words, infected airborne droplets would directly reach the team member’s face. In contrast … in several overseas countries, and in some Australian hospitals, anaesthetists are provided with full protective coverage of the body.”

A co-author of the paper, Dr Michael Keane, an anaesthetist working across several public and private Melbourne hospitals, said he feared “we are not learning the same lessons history taught us before”.

He referred to the Canadian commission into the 2003 Sars epidemic which found: “It would have been one thing if all had been infected at the start of the outbreak when little was known about the disease. The full extent of worker safety failings during Sars is revealed by the fact that workers continued to get sick.
“Sars demonstrated over and over the importance of the principle that we cannot wait for scientific certainty before we take reasonable steps to reduce risk.”

Keane said health authorities should heed this advice when responding to Covid-19.
“It’s almost like you could almost exactly cut and paste that quote from the Canadian commission to use in a future royal commission in Australia into Covid-19 and health workers,” he said.

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Vic health system to be bolstered by interstate workers
Concerns are rising over shortages in Victorian hospitals as the number of healthcare workers infected with the coronavirus nears 1,000 after cases more than doubled in the past fortnight.

Premier Daniel Andrews downplayed fears saying he was confident the state’s health system would hold up throughout the course of the pandemic.

ADF medical personnel, as well as interstate nurses, doctors and paramedics, will also be deployed to support Victoria in its fight against the virus, with nurses from Western Australia expected to arrive later this week.
A total of 1,725 health workers were incapacitated due to the virus since the outset of the pandemic, with many forced to enter quarantine or self-isolation.

The state recorded 17 virus deaths in the past 24-hour period with 10 linked to aged care, marking the state’s deadliest day since the beginning of the pandemic.

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Number of active coronavirus cases among Victorian health workers hits 1,065 as Premier orders more N95 masks
Key points:
The Victorian Premier says there are plenty of N95 masks in reserve and more are on the way
Victoria recommends all healthcare workers dealing with suspected COVID-19 cases wear N95 masks, but federal advice does not go that far
Groups representing healthcare workers say governments need to ensure workplaces are provided adequate PPE to protect staff
There are now 1,065 active cases of COVID-19 among healthcare workers in Victoria, according to Premier Daniel Andrews.
As more healthcare workers contract the disease, managers of hospitals and aged care homes, as well as state and federal governments are under growing pressure to keep staff safe.

Today, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said there were substantial reserves of protective equipment, including N95 masks.
"No system is perfect. There are no issues about quantities. Further orders of gloves and gowns and N95 masks were ordered late last week," he said.

But Mr Andrews ruled out mandating issuing P2 and N95 masks to all Victorian hospital and aged care workers treating COVID-19 patients, saying it was a matter for health experts to issue guidelines about proper use of protective equipment.
"The timely issuing of PPE is a challenge and everyone is working as hard as they can," he said.
"In terms of healthcare workers, I don't want to see them in harm's way and the best thing we can do is obviously continue to provide all the protection we can."
The Premier said his Cabinet had approved further orders of PPE, including gloves, gowns and N95 masks, due to more patients presenting to hospitals, but also in order to supply other high-risk workplaces.
"They need extra PPE and we wanted to make sure that that wasn't the difference between them complying," he said.

Last week, the ABC reported a nurse who contracted coronavirus had begged for better personal protective equipment.

She remains in isolation away from her family.

Today, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said authorities were listening to healthcare workers' concerns.
"The Victorian guidelines have changed to ensure that healthcare workers wear P2 or N95 respirators when they're caring for patients who are COVID positive or suspected cases," he said.
While Victoria recommends this approach, a national survey by the Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP) found one in five respondents who worked in public hospitals had to source their own protective equipment.

RACP president and respiratory physician John Wilson said the college had serious concerns about the safety of its members.
"While they are putting their lives on the line to tackle this pandemic, our Government must be doing everything they can to provide them with sufficient protective equipment," he said.
"The evidence for the use of N95 masks is compelling and official guidelines used by our hospitals have been slow to reflect this."
Image
Experts say gaps between surgical masks and the face allow in air that could potentially infect the wearer.

According to the RACP's survey of 677 doctors, 45 per cent of respondents had limited or no access to N95 or P2 masks.
"Our hospitals must be providing all staff with the PPE they need to do their job safely," Professor Wilson said.
"The results of this survey show that in some public and private settings this isn't happening."
What is the current federal advice around PPE?
There is a federal agency called the Infection Control Expert Group that advises health authorities on what guidance to give around PPE.

On Friday, the agency updated its advice and recommended healthcare professionals wore N95 masks when treating confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients who displayed challenging behaviours such as shouting or who were exhibiting mental illness.

It said P2 and N95 masks should be used in "emergency departments, residential facilities, COVID-19 wards" in "areas with significant community transmission" where one or both apply:

 Patients "have cognitive impairment, unable to cooperate or exhibit challenging behaviours"
 There are high numbers of suspected or confirmed patients and a risk of challenging behaviours and unplanned use of procedures using aerosols
What do groups representing healthcare workers want?
For many in the sector, the updated advice on PPE did not go far enough because it stopped short of recommending across the board use of P2 or N95 masks by healthcare workers dealing with all suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases.
"P2 or N95 masks filter and best prevent virus transmission. If a doctor or nurse is caring for a patient with, or likely to have, COVID-19, P2 or N95 masks are essential, regardless of the presence of potential challenging behaviours," Australian Medical Association federal president Omar Khorshid said on Friday.
At the beginning of August, a group of concerned doctors led by Ben Veness wrote to Health Minister Greg Hunt asking that all healthcare workers treating suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients be provided with N95 face masks in order to prevent them from contracting the potentially fatal disease.

The NSW Nurses and Midwives Association said it stood with other healthcare workers in calling for properly fitted N95 masks to be made available to health professionals treating COVID-19 patients.

The group said a recent survey of nurses and midwives found nearly 45 per cent of workers required to wear the masks had not gone through the proper testing procedures to check that they fit correctly.

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Victorian doctor's 'Put on PPE' video goes viral on Royal Melbourne Hospital TikTok
Putting on and taking off personal protective equipment properly involves a specific sequence that's easy to mess up.

And early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors at the Royal Melbourne Hospital realised they needed a simple way to help people remember the correct steps.
"We thought we probably just need a jingle, something that will stick in your head," Jonathan Papson, an emergency physician and the director of emergency education at the hospital, told Radio National this morning.

One competition for the best PPE jingle later (prize: toilet paper) Dr Papson created two catchy videos, detailing the correct ways to put on and take off PPE.
They've been on the doctor's YouTube channel since March, but the "Put on PPE" banger has taken off after being uploaded to the Royal Melbourne Hospital's TikTok account late last week.
"Getting the gear on is important, so that then you're safe, but taking it off is also probably more important," Dr Papson said.
"Especially at the end of a busy shift when you're tired and people are ringing you up and there's other things to do — you really don't want to get distracted in the sequence."

The beat underpinning the educational dance comes from another viral song, Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen, which was created by Japanese comedian Daimaou Kosaka in 2016.

The emergency physician said it was easy to make a mistake when taking off PPE, and the song had even helped him remember the next steps in the process.
"It's important to get it in the right sequence and a very small error can do you in," he said.

More than 1,700 healthcare workers in Victoria have been infected with coronavirus since the pandemic began, and nearly 1,000 of those cases are currently active cases.

Some doctors have called for more detail on how and when people in the industry have contracted the virus.

Different surveys of healthcare workers in the state have reported varying levels of access to adequate PPE.

'Like a sci-fi movie': PPE changing interactions but workers adjusting
Dr Papson said large facilities like the Royal Melbourne Hospital had staff dedicated to ensuring supplies were adequate.

But he said smaller health services might find it harder to manage that inventory.

There was enough gear, but sometimes it does not get to where it's needed, when it's needed, he said.
"You have to do something in a hurry: Where's the mask? Where's the gear? Where's the box?" he said.

Dr Papson said wearing full PPE meant health workers could not interact the way they normally would with patients.
"You could smile, but could people see that?" he said
"And as people get older or confused or more scared, it's pretty frightening — it's like a sci-fi movie the way we look in this stuff.
"You could imagine if people were not ready for that, it would be quite scary and confronting, I think."

But he said while COVID-19 was relatively new, infectious diseases weren't, so emergency staff were adjusting to wearing PPE and working during the pandemic.
"You just get on with it, you just do your job, and hope things will be fine — what else can you do?"
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Victoria to home-test vulnerable people
People with disabilities and chronic health conditions will no longer have to try to find transport to get to Covid-19 testing clinics after the Victorian government announced home-testing for vulnerable people.
The state’s health minister, Jenny Mikakos, said it was challenging for those who are sick or disabled to get to a testing station, particularly with strict lockdown measures in place and with government advice discouraging use of ride share and public transport.
“So we are starting a call-to-test program that will enable someone to call our coronavirus hotline.” Mikakos said. “They will be able to get tested within a 48-hour period. It is a free service and will be available throughout Victoria. The way that people will be able to access this is through the coronavirus hotline. There’ll be a triage there, and with a GP referral, we will come to you.”
Meanwhile, additional rapid response teams would go to workplaces and other locations where outbreaks had occurred to quickly test people on site, she said.

Mikakos was asked to respond to tweets she made on Sunday where she acknowledged that the rush to respond to the virus meant there was “work that needed to be done quickly and nimbly, because the virus would not wait and no doubt, mistakes were made along the way, because humans are flawed yet contagious viruses are unforgiving”.
“Since that fateful day on 25 January, when we had our first ever case, I’ve worked every day to keep everyone safe,” the series of tweets said. “I have put every ounce of energy I’ve had into that effort. If it wasn’t enough, then I’m deeply sorry.”

On Monday Mikakos said she had nothing to add to the comments.
“I think the tweets speak for themselves, I’m not trying to be a commentator on myself,” she said. “I’ve been concerned that the focus hasn’t been, in terms of the public commentary, on the fight against the virus, and I think that’s absolutely where the focus needs to be right now. I think we need to all have a common purpose on focusing on fighting this virus and that’s the message that I’ve tried to convey from the start.”

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BUSINESSES ADAPTING
Big W redeploys hundreds of staff to Woolworths supermarkets
Big W has redeployed about 500 staff members to Woolworths supermarkets in Melbourne as the city undergoes stage four lockdown.
The change follows the temporary closure of 22 Melbourne Big W stores under the city's restrictions imposed on the retail industry.

The nine regional stores in Victoria remain open for customers, while metropolitan Melbourne stores now offer contactless drive-up and home delivery options.

Managing director David Walker said Big W was committed to supporting its 2000 Melbourne store staff members during lockdown
"The safety and wellbeing of our team members in Melbourne is our top priority and we're working hard to support our teams through these challenging times," he said.
"The majority of our team members are now focusing on safely servicing online orders via home delivery and contactless drive up in our ten hub stores.
"We're also working closely with the Woolworths Group, successfully redeploying around 500 team members to Woolworths supermarkets so far."

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On-farm meat processing interest grows as coronavirus impacts abattoirs in Victoria
Key points:
Pork producer says on-farm meat processing is becoming a market advantage
There have been more enquiries about mobile abattoirs since the coronavirus pandemic reduced production at Victorian abattoirs
Local processing gives farmers greater control over animal welfare and final product

A pork producer in New South Wales' central west region says he has seen an increase in enquiries about on-farm processing since the coronavirus pandemic.
Extraordinary Pork in Dubbo processes its own cuts of meat for market, rather than sending stock to an abattoir several hours away.

Owner Michael Hicks said it was something more producers were interested in doing, particularly since COVID-19 reduced capacity at abattoirs in Victoria.
"COVID-19 has certainly shown up weaknesses in the value chain, in terms of getting produce to market," he said.
"Anyone who can simplify that process to get the produce to the customer will certainly be at an advantage for sure."

He said, in recent weeks, more producers had been making enquiries about his set-up and how they might be able to replicate it.

Mr Hicks said it was a trend that was growing in the industry with farmers able to market on-farm processing to customers.
"Consumers increasingly are chasing more provenance for their meat, where it's coming from, and they're more interested in how it is produced."

More control over animal welfare and supply chain
Mr Hicks said on-farm processing also allowed the producer to have more control over the humane treatment of animals.
"From an animal welfare perspective, it's as good as you can get. It's certainly one of our main values that we hold here.
"It's really critical that we hold the highest animal welfare standards possible."
He said it also allowed for more of the pork carcase to be prepared for sale and saved the logistics of transporting stock to the nearest appropriate abattoir, which was several hours away.

Forging ahead despite COVID-19, drought.
Meantime, challenges in the industry have not hampered plans for an abattoir to be reopened at Coonamble.

The Castlereagh Regional Abattoir has not operated in 20 years and was recently bought by two businessmen who plan to reopen the plant for cattle, sheep and goats in October.

Manager Mark Goodman said despite the drought, he was confident there was still enough stock going to market to make the business viable.
"We've got a little bit of an advantage here in the fact that those big Queensland abattoirs need a lot of cattle to keep them going," he said.
"At Coonamble, we could do 250 to 260 a day, and it's just a nice tidy amount."
"I was at the cattle sale here at Coonamble three weeks ago, and there were 850 head yarded there and if our works were going at the time that certainly would have facilitated our clients."

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SCHOOLS

Greater Shepparton Secondary College notified that a student at its Wanganui Campus tested positive for the virus
Greater Shepparton Secondary College said it was notified that a student at its Wanganui Campus tested positive for the virus.

The college has closed the campus while the Department of Health and Human Services undertakes contact tracing and deep cleaning is done.

The college said all students and staff of the campus must remain at home, which included limiting movements to home-based activities and not attending public places.

Goulburn Valley Health said the student was linked to the outbreak at Shepparton Villages.

Late last week Unilever was informed that a worker at its Tatura factory had tested positive to COVID-19. The factory was closed for deep cleaning and reopened on Sunday night.

A spokesperson for Unilever said one potential contact of the positive case had been tested as a precaution and they were awaiting their results.

Community should focus on doing the right thing
Greater Shepparton has nine active cases of coronavirus.

In a post to his Facebook page, Goulburn Valley Health CEO Matt Sharp said five of those cases were related to the Shepparton Villages outbreak, including two staff members, two close contacts of staff and one resident.

A further two cases are believed to be linked, and two other cases are not linked.

Mayor of Greater Shepparton City Council Seema Abdullah said it was up to everyone in the community to do the right thing and control the spread.
"The problem starts when we start believing everybody else should be doing those instructions," she said.
"I think we should all focus on ourselves, and that's the message that we are giving to our community: focus on your behaviour and do all the right things and take all the necessary precautions."

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Victorian teachers lodge more WorkCover claims for impacts of coronavirus pandemic than any other profession
Key points:
WorkSafe has accepted 26 claims from education staff compared to 21 from healthcare staff
Australian Education Union deputy president Justin Mullaly says some education staff who have to work onsite have reported "considerable stress and anxiety"
Clinical psychologist Andrew Fuller says upcoming VCE exams mean teachers could be about to enter an even more stressful perioD

As the coronavirus pandemic was starting to take hold in Victoria, teachers clinical psychologist Andrew Fuller was working with were starting to have a troubling realisation: they should start preparing their wills.
Remote learning has lessened the risk of contracting the virus, but created new pressures, with teachers working harder than ever to prepare classes and facing increased scrutiny from parents.
"I've had some schools where that's occurred, where they have talked about preparing wills in case they die," Dr Fuller said.
"In some ways that might seem an unrealistic response, it might seem a bit lurid or overblown.
"In a way, humans are wonderful creatures that work largely on denial. But that's not necessarily realistic when we're confronted with this."

Figures provided to the ABC show more teachers have had WorkCover claims approved for conditions, such as mental injury, related to the pandemic than people in any other profession in Victoria.

Fewer health professionals who have actually contracted coronavirus at work have had claims approved than teachers who have not contracted the virus, figures show.

That is despite the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reporting about 1,200 Victorian health professionals have tested positive.

As of July 30, there were 111 people who had had claims relating to coronavirus approved.
The standardised claims relate to people who have missed more than 10 days of work and have medical expenses of more than $735.
Almost three quarters of the claims relate to people who have not contracted the virus.

As of July 30, WorkCover had accepted 33 claims based on contracting coronavirus. They include:
24 people working in health care and social assistance
Less than five claims from workers in wholesale trade, administrative and support services, public administration and safety, transport, postal and warehousing
WorkCover has accepted 78 claims based on other impacts, such as mental injury, related to the coronavirus pandemic. The workers who made those claims include:
26 in education and training
21 in health care and social assistance
11 in public administration and safety
Five in financial and insurance services and professional, scientific and technical services
Less than five claims in wholesale trade, retail, transport, postal and warehousing, information media and telecommunications, administrative and support services
The figures show that few, if any, workers caught up in one of Victoria's largest clusters, the outbreak at Cedar Meats Australia, have submitted WorkCover claims, despite the ABC confirming at least one worker spent several weeks in intensive care.

Justin Mullaly, the Victorian deputy president of the Australian Education Union, said it was also possible some teachers who had contracted the virus at work had not put in WorkCover claims because they could access three months of specific infectious disease leave under their agreement.
Mr Mullaly said teachers who had to attend school in between the two significant Victorian outbreaks had been particularly concerned for their welfare.
"There are some teachers, support staff and principals who have reported considerable stress and anxiety, particularly in recent times, where they have had to attend onsite," he said.

Dr Fuller said teachers could be about to enter an even more stressful period.
August was typically the month when motivation slipped most for year 12 students, he said, a trend which could be even more acute this year given the difficulties of the pandemic.
"The tensions [about] who can motivate these kids, whether it's parents or teachers, becomes more fraught," he said.
"There has been a bit of pointing the finger about who is responsible.
"It's been an almost relentless period of time without any break whatsoever, so they're working incredibly hard to meet the needs of their students, which is heroic really."

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AGED CARE
COVID-19 numbers rise in Shepparton with school closed, aged care facility in lockdown
A Shepparton residential aged care facility has been locked down, and a secondary school campus closed as the greater Shepparton region recorded an additional four coronavirus cases over the weekend.

Maculata Place, a 120-bed facility run by Shepparton Villages, has been placed in lockdown after two staff members and a resident tested positive to the virus late last week.

Greg Pullen, interim chief executive of Shepparton Villages, said staff and residents of the facility had been tested and were still awaiting some results.
"We're keeping an eye on things. We're waiting on another 100 results to come back probably today," he said.

Mr Pullen said around 22 staff had been tested and were self-isolating.
"At the moment we are a bit stressed as far as staffing is concerned, but luckily everyone's pulling together," he said.
"Goulburn Valley Health has given us some staff that we can utilise."

Shepparton Villages said residents of Maculata Place had been isolating in their rooms since Thursday and staff were wearing full personal protective equipment in the facility.

Mr Pullen said the female resident who tested positive was being cared for at the facility.
"The resident was assessed by four senior clinicians from the COVID response team from GV Health. They found the resident's vital signs were good and they also found the resident didn't want to go to hospital," he said.
"There's no reason for the resident to go to hospital unless they need that sort of care. If the resident does need to go, that will happen," he said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

Claimed made Moving aged care residents to multiple Melbourne hospitals amid Covid-19 'could be catastrophic'
Two nurses working at a private hospital accepting residents from Victoria’s beleaguered aged care system have tested positive for Covid-19, with a senior doctor describing the mass transportation of elderly residents to hospitals as a “catastrophe waiting to happen”.

The Victorian premier in July responded to coronavirus outbreaks in aged care homes throughout the state by saying he had “no confidence in infection control” in some of the facilities and that residents from those homes would be moved into private and public hospitals.

There are now 122 aged care facilities with active cases of Covid-19 and 138 deaths have been liked to aged care. Meanwhile, more than a quarter of the 322 new cases of the virus throughout Victoria announced on Monday were infections in health care workers.

A spokesman from Knox Private hospital in Wantirna, 25km east of Melbourne, confirmed two nurses caring for aged care residents transported to the hospital had tested positive.
“The origin of the transmission has not been determined,” the spokesman said. “Contact tracing identified three other staff members who had close contact with one of the affected individuals. These staff members were all asymptomatic, were isolated and have subsequently returned negative Covid-19 results. We continue to contact trace, retest and support our staff.”

Guardian Australia has been told by senior doctors that all nurses at the hospital had Covid-19 tests before patients from aged care were accepted, and all nurses at that time returned a negative result. Knox Private is said to have among the more stringent protocols regarding infection control and personal protective equipment (PPE).
“We regularly Covid test all asymptomatic nursing staff caring for Covid patients,” the spokesman said. “Like other health services treating Covid patients, we have robust safety and infection control protocols in place.”

Dr Mark Rudelic, a senior specialist working at a Melbourne public hospital, said he was concerned by the decision to move aged care residents to multiple hospitals throughout Melbourne because of the risk of infection.
“I’m worried it was a very poor decision to move them to multiple different hospitals rather than picking a couple of designated hospitals where you could strictly monitor infection control and only accept and treat Covid-19 residents,” he said.
“But we have sent them all over Melbourne now. You have private hospitals in the north, south-east and west who have all taken patients from aged care homes, and the potential for spreading the disease then increases when you have to worry about infection control in all of those hospitals.
“There is potential for spread through all the private hospitals. I fear this move could have been a catastrophic mistake.”

Guardian Australia has repeatedly asked the Victorian government for a list of all hospitals with active cases of health worker infections but is yet to receive a response.
On Monday, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), which advocates on behalf of more than 18,000 physicians and 8,000 trainee physicians across Australia and New Zealand, released findings from a member survey that found a significant proportion were resorting to buying their own protective equipment, and almost half had limited or no access to N95-grade masks.

The survey was completed between 30 July and 3 August and 677 responses were received.

The RACP president, respiratory physician Prof John Wilson, said hospitals must provide staff with the correct PPE to do their jobs safely.
“The results of this survey show that in some public and private settings, this isn’t happening,” he said. “I suspect that a similar survey of aged care facilities will be just as revealing.
“We have serious concerns about the safety of our members on the frontline. While they are putting their lives on the line to tackle this pandemic, our government must be doing everything they can to provide them with sufficient protective equipment.”

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

COVID-19 has exposed Australia's aged care sector's flaws, royal commission hears
The death rate in Australian residential aged care for coronavirus is among the highest in the world, counsel assisting the aged care royal commission Paul Bolster said in his opening remarks in the three days of hearings on the impact of the pandemic on aged care.
"The aged care system we have in 2020 is not a system that is failing," Mr Bolster said.
"It is the system operating as it was designed to operate. We should not be surprised at the results".

Commenting on the unfolding disaster in Victoria, Mr Bolster said between July 8 and Sunday, more than 1000 residents had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

He said COVID-19 was the greatest challenge the Australian aged care sector has ever faced.

More than 68 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths cases were in aged care. As of Sunday, 203 deaths of the 290 were from COVID-19 were residents of aged care.
"This makes Australia a country with one of the highest death rates in the world withtotal deaths from COVID-19," Mr Bolster said.

He said it had "starkly exposed all of the flaws of the aged care sector which have been highlighted during this royal commission".
"It is hardly surprising that the aged care sector has struggled to respond to COVID-19," said Mr Rozen.
"For instance, the requirement for one registered nurse to be on duty in a home at all times was removed in 1998. As Professor Kathy Eagar, professor of health services research at the Wollongong University, has been quoted as saying, most people would be surprised to know that you don't have to have a nurse on the staff to run a nursing home," he said.

Royal commissioner Tony Pagone said the impact of the pandemic had been for people in aged care "tragic in ways that were unimagined a few months ago. The full impact is not yet known".

He extended his sympathy and understanding to "those who have not been able to spend time with their relatives or friends in aged care because of of the restrictions introduced to deal with the pandemic".
"We feel your losses and your absences deeply. We have heard many of your stories and have been moved by them," said Mr Pagone.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

Aged care home coronavirus response hurt by government disputes, royal commission hears
Key points:
Commission told there was a "stand-off" about moving infectious residents to hospital
Seventeen residents died at Newmarch House after contracting COVID-19
Various levels of government "are not working together"

The aged-care sector did not have a plan to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, a royal commission has heard
The Royal Commission into Aged Care's senior counsel assisting Peter Rozen QC said hearings over the coming days would examine whether more could have been done to protect residents.

He said the commission would also examine whether greater preparation could have saved lives.
"While there was undoubtedly a great deal done to prepare the Australian health sector more generally for the pandemic, the evidence will reveal that neither the Commonwealth Department of Health nor the aged-care regulator developed a COVID-19 plan specifically for the aged-care sector," he said.

The commission heard disagreements between the NSW and Federal governments adversely impacted the handling of a coronavirus outbreak in a Western Sydney nursing home. Mr Rozen told the hearing that the problems stemmed from the fact that the health systems are run by the state governments while aged care is managed by the Commonwealth.
"We surely have no hope of fighting COVID-19 and protecting the residents in our nursing homes if the various levels of governments are not working together," he said.

He said the inquiry would look into whether there had been sufficient planning to decide who would call the shots in the event of an outbreak.

He said the outbreak at Newmarch House in Caddens, where 17 residents died after contracting COVID-19, suggested this planning was not adequately addressed.

The Commission also heard there was a "stand-off" between NSW Health and the Federal Government over whether residents who tested positive to COVID-19 should be transferred to hospital.

An email appearing to quote NSW Health noted: "The preference is not to decant residents into hospitals given the precedent it would set." Mr Rozen said equal access to the hospital system was a fundamental right of all Australians, regardless of age.
"To put it very directly, older people are not less deserving of hospital treatment because they are old, such an approach is ageist."

The hearing continues.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... n/12541246


QUACKS AND FOOLISH POLITICANS MUDDYING THE WATERS
Hydroxychloroquine is a poor coronavirus treatment but a perfect parable for our times
The group had all the trappings of medical authority.

Wearing white coats as they stood with serious faces in front of the US Supreme Court earlier this week, they called themselves "America's Frontline Doctors".

In the video of their press conference, which was livestreamed on Facebook, the group promoted a familiar but controversial narrative: that the drug hydroxychloroquine could help treat COVID-19.

They made their claims despite large scientific studies showing the drug doesn't benefit people hospitalised with the disease.

The original clip was removed from Facebook but it lived on, with a retweet from US President Donald Trump and a boost on Instagram from celebrities like Madonna. After that, right-wing and conspiratorial online communities — including those in Australia — made a point of keeping the video available online.
Even a transcript of the press conference, on the website of transcription service Rev, has received more than 800,000 interactions on Facebook, according to data from social media monitoring firm Crowdtangle. It has been posted more than 500 times.

The video controversy is only the latest instalment in the saga of hydroxychloroquine's transformation, from relatively obscure anti-malarial drug to political football.

It first arrived in the spotlight thanks to widespread press coverage and now, in private Facebook groups and in YouTube comment feeds, hydroxychloroquine is no longer just an unlikely medicine for COVID-19.

To believe in its efficacy is often a way to indicate support for President Trump or an ideological scepticism of the medical establishment, entirely disconnected from the science.
"It's a tenet of faith," said Tom Sear, a fellow with UNSW Canberra Cyber at the Australian Defence Force Academy. "All the scientific evidence is doubtful — and there's Trump with certainty."
Where did the hype come from?
As coronavirus spread in early 2020, the world scrambled for a silver bullet and the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine — or HCQ — emerged as an early candidate.

Also used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, it had shown some promise when used against two previous coronaviruses, SARS and MERS.
"The hope was it might be somewhat useful," said Derek Lowe, a long-time drug discovery researcher and author of In the Pipeline, a long-running science blog on the Science Translational Medicine website.
"No-one expected great things out of hydroxychloroquine."

On Facebook, some of the first mentions of the drug as a potential COVID-19 treatment came in mid-February from Chinese media like Xinhua and China Daily but attracted relatively little engagement.
Outside the research community, however, the real attention came after the intervention of a media-savvy French microbiologist named Didier Raoult.

His study, published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Agents in March, tested a combination of hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin on patients with COVID-19 and found that it helped.

But in the eyes of other scientists, the study was decidedly lacklustre. It was small and uncontrolled, which meant there was no group that did not receive the treatment to compare the results against.

But those caveats, and underwhelming results from other trials, ceased to hold much weight in the greater public consciousness after US President Donald Trump weighed in.

On March 19, Trump said the drug could be a "game changer" at a White House news conference with his coronavirus task force. A few days later, he tweeted a link to Dr Raoult's study. It was retweeted more than 300,000 times.
Image
French professor Didier Raoult's study of hydroxychloroquine received a receptive audience in US President Donald Trump
<< STUDY NOW DEBUNKED AND HIS CREDIBILITY GONE DOWN THE U TUBE >>

Since March 1, public posts containing the word "hydroxychloroquine" have received at least 55 million "interactions" on Facebook — a measure that includes reactions, shares or comments.

Other cable news characters emerged as willing soldiers in a burgeoning culture war, such as Dr Vladimir Zelenko, a doctor in upstate New York who claimed to have treated patients with a combination of hydroxychloroquine and other drugs.

And in the months since, President Trump and members of his administration have repeatedly returned to the hydroxychloroquine narrative despite the protests of White House medical advisor Dr Anthony Fauci, who has repeatedly stated that all "valid" scientific data suggests hydroxychloroquine is not effective against COVID-19.

The drug has attracted the attention of populist politicians outside the United States as well.

It's been heavily promoted by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and the drug even became a political instrument in Australia, when erstwhile MP Clive Palmer bought Facebook ads in March, as well as full-page newspaper ads, promoting his proposal to buy "1 million doses" of the drug to support the fight against COVID-19.

Hydroxychloroquine was seized upon because it offered an appealing narrative, Mr Lowe suggested: a cheap, immediate cure. And if there were naysayers, those were just evil forces at work.

"There was an element of sticking it to the 'big evil' drug companies — 'we're going to use this cheap generic medicine that's been around forever'."

For the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic read our coronavirus updates story
It is a political drug now
Of course, the attraction of a miracle cure is nothing new. But the media and social media platforms can amplify and convert this desire into an article of faith, often tied to politics and identity.

If it were effective, hydroxychloroquine might offer an immediate and individualistic solution that could appeal to those on the right, Mr Sear said, in opposition to more left-leaning values around social responsibility.
"[Hydroxychloroquine is] characterised as a quick fix, a magic cure for the 'problem' of the virus," he said of how the drug is often characterised online.
"It's not a social solution. It doesn't imply we have to work together — and with government — and address larger, more complex, and interrelated issues in society to battle the disease."
Throughout the pandemic, the spruiking of so-called coronavirus "treatments" has been widespread — grifters adapting to the current panic by offering unproven solutions such as colloidal silver.

But hydroxychloroquine is different, according to Elise Thomas, a misinformation researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
"The reality is, most of these people have no knowledge of what hydroxychloroquine is," she said.
"From that angle, it does become more of an article of faith, or more wrapped up into an ideological or political narrative as opposed to being an actual industry that ordinary people can participate in."
George Buchanan, a researcher at the University of Melbourne, has been observing online discussions about COVID-19 on platforms like YouTube and Twitter.

Like Ms Thomas, Dr Buchanan has seen hydroxychloroquine picked up by right-wing and pro-Trump circles on social media. He said it remains one of the most discussed potential treatments online.

"HCQ has been the dominant narrative up to this point."

The failure of hydroxychloroquine to emerge as a usable COVID-19 treatment so far can be seen as many things by such groups. It might be "evidence" of the pharmaceutical industry's backing of alternative drugs, for example, or an excuse by the "deep state" to eventually vaccinate everyone.

Ms Thomas described what she calls "conspiracy collapse", where social media platforms bring together many different kinds of sometimes contradictory conspiracies.
"It's a car crash. It's terrifically messy," she said.
"You look at it at the end, and you can't figure out what started where."

What the HCQ misinformation means for a vaccine
The online obsession with hydroxychloroquine seems unabated — not helped by the media's difficulty in reporting the uncertainty inherent in medical science and drug trials.

Just in the past seven days, Crowdtangle data shows Facebook posts on pages and in public groups mentioning the drug have received more than 12 million interactions. And posts from right-wing figures such as Dan Bongino and Rush Limbaugh about censorship of the treatment have been shared tens of thousands of times.

Thanks in part to social media networks and other online coverage, misinformation and conspiracy theories have periodically flowed from the US and Europe into Australia — at times an "information colony", as Mr Sear put it — and hydroxychloroquine is no exception.

Similar statements of belief in the drug and accusations of cover-ups have been shared widely here in recent days thanks to posts from Australian politicians, wellness influencers and anti-vaccination pages.

Whether or not hydroxychloroquine ever becomes a viable coronavirus drug, the evolution of its online narrative has created a template for how to muddy the narrative around potential treatments, and especially around any potential vaccine.

Mr Lowe predicted there is going to be "a lot of craziness" as the vaccine clinical data starts to emerge.

Ultimately, however, what frustrates him most about the hydroxychloroquine hype is the vast gulf between the appealing narrative it offers and the usual way that medical science advances.

Most of the drugs that scientists develop, Mr Lowe said, for everything from cancer to coronaviruses, simply do not work. They fail.
"There aren't very many miracle drugs."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/202 ... y/12510812

Liberal MP Craig Kelly said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews could be jailed for his stance on hydroxychloroquine. An expert says there's 'zero chance'
CoronaCheck is RMIT ABC Fact Check's weekly email newsletter dedicated to fighting the misinformation infodemic surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

You can read the latest edition below, and subscribe to have the next newsletter delivered straight to your inbox.

CoronaCheck #33
It's been a while since we've covered misinformation about hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug once touted as an effective COVID-19 treatment but for which there is now mounting evidence to the contrary. This week, we've checked a suggestion by federal Liberal MP Craig Kelly that Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews' stance on the use of the drug could see him imprisoned.

We've also looked at another viral stage four lockdown text message, and bring you fact checks stemming from Australian journalist Jonathan Swan's interview with US President Donald Trump.

Could Daniel Andrews be jailed for 25 years for preventing the use of hydroxychloroquine?
Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly has suggested that Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews could be jailed for blocking the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 during a Facebook posting spree that saw him promote the drug more than 30 times this week.

In a post that has since been edited, Mr Kelly questioned whether Mr Andrews could be jailed for up to 25 years for "continuing to ban hydroxychloroquine" under recently-introduced Victorian workplace laws, which include the crime of "workplace manslaughter".

Image
THE FAKE CLAIMS
Despite attempts at censorship, and the publication of a fraudulent study in the Lancet, the global evidence is now overwhelming.
The weight of studies and international evidence demonstrates that continuing to deny the right of medical professional prescribing this drug to a patient is arguably;
* constitutes a breach of an applicable duty of care
* falls short of the standard of care that would have been taken by a reasonable person
* is negligent
* could lead to a high risk of death.
And in some states, such conduct has criminal penalties that carries severe penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment for individuals.
Https://www.ijidonline.com/article/S1201-9712(20)30600-7/fulltext?fbclid=IwAR1I2f4b_Pa4Kp6-mYiPaRGcoZMv0DE4rXZSf7dLT5EbDXiwKg_KqJlBkAc

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-07/ ... d/12530576


"With the current international evidence available, continuing to ban this drug is negligent, it falls below the standard of care that would be taken by a reasonable person — and creates a high risk or death," Mr Kelly wrote.

"Every office holder in Victoria that continues to ban the use of Hydroxychloroquine, could be risking 25 years in jail under the state's new laws."

The text of the post has since been updated to remove any reference to Mr Andrews, stating instead that "continuing to deny the right of medical professionals prescribing this drug to a patient" arguably constitutes conduct that in some states "has criminal penalties that carries [sic] severe penalties of up to 25 years' imprisonment for individuals".

Slater & Gordon industrial and employment principal lawyer Carita Kazakoff told Fact Check there was "zero chance" of Mr Andrews being charged for manslaughter as a result of any decision to ban or limit the use of hydroxychloroquine.
"Workplace manslaughter laws are designed to ensure that employers and organisations who exercise control over a workplace ensure the safety of those in that workplace," she said in an email.
"While it's conceivable that the Premier could be a 'duty holder' under the Act in relation to a workplace where he supervises or manages people, it is not relevant to the context Craig Kelly has described."

In March, the Therapeutic Goods Administration placed limitations on the use of hydroxychloroquine and recommended against its use for treating COVID-19 outside of clinical trials.
"Given the limited evidence for effect against COVID-19, as well as the risk of significant adverse effects, the TGA strongly discourages the use of hydroxychloroquine outside of its current indications at this time other than in a clinical trial setting or in a controlled environment in the treatment of severely ill patients in hospital."
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation and Melbourne's Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity have discontinued their trials of the drug as a COVID-19 treatment as evidence mounts that it is ineffective.

When questioned by reporters about Mr Kelly's posts, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would not "get onto what people talk about on Facebook" and asked Acting Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly to comment on the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.

"In terms of its use for this particular disease … it doesn't work," Professor Kelly said.
<< FURTHERMORE , PEOPLE WHO TAKE IT RISK BEING KILLED BY IT , EVEN UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION , BUT THAT DOESN’T STOP PALMER FROM SPOUKING THE HUGE CONSIGNMENT HE BOUGHT AND BROUHT INTO THE COUNTRY AS A PUBLICITY STUNT >>
[/QUOTE]
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-07/ ... d/12530576

BREACHES
QUARANTINE HOTEL BREAKDOWN - Victorian coronavirus hotel quarantine nurse alleges DHHS relaxed infection controls to appease guests
Key points:
The nurse says guests at some hotels were allowed out for half-hour smoking breaks because they otherwise became threatening
WhatsApp messages seen by the ABC indicate a security manager was informed as early as April that guards were falling asleep on shift at one hotel
Security guards and contractors say they are concerned a judicial inquiry will not fully uncover failures in the hotel quarantine scheme

Departmental staff in charge of running Melbourne's quarantine hotels were more concerned with appeasing guests than infection control, according to a nurse who worked at the troubled facilities.
Some guests were given extra so-called "fresh air" breaks and took advantage of the increasingly relaxed system, threatening to self-harm if they were not given allowances to leave their rooms, the nurse — who does not want to be named — said.

She said she believed the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was unnerved by a suspected suicide that occurred at the Pan Pacific hotel in South Wharf in April, during the first two weeks of hotel quarantine coming into force.
The suspected suicide is being investigated by the coroner.

The nurse said the whole focus became about ensuring guests were satisfied, rather than quarantined.
"They were just trying to fix guests' anxiety, and as a result [staff] started having too many interactions with guests," she said.
"We should have been seeing them as infrequently as possible."

In one instance, the nurse said she was asked by a team leader to babysit one of the guest's children for a couple of hours so the guest could clean their room and have a break — a request she refused.

Guests in some hotels also communicated through Facebook groups, she said, discussing how to beat the restrictions, which put hotel staff under more pressure.
"Things like 'tell them you've got a psych issue and then they have to give you a fresh air break' were doing the rounds," she said.
"We had people calling us saying 'I'm going to kill myself if I don't have a cigarette outside right now'. You've got no choice but to take that threat seriously."

The nurse said guests were only meant to have two fresh air breaks a week, escorted by a security guard or a nurse for roughly 15 minutes, but this became more frequent for guests if they complained.
In one instance, the nurse said she was asked by a team leader to babysit one of the guest's children for a couple of hours so the guest could clean their room and have a break — a request she refused.

Guests in some hotels also communicated through Facebook groups, she said, discussing how to beat the restrictions, which put hotel staff under more pressure.
"Things like 'tell them you've got a psych issue and then they have to give you a fresh air break' were doing the rounds," she said.
"We had people calling us saying 'I'm going to kill myself if I don't have a cigarette outside right now'. You've got no choice but to take that threat seriously."

The nurse said guests were only meant to have two fresh air breaks a week, escorted by a security guard or a nurse for roughly 15 minutes, but this became more frequent for guests if they complained.
Some people were allowed to leave their room every day for a half-hour cigarette break because they became threatening and aggressive otherwise, she said.
"Human nature is that you will play up if you're given the scope to. And these people were allowed to," she said.

She said some guests and security guards did not wear their masks properly during the breaks, and in some instances guests were smoking and did not wear a mask at all.

At least one guest she escorted out for a cigarette break tested positive for COVID-19 a few days later.
"I had just been standing there a few metres from them while they had their mask off. Members of the public were also walking past. It shouldn't have been happening," she said.

The ABC has seen payslips showing the nurse worked at more than half a dozen Melbourne quarantine hotels between April and July, including the Stamford Plaza, where one outbreak occurred.
She said each hotel was run differently, depending on the DHHS member in charge.
When asked if there had been any changes in policy or attitudes after the suicide in hotel quarantine, Mr Andrews said the concerns raised by the nurse "probably speaks to at least that person's view ... a tone or atmosphere very much on the ground", rather than policy decisions.
"We did have a tragedy ... someone did take their own life in that program. That much is true," he said.
"But beyond that, I couldn't speak to some of the comments and appraisals that are made in that [ABC] report today, but that may well be of interest to Judge Coate."

Guards fist-bumped guests, shared lifts: nurse
The nurse also backed up previous whistleblower accounts about the standard of security guards at the hotel, saying she witnessed one fist-bumping a group of guests, multiple staff members travelling in lifts with guests and other security staff sitting down on their phones the entire day when they were meant to be actively guarding hotel floors.
However, she said some of the hotels she worked at had extremely good protocols in place, such as only the one staff member touching lift buttons or travelling in lifts with guests, and it was harder for guests to get special dispensations.

"If more people had spoken out from the start, maybe this wouldn't have happened," she said.

Victoria's current coronavirus outbreak, which has led to tough stage 4 restrictions, could potentially be attributed to the botched hotel quarantine system.

An independent inquiry into the system was expected to begin public hearings this week, but the implementation of stage 4 restrictions resulted in those hearings being delayed until August 17.

The inquiry will focus on the administration of quarantine by Unified at Rydges in Carlton and MSS Security at the Stamford Plaza, but industry figures said more needed to be done to weed out the second and third tier of subcontractors, which were relied upon to service the contracts.

The state's hotel quarantine system has been put on hold for international travellers during the surge in recent infections.

Messages reveal concerns guards fell asleep on the job
Security guards and subcontractors who worked at quarantine hotels have told the ABC they remain concerned that the inquiry will not fully uncover the litany of errors which plagued the scheme.

Messages sent via WhatsApp by a security guard manager to his staff, and seen by the ABC, indicate the manager was informed as early as April 27 that guards were falling asleep on the job at one hotel.
Other WhatsApp messages from a manager at Silvans Facility Services, which was subcontracted by Unified to provide guards at several hotels, show him telling his staff they should be grateful for the work, rather than complaining about conditions or disregarding instructions.

In early May, the manager forwarded a series of screenshots of messages from prospective guards who he said had contacted him in the past five hours seeking shifts.
"It breaks my heart to say no to them and makes me sad and some are ready to work for $15 an hour or 'wtever [sic] you can pay'. These guys are waiting to be exploited as they are so desperate," the manager wrote.
"I just wanted you all to understand my work is not easy. If you are not serious still and disregarding instructions and don't want to be a team player, then some of these people will replace you."
ilvans part-owner and national operations manager Kapil Bhatia declined to comment, but said he would cooperate with the inquiry if called.

Another guard who worked for Silvans said he received "perfect" access to PPE and training, and personally saw five guards being asked to leave their shifts because of a failure to wear masks or proper uniform.

A separate subcontractor who provided guards to Unified at Rydges said he had also seen staff sent home for minor uniform breaches, such as wearing the wrong socks.

He questioned whether the system failures were because of the behaviour of individual guards, rather than the contractors.
The subcontractor said the framing of cash payments as something solely pushed by employers was incorrect, as many employees requested to be paid this way to ensure they remained eligible for other government payments or did not breach visa conditions.

He also said reports that hotel guards were recruited via WhatsApp or Gumtree gave the false impression this was a new practice, rather than a necessary measure in an underregulated industry where demand for work can fluctuate wildly.

Dozens of guards can be required to fill shifts at short notice, a fact underlined in a text message seen by the ABC which was sent by a manager at the Security Hub, which was a subcontractor for MSS Security, requesting a guard to fill a shift with less than 10 hours' notice at the Stamford Plaza.

The Security Hub declined to comment, but a spokesman confirmed they planned to cooperate with the inquiry, which has listed it as one of 14 private entities of interest.

The Premier has declined to give detailed answers to questions about hotel quarantine while the judicial inquiry is imminent.

A DHHS spokesman declined to answer detailed questions about the quarantine program or allegations raised by the nurse, saying it would be inappropriate to comment while the inquiry remained ongoing.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... s/12539382

Police fine 276 people for breaching lockdown restrictions
Police have fined 276 people - the highest number of penalties in a fortnight - for breaching Melbourne's coronavirus restrictions.

A couple visiting a playground more than five kilometres from their home because they were "sick of walking around their local area" with their children are among the latest to receive a penalty.
The man and woman travelled to Wyndham in Melbourne's outer west with their children, police said.

Other people fined for breaching stage four rules included a man spotted running across Edgevale Road in Kew, in Melbourne's inner east. He was stopped by police and stated he was just getting cigarettes, despite being aware of the curfew.
4 males who claimed they were "hanging out" in a car in a car park in Campbellfield, in Melbourne's outer north, were also fined. None were from the same household.

Also in Wyndham, five people were sprung drinking, smoking and listening to loud music in a garage.

In Yarra in Melbourne's inner north, a man who was found more than five kilometres from his home told police he was catching up with friends for a drink.

Police dished out 37 fines to people who refused to wear a face covering while outside.

25 people were fined at vehicle checkpoints, while 74 people were caught breaching Melbourne's 8pm curfew.

Police carried out 11,091 vehicle checks, and 3879 spot checks on people at homes, businesses and public places.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/melbourn ... d=msedgntp
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:29 am

10 AUGUST NSW

NSW records 14 new coronavirus cases, thousands come forward for testing
Key points:
Tangara School for Girls will close until August 24 for cleaning and contact tracing
Bonnyrigg Heights Public School and Our Lady of Mercy College in Parramatta are closed today
Almost 20,000 people came forward for testing on the 24 hours to 8:00pm Sunday

The cluster of coronavirus cases at a school in Sydney's north west has grown to nine, health authorities have confirmed.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the state is "halfway through a critical phase" after 14 new coronavirus infections were confirmed.

One of the new cases is a returned overseas traveller in hotel quarantine.

A total of 19,920 people were tested for the virus in the reporting period.

Ms Berejiklian said more than 50,000 tests were carried out over the weekend — more than 30,000 of those on Saturday.
"This is exactly what we need to do to stay on top of the virus," she said.
"I want to stress, we are still in a state of very high alert," the Premier said.
"We are doing OK, we are holding the line [and] we are at least halfway through a critical phase."

The state's chief medical officer Kerry Chant said of the 14 new cases diagnosed, one was a returned traveller in hotel quarantine, one was an interstate case from Victoria and one was locally acquired with no links to other cases at this stage.

A further 11 were locally acquired and linked to known cases.

The total number of cases in NSW is now 3,686.

Sydney news: Coronavirus cases close three Sydney schools,
Three Sydney schools have been closed and several students told to self-isolate after a string of positive coronavirus cases.

There are three cases connected to the Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook, in Sydney's north west.
Bonnyrigg Heights Public School in south-west Sydney and Our Lady of Mercy College at Parramatta, west of the city, were also closed due to confirmed infections.

Pharmacy employee worked while infectious
NSW Health is warning anyone who visited a pharmacy in north-west Sydney to watch for coronavirus symptoms after a staff member worked while infectious.

The confirmed case worked at PharmaSave Cherrybrook Pharmacy in Appletree Shopping Centre, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm on Thursday, August 6.

Health authorities said the staff member worked before showing coronavirus symptoms and was wearing a mask during their shift.

The pharmacy in Cherrybrook will undergo cleaning and will be closed temporarily as a precaution, NSW Health said.
A 'really grim' future for Sydney
Roger and Sola Touma have had to get creative with their business as new research warns many others across the City of Sydney face a "really grim" future.

The Toumas are in prime position as the only tailors on Macquarie Street, located next to the Law Courts, metres from Martin Place and down the road from State Parliament.

When the pandemic hit, they lost about 90 per cent of their sales as hundreds of thousands of city workers migrated home for good, swapping their fitted suits for track pants and hoodies.

But the Toumas had a lightbulb moment that helped keep them afloat — for now.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... 0/12539488

[QUOTE
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian used the SCHOOL cases as a warning to those managing large organisations, including non-government schools, that "large gatherings or mixing between organisations or between schools is … not allowable under the COVID rules."

Ms Berejiklian said Dr Chant would contact certain organisations over the coming days to ensure the were "aware of what is a COVID-safe way of moving forward".

One of today's new cases is an infection acquired in Victoria, one is a traveller in hotel quarantine and and one is a locally acquired transmission which is still under investigation.

A further 11 were locally acquired and linked to known cases.
Kids Early Learning at Quakers Hill is also closed today and contact tracing underway after a staff member worked while infectious on August 3.

Our Lady of Mercy College in Parramatta is closed and contract tracing is underway after a student tested positive late last week.

Dr Chant said three further cases reported today were linked to the funeral events in the Bankstown area, bringing the total number of cases linked to the cluster to 63.

NSW Health is currently treating 111 COVID-19 cases, eight of which are in intensive care, with six on ventilation.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... d/12540486

NSW Covid-19 hotspots: list of regional and Sydney outbreak locations

New South Wales has seen an uptick in community transmission of coronavirus in recent weeks, putting the state on high alert to prevent further spread.

Many cases can be traced back to the Crossroads Hotel cluster and the Thai Rock restaurant in Wetherill Park, but new locations have cropped up in the news briefings each day.
Here is an overview of the state’s current hotspots and what to do if you’ve visited them. More detailed information is available at the NSW Health website.

List of outbreaks in NSW
If you were at the following venues on these dates you must get tested and self-isolate for 14 days, even if your test is negative.

Jambo Jambo African Restaurant, Glebe: 7pm to 10.30pm on Friday 31 July 2020
Bennett Hotel, Hamilton: Friday 31 July, from 5.30pm to 10.00pm
Sydney Junction Hotel, Hamilton: from 11pm Saturday 1 August to 1.15am Sunday 2 August
Hotel Jesmond, Jesmond: 7pm to 9pm on Wednesday 29 July
Lambton Park Hotel, Lambton: 8pm to 9pm on Thursday 30 July
Bar 88, Wests New Lambton: Sunday 2 August, from 5.00pm to 7.15pm
Hamilton to Adamstown Number 26 bus, Newcastle: 8.20am on Monday 3 August
Fitness First St Leonards: Monday July 27, 9am to 10.30am. People who were at the gym at this time but only attended a group fitness class are not required to isolate, but should monitor for symptoms and immediately self-isolate and seek testing if they develop symptoms
Burrow Bar, Sydney: 9.45pm to midnight on Saturday 1 August (If you were at this venue for two hours or more between 9.45pm and midnight, you must self-isolate and get tested and stay isolated until Saturday 15 August, even if the test is negative. If symptoms develop, get tested again.)
Wallsend Diggers, Wallsend: 9pm to 11pm on Wednesday 29 July and 9pm to 11pm on Thursday 30 July.
With the growing number of cases in the area, NSW Health is asking all people who live in, or have visited, the following areas in the past two weeks to get tested if they have any symptoms of Covid-19 at all, even the mildest of symptoms such as a runny nose or scratchy throat.

Bankstown City Plaza
Bankstown LGA
Bonnyrigg
Cabramatta
Campbelltown LGA
Carnes Hill shops
Cumberland LGA
Fairfield LGA
Liverpool LGA
Mt Pritchard
Parramatta LGA
Perisher
Potts Point area
Prestons
Wetherill Park
If you were at any of the following locations on these dates, monitor yourself for symptoms and self-isolate and get tested if symptoms occur.

BBQ City Buffet, Bankstown: 7pm to 8.30pm on Saturday 1 August
McDonald Jones Stadium, Broadmeadow: 7.30pm to the end of the Newcastle Jets match on Sunday 2 August
Bunnings Warehouse, Campbelltown: 11am to 7pm on Tuesday 4 August; 8am to 4pm on Wednesday 5 August; 1pm to 3pm on Thursday 6 August
Master Hot Pot, Canley Vale: 1pm to 2pm on Saturday 1 August
Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL, Canterbury: 6.30pm to 8pm on Monday 27 July
PharmaSave Cherrybrook Pharmacy in Appletree Shopping Centre, Cherrybrook: 4pm to 7pm on Thursday 6 August
Woolworths, Crows Nest: 10.30am to 11am on Monday 27 July
Warren View Hotel, Enmore: 4pm to 4.20pm on Saturday 1 August
Neeta Shopping Centre (including the Soul Pattinson Chemist, Woolworths and Fresco Juice Bar), Fairfield: Thursday 23 July to Thursday 30 July
Greenroof Bar Restaurant, Hamilton: 10.30pm on Friday 31 July to 12.15am on Saturday 1 August
Sushi Revolution,Hamilton: Noon to 12:45pm on Saturday 1 August
Matinee Coffee, Marrickville: 8am to 9am on Sunday 26 July; 7am to 7.45am on Monday 27 July
Woolworths – Marrickville Metro Shopping Centre, Marrickville: 7pm to 7.20pm on Sunday 2 August
Queens Wharf Hotel, Newcastle: 9.30pm to 11pm on Saturday 1 August
St Agatha’s, Pennant Hills: 6.30 am to 7am on Wednesday 5 August; 6.30 am to 7am on Thursday 6 August
Penrith Plaza, Penrith: 10.30am to 12pm Saturday 1 August
The Eveleigh Hotel, Redfern: 8.30pm to 10pm on Friday 31 July
Cubby’s Kitchen, Sydney: 7.35pm to 9.30pm on Saturday 1 August
Mary’s Macquarie Place, Sydney: 6.45pm to 7.15pm on Saturday 1 August
Toronto Court House (Toronto Drug Court), Toronto: 7am to 2pm on Monday 27 July

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/ns ... d=msedgntp
[/QUOTE]
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... tp#image=1
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

SCHOOLS
Sydney school clusters grow
A primary school in Sydney's west has been closed after a student tested positive to COVID-19, as NSW recorded 14 new cases of the virus.
All Bonnyrigg Heights Public School students are learning from home on Monday as the school helps NSW Health trace the close contacts of the student and conducts cleaning.
All staff and students are asked to self-isolate in the meantime.
Last week, a student at the nearby Bonnyrigg High School tested positive to the virus and was closed before reopening the day after on 5 August.

The alert issued overnight on Sunday preceded the confirmation of 14 new cases of COVID-19 in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday from almost 20,000 tests.
One new case is in hotel quarantine and one has no known source.

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All staff and students at Bonnyrigg Heights Public School were asked to self-isolate and present themselves for testing if feeling unwell.

New South Wales health officials also issued a health alert for anyone who attended PharmaSave Cherrybrook pharmacy on Thursday after a worker contracted the virus.
Authorities confirmed the worker was wearing a face mask during their shift.
The case joins a cluster in the area including three cases linked to Tangara School for Girls.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/sydney-scho ... irus-cases
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

IMPACT

Research warns of 'really grim' future for many small businesses in Sydney's CBD because of coronavirus
Key points:
Lord Mayor Clover Moore expects a number of CBD businesses to close for good
Studio Shirts lost about 90 per cent of its trade during lockdown
Many businesses say they can only survive for one to three months

Roger and Sola Touma have had to get creative with their business as new research warns many others across the City of Sydney face a "really grim" future.
The Toumas are in prime position as the only tailors on Macquarie Street, located next to the Law Courts, metres from Martin Place and down the road from State Parliament.

When the pandemic hit, they lost about 90 per cent of their sales as hundreds of thousands of city workers migrated home for good — swapping their fitted suits for track pants and hoodies.

"We were very shell-shocked, we didn't know whether we could continue or not," Mr Touma said.

That's when Studio Shirts started making fitted masks — patterned, silk, bright, dark and even embroidered with company logos.
Image
Sales of the Touma's masks have sky-rocketed
"If someone were to say to me next year you will be making masks, I would have said, 'you have rocks in your head'," Mr Touma laughed.
Sales have since sky-rocketed, but the Toumas admit making masks and online sales won't be enough to keep them afloat forever.
"In reality, there is no tailoring at the moment, and I don't know if things will go back to normal, given almost everyone is working from home on a permanent basis," Mr Touma said.
"There is no one walking past, there are no visitors — and also most people simply don't feel safe enough to return to the city."

The City of Sydney has surveyed 979 businesses and found 62 per cent are still operating, but in a limited or changed way — similar to Studio Shirts on Macquarie Street.

20% of businesses have temporarily closed, 17 per cent are running as normal and only 1 per cent have shut for good.

But Lord Mayor Clover Moore said she expected the number of businesses forced to close to be much higher.
"I think the situation is really grim. Eighty per cent of businesses have reduced their staff, 40 per cent of businesses have had to lay off staff," she said.
There's also been a reduction in economic activity in the city of about 12 per cent from March to June, which translates to 84,000 jobs being lost.

Excluding JobKeeper, the number of jobs lost would sit at about 124,000.
"Those in the business sector can continue working from home — that means the cafes, restaurants, barbers, tailors and other retailers don't have that strong customer base they rely on — it's devastating," Ms Moore said.

George Street barber Fedl Babka has been unable to reinvent his business —and took a double whammy when the pandemic hit, having already put up with months of light rail construction. The Iraqi refugee used to do about 45 haircuts a day — now he does about 15 on a good day.
"My business is affected because yeah the office workers aren't coming back and the tourists are gone because of the borders shutting," Mr Babka said.
"We are definitely not making money, just enough to put the food on the table."
More than 2,000 office workers used to fill the building opposite his shop, but only about 100 have returned since the lockdown was lifted.
"If we have a second wave, it will be a big hit for businesses — we will disappear for sure," he said.

The City of Sydney recently asked 840 business owners how much longer they think they can stay open — a third estimated three to six months, while a quarter gave in a month to three months maximum.

Mr Babka didn't participate in the survey but shares the same sentiment.
"I would say I have another three to four months maximum," he said.
Chifley Towers stand over Philip Barbaro's cafe Avenue on Chifley — but those offices are virtually empty, although some of his regulars are coming into the office two to three days a week.
"We are down 60 per cent from July this year to July last year... right now I am fighting to stay open," Mr Barbaro said.
"Our morning trade has suffered big time so we no longer have crowds lining up for coffees, corporate functions have been cancelled and business breakfasts," he said.
Mr Barbaro is also concerned about the rising number of coronavirus cases across the state and fears workers may never return to the city.
"A lot of organisations have again been told to start working from home again. We were almost there," he said.

Ms Moore said there was no clear solution to the problem at the moment.
"We have some grants available for small business, we have waived outdoor dining fees to help out restaurants and bars, and provided some rent reductions — but we really need this pandemic to be over," she said

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... s/12534008

BORDERS

NSW-Victoria coronavirus border restrictions have tightened today, this is what has changed
order exemptions for Victorians trying to enter NSW have been tightened from today, placing further limits on who can enter the state without going into coronavirus quarantine.

As of 12:01am this morning, anyone crossing the southern border will be placed into hotel quarantine for 14 days and be required to cover the $3,000 expense for it.

The announcement was made on Wednesday, less than a day after NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard pushed back on NSW Labor's calls to subject Victorians to international traveller protocols.

So what do the changes mean?
The NSW Government this morning stopped non-border town travellers from entering NSW by road.
"Sydney Airport will now be the one [entry] point because that would allow us to control the risk assessment process for all returning travellers," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
Who is exempt?
While all travellers, regardless of how they enter NSW, will be placed into mandatory quarantine, there are some exceptions.

These are "critical workers", a "very specialised group of people" which the State Government defines as anyone doing a job that is unable to be performed by a local worker.

The state's chief medical officer Kerry Chant said these permits would be a "very, very small category" for exemptions.

The permit application system on the Services NSW website has listed seven "critical services" which travellers can apply for:

COVID-19 environmental cleaning on a commercial basis that is not available locally
Commonwealth defence and security services
Maintenance and repair of critical infrastructure
Medical, hospital, dental or veterinary care
Agriculture, construction, energy, mining or manufacturing
Movement of freight on a commercial basis
Movement of persons on a commercial basis
The onus would also be on the employer to demonstrate the worker given the permit was essential.

"We do check that they are indeed a critical worker and that service couldn't be provided by someone already in NSW," said NSW Health nurse Sarah Jane Nilsson, who is managing the screening process for domestic airports.
Ms Nilsson said if a critical worker permit did not meet the criteria, the case would be escalated.
"[If] they have not come through on the correct permit, they will then be swabbed at the airport by one of our nurses," she said.
"That's what will be sent off for testing and they will be sent to one of our special health homes."

Can I still get through on compassionate grounds?
In short, yes you can.

But NSW Health has warned permits for travel into NSW are granted "in very limited circumstances and according to strict criteria".

It will consider permits where a family member is terminally ill and close to the end of their life, and for those who are caring for a family member "in significant need", where no one else can assist.

Don't even bother asking to attend a wedding, religious ceremony or other family function — those reasons won't be considered.

Requests to attend funerals will be considered but there are several hoops to jump through.

First, the deceased person must be an immediate family member, or of significant importance, such as a sole-surviving relative.

You'll have to prove your bereavement, with a document from the funeral director, and then promise to wear a mask, social distance and not attend any other gathering, such as a wake.

Also funeral numbers must be limited to 20 people, otherwise you will need to attend by virtual means.
Once in NSW, what restrictions are in place?
The critical worker, as well as people applying to travel on compassionate grounds, will be subjected to several restrictions while they are in NSW.

They will be forbidden from visiting any location not related to their job or the address or hotel where they are staying and where they will be expected to self-isolate.

They will also, like other travellers from Melbourne, be subjected to police checks to confirm they are adhering to public health order.
Ms Nilsson said there was also an "escalation pathway" for cases health authorities were unsure of.
"If there are any other concerns … we will have a teleconference with the disaster manager and a representative from the Ministry of Health to confirm any details that we need to make a decision on," she said.
Changes have come into effect for people entering or transiting through NSW by boat.

The NSW Health Minister yesterday amended a public health order for maritime quarantine from Victoria which would subject passengers to the above changes.

Under the new COVID-19 changes for vessels, a member of the crew must remain reasonably close to the vessel or within 13 metres from the wharf the vessel is docked at.

They will also only be allowed to disembark from their vessel to either travel to an airport or quarantine facility, or to carry out an "essential task" as permitted by the NSW Police Commissioner.

These tasks include loading or unloading cargo, disposing of waste, carrying out maintenance or "undertaking ship-to-shore activities".

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-07/ ... n/12531162

Residents left out of Queensland, New South Wales border bubble zone say their lives have been disrupted by 'confusing' restrictions
Key points:
Postcode 4497 has been left out of the border zone
Katie Fuller lives in a border town and is unable to get her children to school
There are growing calls for the Balonne Shire to be part of a "border bubble"

There are concerns some children are not able to get to school and building contracts are in limbo, under Queensland's current New South Wales border restrictions.
The only people currently allowed to enter Queensland by road are truck drivers, workers who transport freight, people performing essential activities, and border zone residents.

But the postcode 4497 has been left out of the border zone, creating confusion for residents and businesses.

Katie Fuller lives in Mungindi, a town that has the Queensland-NSW border running through it.

Ms Fuller lives two blocks from the border, on the New South Wales side, and her children travel 40 kilometres to school in Thallon in south-west Queensland.

She has been deemed an essential worker, as the only delivery person in the region, but her children can't get to school under current arrangements.

This morning Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said people outside the border zone could apply for "very specific personal exemptions if they're not in one of those class exemptions group".
"I have given a number for this week to enable people to sort out what they're doing," Dr Young said.

Ms Fuller said she had applied for the exemption, but had not had a response.
"I still haven't heard back from them because obviously they were inundated.
"Today is a public holiday <QLD> … but it means now I have to try and sort out some sort of home-schooling."

Ms Fuller said it had been particularly difficult for one of her children with additional needs.
"I have a child that does not cope well with change, and the fact that he can't go to school and doesn't understand why he can't go [is very difficult]," she said.
"They do love the fact that they get to spend some more time with their dad, but are still struggling [with] why they can't go to school and be with their friends.
"I'm angry at the fact that I have to try and run around [to sort out the issues], as well as working and trying to look after my family."
Balonne Shire Mayor Samantha O'Toole said council had been advocating for all postcodes in the shire to become part of the border bubble since the middle of last week.

"First and foremost [there are] children that are not able to get to school," she said.
"I do hope it's just an administrative oversight and it can be rectified quickly.
"It's also heavily impacting businesses.
"A huge amount of contractors, agronomists, shearers, tractor dealerships, freight contractors, chemical providers … that aren't able to function today.
"I think it is very unclear … [there is] a lot of confusion."

A Queensland Health spokesperson said, "a limited number of New South Wales post codes have been identified as part of a border zone".
"We understand there will be some communities close to, but not immediately abutting the border, that won't fall into these border communities and may be inconvenienced by these restrictions.
"These are difficult decisions however these restrictions are in place for the protections of all Queenslanders."

Building contracts in limbo
Gold Coast builder Don Cotterill has more than $5 million in construction contracts that are in limbo because the building sites are just outside the bubble.
"One at Myocum at the moment is a boutique builder, it's a magnificent farm house, it's $1.3 million," he said.

One [house has] the kitchen half-installed and the other half of it is still sitting in the factory in Burleigh.
"The painting's half-done, tiling half-done, and we can't get back down there to complete the job.
"Is the kitchen freight? Can they put it in the back of their truck and take it down and then can I get a cabinet maker from down in that area to come and install it?"

Mr Cotterill said if he can find local contractors to finish the jobs, they will likely charge more than he originally quoted for the work.
He said the when details of the new restrictions were explained on Friday, it gave him less than 24 hours notice to complete jobs that he had started in Byron Bay and the surrounding area.
"For us it's just absolutely stopped."

Mr Cotterill said during the last border closure the construction industry was exempt.
"I'm pleading with the Government to consider those construction industries that they've given no thought to," he said.

Under the current border restrictions, a construction worker who is a Queensland resident can enter the border zone within New South Wales to perform construction work and a border zone resident who is a NSW resident and works in construction, is permitted to travel outside the border zone in Queensland to perform construction work.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... e/12536162


10 AUGUST QLD

Queensland health authorities cautiously optimistic the state has avoided COVID-19 spread from Brisbane coronavirus cluster
Key points:
Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young says if no cases are recorded on Monday the state may have avoided a significant outbreak
Fears were raised of community spread when two women visited schools, shops and restaurants across Logan and Brisbane while they were potentially infectious
Police in Far North Queensland were forced to break up a beach party that breached social distancing regulations on the weekend

Queensland COVID-19 snapshot:
Confirmed cases so far: 1,089
Deaths: 6
Tests conducted: 668,751

Queensland has been on tenterhooks since the news broke that two women flew into Brisbane on July 21 after contracting coronavirus while in Melbourne.

Another three cases of COVID-19 were linked to the pair, including one woman who works in a nursing home.

But no further community transmission has been detected, despite record numbers of people being tested for the disease.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said if no cases were recorded on Monday, she might be able to say Queensland had avoided the worst.
"We all know that 14-day incubation period and we all know that there are cases — around 20 per cent or so — that don't get any symptoms, so then you have to wait until they've spread it to someone else to be able to pick it up," Dr Young said.
"So Monday is when I'll be able to say that I think that we've probably — and it's always a probable, unfortunately — probably avoided further cases out of that cluster due to those young women who went down to Melbourne."

Local mayor relieved
The women visited schools, shops and restaurants across Logan and Brisbane while they were potentially infectious.
Logan Mayor Darren Power said he was relieved the city appeared to have dodged a bullet.
"Very relieved and Logan is very relieved for obvious reasons: we were in the headlines for a week or so and it's something I didn't like in my city and a lot of residents were feeling very very concerned about what was going on," he said.
"We can rest a little bit easier, but at the same time we've got to be very, very vigilant to continue the same work that we're all doing."
Mr Power said the coronavirus cluster was a scare for his community.
"We had a record amount of testing done, we had all these testing locations happening and I know that people were doing the right thing and getting tested, everyone was very concerned," he said.

Police forced to disperse large beach party
Police in Far North Queensland said they had to break up a crowd of 200 to 300 people who were partying on Wangetti Beach north of Cairns on Saturday morning.
Officers said people were illegally camping, alcohol was being consumed on the beach and a stage was set up with a DJ playing loud music.
Acting Superintendent Mark Linwood urged Queenslanders not to ignore the coronavirus health warnings and directions.
"By and large Queenslanders have done a great job in combating COVID-19, but we cannot and must not become complacent," he said.
"COVID-19 and the threat it poses to all Queensland communities is real. It is everyone's responsibility to ensure they are practising effective social distancing and following the directions as set out by the Chief Health Officer."
A 35-year-old man was charged with five offences including two counts of obstructing police.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... 9/12539788

BORDER BUBBLE ISSUES
Residents left out of Queensland, New South Wales border bubble zone say their lives have been disrupted by 'confusing' restrictions
There are concerns some children are not able to get to school and building contracts are in limbo, under Queensland's current New South Wales border restrictions.

The only people currently allowed to enter Queensland by road are truck drivers, workers who transport freight, people performing essential activities, and border zone residents.

But the postcode 4497 has been left out of the border zone, creating confusion for residents and businesses.

Katie Fuller lives in Mungindi, a town that has the Queensland-NSW border running through it.

Ms Fuller lives two blocks from the border, on the New South Wales side, and her children travel 40 kilometres to school in Thallon in south-west Queensland.

She has been deemed an essential worker, as the only delivery person in the region, but her children can't get to school under current arrangements.

This morning Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said people outside the border zone could apply for "very specific personal exemptions if they're not in one of those class exemptions group".
"I have given a number for this week to enable people to sort out what they're doing," Dr Young said.

Ms Fuller said she had applied for the exemption, but had not had a response.
"I still haven't heard back from them because obviously they were inundated.
"Today is a public holiday … but it means now I have to try and sort out some sort of home-schooling."

Ms Fuller said it had been particularly difficult for one of her children with additional needs.
"I have a child that does not cope well with change, and the fact that he can't go to school and doesn't understand why he can't go [is very difficult]," she said.
"They do love the fact that they get to spend some more time with their dad, but are still struggling [with] why they can't go to school and be with their friends.
"I'm angry at the fact that I have to try and run around [to sort out the issues], as well as working and trying to look after my family."

Balonne Shire Mayor Samantha O'Toole said council had been advocating for all postcodes in the shire to become part of the border bubble since the middle of last week.
"First and foremost [there are] children that are not able to get to school," she said.
"I do hope it's just an administrative oversight and it can be rectified quickly.
"It's also heavily impacting businesses.
"A huge amount of contractors, agronomists, shearers, tractor dealerships, freight contractors, chemical providers … that aren't able to function today.
"I think it is very unclear … [there is] a lot of confusion."

A Queensland Health spokesperson said, "a limited number of New South Wales post codes have been identified as part of a border zone".
"We understand there will be some communities close to, but not immediately abutting the border, that won't fall into these border communities and may be inconvenienced by these restrictions.
"These are difficult decisions however these restrictions are in place for the protections of all Queenslanders."

Building contracts in limbo
Gold Coast builder Don Cotterill has more than $5 million in construction contracts that are in limbo because the building sites are just outside the bubble.
"One at Myocum at the moment is a boutique builder, it's a magnificent farm house, it's $1.3 million," he said.
"One [house has] the kitchen half-installed and the other half of it is still sitting in the factory in Burleigh.
"The painting's half-done, tiling half-done, and we can't get back down there to complete the job.
"Is the kitchen freight? Can they put it in the back of their truck and take it down and then can I get a cabinet maker from down in that area to come and install it?"

Mr Cotterill said if he can find local contractors to finish the jobs, they will likely charge more than he originally quoted for the work.

He said the when details of the new restrictions were explained on Friday, it gave him less than 24 hours notice to complete jobs that he had started in Byron Bay and the surrounding area.
"For us it's just absolutely stopped."

Mr Cotterill said during the last border closure the construction industry was exempt.
"I'm pleading with the Government to consider those construction industries that they've given no thought to," he said.

Under the current border restrictions, a construction worker who is a Queensland resident can enter the border zone within New South Wales to perform construction work and a border zone resident who is a NSW resident and works in construction, is permitted to travel outside the border zone in Queensland to perform construction work.

Agriculture also affected
Farmer Louise Fulwood, who has chickpeas, barley and wheat growing, said she usually accesses agricultural supplies and an agronomist from Mungindi.
"Chickpeas need an agronomist regularly checking them and telling us what to spray," she said.
"Our agronomist was due to come out today, but I don't think she's allowed to come.
"The spray comes from them as well and they're on the other side of the border.
"We haven't got any answers we've just got a lot of people asking questions."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/brisbane ... d=msedgntp

NSW and Queensland health workers scramble to move staff amid 'border bubble' restrictions
A "substantial" number of healthcare workers in New South Wales and Queensland have been affected by border rules that came out Friday morning and were implemented less than 24 hours later, Cross Border Commissioner James McTavish has said.

Under the hard border closure, residents of New South Wales and the ACT have joined Victorians as among those barred from entering the state, while returning Queensland residents need to quarantine in government arranged accommodation for 14 days at their own expense.

Mr McTavish said there was a significant number of healthcare workers who lived in Queensland and regularly travelled to northern NSW for work.

"We are working with Queensland now to try and get the situation resolved," he said.

Exemptions apply to those deemed "absolutely essential for the functioning of Queensland".

Mr McTavish said talks were underway to quantify the impacts and put processes in place to ensure people could get to work.
"(It would be) a strange outcome if people were not able to get to work in healthcare in the middle of a pandemic," he said.

Paramedics moved 'all over the place'
North Coast paramedic and Health Services Union representative Wayne Lewry said the region was in an "unusual" situation that had meant moving paramedics between stations so crews could operate inside and outside the 'bubble'.

Residents of postcodes on either side of the border can travel within the bubble provided they obtain an 'X-pass' and do not travel deeper into the other state without special exemptions.

Mr Lewry said while paramedics could cross the border in uniform, anyone who lived in Queensland would need to self-isolate and for 14-days in government quarantine if they returned home from a shift that took them outside the 'border bubble' zone.
"If we've got a Queensland resident who works, say at Pottsville station, they can't travel outside the bubble on a Triple-0 call," he said.
"Of course they will, if they're required, but as soon as they go outside that 'bubble' they can't travel home unless they go into a two-week lockdown."

Mr Lewry said the NSW Ambulance Service had been working hard to move the region's Queensland-based paramedics into the Tweed Shire but it had been a "very disruptive" process that had created "holes in rosters."
"Paramedics are just moving all over the place now," he said.
"It's so unclear and it seems to be so poorly organised that we've got many, many (HSU) members that are unsure of what exactly is happening."

Lismore State MP Janelle Saffin said the NSW Health Minister, the local health district, the Cross Border Commissioner, and various health unions were aware of the problem and were seeking better alternatives.
"Everybody has made representations seeking an exemption for health workers," she said.

Byron Shire not included, top cop says
Tweed Council Deputy Mayor Chris Cherry said the shire had been split in two by changes made to the 'border bubble' map at the weekend.

Originally, any resident with a 2483 postcode, which spans both the Tweed and Byron shires, was eligible for an X-pass, allowing them to cross the border freely, provided they didn't travel outside of the Gold Coast council area.

But Queensland Police Gold Coast District Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said the Byron Shire was never meant to be included in the 'bubble' and the map has since changed.

He said Tweed residents were still eligible for the X-pass.
"When you go online and make that application and put your address in, it should be interactive enough to recognise your address so that it's actually in the border zone bubble," Chief Superintendent Wheeler said.

Ms Cherry said the new Queensland Health map excluded a number of Tweed towns in the 'border bubble' including Burringbar, Wooyung, Crabbes Creek and Mooball.

She said it had created "a really big headache" for a number of local businesses.

Ms Cherry said it had also been disruptive to larger industries, like construction, which had been unable to access supplies and workers.
"I've had a letter from the head of the Master Builders Association in the area, and he's talked to the five major construction companies in the Northern Rivers, and they effectively can't operate under these new rules," she said.

Chief Superintendent Wheeler said the border rules were necessary for the safety of Queenslanders.
"We're in a pandemic. There are people who are going to be affected, people's livelihoods are going to be affected, and that will happen in individual cases," he said.
"But if this doesn't work the entirety of Queensland will end up in lockdown like Victoria is."

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Sailors set foot on land in Townsville eight months after coronavirus scuppers shore leave
Key points:
Coronavirus put an end to shore leave for many seafarers
The crew of 19 international seafarers were able to disembark in Townsville which has had no cases of coronavirus for months
Mission to Seafarers is concerned that extended contracts are impacting on seafarers' mental health

An international cargo ship's crew, stuck at sea for eight months due to the coronavirus pandemic, have finally set foot on dry land in tropical north Queensland.
The 19 seafarers enjoyed their long overdue shore leave in the city of Townsville which has been COVID-19 free for several months.
"It is just freedom," said able seaman Bandara Ranaseha from Sri Lanka of his first steps off the ship.
"I want to look around, see people and trees and walk," said ship's fitter Sajith Gunasekara, also from Sri Lanka.

Some of the crew have been aboard the ship for 13 months — their contracts were extended as they could not return to their own countries due to flight cancellations and international travel restrictions.

Mr Gunasekara said before the pandemic they would get shore leave once or twice a month.

He said being cooped up with the same faces for so long took its toll on his mental health.
Without shore leave, onboard we stay under too much pressure," Mr Gunasekara said.
"This time it is very difficult staying onboard. Every day we go outside and all we can see is the sea, no trees, no land."

His colleague Ajith Nandasena agreed.
"Sometimes it is feeling like a prison," he said.

Families worry about coronavirus risk
As with most seafarers, the crew wanted to buy a SIM card to connect with family as soon as they disembarked.

After that they headed for a local shopping centre.

Mr Ranaseha bought a souvenir Aussie t-shirt to add to his collection of shirts from countries around the world.
Mr Gunasekara, who has been aboard for 11 months, said his current contract was supposed to be his last before retirement.
However, he is not sure exactly when he will be able to return home.
"It is not possible to sign off as some countries are in lockdown," Mr Gunasekara said.
"We are always thinking about how we go home because our families are waiting."
He said his family was more worried about him than usual due to the risk of coronavirus.
"My child, my daughter, and wife ask me 'when are you coming?'" he said.

Support for lonely and worried seafarers
Mission to Seafarers is a not-for-profit support service for those working in the shipping industry.
Of the 28 Australian missions, Townsville was one of just two able to remain open during coronavirus shutdowns.
Manager Graham Miller said when crews are unable to come to shore his volunteers provide assistance with care packages of DVDs, games, and parcels of groceries dropped at the gangway.
"They are really grateful when we take those to the gangway of the ship," Mr Miller said.
"We don't go onboard so that we keep all COVID protocols correct. But the crew are just brilliantly happy to see us."
Mr Miller said he had concerns about the mental health impacts on seafarers being unable to leave the ship and unsure about their return home.
"They are always polite when they come in and they always look happy," he said.
"But then you have only got to ask a couple of questions and you start to see the cracks. At present the cracks are starting to become valleys.
"They are lonely, they are worried for their own families. There is genuine anxiety about getting home and supporting their families."

International cricket in the hold
Before they came to Townsville the crew were in Chilean waters for a month.

They loaded cargo but were unable to go ashore due to the coronavirus risk.
The Sri Lankan sailors started teaching some of their colleagues how to play cricket in the cargo hold.
"Last time, this one Chinese third officer and Filipino colleague joined me but they didn't know [how to play], so we taught them," Mr Gunasekara said.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... n/12530732

One new coronavirus case recorded in Queensland, restrictions to be lifted on aged care facilities - Queensland aged care to reopen to visitors
Tough restrictions at aged care facilities introduced across South East Queensland in response to the outbreak in Logan will now be lifted, if the facilities are ready.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the new case was acquired overseas.
"So that is really good news," she said.
"No community transmission in Queensland, so that means that we can safely reopen our aged care facilities to visitors again.
"We still need to be very cautious, very careful at all times, because our aged care facilities have the most vulnerable people in our society living in them.
"The one aged care facility that we can't open yet is that one in north Brisbane — at Pinjarra Hills.
"It needs to stay closed for another 1.5 days until we have confirmation that that potential outbreak is over."
Additional protections that were put in place, such as increased personal protective equipment (PPE) and requesting staff to work as much as possible at one particular site, will remain.

'In contrast to the rest of the country'
Health Minister Steven Miles said while it was good news for Queensland it was in contrast to the rest of the country.
"That was a really good weekend for Queensland, a good result for us," he said.
"It means we have avoided the risks of a widespread outbreak from those returning cases from Melbourne and it means that the Chief Health Officer can now act to lift those restrictions on aged care.
"Of course, that's in contrast to the rest of the country.
"It was Australia's deadliest weekend from COVID-19 and that should serve as a reminder to us all that the risks here are still real and they're close to home."

Queensland has carried out 8,549 COVID-19 tests in the last 24 hours.

Flood of requests for border exemptions
Mr Miles said the State Government was receiving "lots" of requests from people for special exemptions to allow them to cross the border.
"These are special arrangements that we've been able to put in place after feedback from local communities, they really are as far as we can go," he said.
"If we see cases in northern New South Wales we would have to adjust them."

Dr Young said the border was a "difficult part" for Queensland.
"People from New South Wales can travel into those New South Wales border areas and they can then pass on the infection if they have it to someone who lives in that area who can then cross the border into Queensland," she said.
"It is really important that all those people who live along our border, whether in Queensland or in New South Wales, think what is the next step if we have to close the border to everyone in New South Wales."

Dr Young said the northern-most coronavirus case in New South Wales was in Newcastle.
"We're keeping a very close eye whether there are cases coming further north and they will, because there is free movement of course within New South Wales," she said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said if coronavirus cases were uncovered near the border in northern New South Wales, the "border bubble" system could be canned.
"As soon as we have concerns and the Chief Health Officer has concerns that there is any risk to Queensland in those border communities, they will not have any exemptions," she said.
"There are some reports in NSW of untraceable community transmission, that is of deep concern to us and we will be monitoring it very closely."

Since the hard border closure to New South Wales and the ACT on Saturday, 9,046 vehicles were checked crossing the border, with 144 people placed into quarantine and 506 people refused entry into the state.

At Queensland's airports, 197 people were placed into hotel quarantine and six people were refused entry.

Police checks continue
Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the roads were "hectic" on Friday night.
"Over the weekend we've seen the roads in particular ease," he said.
"We have had to issue six penalty infringement notices for untruthful declarations of people trying to get into the state and of course they were refused entry."

Queensland police have continued spot-checks of people who have been directed to quarantine at home and say 98.8 per cent were found at home.
"There are four matters that remain under investigation out of those checks and there has been two infringement notices issues for people breaching quarantine." he said.

Over the weekend, 868 licensed premises were checked, with one caution given to a venue in Fortitude Valley for not managing their entry line well.

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BREACHES

'Evangelical' Christians face off against Hillsong followers in Sydney
Image
Dozens of Hillsong followers watch on as a man preaches to them about the gospel from across the street in Sydney's inner-city
Image
The preacher is interrupted by a police officer, who turned up to investigate the commotion

Divisive footage has emerged of an 'extremist' Christian church leader preaching to a large group of Hillsong worshippers about their 'sinfulness'.

The Church of Adelaide filmed the showdown outside Hillsong's campus in Sydney's inner city and posted the confrontation to its online platforms last Friday.

Hillsong has since hit back, claiming the preacher was from an 'extremist group' that targets not only them but other evangelical churches.

The footage showing a large public gathering is believed to have be filmed prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Armed with a megaphone, a man shouts at dozens of Hillsong followers of all ages, including children from across the street in 'a true gospel preaching of the True Christ.'
'The gospel of Jesus Christ is a powerful God. Have you ever known a gospel like that?' the man preaches.

He's accompanied by a second man he claims was a former Hillsong follower for many years.

'This man right here went to Hillsong friends, for years he went to Hillsong he was in sin.

'He was overcome by sexual sin. They said you're fine. The pastor said you were fine. I am in sexual sin too.'

His address was briefly interrupted by the arrival of two police officers who were called to the scene to investigate the commotion.

The man appears to carry on chanting about Jesus shortly afterwards.

The Church of Adelaide later shared the footage titled 'Hillsong Exposed: True Gospel Preaching of The True Christ Outside of Hillsong Church' to its YouTube channel, which has more than 1,100 subscribers.

It's unclear what Christian denomination the supposed 'Church of Adelaide' falls under.
Hillsong hit back at the group's claims when contacted by Daily Mail Australia on Monday.

'This was not filmed last week as Hillsong Church has been meeting online since March,' a spokesperson said.

'This group is an extremist group who targets not only Hillsong but other evangelical churches who believe that Jesus loves everyone. We prefer to focus on love not hate.'

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Church of Adelaide and NSW Police for further comment.
The Church of Adelaide describes itself as believing the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired words of God.

'We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each co-eternal in being, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections,' the church states on its website.

The church also believes Lord Jesus Christ became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Hillsong states similar values on its website with the belief the Bible is God's Word, an eternal God who is the creator of all things who exists in three persons.

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Top doc says Broncos don't understand as breaches 'put season at risk'
Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young says she is not confident NRL players understand the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ability for matches to continue after a number of breaches "put the season at risk".

Her comments came as a frustrated Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned such actions could undo the broader work done across the state to keep a second wave of coronavirus at bay.

Broncos player Tevita Pangai jnr was found to have visited a barber shop south of Brisbane on Saturday, after three members of the team's coaching staff were stood down for two weeks because of a trip to the Caxton Hotel.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Dr Young said the risks to the season were up to the NRL to "sort through", with firm penalties as a deterrent.
"I'm satisfied that management is dealing with this very, very seriously, she said. "I'm not satisfied that the players understand the seriousness.
"There have been a number of breaches that potentially does put the season at risk."

Ms Palaszczuk said breaches of the NRL's bubble ??? designed to keep players and staff from interacting the the broader Queensland community ??? were "incredibly frustrating".
"Queenslanders are doing the right thing and this puts at risk all the great work that Queenslanders have done," she said.
"The NRL and the different codes, the different teams, have to act swiftly when these breaches happen.
"Every code that is here in Queensland has signed up to an industry plan and the players must do the right thing."

Under the NRL plan, non-Queensland teams are required to remain in isolation so they can travel into the northern state among a raft of other measures.

Queensland-based teams, which include some from interstate, are under looser restrictions but required to leave home for only training, a medical appointment or emergency for 14 days after playing a NSW-based club.

Queensland recorded one new case of the virus on Monday, rounding out a tense two-week period for health authorities monitoring any potential outbreak sparked by the return of two women from a trip to Melbourne ??? who later tested positive after eight days in the south-east Queensland community.

The latest case, a man quarantined at a hotel after returning from overseas, takes the state's total to 1089 confirmed cases. More than 8500 tests were done in the 24 hours to Monday.

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Queensland Police break up hundreds-strong party on Wangetti Beach
Key points:
Police have shut down illegal beach party at Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns
Officers say the crowd became hostile and extra reinforcements were sent in
3 people connected to the event have been charged

Image
Hundreds of people gathered on Wngetti Beach for a party over the weekend, police say.

3 people have been charged after police were called to break up a beach party in Far North Queensland on the weekend.
Officers were called to Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, on Saturday morning, following reports hundreds of people were camping illegally, drinking alcohol and dancing in front of a DJ who was performing on a temporary stage.

Video and images of a similar party held a week ago at the same location have emerged on social media.

The ABC understands the group in the video, made up mainly of international backpackers, are the same lot as those caught partying over the weekend.

Acting Superintendent Mark Linwood congratulated police on their response.
"When police attended [the crowd] did become a little bit hostile so we called for backup," Supt Linwood said.
"Police have done an incredible job to negotiate with everyone and resolve the situation and keep the community safe.
"We tipped out a large amount of alcohol."

Charges laid
A 35-year-old man from Cairns North was arrested and charged with possession of a dangerous drug, possession of suspected stolen property, public nuisance and obstructing police.

He is due to appear at the Cairns Magistrates Court in November.

Two 23-year-old men were charged with drink driving and will appear in the same court at a later date. The Cairns Regional Council has also issued fines for illegal camping.

Supt Linwood said investigations into the party were continuing.

He said it was disappointing to see Queenslanders ignoring health warnings and directions. "We take it the Chief Health Officer's directions seriously and the CIB will be further investigating any further breaches of those directions, and action will be taken," he said.
"COVID-19 and the threat it poses to all Queensland communities is real.
"It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure they are practising effective social distancing and following the directions as set out by the Chief Health Officer."

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Teenagers detained at Queensland shopping centre for alleged coronavirus breaches after travelling from hotspot
Key points:
Two teenagers have been detained in a Noosa shopping centre
The pair allegedly lied on their border declarations about being in a hotspot
The girls will be tested for coronavirus and are not showing symptoms
[IMG] https://i.postimg.cc/BvpZfm6g/10-AUG-TE ... xlarge.jpg [/IMG[
A police officer with two teenagers at Noosa Civic Shopping Centre


Queensland police are questioning two teenage girls at a Sunshine Coast shopping centre over alleged COVID-19 breaches.
The teenagers, one from Sydney and one from the Sunshine Coast, were detained at the Noosa Civic Shopping Centre this afternoon.
Police said the teenagers, aged 15 and 16, travelled to Queensland last Friday before the weekend's hard border closure but had also been in Sydney.

Under Queensland's health directions, the entire state of New South Wales is a declared coronavirus hotspot.

Superintendent Craig Hawkins said the pair arrived by train and allegedly lied about where they had been.
"They weren't completely honest with where they had been but later on we discovered they had come from a hotspot," Superintendent Hawkins said.

He said neither of the girls were displaying coronavirus symptoms but all precautions were being taken.
Police said no charges have been laid at this stage.
The pair will soon be tested for coronavirus.

'We're grateful we found them'
Police had already met the pair in Brisbane prior to being detained for questioning on the Sunshine Coast.
"We became aware of them at the train transit centre in Brisbane after police had intercepted them," Superintendent Hawkins said.
"Then some information came forward to discover that they had been in a New South Wales hotspot."

The information prompted a police search of the teenagers who were found at Noosa Civic shopping centre earlier today where some shops were closed as a precaution.
'Panic was in the air'
A retail worker from the centre, Tracey Laurie, said shopkeepers were left feeling very confused about the entire situation.
"Half of them want to just pack up and go home because they've got kids, some of them have got parents who are sick, and there's also been a mixture of, 'Well, I'm here anyway so I'll just keep on going'," she said.
"There was police everywhere and they barricaded one of the entrances off in half of the Civic and no-one really knew what was going on.
"The story has changed several times but as far as I'm aware, the girls visited several of the stores and the juice bar, which have apparently now shut.
"An hour later we were told by centre management that we were OK to reopen."

Ms Laurie said she had "mixed emotions" about the situation.

"I'm still at work but I feel pretty confident that they'll be onto it and we'll know soon enough with the way they're going to do the testing for COVID, so we know if we have to shut down or not," she said.
"Panic was in the air as well, so everyone was dealing with it in a different way."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... a/12541944

The teenagers are yet to be charged and Superintendent Mark Wheeler said that was partly due to their age.
"They weren't completely honest about where they had been, but later on we discovered they had been to a hotspot," he said.
"But they certainly have been cooperating with us."

Superintendent Hawkins reiterated that there was no need to panic about an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Sunshine Coast as the teenagers had not shown any symptoms.
"We're grateful that we found them and they will go through the testing regime and be subjected to quarantine," Superintendent Wheeler said.
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10 AUGUST ACT
Bars and clubs to open as ACT eases COVID-19 restrictions
ACT residents will enjoy relaxed restrictions from Monday as the territory continues to record no new cases of the coronavirus.
Group bookings will no longer be restricted at bars, clubs and pubs although alcohol will only be served to seated patrons.
Food courts, casino’s and gyms will also open to the public.
ACT coronavirus restrictions are easing for food courts, 24-hour gyms and pokies. Here's what you can and can't do from today
If you enjoy the peace and quiet of a midnight session at your 24-hour gym, cancel your plans for tonight.

Or if your lunchtime routine has been thrown out by the closure of Canberra's food courts, you're back in luck.

Canberra's coronavirus restrictions have been eased (ever so slightly) from today, as the city moved to stage 3.1 from 9:00am.

Here's what is changing from today:

No more eating out of a takeaway plastic tub — food courts are back
ood courts will be able to reopen for seated, dine-in customers from today, after having to rope-off tables and chairs for months.

Outlets within food courts have been operating for takeaway only since restrictions were introduced.

But from today Canberrans are allowed to sit and eat in food courts once more.

Food courts will still have to observe the one person per four-square-metre rule within their usable space.

And groups will be small — tables can only be arranged for a maximum of six customers.

Self-serve buffets remain banned, along with communal snack bars and condiments.
Push the tables together — big groups are allowed at the pub
You will still have to be seated while drinking at a bar, pub or club — but from today, at least you will be able to sit with a few more mates.

Limits on the size of group bookings in venues are being lifted altogether, with no cap in place from today.

The number of people allowed inside a venue remains unchanged.
The four-square-metre rule remains in place, up to a maximum of 100 people for each indoor and outdoor space.

Health officials had previously flagged a move to allow all venues, no matter their size, to seat 25 customers — but that it not taking affect yet.

Bicep curls better after midnight, they say
24-hour gyms can resume keeping their doors open all night from tonight, and can operate unstaffed.

There will be a cap on the number of people within the gym while unstaffed, with the limit set at 25 patrons.

And there will still be broader limits on the number of people in gyms at any one time, with the four-square-metre rule still applying.

Changerooms will also be able to remain open all night, so long as a strict cleaning regime is in place.

Saunas, steam rooms and bathhouses can also open up.

Pokies are back and the casino is open
Canberra's pubs and clubs can switch the poker machines back on from this morning.

The closure of poker machines had been a point of controversy, as they were allowed to return in New South Wales some months ago.

Casino Canberra is allowed to reopen, and will be opening its doors from midday.

Strip clubs and brothels can also reopen, along similar guidelines as other venues (like the four-square-metre rule).

All guests will have to provide their first name and phone number upon visiting, but those details can be destroyed after 28 days.

What is still to come?
The most significant changes still to come are likely around the capacity limits for venues.

The move to a one person per two-square-metre rule, which would allow a doubling of capacities at some venues, remains some way off.

It has previously been suggested it would be part of stage 4 restrictions.

However, the 100-person capacity limit could be removed before then — allowing venues to fill their spaces as they like, while keeping to the four-square-metre rule.

Larger crowds at Canberra Stadium (possibly up to 6,000 spectators) are also a possibility.

The 25-person cap on gyms while unstaffed overnight may also be removed.

Nightclubs, along with mass gatherings like music festivals and conferences, are considered to be the highest risk activities and are still a fair way off returning.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... y/12539330

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Canberrans could be stuck at the NSW-Victorian border for 'a few days' ACT Government warns
Key points:
ACT residents have been caught at the NSW-Victorian border after sudden rule changes
The ACT Government is negotiating for a police escort to return families to Canberra
Canberrans at the border are warned they may have to remain for 'a few days' yet

ACT residents stuck in Victoria have been warned of the "reality" of the situation — they may be unable to cross the border into New South Wales for "a few days" yet.
About 100 Canberrans have been stranded at the NSW-Victorian border since Friday after strict coronavirus restrictions stopped them driving home through NSW.

The sudden change in border rules caught many travellers off-guard, and some have since been forced to sleep in their cars.

On Monday morning ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he was hopeful a resolution would be reached "one way or another" within the day.

But by Monday evening the Government issued a statement saying they had yet to reach an agreement with NSW.
"We have been working towards a resolution with the NSW Government for days now, unfortunately they are not yet able to amend their public health directions to allow transit through NSW for ACT residents. We are advising Canberrans at the border of this reality now," the statement said.

The ACT Government said it would "continue to work closely with the NSW Government to reach an outcome".
"Regrettably, it may still take a few days to be resolved, and we suggest that Canberrans in Wodonga, or the region, find accommodation for the coming few days," the ACT Government statement said.
"We understand that the continued uncertainty is causing some distress and have asked anyone changing their plans to instead travel to the ACT by air, to let us know."

Among other suggestions, the ACT Government has offered to send police to escort the Canberra residents directly home, but NSW has yet to agree.

Mr Barr said Canberrans may have to fly home via Melbourne if a deal could not be struck with NSW to allow them to drive.

About 100 Canberrans have been stranded at the NSW-Victorian border since Friday after strict coronavirus restrictions stopped them driving home through NSW.

The sudden change in border rules caught many travellers off-guard, and some have since been forced to sleep in their cars.

On Monday morning ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he was hopeful a resolution would be reached "one way or another" within the day.

But by Monday evening the Government issued a statement saying they had yet to reach an agreement with NSW.

"We have been working towards a resolution with the NSW Government for days now, unfortunately they are not yet able to amend their public health directions to allow transit through NSW for ACT residents. We are advising Canberrans at the border of this reality now," the statement said.

The ACT Government said it would "continue to work closely with the NSW Government to reach an outcome".
"Regrettably, it may still take a few days to be resolved, and we suggest that Canberrans in Wodonga, or the region, find accommodation for the coming few days," the ACT Government statement said.
"We understand that the continued uncertainty is causing some distress and have asked anyone changing their plans to instead travel to the ACT by air, to let us know."

Among other suggestions, the ACT Government has offered to send police to escort the Canberra residents directly home, but NSW has yet to agree.

Mr Barr said Canberrans may have to fly home via Melbourne if a deal could not be struck with NSW to allow them to drive.

For the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic read our coronavirus updates story

'No consultation, no prior warning'
Canberrans Ross and Helen Muir have been holed up in a Wodonga motel for the past three days waiting to be allowed across the border.
"My father was dying, so went down there abut three weeks ago just to help look after him," Ross said.
"He died last week and after the funeral we were on our way back to Canberra.
"We applied for a permit and we were both given permits, and we both checked with NSW Health before we left Melbourne — just imagine our surprise when we were stopped at the border and told the permits had been voided that very morning."

The pair said they were frustrated at the lack of communication from NSW Health, though they had been in regular contact with ACT Health.

Ross said there had been "no consultation" and no "prior warning" of the changed rules.

He said they could not afford the NSW recommendation to fly to Sydney and quarantine there for a fortnight at their own cost.
"We are just collateral damage, I think," he said.

Residents would drive directly to the ACT, no stops
The ACT Government had thought an agreement with NSW had been reached on Saturday, but the NSW Government overruled the plan a few hours later.

On Monday morning Mr Barr said he knew NSW had "a lot on their plate at the moment", but hoped the propositions the ACT Government had put forward would address the concerns state authorities had — principally that people do not stop in NSW on their way to the ACT.

"We believe it's possible to be able to do so. A fully fuelled car would easily make the distance," he said.
"The duration from Albury to the ACT border, depending on traffic, is around three hours, it's a little bit longer than the recommended two-hour time for drivers, but not impossible to do."

Mr Barr said that meant not stopping for fuel, not stopping in NSW townships and if it was absolutely necessary to stop, that people do so without coming into contact with other people.

ACT police would then meet Canberra residents at the ACT-NSW border to ensure every new entrant self-isolated for 14 days as required.

An ACT police escort from Albury to Canberra had been offered as a solution, but NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that would not work.
"People have to stop on the way. So it's not about the escort, it's about people making sure that wherever they stop is done in a way that's safe," she said.
"I don't think anyone would begrudge us for being cautious when people from a highly infectious area are trying to make their way through NSW.
"But I don't apologise for putting safety first in NSW and I won't."

Mr Barr said the ACT Health Minister and the ACT Chief Health Officer had been in constant communication with the NSW Premier and NSW authorities over the past few days.
"We have deployed ever single avenue of diplomacy that is possible with New South Wales," he said.
"I think it's regrettable that we're at the point where, on a Saturday night, I'm having to ring the NSW Premier."

Mr Barr said he hoped "common sense would prevail", and NSW would agree to the proposal.
"I think this is a safer way to get people back to the ACT and into quarantine than sending them back to Melbourne Airport and then either through Sydney or on a direct flight to Canberra," he said.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... y/12540886
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:32 am

10 AUGUST FEDERAL
COVID-19 rent relief for thousands of Australians to be extended
Tenants across Australia are set to receive further government cash to help them during the COVID-19 crisis as the states plan to extend rent relief.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced in March a six-month moratorium on rental evictions, effectively banning landlords from evicting their tenants.

The national cabinet also drew up a mandatory code of conduct - which expires in September - encouraging landlords and tenants to negotiate rents in times of financial hardship.

Ahead of the federal measures' expiration date, coronavirus-stricken Victoria has suggested it is planning on implementing additional support for struggling tenants.
'We've supported tenants every step of the way and we'll have more to say soon,' a Victorian government spokesman said.

The Australian Capital Territory has also announced rebates on land rates for landlords, while the New South Wales government is considering an extension to the commercial tenancy code due to expire in the state in October.

The code mostly effects 'impacted' tenants who qualify for the federal government's JobKeeper scheme and had turnover in 2018-19 of less than $50million.

South Australia and Tasmania have both yet to make an announcement on extending rent relief measures but have said they will be weighing up changes before the end of September.

Landlords though are arguing the code should not be renewed beyond the expiry date as rental prices will decrease regardless of whether there is a moratorium in place, The Australian Financial Review reported.
'The reality is there will be less demand for commercial space in the future post-pandemic,' Property Council of Australia chief executive Ken Morrison said.…

Tenants across Australia are set to receive further government cash to help them during the COVID-19 crisis as the states plan to extend rent relief.

a man and a woman taking a selfie in a city: A pedestrian wearing a face mask walks at Darling Harbour in Sydney on Tuesday. Commercial tenants could receive help from the state government - which is considering extending the commercial tenancy code in October© Provided by Daily Mail A pedestrian wearing a face mask walks at Darling Harbour in Sydney on Tuesday. Commercial tenants could receive help from the state government - which is considering extending the commercial tenancy code in October
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced in March a six-month moratorium on rental evictions, effectively banning landlords from evicting their tenants.

The national cabinet also drew up a mandatory code of conduct - which expires in September - encouraging landlords and tenants to negotiate rents in times of financial hardship.

Ahead of the federal measures' expiration date, coronavirus-stricken Victoria has suggested it is planning on implementing additional support for struggling tenants.

a person riding a horse in a city: Locals are seen gathering on St Kilda Pier with the Melbourne skyline behind them on Sunday. Victoria is among the Australian states to signal an extension to support for COVID-19-stricken tenants as government measures expire in September© Provided by Daily Mail Locals are seen gathering on St Kilda Pier with the Melbourne skyline behind them on Sunday. Victoria is among the Australian states to signal an extension to support for COVID-19-stricken tenants as government measures expire in September
'We've supported tenants every step of the way and we'll have more to say soon,' a Victorian government spokesman said.

The Australian Capital Territory has also announced rebates on land rates for landlords, while the New South Wales government is considering an extension to the commercial tenancy code due to expire in the state in October.

The code mostly effects 'impacted' tenants who qualify for the federal government's JobKeeper scheme and had turnover in 2018-19 of less than $50million.

South Australia and Tasmania have both yet to make an announcement on extending rent relief measures but have said they will be weighing up changes before the end of September.

Landlords though are arguing the code should not be renewed beyond the expiry date as rental prices will decrease regardless of whether there is a moratorium in place, The Australian Financial Review reported.
'The reality is there will be less demand for commercial space in the future post-pandemic,' Property Council of Australia chief executive Ken Morrison said.

a view of a city next to a body of water: The Australian Capital Territory has unveiled land rate relief for landlords to help them get through the pandemic (file image of Canberra)© Provided by Daily Mail The Australian Capital Territory has unveiled land rate relief for landlords to help them get through the pandemic (file image of Canberra)
'Of all the pandemic measures put in place, this was the most extraordinary because this was the government requiring one part of the business community to support another part of the business community, with an obligated rental relief requirement.'

Queensland and Western Australia said they are also monitoring rental policies during the pandemic.

No state has ruled out an extension to the government measures.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

All AGED CARE facilities 'susceptible' to COVID-19 outbreaks
Even the most well-run aged care facility is susceptible to an outbreak of COVID-19, which is why we must remain extremely vigilant, according to Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd.

Over 300 people have died from the novel coronavirus in Australia, the bulk of which have been over the age of 70.

A senior counsel assisting the royal commission into aged care has accused the federal government of having no specific plan to deal with COVID-19, and argued the sector as-a-whole was underperpared for a contagious and deadly novel pathogen.
Professor Kidd told reporters on Monday it is a tragic reality that COVID-19 is so dangerous to the elderly.
"Even the best run aged care facilities are susceptible to an outbreak of COVID-19 and this is because you can have staff and visitors to the facility who are infected but who are not showing any symptoms," he said.
"People can introduce the virus into aged care settings and spread can start to occur before anyone knows this is starting to happen."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

PM rips into 'hideous' suggestion elderly deaths preferable to lockdown
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described some media commentary suggesting elderly Australians should be sacrificed to avoid an economically punishing lockdown as "amoral" and "hideous".

Addressing media today, Mr Morrison scolded a reporter over her news outlet's purported assertion "that somehow our elderly should have in some way have been offered up in relation to this virus".
"That is just a hideous thought," the prime minister said, "an absolutely amoral hideous thought."

Mr Morrison said he firmly rejected that scenario from the very first time it had been suggested.

Victoria today recorded 19 deaths, taking Australia's national death toll to 314.

Despite the spiralling number of deaths, Mr Morrison said he was "more hopeful today" than in the past week the COVID-19 situation in Victoria is improving.

In the last 24 hours 19 Victorians have died of coronavirus and 322 new cases were recorded.

"This news is devastating no matter what age COVID affects people, and we just want to reaffirm again our support through every channel we can provide it," Mr Morrison said.
"Sadly, when it comes to the fatalities that result from COVID, that reflects a situation of several weeks ago now as the virus has taken its course with these particular individuals, the work continues.
"We look for better news when it comes to the stabilising of cases in Victoria."

Communication breakdown in St Basil's outbreak 'concerning'
Mr Morrison also faced questioning on the delay between when Melbourne's largest aged care outbreak at St Basil's began and when the Federal Government was informed.

The aged care watchdog knew there had been an outbreak at the St Basil's facility but failed to raise the alarm, it emerged today.
https://twitter.com/JulieCollinsMP/stat ... 9368153088
Aged care regulator Janet Anderson told a parliamentary inquiry last week the watchdog was not aware of the outbreak until July 14.

But, in a letter to committee chair Senator Katy Gallagher, she has since confirmed the regulator knew on July 10.

Ms Anderson told the committee a St Basil's representative flagged the positive test during a phone survey which was conducted with every Victorian facility to check their COVID-19 response plans.
"That was brought to my attention today, over the last little while, late yesterday I think it was," Mr Morrison said.
"You will know that the aged care commissioner is an independent statutory office and operates separately from the Australian government.
"I am concerned about that breakdown in the communications.
"My understanding is that the survey had been conducted and those conducting the survey had formed the view that given the facility was aware of the processes that were required to advise the public health unit in Victoria that they had indeed done that.
"It turns out that that had not been done."

Mr Morrison said he has confidence in the Federal Government's handling of the aged care sector's response to COVID-19.
"We are getting advanced notice when people are doing tests, not when we find out that they're getting a positive result," he said.
"We're finding out even before the tests come back."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

RBA highlights risk of deeper coronavirus recession, but the Government can avert it
In the helter-skelter world of news, it's often hard to remember what you covered last week. But some things stick in the memory.

Like when a senior Reserve Bank official says, "The future's uncertain and the end is always near."

That was 2010, when then assistant governor, now deputy governor, Guy Debelle quoted Jim Morrison's Roadhouse Blues in a speech.
He was referring to the build-up to the global financial crisis, when banks had based their decisions on the relatively stable global economy of the prior years, rather than making judgements about what might go wrong.
"In the period prior to the onset of the crisis, hubris developed in parts of the financial sector, and in the investor community more generally, that everything could be precisely measured and priced. In particular, that risk was always quantifiable," Dr Debelle explained.
"Not enough judgement was exercised. Indeed, it seems to have often been turned off."

Fast-forward 10 years and, thankfully, it seems a few lessons have been learned. Although perhaps too few.

The key lesson for regulators was that banks should be financially prepared for unforeseen, and perhaps unforeseeable, events, by building up their financial buffers.

The surprise event of 2020, of course, has been COVID-19 — a pandemic more significant than any since the 1918 Spanish flu.
And, according to one of the Reserve Bank's current assistant governors, Luci Ellis, Australia's banks are indeed well prepared.
"We go into this period with highly capitalised, profitable lenders," she told a video conference of business economists and journalists on Friday.
"I think that really does suggest that there is a lot more buffer to withstand, and support the economy, and support households and businesses through this difficult period than you would have seen in other downturns."

COVID's economic quagmire
Dr Ellis was speaking to the RBA's latest set of economic forecasts, contained in the quarterly SOMP — or Statement on Monetary Policy.

Although it may more appropriately be called the SWAMP, such is the quagmire Australia's — and the world's — economy is stuck in thanks to the coronavirus.

It turns out Australia didn't sink as deeply into this bog as the RBA had originally feared — rather than the 8 per cent fall forecast in early May, the bank now expects Australia's economy to have shrunk just 6 per cent over the year to June 30. Still by far the biggest fall since the Great Depression.

But the current Victorian outbreak is all but certain to undo this initial good work.
Where once the bank had expected a return to economic growth over the second half of this year, it no longer does.

The RBA is expecting the economy to still be down 6 per cent over the year to December 31.

And this stalled recovery will carry through to next year.

Instead of the economy rebounding 7 per cent over the financial year just started on July 1, it now expects just a 4 per cent rebound, albeit from a slightly higher base.

This economic trajectory is forecast to be mirrored in unemployment, which was previously expected to be 10 per cent in June and turned out to be around 7, but is now tipped to be 10 per cent at Christmas instead of 9, and remain elevated through to the end of 2022 (at 7 per cent) and beyond.
If this sounds bleak, there is an upside scenario, although even this sees unemployment peak above 9 per cent and only fall to 6 by the end of 2022 (it was 5.2 per cent just before the initial COVID-19 shutdowns).

But there's also a downside.

This assumes that infection rates continue to rise globally, with other Australian outbreaks resulting in further stage 3 and 4 restrictions in some states.

Dr Ellis says this downside scenario also assumes that Australia's borders remain shut to short-term visitors until the end of next year, as opposed to the middle of next year under the baseline case.
Under this scenario, the economy doesn't even get back to where it was pre-pandemic by the end of the forecast period (December 2022) and unemployment peaks well above 10 per cent at the end of this year and is still close to 9 per cent two years later.

'Fiscal tap needs to remain on'
But, even if the events outlined in the downside scenario occur, the economic outcomes need not.

That's because the RBA makes no assumption about what government policy would do in the event of a much longer, more widespread crisis. Dr Ellis confirmed that the RBA's forecasts — baseline, upside and downside — are all based on current government policy.
They didn't even include the latest announcement about looser JobKeeper rules that may see up to $16 billion in extra stimulus paid out, mainly to Victorian businesses and their workers.

So, the RBA's downside economic forecasts only apply if the virus situation gets worse and the Federal Government and the states sit on their hands and do nothing extra.

But, as the Commonwealth Bank's head of Australian economics Gareth Aird summed it up in a note on the RBA's forecasts:
"The deficit will now exceed 10 per cent of GDP in 2020/21. But it many ways that is irrelevant right now.
"The RBA can continue to purchase government bonds in the secondary market. And the borrowing cost is extraordinarily low.
"The fiscal tap needs to remain turned on to continue to support income in the economy in the face of such a significant contraction in spending and production."

So, as Jim Morrison would put it, "let it roll baby, roll", and keep the stimulus flowing, because the Federal Government isn't going to run out of cash and the economy — and, more importantly, the people and businesses who comprise it — desperately needs the support for as long as the coronavirus crisis lasts.
And the Government certainly says that will be its approach. So far, it's committed itself to around $150 billion in spending to combat the coronavirus downturn, and Finance Minister Matthias Cormann says there's more where that came from, if needed.
"As we've demonstrated, and as we're demonstrating again, we'll continue to make judgements based on how this situation continues to evolve," he told Sky News on Friday.
"And if further decisions have to be made down the track, they will be made."

But, just over a week into the toughest lockdown Australia's seen, the good denizens of Melbourne might be quoting their own line from Roadhouse Blues."Save our city. Save our city. Right now."
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... t/12534368
Australians have cancelled holidays worth an estimated $10 billion, leaving travel agents decimated
Key points:
An estimated $10 billion in holiday bookings have been cancelled
Consumer bodies have received thousands of complaints
Travel agents are spending hours chasing refunds to no avail

Marcus Towner and his family were meant to be sunning themselves on a European beach right now.
Their five-week itinerary included Croatia, Italy and the Greek islands before culminating in the wedding of friends in London.

Instead, like so many other Australians, they are waiting to recoup thousands of dollars owed to them in refunds for their holiday which was cancelled in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.

It's an ongoing process.
"Our trip really was the trip of a lifetime," he said.
"For us it was self-funded long service leave.
"The impetus was a friend's wedding in London, but we thought there's no point going all that way without a having a look around, so it was five weeks in Europe.
"We decided to go business class, so it was as good as it was ever going to get and we were very much looking forward to it."

But when coronavirus began sweeping across the globe, it quickly became apparent that their grand holiday, which was set to cost more than $35,000, would have to be scrapped.
"We were devastated because we were so looking forward to it, and being self-employed it's not just something you can do on a whim," Mr Towner said.

By a sheer stroke of luck, their travel insurance policy did not exclude pandemics, and their travel agent Christine Ross has been working hard to help them get refunds on hotels and flights.
"Even after all that, we're still waiting for a fairly large sum of money to come back for our flights," he said.
"It's the best part of 20 grand.
"We're still confident that we are going to get that money back, but I daresay if it weren't for somebody in the travel industry batting for us, then we'd just have to smile and move on."

Hours spent on the phone
The Towners are lucky.

Thousands of other Australians have still not received a cent, including Sharka Hornakova, who's been trying to get refunds for return flights with Qatar Airways to the Czech Republic booked via a popular online website.
"It's been six years since I've been back there and I really wanted to go and visit my mother, but covid came and screwed up our plans," she said.

Ms Hornakova has spent hours on the phone trying to reach representatives from both the website and the airline, before finally finding and submitting an online form to claim a refund.
"You just don't hear back from them," she said.
"If you do get through, they can't help you and they promise someone will ring back but it never happens."

Complaints up five-fold
In 2018-19 more Australians went overseas than ever before — ABS data shows 11.2 million short-term overseas trips were taken, most of them (57 per cent) by holidaymakers.

Coronavirus has clipped our wings severely.

It's believed billions of dollars are currently tied up in unused holiday credits and yet-to-be issued refunds, and customers are not happy.
The issue has become so heated the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been forced to develop a series of guidelines for travel agents dealing with coronavirus-related cancellations after record numbers of complaints from holidaymakers.

In the six months to the end of June this year, the ACCC received a total of 14,768 complaints related to cancelled travel, a more than five-fold increase on the same time last year.

Most of the work of the ACCC's COVID-19 taskforce — set up to respond to issues impacting Australian consumers and businesses during coronavirus — has been tied up with travel issues, a spokesman said.
"Many consumers have contacted the ACCC asking about their right to a refund or credit voucher for cancelled travel services," he said.
"Other common complaints include businesses allegedly misleading consumers about their entitlements under the terms and conditions of their booking or ticket, or charging excessive change or cancellation fees to consumers."

Refunds could take 12 months: AFTA
Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) chair Tom Manwaring estimated at least $10 billion had been spent on holidays that were not able to be taken.

He said travel agents were dealing with millions of cancelled bookings, from airfares to hotels, tours and rental car hire, and it could take up to 12 months before the process was completed.
"You're dealing with 52 international carriers into Australia, 60-70 cruise liners, hundreds of different hotel options — so all of those individual businesses have their own individual ts and cs [terms and conditions], " Mr Manwaring said.
"And then you have the ts and cs of the agent and the online agent on top of that."Recalling those funds … takes a lot of time for the travel agent, and bearing in mind there's no money in it for them, having to refund back money that they've earned."

Mr Manwaring said travel agents were themselves under an enormous amount of stress, working long days to help customers with no financial reward, since new travel bookings were virtually non-existent.
"If the customer doesn't travel, the agent's out of pocket," he said.
"There's a lot of stress. These guys are re-mortgaging homes and cashing in super just to keep these businesses alive for the day that covid passes."

All work, no pay for travel agents right now
Ms Ross's travel business in the Perth suburb of Attadale has had to cancel around $2 million worth of bookings, or 50 per cent of their annual turnover.

She has only been able to retain her four staff members with the help of JobKeeper payments, but fears what will happen when that payment ends.
"Effectively the entire business has been decimated," she said.

At the same time, she and her staff are working harder than ever because of the amount of time it takes to chase refunds.
"The time that it takes to make a booking usually will equate to about the same amount of time it takes to undo a booking in usual times," Ms Ross said.
"In Covid times you could say four, five, six times longer to undo a booking because the wholesalers, the airlines, the cruise companies are not operating with full staff because they just can't, because they are bleeding.
"So we spend four, five hours on hold on phone calls.
"If it took me 25-30 hours to make a complicated booking, it's probably taken me somewhere in the vicinity of 80 to 100 hours to undo that booking."

In the initial weeks of the pandemic, Ms Ross worked seven days a week.
"It was absolutely relentless and extremely distressing," she said.
"We had clients who were on cruise ships off South America that weren't being allowed to go into any of the ports, trying to get them home, a lot of elderly clients.
"We had families that were displaced from each other trying to get them home, flights being cancelled over and over, countries being unable to be transited through, so it was a really distressing time for the clients."

Each cancelation 'heartbreaking' as holiday dreams dashed

City Beach travel agent Jo Francis tells a similar story.
"Every holiday I've had to cancel has been heartbreaking," she said.
"And I know for a lot of people it's not something that they'll be able to do again.
"A lot of them are elderly, or it was for a special event, weddings all sorts of things have had to be cancelled or postponed."

She said with refund policies constantly changing as international borders close and reopen, it had been been a frustrating time for agents and customers alike.
"I did have a couple of clients who were pretty distressed and did get pretty angry with me, and I tried my best to talk them through that," she said.
"These days as I'm dealing with clients, people are much more understanding, but it's been really tough.
"I think my role is a public servant right now. I feel like I'm providing a free-of-charge service because I don't get paid for what I do anymore."

'20,000 jobs will go' before Christmas without government support
AFTA believes it's time the Federal Government looked at financial support for travel agents.

Mr Manwaring said agents were responsible for the collection of passenger movement taxes on airline tickets, 50 per cent of which was used for airport operations including security and customs.

He said the remaining 50 per cent should be diverted into a fund to help travel agents.

Without such support, Mr Manwaring said a survey of AFTA members indicated up to half of the industry's 3,000 travel agencies could go bust by Christmas, resulting in the loss of around 20,000 jobs.
Already large travel companies such as Flight Centre have closed hundreds of their shops and stood down thousands of employees.
"Getting the industry to survive this period is critical," he said.
"We have all been through 26 weeks of hell, business-wise, so I think some cash needs to come into the industry as a specific support package.
"This is the third-largest industry in Australia — it's critical to get it moving again."

We're unlikely to return to the skies before 2024, industry predicts
Latest figures from Tourism Research Australia (TRA), calculated before the latest Victorian shutdown, are not encouraging for the industry.
"For the next 12 months, the domestic tourism market is estimated to be around $84 billion in 2020-21, a fall of around $23 billion when compared to the last uninterrupted time period (2019)," a TRA spokeswoman said.
"This also assumes the loss of the entire international market, which provided more than $31 billion in tourism spend in Australia in 2019.
"The total loss to the tourism industry could be about $55 billion, or almost 40 per cent of the industry's revenue."

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts the airline industry will not return to pre-coronavirus levels until at least 2024.
But Ms Francis believes the industry has a bright long-term future, given the expected high demand for travel once coronavirus restrictions are eventually ended.
"Overall travel agents are very resilient, we're very optimistic people," she said.
"We've talked many times about the different things that have been confronted in our industry over time.
"The Ansett collapse — I was around for that — 9/11, volcanoes, tsunamis … we've survived through those, and Australians bounce back quickly.
"But we really need some help right now."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... s/12518578
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12469
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:33 am

10 AUGUST SA
No new coronavirus cases in SA, as Health Minister blames A FALSE POSITIVE test result delays on an IT glitch
Some South Australians getting tested for coronavirus have had to wait up to a week for results because of an IT glitch.

The Health Minister said the problem occurred for people who were being tested for coronavirus for a second or subsequent time.

It had now been solved, he said.

But ABC Radio Adelaide received several calls and messages this morning from people complaining about wait times, prompting more feedback to SA Health on social media.

Caller Claire, of Largs North, said she had her test last Tuesday but no-one had contacted her with a result. Although she found a note on her My Health Record saying her test was negative.
"My daughter and I, we're home," she said. "I no longer have symptoms, she has a bit of a cold.
"The fact is that we're OK but we're still waiting."

Another person said they were tested last Thursday and were still yet to receive a result.
"My cold has gone but I still can't go back to work or take my kids to school until I get some result," they said.

People getting tested are meant to get a result within two days, according to the SA Health website.

Testing has ramped up over the past week, with more than 7,000 people being swabbed each day.

Drive-through testing without a GP referral is now available at Daw Park's Repatriation General Hospital, blowing out test wait times there to up to two hours today.

Minister says issue solved
Opening two new dementia wards at the same hospital today, Health Minister Stephen Wade said an "IT system" had resulted in "a few reports" of people not getting results.

He said the problem mainly affected people getting a second or subsequent test.
"My understanding is that issue has been identified and my understanding is that issue has been fixed," Mr Wade said.

2 tests are compulsory for South Australians returning from Victoria.

Mr Wade urged people who did not get results back within two days to contact their doctor.
"We will certainly get the test results back as quickly as possible, but it would be helpful if people don't get a result back within a two-day period if they could follow that up," he said.

Most tests are done by the state government-owned SA Pathology.

Clinical services director Tim Dodd said the "vast majority of people get their results sent out via text very quickly".
"We're putting additional resources in the laboratory and also ensuring that we are able to get results out as quickly as possible," he said.

Labor's Stephen Mullighan said the Government should provide SA Pathology with more staff to help bring down processing times.
"Now is the time the Government should be providing whatever funding is needed to our health agencies, including SA Pathology, in order to get people's responses back to them as quickly as possible," he said.
"Clearly there are improvements that need to be made and those improvements can be made if the Government provides SA Pathology with more staff."

No new cases in SA today
No new cases of coronavirus were recorded today or over the weekend in South Australia.

SA Health did not include an essential worker in his 30s in its tally yesterday.
The man was tested interstate and received the positive result after entering South Australia from Victoria.
8 cases are still active out of 459 recorded.
Mr Wade said none of the 94 close contacts in the Thebarton cluster had tested positive since going into isolation last week.

Tasmanian arrested at border
A man from Tasmania has been arrested for allegedly driving off from a checkpoint on the South Australia-Victoria border.
Police say the man stopped at the checkpoint at Bordertown, in the state's south-east last night.
A check revealed he had flown from Victoria to Adelaide earlier that day and did not complete a cross border form.
He was flown back to Victoria but drove back to the border.
He was again refused entry at the checkpoint and was directed to return, but he allegedly drove off towards Adelaide before being stopped.
The 45-year-old will appear at Mount Gambier Magistrates Court today.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

RSPCA releases South Australian cruelty case files amid warning over recession's effect on pets
Key points:
RSPCA SA prosecuted 29 people over animal cruelty in the past financial year
The organisation is concerned about the effect Australia's recession will have on animals
Chief inspector Andrea Lewis said people should be realistic about their ability to afford animals before they buy them

The RSPCA has released details of horrific cruelty cases in South Australia, amid a warning from the organisation that animal neglect could increase during the country's coronavirus-prompted recession.
Among the files released are 27 chronic animal abuse and neglect cases, involving 29 defendants, prosecuted in the past financial year.

In that time, more than 800 animals were seized or surrendered during welfare investigations and brought to RSPCA SA's Lonsdale shelter, south of Adelaide.

Twelve animals were also found dead or dying by RSPCA inspectors during those welfare checks.

One case involved an act of deliberate cruelty, involving a German Shepherd found in a Mount Gambier backyard with her muzzle cable-tied.

Four cases involved animal abandonment, including a woman who left two puppies without food and water in a Glenelg North motel room and never returned, and a couple who left 10 cats and a dog in a squalid house south of Adelaide.

Six defendants received suspended prison sentences and two others received an immediate one-month prison term.
he annual compilation of files was released today for the third consecutive year, as part of the RSPCA's month-long 'Combat Cruelty' campaign, aiming to raise awareness about the causes of animal suffering in SA.

The organisation is calling for "wider community acceptance of pet ownership as a privilege" that comes with "clear responsibilities and obligations".

RSPCA South Australia chief inspector Andrea Lewis said "the reality is that caring for animals is not inexpensive, so not everyone can afford to have them".
"Financial circumstances change, even more so now with rising unemployment," Ms Lewis said.
In the past financial year:
8,255 animals were taken into the RSPCA's care
10 per cent of those had been seized or surrendered
478 cats were taken into care
291 dogs were taken into care
120 people received animal welfare notices
862 people were given advice on animal care
"If you find that you can't afford to feed your animals properly and get them to a vet, then finding them a new, good home or surrendering them to a reputable animal welfare organisation like RSPCA is the kindest thing you can do for your pet."

But Ms Lewis emphasised that many cases of animals being left to suffer were not linked to owners' financial hardship.
"It's owners who choose to spend their incomes on anything but the things needed to keep their animals healthy — or even alive," she said.
"Why some people even have animals is a mystery to us, when they don't engage with them and show no regard for their wellbeing."
Rescue dog Rosco was neglected before being taken into the care of the RSPCA and being rehomed.

His new owner, Jasmine, is pleading with pet owners to take care of their animals.
"I just don't know how anyone could want to do anything to an animal," she said.
"They can't defend themselves. They just want to love you."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... n/12539596

10 AUGUST WA
Hotel security guard stood down for storming in room to find TV remote
A security guard has been stood down after breaching coronavirus hotel quarantine sanctions after barging into a guest's room.

The guard stormed into the room at the Mercure Hotel in Perth on Saturday night looking for a television remote control.

The Mercure Hotel is hosting returned travellers in quarantine during the coronavirus period and the guard thought the room was empty.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

Clive Palmer hits back at WA premier's 'declaration of war'
Clive Palmer has launched an extraordinary spray on Western Australia's premier days after Mark McGowan said the state would press on with its border "war" with the billionaire.

Mr Palmer's High Court case to reopen WA's strict border is at odds with Mr McGowan, who argues the tough measures are in place to protect the state against a second wave of coronavirus.

On Friday he vowed to "continue our battle, our war with Clive Palmer", arguing the case was "against our interests, against the country's interests".
"It's a war we intend to win," Mr McGowan said.
"We won't be rushed into anything that is against health advice."

But his choice of the word "war" has struck a nerve with Mr Palmer, who has responded with fervour on Twitter today.
"The power to declare war as the Premier knows does not vest with a State Government or indeed the Premier of Western Australia," Mr Palmer wrote.
"It's disturbing that the Premier believes he can declare war on a citizen because a citizen has sought a judicial determination before the High Court of Australia."

Mr Palmer said it was "a serious contempt of the High Court of Australia to seek to intimidate a person to undermine the judicial process".
"Declarations of war, declaring citizens Enemies of the State, are all actions normally taken by dictatorships," Mr Palmer said.

On Friday the Federal Court heard an application from WA for the case to be reheard, after the Commonwealth withdrew from the legal proceedings.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also called on Mr Palmer to step away from the case.

It's a sentiment Mr McGowan has backed, calling Mr Palmer's actions "abominable" suggesting "an act of decency would be to pull out".

In response Mr Palmer wrote on Twitter, "The parties to the proceedings must await the outcome of the court's deliberation in silence. I will not be making any further comment until a judgement is issued by the Federal Court in respect of Western Australia's application".
"Personally I don't wish the Premier any ill will," Mr Palmer added.
"It is not appropriate at this time while matters are before the courts to properly respond to some of the Premier's statements other than to say they are not true and have misrepresented my position."

Mr McGowan has previously stated that relaxing WA's strict coronavirus rules would be delayed until at least August 29 because of the situation around the country, particularly in Victoria.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

10 AUGUST NT
Dad and son plead guilty to lying about travelling into NT from hotspot
Key points:
The two men were accused of making false declarations upon their arrival in east Arnhem Land
The men received suspended prison sentences
The pair flew from Canberra to Nhulunbuy after being in Sydney — a coronavirus hotspot

A father and son have pleaded guilty after lying about travelling into the Northern Territory from a declared coronavirus hotspot, the first conviction of its kind in the territory.

Fadhil Al Khazali, 54, and Ali Al Khazali, 25, travelled into their hometown of Nhulunbuy on July 21 after spending time in Sydney, a declared hotspot.

The following day, they were taken into custody after police found inconsistencies in their travel plans. The pair were taken to the Howard Springs Quarantine Facility, where they have spent 14 days mandatory isolation.

The duo both pleaded guilty in the Darwin Local Court to two charges of making a false declaration and failing to abide by the Chief Health Officer's directions.

Today their defence lawyer Matt Hubber told the court father Fadhil Al Khazali was in a rush to travel back to Nhulunbuy to continue running his taxi business, adding he is a respected member of the community.
Matt Hubber told the court the pair felt this was the most embarrassing and shameful experience they had gone through.
He said they travelled to Nhulunbuy with the intention to work and support their families in Sydney.

Mr Ali Al Khazali intended to get his truck-drivers licence and support his pregnant wife, while Fahid Al Khazali had been working as a taxi driver in the town for almost two decades, sending money back to his wife who suffered from extreme anxiety.
Mr Hubber asked the court to take Mr Al Khazali's good character into consideration because he had no criminal history.
"This experience has caused him a great deal of shame and embarrassment," Mr Hubber said.

His son was also eager to travel back home to be with his heavily pregnant wife who was due to give birth.

Mr Al Khazali told the media outside court he was remorseful and accepted his sentence.
"Of course I am (sorry), I'm sorry to all Territorians," he said.

If ever there was a moment for change in Lebanon, this must surely be it
Clive Palmer suing WA government for $30bn in move labelled 'rapacious' by attorney general

A father and son have pleaded guilty after lying about travelling into the Northern Territory from a declared coronavirus hotspot, the first conviction of its kind in the territory.

Fadhil Al Khazali, 54, and Ali Al Khazali, 25, travelled into their hometown of Nhulunbuy on July 21 after spending time in Sydney, a declared hotspot.

The following day, they were taken into custody after police found inconsistencies in their travel plans.
Ali Al Khazali told the media outside court he was remorseful and accepted his sentence.
The pair were taken to the Howard Springs Quarantine Facility, where they have spent 14 days mandatory isolation.

The duo both pleaded guilty in the Darwin Local Court to two charges of making a false declaration and failing to abide by the Chief Health Officer's directions.

Today their defence lawyer Matt Hubber told the court father Fadhil Al Khazali was in a rush to travel back to Nhulunbuy to continue running his taxi business, adding he is a respected member of the community.

Fadhil Al Khazali, 54, travelled into their hometown of Nhulunbuy on July 21 after spending time in Sydney, a declared hotspot.
Mr Hubber asked the court to take Mr Al Khazali's good character into consideration because he had no criminal history.
"This experience has caused him a great deal of shame and embarrassment," Mr Hubber said.

His son was also eager to travel back home to be with his heavily pregnant wife who was due to give birth.

Mr Al Khazali told the media outside court he was remorseful and accepted his sentence.
"Of course I am (sorry), I'm sorry to all Territorians," he said.

a man looking at the camera: The pair were taken into custody after police found inconsistencies in their travel plans.© 9News The pair were taken into custody after police found inconsistencies in their travel plans.
Judge Sue Oliver said she needed to impose a "serious penalty" to set an example to both men and the community.
"To risk the health of the general population in Nhulunbuy is a serious matter," Judge Oliver said.
"You made a statement that you knew was false ... you deliberately set about to deceive authorities," she said.

The pair were handed a two-month suspended sentence.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... t/12542330

10 AUGUST NZ
How New Zealand got rid of coronavirus as it keeps spreading across the world
On Sunday, New Zealand marked 100 days without community transmission of COVID-19.

From the first known case imported into New Zealand on February 26 to the last case of community transmission detected on May 1, elimination took 65 days.

New Zealand relied on three types of measures to get rid of the virus:

1.ongoing border controls to stop COVID-19 from entering the country
2.a lockdown and physical distancing to stop community transmission
3.case-based controls using testing, contact tracing and quarantine.
Collectively, these measures have achieved low case numbers and deaths compared with high-income countries in Europe and North America that pursued a suppression strategy.
New Zealand is one of a small number of jurisdictions — including mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia, Australia and Fiji — pursuing COVID-19 containment or elimination.

Most have had new outbreaks. The exceptions are Taiwan, Mongolia, Fiji and New Zealand.

Australia adopted very similar responses to the pandemic and it is important to note that most states and territories are in the same position as New Zealand.

But Victoria and, to a lesser extent, New South Wales are seeing a significant resurgence.

The key difference is that New Zealand committed relatively early to a clearly articulated elimination strategy and pursued it aggressively.

An intense lockdown proved highly effective at rapidly extinguishing the virus.

This difference can be seen graphically in this stringency index published by Oxford University's Our World in Data.
here are key lessons from New Zealand's COVID-19 experience.

A vigorous, decisive response to the pandemic was highly effective at minimising cases and deaths. New Zealand has the lowest COVID-19 death rate in the OECD.

Total all-cause deaths also dropped during the lockdown. This observation suggests it did not have severe negative effects on health, although it will almost certainly have some negative long-term effects.

Elimination of the virus appears to have allowed New Zealand to return to near-normal operation fairly rapidly, minimised economic damage compared with Australia.

But the economic impact is likely to keep playing out over the coming months.
Getting through the pandemic
We have gained a much better understanding of COVID-19 over the past eight months. Without effective control measures, it is likely to continue to spread globally for many months to years, ultimately infecting billions and killing millions.

The proportion of infected people who die appears to be slightly below 1 per cent.
This infection also causes serious long-term consequences for some survivors. The largest uncertainties involve immunity to this virus, whether it can develop from exposure to infection or vaccines, and if it is long-lasting.

The potential for treatment with antivirals and other therapeutics is also still uncertain.

This knowledge reinforces the huge benefits of sustaining elimination.

We know that if New Zealand were to experience widespread COVID-19 transmission, the impact on Māori and Pasifika populations could be catastrophic.

We have previously described critical measures to get us through this period, including the use of fabric face masks, improving contact tracing with suitable digital tools, applying a science-based approach to border management, and the need for a dedicated national public health agency.
Maintaining elimination depends on adopting a highly strategic approach to risk management. This approach involves choosing an optimal mix of interventions and using resources in the most efficient way to keep the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks at a consistently low level.

Several measures can contribute to this goal over the next few months, while also allowing incremental increases in international travel:

> resurgence planning for a border-control failure and outbreaks of various sizes, with state-of-the-art contact tracing and an upgraded alert level system
> ensuring all New Zealanders own a re-useable fabric face mask with their use built into the alert level system
> conducting exercises and simulations to test outbreak management procedures, possibly including "mass masking days" to engage the public in the response
> carefully exploring processes to allow quarantine-free travel between jurisdictions free of COVID-19, notably various Pacific Islands, Tasmania and Taiwan (which may require digital tracking of arriving travellers for the first few weeks)
> planning for carefully managed inbound travel by key long-term visitor groups such as tertiary students who would generally still need managed quarantine.

Building back better
New Zealand cannot change the reality of the global COVID-19 pandemic. But it can leverage possible benefits.

We should conduct an official inquiry into the COVID-19 response so we learn everything we possibly can to improve our response capacity for future events.
We also need to establish a specialised national public health agency to manage serious threats to public health and provide critical mass to advance public health generally.

Such an agency appears to have been a key factor in the success of Taiwan, which avoided a costly lockdown entirely.

Business as usual should not be an option for the recovery phase. A recent Massey University survey suggests seven out of ten New Zealanders support a green recovery approach.
New Zealand's elimination of COVID-19 has drawn attention worldwide, with a description just published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

We support a rejuvenated World Health Organization that can provide improved global leadership for pandemic prevention and control, including greater use of an elimination approach to combat COVID-19.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/ ... y/12540328
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12469
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:39 am

11 AUGUST
DEADLIEST DAY !! AGAIN !! WITH 19 DEAD IN VICTORIA.

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CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12469
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:36 am

11 AUGUST VIC

Victoria announces 331 new coronavirus cases and another 19 deaths
Daniel Andrews has been accused of 'catastrophically' letting down Victorians after coronavirus escaped from hotel quarantine and sparked the state's deadly second wave.
Victoria records its deadliest day of the COVID-19 pandemic
The state recorded 19 more deaths on Monday

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

In an inquiry hearing on Tuesday morning, shortly after the state updated its COVID-19 casualties with 19 deaths and 331 cases, the Premier repeatedly refused to apologise for the disaster.

Victoria records 19 deaths and 331 new COVID-19 cases
A woman in her 50s was among 19 deaths from coronavirus in Victoria in the past 24 hours.

The state also recorded 331 new COVID-19 cases, a slight rise from yesterday's 322 infections.
Also succumbing to the disease was a man in his 70s, six women and four men in their 80s, and four women and three men in their 90s.
Of the new deaths, 14 were linked to aged care. The fatalities equal yesterday's record figure of 19.
Australia's death toll sits at 331 deaths, 246 of those being in Victoria, after figures were amended.
There are 650 Victorians in hospital battling COVID-19, including 47 in intensive care and 24 patients on ventilators.
Nearly 3000 active cases have an unknown source
The total number of cases recorded in Victoria since the pandemic began has risen to 15,251.
The number of active cases stands at 7,880.
The state has 650 people being treated in hospital for coronavirus, including 47 people in intensive care and 24 people on ventilators.

The state has now recorded more than one million coronavirus tests, and now had 2903 cases with an unknown source.
"That is an increase of about 100 since yesterday's report," Mr Andrews said.

The number of healthcare workers who have tested positive for coronavirus has also risen. Mr Andrews said there were now 1,185 active cases who are healthcare workers.
"That is up but it is up by a smaller number than has been the case in recent days," he said.

But Mr Andrews said all of those cases were of concern.
"Each of those are motivating us to redouble our efforts right across the board, to make sure we are taking care of those people who take care of us," he said.

Victoria now has 1,838 active cases linked to aged care.

Data shows 'massive reductions' in traffic on Victoria's roads
Road data including trains, trams, buses, regional rail, regional buses and traffic data indicated a "massive reduction" on the state’s roads, Mr Andrews said.

He said last Friday there were 43,000 tram trips and 71,000 metro train trips, which is ten per cent of what would normally be recorded in August.
"In other words we’ve got a 90 per cent reduction in movement," he said.
"That data bears out that the strategy is working."

Payments being made to help businesses survive
The Premier said payments of $5,000 had been made to around 24,000 businesses to support them. Those payments totalled $120 million dollars.
Mr Andrews said the payments had since been increased by a further $5,000 and businesses would not need to submit new paperwork.

The Premier said around $776 million was also paid out to businesses as part of the government's economic survival package.
"We're pushing those payments out as quickly as we can," he said.

Premier confident case numbers will drop
Mr Andrews said that although Victoria was only in the second week of its stage 4 lockdown, his advice was the strategy would work.
"The public health advice to me, all of our experts remain convinced and very confident, that as we're just into the early parts of the second week, not even yet a full week, of many of the stage 4 most significant changes," he said.
"We will continue to see data that forms a trend and we'll continue to see numbers coming down," he said.
"Exactly how long this takes and what the lowest number is we can get to, only time will tell."

More questions about PPE for healthcare workers
Mr Andrews was questioned again about concerns about a shortage of personal protective equipment for nurses and said the State Government was "listening" to the concerns.

He praised healthcare workers for doing their jobs under difficult conditions, calling them a "special breed."
"I say thank you to them. But if you really want to thank them yourself, then don't do anything that would spread the virus," he said.
"So if you honour them, if you want to thank them, as I do, then make the best choices for your family, for every family, and for our dedicated health heroes."

He said the Government would take any further steps necessary to support healthcare workers.

Mr Andrews said a "power of work" had been done to ensure the supply channels were open.
"I’m absolutely confident we're adding to those numbers [of PPE] every week."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/markets ... d=msedgdhp

Parliamentary inquiry into Victoria's COVID-19 response underway
Premier Daniel Andrews earlier appeared at the second sitting of the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee's COVID-19 inquiry earlier today.
Mr Andrews was grilled on the state government's response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the bungled hotel quarantine program.
The premier was called as the first witness, with Health Minister Jenny Mikakos, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton and his deputy Allen Cheng also set to appear later today.
During the inquiry, Mr Andrews said he would not call for Jobs Minister Martin Pakula's resignation after he was singled out for allowing the virus to escape from the state's quarantine hotels.
The premier maintained he would take full responsibility for the state's second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was in part sparked by the mismanagement of hotel quarantine.

Former Judge Jennifer Coate is running a formal inquiry into the program.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
Victoria records 19 coronavirus deaths as 331 new infections detected
"This will be an incredibly difficult time for [their families] and I hope that that pain is made a little more bearable knowing that Victorians are with you in grief and loss and sadness," the Premier said during today's coronavirus update.
The Premier said the number of community transmission cases with an unknown source now stood at 2,903.

The number of active infections among healthcare workers has grown by 32 to 1,097.

There are now 1,838 active cases connected to aged care settings — an increase of 73 overnight.

Mr Andrews said there had been some "some stability" in the aged care homes suffering the worst outbreaks, but authorities were still seeing fresh outbreaks in others.

The Premier also said that with so many cases in aged care, Victoria would "see more people die as a result of this global pandemic".
Stage 4 restrictions tough but 'the strategy is working', Premier says
Mr Andrews said traffic data released today — from services including trains and buses, as well as roads — indicated there had been a "massive reduction" in movement in the state.

Tram and metropolitan train trips were down 90 per cent last Friday, compared to a Friday in a normal August, he said.
"I know that's very challenging and I know why that's occurred — because we have sent home many hundreds of thousands of workers," he said.
"But that data bears out that the strategy is working."

The Premier said the full effects of stage 4 restrictions were yet to be seen, because case numbers tended to lag 10 to 14 days behind changes.

He was asked whether the Government had "jumped the gun" in introducing stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne, following commentary from some experts which said stage 3 restrictions were working to reduce movement in the state.

But Mr Andrews said as "heartbreaking" as the decision had been, it was "the only way forward".
"All of our experts remain convinced and very confident — that as we're just into the early parts of the second week, not even yet a full week, of many of the stage 4 most significant changes — we will continue to see data that forms a trend, and continue to see numbers coming down," he said.

The best thing anyone could do to support the state's fight against the disease, he said, was to continue following the restrictions.
"Whether you're the Prime Minister, Premier or a punter who's making the right decisions by staying at home and following the rules, they're all powerful, really powerful decisions," he said.

The Premier fronted today's coronavirus update shortly after being grilled in a parliamentary inquiry on his Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos and Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton were also witnesses in that inquiry, and did not speak at the daily press conference.

During the update Mr Andrews was questioned again over healthcare workers' concerns about accessing personal protective equipment.

He said a "power of work" had been done to ensure supply channels were open, and said he would follow up concerns raised about the quality of masks provided.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Liberal MP Richard Riordan told Mr Andrews: 'Victorians have trusted you to keep them safe. You have catastrophically let them down. Will you apologise to Victorians?'
Mr Andrews tersely replied: 'I'm the leader of the government and the leader of the state and I take responsibility for all of the decisions that are made'.
A fired-up Mr Riordan continued to press, saying: 'Premier, after a month of acknowledged failure in hotel quarantine, nothing has been seen to by you – no admissions by you have been made.'

Mr Andrews said his 'analysis is completely inaccurate' and insisted he had set up 'an appropriate arm's-length process chaired by a former judge, not for the avoidance of scrutiny.'

The premier continued describing the inquiry but Mr Riordan cut him off, saying: 'I don't want you to continue on that because you're not answering the question.'

Mr Riordan again asked: 'Will you apologise for the escape?' and the premier again dodged the question.

Later in the virtual hearing via Zoom, the premier was asked by Nationals member Danny O'Brien if he regrets 'the decision to employ private security guards in hotel quarantine'.

He replied: 'No-one wanted a second wave of the virus. But none of us have the luxury of going back in time.'
Mr O'Brien asked the Premier whose idea it was to man hotel quarantine with private security guards instead of the police and army troops.

Mr Andrews said Australian Defence Force support was not on offer and troops were only used in NSW to transport travellers from airports to hotels.
'It is fundamentally incorrect to assert that there was hundreds of ADF staff on offer and somehow someone said no. That's not, in my judgement, accurate,' he said.
'It's been provided in limited circumstances in NSW, not to provide security as such but to provide transportation from the airport to hotels.'

He said the Victorian government had already been using private security guards for quarantining health workers and vulnerable people before the quarantine program for returned travellers began.
'It was essentially an extension of a program that we had already stood up. Nothing more, nothing less,' he said.

Mr Andrews was the first witness called at the second sitting of the Victorian Public Accounts and Estimates Committee's COVID-19 Inquiry on Tuesday.

He last appeared at the hearing on May 12, when the state's total number of coronavirus cases was 1,509 and just 18 people had died.

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has said it is conceivable that all Victoria's second-wave cases arose from security employed at hotels unwittingly carrying the virus out of quarantine.

The debacle first came to public attention on May 27 when the infection of a security guard working at the Rydges on Swanston hotel in Carlton, inner-north Melbourne was announced.
The following week, on June 6, the spread of the deadly virus appeared under control as zero cases were recorded for the first time since March 5.

But on June 17 an outbreak erupted at the Stamford Plaza in Melbourne's CBD and 21 new cases were recorded across the state.

It emerged that guards working for private security firms - contracted by the Andrews government to run the quarantine scheme - had breached social distancing requirements and failed to enforce the rules.

There were reports they had allowed separate families to play cards and that some guards had even had sex with returned travellers.

The 19 deaths and 331 cases of coronavirus added on Tuesday brought the state's COVID-19 death toll to 247 and the national figure to 332.

New daily case numbers have declined in Victoria since the peak of 725 on 5 August.

The relatively low numbers of new cases sparked hopes that strict lockdown measures and mandatory face masks may be having an impact.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Michael Kidd was cautiously optimistic about the trend.
'We are seeing the first promising signs of a reduction in daily numbers of cases but it is too early to be certain,' he told reporters in Canberra.

Professor Kidd said it was heartening to see declining cases in the past five days.
'While we still have hundreds of cases being reported each day, we will continue to have people admitted to hospital and people becoming gravely unwell,' he said.
'Sadly some of those people will die.'

Even if Victoria gets on top of infection rates, there could be more heartbreak for families.
'There is a seven to 10-day lag between the daily reports in numbers of cases and people dying,' Prof Kidd said.
'Some people are sadly dying very early in the course of COVID-19 but for many people, it is a week or more after they have been infected that we see people who are gravely unwell.'

VICTORIA'S BUNGLED HOTEL QUARANTINE PROGRAM – KEY DATES << AND THE COVIDIOT RALLIES >>
* March 16 – State of emergency declared in Victoria, returned travellers instructed to undergo 14-days of quarantine at home.
* March 27 – National cabinet decides returned travellers will be subject to mandatory 14-day quarantine 'at designated facilities, for example, in a hotel'.
* May 27 – Outbreak at Rydges on Swanston first identified.
* May 31 – Victoria's state of emergency extended for three weeks ahead of stage-three restrictions easing the next day. Four new COVID-19 cases, 74 active cases.
<< COVIDIOT RALLIES IN MELBOURNE {30 MAY) AND SYDNEY (31 MAY) >>
* June 6 – No new cases for the first time since March 5.
* June 9 – Students return to school.
* June 17 – Stamford Plaza outbreak identified; Victoria records 21 new COVID-19 cases – its highest increase in more than a month.
* June 21 – Further easing of restrictions.
* June 26 – Concerns grow about the program after it's revealed 30 per cent of travellers are refusing tests. Confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
* June 29 – Hot spot suburbs in Melbourne's north and north-west return to lockdown and all international flights into the city are put on hold for two weeks.
* July 2 – Inquiry into Victoria's hotel quarantine program announced.
* July 4 – A full lockdown is announced at short notice for nine Melbourne public housing towers. Victoria records 108 new cases – its first day above 100 since late March.
* July 6 – The Victoria-NSW border shuts for the first time in a century.
* July 8 – Melbourne and Mitchell Shire placed into stage-three lockdown for six weeks.
* July 13 – Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton tells ABC Radio that it was conceivable all current cases in Victoria could be traced back to outbreaks stemming from the hotel quarantine system
* July 20 – Hotel Quarantine Inquiry begins. Victoria records 275 new COVID-19 cases, the 15th consecutive day of triple-digit increases in new infections

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp

Victoria's coronavirus cases are declining, but when are we likely to see restrictions eased?
Epidemiologists are cautiously optimistic Victoria's daily COVID-19 cases are starting to decline, but Premier Daniel Andrews has warned there is no "magic number" the state must reach before restrictions will be eased.

Today Victoria has reported 331 new coronavirus cases and 19 deaths — the second day in a row Australia's largest daily death toll has been recorded.

Yesterday's total of 322 new infections was the state's lowest single-day increase in more than 10 days.

Mr Andrews said yesterday he understood "everyone wants to know when is this going to end" but added: "We've all got to be careful not to be getting ahead of ourselves."

He said there was no "magic number" that would allow Victoria to ease restrictions.
"I can't give you a number," he said at the daily press conference on Monday.

But epidemiologists are watching the numbers closely to identify trends.

Coronavirus cases need to hit double digits
Mary-Louise McLaws, an epidemiologist and World Health Organization (WHO) adviser, told the ABC she would be comfortable seeing restrictions ease when Victoria's figures were in double digits.

But masks would need to remain until the state was recording single digits on a daily basis.
"At the moment Victoria's numbers are slowing, it doesn't feel like it is, but the growth has slowed and you will start to see a decline," she said.
"But I would not expect that you would get into the double digits for at least five weeks."

Professor McLaws said her "red alert" was when cases hit more than 100 total active cases over two weeks.

If each case had 10 contacts, that meant contact tracers had to track down 1,000 people over a 14-day period.

She said Melbourne and regional Victoria were "far off" any reduced restrictions over the next five weeks.

Professor McLaws said from a "proactive, epidemiologist's point of view" she would not begin lifting restrictions until there were fewer than 100 active cases over two weeks.

She said the daily curfew in Melbourne and rules around masks would be the last restrictions to be relaxed because they "worked so well".
"But I don't have to try and balance the economy," she said.

She said she would not be surprised if more people started to go back to work before the mandatory use of masks was eased off.
"We need to get close to eradication. We need single digits so we can live a normal life and don't have to go through this again," Professor McLaws said.

She also said it was possible Victorian authorities could be looking at cases in aged care separately from all other areas of the state.
"That triple-digital number is largely being driven by aged care," she said.

Experts want at least five days of consistent case numbers
Infectious diseases expert Sanjaya Senanayake agreed fewer than 100 cases over a two-week period was what Victorians should be aiming for.
"I'll be happy when we see consistent, low numbers that continue to drop, but there's no magic number for me," he said.
"You don't want to just look at one or two days of 200 to 300 cases and say: 'Yay, we've turned the corner.'"
"It will fluctuate. So you want to see a pattern … a good five days of a consistent number of cases."

But he added the number of mystery cases — community transmission infections with an unknown source — was the "really important" number. Victoria currently has 2,863 mystery cases.

Dr Senanayake said the issue was not just about avoiding overwhelming hospitals, but also about keeping contact tracing efforts at a manageable level.

Marc Pellegrini from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute told ABC Radio Melbourne "most people would be comfortable with numbers in the 10s" at the end of the six-week lockdown.
"We'd certainly want to see a fairly rapid turnaround," Professor Pellegrini said.
"The numbers at the moment are just way too high so the contact tracers just don't have capability to reach out to everybody in a timely fashion to stop transmission."

Dr Senanayake said it could take up to four weeks to really see a drop in daily cases.

He said the issue now was about whether Victoria aimed for elimination — 28 days without a mystery case.
"We should go, potentially, for that elimination model. I think that's what we should aim for," he said.

But he warned it might take many, many weeks to get there.
"To achieve this aggressive suppression, or elimination, it might mean staying in stage 4 restrictions for a lot longer, and all the consequences — psychological, social, economic consequences — that go with that."

Stage 4 restrictions are going to 'crash the numbers down'
Professor Tony Blakely said the question of Melbourne reopening depended on the goal.

He agreed if the aim was elimination, the number of daily mystery cases would need to be very low.

He was still modelling the exact number, but suggested five or fewer on average per day would be necessary before easing out of stage 4 into stage 3.

However, if the aim was suppression, Professor Blakely said Melbourne might tolerate higher numbers before opening up.
"If our goal is to live at about 20 to 40 cases per day, then I can easily see us opening up a bit earlier," he said.

Despite being a proponent of elimination, he said living relatively normally with cases in the 10s might be possible, pointing to examples of other nations using a suppression strategy.
"Our major concern is that it's very hard to live with the virus and it will just keep coming back to you in wave after wave after wave," Professor Blakely said.
"Now, I'm moderating my position on that a little bit, because there are countries demonstrating that you can do it, [like] South Korea."

He said that would require better contact tracing, testing and surveillance and vigilance with masks.

Professor Blakely added that South Korea provided facilities for people who had tested positive to isolate and people were visited twice a day, not just for enforcement, but to check they had everything they needed.

Both Victoria and NSW would have to pursue elimination for it to work, he added.

One number Professor Blakely is keeping a close eye on is the number of cases in regional Victoria, where the more lenient stage 3 restrictions are in place.
"I would be watching the mystery cases and regional Victoria much more closely," he said.

Professor Blakely said stage 4 restrictions were going to "crash the numbers down" in the coming weeks.
"It's going to be steep, because we're already seeing these numbers start to go down quite quickly now. And stage 4 hasn't really even kicked in yet.
"If the numbers don't go up tremendously [on Tuesday], then I'm very confident we're actually on quite a steep downward trajectory already."

But he feared Victoria's curve was unlikely to flatten out and would remain above zero for some time.
"There will be parts of society, the casualised workers in the essential industries, which are harder to get to and they won't have their transmission stopped as much as amongst the rest of us who are at home," he said.
"There could be a long tail here that's hard to get rid of."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Residents in Melbourne residential skyscraper face COVID outbreak
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The 72-level Prima Pearl building had residents with positive cases within its walls who continued to move through the building

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The Prima Pearl Tower is an upmarket building among the tallest on Melbourne's skyline
A nurse who brought COVID-19 into one of the tallest and most exclusive residential apartment towers in Australia failed to tell building management she was infected with the virus.
And neither did Victoria's health department.

As Victoria records another deadly day, with 19 more deaths and 331 new active cases of COVID-19, Daily Mail Australia can reveal dangerous flaws in the way Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services deals with positive cases within high rise buildings.
The 72-level Prima Pearl building towers over Southbank, on the banks of the Yarra River in Melbourne, housing hundreds of residents within its 67 residential floors. The block is one of the most exclusive apartment blocks in Australia, with individual units selling for up to to $18 million.

Daily Mail Australia has been told a nurse, who works within Melbourne's COVID plagued hospital sector, tested positive to the virus early last week after falling ill.

It remains unknown for how long she had been accessing communal areas within the tower before self-isolating with two flat mates.

Well-placed sources have told Daily Mail Australia the nurse's flat mates continued to live within the unit with their infected housemate, but failed to isolate themselves.

One of the flat mates later tested positive for COVID-19 after spending days free within the building and the community.

Under DHHS guidelines for multi-dwelling properties with shared facilities, the department gives no undertaking to inform building managers when it becomes aware of an infected resident.


Prima Pearl Tower
The tower stands next to Crown Casino on the Yarra River The skyscraper reaches a height of 254 metres, with 72 levels . Amenities include a swimming pool and sky–lounge for residents
In 2017, an extravagant new apartment on the 63rd floor was put up for sale for $18 million
At the time, it was among the most expensive apartments in the city
Last year, the tower came under fire by some residents who complained of creaking noises
'DHHS may contact building managers when residents of multi-dwelling buildings test positive for coronavirus and there is an assessment made that more information is required to assess risk, or that additional public health actions are required,' the document states.

Nor does the health department advise that residents within the building be informed that they are living among the infected.
'DHHS will work closely with building managers in the event there is a positive case in the building and additional public health actions are required,' it claims. They are false claims, a source told Daily Mail Australia.

Instead, management was alerted to the potential risk by a diligent concierge who noticed that the nurse had not been seen downstairs for a while.
'Her flatmates were still getting out and about. He asked about where she had been and they told him she had tested positive to the virus,' the source said.

One of those flat mates, believed to be a young male, later tested positive to the virus after spending days accessing lifts and communal areas of the tower.

Last month, an immediate 'hard lockdown' was imposed on multiple high rise commission housing towers that confined thousands of people to their homes for days.

Towers across North Melbourne and Flemington were surrounded by police without notice.
Some of the towers did not even have a single case of COVID-19 in them.

Meanwhile, residents living in plush private residential towers dotted around the supposedly infected flats were allowed to roam free.

The move was slammed at the time by social services advocates, who said the action stank of double standards.

Daily Mail Australia has been told the infected residents at the centre of the Prima Pearl scare had recently moved to isolate at another location.

Upon learning of their infection, management scrambled to organise a deep clean of the tower's lifts and communal areas.

It remains unclear if any of the tower's residents were ever officially warned of the potential threat within their confined walls or if any other residents are infected.

Last week, Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos refused to answer questions fired at her by Opposition health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier about her department's disastrous response to the pandemic.

Instead, she embarked on a late night self pity session on Twitter where she declared she had worked every day since January to 'keep everyone safe'.
'If it wasn’t enough, then I’m deeply sorry,' she bleated.

A source told Daily Mail Australia the health department's failure to act on the COVID-19 cases within Prima Pearl had little to do with privacy issues.
'It's sheer and utter incompetence,' the source said.
'I would imagine their core role in all this is to do everything necessary to prevent the virus from spreading.
'What's the point of testing if they're not going to take action to stop the spread after they've successfully identified a positive case?'

Daily Mail Australia has been told sky rise residential towers across the city remain at immediate risk of mass COVID infections.
'It's a classic case of different sets of laws colliding ... Privacy versus duty of care to an entire building,' the source said.
'It's a facilities management crossroad. But DHHS is providing little to no assistance or clarification to those running the buildings.
'When you don't take measures to manage a building you end up with the aged care debacle.'

The rate of coronavirus deaths in Australia's aged care homes is among the highest in the world, a royal commission heard this week.

Commissioners heard Australia now has one of the worst death rates in the world for aged care residents, with 68 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths in aged care.

The COVID death toll now stands at 247 and comes amid concerns for the safety of medical staff, with reports some have been forced to buy their own personal protective gear and lacked the training to properly put it on.

DHHS was contacted by Daily Mail Australia with a range of questions, but it did not respond.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/melbourn ... d=msedgdhp

Essential poll: Victorians overwhelmingly support harsh restrictions to curb Covid second wave
The lockdown might be draconian, but Victorians overwhelmingly support the public health restrictions imposed to curb the second wave of coronavirus infections, with support for the measures highest among voters aged over 55, according to a Guardian Essential poll.
New research shows 72% of the sample backs the decision of the Andrews government to impose a curfew between 8pm and 5am, 71% supports curbs on leaving the house, while 70% endorse restrictions on business and the requirement that people travel no further than 5km from their house. Voters aged over 34 are more likely to support the current lockdown measures than younger people.

A strong majority, 79%, report having a good understanding of what they are permitted to do and not do under the restrictions. Majorities in the sample of 500 Victorian voters think the lockdown is appropriate (67%) and will be effective in flattening the curve of new infections (60%) – although 41% of respondents who remain in paid work worry the restrictions will have a negative impact on their employment.
Voters are more on the fence about whether state and federal governments are doing enough to help people and businesses that are negatively affected by the restrictions, with 55% saying enough is being done.

Victorian respondents to the survey are also divided about who is responsible for the failures in the enforcement of hotel quarantine that sparked the second wave of infections.

More than half of voters in the sample say they think the breaches in quarantine are mostly about individuals being irresponsible (56%) rather than failures in the system (44%). Women and younger voters are significantly more likely than men and older voters to think the breaches are an issue of individual responsibility rather than systemic failure.

Back in June, Daniel Andrews enjoyed an approval rating of 75% for his response to the Covid-19 outbreak. The premier’s approval rating is now down to 49%. But that result has been constant for a month despite significant numbers of new infections, and deaths, mainly in aged care facilities, during the outbreak.

Just under half the sample (44%) reports gaining a more favourable impression of the premier during the Covid crisis, while 29% of the sample says their view has become more negative.

While the majority of the attitudinal shift for Andrews is positive, despite the setbacks and the persistent questions about the government’s management of the crisis, the premier has enjoyed less of a bounce in the state than the prime minister, Scott Morrison.

While Victoria is Australia’s most progressive state, 58% of Victorians in the sample say they now have a more favourable opinion of Morrison because of his handling of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Older voters and voters in Melbourne are more likely to report a favourable shift in their perceptions about Morrison than younger voters and Victorians in the regions. Older voters are more represented in the negative shift in attitudes against Andrews than young people.

The survey data suggests perceptions of Andrews are tied heavily to the premier’s Covid-19 response. Voters who characterise the state government’s response as poor are more likely to say their opinion of Andrews is now less favourable, and vice versa.

The snapshot of Victorian sentiment comes as the data on new coronavirus infections suggest the outbreak in the state is now past its peak – although there are concerns about the rate of new infections in New South Wales.

The regular fortnightly Guardian Essential survey, published Tuesday, shows Australians are increasingly nervous about the second wave, and respondents rank stopping community transmission of Covid-19 higher on their list of priorities than restarting the economy and putting it on the road to recovery.

Related: Covid has exposed weaknesses in Australia's political system but at a fundamental level it’s holding up | Peter Lewis

In this fortnight’s national poll, the New South Wales government’s approach to managing the pandemic is supported by 61% (compared with 70% at the peak). In Queensland – a state that has not yet battled a second outbreak – approval for the government is a bit more consistent, with 68% this week compared with 74% in May.

The prime minister’s approval rating is 66% this fortnight, compared with 63% in July, and his disapproval stands at 23%, compared with 27% last month, while 11% of the sample are undecided.

Morrison’s approval at the moment spans the political spectrum. It stands at 91% with Coalition voters, 56% among Labor voters and 40% of Greens voters – and 61% of people who say they intend to vote for an independent or micro party give him the thumbs up. The federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese has the approval of 69% of Labor voters, 37% of Coalition voters, 54% of Greens voters and 17% of people intending to vote for a non-major party.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

AGED CARE ROYAL COMMISSION

Response to Newmarch House coronavirus outbreak delayed by bureaucratic squabbling, royal commission hears
Key points:
Private care workers "weren't up to the task", the royal commission heard
Dr James Branley was against moving residents to hospital
Newmarch House staff were given contradicting advice on wearing PPE

Key decisions at a Western Sydney aged care home where 17 residents died after contracting coronavirus were delayed because of "dysfunction" between state and Commonwealth governments, a royal commission has heard.
Grant Millard, the Chief Executive Officer of Anglicare, which runs Newmarch House, described the bureaucratic squabbling behind the scenes once the first case was diagnosed on April 11.

He said one of the areas of disagreement was whether residents who had tested positive to coronavirus should be transferred to hospital for care.
"The level of dysfunction or disagreement about issues was particularly intense over the first two weeks of the outbreak," he said during his evidence at the Royal Commission into Aged Care.

At the time, Newmarch House was getting specialist advice from James Branley, the Head of Infectious Diseases at Nepean Hospital.

Mr Millard said Dr Branley was strongly opposed to transferring residents out of the home.
"He was concerned about spread of the virus to outside Newmarch House and I was greatly concerned that James Branley would walk away," he said.

For the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic read our coronavirus live blog.
He told the inquiry that Dr Branley was frustrated over the lack of clarity over who was making decisions.
"He wasn't threatening to walk but he was saying he couldn't work in this environment."
The situation became so serious that Mr Millard contacted the Federal Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck seeking clarity about who was in charge.

He said within hours, the issue was resolved with instructions that Dr Branley was the person in charge of making clinical decisions.

The Anglicare CEO admitted that the operators had been "overwhelmed" by the challenge of dealing with the pandemic.

He told the royal commission the advice from Dr Branley was that all staff at Newmarch House should be wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE) with all residents.

But the advice from the NSW Health was that PPE should only be used for positive residents and suspected cases.
"It was deeply distressing, based on the advice of the expert we had, you really need to treat all of your residents as COVID-positive until it's proven otherwise," he said.

He said a shortage of PPE in the early stages of the outbreak meant that many of the staff at Newmarch House became infected or had to go into self-isolation.

Senior Counsel Assisting Peter Rozen QC asked whether this was an example of a residential aged care home trying to implement hospital standards without having the necessary equipment.
"That is an example of it, yes," Mr Millard replied.

The inquiry heard that this meant that within days of the outbreak starting, Newmarch House had lost 87 per cent of its workforce.

He told of the struggle to find replacement staff.
"People were scared, they were terrified of COVID, it was difficult to get people," he said.

The Commonwealth Department of Health put them in touch with Mable, an online platform for employers looking for care workers that was receiving funding from the Federal Government to provide staff at short notice.
"There were very few people who had residential aged care experience, some had home care experience, none of them had any practical experience in the use of PPE," Mr Millard said.
"Early on they just weren't up to the task. It was dangerous for them."

Virginia Clarke's 94-year-old father Ron died after contracting COVID-19 at Newmarch House.

She told the commission that there was a lack of communication from Anglicare about her father's condition and what treatment he was receiving.
"Communication needs to be better and our elderly need to be protected," she said.
"It's not fair what happened to my dad and other residents at Newmarch House."

Giving evidence, Dr Branley described the difficulties of communicating with families during the lockdown.
"I do feel for their pain and I would acknowledge their father's death occurred early in this outbreak," he said.
"I am sure we could have communicated better with hindsight."

Dr Branley was asked about the "hospital in the home" approach adopted at Newmarch House that meant residents who tested positive were not transferred to hospital but treated in situ instead.

He said in his view the mass movement of COVID-positive residents posed a public health risk, potentially spreading the virus to health workers and other patients at the hospital.
"I'll be very interested to look at Victoria when the Victorian situation has been fully analysed," he said.

Newmarch House operator tells of Covid-19 'dysfunction' between state and federal officials
The head of Sydney’s Newmarch House aged care home has spoken out about a “frustrating level of dysfunction” between state and federal health authorities who gave conflicting advice about whether to send infected residents to hospital during the early weeks of a deadly Covid-19 outbreak.

The aged care royal commission on Tuesday heard evidence about how Newmarch House responded to the coronavirus outbreak, which resulted in 37 residents testing positive and 17 dying. The inquiry was told about the inherent infection control issues aged care facilities face if they choose to pursue a “hospital in the home” approach to treat residents in-house.

The royal commission heard Newmarch – along with all of operator Anglicare’s 22 facilities in New South Wales – had self-assessed its readiness to respond to a Covid outbreak as “best practice” less than three weeks before the first case in early April.

That assessment, the operator now acknowledges, was not accurate because they had viewed Covid-19 as a flu-like, less virulent threat, and even their conservative predictions underestimated the fact 87% of staff would need to be replaced.

Related: Scott Morrison gives masterclass in political malleability over aged care Covid deaths | Katharine Murphy

The comments from Grant Millard, the chief executive of Anglicare, came after senior counsel assisting the royal commission, Peter Rozen QC, on Monday admonished the federal health department and aged care regulator for failing to develop a Covid-19 response plan for the sector – a claim the aged care minister, Richard Colbeck, and the acting chief medical officer, Paul Kelly, contested on Tuesday.
Millard also told the aged care royal commission how Anglicare was “struggling to plead” with state and federal health authorities for access to personal protective equipment stockpiles during the early weeks of its outbreak.

The commission saw an email from NSW Health on 21 April that told Newmarch staff to only use full PPE when interacting with positive and suspected cases, which Millard said conflicted with advice from James Branley, the head of infectious diseases at Nepean hospital, who said to use full PPE with every resident.

On Monday, Rozen outlined that the royal commission would hear evidence this week of an email from the aged care quality and safety commissioner Janet Anderson urging authorities to call out an “intolerable” view held by NSW Health that evacuating infected residents to hospital would set a precedent for future outbreaks.

Documents tendered before the commission also reveal Millard told an Anglicare board meeting on 6 May of a “frustrating level of dysfunction” between state and federal health authorities, and on Tuesday he elaborated, stating the conflict was “particularly intense” during the first two weeks of the Newmarch outbreak at the beginning of April.
“Everyone was clearly exercised and passionate about how this could be dealt with quickly and for the expert opinion to be declared. But it just wasn’t clear who was in a position to give that advice.”

At a later board meeting on 27 May, royal commission evidence shows Millard warned that Anglicare would be “far more assertive ... and would strongly push for these (infected) residents to be immediately transferred to hospital” in the event of a future outbreak at an Anglicare facility.

On Tuesday, Millard said the “hospital in the home” approach decided upon by the local health area network “presented a monumental challenge” due to resourcing. He said treating the residents at the facility risked infecting staff, and effectively confined all other residents to their rooms.
“I believe if we would have been able to transfer out Covid-positive residents earlier we might have had an earlier liberalisation, of what was really extremely difficult for our residents to go through, being isolated in their rooms with the doors closed,” he said.
“To run a hospital you need substantially more (staff), a greater number of registered nurses to do that. It’s just not the way a residential aged care home operates … I think if you compare the level of equipment, the resourcing, you know, it’s not reasonable to anticipate any of that level of equipment resourcing would be available in a residential aged care home. That would have to occur in a hospital,” Millard said.

Related: Moving aged care residents to multiple Melbourne hospitals amid Covid-19 'could be catastrophic'

Millard also spoke of how Newmarch was overwhelmed by staff losses during the outbreak. He said “we were all scratching around and people were scared. They were terrified of Covid-19 and it was difficult to get people.” He said that surge staff from Mable, provided by the federal government, were not trained and had little experience in aged care homes or in using PPE, and said “it was dangerous for them” to have been sent to Newmarch.

The royal commission also attempted to compare the Covid-19 responses at Newmarch House and Sydney’s Dorothy Henderson Lodge. At Newmarch, two of the infected 37 residents were transferred to hospital, where one died, while the remaining 16 deaths occurred at the facility.

However, James Branley, the head of infectious diseases at Nepean hospital and a doctor called in to help the responses at both Dorothy Henderson Lodge and Newmarch days after their first cases, defended the “hospital in the home” approach.

Earlier, the royal commission had heard of further infection control issues with “hospital in the home”, including that the litre per second per patient airflow in homes was “nowhere near” the requirement for air decontamination mandated in hospitals.

At the end of his evidence, Millard acknowledged the “incredible sacrifice” families of residents had made and expressed “regret” that Newmarch failed to communicate effectively regarding their loved ones.
“They are stressed and they want to know how their mum is, how their dad is. And it’s a struggle to do that with a completely foreign workforce in a home, wearing a face mask, who just don’t know their mum and dad. It’s very, very difficult,” he said.

Virginia Clarke earlier told the royal commission of her late father Ron Farrell’s experiences after contracting Covid-19 at Newmarch House.

She said she called the home every day for information about her 94-year-old father, and that during one such call, a staff member inadvertently mentioned he had been diagnosed with Covid-19, not realising Clarke had not been informed.
“I was in shock. I didn’t know what to say,” she said. “Nobody actually told me what treatment dad was getting.”

She said she had also been asked to revise her father’s end of life plan, and when she asked why, was told it was not because of his Covid-19 diagnosis, which she had been told was mild.

Farrell, a former air force member and father of seven, died on 19 April.

Clarke said she was forced to guess her father’s time of death because the crematorium picking up her father’s body requested that detail but Newmarch hadn’t told her.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-11/ ... n/12544706
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:42 am

11 AUGUST VIC P2

QUARANTINE PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION
Andrews pressed on handling of pandemic in parliamentary committee
Victorian authorities have faced a grilling over their handling of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly the management of the hotel quarantine program that triggered a new wave of cases in the state.

Premier Daniel Andrews, Health Minister Jenny Mikakos, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton, and other government officers gave evidence at the public accounts and estimates committee on Tuesday.

Genomic sequencing carried out by Melbourne's Doherty Institute shows a significant proportion of Victoria's second-wave cases may be traced back to quarantine breaches at hotels, for which the government employed private security firms.

Nationals MP Danny O'Brien asked the Premier who made the decision to use private security guards in hotel quarantine, and why that decision was made.
Mr Andrews said Australian Defence Force personnel were not on offer for hotel security: "I think it is fundamentally incorrect to assert that there was hundreds of ADF staff on offer and somehow someone said no. That's not, in my judgement, accurate," Mr Andrews said.

His government has hired retired judge Jennifer Coate to hold an inquiry into the handling of the Melbourne quarantine program.
"The exact nature of security arrangements, their adequacy or otherwise, that is appropriately a matter for [Judge Coate] to look at," Mr Andrews said.
Justice Coate has said there is no legal reason to suppress public discussion of matters before her investigation.
Mr Andrews questions to Justice Coate's inquiry.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Court orders Federal Government to cease detaining man at Melbourne immigration centre due to coronavirus
The Federal Court of Australia has ruled a man in his 60s must no longer be held at an immigration detention facility in Melbourne's north due to the risk of him contracting coronavirus.

On Monday, Justice Bernard Murphy made an interim order to Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton to cease detaining the 68-year-old man at the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) centre in Broadmeadows.

While the final hearing of the case has not been heard, the court was satisfied the man's current detention at MITA could be in breach of the Department of Home Affair's duty of care.

Justice Murphy's reasons for the order will be handed down later this week.

Where the man is moved to is at the discretion of Mr Dutton.

The man and his lawyers must be given 24 hours notice of where he is to be moved to, which may be appealed.

Principal solicitor at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Carolyn Graydon, said it was the "first significant court decision" addressing the Federal Government's duty of care to people in immigration detention at high risk of contracting COVID-19.
"It raises fundamental questions about how effective the mitigation measures being taken by the department are."

She said the decision "would be applicable to other detainees who have pre-existing health vulnerabilities or other features like their age, which would put them at risk of coronavirus".

The man must be moved from MITA by Wednesday into alternative accommodation.
"They could release him into community detention, on a bridging visa, transfer him to an alterative palace of detention like the Mantra Hotel [in Preston], or detention interstate," Mr Grayson said.

Ms Grayson said the man being released on a bridging visa would be a "perfectly viable, immediate, cost-effective answer to this problem".

The man's lawyer, Sanmati Verma, said the court's decision made it clear the Federal Government was unable to ensure the safety of vulnerable people such as her client in detention.
"There is a clear solution to the situation, which has been implemented in the US, UK and Europe, but not in Australia – which is to release vulnerable people into the community, where they can be safe," she said.

Ms Verma said it was not a case of what health measures were not in place in detention facilities.
"The nature of a closed detention environment means it's a hotbed for the transmission of Covid," she said.
"There's almost very little that can be done to prevent Covid from entering and spreading.
"Things like shared ventilation, coming and going of staff, staff being out in the community subject to high rates of community transmission.
"The virus is amplified in places of detention."

Ms Verma said the man had a family in Melbourne he could stay with who were Australian citizens.
"He could return to them and be taken care of and kept safe by his family members," she said.

The man was detained late last year after spending nine years in Australia on a bridging visa.

He was detained after an "adverse assessment" was made against him, Ms Verma said, about his overseas business practices 15 years ago.
"This ruling means nothing other than what's been conclusively found by public health experts, which is to say, people in prison, people in detention centres, people who are vulnerable to Covid in those settings really ought not be there," Ms Verma said.
"How to reconcile that public health reality with long-term policy decisions that Government's have to make is the real difficulty."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/co ... d=msedgdhp

SCHOOL MATTERS IN VICTORIA
ABC 730REPORT
Digital micro-credentialing and the "slow death" of ATAR are the future of education, according to a new review, but research shows COVID-era school leavers will be worse off.

A new report into school leavers' transition into work or further study has recommended the ATAR "cannot continue to dominate the education experience", as the Australian education system adjusts to the longer-term effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

The chancellor of Western Sydney University, Peter Shergold, chaired a review into pathways for senior secondary students, which also found vocational education pathways had traditionally been perceived as "second class".
"I think ATAR is, in a real sense, distorting our senior secondary education system," Professor Shergold 7.30 as part of a new series on the education and jobs of Australia in 2025.
"I'm not calling — the panel is not calling — for the execution of ATAR. It's [a] slow death over the next five years.
"What are we doing about the 70 per cent of students at school who are not using ATAR to get to university?"

'We're facing a cliff'
The debate over the quality of school-leaver pathways and vocational training could not be more timely, as this year's seniors leave high school during the first recession since 1991.
"If you go back to the group who graduated from school during the global financial crisis, in fact they had been disadvantaged, they are still playing catch-up," Professor Shergold said.
"It can take a number of years for events like this to wash through the system."

Research has shown the long-term effect on recession-era school leavers, says EY chief economist Jo Masters.
"Economic research shows that it impacts your income for 10 years, if you're unlucky enough to start [your career] in a recession," Ms Masters told 7.30.
"Some recent modelling we did shows that in the Australian context, the average Australian starting their career in a recession has a $32,000 hit to their income over that 10-year period."

Jan Owen, co-convenor of Learning Creates Australia — a collaboration of philanthropic and education-sector stakeholders attempting to transform the system — said the promise that education makes about leading to careers and things like home ownership was "broken at the moment for a generation of young people".
"There's a scarring effect of events like COVID-19 on young people's lives, which will continue for potentially decades," Ms Owen said.

She said that with hundreds of thousands of students soon to finish school and higher education, "we're facing a cliff even this year".
"It's very, very serious because if those young people can't find a path of some kind into further learning, into jobs, into apprenticeships, into internships, we need to open up all the opportunities as far as we can."

Digital learning and micro-credentialing the future
Amid the gloomy outlook, there are ideas to help make education purpose fit for Australia in 2025.

Matt O'Hanlon is the principal of Beenleigh State High School in South East Queensland's Logan City, an area with high youth unemployment.

"We've only got about 24 per cent of students who actually go for a university pathway. The rest of our students are looking for jobs," Mr O'Hanlon told 7.30.

One of his pupils Ambrosia Jackson, 17, aspires to open a cafe when she leaves school.
"What worries me about the future is TAFE and stuff. I just worry that I won't complete it. But fingers crossed. I have hope," she said.

She is one of a handful of students in an Australia-wide trial of a digital micro-credentialing platform called Credly, facilitated by the University of Melbourne.

It provides her with "digital badges" for competencies she has achieved in specific skills, such as barista skills, but also attributes like teamwork and communication skills that are not shown on traditional school leavers' certificates.

It can give prospective employers a clearer portrait of her competencies and attributes.
"Micro-credentialing recognises the 21st-century skills — that is the way we can indicate how we work in a team, how we think critically, and how we self-manage ourselves — those very important skills for young people going into the workforce," Mr O'Hanlon said.

It is all part of a greater emphasis on how students, both high school and above, leverage the digital space to showcase their learning and access short, sharp competencies in specific skills.
"A revolution is going on in terms of the education that people can gain, particularly online, and not just in Australia, around the world," Professor Shergold said.
"Whatever the future holds, it's going to require higher levels of digital literacy. And that has got to be a focus if we are going to be serious about education being the platform for equal opportunity in Australia."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Victorian dad calls for change to L-plate testing amid COVID-19 delays
A Shepparton father has called for the Victorian learner permit test, which is currently suspended because of the coronavirus, to go online.

Aspiring learners can practice the test online, but the real thing must be completed in person at a VicRoads office.

David Doherty said his daughter, Gabby, turned 16 in May and had not been able to sit for her learner permit test because of delays caused by the first lockdown.
"She may not be able to get her Ls this year," he said.
"Some VicRoads offices have said it probably won't be until early next year."

Mr Doherty said his daughter would love to be driving and was concerned the suspension of license tests would lead to further delays on the road to a probationary driver licence.
"Getting the 120 hours doesn't sound a lot in 12 months, but it is actually quite a lot of driving per month for these young people," he said.
"They're trying to do Year 12 at the same time, generally, and trying to get 120 hours, plus VCE, plus working — it is pretty tough."

Questions over integrity of online test
In a statement, a Department of Transport spokesperson said all light vehicle and computer-based licence testing across Victoria had been temporarily suspended.
"We know this suspension will impact many Victorians, especially those whose licence test may have already been postponed due to the stage 3 restrictions in late March," the spokesperson said.
"But this is what needs to be done to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff and customers and slow the spread of coronavirus."

The spokesperson said in-person tests were the best way to ensure the integrity and verify the identity of the person taking the test.
"It also ensures these new drivers have the road safety and road rule knowledge while developing the skills they need behind the wheel to keep them safe on our roads," they said.

But Mr Doherty said with many other businesses going online during the pandemic, licence tests should too.
"They've got to get 120 hours under supervision of an adult anyway," he said.
"I can get a $300,000 home loan online and then go and do the identification process, but you can't get your learner's."

Petition for change
Mr Doherty started an online petition to get the test made available online.

So far it has attracted more than 10,000 signatures.

A formal petition has been established by Mr Doherty so it can be presented to the State parliament.

He hopes this will lead to a change.
"That's a really big step for us, to be able to help tens of thousands of kids to have the freedom to get to university and work when they are 18," he said.

The Department of Transport has a hardship testing process in place to allow those who need a licence for essential work or extenuating circumstances to apply to take an online light vehicle test.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

HOSPITALS

THE PARKING TICKET FIASCO IN MELBOURNE
Royal Melbourne Hospital doctor hit with parking fine says inspectors are targeting health workers during coronavirus crisis

A Melbourne doctor has taken to social media to question a parking fine she received after working 56 hours over four days in the intensive care ward at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

In a post directed at the City of Melbourne, anaesthetics registrar Katarina Arandjelovic said she received the fine on Monday night after days of work "helping look after some of our state's sickest patients".
"The day before lockdown, my bike was stolen from outside this hospital. Public transport is off-limits to prevent exposure to the virus, and transmission to colleagues and patients," she wrote on Twitter.
"Your 'free permits' are long gone. There were too few to begin with. Many missed out."

Dr Arandjelovic said parking inspectors were inadvertently targeting frontline health workers who were left with no option but to park in the streets around the Parkville hospital.
"In lockdown, who do you think is parking in the streets by the hospital? It is the doctors, nurses, orderlies, pharmacists, physios, technicians, cleaners, cooks, ward clerks.
"So when you send a parking inspector to Parkville, know that it is these people you are targeting.
"We cannot work from home. We come here, and we sweat it out under our gowns, our voices muffled under masks, learning to 'smile with our eyes'," she said.
"We wash our hands obsessively, hoping desperately we do not become part of That Statistic. We do not see our families for weeks.
"It is not easy, but every single person in that building is working their butt off right now. It is inspiring. We make sacrifices and turn up — day in, day out, to serve you.
"Slapping fines on our cars is one hell of a thank you."

By midday, the first post in Dr Arandjelovic's thread had been retweeted more than 1,000 times and liked more than 2,200 times.

In a response posted on Twitter, Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said more than 9,900 free parking passes had been provided for frontline health workers.
"Health workers have done an amazing job fighting the virus during this pandemic," Cr Capp wrote.
"We understand they are playing a critical role saving the lives of many Victorians who have been diagnosed with COVID-19."

In a statement, the City of Melbourne said the allocation of temporary parking permits to frontline staff was handled by each hospital.
"We recognise the invaluable work our health workers are doing, that's why we've issued 9,900 parking passes to frontline workers, including to the Royal Melbourne Hospital," the statement said.

Dr Arandjelovic and the Royal Melbourne Hospital have been contacted for comment.

<< NEVER WOULD HAVE CONCIDERED “BROWN BOMBERS” = COUNCIL PARKING WARDENS T0 BE ESSENTIAL WORKERS ( UNLESS RAISING MONEY FOR THEIR COUNCIL IS ESSENTIAL WORK ) >>
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/melbourn ... d=msedgdhp

Vic Premier grilled over doctor receiving parking ticket during stage four lockdowns
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was caught off-guard when a reporter asked him why an ICU doctor from the Royal Melbourne Hospital received a parking ticket from the City of Melbourne during stage four lockdowns.
"Firstly, firstly, let me follow up on that matter, ah, I'm sure, let me follow up on that matter," he said.
"I don't think someone who's in there literally saving lives at considerable risk to themselves should be the subject of a parking ticket."

Mr Andrews emphasised parking inspectors did not work for the Victorian government and fewer people were generally parking, pointing to data that suggested traffic was down 40-50 per cent.
"You can't build a perfect system when it comes to these rules," he said.
"There's no manual on how to shut down a very large part of the Victorian economy."

The Premier also said he would look into why parking inspectors were currently considered essential workers.
"I'm not certain all parking inspectors are working across the state - let me follow up on the status of their work," he said.

Mr Andrews said he would personally "follow up" on the infringement issued to the doctor on duty.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

A Melbourne doctor has taken to social media to question a parking fine she received after working 56 hours over four days in the intensive care ward at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
The fine has been waived following an outpouring of support for the doctor on Twitter, and after Premier Daniel Andrews said it was inappropriate that it was issued.

Anaesthetics registrar Katarina Arandjelovic tweeted early on Tuesday morning to question the fine she received on Monday night after days of work "helping look after some of our state's sickest patients". Dr Arandjelovic wrote that her bike was stolen from outside the hospital the day before lockdown.
"Public transport is off-limits to prevent exposure to the virus, and transmission to colleagues and patients," she wrote in a series of posts directed at the City of Melbourne council.
"Your 'free permits' are long gone. There were too few to begin with. Many missed out."

Dr Arandjelovic said parking inspectors were inadvertently targeting frontline health workers who were left with no option but to park in the streets around the Parkville hospital.
"In lockdown, who do you think is parking in the streets by the hospital? It is the doctors, nurses, orderlies, pharmacists, physios, technicians, cleaners, cooks, ward clerks.
"So when you send a parking inspector to Parkville, know that it is these people you are targeting.
"We wash our hands obsessively, hoping desperately we do not become part of That Statistic. We do not see our families for weeks.
"It is not easy, but every single person in that building is working their butt off right now. It is inspiring. We make sacrifices and turn up — day in, day out, to serve you.
"Slapping fines on our cars is one hell of a thank you."

Fine withdrawn, more permits issued
On Tuesday afternoon, Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said Dr Arandjelovic's fine would be waived, and the council would provide 5,000 additional temporary parking permits to frontline workers.

It takes the total number of passes issued by the council to 15,000.
"If you believe you got a ticket when you shouldn't have please get in touch with the City of Melbourne and we will follow up," Cr Capp said.

Earlier, the Premier was asked about the parking fine at his daily press conference.
"I don't think that someone who's in there literally saving lives at considerable risk to themselves should be the subject of a parking ticket," Mr Andrews said.

In a statement, the City of Melbourne said the allocation of temporary parking permits to frontline staff was handled by each hospital.
"We recognise the invaluable work our health workers are doing, that's why we've issued 9,900 parking passes to frontline workers, including to the Royal Melbourne Hospital," the statement said.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-11/ ... 9/12544782

Healthcare workers make up more than 15 per cent of Victoria's new coronavirus cases
Key points:
Healthcare workers make up more than 1,000 of Victoria's active cases
Premier Daniel Andrews has promised to release details on how healthcare workers have acquired the disease
Doctors fear not enough is being done to protect healthcare staff while they are at work

More than 15 % of new COVID-19 cases in Victoria are among healthcare workers and some doctors are sounding the alarm, saying the number is far too high.
The concern among some medical groups is that infection control in hospitals is inadequate and therefore leaving staff at risk.

Editor of the Medical Journal of Australia and world-leading gastroenterologist Nick Talley said it was clear current measures to protect healthcare workers were "insufficient".
The leading specialist said the public needed to know which hospitals were affected by outbreaks, in the same way schools and workplaces were identified as hotspots.
"The numbers suggest it is not a small number that has acquired this in hospital and that means a breakdown in infection control," Professor Talley said.

The Victorian Government is yet to release detailed information on COVID-19 cases among medical staff, but it has promised to do so.

On Tuesday, Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos told a Public Accounts and Estimates committee it was "difficult to be that precise about the source of infection" among medical staff, but went some way to explain the situation.

While the exact figures have not yet been released, she told the hearing: "Roughly 10 to 15 per cent of those cases have been acquired in the workplace.”
"Now we have got … very extensive community transmission at the moment, it is possible that people are bringing the virus into the workplace setting and colleagues are infecting other colleagues."

On Tuesday, Premier Daniel Andrews said every case of COVID-19 among healthcare workers was "of great concern".
"Each of those [is] motivating us to redouble our efforts right across the board to make sure that we're protecting those people — taking care of those people who take care of us," he said.
As cases climbed across the state, the number of infections among healthcare workers followed a similar pattern.

However, on four days over the past month, healthcare workers made up more than 30 per cent of new cases.
Image

Some key numbers:
There have so far been 1,185 cases of COVID-19 among healthcare workers in Victoria
The latest Department of Health and Human Services figures show 1,097 of those cases are still active
That means of the 331 cases diagnosed since Monday, more than 15 per cent are among healthcare workers

For nearly four weeks, the number of healthcare workers in Victoria who have contracted COVID-19 has been included in the Government's daily update.

This is what the curve looks like:
Image
'If this was a factory, it would have been shut down'
One of the biggest concerns remains that healthcare workers in Victorian hospitals are not being supplied with adequate personal protective equipment.

On Monday, Mr Andrews said there were plenty of N95 masks in reserve, with more on the way.

The ABC has heard from several nurses and doctors who say advice from management at the front line is inconsistent and even though Victoria's guidelines recommend anyone dealing with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 wear an N95 mask, that does not always happen.

Professor Talley said we needed to "step up" protection of healthcare workers.
"The evidence indicates that what we are doing as standard practice is not working, so it's not sufficient," he said.

David Berger, a GP and emergency medicine specialist working in Western Australia, called the current practices in many Australian hospitals a "grossly sub-par infection control regime".
"If this was a factory, it would have been shut down and we seem to tolerate it," he said.
"It's a EDITTED emergency and they are not doing anything about it."

On several occasions, the Victorian Government has pointed out there are a number of healthcare workers who have acquired COVID-19 in the community — not at work.
"There'll be workers in healthcare who didn't get it anywhere near healthcare, they got it from a family member," Mr Andrews said.
Workers with COVID-19 should be WHS issue: doctor
As Dr Berger sees it, healthcare workers contracting coronavirus is being treated as a medical problem when it should be treated as a workplace health and safety issue.

He said sending staff to work when they were not confident they were adequately protected would have long-lasting effects.
"We are going to have a cohort of psychologically injured healthcare workers," Dr Berger said.

The Australia Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH), the peak body for professionals who assess and mitigate risk to employees' health in the workplace, wrote to federal Health Minister Greg Hunt saying it believed airborne transmission of coronavirus was likely to have contributed to the high rate of infections among Victorian healthcare workers.

AIOH president Andrew Orfanos said protection was a matter for workplace safety authorities such as Safework NSW or Worksafe Victoria.
"Where are the regulators in all this?" he said.

Recently, other groups, including the Australian Medical Association, called on the Federal Government to recommend all healthcare workers dealing with suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 be given N95 masks and for this standard be mandated in Victoria.
More allied health workers contracting COVID-19
The latest figures from the Victorian Department of Health show more than 700 of the health staff have been infected.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-11/ ... s/12544884

BREECHES
Woman charged with assaulting police as arrest video emerges .
Police say a woman involved in a confronting arrest for not wearing a mask in Melbourne assaulted officers after defying a request to provide identification.

Video of the confrontation, which surfaced online this morning, shows a policeman grasping the 21-year-old woman by her neck in Collingwood while she screams "he's choking me".
"Get off of me," the woman can be heard saying in the video.
Victoria Police confirmed to 9News the incident occurred while officers were patrolling Wellington Street, when they saw the woman not wearing a mask about 5pm yesterday.

Police arrested the woman after she refused to provide identification for breaching the Chief Health Officer's directions.
In the video, a policewoman urges the woman to release her grip of the male officer.
"Let go of his vest," the policewoman said.
The woman appears to attempt to kick the officers, with the policeman pinning her to the ground before sitting on top of her.
"Police made the decision to arrest the woman after she failed to provide her name and address," a Victoria Police spokesperson said.
"She also did not state she had an exemption for not wearing a face covering. "She then became physically aggressive and kicked a female officer to the upper body.
"The woman continued to resist arrest and had to be taken to ground before being arrested."

A concerned male bystander can be heard questioning the officer's use of force in the video, saying "are you serious – for not having a mask?"

The policewoman was transported to hospital for observation.
The St Kilda woman was taken to a police station to confirm her identity. She has since been charged with resisting and assaulting police.

However, she did not receive a fine for failing to wear a face covering because she later told police she had an exemption.

She was bailed to appear at court at a later date.

The arrest has been referred to the Professional Standards Command for oversight.

Police investigate Frankston cafe assault
A police officer and a customer were allegedly assaulted by a maskless woman at a café in Melbourne's south-east this afternoon.

Police are investigating the incident which occurred at a Frankston café on Beach Street just before 12.20pm.

It was allegedly sparked by a woman confronting another woman as to why she was not wearing a mask. "The incident escalated into an assault and police were called," a Victoria Police spokesperson said.
"On police arrival the woman refused to state her name and assaulted a police officer."
The 58-year-old Frankston woman was arrested at the scene and remains in custody assisting police with their enquiries.
Investigators have appealed for anyone who witnessed and filmed the incident, as well as the lead up to the incident, to come forward.
The investigation into the incident remains ongoing

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:44 am

11 AUGUST NSW
NSW records 22 new coronavirus cases, Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirms
Key points:
The COVID-19 cluster at Tangara School for Girls now stands at 17
The school is closed until August 24 and all secondary students are self-isolating
There were four international travellers in hotel quarantine in yesterday's new COVID-19 figures
NSW has recorded its highest daily number of coronavirus infections in almost four months, as the cluster linked to a school in Sydney's north-west continues to rise.



There have been 22 new infections in the state, including eight linked to Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook.

The last figure this high was on April 16, with 29 cases.
The Premier said four of the 22 new cases were returned international travellers in hotel quarantine, while another two acquired their infections in Victoria.
"It is a daily battle in NSW, we have to be on our toes, we are in a state of high alert," Ms Berejiklian said.
"My anxiety has not subsided in relation to what a knife edge NSW is on."
“I’m absolutely paranoid about what I do myself, the worst thing would be to unintentionally give it to others."

The NSW Premier urged the public to obey the health guidelines and maintain social distancing restrictions.
“All of us have to be on guard," she said.
“I don’t want people living with the guilt of passing on the disease or causing the spread."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

NSW on a knife-edge: experts urge new restrictions to avoid uncontrollable spread of Covid-19
New South Wales should introduce new restrictions in order to avoid uncontrollable spread of Covid-19, experts have said, after the premier, Gladys Berejiklian, reiterated the state was on a “knife-edge” when it came to containing the virus.

Infectious disease and epidemiological experts said while contact tracing efforts in the state have been strong, more measures including further restrictions on venue capacity and increased testing efforts were needed in order to ensure mystery cases did not lead to further spread.
“It’s a daily battle in NSW, we have to be on our toes, we are in a state of high alert,” Berejiklian told reporters on Tuesday. “My anxiety has not subsided in relation to what a knife’s edge NSW is on, but we need to keep pulling together, doing the right thing and keep maintaining our social distance, and most importantly, even with the mildest symptoms stay home and get tested,” she said.
Berejiklian made similar comments on 6 August, saying: “We are on a knife-edge, and we are about halfway through what is a really critical period.”
The program head with the Kirby Institute, Dr Gregory Dore, said to achieve zero community transmission, “an objective for which most people are on-board, further restrictions should be instituted”.
“These should focus on limiting larger indoor gatherings, with a short-term closure of pubs, clubs and larger restaurants the most obvious step to take,” Dore, who is also an infectious diseases doctor at a major Sydney hospital, said.

Prof Peter Collignon, who is part of the expert group advising the federal government on Covid-19, said he was concerned too many people were still being allowed to gather indoors.
“Quite rightly the premier says we are on a knife-edge, and this is happening in winter, a time when many infectious diseases spread more readily, partly because people stay indoors and gather together,” he said. “They should reduce the number of people allowed to gather including in venues because we have seen how many clusters are related to venues such as restaurants and pubs, and if they don’t do it now, they should do it in a few days.”

The law in NSW allows 20 people from different households to visit a home at any one time, though advises people not to gather in homes in more than groups of 10. In restaurants, cafes and pubs, group bookings are limited to 10 people, with venues observing the four square metre per person rule, and there is a limit of 300 people at a venue at any one time. Food courts are open.

The adjunct professor of epidemiology at the University of Sydney and the University of Toronto, Alexandra Martiniuk, said any time there was community transmission with no known source there was reason to be worried. “The new Tangara school cluster is a concern given the original source of the cluster remains unknown and the cluster size is also growing,” she said.

She believes NSW should consider temporarily closing indoor bars and restaurants until there is no community transmission. Mandating masks in indoor spaces and high school students and staff would also be useful, she said.
While Martiniuk said NSW Health contact-tracing efforts were “stellar” compared to other states and internationally, and data transparency was strong, there could be stronger governance regarding self-isolation when someone has symptoms, when someone has been tested and is awaiting results, and clearer messaging regarding what to do regarding self-isolation when a member of the household has symptoms.
“Removing the need for GP letters regarding the need to stay away from school for students with symptoms or students awaiting Covid-19 test results would also be useful as some parents are now being chided by schools for students missing too many days,” she said. “Parents don’t want to attend GP offices to attain letters for school absences for the sniffles so send their child to school to save all the hassle. The community is becoming lenient regarding attending school and other places with mild symptoms.”

The chair in epidemiology at Deakin University, Prof Catherine Bennett, said the government could be doing more to encourage people without symptoms, but who had been to venues or locations where outbreaks had occurred, to come forward to get testing.
“There is strong enough contact tracing being done to prevent an explosion of cases and stay on top of the virus, but they are not really shutting it down,” Bennett said.

She said there were very few “mystery” asymptomatic cases in the community in NSW, but that those cases, if they went to an area vulnerable to infection such as a workplace, could provoke spread very quickly.
“I just think if you tested everybody associated with a known cluster in those first few days after the cluster is identified, whether they have symptoms or not, you might catch a few people who never get symptoms,” Bennett said. “It still might be better at the moment to take this targeted approach rather than shutting the whole community down.”

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgntp
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-11/ ... r/12538808

NSW coronavirus cases are steady, but 'bad luck' could send it the way of Victoria
As Victorian coronavirus cases surged, NSW shut the border and held its breath, hoping it would not see a similar outbreak.It hasn't, yet.

Since the border shut on July 8, the daily increase of NSW's coronavirus cases has not exceeded 22, hovering somewhere between that figure and five each day.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has warned the state is at a "critical" point in the fight to stop a second wave.

There are specific reasons NSW has avoided a spike in cases — here's some of them.

COVID-19 tests means NSW cases aren't surging — yet
NSW Health said the steady numbers were a result of their contact tracing team being "rapidly scaled up in the past month".
"More than 300 staff from various NSW Government agencies, including NSW Health, are now working on contact tracing in the state," a spokesperson said.

Epidemiologist Fiona Stanaway, from the University of Sydney, said responsible behaviour among people in the state had also helped keep NSW's numbers in check since the Victorian border was closed.
"The situation in Victoria has scared people into better behaviour around testing and social distancing, for the most part," Dr Stanaway said.

NSW Health agreed, saying: "NSW has had consistently high daily testing rates thanks to the local community's willingness to come forward."

But Dr Stanaway said it would be a "big cause for concern … if it was three months' time and we were still experiencing the same daily increase".
"What's particularly concerning are these mystery cases that aren't linked to any cluster — and there's been eight this week," she said.
Image

'Bad luck' could lead to a Melbourne-style surge
Despite the state ramping up contact tracing capabilities, Dr Stanaway said a coronavirus outbreak could be down to "bad luck".
"If one of the eight mystery cases — or anyone who's infected, regardless of the source — just happens to go to a social event before they know they're infected, that has the potential to spread the virus widely," she said.

She pointed to last week's Newcastle health alert, with at least five venues shut down after a man who had coronavirus visited several nightspots and a stadium across one weekend.
"It can be just bad luck when infectious people have gone to a lot of places," she said.
"Whether it leads to an outbreak depends on a lot of different things: indoor environments are worse than outdoor, the amount of time spent with people, behaviours including singing or shouting where more droplets are exchanged."
New South Wales has suppressed cases for far longer than Victoria
One thing could change everything for NSW
Whether NSW's coronavirus situation turns into an emergency "all depends on how many new cases have an unknown source", Dr Stanaway said.

Victoria's mystery cases have spiralled out of control, with at least 2,863 cases that have not been traced to a source since the pandemic began, compared to a total of 379 in NSW.

If the NSW community stopped coming forward for testing at current rates, Dr Stanaway said the state's good run could be derailed.
"There's always the risk that you're not diagnosing people and there's also people who have mild symptoms who don't come forward," she said.

Dr Stanaway described the stability in NSW numbers as "both good and bad".
"It's good, in that our figures have not taken off like it did in Victoria — Victoria had numbers like ours for about a week before rocketing up — but it's bad that mystery cases continue to pop up," she said.
"Numbers not going up is good, but going down would be even better."
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-11/ ... s/12542144



AGED CARE ROYAL COMMISSION
The Premier also defended the health department's response to the coronavirus outbreak at Newmarch House aged care home in Western Sydney.

Yesterday, it was revealed through email correspondence sent between NSW Health and the Federal Government that the former resisted moves to transfer infected patients to hospital.

The Premier said there wasn't a "one size fits all policy" to managing elderly patients.
"Health experts always need to provide advice based on the individual's needs," Ms Berejiklian said.
"Some residents, it's traumatic taking them out of what is their home."

Chant denies Newmarch House 'precedent'
NSW's Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant denies there was a "policy" to stop coronavirus-infected elderly residents from Sydney’s Newmarch House from being transferred to hospital, despite conflicting evidence to the Aged Care Royal Commission.

Senior counsel assisting Peter Rozen QC yesterday told the commission there was a "stand-off" between federal and state health officials over whether residents who tested positive from Newmarch House should be transferred to hospital.

He said an email quoting NSW Health said "the preference" was not to send residents into hospitals "given the precedent it would set".

Dr Chant said she was "happy to learn from any mistakes" but: "There wasn't to my awareness a fixed policy that people could not get removed for care, it's based on individual case assessment".

Chaotic Virus response probed at Sydney aged home
Confusion around care during a deadly coronavirus outbreak at Sydney aged home Newmarch House will be examined during royal commission hearings into the sector's pandemic response.

The commission will probe evidence of a "stand-off" between federal and state authorities over the hospitalisation of virus-positive residents.

It was heard on Monday that meeting records showed NSW Health in April had a preference not to move virus-positive residents into hospital to avoid setting "a precedent" around transfers.

Of 37 COVID-positive residents, two were transferred to hospital. One of those died, with another 16 fatalities occurring at the home.

More than 30 staff at the facility also tested positive.

The facility adopted a "hospital in the home" approach but the hearing heard new staff had varying levels of competence and some didn't fully understand the care model.

Grant Millard, the boss of Anglicare Sydney which operates Newmarch House, will give evidence on Tuesday along with service development manager Erica Roy.

In a statement to the commission, Mr Millard said the roles of state and federal governments were initially unclear and there was confusion around who had authority to relocate residents.

He wrote of a "frustrating level of dysfunction" in collaborations between Newmarch House, Anglicare and government departments in a report to the Anglicare board in May.

During opening submissions, counsel assisting the commission Peter Rozen QC said access to the hospital system was a fundamental right of all Australians.

"To put it very directly, older people are not less deserving of hospital treatment because they are old," he said.

The aged care royal commission is holding hearings over three days to examine the sector's virus response but Victoria's outbreak is not part of the scope due to its evolving nature.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/sydney/v ... d=msedgdhp

Meanwhile, 14 aged care venues were issued with non-compliance warnings for actions taken during the first wave of the pandemic across the state.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

SCHOOLS

Tangara School has now recorded 17 confirmed cases since the first infection was discovered in a student on Thursday.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said "at least a third" of today's cases are from the Tangara School cluster.

Yesterday, NSW Health said there were nine cases linked to the school.

Of the total cases, 11 students, four teachers and two social contacts of school community members have been linked to the outbreak.

The original source of the cluster remains unknown, but Ms Berejiklian reiterated a warning to non-government schools that they must stick to coronavirus restrictions.
"Schools, in particular non-government schools, cannot undertake those extra-curricular activities that you do outside of a pandemic — and I can't make that message stronger."

She said institutions needed to make sure there were no off-site gatherings where mingling could occur.
"Every organisation, every entity needs to abide by the COVID-Safe plans, because otherwise we risk having a surge in numbers [and] new clusters, and no one wants to see that."

The school's senior campus will be closed until August 22, but the junior campus will reopen tomorrow.
"All students, staff and support staff at the secondary school must self-isolate for 14 days and get tested, regardless of symptoms," NSW Health's Dr Jeremy McAnulty said.
"Students at the primary school must monitor for symptoms and get tested if symptoms develop."
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the source was a concern.
"At this stage further investigation will, perhaps, give us further clarity at how that's all occurred," Mr Hazzard said.
"It's not always possible to determine the source and that's what worries us most."


https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Growing concern for coronavirus cluster at a Sydney school
The TANGARRA SCHOOLS FOR GIRLS in the city's north-west now has 11 infections linked to it and authorities still don't know where the outbreak started.
Source of Syd school cluster remains under investigation
New South Wales health authorities are working to uncover the source of a coronavirus cluster from a school in Sydney’s north-west which has been linked to 11 cases.

Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook will remain closed until August 24 while contact tracing is underway, with the primary school set to reopen on Wednesday for students who are unable to learn at home.
New South Wales health authorities are working to uncover the source of a coronavirus cluster from a school in Sydney’s north-west which has been linked to 11 cases.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook will remain closed until August 24 while contact tracing is underway, with the primary school set to reopen on Wednesday for students who are unable to learn at home.

2 school’s on the NSW South Coast also closed their doors after a student returned a positive coronavirus test.
Students and teachers from Batemans Bay High School and Public School were told to self-isolate and present themselves for testing if they felt unwell.
Batemans Bay High School on the New South Wales south coast has been closed for deep cleaning after a student at the school tests positive to COVID-19
NSW south coast student sparks alert after diagnosis
A fresh coronavirus case has prompted a health alert for the New South Wales south coast, just weeks after the region was hit by the virus.

A student at Batemans Bay High School has tested positive to COVID-19, forcing the closure of the school as authorities begin contact tracing.

It comes nearly one month after a cluster emerged in the town.

An outbreak was linked to the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club in mid-July.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

"They're likely to both reopen on Wednesday for on-site teaching and learning, subject to the thorough cleaning process being completed," the NSW Department of Education's Murat Dizdar told the ABC.

A pop-up coronavirus testing clinic will operate at Hanging Rock for the rest of this week.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

HOSPITALS
2 staff members at Liverpool Hospital test positive to coronavirus
Two staff members at Liverpool Hospital have tested positive to coronavirus.

An internal email to employees, first revealed by 2GB host Deborah Knight and seen by 9News, said close contacts have been identified and are self-isolating.

The message reminded workers to practice social distancing between each other and patients.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

BORDER ISSUES
Changing coronavirus restrictions on NSW-Victoria border hits refugee community hard
Refugee advocates say constant changes to the rules on the New South Wales-Victorian border pose particular problems for vulnerable migrants.

Bhakti Mainali Dhamala, who works as a multicultural support worker in Albury-Wodonga, says language barriers and trauma made understanding and using the permit system challenging for many refugees.
"Even if they had a basic skill of communication in the other times, this time they are very reluctant to speak up," she said.
"Because they worry they are doing the wrong thing."

Ms Mainali Dhamala works closely with local refugees, particularly the Bhutanese community.
"Bhutanese refugees come from a trauma background in the refugee camps for about 20 years, and so there's a bad impact of police and traffic," she said.
"I'm also from the same background.
"No matter what they are doing, they still have a bit of fear … seeing the police."

'Gap in local information'
One of the main issues has been access to healthcare.

Ms Dhamala said the majority of Bhutanese migrants lived in Albury but attended the only refugee health clinic in the area which is on the Victorian side.
"They need someone to drive, maybe a volunteer from the community because only a few of them are driving," she said.
"So if one person has an appointment mainly they need a permit for two."

Lucie Wallis, who works in multicultural affairs for the Victorian Government, said coronavirus compounded existing issues within vulnerable communities.
"We know that if we lose work we have a number to call Centrelink and they speak our language," she said.
"We have a computer at home and understand how to log on to Service NSW and which button to click to get a permit.
"We know the recruitment process to start applying for jobs and write our resume in English.
"This isn't the experience for many of us."

Government support
But Ms Wallis said the State Government was aware of the problems and was supporting local organisations to try to improve the situation.

As part of this support, Albury Wodonga Ethnic Communities Council (AWECC) received funding to pay community leaders like Ms Dhamala as translators and support workers.

Information gap
Harley Dannatt, from AWECC, said there had been a lack of relevant information, especially in some dialects spoken by refugees in the region.
"There's a gap in local information, particularly with the border closures there's been a lot of things that are very specific to this community," he said.

AWECC is creating video and audio resources so refugees illiterate in their own languages are able to access the information.

But Ms Dhamala said it was tough keeping up.
"Every day, a little bit changes and by the time the information is given to them, it changes into a different system," she said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

11 AUGUST ACT
Concerns raised over coronavirus risk at Liberal fundraisers when Parliament sits
Key points:
ACT is covid19 free
ACT is shut off from NSW & Victoria
The fundraising events are scheduled for the end of the month when Parliament sits
Crossbenchers have raised concerns the events will pose a transmission risk
Several government frontbenchers are slated to attend the fundraisers

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing calls to intervene and stop a series of Liberal fundraisers planned for Parliament House later this month, amid concerns from crossbenchers that they pose a coronavirus risk.
The fundraising events, first reported by The Guardian, reportedly cost $2,500 a head and are a money-spinner for the WA branch of the Liberal Party.

The Prime Minister's own assistant minister, Ben Morton, is one of the key guests, and Trade and Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham, Social Services Minister Anne Ruston and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher are also slated to attend.
"This whole thing just reeks of danger and the Prime Minister needs to show some leadership and put a stop to it," independent South Australian senator Rex Patrick told the ABC.

Senator Patrick's concerns were echoed by crossbench MPs Helen Haines and Zali Steggall, who said parliamentarians should be focused on the task of serving the public while in Canberra.
"I think it's hypocrisy. It's dangerous hypocrisy," Senator Patrick said.
"Politicians have to lead by example, particularly in circumstances where we have people coming from all sorts of jurisdictions, mixing in with each other and risking the potential spread of coronavirus back into their own communities when they return home."
Sitting weeks scheduled for the start of August were abandoned last month, after advice from Acting Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly about coronavirus risks.

Any politicians travelling from Victoria for the sitting period have been required to strictly quarantine for two weeks ahead of the sitting period.

The WA Liberals said the Capital Hill fundraisers would comply with all coronavirus restrictions, and were not large gatherings.
"Given border restrictions, it is not possible, practical or feasible for any attendee to fly in from interstate for these events," a spokesman said.
"On that basis, only attendees from the Canberra region will be able to attend."

In the ACT, a Public Health Emergency has been declared and those organising indoor events have to observe social distancing.

But the Labor ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he presumed the events would be small and conducted in accordance with coronavirus restrictions.
"Political parties will fundraise," he said.
"It's appropriate for fundraising activities to occur as long as they're done safely."

The events must not exceed one person for every 4 square metres of space and are also capped at 100 participants.
Fears fundraiser could jeopardise Parliament
Ms Steggall, the member for the Sydney-based lower house seat of Warringah, said many people had been frustrated that some parliamentary sittings were cancelled, and were worried about whether the Government was being appropriately scrutinised.
"At this time, all MPs' priority and focus should be representing their electorates and helping their communities," she said.
"We have had a limited ability for Parliament to sit, and this should not be jeopardised for party fundraisers."

But Senator Birmingham defended his attendance, arguing that, as Tourism Minister, he was in favour of events that supported the hospitality industry, as long as they complied with coronavirus restrictions.
"Businesses that rely on hosting meetings, events and functions have been hit for six," he said.
"People shouldn't compound their pain by criticising events that support economic activity and protect local jobs, when they are being conducted entirely within the strict COVID guidelines."

Independent MP Helen Haines, who is quarantining on her Victorian property for a fortnight before coming to Canberra for the sitting period, said hosting party-political fundraisers at Parliament House during the pandemic was "inappropriate".
"During the pandemic, access to members of parliament has been difficult for everyday Australians," she said.
"Allowing people to pay thousands of dollars for a seat at the table will leave a pretty bad taste in the mouth of everyday people and small businesses struggling to get by during this tough economic period."

Senator Patrick, who was previously diagnosed with coronavirus himself, said politicians were taking unnecessary risks that could impact on their own electorates.
I'm a politician who had COVID-19 without any symptoms," he said.
"We need to adopt a precautionary principle here. We need to be very cautious about who it is that we meet with, and minimise all activity."

While he maintained that only essential meetings should be in the political diary, he stopped short of arguing that all social activity should be cancelled, saying dinners with colleagues should still be able to go ahead.
"Politicians need to of course eat," he said.
"But there is no real reason for people to gather, particularly in circumstances where they are coming from different jurisdictions."

Last week, a South Australian Liberal fundraiser drew critics, when it catered for 700 people at the same time as the Liberal Government in that state reimposed a 75-person cap on funerals and weddings.

Senator Patrick said the inconsistencies showed a double standard being applied that revealed an "awful culture among politicians".

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-11/ ... a/12545626

Canberrans could be stuck at the NSW-Victorian border for 'a few days' ACT Government warns
ACT residents stuck in Victoria have been warned of the "reality" of the situation — they may be unable to cross the border into New South Wales for "a few days" yet.

About 100 Canberrans have been stranded at the NSW-Victorian border since Friday after strict coronavirus restrictions stopped them driving home through NSW.

The sudden change in border rules caught many travellers off-guard, and some have since been forced to sleep in their cars.

On Monday morning ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he was hopeful a resolution would be reached "one way or another" within the day.

But by Monday evening the Government issued a statement saying they had yet to reach an agreement with NSW.
"We have been working towards a resolution with the NSW Government for days now, unfortunately they are not yet able to amend their public health directions to allow transit through NSW for ACT residents. We are advising Canberrans at the border of this reality now," the statement said.

The ACT Government said it would "continue to work closely with the NSW Government to reach an outcome".
"Regrettably, it may still take a few days to be resolved, and we suggest that Canberrans in Wodonga, or the region, find accommodation for the coming few days," the ACT Government statement said.
"We understand that the continued uncertainty is causing some distress and have asked anyone changing their plans to instead travel to the ACT by air, to let us know."

Among other suggestions, the ACT Government has offered to send police to escort the Canberra residents directly home, but NSW has yet to agree.

Mr Barr said Canberrans may have to fly home via Melbourne if a deal could not be struck with NSW to allow them to drive.

'No consultation, no prior warning'
Canberrans Ross and Helen Muir have been holed up in a Wodonga motel for the past three days waiting to be allowed across the border.
"My father was dying, so went down there abut three weeks ago just to help look after him," Ross said.
"He died last week and after the funeral we were on our way back to Canberra.
"We applied for a permit and we were both given permits, and we both checked with NSW Health before we left Melbourne — just imagine our surprise when we were stopped at the border and told the permits had been voided that very morning."

The pair said they were frustrated at the lack of communication from NSW Health, though they had been in regular contact with ACT Health.

Ross said there had been "no consultation" and no "prior warning" of the changed rules.

He said they could not afford the NSW recommendation to fly to Sydney and quarantine there for a fortnight at their own cost.
"We are just collateral damage, I think," he said.

Residents would drive directly to the ACT, no stops
The ACT Government had thought an agreement with NSW had been reached on Saturday, but the NSW Government overruled the plan a few hours later.

On Monday morning Mr Barr said he knew NSW had "a lot on their plate at the moment", but hoped the propositions the ACT Government had put forward would address the concerns state authorities had — principally that people do not stop in NSW on their way to the ACT.
"We believe it's possible to be able to do so. A fully fuelled car would easily make the distance," he said.
"The duration from Albury to the ACT border, depending on traffic, is around three hours, it's a little bit longer than the recommended two-hour time for drivers, but not impossible to do."

Mr Barr said that meant not stopping for fuel, not stopping in NSW townships and if it was absolutely necessary to stop, that people do so without coming into contact with other people.

ACT police would then meet Canberra residents at the ACT-NSW border to ensure every new entrant self-isolated for 14 days as required.

An ACT police escort from Albury to Canberra had been offered as a solution, but NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that would not work.
"People have to stop on the way. So it's not about the escort, it's about people making sure that wherever they stop is done in a way that's safe," she said.
"I don't think anyone would begrudge us for being cautious when people from a highly infectious area are trying to make their way through NSW.
"But I don't apologise for putting safety first in NSW and I won't."

Mr Barr said the ACT Health Minister and the ACT Chief Health Officer had been in constant communication with the NSW Premier and NSW authorities over the past few days.
"We have deployed ever single avenue of diplomacy that is possible with New South Wales," he said.
"I think it's regrettable that we're at the point where, on a Saturday night, I'm having to ring the NSW Premier."

Mr Barr said he hoped "common sense would prevail", and NSW would agree to the proposal.
"I think this is a safer way to get people back to the ACT and into quarantine than sending them back to Melbourne Airport and then either through Sydney or on a direct flight to Canberra," he said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:45 am

11 AUGUST QLD

Queensland COVID-19 snapshot:
Confirmed cases so far: 1,089
Deaths: 6
Tests conducted: 668,751

BUSINESS
Bunker sales surge amid coronavirus pandemic
A Queensland underground bunker company says it's been "overwhelmed with inquiries" as Victoria tries to bring its second wave of COVID-19 under control.
<< THESE BUNKERS ARE DESIGNED TO BE USED AS CYCLONE , TORNADO AND BUSHFIRE REFUGES >>
Some Queenslanders, concerned by the possibility of a second wave in their homestate, have made the $20,000+ investment in backyard 'doomsday' bunkers.

Builder Nick Bayard, from Underground Bunkers Australia, has turned his trade into constructing the survival homes which can boast multiple beds, a full-size fridge and CCTV.
Mr Bayard said that while some of his clientele were "doomsday preppers", many were just looking to capitalise on their backyard space.
Image
The bunkers sit approximately 3m underground.
Image
This bunker will likely have a range of features including a bathroom, bedroom and plumbed air.

The purpose-built bunkers are designed to withstand a catastrophe - be it a bushfire or global pandemic.
"It's a 50-50 split for your average people who are just looking for something in the backyard," he said.
"I get that aspect of it. It's nice mentally I guess to have somewhere in the event (that something happens), and that could be anything - it doesn't have to be a nuclear apocalypse."
<< NOT GOING TO BE MUCH HELP IN THE EVENT OF A NUCLEAR ATTACK BASED ON WHAT I CAN SEE IN THE IMAGED ,
BUT A HANDY REFUGE IN A TROPICAL CYCLONE ( PROVIDED YOU DON’’T END UP BEING DROWNED BY THE TORRENTIAL RAIN ( BILGE PUMPS NEEDED ), OR RAGING BUSH FIRE PROVIDED IT’S NOT A FIRE STORM AND YOU END UP SUFFOCATING FROM LACK OF OXYGEN BECAUSE IT’S ALL BEEN CONSUMED BY THE FIRE ( OXYGEN SUPPLY NEEDED ) >>

https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/compani ... d=msedgdhp

Virgin Australia to cut 400 roles from Queensland as part of airline scale-back
Virgin Australia has told staff about 400 Queensland roles will be made redundant as part of the airline's restructure.

It is not clear how many people will leave the business, with redeployment and voluntary redundancy discussions underway.

Last week the company revealed its plans to make about a third of its workforce redundant with approximately 3000 jobs expected to go under new owners Bain Capital.

https://twitter.com/R_DAlessandro9/stat ... 3706730496
It will also scrap budget carrier Tigerair and suspend long haul international flights until the global travel market recovers.

The airline, which went into voluntary administration in April with debts of $6.8 billion, was bought out by the US private equity firm in late June.

Virgin Australia said in a statement it was committed to re-establishing itself as an "iconic Australian airline" while focusing on the company's core strengths.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Coronavirus restrictions turn QCWA's Bundaberg Scone Festival into a drive-through
Image
QCWA Bundaberg president Lyn Tucker runs a scone out to Geraldine Needham at drive-through Scone Day.
Key points:
The QCWA celebrates its founding day on August 11, 1922
Fundraising has been a challenge due to social distancing
QCWA president Lyn Tucker says drive-though scones have been a success
Kg’s of flour, hundreds of litres of milk and some rapidly expanding waistlines — Bundaberg Scone Festival has gone drive-through.
The year 2020 struck yet again when the second-ever Bundaberg Scone Festival was cancelled.

But the resilient women at the Bundaberg Queensland Country Women's Association (QCWA) would not admit defeat.

They decided the community still needed their scones.

So the troops rallied around flour, milk and homemade jam to bake 1,680 scones for a drive-through COVID-safe Scone Day.

August 11 is the day the QCWA celebrates the founding of the organisation.

For the group, Scone Day was a way to celebrate its beginnings and help raise funds for the community.

Orders were taken for plain, pumpkin, and gluten-free date scones a week before the event, the members whipping them up hours before cars started rolling through the car park of the Bundaberg QCWA building.

On the day, cars lined up to collect their scones and jam, as members scrambled to meet the demand.

Fundraising challenge
President of the branch Lyn Tucker said she was overwhelmed by the community response and the amount of orders taken.

"It's gone really well, we've had lots of scones," she said.
"I came in thinking we only had to make one hundred dozen scones, but it's one hundred and forty dozen.

"That prompted me to duck home and make some more myself."

Over the past six months, fundraising has been a challenge for QCWA members, who use the money for various community projects around the state.
Image
The 99-year-old scone expert Dorothy Collishaw has a busy morning baking for QCWA drive-through Scone Day

But it's not just fundraising that Ms Tucker believes the group provides.
"It's not just about raising money for helping women and children and families," she said.
"It's also about companionship and about getting together for a chinwag.
"You can come and have a coffee and do craft and you don't even have to be a member."

As the scones slowly disappeared, 99-year-old Bundaberg scone baker Dorothy Collishaw hit the kitchen to produce a few dozen more.

Ms Collishaw is a baker's daughter and knows her scones, often sharing her scone tips with other members of the QCWA.
"Always shake your flour before you use it, it helps mix through the riser," she said.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-11/ ... s/12544418


BREECHES
Queensland's coronavirus border breaches raise questions about honesty-reliant system
Key points:
Police Minister Mark Ryan says anyone lying at the border will eventually be caught
Six people have been caught out at the border since Saturday morning
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young is closely watching the spread of the virus

Numerous travellers from COVID-19 hotspots have been caught by police after making it through border checkpoints, but the latest incident involving two teenage girls is an example of precisely what the Queensland Government has been trying to avoid by clamping down further on border restrictions.
The two girls, aged 15 and 16, travelled by train to the Sunshine Coast from Sydney before the entire state was declared a hotspot, but they failed to mention they had come from Sydney on their declaration forms.

Once police discovered the pair had been in Sydney, a search began and they were found shopping at Noosa Civic shopping centre.
Qld police arrest teenage border bandits
Queensland Police have arrested two teenage girls who allegedly lied about their travel history before entering the state.

The girls, aged 15 and 16, reportedly arrived in Brisbane via train from Sydney before travelling to Maroochydore where they were intercepted by police at the Noose Civic Centre and were taken into custody after undergoing testing for the virus.
Multiple stores in the Civic Centre closed for deep cleaning after the girls arrest in an effort to stop any potential spread of the virus, despite police reports that neither girl was exhibiting any symptoms.

The state has not reported a locally acquired case of the virus in more than a week.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

They were detained for questioning and tested negative to coronavirus on Tuesday.
Similar cases in Queensland in recent weeks, including two women who failed to declare their trip to Melbourne, have prompted further questions about the effectiveness of the border declaration system and how people are making it through checkpoints.

Declaration forms do not ask applicants for proof they have not been to a hotspot or for proof of their address.

Instead, travellers are asked to ensure they have documents handy to show officials at the border in case officers ask for proof.
Often border officers just look at passes and waive travellers through in a bid to ease congestion at checkpoints.

A police spokesperson said the checking of proof that border passes were legitimate was subject to traffic queues at checkpoints.

Travellers passing through airports and western road border checkpoints are more likely to be asked for proof.

But travellers passing through busy checkpoints, such as the one at Coolangatta on the Gold Coast, are more likely to slip through unchallenged.

Queensland Health has included a number of NSW postcodes along the border where residents are allowed to cross over into Queensland.
Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan defended the system and argued there were "very strict processes in place", but admitted the system was not foolproof.

"Sometimes people are going to lie, sometimes people are going to defeat the system," he said.

But Mr Ryan said anyone who made it through border checkpoints by lying could still be contacted by police later.
"Those people will be found out and they can expect a response from the Queensland Police Service," he said.
"This includes follow-up work from police and getting information from the community to ensure people are doing the right thing.
"We are proactive, police are taking this seriously."

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said six people had been issued infringement notices since the new restrictions came into effect early last Saturday.
"They had been caught lying on their declaration forms and were refused entry," Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said.

Border areas remain a risk
Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young acknowledged policing border movements was a "difficult part for Queensland".

Dr Young said it was only a matter of time before the virus arrived in northern New South Wales and then started to sneak into Queensland's border postcodes.
"People from New South Wales can travel into those NSW border areas and they can then pass on the infection if they have it to someone who lives in that area, who can then cross the border into Queensland," Dr Young said.

She asked residents living in the border bubble to be prepared in case a future outbreak prompted the cancellation of all exemptions.
"It is really important that all those people who live along our border, whether in Queensland or in NSW, think what is the next step.
"If we have to close the border to everyone in NSW, then what will people do?"

But Dr Young said managing such a situation was not an impossible task.
"I've already seen great examples of where people have managed it," she said.
"They've swapped their lives, so at the moment they live one side, work the other, and a friend does the opposite. They're now moving so that they can remain in one or the other."

Dr Young said the most northern cases in NSW were currently in Newcastle and she was monitoring the situation closely.
"We are keeping a very close eye on whether cases will come further north," she said. And they will because there is free movement within NSW."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-11/ ... s/12541762

11 AUGUST NT
NT Chief Minister accused of 'politicising health messages'
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner has been accused of using the coronavirus pandemic for political purposes in the lead-up to the state election on August 22.

Mr Gunner was recently criticised by the Territory Alliance after he released a community message on ABC radio where he concluded by asking the public to support the Labor party.

“I am asking for your support so the Labor government I lead can continue to protect Territorian’s lives,” he said.

The Territory Alliance made an official complaint arguing the Chief Minister’s message blurred the lines between what should be a community health message versus a political message.

NT Labor's political platform centred around COVID-19 with Mr Gunner's messaging primarily focused on tough border controls.

There are currently no hard borders enforced by the Northern Territory government which is currently open to WA, SA, Qld, Tas, ACT and portions of NSW not considered hotspots since July 17.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

11 AUGUST WA
REGIONAL
WA worker shortage threatens harvest, farmers say, predicting 'catastrophic' year
West Australian farmers could face a disastrous year if they cannot secure farm hands for the 2020 harvest.

That's the warning from industry figures, farmers, and the state opposition after COVID-19 border restrictions strangled the availability of seasonal labourers.

With harvesting in some parts of the state only weeks away, those involved say the State Government must relax its hard border rules for farm hands or risk a state-wide harvest disaster.

But the State Government will not budge, saying producers should look inwards instead of outside WA for workers.

Producers fear not completing harvest
Bob Iffler has grown grain in Lake King, about 450 kilometres east of Perth, for 50 years.

Like many WA farmers, he is reliant on temporary labour during harvest time.

Typically his harvest workers are backpackers looking to earn a buck while travelling through Australia, or New Zealanders brought over for the season.

But most of that workforce was eliminated overnight when the State Government adopted the toughest border restrictions in Australia earlier this year.

Now with harvests only weeks away, Mr Iffler said 2020 was gearing up to be a "catastrophic" season if essential farm workers were not allowed into WA.
"We're very short on staff," he said.

He warned farmers would "lose a lot of money across the state — hundreds of millions of dollars" as things stood.

Albany's Handasyde Strawberries owner Neil Handasyde said he had seen a significant drop in the number of applications for work this season.

He said it would be hard to find workers while the JobSeeker welfare program was available, and welcomed travel exemptions for farm workers to ensure some normality to the harvesting period.

Farmers 'worried' by situation
WA Farmers Federation president Rhys Turton believed the angst over worker shortages was being felt across the state.

Ironically, he said heavy rains on the south coast this month could bring unexpectedly strong yields this season for grain growers who had battled drought in past years.

He said it was the right blessing at the wrong time.
"We're hearing broadly from the industry the impact [due to the loss of traditional seasonal farm labour] is quite severe," he said.
"It's an unprecedented situation, [COVID-19 has] created a shortage of workers virtually overnight."

Opposition stresses urgency
WA's Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Steve Thomas, this week called on the State Government to make exemptions to the border closure for foreign farm workers.

He warned time was running out to make a move and urged the State Government to follow the lead of the Northern Territory Government.

This month, the NT Government reached an agreement with the Commonwealth to allow workers from the Pacific in for its mango picking season.

Mr Thomas said such an agreement for WA was vital, and with arrivals to WA needing to quarantine for two weeks any preparations needed to begin soon.
"We're going to need to see these additional workers put in place by October," he said.
"If you're trying to get to the mango season up north, you'd want the negotiations to be happening now so that you can get workers up there in a few weeks."

Premier 'will not compromise safety'
But Premier Mark McGowan rejected the suggestions, instead calling on farmers to look within the state for workers.
"Our priority is to employ WA workers," he said.
"In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's time for industry to rethink the way it employs workers and look to locals to fill these roles."

He said 10,000 West Australians and more than 100 agribusinesses had signed up to the state's job-matching platform Studium.
"Our hard border is in place to protect Western Australians, and that will remain in place until the health advice suggests otherwise," Mr McGowan said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp


Clive Palmer sues WA Government for at least $30b over Balmoral iron ore project
Clive Palmer and his company Mineralogy are suing the WA Government for nearly $30 billion in relation to the Balmoral South iron ore project in the Pilbara region, the state's Attorney-General says.

The WA Government has introduced urgent legislation into State Parliament in an attempt to prevent the damages claim, which amounts to the state's entire annual budget.

Attorney-General John Quigley told Parliament the mining magnate and his companies are seeking damages and losses associated with the iron ore project in the region.

Mr Palmer’s proposal was rejected in August 2012 by the then Government, specifically by the former State Development Minister who is also the ex-Premier Colin Barnett.

Mr Palmer and his companies allege they suffered enormous financial loss, including damages, interest and costs because they were unable to sell the project to a Chinese company as a result of decisions made by the state over the past decade.

The McGowan Government's bill seeks to protect Western Australia from damages to the tune of $30 billion, or $12,000 for every man, woman and child in the state.
"Even if Mineralogy and International Minerals succeeded in a fraction of their damages claim, this would have serious financial consequences for the State of Western Australia and Western Australian," Mr Quigley said.
"For example, the McGowan Government's $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan represents only 20 per cent of Mr Palmer's claim."

Legislation will be urgently debated
An ongoing arbitration claim between the state and Mr Palmer over the proposal has never been resolved.

That case was due to be heard on November 30, with Mr Quigley admitting there was no guarantee WA would win.

It is the reason the Government has urgently brought forward the legislation to effectively terminate Mr Palmer's legal action.
"The Government is taking steps to protect the state from the rapacious nature of Mr Palmer," Mr Quigley said.

The legislation is due to be urgently debated on Wednesday, with the Government urging opposition parties to give it bipartisan support.

Mr Quigley admitted the legislation was "unprecedented" but denied it represented sovereign risk or an unreasonable intervention in a standing state agreement.
"The McGowan Government accepts this bill is unprecedented … but Mineralogy and Mr Palmer are not normal," Mr Quigley said.
"The state needs these measures to best protect its interests."

It is the latest escalation of the ongoing feud between Mr Palmer and the McGowan Government, which has been in clear public view for years.

Most prominently, Mr Palmer is taking High Court action against WA's interstate border closure — arguing it is unconstitutional, prompting the Premier Mark McGowan to claim the state was "at war" with Mr Palmer.

WA has also had disputes with Mr Palmer over his joint-venture mining operations with a Chinese entity, at one point threatening to intervene with legislation to restrict Mr Palmer's rights.

Mr Palmer has been contacted for comment.

In a tweet on Wednesday morning, he questioned the timing of the WA Government's urgent legislation.
"The actions of the WA State Government to pass legislation against me is an act of intimidation because I exercised my right to challenge a decision that is unconstitutional," he said.
"The legislation they have passed to try and stop me and my company has been done a week after the Premier declared war on me and declared me an enemy of the State."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

WA HEALTH CARE WORKERS VOLUNTEER TO HELP IN MELBOURNE AND VICTORIA
WA nurses to help Victoria's COVID fight
More than 50 West Australian nurses will head to Victoria to help out with the state's coronavirus outbreak in a volunteering capacity.

The WA government had called for nurses and logistics workers to make themselves available as Victoria grapples with hundreds of cases per day.
Health Minister Roger Cook says the first half a dozen nurses will arrive later this week along with a coordination team.
"Some will be deployed into aged care settings, some into hospital settings," Mr Cook said on Tuesday.
"Some will be directly associated with managing patients who are COVID positive. Many of them will be backfilling staff who have had to self-isolate as a result of being a close contact.
"This is a call which is going out around the country and we're very proud that Western Australians are heeding that call and signing up to assist."

Mr Cook said the nurses would bring their own personal protective equipment to ensure there were sufficient resources.

The health minister was speaking at the launch of a new research centre at Perth Children's Hospital for children with chronic respiratory illnesses.

WA on Tuesday recorded no new cases for a sixth straight day.

Three cases remain active but the state has now gone four months without any known community transmission.

Premier Mark McGowan earlier defended the state's hotel quarantine regime after a security guard breached protocols by entering a Perth couple's room.
The couple are believed to have recently returned from Victoria."The breach that occurred the other day was basically a security guard going to the wrong room to get a TV remote control," Mr McGowan said.
"He didn't get close to the people involved and obviously if anyone was at any risk, it was the security guard not the people in the hotel room.
"Obviously it was a mistake, it was a human error. It's being investigated. We're doing our best to prevent these things from occurring again."

The premier said more than 10,500 people had gone through hotel quarantine and just 4 breaches had been recorded.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

11 AUGUST SA

Fire alarm at Adelaide coronavirus quarantine hotel sends guests into confusion
<< NO FIRE DRILLS FOR THE STAFF TO MASHELL THE RESIDENTS TO A SECURE MUSTER POINT OBVIOUSLY OR INDUCTIONS TO INFORM RESIDENTS THE PROCEDURE >>
Key points:
Catherine and Zed Smith are halfway through mandatory quarantine at the Pullman Hotel
They said neither they nor officials knew what to do when a fire alarm sounded
The hotel said safety protocols were "rigorously" followed

A couple in quarantine at an Adelaide medi-hotel found themselves not knowing whether to stay in their room or flee when a fire alarm sounded last night.
Catherine and Zed Smith told ABC Radio Adelaide they had to scramble when a fire alarm sounded just before dinner time yesterday.

The couple is halfway through mandatory quarantine at the Pullman Hotel in Adelaide's CBD after arriving in Adelaide from London.

Ms Smith said they were not sure whether to stay or leave — but decided to evacuate, throwing on dressing gowns and shoes, grabbing keys and racing out the door.
"I put a bra on … we grabbed the two room keys and we went off and we headed down the hallway toward the fire exit," said Ms Smith, who is originally from Sydney.
"We got into the stairwell … it was a little bit nerve-wracking, thinking we've got 10 floors to get down here."

While they were part way down, she said, an announcement came over the loudspeakers telling guests to "stay in your rooms".
"We headed back to our room and the keys didn't work," Ms Smith said.
"So we stood outside in out dressing gowns, and there were no police around, and we're wondering if … security cameras can see us."

Mr Smith said one police officer, then another, eventually arrived and let them back into the room, and it was later revealed to be a false alarm.
"Quite frankly it was obvious they didn't know how to handle the situation," he said.
"Normally it's as simple as you've come out of your hotel room, you've breached quarantine rules. But in this instance the officers didn't know what to do, because we'd done the right thing."

Emergency instructions 'in every hotel room'
<< BUT OBVIOUSLY NOT FOLLOWED OR ANY INDUCTION >>
Ms Smith said there were no emergency instructions in a booklet they received upon arrival at the hotel, and a few other guests "mentioned that they didn't know where the exit was".
"It [was] quite scary," she said.

However, the Pullman Hotel said each of its rooms contain instructions for emergency evacuation.
Every hotel room has fire instructions in them," a spokesperson said.
"The hotel rigorously followed health and safety protocol [and] guests were informed over a PA [Public Address system] three times to stay in their rooms."

The spokesperson said both the Metropolitan Fire Service and SA Police attended when the alarm went off "and were satisfied that we followed procedure".

Hundreds of international arrivals are staying in mandatory 14-day quarantine at hotels in Adelaide, at their own expense, to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Failures to maintain proper distancing among quarantine hotel security guards in Melbourne have been linked to major outbreaks there.

ABC News has contacted SA Police for comment.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-11/ ... m/12544836

BREECHES
Man who tried to fly AND drive to Adelaide from Victoria is charged
A Tasmanian man who tried to fly and drive into Adelaide from Victoria within the space of a few hours has been charged with breaking COVID-19 directions.

Police say the 45-year-old arrived at Adelaide Airport on Sunday but was returned to Melbourne after failing to meet essential traveller requirements.

Late on Sunday night, he was stopped at a Bordertown checkpoint on the Dukes Highway driving a Hyundai sedan but was again directed to return to Victoria.
'Police will allege he then drove off towards Adelaide and was followed for a short distance until he stopped,' they said in a statement.
He has been charged with failing to comply with a direction under the Emergency Management Act and refused bail.

He will appear in Mount Gambier Magistrates Court later on Monday.

SA Health has confirmed 459 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, but only eight of those are still active.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

COVID-19 border control efforts in south-east SA create 'natural crime-prevention effect'
Limestone Coast police have attributed a significant drop in reports of rural crime in the region, in part due to the high police visibility due to state border controls.

This comes as more police have been deployed to multiple checkpoints along the South Australian-Victorian border.

Acting officer-in-charge Inspector Campbell Hill said an increased police presence in the border region since the start of the pandemic had led to a drop in reported rural crime.

Rural crime includes the theft of stock, machinery and diesel.
"People are obviously aware that there is quite a high number of police that are making their way through the region as part of our work with COVID-19 on border restrictions and … [there is] a lot of compliance behaviour," he said.
"I think people are probably seeing a lot more of the police about the place and that might have a natural crime-prevention effect."

Inspector Hill said police were mobile along the border and along backroads.
"Which is generally something that we're not able to do at such a high volume at any other time," he said.
"Criminals don't generally use mainstream thoroughfares to undertake their activity, so there's certainly a lot of police cars in areas where people wouldn't typically expect to find us."

The inability of people to easily move across state boundary lines could also be a factor in the drop in the rural crime rate.
"I think we'd be naive to think that there isn't a link between the restricted movement between South Australia and Victoria and the drops that we're seeing," Inspector Hill said.

He said police had been working with primary producers in the rural crime space.
"I'd like to also think that through the partnerships that we've been establishing and chipping slowly at with the community over the last 12 months … has had a bit of a combined effort."

Will the peace last?
Inspector Hill said police hoped the region maintained the lower crime rates.
"But we also recognise that at the end of the day, we are talking about people, and people can be reasonably unpredictable."

He said police would be paying close attention to the fluctuating rate.
"Whether that [COVID-19 restrictions] has any direct impact on any rise or any further fall is something that we'd be keenly paying attention to."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

11 AUGUST TAS

New coronavirus case detected in north-west Tasmania
Key points:
A Tasmanian man in his 60s has been diagnosed with coronavirus
The man had been transferred to the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie after receiving medical treatment in Melbourne
Premier Peter Gutwein says appropriate infection control protocols were followed when the man was admitted to the NWRH

Tasmania has detected a new coronavirus case, Premier Peter Gutwein has announced.

The case is a man in his 60s in the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie.

Authorities said the man had been in Melbourne for medical treatment before being transported back to Tasmania.

He had previously tested negative before recording a positive test upon returning to Tasmania.
"I'm advised that the man was admitted [to the North West Regional Hospital] under all appropriate infection control protocols," Mr Gutwein said.
"We will see cases from time to time, but it's how we respond that matters."

He said the man "bears no risk to any other patient or any other Tasmanian".

Public Health director Dr Mark Veitch said contact tracing was underway.

It is the state's first case in 20 days.

The hospital was at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak in April which was found to have started after people from the Ruby Princess cruise ship were admitted in late March.

A report into the outbreak found that three quarters of hospital's healthcare staff, who later tested positive, worked during the period when they were infectious.

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmanian branch secretary Emily Shepherd said she was confident the hospital had the appropriate protocols and support in place to deal with the new case.
"There's been significant learnings from the outbreak at the North West Regional Hospital," Ms Shepherd said.
"I know that a lot of work has been undertaken by the Tasmanian Health Service to implement many of those recommendations and ensure that there is compliance with the latest evidence in relation to infection control policies.
"Additional staff have been put in place to assist with infection control procedures and obviously a lot of work has gone in to ensure that there's appropriate [personal protective equipment] … available to staff. So I think staff can feel confident and well-prepared to deal with this isolated case."

Ms Shepherd said the case, however, may cause anxiety among staff and the wider north-west community.

"[That is] completely natural but at the same time I have every confidence that our members are now well prepared and supported to deal with this case," she said.

Health and Community Services Union Tasmanian assistant secretary Robbie Moore said the Tasmanian health system regularly relied on interstate hospitals, especially in Melbourne.
"This [case] is disappointing but it was always a decent chance that something like this would occur," Mr Moore said.
"I guess now it's about the commitment that the [Health] Minister has made that all procedures are now in place to ensure the safety of staff and other patients and we are obviously very hopeful that that is the case."

The latest case takes the state's tally to 228. The death toll stands at 13, 12 of which have been in the north-west.

Last month, a woman who had returned to Hobart from Victoria tested positive, ending a 65-day run without a case.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-11/ ... e/12547168
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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