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 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:47 am

11 AUGUST FEDERAL

Confusing Covidsafe << CONTACT TRACING >> app message led people to believe they had coronavirus, documents show
Poor wording in an early version of the Covidsafe contact-tracing app led people to incorrectly believe they had contracted coronavirus and they turned up “alarmed” to GP clinics for testing, documents obtained by Guardian Australia reveal.

The federal government’s Covidsafe app is used to locate unknown close contacts of confirmed coronavirus cases. Once a user registers in the app, there is a section for people who have tested positive to agree to upload the data of everyone they have been in contact with for the purposes of contact tracing.

a screenshot of a cell phone: FOI documents show that an early version of the Covidsafe app accidentally informed users ‘you have tested positive for Covid-19’, leading to reports from GPs and testing clinics of ‘alarmed patients’.© Photograph: Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images FOI documents show that an early version of the Covidsafe app accidentally informed users ‘you have tested positive for Covid-19’, leading to reports from GPs and testing clinics of ‘alarmed patients’.
In an early version of the app, users were presented with a message stating “You have tested positive for Covid-19” if they touched a button for uploading their data. Some users had been touching the button by accident.

Nine News reported in April that one woman had been confused by the messaging, however emails obtained by Guardian Australia under freedom of information law show it was more widespread.

The NSW Health department wrote to its federal counterpart in late April stating it was getting “alarmed patients” turning up to get tested at GPs and Covid testing clinics because of the message.
“You may already be aware, but we are receiving lots of feedback from [public health units] across the state and through GPs/Covid testing clinics who are having alarmed patients present for testing, because some people are getting confused [by the message].”

NSW Health said the concerns had been worked through individually but asked the department to make the language clearer.

The language was subsequently updated in the next update of the app, and now states “Is a health official asking you to upload your information?”

The documents also reveal the government was aware in early May of issues with the bluetooth beacons used in the app to record close contacts interfering with other applications, including glucose monitors for people with diabetes.

Department of Health chief information officer Daniel Keys included the issue in a list of information provided to health minister Greg Hunt and government services minister Stuart Robert for briefing the prime minister about the app.

The interference issue has been addressed in subsequent updates, however there still remain questions about the efficacy of the iPhone version of the app recording contacts when the app is closed or the screen is locked.

The government’s own data has shown it only working as much as 50% of the time at last report.

Close to 7 million people in Australia have now downloaded the app. The government has yet to provide information on how many of those people continue to use it.

The app has proved useful in New South Wales, where data has been accessed 33 times, with 14 close contacts not previously identified by manual tracing found through the app.

For one of the cases, NSW was able to find an unrecognised exposure date from Mounties club in Sydney’s west that resulted in the health department notifying 544 people at that venue at that time, and finding two more cases of Covid-19.

In Victoria where the majority of cases in the country have occurred, the state’s chief health officer Prof Brett Sutton last week would not say whether the app had been useful, but said the lockdown settings for Victoria were not right for the app because people were less likely to spend a long time interacting with people they don’t know.

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

Victorian coronavirus outbreak drives renewed slump in business confidence
Business confidence has turned sharply negative again, around the country, amid Victoria's strong wave of coronavirus infections.

The deterioration in confidence coincided with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews' attempts to contain the latest COVID-19 outbreak with strict lockdown measures in Melbourne and restrictions across Victoria.

According to the NAB business survey, business confidence deteriorated noticeably last month just as a majority of employers had begun feeling optimistic about the future again.

Troublingly, the survey was conducted from 22-31 July, which was just before the escalation to stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne and stage 3 restrictions in the rest of Victoria and the imposition of strict staffing reductions at food processing centres.

NAB's business confidence index fell sharply by 14 points in July, pulling the index back into negative territory at -14.

When the index is in positive territory it means optimism outweighs pessimism.

In the previous month (June), business confidence had finally returned to positive territory (reported as +1 last month but adjusted to zero this month) after taking three months to recover from falling to its lowest level on record in March (-65 points).

Confidence fell on the east coast, driven by sharp declines in Victoria and New South Wales and a more modest decline in Queensland.

Business sentiment is now negative in all states except Western Australia and Tasmania, with NSW and Victoria significantly weaker than the rest.

Confidence fell in all industries, led by mining which saw a sharp decline, though confidence is weakest in retail and construction.

In contrast, even as confidence tumbled, current business conditions finally returned to neutral last month — recording 0 index points — after recording negative points in May (-21 points) and June (-8 points).

Trading and profitability had finally returned to positive territory, and employment conditions were continuing to improve.
"While the rebound in conditions is encouraging, the fall in confidence even prior to the announcement of stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne demonstrates that businesses will remain very cautious given the great uncertainty around the virus at the moment," NAB group chief economist Alan Oster said.
"It also highlights that the business sector will require ongoing support through the recovery phase until the economy can get back on its feet."

Victoria hit with job losses and wage declines
New figures on payroll jobs and wages show conditions in Victoria have steadily worsened compared to the rest of the country.

Since mid-March, the number of payroll jobs across Australia has declined 4.5 per cent (with wages falling 4.8 per cent), but in Victoria they have declined by 6.7 per cent (with wages down 5 per cent).

Last month, payroll jobs fell 1.5 per cent in Victoria even before the introduction of stage 4 restrictions in the state.
"Around 40 per cent of jobs lost in Victoria my mid-April had been regained by 25 June, but by the end of July this had reduced to 24 per cent," said Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS.

The bureau's latest survey of payroll jobs and wages covers the period 11-25 July.

It shows payroll jobs had actually increased recently in New South Wales (+0.2 per cent), Queensland (+0.6 per cent), South Australia (+0.5 per cent), Tasmania (+0.3 per cent), but fell slightly in Western Australia (-0.1 per cent) and by more in Victoria (-1.2 per cent).
"The move to stage 4 lockdown will likely widen the performance gap between Victoria and the other states and territories in terms of economic data and produce a two-speed economic recovery," Citi economists Josh Williamson and Faraz Syed wrote in a note to clients.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/markets ... d=msedgdhp

Coronavirus is leaving Australians feeling angry over COVID-19 restriction breaches, worried for loved ones
From the stress not being able to hold the hand of an elderly loved one, to rage at attempts to force a state to open its borders — Australians are experiencing an array of emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is a sample of how hundreds of readers from across the country feel:

Worry for loved ones
Some people just want to see their mums.

"My 97-year-old mother is in aged care. If she became critically ill, or ill at all with COVID-19, the only thing I would want to do is visit her and hold her hand. Why are next of kin prevented from gowning up and isolating after such a visit? It's honestly THE major thing I would ever seek in my life, and ditto from mum's perspective. Even the possibility of her sickening under these circumstances is incredibly stressful. I'd put this kind of visit as number 1 in my reason for living."

Their sons.

"Is there any way we can bring our son home from Melbourne? I'm scared out of my brain."

And husbands.

"Should I negotiate with my boss so I can work from home? I'm a secondary school teacher who works on-site (in class with a face mask) three days a week and works from home (online) two days a week. I am worried about catching the virus. My husband is currently undertaking chemotherapy and has a low immune system. Teaching in class is less workload, enjoyable and better for my wellbeing but I don't want to regret…"

For the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic read our coronavirus live blog.
Anxiety about where to find help
For substance abuse.

"I unfortunately have a severe problem with drugs and am currently dependant on opioids. I am currently in the process of going onto oral replacement therapy which will take another week. What should I do in the meantime, as I need to acquire a daily dose to prevent me from being seriously ill and going into withdrawals? I feel like through out this whole pandemic people in situations such as myself that are dependant on substances have been forgotten about. Thank you."

Or for people in aged care.

"What is being done to prevent dementia patients in nursing homes dying or greatly declining from feeling abandoned and not understanding why their relatives suddenly visit rarely or not at all because of visiting restrictions imposed by the aged care homes?"

Some want tougher lockdowns.

"[Daniel] Andrews and [Scott] Morrison need to lock down harder now — not in seven or 14 days. Now! What are they waiting for, the numbers to go up? Aged care is a disgrace, not just distressing. Should have got extra help three weeks ago everything too slow with the lockdowns. So sad to see the numbers and deaths."

Others want borders to close.

"Can you please investigate further as to why the Queensland border isn't shut now? When all of this first began, if Australia shut itself down and quarantined incoming flights/boats the country would not be in this situation. So to stop Queensland from having another wave, why can't our border be shut? Why risk it for the people who are doing the right thing?"
People doing the wrong thing
In Queensland.

"Tried to report a breach of restrictions (i.e. party in my street at a wine bar) and the police line 131 444 can't take my call (tried twice while the revellers revel). So who is the first line of defence? Should I storm them with with my single-use mask and a bottle of sanitiser?"

And Victoria.

"What can regional Victorians do to report those travelling outside of locked down areas? Some people just don't get what a lock down is, so blatant as to give their Melbourne-based post code when trying to book a table at cafes in regional Vic."

Shopping and supermarkets
For those behind the counter.

"I work as a cashier, and I am concerned about catching COVID-19 from customers who refuse to socially distance form one another. They also are unable to distance from myself due to the size of the store where I work. I am also concerned about customers who do not cover their face whilst coughing or sneezing, and somehow transferring respiratory particles from that to myself."

And those bringing groceries home.

"[Dr] Norman [Swan] mentioned washing groceries after shopping wasn't necessary, however with the virus able to survive on certain surfaces for hours and potentially longer in the fridge and freezer, have you taken that position as the amount of virus present is unlikely to cause infection or is there another reason? My concern is, what if someone inadvertently contaminates an item in the freezer which I then purchase — will I have a ticking time bomb lurking in my freezer at home?"

Clive Palmer's High Court border challenge
Some fear it forces a bad outcome.

"Scomo's support of Clive Palmer's attempt to force WA to open borders is making me feel ANXIOUS for first time during pandemic. I'm in Tas, felt Scomo opened too much too early at the time, see the results and now feel threatened that the High Court will enable him to do same here. Is it just me experiencing this?"

They weren't alone.

"This is very frightening if our borders were to open! It will not be a very good outcome for West Australians."

Many want to keep the borders closed.

"Just commenting on Clive Palmer and the PM's bid to open the WA borders. As I drove home from the office today I got stuck in traffic next to a football oval. The oval was full of kids running around playing organised football and I had the thought, 'how lucky am I to be working, to be stuck in traffic and to be in a state where the kids can play sport and we can enjoy many of the things we love'."

Working in shops and schools
Retail workers want to stay home.

"Living in metro Melbourne and working in non-essential retail. Every day I find it harder to get out of bed and go to work due to the extreme anxiety and hyper vigilance of being so vulnerable and exposed. Customers aren't good at social distancing from retail workers, and it is simply impossible to stay 1.5m from my co-workers. It is taking a real toll on my mental health."

So do teachers.

"Why do teachers have to go to school to work online when they can do it at home and stop all that moving around in and out of the lock down area? Why do student in a lockdown area leave the area to go to school in another area that is not in lockdown, putting those students at risk?"

And lecturers.

"I am a university lecturer and we are returning to face-to-face teaching for tutorials only soon. We are scheduling classes in large rooms or reducing class sizes where that is not possible so that we can socially distance. What other precautions/practices should we be doing for a 2.5hr tutorial that usually involves small group work? I'm worried that even if at a set distance from each other, group discussions over a long period of time in a confined space will be a risk."

Wearing masks during exercise
Joggers are blowing hard.

"It makes no sense to me to exempt joggers from wearing masks when they are the ones who are most expelling droplets when exhaling due to the deeper and more rapid breathing. I would have thought that they MOST OF ALL would be required to wear a mask. Does the coronavirus recognise whether a person is running or walking? It's absurd. The wearing of masks is not about convenience!"

And don't forget cyclists.

"Hi, people running and cycling on shared paths are not required to wear masks. They are pumping out more breath than the rest of us masked pedestrians. This is unacceptable. EVERYONE regardless of activity must wear a mask. How can this be mandated?"

Waiting for test results
This is a real source of tension.

"I was tested for COVID-19 on July 13. I did not receive my initial interview until day 13 post my test — and only after following up DHHS on multiple occasions. During this period I was quite sick and would wait on hold — usually for over an hour — before being told someone would be back in touch shortly. I never received one of these follow up calls from DHHS. It's now day 17 post my test. I am on hold again trying to find out when I can leave isolation and see my family. The system is broken."

Some just raged
We're living in a society!

"Where did all the COVidiots come from? Why don't people understand that if we want to return to normal life there are aspects of life that need to be halted in the short term. I'm so confused and angry how people can be so stupid and self-centred."

Harsher penalties over breaches
Start with the hip pocket.

"I really wonder whether the penalties for COVID is really working. Is the government looking at harsher penalties especially for those people who knowingly place others at risk ie going to work sick etc. I think its time we held people accountable for this possible infections and deaths that they ARE be causing."
To other deterrents.

"Why aren't more severe punishments being made against these people who continue to break the rules? This should act as a deterrent to the stupid and selfish! The nation held to ransom by a few selfish people. If they will not isolate, put them into quarantine in a hotel at their own expense, guarded by police and army for requisite time to be clear. These people are criminal, people are dying, businesses ruined. Time to get tough to bring numbers down."

And much more serious charges.

"If a person, who see it as their constitutional right not to wear a mask, is asymptomatic and infects another person or persons who subsequently dies from the infection, could they be charged with manslaughter or even murder?"
Maybe restrictions should ease

Let's roll the dice.

"Why are restrictions still occurring? I thought the idea was we needed them initially so hospitals had time to prepare for an influx. The hospitals are now ready so why can we not let the virus run its course? Don't get me wrong, I don't want it nor do I want my family to get COVID-19, but how long can society survive going in and out of lock downs? The solution shouldn't be worse than the virus. So many people will lose businesses, their homes, careers, their will to live because of risk."

We want to go on a cruise
Is it over yet?

"My husband and myself are avid cruisers and can't wait for ships to return to Australia. So far, Australian Border Force have banned ships until mid-September. With having to fly interstate for some cruise departures, quarantine on arrival in that state, then quarantine on disembarkation, it seems highly likely that cruise ships won't be in Australian waters for some time. If, realistically, it's not going to be till mid-late 2021, then say so. Moving the date forward three months at a time is ridiculous."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-11/ ... a/12542712

Kmart shoppers slam the retailer for empty shelves
Angry shoppers have slammed Kmart for advertising products that are no longer available due to stock shortages from COVID-19.

The retailer has copped scathing reviews from frustrated customers on social media after a number of items advertised in their latest catalog and online weren't available to purchase.
'Kmart is so disappointing, most of the shelves are empty, pointless bringing out a new catalog when there is no stock in store let alone online,' one Facebook comment reads.
'Frustrating when you purchase a whole bunch of things that were available for delivery and for your daughters new room only to be sent an email saying the quilt cover is unavailable and now I can’t find it anywhere,' another post reads.
'Why bother to show us when you don’t have the stock anywhere?' another comment reads.
The coronavirus period has sparked high demand for many of Kmart's most sought after products, leaving the retailers shelves bare.
'Unpredictable sales have seen stock flying out the door and into your homes, as we experience unusually high demand for some of our products in store and online,' a statement on Kmart Australia's website reads.
'We appreciate your support and we understand it’s been frustrating for many of our customers as we’re running low on certain items.

'Products on our website may also incorrectly appear as available in store and we are truly sorry to disappoint.'

Kmart ensured they are working tirelessly to meet the unexpected demand and are expecting more availability in stock in the coming weeks.

The business is among many Australian retailers struggling for stock from international supply chains and overseas manufacturers amid COVID-19.

Businesses use international sources such as China for their production base over Australia as it is much cheaper.

Retail experts said the lag in restocking shelves was due to the low-cost items being mass produced in China and other countries that were put in lockdown, putting production of some goods on hold for a period of time.

Consumer expert and researcher at QUT Gary Mortimer told Daily Mail Australia the stores were reliant on cheap overseas manufacturing.
'Australian discount department stores are heavily reliant on overseas production, whether that comes out of India, China, Pakistan or Bangladesh,' he said.
Mr Mortimer said production halts in supply networks have lead to empty shelves in Australian stores.

National Retail Association CEO Dominique Lamb told Daily Mail Australia stock levels should replenish after a disruptive period. 'COVID-19 has put a considerable strain on some global supply chains and therefore we're seeing some empty shelves at certain shops,' she said.
'In the same way that supermarket shelves are now back to normal, the same will occur at these discount stores,' Ms Lamb said.

Retail analyst Barry Urquhart told 7News local merchants must do better in using local supply networks.
'Unfortunately, Australian retailers are falling short of expectations,' he said. 'Sourcing products, locally, Australian-made, is very, very important.'
Under ACCC advertising sanctions retailers must clearly state if an item is in short supply.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Kmart Australia for comment.

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

STILL - One third of Aussies rate virus like flu
One third of Australians believe coronavirus is no more dangerous than a typical winter flu despite Victoria's rapidly rising death toll and high infection numbers.

19 people have died from the disease in the past 24 hours, taking the national toll to 331.

Deaths have almost doubled in the past 15 days.

An Essential poll of 1010 people found 32 % said the disease - which has killed 733,000 people worldwide - was no more dangerous than the flu.

Almost one in 10 say they'll never be vaccinated against the virus if a drug is developed.

While 56 % of respondents say they'll get the jab straight away, 35 % of people agree to being vaccinated but not immediately.

One fifth believe unproven malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment.

About 10 % of Greens voters would refuse a vaccine, with the figure rising to 21 % among other minor party supporters.

Just half of respondents trust the media to provide honest and objective information about coronavirus, while two-thirds trust the government to do the same.
The level of people very concerned about the disease has reached a new record at 50 %, with 40 % quite concerned.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison's approval rating has also reached a new high of 66 %, with 23 % saying they disapproved of his performance.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese approval remained flat at 44 %.

Mr Albanese's approval among Labor voters remains at 70 %, compared to Mr Morrison's approval among Coalition voters at 91 %.

The most important issue to voters is stopping community transmission of coronavirus with 62 per cent rating it as very important, outstripping economic management and job creation.

Reducing debt, working with international leaders and improving the education system were seen as being less important.

The ABC recorded a higher trust rating than the Commonwealth public service, with 58 per cent compared to 56 %.
State and federal health authorities were trusted by 69 per cent, slightly ahead of border security agencies at 67 %.
Commercial TV and radio news (45 %) and print media (39 %) were trusted by less than half of participants.

<< PRETTY CLEAR TOO MANY PEOPLE LISTENING TO THE ULTRA-RIGHT WING TALKING HEARDS AND NOT STAYING ABREAST OF THE SCIENCE AND TOO MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TAKEN IN BY FAKE SCIENCE AND CONSPIRACY THEORIES >>
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

11 AUGUST PNG

Papua New Guinea to lift lockdown despite surge in COVID-19 cases
apua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape is pressing ahead with plans to lift lockdown measures in the Pacific nation this week, even as a recent sharp spike in coronavirus infections worries health officials.

Marape said a two-week lockdown in the capital of Port Moresby would be lifted from Wednesday, despite the country's reported cases of COVID-19 doubling over the past week.
"Whilst the spread is there, we have to adapt to living with COVID-19 this year, instead of taking on drastic measures," Marape told a news conference on Monday.

PNG had a total of 214 cases and three deaths as of Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported, up from 104 cases and one death the previous week.

More worryingly, WHO said it was likely the real infection numbers were much higher, given low rates of testing throughout the country.
"Testing in all provinces remains critically low, therefore ongoing transmission in other parts of the country is a possibility as population mobility continues," it said. "Testing needs to increase substantially to understand the extent of transmission."

Like many of its Pacific neighbours, Papua New Guinea appeared to escape the early clutches of the pandemic. But new cases in the past week were reported in nine provinces, including remote areas of the country, WHO said, adding the bulk of those had been traced back to Port Moresby.

The capital was placed in a two-week lockdown on July 28, with only essential businesses to operate, schools closed, and transport services stopped.

The government had halted entry for travellers except those arriving by air, late last month.

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

11 AUGUST NZ
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-11/ ... s/12543432

Auckland locked down as Jacinda Ardern announces New Zealand's first coronavirus cases in 102 days
Key points:
The four cases are all from the same family
Officials are investigating the source of the infection
Stage 3 restrictions will be imposed in Auckland for three days from today, while the rest of the country will move to stage 2 restrictions

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed four new cases of coronavirus, the country's first in 102 days.
The infected people are from the same family in south Auckland.

The source of their infection is unknown.

Ms Ardern said Auckland would now move to level three restrictions for three days as a "precautionary approach", while level two restrictions would be imposed in the rest of the country.
"While we have worked hard to avoid this scenario, we have also prepared for it," she said at an emergency press conference.

She said increased caution was required because the origin of the virus was unknown.
We have had a 102 days [without a new case] and it was easy to feel New Zealand was out of the woods," she said.

"No country has gone as far as we did without having a resurgence.
"And because we were the only ones, we had to plan. And we have planned."

The first of the new cases, a person in their 50s, was swabbed on Monday after presenting to their GP.

The test was processed twice and returned two positive results.

The person has no history of overseas travel.

Health officials interviewed the first positive case, and all six of their family members in the same household were tested.

Three were negative and three were positive.
Close contacts have been tested and all remain in isolation for 14 days regardless of their test results.

Health officials are working to trace the origin of the infection and contact tracing is underway.

Ms Ardern said as part of the level three restrictions being imposed, travelling into Auckland would be prohibited for people who did not live in the city.

People will be asked to stay home from work and school, bars and many businesses will be closed and gatherings of more than 10 people are again restricted.
Under the level two restrictions applied to the rest of the country, social distancing measures will be applied again.

Ms Ardern urged people not to rush to supermarkets to stock up.
"We are defining the area covered as Auckland, as the geographic Auckland super city," Ms Ardern said.

Ms Ardern said: "We are not talking about one distinct suburb in Auckland.
"At this stage we have not been able to determine the source of these cases.
"We need to take a much more precautionary approach until we find the source of this case.
"As disruptive it is, a strong and rapid health response remains the best long-term economic response."

She encouraged people in the rest of the country to abide by the level two restrictions that would be imposed.
"That means social distancing applies and mass gathering will need to be limited to 100 people," she said.
"I know that this information will be very difficult to receive," Ms Ardern added.
"As a team, we have also been here before. We know if we have a plan and stick to it … we can work through it."
"We have come too far to go backwards.
"If you are in Auckland, make sure your neighbours are OK."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-11/ ... e/12547678

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From 12pm local time on Wednesday, residents in Auckland will move back under Level 3 restrictions, the second harshest available.

The four new cases are linked to more than one workplace and may have spread to multiple suburbs, Ms Ardern said. The patients had no history of overseas travel or links to hotel quarantine facilities.
“I know that this information will be very difficult to receive,” Ms Ardern said.
“We have also been here before … if we have a plan and stick to it, we can work our way through difficult and unknown situations.”

Under the Level 3 restrictions, which will be in place until at least midnight on Friday, non-essential workers will have to work from home, with restaurants, bars and public facilities closed.
Schools will also shut to children of non-essential workers and gathering limits will apply to weddings and funerals.

The rest of the country will also move to Level 2 restrictions, with mass gatherings limited to 100 people.

Travel to Auckland from other areas will also be banned.
"Moving an entire city, and New Zealand's largest city, into Level 3 restrictions is not a decision we take lightly,” Ms Ardern said.
“This move means that we can be cautious, but also make sure that we have more information before we make any decisions that have a longer-term impact.
"Together we've beaten the virus before and with fast action and by acting together, we can beat it again. We have come too far to go backwards.”

Ashley Bloomfield, the chief executive of New Zealand's Ministry of Health, said while the new cases were concerning the country was "well-prepared" to fight them.
“We have been saying for some weeks that it was inevitable that New Zealand would get another case of community transmission,” he said.
“That time is now and the health system is well-prepared.”

Shortly after the announcement, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff urged residents to do the right thing.

"Please remain calm, please do not panic buy and please follow the lockdown rules," he tweeted.
The new cases come around a month out from New Zealand's election day.

The New Zealand First party, led by Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, suspended its campaign following the announcement.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/auckland-to ... n-102-days
<< SO I GUESS THE QLD – SA – TAS – SA - NZ TRAVEL BUBBLE IS ON HOLD >>

New Zealand retirement home in lockdown to test for COVID-19
A New Zealand retirement village has gone into lockdown after residents displayed symptoms of respiratory illness, the New Zealand Herald reported on Tuesday.

The Village Palms retirement village in Christchurch advised of the lockdown in a letter to family members today, the newspaper said. No further details were immediately available.

New Zealand, which has managed to largely contain the spread of the coronavirus, has gone more than 100 days without community transmission of COVID-19.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/ne ... 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
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12469
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:51 am

12 AUGUST
DEADLIEST DAY !! AGAIN !! WITH 21 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 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:10 am

12 AUGUST VIC
Victorian death toll spirals on deadliest day - 21 deaths, 410 cases in Victoria,
Key points:
Wednesday's death toll is the nation's highest in a day since the pandemic began
The Premier said growth in the number of cases in the regional cities of Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo was "of concern"
Mr Andrews said while new cases were higher than they had been on each of the past three days, the weekly average was starting to "come down"


Australia has suffered its deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic with 21 deaths and 410 new cases recorded in Victoria over the past 24 hours.

The 410 cases is Victoria's highest number of fresh infections for three days, and the latest deaths take Australia's toll to 352 fatalities.

No details have been provided about those who died in the last 24 hours. Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to give his daily media conference later this morning.
Details
Premier Daniel Andrews said the people who died were two women and one man in their 70s, six women and five men in their 80s, five men and one woman in their 90s, and one woman in her 100s.
He said 16 of the latest deaths were linked to aged care outbreaks.
Today's death toll surpasses the previous highest daily number of 19, recorded yesterday.

The number of "mystery cases" in Victoria, where the source of infection is unknown even after contact tracing, has grown by 58.
The Premier also said there had been "increases of concern" in the regional cities of Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.
As of yesterday, there were 180 active cases in Geelong, 54 in Bendigo and 20 in Ballarat.
"They are low numbers but coming off such a low base any additional cases are of concern to us," he said.
"Even at low numbers, we've got to have that vigilance across the board."

There are now 7,877 active cases in Victoria — 1,929 of which are linked to aged care outbreaks and 1,079 are health workers.

There are 406 aged care residents in hospital, the majority of whom have tested positive to COVID-19.

There are 122 active outbreaks in aged care homes, including five in government-run centres.

Mr Andrews said there were also 137 active cases among residents and staff working in residential disability homes, and a centralised control centre was coordinating the public health response in those facilities.
"Any cases amongst vulnerable groups are concerning," he said.


The Victorian President of the Australian Medical Association, Professor Julian Rait, told Today the mounting death toll would likely continue for several weeks.
"The good news is we've probably reached the peak of the infections. The available modelling and the evidence shows the daily case numbers are coming down."

Prof. Rait said "unfortunately" deaths would persist for the next "two to three weeks" before falling like infection numbers. There is currently an inquiry underway into how Victoria's quarantine system failed.

People under 40 account for 55% of Victoria's Covid cases but only 6% of deaths
More than half of Victoria’s active cases of Covid-19 are in people aged 39 years old and younger, while less than 6% of the state’s deaths have been in the same age group, data from the Department of Health shows.

The data included all cases of the virus and deaths up to 11 August. The age group with the highest amount of active cases is 20-29 years, with 1,823 infections. There have been no deaths in the state in this age group. Four deaths have occurred in those aged 30-39, while one death occurred in the 40-49 age group. Those aged between 0 and 39 comprise 54.9% of all active cases.

Meanwhile, 103 people in their 80s and 47 people in their 70s have died. On Thursday the premier, Daniel Andrews, said of the 21 deaths overnight – the state’s deadliest 24 hours to date – 11 were aged in their 80s.
The federal government’s Covid-19 infection control expert group chair, Professor Lyn Gilbert, said there were numerous reasons behind the significant numbers of young people with the virus. Before the restrictions and lockdown took effect, she said, “they were less likely to stay home, more likely to gather in large groups, and less likely to heed physical-distancing advice”.
She added that large families with shared child-minding arrangements had led to spread among children and teenagers. Their parents sometimes worked across multiple jobs in high-risk occupations, she added, with parents then infecting children and extended family.
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“I don’t think the risk of infection is related to age, but to risk of exposure,” Gilbert said.
Infectious disease doctor and epidemiologist Professor Allen Cheng said young people often had no or very mild symptoms. This meant their cases were not always being detected. He urged young people to get a test with even the mildest of symptoms, and to stay home until they received their result. “There are a lot of cases in this younger age group, and that reinforces the need to communicate better with this group who usually have milder symptoms,” Cheng said.

Dr Ian Musgrave, a molecular pharmacologist and toxicologist with the University of Adelaide, agreed a higher level of asymptomatic spreaders in the younger age groups, who may then spread the virus to peers and siblings, needed to be factored in.
“I suspect the answer to why so many young people have the virus is complex,” Musgrave said. “Young people are involved in more service jobs where they are exposed to more contact,” he said.
“I’m pretty sure that young people aged 18 to 25 are not more susceptible to infection. This is in stark contrast to mortality, where mortality is strongly skewed to older age groups.”

He added that younger age groups were likely to have been isolating less prior to lockdown, which he said was “due in part to the widespread belief that young people don’t get Covid-19 as easily, and partly because the messaging is not reaching them”.

On Wednesday an article in the Medical Journal of Australia by Dr Zoe Hyde, from the University of Western Australia, cast doubt on the idea that children are much less susceptible to Covid-19 infection than adults and do not play a substantial role in transmission.
“However, emerging research suggests this perception is unfounded,” Hyde wrote. While it was true children overall experienced much less severe illness from the virus, Hyde said “the role that children play in transmission is less certain, but there is no reason to think that children are less likely to transmit the virus than adults”.

Related: Australia's Covid aged care deaths 'worst disaster still unfolding before my eyes'

It meant when cases were identified in school communities, they must immediately close, as was the case in Victoria before schools moved to remote learning.
“Schools are clearly neither inherently safe nor unsafe,” the article said. “The risk associated with these settings depends on the level of community transmission, and it must be continuously evaluated. Schools must not remain open for face-to-face teaching in the setting of ongoing community transmission.”

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Victorian workplaces with the highest number of virus cases

Abattoirs have accumulated the highest number of coronavirus cases, new data detailing outbreaks across Victorian workplaces has revealed.
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Health data showed a total of 551 COVID-19 infections emerged across 14 abattoirs between June 1 and August 11, with an average of 39 infections recorded per outbreak.
While earlier data obtained by 9News this week showed a mega 874 cases had been linked to abattoirs during Victoria's coronavirus pandemic.

The outbreak at pork manufacturer Bertocchi Smallgoods had the most amount of COVID-19 cases, with 202 total infections confirmed today.

There were also 138 cases linked to an outbreak at JBS Brooklyn in Melbourne's west, according to yesterday's COVID-19 figures.
United Workers Union (UWU) confirmed to 9News there were number of new coronavirus cases inside the Brooklyn plant's beef and lamb processing areas, causing the sections to shut down for 14 days.
"We continue to have a number of concerns regarding safety," Victorian secretary Susie Allison said.
"Cold storage workers have previously had to cease work to receive additional information and safety measures."

The site was on Saturday closed for deep cleaning, with contact tracing still underway.
"All abattoir staff who were in the affected area will be tested and be required to complete 14 days of quarantine," a Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson said.

Warehouses came in second for workplace infections with 439 cases, followed by 'other' at 195 which included sites such as pharmacies, gyms and TAFEs.

Food distribution settings had 172 infections across nine sites and retail had 80 cases across 14 stores.

The data also showed majority of the state's COVID-19 figures had come from the "other" category, which included family and social settings where 5004 cases had been accumulated across 369 sites, followed by aged/residential care with 2453 cases across 136 facilities.

Cases linked to schools came in third with 630 infections across 69 sites.

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Prof. Blakely: Vic. numbers to be around 200 in 5 to 7 days
Epidemiologist Tony Blakely has polished off his crystal ball and read the omans and thinks the daily new cases in Victoria are likely to be dowb around 200 in maybe 1 week , but says that as numbers in metro Melbourne reduce, health authorities will need to be on the lookout for rising case numbers in regional Victoria.

Mr Andrews said there was no guarantee that downward trend would continue.
"This is not precise, it's not exact because it's all depending on literally hundreds of millions of individual choices and decisions that each of us make every single day," Mr Andrews said.
"You can't get a more variable set of circumstances than that.
"But with compliance up … and these measures in place our experts remain firm in the view that this will drive the numbers down."
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REGIONAL VICTORIA
Rise in infections has seen calls for further clampdown in regional Victoria
There's growing concern about the number of cases and spread of coronavirus in regional Victoria. The central Victorian town of Bendigo has more than 50 active cases.

COVID-19 clusters in regional Victoria identified as key outbreaks of concern
The Victorian Opposition is calling for stricter controls on the movement of Melburnians into regional Victoria, as concern grows about COVID-19 outbreaks in several cities.

There are now more than 500 active cases in regional Victoria, according to Department of Health data.
As of Wednesday there were 179 cases in Geelong, 53 in Bendigo, and 22 in Ballarat.
"We have seen some increases of concern to us in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo," Premier Daniel Andrews said on Wednesday.
"They are stable and they're very low numbers, but coming off such a low base, any additional cases are a concern to us."

An outbreak at St Joseph's Primary School in Bendigo is now at 16 active cases.

Meanwhile, an outbreak linked to a poultry farm on the outskirts of Bendigo has reached 20 active cases. Hazeldene's Chicken Farm has been closed for a week.

Geelong is also battling a meatworks outbreak.

Golden Farms Poultry in the Geelong suburb of Breakwater is at 44 active cases. One worker there died late last week after getting sick.

The farm's owner, Turosi, confirmed the 51-year-old man had worked for the company for more than 15 years.

An outbreak in neighbouring Colac Otway that started at a meatworks last month has reduced substantially in size, with active cases there down by 17 cases to 74 in the past week.

Other substantial outbreaks include a Geelong aged care home, Opal South Valley, where 38 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and two residents have died.

A fourth death in Geelong was confirmed to the ABC on Wednesday, however no details are known.

Further to the west of the state, there are more closures in Ballarat. Alfredton Primary School and a kindergarten in Lucas have also closed until further notice, after two children tested positive to COVID-19. It is unclear whether the cases are linked.

Two Hungry Jack's in Ballarat also closed temporarily this week after a worker got sick.

Majority of Bendigo cases being linked to Melbourne
Just two weeks ago, Bendigo was at eight active cases. Now it is at 53.

Bendigo Health's chief executive, Peter Faulkner, said it was a good sign that cases there had "plateaued" in recent days.
"But there's no reason for any of us to be complacent," Mr Faulkner said.

He said the majority of the cases had been associated with known and defined outbreaks.
"There is also a link with a number of those outbreaks with the metropolitan area. We know that's been a source of transmission for a number of outbreaks," Mr Faulkner said.

People are still allowed to travel from the virus hotspot of Melbourne to regional Victoria for essential work, study, and caregiving.

Victorian Nationals leader Peter Walsh said he had been getting daily calls from regional Victorians who were worried about an absence of checks on why people were travelling from Melbourne on the regional transport network.
"You can get on a V/Line bus or a V/Line train out of Melbourne and no-one checks why you're travelling, whether you have the appropriate permits to travel," he said.

Transport operators do not have the legal authority to enforce restrictions in line with the Chief Health Officer's advice, which is a matter for police.

In a statement, Victoria Police said it was running compliance checks on public transport.
"Transit police regularly run high visibility patrols on metro and regional train lines to ensure the community is adhering to the Chief Health Officer's directions and to also prevent anti-social behaviour," a spokesperson said.

"This will continue to be a focus in the coming weeks on all regional train lines across Victoria."

Melburnians urged to rethink travel to regional Victoria
Restrictions in regional Victoria are still at stage three — compared to Melbourne on stage four, where a curfew is in place.

Mr Walsh said he thought any further restrictions would be devastating for regional Victoria business owners.
"They're just beside themselves with worry about their future, so going to stage four would be even worse," he said.
"Probably the single biggest issue that those people raise is the fact that they don't want to see people coming from Melbourne into regional Victoria and increasing the spread of COVID-19."

The Premier urged people from Melbourne to reconsider their need to travel to regional Victoria.
"I'd ask people to give a little extra through to that, and think if that travel can be avoided," Mr Andrews said.

Mr Andrews said there was no current plan to move regional Victoria into stage four restrictions currently being implemented in Melbourne.
"I think with 512 cases in regional Victoria, those numbers are quite low," Mr Andrews said.
"We've got that local knowledge and perspective. By and large, the reports back show us that regional Victorians are doing the right thing."

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Lancefield residents concerned about local farmers' market closure
The future of Lancefield Farmers Market hangs in the balance, as the community races to find a suitable venue amid COVID-19 restrictions.

The monthly market — usually held in the town centre median strip — was moved to Lancefield Park on Chauncey Street, to comply with social distancing guidelines.

However, in the week leading up to the July market, the Lancefield Park Committee decided to revoke permission for it to be held at the Park, over concerns that it would attract people from lockdown areas into the town.

Friends of Lancefield Farmers Market member Christiana Plitzco said the market was then moved back to the median strip, but was again cancelled at the last minute because of its small size.

She said conversations have since been had with the Lancefield Neighbourhood House Committee and further progress had been made.
"As long as we have a suitable space we can go ahead," Ms Plitzco said.
"So we've gone across one hurdle, but at this point, unfortunately, we are at a stalemate with the local Parks Committee."

'Safe practices are being met'
She said she understood there were concerned members in the community, but wanted to reassure everyone that safe practices were being met.
"We are wanting the market out of the centre of town, so only those people that want to go can," she said.
"The park oval is a huge space... we had one-way traffic, one exit, people sanitize their hands. We only used credit cards, and if cash is needed it gets put in a bucket of soapy water.
"The Lancefield farmers market was the first one that did this, and was used as an example for all the other farmers markets in the region."

During Stage 3 lockdowns in regional Victoria, farmers markets are allowed to remain open, as they're deemed an essential service for people to do their weekly food shopping.

Ms Plitzco is worried that if the market were to remain closed, the town could lose its local producers.

'Vital for the economy'
"These people produce their fantastic vegetables and meat in and around a radius of 30 to 50 kilometres, they're not strangers and they have been with us for 17 years — they're vital for this economy," she said.

She said they may find other outlets to sell their produce and not return to Lancefield.
"They can't just keep a cauliflower in the fridge and wait for us to sell it in five months' time or two years' time - who knows how long that will take."

Friends of Lancefield Farmers Market is looking for alternative locations and are in discussions with a local winery and Macedon Ranges Shire Council about possible sites.

The ABC has has contacted the Lancefield Park Committee for comment, but is yet to receive a response.

'Safety in mind'
Lancefield Neighbourhood House Coordinator Vivian Philpotts said if a location could be found, residents could be assured it would be with everyone's safety in mind.
"It is an essential service and is following all regulations," Ms Philpotts said.
"It would be a shame if we risked losing the market for the future."

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AGED CARE
Australia's Covid aged care deaths 'worst disaster that is still unfolding before my eyes'

An aged care expert has told the royal commission examining the sector that Covid-19 is “the worst disaster that is still unfolding before my eyes”, and warned that hundreds of residents will die prematurely because of a failure of authorities to act.

Prof Joseph Ibrahim, head of the health law and ageing research unit at Monash University’s forensic medicine department, also told the aged care royal commission on Wednesday morning he believes Australia’s rate of death in residential aged care is more than 68% – the second-highest in the world behind Canada at 80%.

The royal commission heard there were several issues regarding aged care staffing – including that staff cuts had been ramped up during the pandemic, that more than 1000 aged care workers have so far contracted Covid-19, and that many workers were struggling to access personal protective equipment with some limited to using two face masks per shift.
There’s no checking of where that money has gone … aged care providers are actually cutting staff.

Annie Butler
Annie Butler, the federal secretary of the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation, told the commission a union survey showed aged care facilities had been ramping up staff cuts throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said it took more than a month, and media attention, to be granted a meeting with the federal aged care minister, Richard Colbeck, to discuss the “astonishing” issue.
“There was supposed to be money dedicated specifically for increasing staffing and skills but there’s no accountability. There’s no checking of where that money has gone,” Butler said.
“In Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and some parts of New South Wales, aged care providers are actually cutting staff.
“We were told at the time we did our survey that some providers had cut staff from 1 March but over the last month or two, the feedback from members and even from employers directly, is that their cutting [of] staff has increased.”

Butler also said members had reported “incredible breaches of infection control”, with workers telling the union “they could only use one glove rather than two” to conserve PPE while others were “told to reuse equipment - put it in collective plastic bags”.

Michael Lye, a deputy secretary at the federal health department, told the royal commission that advice - outlined by a subcommittee of the commonwealth’s Australian Health Protection Principal Committee - to aged care providers to prepare for staff losses of 20%-30% during an outbreak were unrealistic.

Newmarch House head Grant Millard told the commission on Tuesday that 87% of staff were unable to work during its outbreak.
Ibrahim’s comments about the magnitude of the disaster came after the aged care royal commission earlier this week heard evidence of a “frustrating level of dysfunction” between state and federal health authorities over whether to send infected residents to hospital, and a failure of the federal government and aged care regulator to develop a specific Covid-19 response plan for the sector.
Dr Brendan Murphy, the Department of Health secretary, requested he be allowed to respond to the allegation the federal government failed to develop a Covid-19 response plan sector, but was shot down by the commissioners. Rozen subsequently noted Murphy had only been added to the hearing schedule at the request of the Commonwealth hours after the allegation of a lack of a plan was first heard.

Earlier, Ibrahim criticised the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission for using a self-assessment survey for aged care homes.
There’s a lack of empathy, a lack of urgency. There’s an attitude of futility which leads to an absence of action

Prof Joseph Ibrahim
“Anyone with a child at school would know that if you ask someone to self-assess themselves they’re either super confident and assess themselves as being fabulous or don’t know enough about their own problems to say that they’ve got gaps.
“The system is broken. And what we’ve seen with Covid is that the system is broken at a high level because it’s not the aged care workers that have failed us in this. It is our people who are in governance roles – and I’m not going to call them leaders because they’re not leading – the people in governance positions who are accountable for what happens is where we have failed.”
“They have not recognised the magnitude of the problem staring them in the face.”
Asked about the self-assessment process, ACQSC commissioner Janet Anderson said she wasn’t surprised that “there did seem to be a large degree of confidence that providers were ready in the event of a pandemic”. When asked why the self-assessments didn’t ask if a facility had a Covid-19 outbreak management plan, Anderson replied: “I don’t know.”
Ibrahim also said the so-called hospital in the home approach which aimed to keep residents in aged care facilities during outbreaks was “wrong and inappropriate”. He said the general health department document the government proffered as an aged care Covid-19 response was not specific in detailing action and only acknowledged that aged care was a high-risk area.
Ibrahim criticised “people in governance positions” within Australia’s aged care sector, and governments, for not recognising “the magnitude of the problem staring them in the face” and said the fact different federal and state government bodies and regulators hadn’t taken responsibility for aged care issues was causing confusion.
“The human misery and suffering must be acknowledged. This is the worst disaster that is still unfolding before my eyes and it’s the worst in my entire career,” Ibrahim said.
“In my opinion, hundreds of residents are, and will, die prematurely because people have failed to act. There’s a lack of empathy, a lack of urgency. There’s an attitude of futility which leads to an absence of action.”

Ibrahim said when he raised his concerns with governing authorities, both before and after the pandemic outbreak, he had received “comments saying that everything is under control, that I’m simply overreacting and causing panic”.
“We fail because we have treated residents as second-class citizens. There’s an absence of accountability. There still is and there is no consequences for failing to deliver good care in aged care.”

On the failure to develop an aged care Covid-19 response plan by government and the aged care regulator – claims since refuted by Colbeck and acting chief medical officer Prof Paul Kelly on Tuesday – Ibrahim said there had been an absence of “plan management that you teach to undergraduates”.
Referring to the Department of Health’s Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus, released in February, Ibrahim said: “I think any person reading it would see that it doesn’t do that. It’s Australia’s health sector emergency response. It’s not Australia’s aged care sector response, just in the title.
“This health sector emergency response plan does not address what needs to happen in aged care. It simply says aged care is a high-risk area. There’s fundamentally no gap analysis to prepare us. And that’s the first step in, I guess, any situation around a problem. You know, what are the strengths, what are the weaknesses, where are the gaps? It’s not there.”
“I’m surprised that the minister [Colbeck] is relying purely on public health specialists and infection disease specialists to manage aged care when the department and the minister know full well the circumstances in aged care are quite different.”

Carolyn Smith, WA state secretary of the United Workers Union, said government guidance and policies for aged care during the pandemic were developed without consulting workers to understand their needs and infection risks.
“The absolute lack of involvement and communication with care staff who are doing the majority of work in the facilities, I think is negligent to the extreme,” she said.

When Diana Asmar, the secretary of the Health Workers Union, told the royal commission union members in the sector were struggling to get personal protective equipment including masks, and that some were making do according to an “appalling” two mask per shift guideline, commissioner Lynelle Briggs responded: “oh god”.
Asmar earlier said the union believed more than 1000 workers – including carers, kitchen staff, cleaners and clerical workers in aged care - had contracted Covid-19, based on calls the union had received and made to facilities experiencing outbreaks.
“Our members right now feel like they’re on the bottom of the Titanic ship,” she said.

Aged care royal commission hears how hundreds are at risk of premature death from coronavirus failings
An expert witness to the Royal Commission into Aged Care has criticised Australia's response to COVID-19 in aged care homes — saying residents have been treated as second-class citizens.

Professor Joseph Ibrahim told the inquiry there was little understanding of the size of the threat to aged-care residents, who account for about 68 % of all COVID-19 deaths, despite being just 1 % of the population.
Professor Ibrahim, who heads the Health Law and Ageing Unit at Monash University, described the situation as a "disaster".
"I didn't think we'd sink any lower following the Royal Commission findings from last year and yet we have," he said.
"In my opinion, hundreds of residents are and will die prematurely, because people have failed to act."

Professor Ibrahim, a specialist in geriatric medicine, said it was "inappropriate" to use "advanced care plans" as a way to manage the pandemic.

Advanced care plans set out what healthcare a patient facing a medical crisis should receive.

He said it was also wrong to leave COVID-positive residents in their care home.
"We have the knowledge to do better, we failed because we've treated residents as second-class citizens," he said.
"There's an absence of accountability, and there is no consequences for failing to deliver good care in aged care."

Professor Ibrahim also criticised the decision to put the aged care regulator in charge of assessing how prepared aged-care homes were for the pandemic.

He said the results of a self-assessment survey conducted by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission could not be trusted.

Around 2,300 care homes responded to the survey and almost all said their readiness for a COVID-19 outbreak was either satisfactory or best practice.
"Anyone with a child at school would know that if you ask someone to self-assess themselves they're either super confident and assess themselves as being fabulous or don't know enough about their own problems to say that they've got gaps," he said.

He said care homes would also have been wary of being frank to the body that regulates and sanctions their sector.

There were testy exchanges at the commission on Wednesday, where senior health officials were grilled on the response to COVID-19 outbreaks in aged care homes.

Senior counsel Peter Rozen's claim on Monday that the aged care sector did not have a COVID-19 plan was disputed by the Federal Health Department's Brendan Murphy.

When Mr Rozen quizzed the Health Department's Michael Lye on the reason the aged care sector was suffering if a plan was in place, Mr Lye deferred to his boss, Professor Murphy, but was met with a curt response.
"You're the senior most official with aged care responsibility within the Commonwealth department, and I'd like you to answer," Mr Rozen told Mr Lye.

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QUARANTINE BREACHES
Victoria hotel quarantine inquiry hears of 'pivotal' meeting that led to use of private security
A “pivotal” meeting of Victorian government officials on 27 March led to the decision to use private security contractors for the $80m hotel quarantine program, a parliamentary inquiry has heard.

As the dispute between the state and federal governments continued over whether defence force support for the program was offered, the Victorian jobs minister, Martin Pakula, dismissed media reports that he was ultimately responsible for hotel quarantine, stating his department didn’t have operational control for the program.
The department secretary, Simon Phemister, told the inquiry the department had a limited say at the meeting, which was attended by officials from several state departments and chaired by the emergency services commissioner, Andrew Crisp.
“We all put forward our views, deferred to the experts when it came to matters of security, when it came to matters of health protection and public health, and from that meeting an operational plan was struck,” Phemister said.
“We didn’t offer any advice into that meeting in areas where we don’t hold expertise.”

It was ultimately the jobs department that was responsible for procuring security firms once the decision had been made, but Phemister said the department had an “ancillary” logistical role in that it did not have any power over detaining people in hotels, nor any role in health matters relating to hotel quarantine.

Pakula told the inquiry that early in the hotel quarantine program, officers from his department told the state control centre it was the department’s view that police should be on site at the hotels.

Phemister said the department brought issues around security to the attention of the deputy state controller, Chris Eagle.

On Monday, the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, told the inquiry the hotel quarantine program was an extension of another program for protecting vulnerable members of the community, and those escaping domestic violence, which already used private security.

Andrews said claims the Australian defence force was available for assistance were “fundamentally incorrect”.

On Tuesday afternoon, the federal defence minister, Linda Reynolds, put out a statement contradicting Andrews, stating that Victoria had informed the ADF that “Victoria was not seeking ADF assistance with mandatory quarantine arrangements”.

Related: Victoria and Melbourne Covid trend map: where coronavirus cases are rising or falling

Crisp responded on Wednesday morning, stating that although the Australian defence force was involved in the planning of hotel quarantine on 27 and 28 March, assistance was not sought or offered by the ADF in managing the system.

On Wednesday, Andrews referred back to the statement when asked about the contradiction with Reynolds’ statement

“I don’t know the federal defence minister. I don’t deal with her. I deal with the prime minister.”

Asked why Crisp had not been involved in any press conference during the pandemic, even though he had appeared before the media during the summer bushfire crisis, Andrews said the commissioner was “very busy”.

The Victorian inquiry will hear from Crisp on 26 August, while the first hearing into the hotel quarantine program will be held on Monday

Claims regarding Aged Care Catastrophy in Melbourne
The Federal Government has rejected a claim by Premier Andrews that the Australian Defence Force wasn't offered to assist the state's hotel quarantine scheme.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said assistance from the ADF was offered as early as March 27 but the government was advised Victoria did not require any help from the army.
<< 27 Mar is 3 months before the situation in aged care in Melbourne blew up . Would be interesting to the Ministers’ diary and records , suspect buck passing and arse covering is going on here .>>

'Simply wrong': Andrews refutes claims he rejected ADF help
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says suggestions he consistently said no to requests for help from the ADF in the management of the hotel quarantine program are "simply wrong".
"Let's be very clear about this. It has been consistently put to me that me or others have consistently said no to help," Mr Andrews during his COVID-19 briefing today.
"That's simply wrong. That is simply wrong."

Andrews said he could not speak to a statement issued by Federal Defence Minister Linda Reynolds yesterday which appeared to contradict what he told a parliamentary inquiry.
Mr Andrews yesterday told the state's estimates committee the notion there were hundreds of ADF staff on offer to help the state with its hotel quarantine program was "fundamentally incorrect".

Ms Reynolds later disputed that claim and said Victoria rejected offers for help from the ADF in March.

But in a statement issued late yesterday, Victoria's Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp asserted the ADF were involved in the planning and help was not rejected.

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Mr Andrews backed Mr Crisp's statement and said it "clears the matter up".
"I can confirm that the Australian Defence Force were involved in the initial planning of the hotel quarantine program," Mr Crisp's statement read.
"Representatives of the ADF participated in the Operation Soteria planning and coordination meetings on 27 and 28 March 2020.
"During these discussions I did not seek nor did representatives of the ADF offer assistance as part of the hotel quarantine program. "Subsequent communications with the ADF on the 12th and 15th of April did not relate to ADF assistance as part of the program."
This morning Mr Andrews said he believed Mr Crisp's statement contradicted Ms Reynolds claims about the availability of defence personnel.

He would not address why ADF personnel were not used to run the state's hotel quarantine program.
Today Mr Andrews told reporters Mr Crisp's statement "provides the facts of the matter".
"I really can't offer any more than that," he said.
"Other than to stress, yet again — you know, I can't speak to the federal Defence Minister. I can't speak for statements she's made. That's entirely a matter for her.
"What I can do, though, is be really clear with you, that Andrew Crisp has issued a statement. I don't think it could be clearer or plainer.
"People can make their own judgements."

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Mr Andrews was also asked why the ADF and police officers were used in the New South Wales hotel quarantine program but not Victoria's.
"You will need to speak to the NSW government," he said.
"The exact nature of the difference — you would need a clear understanding of exactly what happened in NSW.
"And they will be the people who will be able to put that to you.
Mr Andrews maintains the decision for privately contracted security guards to be used in hotel quarantine is the subject of a judicial inquiry.

He said he did not have answers on who signed off on guards being used in the program.
"The rigour, the strength of the process or otherwise - and what drove the decision, how it was implemented, who was implemented by, whether it was done satisfactorily or not, are directly referenced in the inquiry's terms of reference," he said.
"I can't provide you with an answer to some of those questions. And that's why I've gone and essentially engaged someone else at arm's length to go and get those answers."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
Premier questioned over role of ADF in hotel quarantine
Yesterday Mr Andrews told State Parliament's Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) that the notion there were hundreds of ADF staff on offer to help the state with its hotel quarantine program was "fundamentally incorrect".

Later in the day Defence Minister Linda Reynolds disputed that claim, saying Victoria rejected offers for help in March.

Today Mr Andrews pointed reporters to a statement by Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp, who said the ADF was involved in planning meetings in March but did not offer, and nor did he seek, any assistance.
"I really can't offer any more than that," Mr Andrews said.
"I don't think it could be clearer or plainer."

The Premier was also asked why the ADF and police officers were used in New South Wales's hotel quarantine program, but Victoria used private security contractors.
"You will need to speak to the New South Wales Government," he said.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... &ocid=iehp

OTHER BREACHES
Victoria Police reviewing alleged 'choking' arrest of woman not wearing a mask in Melbourne
Victoria Police is conducting an internal investigation after footage showing an officer holding a woman who wasn't wearing a mask by the throat was posted online.

A video posted on Twitter shows a male police officer holding a woman around the neck while she yells "get off me ... you're choking me!"
One of the police officer's thumbs can be seen pressing into the woman's cheek as he holds her.
Another female police officer approaches, and the woman is seen kicking her in the chest.
The male officer then manoeuvrers the woman to the ground and holds her down.

A different video of the incident uploaded to YouTube shows the woman on her back yelling "get off me!" while the male police officer sits on her torso.
A man standing and filming the incident nearby is heard yelling "get off her!" and calling the police officers "hypocrites" for not social distancing.
The female police officer is also seen standing and watching.
<< SOUNDS LIKE A SETUP BY ANTIMASKERS >>

Towards the end of the footage the woman on the ground is heard saying: "Why am I under arrest … assault? I did not assault you — you grabbed me!"

What happened in the lead-up to the police officer holding the woman around her neck was not captured in either video.
Victoria Police said the 21-year-old St Kilda woman was arrested in Collingwood on Monday evening after refusing to provide her identification to the officers for not wearing a face covering.

In a statement, police said the woman became "physically aggressive" and kicked the female officer in the upper body when they decided to arrest her.
The woman was charged with resisting police and assaulting police.
Victoria Police said she was not fined for failing to wear a face covering because after being arrested, she told police she had an exemption.

The incident comes a little over a week after Victoria declared a state of disaster, giving police broader powers to issue on-the-spot fines and enforce restrictions.
On Tuesday, 202 people were fined for breaching the Chief Health Officer's directions, such as failing to wear a face covering in public or breaching the curfew in Melbourne.

The 21-year-old woman's arrest has been referred to Victoria Police's internal Professional Standards Command for review.

When asked about the Collingwood incident at Tuesday's coronavirus update, Premier Daniel Andrews said he had not seen the video and could not comment on the specific case, but expressed gratitude for the job police were doing during the pandemic.
"I am supportive of Victoria Police being very cautious when they deal with people who are not wearing masks or who are openly breaking the rules," he said.
"I think our Victoria Police have done an outstanding job right throughout this."

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

Melbourne vloggers fined $5,000 after filming themselves breaching curfew for McDonald's run
Key points:
The vloggers pulled the video from Weibo after receiving widespread criticism
They turned themselves in to police and were fined $1,652 each
Victoria Police issued 202 fines in 24 hours to those breaching health orders

Three Melbourne vloggers have been fined thousands of dollars after they posted a video of themselves breaching curfew rules for a McDonald's run on Chinese social media.
In the five-minute video, the vloggers, who are also Chinese international students, are seen walking through alleys and dodging police officers on Elizabeth Street in the CBD, as they make their way to a nearby McDonald's restaurant at 2:30am on Sunday.

The students also boasted about having the "courage" to break the city's 8:00pm to 5:00am curfew, which was imposed as part of Melbourne's stage 4 coronavirus restrictions earlier this month.
"Who does late-night McDonald's serve?" one student said in the video, accompanied by the James Bond theme tune.
"It serves us — the heroic people," another student replied.

The students also filmed themselves dancing in the McDonald's restaurant while waiting for their food, before returning to their apartment and telling viewers: "This is why Melbourne's restrictions are like a fart."

However, a McDonald's spokesman told the ABC the restaurant did not serve the students.
"We have reviewed the restaurant's CCTV and can confirm the individuals were not served during curfew," he said.
"McDonald's continues to follow all government guidance and our Melbourne restaurants are only providing delivery service during the curfew hours.
"The individuals left the premises empty-handed and our CCTV footage has been shared with the police accordingly."

The video, which was later also shared on Chinese social media WeChat, received tens of thousands of views in just a few hours.

It sparked widespread condemnation from the Chinese community, attracting hundreds of comments calling the students "irresponsible" and expressing concern over their unlawful activity.
"Don't show off risking other people's lives, even if you don't care about your own safety," Wu Yufeng, a Melbourne resident, commented on WeChat.

Another WeChat user said they were worried it could put all Chinese migrants and international students in Australia to "shame".

'Our so-called courage is very naive before the law'
The criticism forced the students to pull the video from Weibo and issue a public apology, saying they regretted their actions and would turn themselves in to police.

The vloggers told the ABC in a statement that they accepted every criticism they received and they also "provided their detailed account" to police on Monday.
"Our so-called 'courage' is very naive before the law. We were a group of shameful jokers, and ignorant people seeking attention," they said in the statement.

"We have confessed our mistakes to the police today and received our infringements.
"We accept all criticism, which is the punishment we deserve."

Victoria Police confirmed each person was fined $1,652 on Monday for breaching chief health officer directives.
"It followed a video which emerged of them filming themselves going out after the curfew hours at approximately 2.30am on Sunday morning to get take away food from a fast food restaurant in the CBD," a Victoria Police spokesperson told the ABC.
"For the sake of the health and safety of every Victorian, we need people to follow these directives and will not hesitate to issue fines to those who choose to selfishly and blatantly show a disregard for community safety."

Victoria Police issued a total of 202 fines in the past 24 hours to those breaching health orders.

Among those flouting the rules, 70 people were found to have breached curfew and 33 people were caught not wearing a face covering when leaving home for one of the four approved reasons.

A fine was also issued to a man sitting in his car in a Maribyrnong car park, more than 5 kilometres from his residence.

When asked for his reason to be there, he said his "housemate's intimate partner was over and the couple were being too loud in the bedroom so he left the house to get peace and quiet," according to a separate statement.

'Their words and behaviours represented the whole community'
While the vloggers deleted their original video from Weibo, many in the Chinese community remained concerned about the consequences of their actions as the video continued to circulate on other social media platforms.

Mr Liu Huifeng, founder of SOS-AUS, a well-known neighbourhood watch organisation in the Chinese community, said he was very disappointed about the video, especially as Victorians were making every effort to battle the second wave.
"No-one should take laws and regulations as a joke," Mr Liu told the ABC.

He added that although the students' behaviour should only reflect themselves, it may be seen to "represent the whole community [from] other communities' perspectives".
Haiqing Yu, an associate professor in Chinese digital media at RMIT, said the widespread outrage towards the incident showed the Chinese-Australian community highly valued a culture of self-discipline during the pandemic.

Dr Yu said people of Chinese background in Australia had become more sensitive to negative stories about the community amid anti-China sentiment.
"Some discrimination cases against Chinese people have made the community more sensitive and disciplined," Dr Yu said.
"Chinese people are concerned about being victimised in the context of the political debate between China and the West, as well as the anti-China sentiment," she said.
Dr Yu said she believed the vloggers' behaviour was mainly about "seeking attention" rather than trying to cause harm.
"They were simply showing off, being rebellious, and their individual behaviour shouldn't be taken as representing the whole
Chinese community," she said, adding that education is more important than shaming and blaming.
"I believe the vloggers have [now] received very good education about civic responsibility through community.
"Their corrective behaviour such as turning themselves to the police should be acknowledged."

The statement from the vloggers emphasised their regret about potentially "shaming" Chinese people in Australia.
"We have shamed Chinese people in Melbourne, and caused extremely negative consequences for them," the vloggers said.
"We are extremely thankful for some people's reasonable criticism. We'd like to once again sincerely apologise to everyone."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-12/ ... n/12546682

ECONOMIC IMPACT
Victorian jobless predictions
Victoria's unemployment rate is set to rise to 11% by September with 325,000 people out of work.

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

Vic may be back on beers by Christmas
Victorians could be back on the beers by Christmas, according to modelling by the state's treasury department.

Metropolitan Melbourne is under tough stage four coronavirus restrictions, which include an overnight curfew and ban on travelling beyond a five-kilometre radius of home.

Regional Victoria is under stage three restrictions.

Both sets of restrictions are due to end on September 13.

Treasurer Tim Pallas told state parliament's COVID-19 inquiry on Wednesday the economy was expected to improve by mid-September.
"How quickly and how effective that process will be, I suppose history will judge," he told the Public Accounts and Estimate Committee.

Treasury secretary David Martine said modelling was based on stage four restrictions moving to stage three in mid-September and then stage two in the December quarter.
"We're not actually forecasting a bounce-back in the September quarter," Mr Martine said.

Previous stage two restrictions allowed for cafes, restaurants and pubs to reopen, while Victorians were able to host five visitors in their home and meet outside in groups of up to 10.
"Our economy is resilient and we will get through this but the best thing right now is to get on top of the health emergency so we can begin the task of economic recovery," Mr Pallas said.

He said unemployment could peak at 11 per cent in the three months to September, a two per cent rise on forecasts released last month, while job losses are expected to peak at 325,000.

Women and young people have been most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Pallas said, noting they were more likely to work in the worst-hit sectors including hospitality, social services, healthcare and retail.
"The nature of their employment tends to be more insecure," he said.

Premier Daniel Andrews said Mr Martine had to make assumptions for the modelling and a conclusion could not be drawn that the timing of reopening of the economy was a certainty.
"I would love to be able to confirm for you what we're going to be facing in October. We can't know that. We can only assume," Mr Andrews told reporters.
"I would just say that's a theoretical issue. The practical delivery of this strategy really does depend upon literally millions and millions of decisions that are made by individuals and families each and every day."

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

SOME VICTORIANS ARE EXPERIENCING CABIN FEATHER
I ran a 42km marathon in my backyard!
Jim Poussard, 45, from Mordialloc, Vic, shares his story
I put one foot steadily in front of the other and took a few deep breaths.
"Keep going, Dad!" my daughters, Sammy, 14, Emma, 12, and Georgia, nine, cheered from the garage as I jogged past them.

At the beginning of 2020, I'd decided to run 20 marathons to raise $20,000 for the Royal Children's Hospital.

As a running and athletics coach, I wanted to do something to give back to the hospital that had made such a difference when Georgia was born.

My wife, Susan, had been recovering from her difficult pregnancy so the doctors had decided to keep her and Georgia on the ward longer than usual.

As she got some rest, Susan noticed the emergency team race down the hall towards the nursery.
Ten minutes later, doctors told her it was our baby girl. Susan called me in tears and I rushed straight there.
"Georgia has a narrow aorta and some holes in her heart," the doctor told us. "She'll need urgent surgery to fix it."

We were terrified.

Two days later, Georgia was rushed into theatre. We felt helpless, putting all our trust into the medical team to save our girl.

Thankfully, the op was a success but we weren't out of the woods just yet.

Georgia was in ICU for a month before coming home and had to be fed through a tube while she healed.

The incredible hospital staff helped train us on how to put it back in if she pulled it out.

It was tough but soon, Georgia was a healthy and happy little girl.

After everything we'd been through, raising money for the hospital was the least I could do.

A week before I was due to run my sixth marathon of the year, it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I was disappointed.
"I'll have to run a lonely made-up marathon," I said sadly to Susan.

But as the world adapted to their new way of life, I noticed other runners in the community had created their own marathons in their house!

Inspired to hit my target, I set about cleaning our place, tidying the garage and planning my own marathon.

The track spanned 80 metres and it would take 528 laps to hit the 42.2km marathon distance.

I posted about my at-home marathon on Facebook and the local news ended up covering it.

"You're halfway!" called Sammy, who was keeping score of my laps. With the encouragement from my girls and neighbours, the time flew by.
After six hours, Susan and the girls cheered as I ran through a finish line of toilet paper.

It was slightly longer than my usual time, but I was stoked.

The extra attention my make-shift marathon received attracted more donations for the hospital and now I'm well on track for meeting my $20,000 goal at the end of the year.

I'm expanding my local marathons so others can join me.

No matter what 2020 throws at us, I'm determined to do what it takes to encourage donations for the hospital that saved my daughter's life.

I've just got 
to keep on running.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/entertainment ... 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
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 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:12 am

12 AUGUST NSW
NSW records 18 new virus cases, strong plea to wear masks
Key points:
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said her state was on "high alert"
She also said NSW residents returning from Victoria would no longer have to pay for their own hotel quarantine stints
Tangara School for Girls, in Sydney's north-west, is the centre of a significant COVID-19 outbreak

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has revealed there were 18 new cases of coronavirus in the state until 8pm last night.

One of those is in hotel quarantine, and the majority of others are linked to known clusters.

However, she has warned NSW remains in a state of "high alert".

Premier hints at toughening restrictions
The premier also hinted at getting tougher on mask wearing in the state and urged people in churches and other religious venues to wear masks.

"The health advice and updates we get tell us you have a greater chance, statistically, of getting the virus from someone you know well – a friend of a contact or someone you see often," Ms Berejiklian said.

"It's this setting, this familiarity that sometimes causes complacency."

She also urged hospitality venues to download, register and follow the COVID-Safe plans.

"If we don't see greater compliance, we will need to take further action."
NSW Health Minister recommends mask usage
'Wear a mask on transport, at shopping centres'
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has asked everyone in the community to behave as if we all have the "very dangerous" coronavirus.
"The bottom line here is, masks," Mr Hazzard said.
"If you're on public transport, you really should be wearing a mask. We're not making it mandatory at this stage but we're certainly saying to the community, wear a mask.
"If you're in the shopping centres… wear a mask.
"If you go to church, or a place of worship, wear a mask.
"It's not a matter of actually asking whether it's ok to do it, it's a case of just do it," he added.

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

Grace period for returning NSW residents
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian also announced a one-month "grace period" for NSW residents returning from Victoria, who would otherwise be forced to pay $3,000 for mandatory hotel quarantine.
"We feel there are a number of applications on hardship grounds where NSW residents, who may have lost their jobs or have been down there for very tragic family circumstances, want to come back home," she said.
"Of course, you will still need to do your hotel quarantine, but you won't need to pay for it."

NSW health authorities also confirmed residents of the Australian Capital Territory were permitted to drive through NSW to return home, as long as they completed the journey within the next five days.

Drivers have been ordered not to stop for refuelling during the trip in NSW, which can only take place between the hours of 9:00am and 3:00pm and until August 17.

After arriving in the ACT, re-entry to NSW will not be permitted for 14 days.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-12/ ... s/12548820

Hospital worker tests positive, another case linked to Sydney school
A staff member at emergency department at Hornsby Hospital has tested positive for coronavirus, but did not work while infectious, Dr Kerry Chant has said.

A third confirmed case has been linked to Our Lady of Mercy College in Parramatta and the school has been closed for two weeks.
"We are concerned we have local transmission particular in western Sydney and south western Sydney," Dr Chant said, urging anyone in these areas to come forward for testing.

A breakdown of today's cases in NSW
- 13 were locally acquired and linked to known case
- one is a returned traveller from overseas
- two were locally acquired, without a known source
- two were acquired in Victoria

A restaurant in the town of Huskisson on the NSW south coast was also closed after two people, who were infectious with Covid-19, visited while on holiday from Sydney.
The two patrons were at the Wildginger restaurant on Saturday 8 August from 7.30pm to 10.30 pm. People who were there at this time must self-isolate for 14 days and get tested for Covid-19.

Health authorities also issued new warnings for the Rhodes Ikea on 8 August, between 1.20pm-2.20pm, the Parramatta Westfield on 5 August between 4pm-5.30pm and 8 August between 12pm-1pm, Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club from 5pm on 7 August to 1.30am on 8 August, Castle Towers Shopping Centre on 7 August between 3.30pm-5pm, Baby Bunting in Penrith on Saturday 8 August between 1.15pm-1.45pm.

People who attended these venues at those times are advised to isolate, monitor and test for Covid-19 should any symptoms develop.

Chant and the NSW health minister Brad Hazzard said there was evidence of community transmission in south-western and western Sydney.
“We don’t want non-essential travel especially to our rural and regional areas,” Chant said. “We are concerned we have local transmission particularly in the south-western and western Sydney areas.”
“We have been in contact with the people affected and we are working closely with NSW Health to assist them in their contact tracing in order to contain the outbreak,” it says.

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

Ms Berejiklian reinforced that any extra-curricular school activities, like overnight camps, "shouldn't occur".
"We know the rules we've put in place, the strong advice that we've provided works, so long as it is applied across the board," she said.
"Compliance is absolutely critical.
"If we don't see a greater uptake in the next little while, we will consider further measures in which we can see that uptake."

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

NSW Premier READS THE RIOT ACT TO NSW - 'Further measures' likely if testing and compliance do not increase.
Gladys Berejiklian has threatened "further measures" for the state if testing and compliance did not increase in New South Wales as the state records 18 new COVID-19 cases overnight.
"Compliance is absolutely critical... If we don't see a greater uptake, we will consider further measures in which we can increase that uptake," Ms Berejiklian said.
"NSW remains in a state of high alert. We know the rules we've put in place works so long as it is applied across the board.
"While numbers have remained stable in NSW for the past month, we can't be assured of that moving forward.
"Our concern is the accumulation of those unknown sources."

The NSW Premier pleaded with residents in Western and South West Sydney - where higher levels of community transmission have occurred - to come forward for testing.

Ms Berejiklian reiterated the importance of those attending places of worship to wear masks.
"It's this setting; this familiarity which sometimes causes complacency which all of us need to be on top of," she said.
"You have a greater chance statistically of getting the virus from someone you know well... rather than a random occurrence.

The premier issued another warning to businesses to ensure they complied with the implementation and registration of COVIDsafe plans.
"If you don't register the plan we have to assume you don't have a plan in place and if we don't see compliance, we will have to take further action," she said.

The Premier said NSW residents returning from Victoria would not be required to foot the bill for hotel quarantine "for the next month".

The majority of new infections were from known outbreaks in the state while two cases were acquired in Victoria and one case acquired overseas.

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

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
Wildginger restaurant, Huskisson: 7.45pm to 10.30pm on Saturday 8 August
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
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
Castle Towers Shopping Centre, Castle Hill: 3.30pm to 5pm on Friday 7 August
PharmaSave Cherrybrook Pharmacy in Appletree Shopping Centre, Cherrybrook: 4pm to 7pm on Thursday 6 August
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
Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club, Lidcombe: 5pm on Friday 7 August to 1.30am on Saturday 8 August
Westfield Liverpool, Liverpool: 10.30am to 11am and 12.30pm to 1pm on Friday 7 August
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
Westfield Parramatta, Parramatta: 4pm to 5.30pm on Wednesday 5 August12pm to 1pm on Saturday 8 August
St Agatha’s, Pennant Hills: 6.30 am to 7am on Wednesday 5 August; 6.30 am to 7am on Thursday 6 August
Baby Bunting, Penrith: 1.15pm to 1.45pm on Saturday 8 August
Penrith Plaza, Penrith: 10.30am to 12pm Saturday 1 August
The Eveleigh Hotel, Redfern: 8.30pm to 10pm on Friday 31 July
Ikea, Rhodes: 1.20pm to 2.20pm on Saturday 8 August
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
5th Avenue Beauty Bar, Wetherill Park: 2pm to 3pm on Saturday 8th August

<< Victorians are now asking the Victorian Health Department to publish similar very specific and precise data for their own state so they know where to avoid and can assess their own risk of contact infections.>>

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

Dubbo chosen for NSW trial of QR code COVID sign-in system
If you're lucky enough to be allowed to go to cafes, shops or a government agency, you'll likely be asked for your details, to help with COVID-19 contact tracing.

Signing into a business has been required since restrictions were eased.

Sometimes it is done by writing your name in a book or using several apps on your smartphone with a QR code.

At times it can be cumbersome, so the Service NSW app has been updated to include a QR code scanner to help streamline the process.

The New South Wales Government has decided to trial the new one-size-fits-all approach in Dubbo.
"Dubbo has been chosen because it really is a digital location, the digital driver's licence was really successful," local MP Dugald Saunders said.
"Dubbo very quickly picks up new technology like this and Dubbo is a great place to trial things like this."

The new-look Service NSW app can be used to 'check-in' at hospitality venues and government offices.
"Once you set it up the first time your name and phone number will auto-populate with businesses that have our COVIDSafe app," Lee Schwager from Service NSW Dubbo said.
"It's convenient, it's more secure and gives people more confidence on where their information is going to."

If successful, it will be rolled out statewide.
"This will be, I think, the new protocol for government departments from here on it," Mr Saunders said.
"It automatically captures the date the time and is all stored on the department's database, then it stays there for 28 days and then it's deleted."

Local cafes adapting to change
Errin Williamson, who runs a local cafe in Dubbo, has been adapting to the changing nature of restrictions since the outbreak.

Her "COVID Queens" greet customers at the door and make the task of handing over personal details less cumbersome.
"It's been a process of educating guests on how to use it, but 90 per cent of our customers are onto it now," she said.

With new cases still over 300 a day in Victoria and outbreaks in Sydney, Batemans Bay and Newcastle, she has welcomed any measures to make life safer for customers and staff.
"I think it's here to stay. As cafe owners, we have a responsibility to look after the community. So as long as we are on top of it, we can keep everyone safe," she said.

For those without a smartphone camera, the State Government says there will still be protocols in place to ensure details of every customer can be captured.

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


SCHOOLS

Calls for mandatory masks in NSW high schools amid growing student cluster
Students and staff at NSW high schools should be required to wear masks to stop the increase of COVID-19 cases, the Independent Education Union says.
Mask-wearing must be mandated in NSW high schools, an education union says, as the number of cases linked to the state's students continues to grow.

NSW health authorities are still working to trace the source of a 17-strong coronavirus cluster developing at an independent Catholic school in northwest Sydney.

At least six of the state's 22 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday were linked on to Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook.
It's the highest daily increase of COVID-19 cases in NSW for almost four months, with 17 locally acquired cases being the highest number in that category since late July.

The Independent Education Union says a move to mandate mask use for students and staff at senior schools is needed to prevent further outbreaks in schools.

"The IEU is concerned that our members and the young people in their charge are being told there is something exceptional about passing through the school gates that means the COVID-safe precautions we are all undertaking out in the wider community need no longer apply," IEUA NSW secretary Mark Northam said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Opus Dei-associated Tangara has closed its secondary campus until August 24 and its junior campus until at least Wednesday after its first COVID-19 case last week.
Another primary school, Parramatta Public School, will close on Wednesday for deep cleaning after a student tested positive to COVID-19.

In western Sydney, Bonnyrigg Heights Public School reopened on Tuesday after being closed for cleaning on Monday, but Kids' Early Learning Quakers Hill remains closed after children were exposed to the virus.

A second student at Our Lady of Mercy College in Parramatta has also caught COVID-19
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/calls-for-m ... nt-cluster
Catholic study centre closed after NSW Covid cluster grows at Tangara School for Girls
A Catholic Opus Dei study centre in Sydney’s north has been closed for cleaning, after the growing cluster of Covid-19 cases at the Tangara School for Girls was linked to an extracurricular religious study camp.

Nineteen cases of the virus have so far been linked to the Tangara school in Cherrybrook in Sydney’s north-west.

On Wednesday, the Eremeran Hills Study Centre confirmed that five high school students had attended a religious study camp, organised by the study centre, held in the town of Bargo, 100km south-west of the Sydney CBD.
The Eremeran website also announced that its main centre in Pennant Hills in Sydney would be closed for cleaning.
“We have been informed by NSW Health that individuals who have attended activities organised by Eremeran have tested positive to Covid-19”, the centre said on its website.
“We can confirm that there was a recent retreat attended by five high school girls in year 10 and 11 organised by Eremeran. We are assisting NSW Health in their endeavours to ascertain whether this may have contributed to the outbreak.”

The NSW chief health officer, Kerry Chant, said school camps were a high-risk environment for Covid-19 transmission, but it was too early to say how transmission had occurred in the school.
“We know that camps … are a greater risk,” she said. “Singing and choirs and those sort of activities can transmit the infection either by droplet or aerosol generation through singing or chanting.
“We know that a number of students attended. At the moment what is important is we are releasing the numbers. We do not want to identify particular students.
“We are investigating the way transmission occurred in that school community … We are not at the moment imputing exactly the chains of transmission until we have the full pieces of the puzzle.
“The source of the Tangara outbreak is still not known,” she said.

Related: NSW on a knife-edge: experts urge new restrictions to avoid uncontrollable spread of Covid-19

NSW Health did not respond to questions regarding the nearby Redfield College in Dural, which is run by the same organisation as Tangara.

On Wednesday, NSW Health announced an additional 18 cases of Covid-19, including a second healthcare worker at Hornsby Hospital, and a third person at the Our Lady of Mercy College in Parramatta.

NSW Health said that the healthcare worker “did not work while infectious”. This comes after two Liverpool Hospital staff members tested positive on Tuesday.

Chant said the new case at the Our Lady of Mercy College was not yet linked to a known outbreak, and the source of infection was currently unknown. The school has now been closed for 14 days. Students and staff were told to self-isolate, monitor for symptoms and get tested.

Parramatta public school was also closed on Wednesday after a student tested positive to Covid-19.
NSW Department of Education confirmed Parramatta Public School will be closed today after a student tested positive to coronavirus.
"The school is working closely with NSW Health to establish close contacts," the department said in a statement.

It comes after three Sydney schools closed on Monday and several students were told to self-isolate after a string of positive coronavirus cases.

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

Schools cluster a risk for NSW, expert says
A leading infectious disease expert has warned that a coronavirus outbreak at a school in Sydney's north-west could be the "tip of the iceberg" for NSW as authorities work to determine the source.

The cluster linked to the Tangara School for Girls now has 17 confirmed cases.

A spokesman said the school hadn't held any camps for its students since March, when strict restrictions prohibiting extra-curricular activities came into place.

But a spokesperson for Northern Sydney Local Health District confirmed they were "looking at outside-school activities in which students participated".

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

CONSEQUENCES FOR BORDER CLOSURES

Walgett in western NSW running out of food, Indigenous bodies tell inquiry
Water mismanagement, the coronavirus pandemic and a supermarket fire have led to food shortages in the western community of Walgett, according to local Indigenous groups.

The Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service and Dharriwaa Elders Group will tell the House of Representatives inquiry into food pricing and security in remote Indigenous communities how crises have impacted on food availability and the wellbeing of residents.

In a written submission, the groups said it had been difficult to access government help to deal with the food and water shortages and instead relied on donations.
"[We] have long recognised the links between limited access to good nutrition, including safe drinking water, and our community's high incidences of chronic disease," the submission said.

They said the local IGA supermarket was impacted by a fire in June 2019 and pandemic-related panic buying earlier this year.
"At the height of the first wave, IGA was only receiving 26 per cent of the stock it was ordering. We again became highly aware of the vulnerability of our current food supplies."

The submission goes on to say the cost of a standard basket of groceries costs $160 more in Walgett than in Sydney.

As a result, some families relied on meals provided by the school canteen and breakfast programs.
"Dharriwaa Elders Group was receiving reports of hunger when the school had closed and families could not buy the supplies they needed."

They also said high salt levels in drinking water, caused by drought, meant locals had to buy bottled water, but that became more difficult when supply tightened due to coronavirus panic buying.

High levels of sodium were detected in the town's drinking water and locals were now waiting for a reverse osmosis plant to be constructed, the submission said.
"Until that time, the town relies on buying water from the only supermarket, which is unsustainable both in terms of cost and in terms of plastic bottles when there are limited recycling services."

They concluded by calling for a national food and nutrition strategy that prioritised community involvement in food policy, as well as for the health of rivers and groundwater to be restored.

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

Albury Wodonga Health faces staff shortage amid COVID-19 border restrictions
The biggest regional health service between Sydney and Melbourne is facing a critical shortage of doctors as a result of COVID-19 restrictions along the border.

Under the latest public health order, locums, who make up about two thirds of Albury's emergency department staff, can no longer work at the New South Wales hospital.

Albury Wodonga Health (AWH) chief executive Michael Kalimnios said the hospital relied heavily on locums who travelled up from Melbourne and usually worked on a six-week rotation.

With many staff due to head back to Melbourne within the next fortnight, Mr Kalimnios says the situation is getting desperate.
"The current permit arrangements that are in place and exemption arrangements that are in place exclude anybody coming from Melbourne, even if they're a critical care working into NSW," he said.
"It is clear that NSW Health's policy position around this is that we can no longer access staff from Melbourne."

The hospital is now urgently looking at whether it can source staff from NSW or other states.
"This is the sort of stuff that gets in the way of delivering good health care," Mr Kalimnios said.

NSW Health has been contacted for comment.

Logistical nightmare
President of the Albury Hospital Branch NSW Nurses and Midwives Association Charlotte Todros said it supports the protocols in place.
"We want to try and keep this hospital COVID free," she said.

However, the impacts are being felt across nursing staff as well.
"We've got some nurses that live in Victoria... but because of the border permit passes they can't come into Albury without having to quarantine for 14 days."

She said this is the case despite all staff having been swabbed and returning a negative test result for the virus.
"Unfortunately, those holes have to be filled by the nursing staff here."

The hospital has swapped nursing staff so that those living on the Victorian side of the border can continue to work but at the Wodonga campus.
"It's good for them and keeps their jobs safe too," Ms Todros said.

Diverted to Wagga Wagga
Albury's emergency department is three times the size of the ED across the river in Wodonga.

There is only one intensive care unit on the border, which is located in Albury.

Mr Kalimnios said the staffing issue could have a devastating impact on the community.
"The capacity of the ED response will be severely limited if Albury cannot provide a service," he said.
"It provides a whole level of risks to the community."

AWH said the effects would be felt as soon as Thursday in the ED and within two weeks in the ICU if a solution was not found.
"It may mean we have to start diverting urgent cases via ambulance to other centres such as Wagga," Ms Kalimnios said.

Wagga Wagga is two hours away from Albury.

Mr Kalimnios said he was optimistic a solution could be found, but was planning for the worst.

Member for Albury Justin Clancy said he had raised the issue with the NSW Health Minister and would continue to advocate for a solution.
"I'm conscious of the risk but also the need to make sure when changes are implemented solutions are found to those problems," he said.

He said he would prefer to see doctors recruited from other states, given the high number of healthcare workers in Victoria who have contacted the virus.

NSW Minister of Health Dr Kerry Chant said the government had reached out and offered support to the health service to ensure it could maintain its critical services.
"We are working collaboratively through those issues. We do want to maintain services to the border communities," she said.

Dr Chant said details for locum agencies that operate within NSW had been provided as well as ensuring locums from NSW did not have to self-isolate if they did shifts in the Albury Wodonga hospital.

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

BREACHES
Garry Owen Hotel in Rozelle 'the worst pub seen so far' for a litany of COVID-safety breaches
The Garry Owen Hotel in Rozelle has been slapped with $10,000 in fines after being declared the worst pub in NSW for COVID-19 safety by the industry regulator.

The NSW Liquor and Gaming Authority described the hotel in Sydney's inner-west as having a "complete disregard for mandated COVID safety measures".

Liquor and Gaming's director of compliance, Dimitri Argeres said the breaches shocked COVID safety inspectors.

"This would probably be the most blatant non-compliance we've seen with the public health orders so far," Mr Argeres said.

Inspectors identified several issues during their visit, including management not enforcing sign-in registration, not maintaining physical distancing and not ensuring patrons were seated.

The pub was also caught with only three staff managing a packed venue, it wasn't registered as COVID-safe and it didn't have an updated safety plan.

Managers at the Garry Owen said noticeable changes had been made since the inspection.

"It's completely different, it's completely safe and they will notice the changes we've enforced when they come in," said the hotel's new COVID safety marshal, Vanessa Hardin.

"We have COVID officers day and night [and] new management plans that have been enforced," Ms Hardin said.

She said management was quick to own up to the oversight.

"We had done the wrong thing and the owners have got a lot more staff, we didn't have enough staff on that night, so that was one of the major things that let us down," she said.

"We're really sorry about it and we're embarrassed and that we just implemented changes to fix it."

Eight other venues were fined for similar COVID-19 safety breaches this week.

They are the Riverview Hotel, and Dry Dock Hotel in Balmain, The Padstow Park Hotel and Bowling Club in Padstow, the Marrickville Ritz, Randwick's Royal Hotel and the Yai Thai restaurant in Gosford.

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

Victorian fined after trying to enter NSW for third time without valid permit
Three men have been fined $1000 each in separate incidents for entering NSW from Victoria without valid border passes.

One of the men, aged 23, was fined after attempting to cross the border without a valid permit for the third time since border restrictions came into place in July.

The second man was fined after continuing through Buronga border checkpoint near Mildura despite being denied entry by authorities.
The third man, a 58-year-old, was stopped by police on the Hume Highway at Woomargama for a random breath test yesterday and when spoken to by officers, he produced a Victorian licence and invalid NSW border entry permit.

He was issued a $1000 PIN and escorted back to the Victorian border.

Two NSW hotels have also copped major fines for failing to follow social distancing and safety restrictions.

The first venue, the Bellevue Hotel in Tancurry on the mid north coast, was fined $1000 for hosting a 21st birthday event with more than ten people, breaching the maximum number of people allowed per booking.
A second venue located on the Bruxner Highway, west of Casino, was fined $5000 for failing to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.

Police conducted a compliance check on the venue and spoke to the licensee, a 65-year-old man who informed them he did not have a COVID-19 Safety Plan due the fact his printer wasn't working.

About 10.45am yesterday, police attended the premises again to ensure the plan had been put in place, however, when they arrived, the venue had failed to make any changes.

The licensee in charge of the venue is due to appear at Casino Local Court on Thursday 8 October 2020.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... &ocid=iehp
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:13 am

12 AUGUST QLD
No new coronavirus cases in Queensland, AFL teams to relocate to Cairns
Key points:
The alleged quarantine-jumper tested negative but will now be tested again
Some pharmacies will be able to carry out COVID-19 tests
The Sydney Swans and Fremantle Dockers will be based in Cairns for the next three weeks

There have been no new cases of coronavirus detected in Queensland overnight.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told parliament this morning there had been record tests in the last 24 hours, with nearly 10,000 conducted.

Ms Palaszczuk said the Government was also commencing a trial where pharmacies would be able to test people for COVID-19.
"Often pharmacies are the first place people with symptoms will seek treatment, and it makes sense to offer these people tests, as a place to get tested," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"It's another way we are keeping Queenslanders safe."

Ms Palaszczuk said the news that New Zealand had returned to stage three restrictions, amid a mystery outbreak among a family of four, was a reminder that complacency was the biggest risk in Queensland.

Ms Palaszczuk also announced this morning that the Sydney Swans and Fremantle Dockers would be based in Cairns for the next three weeks.
"They will provide a much needed boost for tourism in a town suffering from the economic downturned caused by the pandemic," Ms Palaszczuk said.

Minister for Tourism Kate Jones said it was expected a number of games from rounds 15, 16 and 17 would be played at Cazaly Stadium.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk earlier announced the launch of a trial which will see pharmacies equipped with the ability to conduct COVID-19 testing.

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

BREACHES

Man located after 'breaching hotel quarantine'
Harris' Indian heritage could boost Biden with Asian-American voters
BHP shareholders demand immediate stop to mining that disturbs Aboriginal…

Queensland Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski says a man who went missing from mandatory quarantine in Toowoomba has been found.
"That person was found missing yesterday and has returned into quarantine and has declared themselves and surrendered themselves," Commissioner Gollschewski said.
"He had previously been tested and tested negative. We are expediting a further test of that person to ensure they can remain COVID negative and be able to give assurance to Australians that whilst he was out there, there has been no spread of COVID.
"That person was previously charged with some other criminal offences and also attempting to get into Queensland unlawfully.
"He will appear in the Goondiwindi Magistrates court in September."

Mr Gollschewski said an investigation was underway into how the man "absconded" from mandatory quarantine.
"This is the first such incident we've had so we are very concerned about that," he said.
"There is an independent investigation being done and a review of what has occurred with this person individually and also with our systems to make sure that we have full confidence that we are able to ensure all persons in quarantine remain there."

The 25-year-old man returned from a New South Wales hotspot and was directed to hotel quarantine for 14 days, police said.

Police alleged the man left on day nine.

The man tested negative to COVID-19 and was not considered a high risk to the community.

Commissioner Gollschewski also said two teenage girls who allegedly breached Queensland's border directions would face court over a number of offences, including falsifying border declarations.
The pair were detained at a Noosa shopping centre on Monday afternoon, having travelled to Queensland from New South Wales last week.

Police alleged the 16 and 15-year-old had been in Sydney, a coronavirus hotspot, in the days prior.

Queensland Police say one of them has returned to New South Wales, while the other will travel back in the "near future".

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

One of three girls accused of lying about trip to Melbourne released from quarantine
One of three girls accused of lying about trip to Melbourne has been released from quarantine in Brisbane.
Teens charged over 'false' border declarations

On Wednesday afternoon, Queensland police confirmed two teenagers detained earlier this week at a Sunshine Coast shopping centre would face court on a number of charges, including falsifying border declarations.

Police stopped the pair at a Sunshine Coast shopping centre on Monday afternoon, after discovering they had travelled to Queensland from New South Wales last week.

The girls, aged 15 and 16, had allegedly been in Sydney in the days prior, which has been deemed a hotspot by Queensland Health.

A police spokesperson said one of the girls had since returned to New South Wales.

The Sunshine Coast is also preparing a second hotel quarantine site to support other parts of South-East Queensland, which is under increasing pressure after further border restrictions came into effect last Saturday.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-12/ ... s/12549054

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

Brisbane's Caxton Hotel under police investigation over Allan Langer protocol breach
Brisbane's iconic Caxton Hotel is under police investigation for license breaches following Allan Langer's birthday celebrations.

The Broncos great and two fellow staff members - Ryan Whitley and Blake Duncan - were quarantined and fined for breaking the League's coronavirus protocols by attending a function at the Caxton.

All three were fined $5,000 and made to enter a 14-day quarantine period which is still ongoing.

However, Nine reported on Wednesday the venue was being investigated for potentially sneaking the trio in.

"Queensland Police are investigating whether the Caxton Hotel snuck Aflie Langer and two others in the back door for Alfie's birthday function," Nine News reported.

"They're also looking at whether or not the ID scanners and CCTV cameras were switched off as part of that visit to the Caxton - that would be a breach of the hotel's license.

"So far, the Caxton are not commenting but police are definitely looking into this."
Harris' Indian heritage could boost Biden with Asian-American voters
BHP shareholders demand immediate stop to mining that disturbs Aboriginal…

Brisbane's iconic Caxton Hotel is under police investigation for license breaches following Allan Langer's birthday celebrations.

The Broncos great and two fellow staff members - Ryan Whitley and Blake Duncan - were quarantined and fined for breaking the League's coronavirus protocols by attending a function at the Caxton.

All three were fined $5,000 and made to enter a 14-day quarantine period which is still ongoing.

MORE: Ikin addresses TPJ drama, Cameron Smith rumours ahead of Broncos interview

However, Nine reported on Wednesday the venue was being investigated for potentially sneaking the trio in.

"Queensland Police are investigating whether the Caxton Hotel snuck Aflie Langer and two others in the back door for Alfie's birthday function," Nine News reported.

"They're also looking at whether or not the ID scanners and CCTV cameras were switched off as part of that visit to the Caxton - that would be a breach of the hotel's license.

"So far, the Caxton are not commenting but police are definitely looking into this."


The news comes just a day after it was revealed the Broncos have hit forward Tevita Pangai Junior with a contract breach notice.

The 24-year-old was on Sunday placed on a 14-day ‘COVID Hold’ after attending the opening of a Brisbane barbershop the previous day.

Pangai Junior’s visit to the barbershop, which allegedly has links to the Mongols bikie gang and was raided by police on Saturday, was a breach of the NRL’s strict biosecurity protocols.

He is expected to receive a hefty fine from the NRL but multiple reports on Tuesday evening suggested the Tonga international is sensationally set to be sacked by the club.

However, the Broncos board has reportedly lost patience in the controversial prop, who is in the first season of a lucrative three-year contract extension signed in 2019.

And as first reported by the Courier Mail, CCTV footage will allegedly show Pangai Junior presented a signed Broncos jersey to an individual at the barbershop.

The footage also reportedly confirms the Broncos star did not receive a haircut during his visit.

It is understood the Broncos will argue the fact Pangai Junior knowingly breached Project Apollo’s COVID-19 protocols and brought the club into disrepute are grounds for his termination.

This is just the latest drama in a horror run for the club.

Coach Anthony Seibold yesterday engaged lawyers after a series of rumours were spread about him and the club on social media.

Seibold himself is currently in an isolation period after he remained in Sydney to deal with a family matter after the club's Friday night loss to the Rabbitohs.
It comes after Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said breaches of the code's strict biosecurity rules were putting the 2020 NRL season "at risk".

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has also warned such actions could undo the broader work done across the state to keep a second wave of COVID-19 at bay.

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12 AUGUST SA
SA bans travel from Victorian cross-border communities to reduce coronavirus risk
South Australia has announced a further tightening of coronavirus control measures along the Victorian border, imposing much tougher travel restrictions on Victorians in cross-border communities.

From August 21, only Victorians who are essential travellers will be able to enter South Australia.

SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens today announced education, shopping, providing or receiving care and obtaining petrol or medical supplies will no longer be reasons Victorians can enter South Australia.

There will be exceptions for Year 11 and 12 students and farmers with properties on both sides of the border.

"People who currently have a permit to enter for employment or education, providing and receiving support or obtaining food, petrol or medical supplies will not be able to enter South Australia from Victoria," Mr Stevens announced.

Victorians living within 50 kilometres of the South Australia could previously cross the border from towns such as Murrayville and Lindsay Point, as long as they had regular coronavirus checks.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... &ocid=iehp

SA political parties claim JobKeeper payments and grants during coronavirus pandemic
All of the major political parties in South Australia have reached out for federal and state government support throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

At a time when most businesses have taken huge financial blows, the political parties say they are not immune either.

The SA division of the Liberal Party has claimed a total of $110,000 in payments in the first six months of the year, according to new figures from the Electoral Commission of South Australia.

That figure is made up of $60,000 worth of JobKeeper payments and a $50,000 cashflow boost, both funded by the Federal Government.

The party's state director defended the payments, saying they were used to retain staff, mainly in office and administration roles.
"Like other employers, the Liberal Party qualified for the JobKeeper program to preserve the jobs of our staff," Sascha Meldrum said.

The SA branch of the Labor Party also claimed JobKeeper payments in the first half of the year.
"Like many organisations, the Labor Party has been heavily impacted by the COVID pandemic," state secretary Reggie Martin said.
"We were eligible for the JobKeeper initiative, and this has allowed us to keep our staff employed, even during the months when we had to close the doors to the office and work with a skeleton staff."

Mr Martin said the party could not say how much it claimed in JobKeeper payments because it incorrectly disclosed them and had acknowledged the error.
"We included the amount that we have received from the tax office in our return to the electoral commission, but due to a misunderstanding, we did not include the prescribed particulars for the tax office," he said.
"We have spoken to the electoral commission, and will be submitting an amendment to our original return to clarify."

The ALP did not apply for any other grants or cashflow boosts, Mr Martin said.

Greens also claimed small business grant
The SA Greens also claimed JobKeeper payments, but only from July onwards.

On top of that, the party received $30,241 in state and federal funding from January to June this year, including a $10,000 small business grant from the State Government.

State Treasurer Rob Lucas said the Greens would have had to meet "strict eligibility conditions" in order to receive the grant.

"The grants were open to any small business or not-for-profit organisation that met the strict eligibility conditions," he said.
"Without knowing the specific details, I can only assume Revenue SA assessed the Greens as meeting the strict eligibility criteria and, therefore, were entitled to receive the grant."

SA Greens state convener John Wishart defended the party's decision to receive a further $20,241 from the Federal Government to boost cashflow.
"Unlike the major parties, the Greens refuse to take donations from corporations trying to buy influence — and so while they can rely on the support of big business through this crisis, we are supported by the very people who are currently experiencing the greatest hardship," Mr Wishart said.
"We meet the criteria for some government support to ensure our staff can continue to advocate for people who have been impacted by the pandemic."

SA Best has not applied for JobKeeper payments or any other grant or cashflow boost from the state or federal governments.

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

Trucking industry says there is low risk to SA towns from thousands of Victorian freight movements
The transport sector says the risk of spreading the coronavirus into South Australian regional communities is low despite thousands of heavy vehicle daily movements across the Victorian partition.

More than 10,000 heavy vehicles cross the Victorian border into South Australia at multiple checkpoints each day — a large percentage use the bigger carriageways such as the Dukes Highway.

But a steady stream of heavy freight vehicles also flow across the south-east SA-Victorian border at Rennick and Nelson, near Mount Gambier.

Dozens of these trucks are en route from Portland, which is a Victorian regional centre on edge due to its COVID-19 clusters.

Health authorities at Portland — just 100 kilometres from Mount Gambier — are struggling to contain a second COVID-19 outbreak.

Every cross-border truckie who pulls up at a SA checkpoint needs to present an up-to-date permit as part of cross-border travel directions.

While Victorian freight drivers can fill up their rigs with petrol in regional centres, they must quarantine when not working, wear face masks and have had a COVID-19 test within the past seven days.

Regional transport company says coronavirus spread risk low from industry
Western Victorian-based transport company Porthaul, which ferried woodchips to the Port of Portland from a major Limestone Coast timber mill, ensured their truckies remained isolated while en route.

Porthaul general manager James Williamson said there was low risk of spreading COVID-19 to South Australian regional communities from their operations.
"We are doing the best we can in following these measures," Mr Williamson said.

He said the company's trucks crossed the border between the Port of Portland and Mount Gambier about 100 times per day.
"Our drivers wear gloves and masks and self-isolate when unloading," Mr Williamson said.

He said the critical freight industry was "playing its part" to safeguard communities.

Mr Williamson warned the Limestone Coast's timber industry would be crippled if freight movements were restricted by further border shutdowns.
"If we couldn't operate, the mills would stop," he warned.

South Australian Freight Transport Council executive officer, Evan Knapp, said the industry was adhering to COVID-19 safe practices at an "absolutely high standard".
"We can never make the risk at zero, but we can get it down to close to that if everyone does the right thing," Mr Knapp said.
"Our greatest concern are people from the general public who are ignoring border controls — not the trucking industry."

He said there had been no reports of South Australia's transport industry connected with COVID-19 transmission in the state.

Mr Knapp said the industry wanted to do the right thing and went beyond government measures to protect the community.
"The industry is happy to do that to protect the community," he said.

The industry spokesperson said it was vital freight industry movements were not hampered.
"If the freight industry stopped moving across borders, then we would start to see panic buying in supermarkets and businesses closed," Mr Knapp said.
"For everyday life, it is important the industry can continue in a safe manner.
"We need to be able to move food and medicines."

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

Coronavirus impact on Adelaide CBD businesses prompts plan to lure more cars
Key points:
Adelaide CBD businesses have suffered decline in trade during the coronavirus pandemic
Adelaide City Council will host a driver's month to encourage motorists to return
Recent motions to encourage cycling have failed

While other cities in Australia and around the world are encouraging cycling during the coronavirus pandemic, Adelaide will host a so-called "driver's month" to encourage cars to return to the CBD to boost trade.
The move, supported at last night's Adelaide City Council meeting, will include incentives to park and drive through the CBD such as prizes for using the council's parking meter app, a pre-Christmas marketing campaign and banners declaring "happy driver's month".

The motion put up by Councillor Jessy Khera and supported by a majority vote will push the State Government to allow cars to go 60 kilometres per hour on roads through the parklands, among other "pop-up congestion-easing measures".

The initiative is planned for either October or November.

Cr Khera said the measures were "desperately needed now", with fewer shoppers and diners coming into the city, hurting small businesses.
"This is about a specific effort to encourage those people back into the city where they will support our businesses," Cr Khera told the meeting.
"This is not something that is anti-bike, it is not anti-bus — it sits alongside all those other modes of transport — but it is recognising that the absolute lifeblood of people patronising our city is via automobiles."
In recent years, efforts have been undertaken to reduce congestion by encouraging people to cycle to work or catch public transport.

But cyclist numbers on the Frome Street bikeway have been well down during the COVID-19 pandemic, as office staff choose to work from home, while recreational cycling has increased.

Several motions put up to encourage cycling, such as pop-up bikeways, have failed to gain support at the council during the pandemic.
'Red carpet for gas-guzzlers'
Not all councillors were in favour of the plan.

Councillor and former Greens senator Robert Simms spoke against it, saying "every month in the City of Adelaide unfortunately is driver's month".

He said cities such as London, Paris, New York, Bogota, Berlin and Brisbane had installed or were going to install pop-up bikeways to encourage cycling while people were avoiding public transport.
"The red carpet being laid out for gas-guzzling motor vehicles — what an absolute joke," Cr Simms said.

Cr Khera said councillors who laughed at the idea of a driver's month were "in a COVID cupboard", saying the dining strip along Rundle Street now sometimes looks as empty as it would on Christmas Day.
"When you hear the belittling about something like this, let's be very clear: the people who are being mocked, the people who are being belittled and laughed at are the ordinary decent folk out there who right now are facing a calamity of their livelihoods of unprecedented proportions," he said.
Bicycle Institute chairwoman Katie Gilfillan said the council's problem was with not enough people, rather than not enough cars.

She said cyclists may boycott the city during driver's month.
"They don't want to go to a polluted, noisy, car-infested city because that's not what a city is about — a city is about fun, festive people-orientated activities," she said.
She urged the council to hold several car-free days to see how trade compared to the driver's month.

But Hutt Street Traders Association secretary Wayne Copley welcomed the initiative, saying it would be particularly good for families.
"The convenience of parking in and around Hutt Street means people can drop around whenever they want at a time that suits them," he said.

The council has already offered parking discounts at multi-storey carparks it owns in the city and has relaxed parking restriction enforcement.

Councillors last night voted against pushing to allow cars in the city's bus lanes.

Plans for an east-west bikeway across the CBD have been stalled for years.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-12/ ... s/12549148

BREACHES

Nathan Buckley denies another breach of COVID protocols after fist bump
[Q Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has denied breaching the AFL's strict coronavirus protocols by acknowledging a fan at Adelaide Oval on Tuesday night.

After a slow start in which they kicked just two goals in the first half, the Pies rallied to defeat Adelaide by four goals.

At the end of the game, while heading from the coaches' box to the field, Buckley was seen greeting a fan, appearing to extend a hand, though the camera angle meant the exchange was obscured.UOTE]
Some reports on Wednesday suggested Buckley and Collingwood were in line for another penalty as players and stuff are not permitted contact with people outside their team bubbles.

Buckley responded on Wednesday, saying he had given a fist bump to a fan who he has history with.
The Magpies coach then implored the media to focus on the positives instead of trying to catch out breaches.
"There are cameras camped around cafes and eateries up here waiting for players to sit down at them," he added.
"I hope we don’t lose sight of our humanity through all of this, greater focus on positive yarns would help everyone."

It's since been Buckley and the Magpies have no case to answer after the AFL ticked off the exchange.

Collingwood were hit with a $50,000 fine, half of which was suspended, earlier this month after Buckley and assistant coach Brenton Sanderson played a game of tennis with two people outside the club's bubble.

The pair released a statement, accepting the penalty and asking to personally pay the fine themselves.
"At the time, we believed we had followed and adhered to the protocols as required but after returning to the hotel and readdressing the circumstances it became crystal clear that we had breached the current AFL protocols," Buckley and Sanderson stated.
"The competition is asking its constituents to make great sacrifices for the show to go on and we have all accepted these for the long-term future of the industry and the privilege of participating within it."
[/QUOTE]
https://www.msn.com/en-au/sport/news/na ... d=msedgdhp

12 AUGUST ACT
ACT residents stuck in Victoria given four-day window to return home through NSW
From tomorrow, Canberra drivers stranded in Victoria have a four-day window to make it home from the New South Wales border.

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.

After six days of talks with the ACT Government, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced the resolution on Wednesday morning.

He said arrangements had been made with NSW Police to allow for the special exemption from Thursday.

"Those residents will have four days to come on back from Victoria by direct route," Mr Hazzard said.

"They will be managed and supervised by the permit system coming out of the ACT, which will affect the permit system we will have operational here in NSW.

"They will expected to travel only between the hours of 9:00am and 3:00pm."

Canberrans driving home will also be allowed one rest stop, not far from Gundagai.

Under the changes to the NSW Health Orders, ACT residents located in Victoria can travel by road if they:

have sufficient fuel for the complete journey through NSW to ACT, to avoid refuelling
travel through NSW by the route designated by the Commissioner of Police without stopping, except for fatigue or hygiene breaks at designated safe locations
while in NSW, only travel between 9:00am and 3:00pm
maintain physical distance from people they are not travelling with
carry their ACT Entry Authorisation Certificate
For the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic follow our updates story.
'It's common sense': ACT Chief Minister

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said common sense had prevailed and the outcome was "manageable, if a few days late".
"We look forward to bringing them home," he said.
Mr Barr said the special four-day addition to NSW's public health directions would be "very closely monitored".
"I'm fairly certain that most will want to travel on Thursday, given how long they've been waiting, but we'll be able to confirm those numbers," he said.

"People could leave Wodonga at 9:01am and arrive in Canberra by lunchtime.
"They just want to get home."

Returned ACT residents will then be required to self-quarantine for 14 days in their own homes.
Canberrans keen to 'get on the road'
Canberrans Ross and Helen Muir have been staying in a Wodonga motel, waiting to be allowed across the border.

The Muirs drove down to Victoria a few weeks ago to look after his father.

After the funeral last week they packed up their car to head home, but found themselves stuck at the border.
"We want to get away as soon as we can … it'll be nice to get on the road and get going," Mr Muir said.

He said it had been tiring wondering how long their time in the hotel would go on for.
"We're very conscious that every day is one day extra that we have at home in Canberra," Mr Muir said.
"So I guess by the time we have our 14 days of self-isolation, it'll be more like 20 days or 21 days."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-12/ ... a/12549844

Rest stop dispute strands Canberra residents at closed NSW-Victoria border for six days
A dispute over where stranded Canberrans would take a rest stop on a three-and-a-half-hour journey through New South Wales is continuing to hamper plans to bring about 100 stranded residents home, prompting frustration from the Australian Capital Territory leader, Andrew Barr, who says returning them safely is “not that difficult”.
It is now six days since a cohort of Canberrans were stopped at the Victoria-NSW border and prevented from returning home for two weeks’ quarantine, despite being cleared to transit through by both the NSW and ACT governments.

On Tuesday night, the ACT government advised residents experiencing “significant and immediate financial difficulties” to contact a dedicated hotline for support and advised them to seek “professional help” if the situation was affecting their mental health.

The NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has refused to apologise for stopping the Canberrans, saying she was taking steps to protect her state.

The comments infuriated Anne Cahill Lambert, a health worker who, along with her husband, was working in the Victorian health system before the failed attempt to return home.
“This is just an outrageous way to treat Australians,” Cahill Lambert said. “Gladys said yesterday: ‘I make no apology for looking after the people of NSW. However, she’s doing that at the expense of a whole heap of other Australians.
“That’s what we’ve come to. We’re not Australians, we’re back in our tribes now. That’s not a good place to be.”

On Wednesday, Barr said the concerns of NSW were legitimate, but that the ACT had presented numerous options to address Berejiklian’s concerns. One of those was offering a police escort from the border to the ACT, where residents would immediately go into at-home quarantine for two weeks.

But Barr said the dispute was now centred on where the residents would take a rest stop on their way home through southern NSW.

NSW does not want the residents to refuel or take a stop anywhere it would endanger local communities along the Hume Highway.
“We believe there is such a stop, it’s about 4km north of Dog on the Tuckerbox, near Gundagai … it is one of the highway rest stops that doesn’t have commercial facilities, it’s just simply a layover.
“Because it is 4km north of the Dog on the Tuckerbox, that’s where most people stop, these Canberra drivers could comfortably get to that spot and not to interact with any NSW residents.”

The travellers have been left stranded by a sudden change to NSW travel restrictions last week, which required anyone travelling to NSW from Victoria to go through Sydney airport and quarantine there, at their own expense, for two weeks.

The changes – which NSW initially advised would not affect ACT residents – now effectively require Canberrans anywhere in Victoria to travel back through the Melbourne hotspot, abandon their cars, belongings, and pets, and fly to another hotspot in greater Sydney instead of taking the short journey from the Victoria-NSW border by car and going straight into quarantine in the ACT.

ACT and NSW health authorities appeared to have reached an agreement on Saturday morning, but NSW reneged soon after.

Related: Gladys Berejiklian refuses to apologise for blocking ACT residents at Victorian border

Barr said it was not difficult to conduct the trip safely and without interacting with NSW residents.
“They just want to come home. They’re coming home to quarantine. They’re staying in their car and they can safely get to the ACT,” he said. “It’s not that difficult.”

No such issued have stopped federal politicians making the same journey.

Victoria-based federal MPs were granted exemptions to travel to the ACT to begin a two-week quarantine before the resumption of parliament on 24 August.

Barr said there had been “no satisfactory answer” as to why federal MPs were allowed through while ordinary citizens were blocked.
“[It’s] an excellent question and one that we have been asking as well,” he said.
“There hasn’t been a satisfactory answer to that question. But what I would say is that we spent weeks in the lead up to the sitting of federal parliament working with the various health authorities, including our own, because they’re all coming to Canberra to work on a safe way to manage the federal politicians’ transit.
“So if we can do it there, we can do it for these people.”

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... &ocid=iehp

12 AUGUST NT

NT Chief Minister criticised for comments about 'hard' coronavirus border restrictions
Key points:
The NT's borders opened on July 17, allowing free travel for most arrivals
Since then, about 33,000 people have crossed the border into the NT
Territorians will go to the polls on August 22

Territory Alliance leader Terry Mills has criticised NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner for "confusing" comments made during an interview with the ABC yesterday, in which Mr Gunner warned the NT's hard border controls could remain in place for "at least the next 18 months".
"If you can, cancel your Christmas holiday plans and stay here in the Northern Territory," Mr Gunner said on Tuesday.
"We're working towards at least an 18-month window from today towards the end of next year of how we are resourcing our borders."

Mr Mills today criticised the language Mr Gunner used — labelling the comments "incoherent" and confusing".
"This strong talk of hard border closures, and telling us that we might have to consider 18 months before we can have a normal Christmas — when the fact is we only have one hard border closure and that's Victoria and I've been calling on [Mr Gunner] for some time to address the emerging issue in New South Wales," Mr Mills said.
"I think it's important to focus on the things close to hand and not to overcook this.
"You can only deduce that the reason for making such a ridiculous statement is to exacerbate people's concerns about coronavirus."
The Territory opened its borders on July 17, allowing most Australians to travel freely through the NT upon their arrival.

Anyone who enters the NT from a coronavirus hotspot — which includes the state of Victoria and Greater Sydney — must undergo two weeks of supervised quarantine upon their arrival at a personal cost of $2,500.

Mr Mills, whose new party faces its first NT general election on August 22, is calling on the NT Government to immediately declare all of NSW a coronavirus hotspot and effectively shut off travel from the state.

Comments 'sent shockwaves'
Hospitality NT chief executive officer Alex Bruce said Mr Gunner's comments "sent shockwaves" through the hospitality sector yesterday.
"It's not that there was anything particularly different with regards to the border announcements and the Chief Health Officer's directions — it was just the blunt kind of language, it wasn't that clear," Mr Bruce said.
"For example, people from South Australia are welcome right now and they are safe."

Mr Bruce said Territorians who worked in the events space were fielding calls from concerned stakeholders yesterday, keen to know if the announcement would change future plans.

During a pandemic, Mr Bruce said 18 months was a "very long time away".
"It's a really a long way in the future and we would have liked the eastern seaboard to have calmed down by then," he said.

33,000 new arrivals since July 17
NT Police's COVID-19 incident controller Acting Commander Shaun Gill said since the NT's borders opened on July 17, about 33,000 people had crossed the border into the Northern Territory.

Of that number, Commander Gill said about 20,000 people had arrived by road.
"We've had significant entries, it's been keeping us busy," Commander Gill.

NT Airport chief executive officer Tony Edmondstone said there were running at about 9 per cent of their usual airport passenger load.
"This time last year we were about 230,000 across the Territory arrivals and departments across the Territory," he said.
"And this month we are running at about 20,000."
Commander Gill said said while Australian Federal Police had pulled most of their workers from the NT — reducing the number of AFP officers in the Territory from 102 to 30. but officers were still at all arrival points.
"On the borders, we've got approximately 70 people involved in that, across all borders, and that includes airport arrivals," Commander Gill said.
"We still have AFP assisting us at border arrivals points as well, particularly at the remote areas."

Commander Gill said 150 COVID-19 infringements had been issued in the NT to date.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-12/ ... r/12548924
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:14 am

12 AUGUST TAS

Business executive granted coronavirus essential traveller status ahead of Tasmanian hotel opening
The head of a consultancy firm once tasked with researching the viability of a new Hobart hotel was flown into Tasmania as an essential worker ahead of the hotel's opening.

Right to Information (RTI) documents obtained by the Tasmanian Greens show that Tourism and Hospitality Services Australasia (THSA) managing director Rodger Powell contacted Tasmanian Hospitality Association head Steve Old in late June to express his frustration that his essential traveller application was yet to be processed.

Mr Powell's email to Mr Old on June 24th said he had applied to enter Tasmania as an essential traveller but had been told "applications take three to six days (or longer) to be processed".
"If there is anything … you can think of that I can to do get this processed I am happy to do it or if there is anyone you can call it would be very helpful," the email said.

After receiving Mr Powell's email, Mr Old forwarded the correspondence to Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) secretary Tim Baker, who promised to "look into it".

The application was subsequently approved.

Executive attended Hobart hotel opening
THSA lists Kalis Group and Crowne Plaza as clients.

A Crowne Plaza hotel — owned by Kalis Group — opened in Hobart's CBD on July 1 with Mr Powell among attendees at its launch.

A file note written by Mr Baker attached to the RTI documents said while he had forwarded Mr Powell's applications to the manager responsible for essential travellers, "the email was forwarded blank with no instruction".
"[The manager] rang me later that day to inform me that the application had already been approved by the State Controller," Mr Baker's file note said.

He said he spoke with Mr Old again only to confirm the application had been approved, and that the application had not been discussed with State Controller Darren Hine or any Government MPs.

Greens question granting of travel exemption
Greens leader Cassy O'Connor said she was puzzled as to why Mr Powell had been deemed an essential traveller.
"Tasmanians who have sacrificed so much over the past five months are entitled to an explanation," Ms O'Connor said.
"Tim Baker is a former chief of staff to former Liberal premier, Will Hodgman, and Steve Old's strong ties to the Liberals are well known."

According to the Tasmanian Government's coronavirus website, essential travellers are people who fit within categories such as:
National and state security
Health services
Transport, freight and logistics
Specialist skills "critical to maintaining key industries or businesses"

At the opening of the Crowne Plaza hotel early last month, Mr Old credited his "contact book" with helping ensure the 235-room development could be finished during the pandemic.

At the time, he said labourers were flown in from mainland Australia to finish construction.

Almost 8,800 applications for essential traveller status were submitted to Tasmanian bureaucrats between March and the middle of July — the bulk of them related to "specialist skills".

Exemption for event 'would not receive approval': SCC
In a statement, the State Control Centre (SCC) said for an applicant to be declared an essential traveller, they had to state that the work they were required to perform was essential to business function.

It said all applications were processed by DPIPWE and scrutinised twice before being assessed by the State Controller.

The SCC also stated that any essential traveller application based on attending a celebratory event "has not and would not receive approval".

The SCC said "it would be inappropriate to provide details on individual applications".

THSA said Mr Powell had been the "lead independent hotel consultant and adviser on the … [Crowne Plaza Hobart] since 2014".
"Rodger Powell was required to attend the Crowne Plaza Hobart in person prior to the hotel opening to conduct a range of final physical site inspections and to confirm that all parties had met the requirements of the various agreements and contracts," a statement read.

The statement said THSA had followed all procedures required by DPIPWE and that Mr Powell had flown into Hobart on June 29, completed the works on June 29 and 30 before attending the hotel opening on July 1.

The THSA said the hotel opening had employed 104 Tasmanians.

The ABC has also contacted the DPIPWE for comment.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-12/ ... s/12548442


BREACHES
Tasmanian father sent back after attempting to enter SA twice in one day
A Tasmanian man has been escorted onto a plane after he made repeated attempts to enter South Australia to see his 11-year-old daughter.

Geoffrey Sollars first attempted to fly into Adelaide after a short stopover in Melbourne, but he was rejected at the border.

Mr Sollars then hired a car and attempted to drive into South Australia, where he was again rejected at the border.
Mr Sollars, a 45-year-old commercial diver, drove through the checkpoint and sparked a short chase.

He was arrested, and a magistrate handed him a suspended sentence and ordered him into 14 days of isolation.

But Mr Sollars was unable to pay the $3,000 for hotel quarantine in the state, prompting authorities to put him on a plane back to Tasmania before he could receive the results of his COVID-19 test.

He told 9News that he was sorry for his actions and wished there was a payment plan system for people to pay for hotel quarantine.
"I came in when I wasn't supposed to, I shouldn't have done it, but I wasn't thinking straight, I had my daughter on the phone to me crying," Mr Sollars said.

The Tasmanian dad said he thought it was dangerous to pull him from quarantine and put him back "into the public" while he was still awaiting the results of his COVID-19 test.
"Sounds ludicrous just because you can't pay your bill."

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said there was no option but to send Mr Sollars home to avoid the government covering his cost to stay in quarantine.
"You're damned if you do, damned if you don't," Mr Stevens said.
"If we put him up in 14-day quarantine the criticism is that we are funding him on the taxpayer's expense."

Mr Stevens said it was unlikely Mr Sollars would have success attempting to breach border controls again.
"This person has been flagged and we'll be keeping a close eye out for him."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... &ocid=iehp

12 AUGUST WA
Clive Palmer cites a cold as he pulls out of testifying to MPs – then fronts media to attack WA premier
Clive Palmer pulled out of testifying to a parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s trade with China on the basis he had a cold – but then hosted a press conference with journalists in attendance on the Gold Coast as he threatened fresh legal action against the Western Australian government.

When asked about the apparent breach of Queensland Health’s protocols to prevent the potential spread of coronavirus, the billionaire mining magnate’s spokesman told Guardian Australia that Palmer had “social distanced” during the media event, held on Wednesday at Paradise Point.

Queensland Health provides advice on its website about people who are unwell: “Feeling sick? Stay home. Get tested.”

Related: Clive Palmer suing WA government for $30bn in move labelled 'rapacious' by attorney general

The health authority says people in Queensland who have Covid-19 symptoms – no matter how mild – should get tested and then self-isolate at home while waiting for the results.

Palmer used the media event to call on the Western Australian premier, Mark McGowan, “to take a Bex and to calm down” amid a dispute about the WA government’s legislation to protect the state from a potential legal liability of up to $30bn over the past handling of an iron ore project in the Pilbara region.
Palmer signalled that he would go to the high court to challenge the constitutionality of the legislation if it passed the WA parliament.

His company Mineralogy was originally listed on the witness list for Wednesday’s hearing of the federal parliamentary inquiry into diversifying Australia’s trade and investment profile.

The committee conducting those hearings is chaired by the outspoken north Queensland MP George Christensen, who is using what he calls the “China inquiry” to push the case for Australia to reduce its economic dependence on Beijing.

Palmer’s spokesman explained why Palmer had withdrawn at the last minute: “He had a cold so pulled out late. Plus this WA issue is very important.”
Trans-Tasman travel bubble 'on pause' amid new Covid outbreaks across Pacific
Doctors left waiting for exemptions to cross into Queensland to see patients

Clive Palmer wearing a blue shirt: Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP
Clive Palmer pulled out of testifying to a parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s trade with China on the basis he had a cold – but then hosted a press conference with journalists in attendance on the Gold Coast as he threatened fresh legal action against the Western Australian government.

When asked about the apparent breach of Queensland Health’s protocols to prevent the potential spread of coronavirus, the billionaire mining magnate’s spokesman told Guardian Australia that Palmer had “social distanced” during the media event, held on Wednesday at Paradise Point.

Queensland Health provides advice on its website about people who are unwell: “Feeling sick? Stay home. Get tested.”

Related: Clive Palmer suing WA government for $30bn in move labelled 'rapacious' by attorney general

The health authority says people in Queensland who have Covid-19 symptoms – no matter how mild – should get tested and then self-isolate at home while waiting for the results.

Palmer used the media event to call on the Western Australian premier, Mark McGowan, “to take a Bex and to calm down” amid a dispute about the WA government’s legislation to protect the state from a potential legal liability of up to $30bn over the past handling of an iron ore project in the Pilbara region.

Clive Palmer wearing a blue shirt talking on a cell phone: Clive Palmer at his press conference on the Gold Coast on Wednesday, where he threatened to take the Western Australian government to the high court.© Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP Clive Palmer at his press conference on the Gold Coast on Wednesday, where he threatened to take the Western Australian government to the high court.
Palmer signalled that he would go to the high court to challenge the constitutionality of the legislation if it passed the WA parliament.

His company Mineralogy was originally listed on the witness list for Wednesday’s hearing of the federal parliamentary inquiry into diversifying Australia’s trade and investment profile.

The committee conducting those hearings is chaired by the outspoken north Queensland MP George Christensen, who is using what he calls the “China inquiry” to push the case for Australia to reduce its economic dependence on Beijing.

Palmer’s spokesman explained why Palmer had withdrawn at the last minute: “He had a cold so pulled out late. Plus this WA issue is very important.”

a group of people in a park: The socially distanced media conference at Paradise Point. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP© Provided by The Guardian The socially distanced media conference at Paradise Point. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP
The spokesman did not respond directly to questions about whether Palmer had taken a Covid test and whether he had breached health protocols by hosting a media conference while sick, but said social distancing measures had been observed.

Palmer and McGowan were already engaged in a war of words over the WA border closure, which the mining magnate is seeking to overturn in ongoing legal proceedings.

But the latest flashpoint is emergency legislation introduced by the WA government on Tuesday evening to extinguish any legal liability for not approving Palmer’s Balmoral South iron ore project in the Pilbara. The dispute dates back to a decision of the former Liberal government in 2012.

McGowan argued on Wednesday that the financial consequences of the dispute “could be absolutely dire” for WA, with the prospect of a “crippling” payout “to the tune of $30bn”.

“That’s why as a government we have no choice but to take this course of action to protect every West Australian,” McGowan told reporters in Perth. “We believe Premier Colin Barnett took the right course of action to protect Western Australia at the time as the proposal by Mr Palmer was flawed and without appropriate detail.”

McGowan pushed the case for the emergency legislation a day after the WA attorney general, John Quigley, said Palmer’s “rapacious” legal claim amounted to the state’s entire annual budget.

Palmer told reporters on the Gold Coast it was “disappointing” that McGowan and his government had taken a “confrontational approach” rather than allow mediation to proceed.

He said he had not launched a $30bn legal claim against the WA government, arguing that the large figure was the state’s own “assessment of what the damages are for what they’ve done”.

“There’s no cases in court for $30bn and the arbitration hasn’t claimed $30bn against the state of WA, so that’s a furphy,” he said.

Palmer said the bill was “totally unconstitutional” and “will be wiped out” in court. “It takes us down to a banana republic,” he said.

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

WA tries to head off $30b Palmer action
Clive Palmer has threatened to take his near-$30 billion legal claim against the West Australian government all the way to the High Court after the state put up legislation to halt the suit.
Mr Palmer's Mineralogy company is pursuing WA for damages over a 2012 decision by the then-Liberal government to refuse to formally assess its proposed Balmoral South iron ore mine in the Pilbara.

Late on Tuesday, WA Attorney-General John Quigley stood in the parliament and told MPs Mr Palmer and his associated companies Mineralogy and International Minerals were claiming a total of $27.7 billion.
"To put that in context, the total net debt of the state of Western Australia is in the order of $35 billion to $40 billion and the budget of the state of Western Australia is approximately $30 billion," Mr Quigley said.
"If the cost of Mr Palmer's claim was shared equally amongst all Western Australians, it would cost every man, woman, child and baby in Western Australia more than $12,000."
The attorney-general admitted the government's bill to stop Mr Palmer's legal action was "unprecedented".
"This bill will remove the capacity for Mr Palmer, Mineralogy and International Minerals to pursue litigation and damages claims," he said.

Mr Palmer slammed the emergency legislation, saying Mineralogy had sent its dispute regarding the planned mine to an independent arbitrator, which ruled against the government.
"The government must have determined that they've got no defence in the claims and they will lose. This is why they seek emergency legislation," he said in a statement.
"This emergency legislation is unconstitutional.
"Ultimately this matter will end up in the High Court of Australia."

Mr Palmer will hold a news conference in Brisbane at noon on Wednesday.

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

Clive Palmer threatens High Court challenge if WA blocks Balmoral iron ore project damages claim
Key points:
Clive Palmer says legislation to block his claim would abolish "natural justice"
Premier Mark McGowan says a $30 billion payout would "cripple" the state
The Opposition is yet to decide whether to support the urgent legislation
West Australian Government legislation to terminate a legal challenge against it by mining magnate Clive Palmer, said to be worth $30 billion, is set to pass through Parliament with the support of the Opposition.

The Queensland mining billionaire claims unreasonable decisions made by the WA Government regarding his iron ore interests in the Pilbara has caused him enormous financial loss.

The Government's legislation aims to terminate Mr Palmer's arbitration claim and will be debated in the Lower House, where it is expected to pass later today.

Mr Palmer says he will take the WA Government to the High Court if the extraordinary legislation is passed.

Mr Palmer also warned business investment in WA would dry up if State Parliament passed the law, while casting doubt over the size of his claim against the Government over the Balmoral South iron ore project.

"There isn't any $30 billion claim against the Western Australian Government," Mr Palmer said at a media conference in Brisbane.

"It's [their] assessment of what the damages are for what they've done."

Mr Palmer said the damages he had incurred in relation to the project were still being assessed.

He said the proposed legislation would exempt the Government from any liability.
"It also abolishes natural justice. We have a right to a hearing," he said.

WA Attorney-General John Quigley told State Parliament yesterday Mr Palmer and his company Mineralogy were taking action against the WA Government for nearly $30 billion for damages associated with the iron ore project in the Pilbara region.

In response, the Government has introduced urgent legislation into Parliament in an attempt to prevent the damages claim, which amounts to the state's entire annual budget.

The WA Liberal Party said it would not oppose the legislation, paving the way for the bill's passage.

However, Opposition leader Liza Harvey said the party had "concerns in respect to accountability and transparency" which would be outlined in Parliament later today.

Emergency bill 'unconstitutional': Palmer
Mr Palmer's mining proposal was rejected in August 2012 by the then-government, specifically by former state development minister and 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.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-12/ ... t/12494968

12 AUGUST NATIONAL
How is the Australian Defence Force assisting states during COVID-19?
As Victoria grapples with surging COVID-19 cases, sparked essentially by breaches linked to hotel quarantine, divisions have emerged between the Federal and Victorian governments over whether the Australian Defence Force offered assistance to help secure quarantine hotels in Victoria.

More than 3,400 ADF personnel, including medicos, logistical staff and soldiers are currently deployed across Australia, bolstering the efforts of states and territories to fight the virus.

Victoria for being too slow off the mark in drawing on ADF personnel, with some observers to manage the hotel quarantine scheme for allowing COVID-19 to spread back into the community.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told a parliamentary inquiry on August 11 that to help run Victoria's hotel quarantining.

"I don't believe ADF support was on offer," Mr Andrews told the Victorian Parliament's Public Accounts and Estimates Committee, which is scrutinising the State Government's pandemic response.

"I think it is fundamentally incorrect to assert that there was hundreds of ADF staff on offer and somehow someone said no. That's just not, in my judgement, accurate."

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds immediately contradicted Mr Andrews' claim, saying the Prime Minister had made an offer to all states on March 27.

The statement said Victorian authorities had advised on March 28 that Victoria was not seeking ADF assistance with mandatory quarantine arrangements and "consistently advised that its (the ADF's) assistance was not required for any 'public facing roles' in Victoria."

"On 24 June 2020, Defence agreed to a Victorian Government request for 850 ADF personnel to assist with hotel quarantine compliance. The request was withdrawn by the Victorian Government the following day. The decision to withdraw the request is a matter for the Victorian Government."

Victoria's Emergency Management Commissioner, Andrew Crisp, then saying the ADF had participated in meetings on March 27 and 28, but "during these discussions I did not seek nor did representatives of the ADF offer assistance as part of the hotel quarantine program."

During the Victorian parliamentary inquiry Mr Andrews was pressed on why he had used private contractors to manage hotel quarantining rather than the ADF.

He said the quarantine program was an extension of a hotel scheme that was already in the process of being set up for vulnerable people and health workers.

Mr Andrews has in the state's hotel quarantine program, with management of Victoria's program now the subject of a .

The Department of Defence agreed to requests for support for quarantine compliance from both Queensland and NSW on March 28 and from WA on August 3, according to Ms Reynolds.

So, what exactly is the extent of the ADF's involvement in supporting the states and territories as they seek to contain the spread of the coronavirus? How many ADF personnel have been assigned in each jurisdiction, and in what capacity?

State-by-state breakdown as at August 11, 2020*
*Does not include all tasks being undertaken by ADF personnel.

Victoria
According to , there are a total of 1,743 ADF personnel in the state, including:

539 are providing support to the Department of Health and Human Services with contact tracing and community engagement efforts.
324 involved in medical testing initiatives.
150 supporting Victoria Police checkpoints.
161 assisting in other logistics roles, including the Police Assistance Line call centre in Ballarat.
45 are providing planning and coordination support to the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre.
New South Wales
There are 664 personnel in the state, including:

435 are supporting police with border control checkpoints on the NSW-Victoria border.
165 are supporting state police quarantine, reception and repatriation efforts at Sydney airport and hotels.
12 are assisting the State Government with contact tracing.
Queensland
There are 492 personnel in the state, including:

196 are supporting quarantine compliance management efforts, including at airports and hotels. .
156 are supporting state police with Queensland border controls.
South Australia
There are 130 personnel in the state, including:

100 are supporting South Australia Police border control checkpoints.
Four are providing planning and operations support to SA Health.
Western Australia
There are 124 personnel in the state, including:

71 are involved in quarantine assistance at Perth Airport.
Six are providing logistics support.
ADF agreed to provide up to 50 personnel .

Tasmania
The Department of Defence website does not provide details for Tasmania.

Northern Territory
There are 121 personnel in the territory, including:

76 are providing support to Northern Territory Police at vehicle checkpoints.
Australian Capital Territory
There are eight ADF personnel working on COVID-19 measures in the ACT.

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

Inter-state travel 'long way off' despite economic hit
Economic damage to the tourism industry should not automatically override the coronavirus death toll when it comes to opening state borders, the Deputy Prime Minister has warned.

Some state and territory borders could be closed into 2022, with Western Australia and Northern Territory recently declaring the nation's most stringent closure plans.

Deputy PM Michael McCormack called the WA and NT announcements a "worst-case scenario" and "unfortunate" for Australia's coronavirus-ravaged tourism industry.
But he urged people to look beyond the economics of turning potential travellers away at state and territory borders.
"We keep talking about what this is going to do to the economy but I keep thinking about the families. Families who live in different states. Grandparents who haven't met grandchildren. People with sick or dying relatives they can't get to.
"From a family point of view, I don't understand how you can do this to people."

Mr McCormack said states and territories were making determinations for their own people.
"The health virus has to be contained and minimised," he told Today.

WA government has said it may keep its border closed for another 18 months. The NT government is indicating a 12-month closure is possible.

Paul Griffin, director of Infectious Diseases at Mater Health Services, said Australia was "a long way off" opening state borders.
"We need that local transmission to be under control," he said.
"We can't really consider relaxing the restrictions until that's the case."

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

Warnings crime gangs are targeting coronavirus early access superannuation scheme
Key points:
Federal authorities are concerned about suspicious activity linked to the program
Real estate agents and schools have also encouraged super withdrawals to pay for expenses
An estimated $42 billion has already been withdrawn from super accounts

The corporate watchdog is warning the Federal Government’s early access to superannuation scheme is a ripe target for "serious and organised" crime gangs.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has revealed it has already been contacted by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP, relating to suspicious activity around the scheme.

But aside from criminal cartels, ASIC is also warning real estate agents and property developers have been spruiking the use of superannuation withdrawals in rent and property deals, and a school even encouraged parents to use the money to pay tuition fees.

The Federal Government announced Australians would be able to apply for early access to their retirement nest eggs as part of its response to the coronavirus fuelled economic downturn.
The Federal Government announced Australians would be able to apply for early access to their retirement nest eggs as part of its response to the coronavirus fuelled economic downturn.
People experiencing financial hardship were able to withdraw $10,000 from their accounts last financial year, and a further $10,000 this financial year to support them during the crisis.

Treasury estimates by the end of the year, $42 billion will have been withdrawn by Australian workers.

Almost 600,000 Australians are already believed to have completely cleaned out their superannuation accounts, and the majority are workers under the age of 35.

In answers to questions on notice from a federal parliamentary committee on financial services, ASIC said it had received referrals from a number of agencies relating to COVID-19 scams and fraud.

It listed examples of misconduct such as "serious and organised fraud targeting superannuation funds, cybercrime, use of malware and ransomware to target Australians and property crime and government program fraud".
Other cases included "serious and organised crime targeting early release of superannuation payments (ERS), real estate agents encouraging tenants to access ERS to meet rental payments, credit providers advising borrowers to use ERS to meet loan repayments and members of the public being charged fees to access ERS".

"To date, ASIC has issued warnings to a business offering the opportunity to purchase a franchise with them and a school that encouraged parents to pay school fees using ERS funds."

Over the weekend, the AFP revealed three Queensland women had been charged with allegedly trying to defraud the scheme to the tune of more than $113,000 — taking the total number of charges relating to the scheme to seven.

As early as March, the AFP and ATO revealed it had detected potentially fraudulent activity, after a tax agent's computer systems had been compromised.

Labor has been highly critical of the scheme, arguing the Coalition is undermining the nation’s superannuation system by allowing workers to access their retirement savings.

It has asked the Auditor-General to investigate how the scheme has been managed.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese accused the Coalition of being intent on undermining the superannuation system.
"Superannuation should be about people's retirement savings," he said.
"There have been no checks and balances put in place to ensure that applicants are actually eligible to withdraw their funding.
"And we've seen so many Australians, particularly young Australians, now without superannuation balances at all because all of the money has been withdrawn."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-12/ ... s/12548686

Commonwealth Bank blames COVID-19 for doubling of impaired loan costs
The fragility of Australia's economy had been laid bare as the biggest lender revealed the cost troubled loans had doubled because of the coronavirus recession.

The Commonwealth Bank said it expected the value of impaired loans in the financial year ended on June 30 was $2.518billion - up from $1.201billion in 2018/19.

The 'expected' economic effects of COVID-19 were blamed for the increase in funds set aside for bad loans.
The major banks in March offered struggling borrowers six-month mortgage repayment holidays but with unemployment rising, the lenders extended the repayment sabbaticals until March next year.

The extension indicated how many Australian mortgage holders were in no condition financially to resume payments.

The Commonwealth Bank had 135,000 deferred mortgages on its books at the end of July, but this was below the peak of 154,000 during the height of Stage 3 coronavirus lockdowns across Australia.
Consequently, CBA's cash net profit after tax plunged by 11.3 per cent to $7.296billion.

Australia's biggest bank is expecting the national economy to shrink by four per cent in 2020 - the equivalent of two years' worth of economic activity.

During the most recent recession three decades ago, the economy contracted by one per cent in 1991, following two quarters of negative gross domestic product.

CBA chief executive Matt Comyn said the economic recovery would take time, with Melbourne residents placed in a strict Stage 4 lockdown.

'The economic outlook still remains highly uncertain,' he said.
Trans-Tasman travel bubble 'on pause' amid new Covid outbreaks across Pacific
Doctors left waiting for exemptions to cross into Queensland to see patients

The fragility of Australia's economy had been laid bare as the biggest lender revealed the cost troubled loans had doubled because of the coronavirus recession.

The Commonwealth Bank said it expected the value of impaired loans in the financial year ended on June 30 was $2.518billion - up from $1.201billion in 2018/19.

The 'expected' economic effects of COVID-19 were blamed for the increase in funds set aside for bad loans.

a group of people standing on a sidewalk: The Commonwealth Bank's rate of troubled home loans has doubled as the coronavirus recession hits the ability of younger borrowers to repay their mortgages© Provided by Daily Mail The Commonwealth Bank's rate of troubled home loans has doubled as the coronavirus recession hits the ability of younger borrowers to repay their mortgages
The major banks in March offered struggling borrowers six-month mortgage repayment holidays but with unemployment rising, the lenders extended the repayment sabbaticals until March next year.

The extension indicated how many Australian mortgage holders were in no condition financially to resume payments.

The Commonwealth Bank had 135,000 deferred mortgages on its books at the end of July, but this was below the peak of 154,000 during the height of Stage 3 coronavirus lockdowns across Australia.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Australia's biggest home lender revealed it is expecting the value of impaired loans for the last financial year to have doubled to $2.518billion - up from $1.201billion in fiscal 2019© Provided by Daily Mail Australia's biggest home lender revealed it is expecting the value of impaired loans for the last financial year to have doubled to $2.518billion - up from $1.201billion in fiscal 2019
Consequently, CBA's cash net profit after tax plunged by 11.3 per cent to $7.296billion.

Australia's biggest bank is expecting the national economy to shrink by four per cent in 2020 - the equivalent of two years' worth of economic activity.

During the most recent recession three decades ago, the economy contracted by one per cent in 1991, following two quarters of negative gross domestic product.

CBA chief executive Matt Comyn said the economic recovery would take time, with Melbourne residents placed in a strict Stage 4 lockdown.

'The economic outlook still remains highly uncertain,' he said.

a building that has a sign on a city street: The economic effects of COVID-19 were blamed for the an increase in funds set aside for bad loans. Pictured is a deserted Lygon Street in Melbourne, once the home of thriving Italian restaurants© Provided by Daily Mail The economic effects of COVID-19 were blamed for the an increase in funds set aside for bad loans. Pictured is a deserted Lygon Street in Melbourne, once the home of thriving Italian restaurants
'We have seen a sharp economic contraction during the course of the year as a result of the pandemic.

'Not quite as bad as we’d first feared, but certainly the pace of recovery does look like it will be longer.'

Australia's unemployment rate increased to a 22-year high of 7.4 per cent in June but the Reserve Bank is now expecting the jobless level to hit ten per cent by the end of 2020 - a number unseen since 1994.

In another blow to borrowers, wages during the June quarter grew by just 0.2 per cent.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' wage price index rose a 1.8 per cent over the year, the lowest level since the series began in 1997.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/persona ... &ocid=iehp

Unemployed Australians owe billions of dollars on their mortgages. As the job market worsens, it's uncertain when they'll be able to pay it back.
The Commonwealth Bank has reported its full financial year figures on Wednesday, revealing a broader picture of the Australian mortgage market.
According to CBA's figures, 8% of mortgages, amounting to $48 billion, have been frozen alongside 15% of business loans.
14% of mortgage borrowers who have deferred repayments are receiving JobSeeker, suggesting a high level of unemployment amongst homeowners unable to pay back their debts.

Trans-Tasman travel bubble 'on pause' amid new Covid outbreaks across Pacific
Doctors left waiting for exemptions to cross into Queensland to see patients

a statue in front of a house: Australian mortgage holders are increasingly reliant on JobSeeker payments. (Tim Graham, Getty Images)Australian mortgage holders are increasingly reliant on JobSeeker payments. (Tim Graham, Getty Images)
The Commonwealth Bank has reported its full financial year figures on Wednesday, revealing a broader picture of the Australian mortgage market.
According to CBA's figures, 8% of mortgages, amounting to $48 billion, have been frozen alongside 15% of business loans.
14% of mortgage borrowers who have deferred repayments are receiving JobSeeker, suggesting a high level of unemployment amongst homeowners unable to pay back their debts.
Visit Business Insider Australia's homepage for more stories.
When it comes to how Australians are faring financially, there's perhaps no better bellwether than the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA).

It is the nation's largest bank, after all, boasting upwards of 17 million customers – many of whom were scooped up by CBA's government-sanctioned, monopolised school program Dollarmites.

Unsurprisingly, it also holds the lion's share of Australian mortgage debt -- nearly $450 billion worth at last count.

The bank's financial year results, announced on Wednesday, then provide a fairly reliable picture of the nation's households and the economy's health.

The bottom line? Things have certainly looked better.

Customers have frozen repayments on 8% of those mortgages – to the tune of $48 billion – along with 15% of all Commonwealth Bank business loans.

While less than desirable, it's still a far sight better than some of CBA's bigger rivals. But there are a couple of other important stats buried in the report which shine a light on just how important government support has become during the pandemic.

Of those mortgage deferrals, 14% are receiving JobSeeker payments. It suggests that one in seven Australians who can't pay back their home loan have lost their job. In total, it would suggest unemployed CBA customers owe the bank more than $6 billion.

Extrapolated across all banks and lenders, it's a troubling diagnostic.

With property prices having risen meteorically in capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne, individuals could well find themselves owing many hundreds of thousands of dollars with little hope of paying it back.

Considering real unemployment is still rising and expected to hit 13% by Christmas, that doesn't bode well for a mountain of debt that will eventually need to be serviced.

Nor are things much brighter on the business side of the ledger.

Remember, repayments on 15% of business loans have been deferred. Of those, 30% are currently receiving JobKeeper, subsidising their payroll to the tune of $1,500 a fortnight per employee.

The nation's banks have given these customers until January to get themselves straightened out. The federal government has extended JobSeeker payments until the end of the year, with JobKeeper subsidies to flow until March.

However, with the reality borne out in CBA's figures, and an economic outlook that anticipates the labour market to get worse before it gets better, it's unclear how many Australians will be able to pay back their debts when the time comes.

Of course, the banks and the federal government can keep kicking the can down the road for some time yet. Indeed, it's in no one's interests to set off a wave of defaults and bad debt. In all likelihood, such a scenario would only set back the prospects of an economic recovery.

But right now it remains unclear how many of those deferrals will be able to make repayments if government support is withdrawn or they are unable to find unemployment.

Not even CBA holds the answer to that.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/persona ... d=msedgdhp


Banks' coronavirus loan assistance falls short, argues Choice
Key points:
APRA figures show repayment deferrals had been granted on $266b worth of loans as at May 31
Consumer group choice argues banks could do more to help customers suffering from fees and high credit card interest rates
Analyst Brett Le Mesurier says the best outcome for both banks and their customers is to avoid default
"Unprecedented" is a word no-one wants to hear anymore, but it's a fair description of the situation millions of Australians found themselves in in March this year, as whole industries were shut, virtually overnight, to stem the spread of coronavirus.
Almost immediately, Australia's banks offered to stop repayments on loans, and by the end of May, there were $266 billion of them on hold.

But have they done enough to help the millions of customers affected by the economic fallout of COVID-19?

Social worker Jessie Dunphy doesn't think so.
"You scroll through Facebook and the bank has all these ads about helping people, 'We'll look after you', 'Contact us.' And it just doesn't ring true to me," she said.
"It's just not what our experience has been.
"I'm really worried for lots of Australians out there who aren't as fortunate as myself that are really, really struggling and the bank's just making money off them, basically."
Currently on maternity leave, the mother of wo used the first lockdown to examine the family's finances.

After receiving an email offering to lower her Westpac home loan interest rate to the one available to new customers, she grabbed it.

The mass-emailed offer was simple: agree over email, agree during a phone call and the lower rate would be applied. When it wasn't, Ms Dunphy called again.

It was only then that she learnt the offer didn't apply to fixed home loan customers.
"And then Westpac says to us, 'Oh, no, no, no. Actually you can have the current rate,'" she recalled.
"'But if you want to, you're going to have to pay the breaking fee, which is going to be $13,000.'"

Shocked, and with less than a year to run on the fixed term, Ms Dunphy declined.
"That's how they're helping," she said.

"They're making money off people like my family. There are people who are struggling, and they're making money off people when they really need assistance and they really need help."
A Westpac spokesperson said the bank can't comment on individual customers but was supporting people like Ms Dunphy.
"Fixed-rate home loans offer customers the certainty of a set interest rate for a period of their choice, usually between one to five years," the bank responded.
"When a customer fixes their home loan interest rate, they are advised there may be a break cost applied if they choose to end the term earlier than the agreed period.
"Westpac looks at each customer's situation on a case-by-case basis. This may include reducing or waiving break costs if a customer is experiencing financial hardship."

Close to a million loans on hold
Consumer advocacy organisation Choice welcomed the rapid roll-out of assistance in March, but now chief executive Alan Kirkland thinks the shovel needs to be replaced with a scalpel.
"What's really important in the coming months is more personalised approaches," he said.
"Having conversations with people, understanding their circumstances and helping them to understand the best options for them.
"Because a one-size-fits-all approach, as we've seen up to now, will actually leave some people in a much worse situation than what they should be in."

The most substantial assistance from the banking industry has been the offer of loan-repayment holidays.

Payments on around half-a-million mortgages — that's about one-in-10 of all home loans in the nation — worth more than $190 billion, were frozen by the end of May.

Add in small business, car and other loans and the amount on hold rises to around 900,000 agreements worth about $266 billion from Australia's 20 biggest banks and mutuals.
But it's a payment freeze — and doesn't pause interest accruing on the debts. In most cases, the loans are being extended with extra interest loaded onto the total owed.

With a cliff of problems looming in September, Australian Banking Association chief executive Anna Bligh last month announced a further four-month extension to loan deferrals for those still in need, subject to negotiation between customers and institutions.
"Those who are able to repay their loans will resume doing so, which is in the best interests of those customers and allows support to be directed to those who need it," she said.
"Encouragingly, many customers have already chosen to resume making repayments."

Banks and customers 'heavily aligned'
With increased administration costs, veteran banking analyst Brett Le Mesurier said banks were scarcely profiting from the gesture.
"While they might be making some money, they don't make a lot out of it," he explained.
"But it does stop the loans being deferred from 'running off', basically."

Mr Le Mesurier, of Shaw and Partners, said the banks frantically had to move staff and resources during the crisis, pivoting from selling and processing loans to protecting them.
"No-one's actually trying to be too harsh on customers at the moment," he argued.
"It's in the banks' interests, in the regulator's interest, to have as many people 'on foot' for as long as possible, of course as long as they can ultimately service their loan obligations."

Choice examined the COVID assistance packages of the big four banks. Only Westpac and NAB scraped over the line with a mark above 50 per cent. One key issue was sky-high credit card interest rates.
"All of the major banks have got credit card interest rates on their top cards of around 20 per cent or more," Alan Kirkwood said, reserving particular criticism for ANZ increasing the rates on some credit cards over the past four years, even as the Reserve Bank of Australia slashed its official cash rate to record lows.
"Lots of disadvantaged people rely more on products like personal loans and credit cards, particularly when times are tough," he said.
"If the banks really want to help people in trouble, then we need to see action on these outrageous credit card rates."

Choice's chief executive said now, more than ever, banks needed to go beyond following the law, to really know their customers.
"To use the data that they've got access to, to identify the people who are in genuine financial hardship and reach out to them, have individual conversations and help them understand what issues [exist] for them," he said.
"We need to treat customers like people, not customers."
"Customers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 can also have their home loan repayments deferred for three months, with a further three months on review."

Mr Le Mesurier said the banks were working hard amid a rapidly changing environment that had put huge pressure on staff and systems, with problems that traversed state and international borders.
"In this case, the best outcome is not only for [banks], but also for the customers," he said. "The interests are very heavily aligned."
Australia's banks suffered a massive hit to their reputations as the royal commission exposed crimes and disgraceful conduct across the industry, with boards and chief executives often aware of the problems.

Given that recent history, this crisis offers the banks a chance to demonstrate they can be trusted.

But for Jessie Dunphy, it feels too little too late.
"At a time like this, if the banks cared about Australians they'd help out families like mine," she said.
"If they wanted to actually help, they'd be dropping some of these fees as a good gesture, to help people, to help the economy. It's a dangerous game they're playing."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-12/ ... e/12545684

Peak horticulture industry bodies, farmers, workers quash union call to axe working holiday visa
Farm workers and their bosses have warned of disastrous consequences and severe labour shortages if the Federal Government bows to a union call to axe the working holiday visa.

Orange picker Maggie Wilton said she worried Australian workers were "a bit soft for this kind of thing" and employers would struggle to find enough local seasonal workers.

Among 200,000 orange trees at an orchard near Moree in northern New South Wales, the 19-year-old Australian picker — the only one in her team — said "it is tough".
"I just think that Aussies, when you can live here and sit at a desk and make perfectly great money, why would you come out here and bend over backwards to do this kind of work?

Her supervisor Wayne Williams said without Maggie and the team of 16 international backpackers, they would not be able to keep up with sending six road trains of oranges to the juicing factory each week.
"We try to send off around about 350 tonnes each week. They go to the juicing factory, Grove [Juice] in Warwick, just over the [Queensland] border," Mr Williams said.
"If we didn't have the backpackers it'd be devastating not only to the farm but to the juicing company in general. We just wouldn't be able to do it.
"[People] would rather sit at home on the dole rather than come to work and suffer in this mud and heat and cold and everything."

Mr Williams said pickers can earn up to $480 a day, while others may only pick enough fruit to take home $160. But it varies day to day.
"They have to work how they feel and if they don't feel like doing a lot, well, they only do what they can. The next day they're able to pick more," Mr Williams said.
"I have to look after their health and wellbeing."

Not here to steal jobs
Argentine couple Karina Montenegro and Nicolas Straffurini were in Sydney ready to head home when the COVID-19 pandemic closed Australian borders.

They soon secured a job at Grove Juice's Moree orange farm.
"After the first day we were destroyed, to be honest. We were like 'oh my god, I don't know if I can do tomorrow'. But then you get used to it and your body starts to create muscles," Ms Montenegro said.
"It's really like mind work, because you work per piece. So it's up to you when you go home."

Hearing about union calls to get rid of the visa that both Ms Montenegro and Mr Straffurini are in Australia with, they said was concerning.
"I don't want to steal anyone's job. I don't think that's the idea of anyone," Ms Montenegro said.
"We understand that when our visa is done we have to go home. That's fair enough, but in the meanwhile we like to keep finding jobs."

Employers say often Aussies don't show up
Citrus Australia CEO Nathan Hancock said tens of thousands of seasonal jobs taken up by working holiday-makers were at stake if the unions got their way.
"Over the last 20 years, various federal governments have worked to create programs like the working holiday visa and the seasonal worker programs because that gap exists," Mr Hancock said.
"To fill using Australian workers, it just hasn't been a success in the past.
"We hope that changes, but I can't see the future being a rosy one without working holiday-makers.
"This isn't work that is available in CBDs or cities. It's not suitable for all the unemployed that recently lost work because of COVID-19."

Summerfruit SA executive manager Tim Grieger said to cease hiring international backpackers would leave many farmers unable to harvest their crops in time.
"Why destroy something that has been really working well for the whole industry, for the productivity of Australia, for the contribution our industry gives to Australia and the world?" he said.

The Riverland stonefruit grower said he has had good and bad experiences employing Australian workers.
"It's a question of availability, reliability and certainty," he said.
"I had local people come with all the good intentions, and they turn up for one or two days and you never hear anything again."

Reaching out to universities
In a desperate bid to find enough workers for the November-December harvest, the cherry industry has reached out to schools and universities.

Central west NSW cherry producer Fiona Hall said the number of backpackers on working holiday visas fell from about 150,000 last year to be at 82,000 in July this year, fuelling concerns among growers.
"It's looking very challenging for us to get workers coming in from Victoria so we are going into the schools and universities to try and find young people to come and work during the six-week harvest period," she said.
"The problem is they won't be skilled so will require a lot of training. But it's clear we're going to have to rely on a lot more Australian workers this year."
"We should be hiring more Australians, but past experience has shown how hard it is to get local workers picking and processing cherries.
"We need workers to be here 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and the cherries need to be picked as soon as they ripen. Sometimes that can be on Christmas Day."

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

Australia's economy in crosshairs as pandemic threatens global supply chains
If the trade conflict between the US and China last year weren't by itself sufficient to reshape global supply chains, the coronavirus pandemic has almost certainly ensured that the dramatic increases in global trade that occurred over the past few decades will be to some extent unwound.
A recent McKinsey Global Institute study estimated that between 16 and 26 per cent of exports - or about a quarter of companies' global sourcing, worth between $US2.9 trillion and $US4.6 trillion ($4.1 trillion and $6.4 trillion) in 2018 dollars - could be "in play." By that it means production of those goods could revert to domestic production or be shifted to new locations.

A Moody's analysis this week concluded that supply chains would become more robust, more fragmented and more regionally focused, with the pandemic accelerating fundamental shifts in trade relationships.

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) produced its own analysis late last month, estimating that global trade would fall by $3 trillion this year (from $18 trillion to $15 trillion) and won't return to 2019 levels until 2023.

Trade flows were likely to shift dramatically, with the value of trade between the US and China likely to fall and trade between the US, European Union, India and ASEAN increasing. Australia's trading patterns were also likely to shift, with the energy coal trade with Japan and Korea declining and the value of the iron ore trade with China and India increasing.

The future shape of global trade and globalisation matters. It's important to the global economy and geopolitical stability, both of which have been unsettled by, initially, Donald Trump's trade wars on everyone, but particularly China, then the coronavirus and, more recently, a more significant and wider deterioration in the US-China relationship.

It matters particularly for Australia, given how trade-exposed this economy is.

BCG said that over the past 20 years, a period when globalisation was accelerating, manufacturing as a share of Australian GDP had fallen from 13.8 per cent to 5.6 per cent, making Australian companies and consumers reliant on imports for value-added goods in almost every sector and dependent on a relatively small number of global supplies.

It described Australia as the "last stop" on global supply chains, which perhaps explains which the impact of the pandemic on supply hit so quickly and so hard.

It is obvious that, after the experience of the pandemic, countries, including Australia, will seek greater security for their supplies of pharmaceutical products and medical equipment and other health and health sector-related supplies.

The increasing intensity of the tit-for-tat conflict between the US and China may be a pre-election phenomenon - Donald Trump is trying to make his aggression towards China, which he justifies on national security grounds as well as a response to the coronavirus' origins, an election issue - but is unlikely to abate regardless of the outcome in November.

As a US ally and part of a loose coalition of Western economies, Australia, so dependent on China as a customer for our resources and a producer of manufactured goods, has more at stake than most in the impacts of the pandemic and the geopolitical tensions on global trade flows and the shift in focus from the efficiency of "just in time" sourcing to supply chain resilience and national security.

We're not alone, however, with Moody's estimating that China accounts for between 20 and 25 per cent of advanced economies' total imports - as much as 40 per cent for the machinery imports for the US, EU and Japan and 25 per cent of antibiotic imports for the US, Japan and Korea.

Remaking those supply chains to diversify or "re-shore" the sources of supply will be disruptive and costly.

China isn't immune to those threats.

While it has reduced its dependence on Australia iron ore over the past decade, lifting Brazil's share, its access to natural resources remains heavily concentrated. Australia still accounts for 59 per cent of its iron ore and concentrates supply. It is also exposed to some technology imports, most notably computer chips, its biggest imported item. It imported $US312 billion of them in 2018.

Its role as the anchor point for much of the network of global supply chains had been changing. Its status as a low-cost producer was overtaken by others as it became wealthier and its own ambitions evolved towards more value-added activities and global technological leadership.

It is still, however, very exposed to global trade and the open markets for its products that existed before the tariff war with the US and the pandemic. Its massive domestic market provides some insulation but shrinkage in global trade will hurt China as much, if not more, than any other major economy.

It isn't surprising that there have already been significant responses to the vulnerabilities exposed by the pandemic. The US and Japan, for instance, have put billions of dollars of their stimulus packages into incentives for companies to re-shore production of critical products.

McKinsey says trade in goods had already fallen 13 per cent in the first three months of this year. It's probably a reasonable conclusion that it has fallen further since, as the full impact of the pandemic became more evident.

It says that companies could shift a quarter of their global product sourcing within five years as they restructure their supplier networks, attributing the pressure to onshore or "near shore" or diversify supply chains to more than just the trade disputes and pandemic.

It says changes in the environment and the global economy are increasing the frequency and magnitude of shocks for companies, with 40 weather disasters last year generating damage of more than $US1 billion for each event.

Disruptions, it says, now occur on average every 3.7 years and the financial tolls of the most extreme events have been climbing. Companies, it says, can expect to lose, on average, more than 40 per cent of a year's profits every decade.

The acceleration in the globalisation of trade over the past 30 years, when trade was growing at more than twice the rate of global GDP, stalled to some extent with the 2008 financial crisis and is now clearly decelerating or, more likely if the pandemic and trade issues do produce the anticipated re-engineering of supply chains, reversing.

The unwinding of a process that helped improved the lot of vast numbers of people in developing economies and made an increasing range of goods more affordable in advanced economies will have major implications for the global and individual economies, none of them obviously positive.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/markets ... d=msedgdhp

12 AUGUST NZ
Contacts of Auckland coronavirus family showing symptoms, New Zealand aged care homes closed to visitors
Health authorities have revealed more about the possible spread of coronavirus through Auckland workplaces after four new cases of the deadly illness were confirmed yesterday.

Aged care facilities have been closed to everyone but staff and essential deliveries, with a source of the latest outbreak yet to be pinpointed.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced new national restrictions and a return to lockdown in Auckland, measures that come into effect today.

People have been asked to stay home from work and school, while bars and many businesses have been closed and gatherings of more than 10 people are again restricted.

One of the cases, a woman in her 20s, travelled to Rotorua on Saturday while symptomatic, New Zealand director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said.

"So it was actually a family of four that travelled to Rotorua. We are working with urgency to find out what places the family may have visited while in Rotorua over the weekend," he said.
"But the important thing here is people in Rotorua and indeed around the country should be vigilant about their health and seek advice if they have symptoms.
"We know Rotorua is a popular tourist destination and people will have been around there. Should we get a case it would, in fact, require a nation-wide response."

Three colleagues of a man who was a confirmed case were symptomatic and "being tested, isolated and their households are in isolation as well".

The first case, a person in their 50s, was swabbed on Monday after presenting to his GP.

The test was processed twice and returned two positive results.

The person had no history of overseas travel.

Ms Ardern said she understood how frustrating the return to restrictions would be for New Zealanders.
"If we get our immediate response right in this critical phase, we have the opportunity to lessen the time that we will have those heavier restrictions. And that is a lesson that we have all learnt together," she said.

Ms Ardern urged Auckland residents to wear a face mask.
"While we are not mandating their general use at this stage, we are strongly encouraging their use in the Auckland region," she said.
"For the rest of New Zealand, if you are in an environment where social distancing is an issue, we are also encouraging their use."

Lockdown spurs panic buying in supermarkets
New Zealanders scrambled to stock up on essentials as the country's biggest city prepared to go into lockdown again.

Long queues were reported outside supermarkets in Auckland and across other parts of the country, as people raced to stock up on food and other essential items before the new restrictions took effect from midday.

Auckland Mayor Phil Gough called for calm as supermarkets experienced a rush on essential supplies, saying there was no reason to buy in bulk.
"The supermarkets have made it absolutely clear they've got enough stock there to deal with any need, the only thing that can mess up that supply chain is if people panic buy," he said.
"Most people will follow it but there'll always be a minority that go too far in either direction."

No decision yet on delaying election
Ms Ardern also announced the dissolution of Parliament to make way for a general election has been deferred until Monday, following the latest COVID-19 outbreak.

New Zealand's Parliament was due to be dissolved this morning, which is the first step towards holding the general election scheduled for September 19.

Ms Ardern said no decision had yet been made on postponing the election.
"It would be prudent to defer the dissolution of Parliament for at least a few days," Ms Ardern said.
"That will be extended until Monday."

She said Parliament was looking at options around the election from the Electoral Commission "just so we make sure we have all those options available to us".
"No decisions have been made. We have got some time to work through that," Ms Ardern said.

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

NZ coronavirus outbreak grows to five
Biden and new running mate Harris to take on Trump's coronavirus…
Trans-Tasman travel bubble 'on pause' amid new Covid outbreaks across Pacific

New Zealand health authorities have identified at least one more positive COVID-19 case in addition to the four announced last night, with up to 200 close contacts being tested.

Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield said authorities are aware of "an additional four probable cases who are people with symptoms linked to the four community-based cases".

"All of these probable cases are waiting test results," Dr Bloomfield said today.
"We will make available the test results as soon as we have them, but they are all being treated as probable cases and therefore are in full isolation and full contact tracing has been initiated for those cases."

The case currently in isolation is a woman aged in her 50s who arrived in New Zealand on August 7 from Islamabad via Dubai.

That brings New Zealand's total number of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began up to 1225, with 22 currently-active cases.

Health teams have ruled out any close contacts connected to a family who visited the tourist town of Rotorua from Auckland.
our positive COVID-19 cases in that family mark New Zealand's first coronavirus cases in 102 days.

Contact tracers have identified hundreds of close contacts of the family.

Dr Bloomfield said the contacts are mainly linked to two workplaces connected to the family members.

Workers from the Americold company in Auckland, as well as the Finance Now business on Dominion Road in central Auckland, are required to stay in their homes for at least a fortnight.

"Just over 200 close contacts have been identified and over a hundred of those have already been phoned and spoken with," he told reporters.

"Most of those contacts are from two workplaces and those people had been told last evening or this morning to remain at home.

"The workplaces are closed, and to stay at home until they were contacted and given further instructions."

The public health order also applies to anyone who may have visited those sites during the last 14 days.

Rapid response main weapon to stop outbreak
Earlier today, Ms Ardern said testing will be a main weapon in her government's response.

"We are taking a rapid response to break the chain of transmission through contact tracing, testing and the gathering of information."

"Testing will play a very important role over the next three days as we gather further information."

Stage three lockdown restrictions were introduced in Auckland at noon.

Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield said this morning that one of the family members from the infected household had visited Rotorua at the weekend and testing efforts were being ramped up in the popular tourist town.

The woman in her 20s travelled to Rotorua while she was symptomatic, he said. They've since tested positive this week.

Once they found out about the first positive test, both the case and family members were self isolated and tested.
This person has visited a number a tourist facilities in Rotorua. Health officials are tracing these movements and working on locations visited by this person.

Anyone with symptoms is urged to get tested at testing sites in Rotorua.

Dr Bloomfield said the country had to act swiftly and thoroughly to avoid a second wave like Victoria.

https://twitter.com/AklCouncil/status/1 ... wsrc%5Etfw
"So, we have seen in other countries, and jurisdictions, like in Victoria, in Hong Kong and in Vietnam, where a resurgence occurs that it is incredibly important to act early.

"Where the level of alert level that we are implementing here in New Zealand was not implemented in Victoria until some weeks after. their first cases reappeared in the community."
The family remain in isolation at home in south Auckland and authorities have yet to decide about whether they will be moved to a quarantine facility.

Officials said 130 people who work with the man who tested positive in a finance company are considered close contacts.

Ms Ardern announced that all aged care facilities in New Zealand will close to everyone but staff and essential deliveries from noon today.

Panic buying broke out last night in the North Island city as people stocked up on essentials.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/nz ... &ocid=iehp

New Zealand records another case of coronavirus as Auckland heads back into lockdown
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/new-zealand ... o-lockdown
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 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:22 am

13 AUGUST
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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 » Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:49 am

13 AUGUST VIC

Victoria's coronavirus cases rise by 278, eight deaths reported as Melbourne stage 4 restrictions continue
Victoria has recorded its lowest daily increase in coronavirus cases in more than three weeks, with 278 new infections reported in the past 24 hours. Today's increase of 278 is the first time the state's daily number of new cases has dipped below 300 in more than two weeks, and is Victoria's lowest daily increase since July 20, when it reported 275 cases.
The state has also recorded its lowest daily death toll in a week, with 8 new deaths reported.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the numbers "continue a weekly trend".
"I'm not going to get into trying to call these things definitively about turning corners and things of that nature. I don't know that that's very helpful," he said.
"What this shows you, not just today's numbers as a single day, but if you look at the trend over the last seven days or so, these stage 4 restrictions — as heartbreaking, as challenging as painful as they are — are working.

But Mr Andrews said the Government was not getting "ahead of ourselves".
"We would just caution against any Victorian thinking that we aren't in the midst of a real marathon," he said.

SUPPORT FOR VICTORIANS
The Premier announced the payment for people who have to self-isolate and therefore cannot work while waiting for a COVID-19 test result would increase from $300 to $450, starting today.

The decision comes after consultation with unions and employers.

"We think $450 is a better reckoning for the loss of income," he said.

TESTING
New testing sites open to combat rise in regional cases
Mr Andrews said four of the deaths reported today were connected to aged care.

The latest deaths include one woman in her 50s, two men in their 70s, two women and two men in their 80s and one man in his 90s.

There are now 664 Victorians in hospital, including 37 in intensive care.

The Premier also announced three new testing sites had been opened in regional cities where authorities have seen "significant growth" in cases.The new testing sites are at Ballarat's Respiratory Clinic, Kardinia Health in Geelong, and Spring Gully Primary Health near Bendigo.

Stage 4 restrictions were first imposed on Melbourne about 10 days ago, including a strict night-time curfew and limiting people's movements to within a 5 kilometre radius of their home.

Most students returned to home-learning last Wednesday and restrictions on who could access childcare came into effect last Thursday.

All of regional Victoria returned to stage 3 restrictions one week ago.

Yesterday Australia recorded its highest daily death toll since the pandemic began, with 21 deaths recorded in Victoria.
Victorian coronavirus cases linked to homes, social settings as worst-hit workplaces revealed
Clive Palmer calls premier an 'outlaw' after sweeping new legislation
Virus on ice, two for one (infections), and everyone’s jealous of Russia’s…

a person is walking down the street: Movement across Melbourne and Victoria has been restricted under coronavirus restrictions. (ABC News: Daniel Fermer)© Provided by ABC Health Movement across Melbourne and Victoria has been restricted under coronavirus restrictions. (ABC News: Daniel Fermer)
Homes and social settings have made up a significant proportion of Victoria's coronavirus outbreaks during the state's second wave, while abattoirs and warehouses remain some of the workplaces hardest hit by the virus.

The country yesterday had its deadliest day of the pandemic, with 21 COVID-19 deaths and 410 new cases recorded in Victoria.

There have now been 15,646 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, about half of which are still active infections.

What the Government classes as "other" outbreaks — student accommodation, backpacker hostels, social settings, families and home settings — have accounted for 5,004 cases from June 1 to August 11.

Those infections are spread across 369 outbreak settings in Victoria.

When the state halted the easing of restrictions in mid-June, the Premier said rising COVID-19 infections were being driven by family-to-family transmission.

By mid-July, and following the reintroduction of stage 3 restrictions in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, authorities said new infections were being driven by transmission in workplaces.

Now, under stage 4 restrictions, about a quarter of a million Victorians have been stood down from their jobs or told to stay home from work as entire industries close in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.

Today marks one week since the bulk of the new workplace rules came into effect, which Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday said was "the most significant elements of stage 4".

"With compliance up … and these measures in place our experts remain firm in the view that this will drive the numbers down," he said.

Coronavirus clusters linked to warehouses, schools
The Government data reveals there were 551 coronavirus infections linked to 14 abattoirs from June 1 to August 11.

A number of the state's largest outbreaks have been in meat processing facilities, including regional Victoria's biggest cluster.

The JBS food processing company this week confirmed it was closing its Brooklyn abattoir, which has been linked to at least 138 cases, indefinitely.
"The persistent community transmission of COVID-19 in Victoria and the directives from DHHS have meant it is impossible to operate JBS Brooklyn in the current COVID environment," the company said.

During the same June to August period, 439 cases were linked to 43 outbreaks at Victorian warehouses, and 172 cases were linked to nine food distribution centres.

Other workplace settings hit by the virus between the start of June and this week have been retail, with 80 cases across 14 sites and supermarkets, with 84 infections linked to 11 clusters.

There have been 630 cases linked to 69 school outbreaks.

The vast majority of the cases at schools are understood to be related to transmission in the community, rather than within the classroom.

Nursing homes remain of grave concern to authorities, with nearly 2,000 currently active coronavirus cases linked to the sector.

More than 1,000 healthcare workers currently have the virus, but the Premier said early analysis showed the "majority of healthcare workers are acquiring coronavirus outside of the workplace".

Mr Andrews told Wednesday's daily press briefing a more detailed breakdown would be provided about how and where transmission was occurring in outbreak settings.

Hotel quarantine divisions continue
Flaws in Victoria's hotel quarantine program continue to be in the spotlight after days of conflicting political statements over the involvement of defence force personnel in the scheme.

An inquiry is currently investigating whether every case in the state's second wave can be traced back to the botched program.

Questions have been raised about the use of private security firms and subcontractors to guard returned travellers, and why police or ADF officers were not used in their place.

Mr Andrews said on Monday it was "fundamentally incorrect" to say ADF staff were on offer but Victoria said no.

His comments were swiftly disputed by Defence Minister Linda Reynolds — and her comments were then contradicted by a statement from Victoria's Emergency Management Commissioner.

The dispute has prompted state Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien to step up pressure on the Government and .

The ABC understands in March, 100 ADF personnel were put on standby to be deployed to Victoria to assist with hotel quarantine.

The ADF was involved in the planning for the scheme but officers not used by the Victorian Government until later in the year.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/vi ... d=msedgdhp
Victorian workplaces with the highest number of virus cases
Abattoirs have accumulated the highest number of coronavirus cases, new data detailing outbreaks across Victorian workplaces has revealed.

Health data showed a total of 551 COVID-19 infections emerged across 14 abattoirs between June 1 and August 11, with an average of 39 infections recorded per outbreak.
While earlier data obtained by 9News this week showed a mega 874 cases had been linked to abattoirs during Victoria's coronavirus pandemic.

The outbreak at pork manufacturer Bertocchi Smallgoods had the most amount of COVID-19 cases, with 202 total infections confirmed today.

There were also 138 cases linked to an outbreak at JBS Brooklyn in Melbourne's west, according to yesterday's COVID-19 figures.
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United Workers Union (UWU) confirmed to 9News there were number of new coronavirus cases inside the Brooklyn plant's beef and lamb processing areas, causing the sections to shut down for 14 days.
"We continue to have a number of concerns regarding safety," Victorian secretary Susie Allison said.
"Cold storage workers have previously had to cease work to receive additional information and safety measures."

The site was on Saturday closed for deep cleaning, with contact tracing still underway.
"All abattoir staff who were in the affected area will be tested and be required to complete 14 days of quarantine," a Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson said.

Warehouses came in second for workplace infections with 439 cases, followed by 'other' at 195 which included sites such as pharmacies, gyms and TAFEs.

Food distribution settings had 172 infections across nine sites and retail had 80 cases across 14 stores.

The data also showed majority of the state's COVID-19 figures had come from the "other" category, which included family and social settings where 5004 cases had been accumulated across 369 sites, followed by aged/residential care with 2453 cases across 136 facilities.

Cases linked to schools came in third with 630 infections across 69 sites.

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Blakely: Vic. numbers to be around 200 in 5 to 7 days
Epidemiologist Tony Blakely says that as numbers in metro Melbourne reduce, health authorities will need to be on the lookout for rising case numbers in regional Victoria.

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

REGIONAL VICTORIA
Victoria may tighten regional restrictions after 'worrying' rise in Covid-19 cases traced to Melbourne
The number of coronavirus cases in regional Victoria has doubled in two weeks and the premier said there was “worrying trend” in the state’s three largest regional cities, some of which have seen a more than four-fold increase in active cases.
On Thursday Daniel Andrews announced three new testing sites and increased testing hours in Bendigo, Ballarat, and Geelong.

Genomic sequencing is yet to be conducted for the regional outbreaks, but contact tracers working for regional public health teams traced the initial outbreaks to Melbourne. All three regional cities are major commuter hubs, and travel for work is still permitted.

Concerningly, regional areas are seeing cases of untraced community transmission.

Greater Geelong has seen a four-fold increase in active cases since 29 July and as of Thursday had 143 active cases, up from 44 two weeks ago. But the trend is stabilising: most of that growth occurred in the first days of August, before Melbourne was placed under stage four restrictions and regional areas were returned to stage three.
The Victorian deputy chief health officer, Prof Allen Cheng, said the health department was looking “very closely” at whether Geelong might have to move to tighter restrictions.
“It’s a day-by-day proposition and we really encourage the community to come forward to get tested so that we can sort of get on top of these transmission chains and hopefully obviate the need for stage four,” Cheng said on Thursday.
“Noting that stage three has only been in for one week and we’re starting to see the impact of that now in regional centres, so it’s important we keep a close eye on these.”

Prof Eugene Athan, the director of infectious disease control at Barwon Health, which covers Geelong and surrounding areas, was “very confident” the number of new cases reported would slow considerably over the next fortnight as restrictions took effect.

Athan said most of the cases reported in the Barwon health district could be attributed to three outbreaks: the Australian Lamb Company at Colac, which grew to a cluster of more than 80 cases among workers and their close contacts; the Golden Farms Poultry chicken processing plant in Breakwater; Opal South Valley aged care home in Geelong, where most of the staff were stood down and the Australian Defence Force covered their shifts.

All three outbreaks were now contained, he said.
“So clearly some of this is linked to this very insecure workforce, where people might have two jobs,” Athan told Guardian Australia. “They might live in Werribee and work in an aged care home there and also work in another aged care home down in Geelong.”

In recent weeks the new cases have included “more isolated examples of community transmission”, but that was also decreasing.

Barwon was one of the first regional health districts to establish its own contact tracing team, now 60-strong. Athan said it was “much more agile than the centralised model”.

Active cases in Ballarat have more than doubled in the same period, and now sit at 22.

Greater Bendigo, which as of late July had just 11 active cases and 21 cases for the entire pandemic, now has 53 active cases and 73 in total – an almost five-fold increase in active cases in 14 days.

Bendigo Health’s chief executive, Peter Faulkner, said all but seven or eight of those cases had been connected by contact tracers to someone who either lived in, or had visited, metropolitan Melbourne.
“For most of these clusters we have been able to trace connections back in some way to the metropolitan area,” Faulkner said. “Some who have travelled from Melbourne, some who have visited family in Melbourne, or who live in Melbourne and work at places in Bendigo.”
The biggest cluster in the greater Bendigo region is 21 cases, linked to the Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm processing plant at Lockwood, followed by the cluster at Don KR Smallgoods in Castlemaine. There are also 20 cases linked to three schools, the largest of which is St Joseph’s primary school in Bendigo. Three aged care homes in the district have reported a single positive case among their staff.
“In each instance that has been the full extent of the outbreak,” Faulkner said.

For the past two weeks, Bendigo has been conducting contact tracing locally, with a team of 12 to 16. Close contacts are tested on the day they are identified, and also 11 days later, while they are still under orders to self-isolate, to see if the virus has developed. Faulkner said the local contact tracing model was preferable, because it “brings immediacy to the task”.

Smaller regional centres such as Shepparton have also reported an increase in cases. The greater Shepparton local government area has 16 active cases, compared with none two weeks ago. Most were reported in the past week.

To date, all of Shepparton’s new cases have been linked back to identified clusters.

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

Coronavirus testing blitz for Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo as case numbers grow
The Victorian Government is flagging the possibility of further lockdowns in the state's three biggest regional cities if outbreaks of COVID-19 are not brought under control.

Department of Health data shows just under 500 active cases of the virus in regional Victoria; the cities of Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo account for half of that number.

Outbreaks in these areas have so far been linked to chicken farms, aged care facilities, schools and fast-food stores.

On Thursday, Premier Daniel Andrews reiterated these outbreaks remained a cause for concern.
"The cases remain low in total terms, but we have seen some significant growth in cases in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo," he said.
"That is of some obvious concern to us."

Ballarat Health Service, which is run by the State Government, will open a third testing site in the city on Friday.

The pop-up site at Sebastopol Dental Clinic will be limited to health workers, people with symptoms, and people who have been advised to get tested by contact tracers.

The Premier's office says existing testing clinics in the three key cities will also get a boost in appointment numbers, staffing and hours.

Geelong's case count is by far the largest at 172.

While Ballarat's numbers are the lowest of the cities, it recorded the highest growth rate in the past week.

Colac Otway Shire is also still battling 61 active cases, however its numbers have dropped steadily over the past week, as an outbreak associated with a meatworks appears to come under control.

The shire has gone from a high of 92 active cases a week ago to just 61 on Thursday.

Should regional Victoria move to stage 4?
Regional Victoria is not under as severe restrictions as greater Melbourne.

The state's acting Deputy Chief Health Officer, Allen Cheng, was asked if moving to stage 4 restrictions — which could involve a curfew and further closures of businesses — was a possibility for Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong.
"We're looking at that very closely," he said.
"It's a day-by-day proposition and we really encourage the community to come forward to get tested so we can get on top of these transmission chains and hopefully obviate the need for stage 4."

Students stopped travelling to Ballarat
Health authorities have stated that many of the three cities' cases can be linked to the major outbreak in Melbourne.

Melburnians are still able to travel to regional Victoria for essential work and study.

However, Ballarat Health Service (BHS) has announced it will prevent Melbourne-based students from travelling for their placements at Ballarat's public hospital.

It came after a Federation University student doing a placement at the hospital tested positive last week.

The Australian Medical Association's local representative, Mark Yates, said the new restrictions on Melbourne arrivals were widely supported by the local medical community.
"It's a very sensible decision," Dr Yates said.

He said he hoped the universities or BHS would facilitate Melbourne-based students moving to Ballarat for as long as the new policy was in place.
"There are universities with accommodation, there are hotels that are empty — students who want to do placements in Ballarat, come and stay here for six weeks. Participate in our community," he said.
"But please don't go into Melbourne, collect coronavirus, be asymptomatic, which one in five will be, and come back into our community and lead to infections in our hospitals or other health services."

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

Vic govt to roll out regional coronavirus testing push
The Victorian government will roll out a major coronavirus testing push from tomorrow as the state sees a concerning rise in the number of cases in regional areas.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced testing would focus on the Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo regions where a number of new infections were recorded in recent days.

He revealed three additional testing sites would be established in those areas to provide greater support to pre-existing clinics.

The sites will be set up at Geelong Kardinia Health, Ballarat Respiratory Clinic and Bendigo’s Spring Gully Primary Health.

Mr Andrews said while there were only 492 infections across regional Victoria, as opposed to the 7,155 recorded in metropolitan Melbourne, health authorities remained concerned over the growth in regional cases as several remained under investigation.
He again urged all Victorians to present themselves for testing if they felt even the mildest of symptoms.
“That's an important part of our fight against this virus,” he said.
“As far as some of those worrying trends in those three large regional cities, this testing push over the coming days and weeks will be a really important way in which we can be confident that we're finding all of the virus that's there, or at least as much of it as we can.”

Victoria recorded its lowest daily coronavirus case load with 278 new infections and eight deaths.

The age and gender breakdown of the death toll was a female in her 50s, two males in their 70s, two females and two males in their 80s and one male in his 90s.

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

Victorian border town residents 'devastated' by new SA border-crossing restrictions
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The Mallee is cut in half by the South Australian-Victorian border

Distraught residents of Victorian border towns say a decision by South Australian authorities to stop them heading into SA will have devastating impacts on local morale, and could also increase the risk of coronavirus transmission.

It comes after the South Australia Government yesterday announced that from Friday, August 21, only Victorians who are essential travellers will be able to enter the state.

There will be exceptions for and farmers with properties on both sides of the border.

Education, shopping and getting medical care would no longer be considered legitimate reasons to enter SA.

Carly Heintze is a resident of the Victorian Mallee town of Murrayville, about 20 kilometres east of the SA border.

She described the new restrictions as "ludicrous", arguing it would force people to travel farther distances to get supplies, increasing rather than decreasing their personal risk of becoming infected.
"There is no fuel station here in Murrayville at all," she said.
"The nearest place [on the Victorian side of the border] is 60km away, and if you're out of [business] hours you have to go all the way to Ouyen, which is 110km.
"To not be able to go to our major town of Pinnaroo is, yeah, it'll be devastating.
"People in Pinnaroo are part of my community. It's quite sad, it's really sad."

She argued that closing off the border would put more people in her town at risk of contracting COVID-19.
"I just fear that it's going to cause more Murrayville people to push into Victoria to get their supplies," she said.
"We haven't got any cases [of COVID-19] ... I'm hours away from Horsham, which is the closest case at the moment.
"We've already got our passes, we've been doing everything right, I've been getting a COVID test every seven days, which is what we're told to do — negative every time."

Katharine Daniels' home is 500 metres across the Victorian side of the border and a few kilometres from Pinnaroo in the South Australian Mallee.

Her children go to school in Pinnaroo and she said the bans on cross-border travel would be devastating.
"Oh look, I'm just a mess really, absolutely devastated by what's happened," she said.

'I don't even really know where to start with how many ways it's going to mess up our country communities at Pinnaroo and Murrayville."It's absolutely terrible for everyone who lives in our area."

Police Commissioner not swayed
Previously, Victorians within 40km of the state border could cross into South Australia if they had regular coronavirus tests.

Up until now, about 1,000 people have crossed the border every day, SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens told ABC Radio Adelaide this morning.

He said there were active cases in Victorian towns such as Horsham and Portland, and people living just across the border could go there and bring back the virus to South Australia under previous restrictions.
"If you're a Victorian resident there is no impediment to you traveling into Portland or Horsham or any other regional centre in Victoria and then coming back to your residence, which is 3.5km from the border, and then coming into South Australia," Mr Stevens said.
"This is probably one of the restrictions that we've laboured on the most because we understand the impact that it has on those families that live just outside of South Australia.
"I'm hopeful it's one of those we can lift as quickly as possible if we see Victoria's positive active cases reducing."

Tough times for businesses
Murrayville Hotel publican Darryl Lewis said everyone was in "total shock" at being treated like they had done something wrong.
"What it's going to do is drive people back towards Melbourne to get our stuff, closer to where all the problems are occurring," he said.
"It's going to increase the risk dramatically, whereas people in Pinnaroo are closer to the people in South Australia and they're at risk as well going into Adelaide and coming back.
"I don't think it's been thought about quite properly."

Synon Peers, who has businesses in both Murrayville and Pinnaroo, said he wanted to see more detail in writing about what Mr Stevens announced.
"Who is he talking about exactly? Is it every single employee and every single person who owns a business in Pinnaroo that employs South Australians that can't come over?" he said.
"Is it every single person that needs to go and have their blood pressure checked? I don't think it's very clear."

There are six known active cases of COVID-19 in South Australia, according to SA Health.

Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services says there is one active case in the Mildura Rural City Council, which includes Murrayville, and 11 in the Glenelg Shire Council, which includes Portland, as well as the seaside town of Nelson 4km east of the SA border.

Sad times for seaside Nelson
Several Nelson residents were too upset to comment when contacted by the ABC, but said other locals had also been left in tears by the decision.

Glenelg Shire Council chief executive Greg Burgoyne said the ban on travel would have an enormous effect on jobs, healthcare and education.

Mr Burgoyne argued cross-border activities could happen safely.
"Portland District Hospital is staffed by people who live in Mount Gambier so services on this side of the border will be impacted," Mr Burgoyne said.
"Likewise, I have employees in the Glenelg Shire that reside in Mount Gambier that can't come to work."

Three years ago, the West Wimmera Advocate newspaper was an example of a local publication bucking the trend of a broader collapse in print advertising that had forced the closure of dozens of other regional newspapers.

But editor and publisher Toni Domaschenz announced yesterday on social media that the new restrictions were the "last straw" for the Edenhope-based publication she had bought in 2014, and had been running as a one-woman operation since.
"Unless there is some kind of miracle the next edition of the Advocate will be our last," Ms Domaschenz wrote.
"After months of 'soldering on' for the community with constantly changing restrictions, and more and more rules in order to do business, the announcement by the SA government to impose a hard border is the final straw.
"I don't have the energy for negotiating a new print arrangement on top of everything else. Sorry, but I am burnt out."

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

HOSPITALS
Source of 1,600 Victorian healthcare Covid-19 infections still unknown despite premier's claims
The peak Victorian authority for safety improvement in healthcare is still examining how almost 1,600 healthcare workers acquired Covid-19, calling into question claims from the state’s premier, Daniel Andrews, and health minister, Jenny Mikakos, that most workers were infected in the community.

An email sent to health workers by the chief medical officer of Safer Care Victoria, Prof Andrew Wilson, says as of 8 August 1,835 healthcare workers had been infected with the virus. The figure includes healthcare workers with active infections and those who have recovered from the virus. Of those infected, 50 were confirmed to have acquired the virus in a healthcare setting, Wilson said, including 12 doctors, 29 nurses and nine other health practitioners such as paramedics and allied health workers.
Wilson, who also chairs the Victoria PPE [personal protective equipment] taskforce, said in an email: “Health care acquisition remains under investigation for 1,598 health care workers.” The figures included all data to 8 August.

It calls into question statements from the health minister Jenny Mikakos before the parliamentary inquiry into the Victorian government’s response to Covid-19 that up to 15% of those with active infections had been infected at work. The source of many cases are still under investigation. She said Wilson, the chief medical officer at Safer Care Victoria, would be investigating how health workers were becoming infected.

“We’ll be engaging with organisations to drill down to the heart of these issues and what more we could do to protect our dedicated healthcare workers in their important work,” Mikakos said on Tuesday.
Asked by Guardian Australia to clarify Mikakos’s comments, a spokesman for the department of health and human services said while “early” analysis of public health data was showing that the majority of healthcare workers are acquiring coronavirus outside of work, “further detailed analysis is underway to better understand the nature of transmission for the smaller proportion of cases that are acquired in the workplace”.

“It is important to understand if this is occurring between colleagues, on a break for example or from patient to doctor even with PPE,” he said. “Healthcare workers also cover a range of settings so it is also important to break this down into aged care, primary care and hospital settings so we have a clear picture of what is happening. This further analysis is underway and we should be able to share the results early next week.”

The email from Wilson said the PPE taskforce had endorsed the needs-based allocation of N95/P2 respirators, and allocations for each health service would be based on the size of the workforce, with weighting towards use in intensive care, emergency departments and Covid-19 wards especially “when undertaking emergency surgery and aerosol-generating procedures”.

“The allocation model is designed to over-allocate rather than under-allocate,” the email said. “As such, the usage assumptions driving the model are slightly above the current advice on the appropriate use of PPE. Health services should adhere to current PPE advice, rather than the usage assumptions in the model.”

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... ripe-covid

AGED CARE - THE ROYAL COMMISSION
Murphy: Masks for Aged Care should have started earlier
Head of the Health Dept. Brendan Murphy conceded Australia made mistakes in its fight against COVID-19 in Aged Care and that masks should have been made mandator for all workers and residents in ALL nursing homes from the getgo.

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

Deputy Chief Medical Officer rejects royal commission criticism of response to coronavirus in aged care
Suggestions Australia's aged care response has been marred by an attitude of futility are an insult to every Australian who has been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth says.

It comes after the aged care royal commission on Wednesday heard expert evidence that aged care residents, many of whom would die prematurely as a result of the pandemic, had been treated like second-class citizens.

The federal health bureaucracy has hardened its stance against critical comments made in the commission in recent days, with Health Secretary and former chief medical officer Brendan Murphy also giving evidence on Wednesday afternoon.

The royal commission on Wednesday heard from geriatrician Joseph Ibrahim, who was heavily critical of the Federal Government's aged care response.
"In my opinion, hundreds of residents are and will die prematurely because people have failed to act," he said.

But Dr Coatsworth strenuously defended the federal response to the pandemic in aged care homes, arguing sweeping changes to society were introduced in order to protect older Australians.
"The assertion that there was an attitude of futility towards death in residential aged care in Australia is frankly insulting to the entire Australian community who locked down to prevent deaths amongst our most vulnerable," he said.
"There were many words used in the royal commission witness statements today that perhaps don't reflect the totality of the Government's response, both at federal and state level, to preventing deaths in aged care."

Professor Murphy also made an appearance at the royal commission on Wednesday afternoon and was keen to refute allegations made by counsel assisting Peter Rozen that the Commonwealth Government did not have a specific plan for aged care during the pandemic.
"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," Mr Rozen said on Monday — a view supported by Professor Ibrahim.

Professor Murphy asked to make a statement to the commission outlining his "serious concerns", but was denied the chance to do so, instead being allowed to make a written submission.

On Tuesday Acting Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly contested claims there was no federal plan for aged care.
"That is not correct; we have been planning for our aged population as a vulnerable group since the beginning of our planning in relation to COVID-19," he said.

During his evidence, Professor Murphy acknowledged the mandatory use of face masks in aged care homes in Victoria should have been introduced sooner.
"In hindsight, you could have implemented that earlier, absolutely," he said.
"The situation in Victoria changed very, very rapidly in July."

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

Aged care sector 'not equipped' for coronavirus outbreaks, royal commission told
Australia's aged care sector is still unprepared to deal with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a royal commission has been told.

Senior counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, Peter Rozen QC, on Thursday said none of the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic were unforeseeable.

Mr Rozen told the commission the sector was not prepared for COVID before outbreaks occurred in Sydney aged care homes Newmarch House and Dorothy Henderson Lodge.
"Tragically, not all that could be done was done," he said.
"The lessons of those two outbreaks were not properly conveyed to the sector, and as a result the sector was not properly prepared in June 2020, when we witnessed high levels of community transmission of the virus in Melbourne.
"Based on the evidence that you've heard, the sector is not properly prepared now."

Mr Rozen said it was the Federal Government that had sole responsibility for aged care.

He said the Government was "firmly on notice" early in 2020 of the many challenges the sector would face if there was an outbreak in aged care homes.

Mr Rozen said the limitations of the sector's workforce were well documented, there were many reports of residents in aged care homes dying in North America and Europe, and experts had been raising concerns and offering solutions.

The commission had previously heard harrowing evidence from those directly affected by the outbreaks, including the daughter of a man who died at Newmarch House.

Unions have also given evidence about the daily struggle of workers in the sector.

Also this week, geriatrician Joseph Ibrahim issued heavy criticism of the Federal Government's aged care response and said the situation had been a "disaster".
"In my opinion, hundreds of residents are and will die prematurely because people have failed to act," he said.

The Government has refuted claims it did not have plans in place for an outbreak, pointing to two documents, the first of which was activated in February.

But Mr Rozen described them as "reactive" rather than planning documents.

Professor Ibrahim had also criticised one of the documents as being silent on known gaps in the sector.

The commission is hearing a closing address from Mr Rozen regarding the evidence about COVID-19 planning.

It will then begin to examine the physical settings in which aged care is delivered and whether the facilities are appropriate.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... ripe-covid

Nursing union makes claims about Victoria's aged care homes
Health bosses have been left 'shocked and deeply disturbed' by details heard in a royal commission into coronavirus deaths in aged care homes.

Members of the nurses union made a series of explosive allegations during the probe on Wednesday, claiming that essential face masks were kept in locked boxes and limited to one per shift.

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation secretary Annie Butler said workers had detailed 'incredible breaches' of infection control.
Brazil's Bolsonaro gains more popular approval, says Datafolha poll
Virus on ice, two for one (infections), and everyone’s jealous of Russia’s…

Health bosses have been left 'shocked and deeply disturbed' by details heard in a royal commission into coronavirus deaths in aged care homes.

Members of the nurses union made a series of explosive allegations during the probe on Wednesday, claiming that essential face masks were kept in locked boxes and limited to one per shift.

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation secretary Annie Butler said workers had detailed 'incredible breaches' of infection control.
'We had members tell us they could only use one glove rather than two,' Ms Butler said during aged care royal commission hearings.
'Members [have been] told they had to reuse equipment, put it in collective plastic bags.'

Health Workers Union Victorian secretary Diana Asmar estimates 1,000 of their members in the state had caught the virus.

Poor staffing ratios, a lack of PPE and the growing death toll had left workers feeling like they were 'at the bottom of the Titanic', she said.

Some facilities were accused of failing to provide soap.
Ms Butler told the commission registered nurses transferred from hospitals to aged care homes during the crisis and were shocked by the 'abject neglect' and 'horrific circumstances'.

The hearing also heard staff weren't given enough time to complete tasks and often spent their days off caring for elderly residents.

Leading aged care expert Professor Joseph Ibrahim said residents were being treated as second-class citizens and hundreds more would die prematurely during the pandemic.

He said aged home residents made up more than 68 per cent of the nation's virus deaths, putting Australia among the worst few nations globally.
'There's a lack of urgency. There's an attitude of futility which leads to an absence of action,' he said.

Former chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said the sector had received adequate PPE, support and advice from the government and the 68 per cent figure was a 'meaningless statistic'.
'I would like to strongly reject the assertion that somehow the proportion of an extraordinary low death rate has any pejorative meaning,' he said.

He said 0.1 per cent of Australia's aged care residents had died from the virus, compared to five per cent in the UK, some 20,000 people.
Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said is it the responsibility of providers to ensure the centres are properly staffed.
'Since March this year, the Government has additionally provided more than $850 million in measures to support and protect senior Australians in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,' she said.

Assisting commissioner Peter Rozen, QC, asked Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Janet Anderson why it took four days for the virus outbreak at St Basil's Home for the Aged in Victoria to be reported to the government.

Ms Anderson responded: 'In hindsight, that would have appeared to be something that we should have done.'

St Basil's was home to one of the state's biggest outbreaks in the state and has been linked to 124 cases and 12 deaths.

The Aged Care Quality Commission issued 104 aged care facilities with non compliance notices between March and May.

A string of centres were operating in NSW, including the coronavirus-riddled Newmarch House which failed to meet clinical care and infection control, The Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday.
The facility in western Sydney has been one of the state's deadliest outbreaks, with 17 residents dying and more than 30 cases in staff.

Other homes including Bupa Aged Care Dural and Uniting Hawkesbury Richmond were given notices about infection control.

The Dural home said all staff had since had infection control training and a spokesperson for Uniting said a plan had been placed for better hygiene and outbreak control.

'We have worked hard to implement a continuous improvement plan and are making significant progress. We have engaged regularly with residents and their loved ones on this plan,' a United spokesperson said.
Virus on ice, two for one (infections), and everyone’s jealous of Russia’s…

Health bosses have been left 'shocked and deeply disturbed' by details heard in a royal commission into coronavirus deaths in aged care homes.

Members of the nurses union made a series of explosive allegations during the probe on Wednesday, claiming that essential face masks were kept in locked boxes and limited to one per shift.

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation secretary Annie Butler said workers had detailed 'incredible breaches' of infection control.
'We had members tell us they could only use one glove rather than two,' Ms Butler said during aged care royal commission hearings.
'Members [have been] told they had to reuse equipment, put it in collective plastic bags.'

Health Workers Union Victorian secretary Diana Asmar estimates 1,000 of their members in the state had caught the virus.

Poor staffing ratios, a lack of PPE and the growing death toll had left workers feeling like they were 'at the bottom of the Titanic', she said.

Some facilities were accused of failing to provide soap.

Ms Butler told the commission registered nurses transferred from hospitals to aged care homes during the crisis and were shocked by the 'abject neglect' and 'horrific circumstances'.

The hearing also heard staff weren't given enough time to complete tasks and often spent their days off caring for elderly residents.

Leading aged care expert Professor Joseph Ibrahim said residents were being treated as second-class citizens and hundreds more would die prematurely during the pandemic.

He said aged home residents made up more than 68 per cent of the nation's virus deaths, putting Australia among the worst few nations globally.
'There's a lack of urgency. There's an attitude of futility which leads to an absence of action,' he said.

Former chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said the sector had received adequate PPE, support and advice from the government and the 68 per cent figure was a 'meaningless statistic'.
'I would like to strongly reject the assertion that somehow the proportion of an extraordinary low death rate has any pejorative meaning,' he said.

He said 0.1 per cent of Australia's aged care residents had died from the virus, compared to five per cent in the UK, some 20,000 people.

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said is it the responsibility of providers to ensure the centres are properly staffed.
'Since March this year, the Government has additionally provided more than $850 million in measures to support and protect senior Australians in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,' she said.

Assisting commissioner Peter Rozen, QC, asked Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Janet Anderson why it took four days for the virus outbreak at St Basil's Home for the Aged in Victoria to be reported to the government.

Ms Anderson responded: 'In hindsight, that would have appeared to be something that we should have done.'

St Basil's was home to one of the state's biggest outbreaks in the state and has been linked to 124 cases and 12 deaths.

The Aged Care Quality Commission issued 104 aged care facilities with non compliance notices between March and May.

A string of centres were operating in NSW, including the coronavirus-riddled Newmarch House which failed to meet clinical care and infection control, The Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday.

The facility in western Sydney has been one of the state's deadliest outbreaks, with 17 residents dying and more than 30 cases in staff.

Other homes including Bupa Aged Care Dural and Uniting Hawkesbury Richmond were given notices about infection control.

The Dural home said all staff had since had infection control training and a spokesperson for Uniting said a plan had been placed for better hygiene and outbreak control.
'We have worked hard to implement a continuous improvement plan and are making significant progress. We have engaged regularly with residents and their loved ones on this plan,' a United spokesperson said.

It comes after almost 30 nursing homes were told to make 'significant improvements' and 14 in New South Wales alone did not meet personal or clinical care standards.

Another seven facilities in NSW were found to not have proper infection control procedures in place during the outbreak of the deadly virus.

Mr Rozen said the sector was not prepared for the pandemic.
'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 on Monday.
'The COVID-19 pandemic has starkly exposed all of the flaws of the aged care sector.
'To put it very directly, older people are not less deserving of care because they are old.'

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

Aged care claims 'frankly insulting'
One of Australia's top doctors has hit back at suggestions there was an attitude of futility towards COVID-19 deaths in the nation's aged care facilities.

Dr Nick Coatsworth, the nation's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said there were many words used in witness statements during today's Royal Commission into Aged Care that perhaps did not reflect the totality of the government's response to the virus outbreaks.
"This is a virus that disproportionally affects the aged in our community. That is not a statement of futility, that is a statement of fact," Dr Coatsworth said.
"It's a statement that our most vulnerable in the community needed to be protected."

He said from January, federal and state governments and chief health officers recognised "the propensity or likelihood of COVID-19 to cause severe morbidity and mortality" in the country's aged population.
"Even if you don't refer to the plans … we have locked down once across an entire nation to able to protect our most vulnerable," he said.
"The assertion that there was an attitude of futility towards deaths in residential aged care in Australia is frankly insulting to the entire Australian community who locked down to prevent deaths amongst our most vulnerable."

Dr Coatsworth confirmed Australia had recorded 429 new cases of COVID-19 and another 21 people had died.

The nation's death toll is now 352.

Among Victoria's 21 new coronavirus deaths are two females and one male in their 70s, six females and five males in their 80s, five males and one female in their 90s, and one female in her 100s.

Of those, 16 have been linked to aged care outbreaks.

So far, there have been 476 aged care residents transferred from residential aged care to hospital due to coronavirus outbreaks.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews continues to be grilled about the state's decision to use privately contracted security guards for Victoria's hotel quarantine program rather than ADF personnel.

Mr Andrews said he believed Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp's statement contradicted the Federal Defence Minister's claims about the availability of defence personnel.
"The availability of ADF resources is not something that I can speak to," he said.

He would not address why ADF personnel were not used to run the state's hotel quarantine program.

There are 1079 active coronavirus cases among healthcare workers in Victoria.

Mr Andrews said analysis showed the majority of healthcare workers were acquiring COVID-19 outside of their workplace.
"That is what the data is telling us," he said.

The Premier said he understood there have been a number of issues raised in relation to PPE.

He confirmed there were about 68 million gloves, 19 million surgical masks and two million face shields ready to be distributed to health services when needed.

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

Taralga Retirement Village used chemical restraints without consent, damning aged care report finds
Aged care residents were given chemical restraints without consent and "in the absence of a diagnosed mental health disorder", a damning report on a Darling Downs aged care provider has revealed.

The Taralga Retirement Village in Jandowae, 260 kilometres north-west of Brisbane, was audited in June by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC).

The provider was found non-compliant on 10 of the 12 requirements assessed in the performance report, including failures in processes for wound care, mental health, and responding to falls and injuries.

Four of the 22 residents at the private facility were also found to have been given antipsychotic medications "in the absence of a diagnosed mental health disorder, physical illness or condition".
"The approved provider was not aware the use of psychotropic medication for these four consumers was a form of chemical restraint and confirmed consent for the authorisation of their use had not been obtained," the report said.
"The approved provider in its response has obtained consent and authorisation for the use of chemical restraint for two consumers, and through consultation with the treating medical officers have ceased the psychotropic medication usage for the two remaining consumers."

The report also found that people were not being referred for medical help quickly enough.
"Consumers who have sustained falls with injuries and consumers with ongoing challenging behaviours have not been referred appropriately in a timely manner," the report said.

Chair of the board at Taralga Retirement Village, Amanda Richards, said they were taking the findings seriously and had already made changes.
"At no stage were any of the residents at risk," she said.
"The main issue for us as I understand it … was around documentation.
"Since that report we've been working closely with the agency, putting in place a plan of action to rectify the deficiencies that were identified."

Ms Richards said the facility had been dealing with a recent upheaval in staffing and management at the village.
"We've got a new management team in place, we have now got a clinical manager and a full-time facility manager," she said.
"We have upgraded our computer systems. There's a system that we had that was a few levels out of date.

ACQSC identified 10 areas of improvement for the Taralga Retirement Village which largely focused on better record keeping and planning.

Ensuring the care being provided to residents was best practice, and the need for families to be consulted more were two further areas of improvement that were flagged.
"People important to the consumer are to be involved in initial assessment and care planning processes and on an ongoing basis," the report said.
"Clinical care delivered is required to be safe and effective and evidence best practice."
"We've taken all of this extremely seriously," Ms Richards said.
"At no time have any of the residents been at risk, and I want to really stress that.
"If I had a family member I would have no problems putting them in Taralga myself."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
<< HEADS NEED TO ROLL OVER THIS ABUSE OF RESIDENTS >>


QUARANTINE COMMISSION
Victoria Premier insists ADF help wasn't offered
remier Daniel Andrews continues to insist his government did not receive any offer of ADF support by the federal government to assist with hotel quarantine, contradicting claims from the federal Defence Minister.

Linda Reynolds said ADF officials asked whether Victorian authorities required assistance with its mandatory quarantine system on "multiple occasions" but no request for support was subsequently received from Victoria at the time.
Brazil's Bolsonaro gains more popular approval, says Datafolha poll
Virus on ice, two for one (infections), and everyone’s jealous of Russia’s…

Victoria Premier insists ADF wasn't offered
Premier Daniel Andrews continues to insist his government did not receive any offer of ADF support by the federal government to assist with hotel quarantine, contradicting claims from the federal Defence Minister.

Linda Reynolds said ADF officials asked whether Victorian authorities required assistance with its mandatory quarantine system on "multiple occasions" but no request for support was subsequently received from Victoria at the time.

a close up of a busy city street© Provided by Sky News Australia
State Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp backed the Premier's claim in a statement that said he "did not seek nor did representatives of the ADF offer assistance as part of the quarantine program".

At least 100 defence force personnel were on standby to assist Victoria with its hotel quarantine program but were not deployed, a parliamentary inquiry heard.

More details revealed the decision to hire private security guards did not come from Jobs Minister Martin Pakula's office, who claimed his department acted in a concierge-type role.

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

BREACHES

Man breaches mask mandate because of 'bad pimple'
A man who breached Victoria's mask mandate due to having a "bad pimple" on his chin has been fined by police.
The man from the Port Phillip area was slapped with a $200 fine, after giving officers his excuse for not wearing a mask.

The infringement is among 204 fines issued by Victoria Police in the past 24 hours for breaches in COVID-19 restrictions, including a man who visited a friend while awaiting a COVID-19 test result.
Police also caught a number of people for holding large illegal gatherings, including a group of seven people who were found in Prahran Square drinking alcohol, five men who gathered at a house in Braybrook to celebrate a birthday and multiple people intercepted on their way to visit a friend during curfew hours.

There were 29 fines issued to people for failing to wear a mask, nine at vehicle checkpoints and 71 for breaching curfew.

People who breach COVID-19 restrictions face fines of up to $1652 - or $5000 if they test positive to the virus but fail to self-isolate.

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:34 am

13 AUGUST NSW

NSW coronavirus TOTAL death toll rises to 53 after woman in intensive care dies as NSW as health authorities confirmed 12 new cases.
A woman aged in her 80s has become the 53rd coronavirus death in NSW as health authorities confirmed 12 new cases in the state.

Christine Selvey from NSW Health said the woman was linked to the Our Lady of Lebanon cluster and passed on condolences to her friends, family and the church community.

5 of today's new cases are in hotel quarantine, while 3 are locally acquired without a known source.
4 are locally acquired and linked to known cases.
Dr Selvey said a previously reported case linked to Our Lady of Mercy College attended Westfield Liverpool on August 7, from 10:30am-11:00am and 12:30pm-1:00pm while infectious with COVID-19.

The person also went to 5th Avenue Beauty Bar in Wetherill Park on August 8 from 2:00-3:00pm.

Patrons at these venues are considered casual contacts and advised to monitor for symptoms.

The last COVID-19 death in NSW was on August 1 — an 83-year-old man who was linked to the Crossroads Hotel cluster in Casula.

The total recorded deaths from the virus Australia-wide now stands at 361.

The latest death follows health authorities zeroing in on a coronavirus outbreak linked to a private school in Sydney's north-west.
Yesterday, NSW chief medical officer Kerry Chant confirmed the Tangara School for Girls outbreak had grown to 19.

The source of the cluster at the Cherrybrook school remains under investigation, but health authorities are probing a retreat organised by the nearby Eremeran Hills Study Centre.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the school rejected any responsibility for the retreat.

"Eremeran is a third-party provider of after school care, a homework centre and other activities and retreats for the community," the spokesperson said.

"Bookings are undertaken directly with the organisation and the school plays no role in organising or monitoring attendees."

The spokesperson said the school had not organised extracurricular school activities and camps since March.

Eremeran said five girls from years 10 and 11 had attended a retreat at a venue in Bargo, 100 kilometres south-west of Sydney.

The centre is now closed but none of its staff have tested positive.
"We are continuing to assist NSW Health in their endeavours to ascertain whether the retreat may have contributed to the outbreak," the centre said in a statement.

Two people infected with COVID-19 and linked to the Tangara outbreak also visited the Wildginger restaurant in Huskisson on the South Coast on Saturday, August 8, from 7:45pm to 10:30pm.

The restaurant is now closed.

Patrons and staff who were there at the same time must isolate for 14 days and get tested, the local health authority said.

There are 3,738 coronavirus cases in NSW, with 135 being treated by NSW Health, including seven people in intensive care.

NSW Health said 1.75 million tests had been conducted since the pandemic began — 24,621 in the past 24 hours.

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
Wildginger restaurant, Huskisson: 7.45pm to 10.30pm on Saturday 8 August
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
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
Castle Towers Shopping Centre, Castle Hill: 3.30pm to 5pm on Friday 7 August
PharmaSave Cherrybrook Pharmacy in Appletree Shopping Centre, Cherrybrook: 4pm to 7pm on Thursday 6 August
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
Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club, Lidcombe: 5pm on Friday 7 August to 1.30am on Saturday 8 August
Westfield Liverpool, Liverpool: 10.30am to 11am and 12.30pm to 1pm on Friday 7 August
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
Westfield Parramatta, Parramatta: 4pm to 5.30pm on Wednesday 5 August12pm to 1pm on Saturday 8 August
St Agatha’s, Pennant Hills: 6.30 am to 7am on Wednesday 5 August; 6.30 am to 7am on Thursday 6 August
Baby Bunting, Penrith: 1.15pm to 1.45pm on Saturday 8 August
Penrith Plaza, Penrith: 10.30am to 12pm Saturday 1 August
The Eveleigh Hotel, Redfern: 8.30pm to 10pm on Friday 31 July
Ikea, Rhodes: 1.20pm to 2.20pm on Saturday 8 August
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
5th Avenue Beauty Bar, Wetherill Park: 2pm to 3pm on Saturday 8th August

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Terrifying coronavirus hotspot map shows Sydney's outbreak spreading
There are fears New South Wales is teetering on the brink of a Victoria-style coronavirus crisis as infections rapidly spread through popular shopping precincts including IKEA and Westfield.

An alarming new map illustrates how widespread cases in the state have become, although confirmed infections pale in comparison to those in Victoria.

New South Wales recorded a further 18 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, and just one was linked to an overseas traveller in mandatory hotel quarantine.
There are fears New South Wales is teetering on the brink of a Victoria-style coronavirus crisis as infections rapidly spread through popular shopping precincts including IKEA and Westfield.

Image
Sydney hotspot & warning locationS as off 13 August

An alarming new map illustrates how widespread cases in the state have become, although confirmed infections pale in comparison to those in Victoria.

New South Wales recorded a further 18 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, and just one was linked to an overseas traveller in mandatory hotel quarantine.

Two more arrived in the state from coronavirus-riddled Victoria prior to testing positive.

But the other 15 cases are either under investigation or linked to previously identified clusters, which are as far-reaching as the state's south coast and Newcastle in the north.

The latest infections prompted Premier Gladys Berejiklian to issue her strongest plea yet for people to wear face masks.

She said harsher restrictions were on the cards if she didn't see more people wearing masks on transport, in shopping centres, at churches and public places where social distancing was not possible.
'Whether it's school extracurricular activity, which shouldn't occur, whether it's the recommendation for people to wear masks when they can't guarantee social distancing on public transport or in supermarkets, or it's the way in which we've asked businesses to approach a COVID-safe environment, compliance is absolutely critical,' she said.

Warnings were issued on Wednesday for Castle Towers Shopping Centre, Westfield Parramatta and IKEA in Rhodes after people with confirmed COVID cases past through the venues.
'It's like a war': beatings and indiscriminate arrests as armed men roam streets…
Virus on ice, two for one (infections), and everyone’s jealous of Russia’s…

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Coronavirus: Sydney schools on notice as outbreaks grow
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There are fears New South Wales is teetering on the brink of a Victoria-style coronavirus crisis as infections rapidly spread through popular shopping precincts including IKEA and Westfield.

An alarming new map illustrates how widespread cases in the state have become, although confirmed infections pale in comparison to those in Victoria.

New South Wales recorded a further 18 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, and just one was linked to an overseas traveller in mandatory hotel quarantine.

Gallery: Coronavirus in Australia

Slide 1 of 81: GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 14: A sign reading 'This facility is closed' is seen at the public pool at the Geelong Waterfront on August 14, 2020 in Geelong, Australia. Metropolitan Melbourne is under stage 4 lockdown restrictions, with people only allowed to leave home to give or receive care, shopping for food and essential items, daily exercise and work while an overnight curfew from 8pm to 5am is also in place. The majority of retail businesses are also closed. Other Victorian regions are in stage 3 lockdown. The restrictions, which came into effect from 2 August, have been introduced by the Victorian government as health authorities work to reduce community COVID-19 transmissions across the state. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
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1/81 SLIDES © Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images
A sudden surge in the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases has been reported from Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney. In a bid to control the outbreak, authorities announced on July 7 that Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in the state of Victoria will return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions for six weeks, from 11:59 p.m. on July 8. Wearing of face masks has been made compulsory in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire starting 11:59 p.m. on July 22. A $200 fine will be charged from those who fail to do so. Starting Aug. 2, a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. was imposed in Melbourne. Additionally, metropolitan Melbourne was placed under Stage 4 restrictions starting from 6 p.m. on Aug. 2. Several new cases have been reported from Sydney, the capital of New South Wales (NSW), leading to the reintroduction of stricter social distancing norms. Meanwhile, for the first time in a 100 years, the border between Victoria and NSW – two of the nation's most populous states – has been closed to curb the outbreak.

Here's a look at the ongoing situation in pictures.

(Pictured) A sign reading 'This facility is closed' is seen at the public pool at the Geelong Waterfront in Geelong on Aug. 14.

Two more arrived in the state from coronavirus-riddled Victoria prior to testing positive.

But the other 15 cases are either under investigation or linked to previously identified clusters, which are as far-reaching as the state's south coast and Newcastle in the north.

The latest infections prompted Premier Gladys Berejiklian to issue her strongest plea yet for people to wear face masks.

She said harsher restrictions were on the cards if she didn't see more people wearing masks on transport, in shopping centres, at churches and public places where social distancing was not possible.

'Whether it's school extracurricular activity, which shouldn't occur, whether it's the recommendation for people to wear masks when they can't guarantee social distancing on public transport or in supermarkets, or it's the way in which we've asked businesses to approach a COVID-safe environment, compliance is absolutely critical,' she said.

Warnings were issued on Wednesday for Castle Towers Shopping Centre, Westfield Parramatta and IKEA in Rhodes after people with confirmed COVID cases past through the venues.

Coronavirus is rapidly spreading through popular shopping centres, including IKEA and Westfield, a terrifying new hotspot map has illustrated
A person who was diagnosed with coronavirus visited IKEA on August 8 and Westfield on August 5 - both while unwittingly infectious.

Ms Berejiklian said the state remained on 'high alert' as she announced the new cases on Wednesday morning.

The virus also spread to the south coast, with infected Sydneysiders still permitted to travel to regional and rural communities under current health directives.

Huskisson restaurant Wildginger closed after two patrons from Sydney who dined there on Saturday evening received positive test results for COVID-19.

Patrons and staff who were at the venue have been advised to self-isolate for 14 days and get tested for COVID-19.

Eleven cases have been linked to the Batemans Bay Soldiers' Club, while customers who visited Baby Bunting in Penrith in Sydney's west between 1.15pm and 1.45pm last Saturday have been urged to stay on high alert for symptoms.

Other COVID-19 sites that are currently causing headaches for authorities and contact tracers include Tangara School in Cherrybrook, with 19 cases so far.
'We have watched closely what has happened in New Zealand and Victoria,' the premier said on Wednesday.
'I also want to commend the police for leading a number of scenarios where we have desktopped what might happen if we have to go down that path.'

Ms Berejiklian said if the time does come where she feels the need to lockdown, she would not single out individual postcodes or local government areas.
'Without passing any judgement or commentary, and I think about the Premier of Victoria every day, the pressure they are under, but it seems apparent that any future scenario would involve cities rather than postcodes or local government areas,' she said.

The rise in mystery infections is causing particular concern for the premier, who has repeatedly said the state sits 'on a knife edge'.
'We need to go further. Because our concern is those cumulative accumulation of those unknown sources,' she said.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard joined the premier in urging people to wear face masks.

'The bottom line here is, masks,' Mr Hazzard said.
'If you're on public transport, you really should be wearing a mask. We're not making it mandatory at this stage but we're certainly saying to the community, wear a mask.
'If you're in the shopping centres wear a mask. If you go to church, or a place of worship, wear a mask.

'It's not a matter of actually asking whether it's ok to do it, it's a case of just do it.'

One case from Wednesday was linked to Our Lady of Mercy College in Parramatta, taking the cluster at the school to three.

The source of the newest case is under investigation, as it has not been directly linked to the previous two cases, with the school now closed for 14 days.

Students and staff have been advised to self-isolate for 14 days, monitor their health and get tested for COVID-19.

The school is expected to reopen on Monday, August 24.

The closure comes after several clusters popped up schools across the state with the number of cases linked to the Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook in the city's north-west rising to 19 on Wednesday.

Ms Berejiklian issued a desperate plea to schools to not hold excursions and extracurricular activities amid reports an overnight religious retreat took place shortly before the first Tangara case was diagnosed.
Health warnings have been issued for the following venues:

Sydney's COVID-19 clusters:
• 116 cases linked to Thai Rock Wetherill Park cluster
• 68 cases linked to the funeral events in Bankstown and surrounding suburbs cluster
• 11 cases linked to the Batemans Bay Soldiers’ Club.
• 19 cases linked to the Tangara School Cherrybrook cluster

-'Extracurricular activities, those excursions, overnight things which you would ordinary do are not acceptable during the pandemic,' Ms Berejiklian said on Tuesday.
'I'm absolutely paranoid about what I do myself, the worst thing to be would be unintentionally give it to others.'

The stern warning was echoed by the Independent Education Union of Australia.
'Extra-curricular activities should be curtailed,' branch secretary Mark Northam said in a statement.

An investigation is underway into reports several students attended an overnight religious retreat in Bargo, 90km south-west of Sydney, before they tested positive, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The school insists it had nothing to do with the retreat and that it was organised by the nearby Eremeran study centre with the Catholic organisation Opus Dei.
'The school has not held any camps or retreats for its students since March 2020, when the COVID-19 restrictions for schools came into place,' a school statement read.

The Tangara School for Girls secondary campus will remain closed until at least August 24.

All students, staff and support staff at the secondary campus have been ordered to get tested for and self-isolate at home for two weeks, even if a negative test result is returned.

Despite the growing cases, Ms Berejiklian has announced NSW residents returning from Victoria will have their hotel quarantine fee waived for the next month to ease the financial burden on returnees.

Potentially COVID-exposed venues throughout New South Wales
Anyone who attended the following venues during the dates and times below are advised to isolate, monitor and test for COVID-19 should any symptoms present, however mild:

• Rhodes IKEA on 8 August, between 1:20pm -2:20pm
• Parramatta Westfield on 5 August between 4pm-5:30pm and 8 August between 12pm – 1pm
• Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club from 5pm on 7 August to 1:30am on 8 August
• Castle Towers Shopping Centre in Castle Hill on 7 August between 3:30pm – 5pm
• Baby Bunting, Penrith on Saturday 8 August between 1.15pm - 1.45pm

-The charge will be waived retrospectively and apply to NSW residents already in hotel quarantine after travelling from Victoria.

Ms Berejiklian said the NSW Government recognised the cost of hotel quarantine was a challenge for many NSW residents making their way home from Victoria.
'Hotel quarantine is key to reducing the risk of seeding of COVID-19 from Victoria into NSW,' Ms Berejiklian said.
'We have listened to the concerns of NSW residents who say they cannot afford to come home to NSW and will now give them more time to return.
'We are asking any NSW residents who are in Victoria and want to come home to make their way back to NSW before Friday, 11 September if they want to avoid paying for hotel quarantine.'

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said a number of NSW residents wanting to come home are experiencing hardship.
'We understand the cost associated with hotel quarantine has made it difficult for NSW residents to return home from Victoria – that is why we have waived that cost for the next month,' Mr Hazzard said.
'These changes are also retrospective and will apply to NSW residents who have travelled from Victoria and are already in hotel quarantine.'

The moratorium on the hotel quarantine charge for NSW residents will expire at 12:01am on Friday, September 11.

There are 133 COVID-19 cases in hospital with eight patients in intensive care and seven being ventilated.

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Image
SYDNEY COVID MAP as of 13 August
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says Western Sydney's religious communities are particularly at risk of coronavirus outbreaks and has urged people across the region to continue getting tested.

The warning comes as new data shows Sydney's west and south-west have been hardest hit by coronavirus clusters in the past month.

The NSW Health data shows that between July 12 and August 10 the Fairfield Local Government Area (LGA) was most affected, with 65 COVID-19 cases recorded.

Many of these are associated with the Thai Rock restaurant cluster, in Wetherill Park.

The Crossroads Hotel cluster at Casula accounts for the majority of infections in the Liverpool LGA, which recorded 47 cases, including the death of an 83-year-old man.

Cumberland recorded 35 cases, Campbelltown recorded 24 cases, while Canterbury-Bankstown — where a large funeral cluster emerged — recorded 27 cases.
Ms Berejiklian said she was concerned coronavirus testing levels were dropping in high-risk communities in Sydney's west and south-west.

"We know for some communities [getting tested] is not something they're used to doing," she said.

"Can we please ask communities in Western Sydney and south-western Sydney, where there has been that higher level of community transmission, to please come forward and get tested."

The Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral in Harris Park found itself dragged into Sydney's community COVID-19 transmission crisis after a parishioner tested positive last month, and further swabs revealed a slew of cases.

The Maronite Catholic parish falls within the Parramatta LGA, where 22 cases were recorded.

Father Tony Sarkis, from our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral, warned other places of worship during the COVID-19 pandemic that the virus was "not a joke".

"We shouldn't fear and panic, but we need to follow procedure."

Ms Berejiklian singled out places of worship during her most recent COVID-19 press conference, urging attendees to cover their faces.

"We also again reiterate how important it is for people in places of worship to be wearing a mask," Ms Berejiklian said.

Several places of worship in Sydney's west have been subject to COVID-19 alerts — the most recent, St Agatha's Catholic Church in Pennant Hills.

Bilal Rauf from the Australian National Imams Council said masks should be made mandatory.

"It's unfortunate that the Government isn't mandating it as Victoria has," he said.

"What it means is, at a mosque, you can't make it mandatory because people then respond and say, if it is not being required by the Government, why are you forcing it on me?"

Father Sarkis said the cathedral's community was being extra vigilant after its cluster.

"My advice for [other churches] is to be co-operative with the government and the health department because all together we can make a difference," he said.

The cathedral can normally hold 1,200 people but has been scaled back to just 100 worshippers per service.

Among other measures, worshipers must book online to attend services, which are also live-streamed.

Other places of worship have gone even further, with mega-church Hillsong, based in Sydney's north-west, only holding services online.

Parishes in the Diocese of Parramatta have been "highly recommending" parishioners wear face masks to mass, with strong uptake.

Auburn Gallipoli Mosque was granted a NSW Health exemption last month which allowed up to 400 people to come together to celebrate Eid al-Adha, under a strict COVID-19 safety plan.

So far, almost two weeks later, there has been no known spread of the virus linked to the gathering.

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Elderly woman was well respected parishioner of Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral dies from COVID-19.
Harris Park Church Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral pays tribute to an elderly woman who died from COVID-19.

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Contact tracers zero in on source of Tangara cluster linked to retreat
Contact tracers are close to identifying the suspected "patient zero" for the Tangara School for Girls cluster linked to a religious study retreat.

The number of COVID-19 cases associated with the independent Catholic Opus Dei school in Cherrybrook has grown to 19, including 12 senior students, one teacher, four household contacts and two casual contacts.

The source of the Tangara cluster is still under investigation but NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant indicated her team had found a likely index case.
"We have some hypotheses but that person is not linked to a known cluster," Dr Chant said, suggesting contact tracers believe they have found the first person to have contracted coronavirus among the cluster cases, but do not know how they were infected.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Wednesday repeated her warning - particularly to non-government schools - that extra-curricular camps and retreats should not be held during the pandemic.

Several of the students diagnosed with COVID-19 had attended a study-and-prayer retreat organised by Opus Dei's Eremeran Hills Study Centre at Bargo Convention Centre, located roughly 90km south-west of Sydney.

Eremeran confirmed five high school girls, in year 10 and 11, had recently attended a retreat.
"We have been informed by NSW Health that individuals who have attended activities organised by Eremeran have tested positive to COVID-19," Eremeran said in a statement.
"We are continuing to assist NSW Health in their endeavours to ascertain whether the retreat may have contributed to the outbreak."

All staff with the study centre had tested negative for COVID-19, including those who supervised the retreat, and no other adults were present at the retreat, administrators told The Sydney Morning Herald.
"Eremeran has sought to follow COVIDSafe protocols including social distancing, best practice for maintaining hygiene, not providing food at activities, keeping a detailed record of attendance, providing hand sanitiser."

Both Eremeran and the Bargo Conference Centre are now closed.
Dr Chant said it would be inappropriate to speculate on the case until her contact tracing team discovered the exact chains of transmission or how the virus got into Tangara.
"We know that a number of students attended [the retreat]," Dr Chant said.
"We are not at the moment imputing exactly the chains of transmission until we have the full pieces of the puzzle ... The source of the Tangara outbreak is still not known," she said.

Speaking generally, Dr Chant said overnight stays, shared facilities, and indoor environments raise the risk of transmission. Singing and chanting in confined environments are also higher risk activities, she said.

Tangara alumni who attended retreats during their school years said Eremeran and the Opus Dei-run boys' study centre Nairana were embedded within Tangara School for Girls and its brother school, Redfield College at Dural.

A number of staff at both schools live on-site at each of the centres in gender-segregated accommodation, providing after-school tutoring or mentoring and regularly attending retreats.

A Tangara spokesperson told the Herald that the school had followed NSW Health advice, had not held extracurricular school activities or camps since March, and no teacher attended any recent retreats.
"Eremeran is a third-party provider of after-school care, a homework centre and other activities and retreats for the community," the spokesperson said.
"Bookings are undertaken directly with the organisation and the school plays no role in organising or monitoring attendees."

Tangara will be closed until Monday August 24, including the junior school as an additional precaution.
"The school was professionally deep cleaned last weekend with additional and ongoing daily cleaning prior to the return of students. We will continue to keep our school families and staff updated with any further information from NSW Health," the spokesperson said.

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MASKS
NSW Government says mask wearing may be enforced
State Transport Minister Andrew Constance says around 30% of commuters are wearing masks, and that number needs to rise.

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INTERSTATE QUARANTINE
New South Wales residents returning from Victoria will have their hotel quarantine fees waived until September
The New South Wales government is temporarily waiving fees for residents placed in hotel quarantine after returning from Victoria.
It comes as residents raised concerns about being unable to return to NSW because of the fees.
NSW enforced mandatory hotel quarantine on residents returning from Victoria from August 7, with individuals initially having to foot the bill.

The New South Wales government is temporarily waiving hotel quarantine fees for residents returning from Victoria.

From Friday August 7, the state government enforced a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine rule for residents returning to the state from Victoria – and these returning travellers had to foot the bill.

The fees were $3000 for one adult, with $1000 charged for each additional adult and $500 for each child. There are no fees for kids under three.

However, this week, the government placed a moratorium on hotel quarantine fees for the next month after residents reported finding it difficult to return home.

The fees will be waived retrospectively, applying to NSW residents already in hotel quarantine after returning from Victoria. It will end at 12.01am Friday 11 September 2020.
"We have listened to the concerns of NSW residents who say they cannot afford to come home to NSW and will now give them more time to return," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement.
"We are asking any NSW residents who are in Victoria and want to come home to make their way back to NSW before Friday, 11 September if they want to avoid paying for hotel quarantine."

Under public health orders, people who enters Sydney by air from overseas or a vessel from a port outside of NSW also have to quarantine for 14 days.

Mandatory quarantine was placed on residents returning from Victoria after the state was plagued by a spike in coronavirus cases. These spikes led to Victorian premier Daniel Andrews to reintroduce stage three restrictions on regional Victoria and stage four restrictions in Melbourne.

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STATE BORDER ISSUES
NSW – QUEENSLAND BORDER = Doctors terrified Tweed Hospital will be forced to close due to 'catastrophic' hard border closure
Specialist doctors say they're terrified Tweed Hospital will be forced to close if the State Government takes a hard line stance on Queensland's border.

The Queensland border is closed to all of Victoria, the ACT and New South Wales, with the exception of a "border bubble" allowing movement of residents between Tweed Shire and Gold Coast Council areas.

Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young has warned residents and local hospitals the border may be slammed shut if coronavirus cases in NSW creep north.

Intensive Care Specialist at Tweed Hospital and Chair, Medical Staff Council, Dr Mike Lindley-Jones said that would have a detrimental effect on the healthcare of patients.
"It would be absolutely catastrophic, the hospital wouldn't be able to function," Dr Lindley-Jones said.
"My guess is the majority of the hospital would close because large numbers of staff live north of the border.
"Seven operating theatres, the emergency department, the obstetrics all of those services would struggle to keep going.
"Unless there was an exemption of course for health care staff."

Dr Lindley-Jones said he fully supported measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 but a hard border closure would cause significant staffing problems at the 250-bed hospital.
"40% of people who are treated at Tweed Hospital come from Queensland."

Staff asked to relocate
Tweed Hospital has asked its Gold Coast based specialists if they would consider relocating to NSW and has offered to cover the cost of their accommodation and food.

But the majority of practitioners have declined as they also have commitments at Queensland hospitals north of the border, while others have cited family reasons.

Gold Coast based GP Dr Katrina McLean said practitioners were concerned.
"That is a serious fear, you've got to look at the numbers and how many staff are you potentially going to lose with a hard border closure," Dr McLean said
"That is in itself incredibly challenging and stressful for those practitioners."
"Clinicians are being proactive and really sort of going 'look we do need to prepare for what might be sort of the worst case scenario'."

Dr McLean said a lot of doctors worked across the Tweed and Gold Coast areas and many specialists had clinics in both locations.
"This has really highlighted the complexity of having a state border that runs through the middle of a very busy vibrant community."
"It's not just doctors and the nurses, it's also your admin team and all of your ancillary staff.
"So it's on multiple levels that service delivery may be impacted."

Health chiefs reviewing pandemic plans
Chief Executive of Northern NSW Local Health District Wayne Jones said they were reviewing pandemic plans in close consultation with clinicians and management to address any workforce needs.
"NNSWLHD has a close working relationship with hospitals and specialists based in Southern Queensland"
"The referral arrangements for higher level care between our two States’ public health systems remains."

Local doctors said the border problems reinforce the need for telehealth funding to continue beyond September.

Dr Lindley-Jones said he's hopeful discussions with the state government will result in appropriate exemptions being granted to health care workers in the case of a hard border closure.

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INFRASTRUCTURE EFFECTS
Coronavirus 'challenges' affect Sydney NorthConnex tunnel opening
Image

The opening of Sydney's multibillion-dollar NorthConnex motorway is facing potential delays as the coronavirus pandemic restricts access to supplies and overseas expert consultants.
Tolling giant Transurban, responsible for delivering and operating the $3 billion tunnel, on Wednesday softened its guidance on the slated opening from "the third quarter of 2020" to the "coming months".

In revealing a $111 million full-year net loss for Transurban, chief executive Scott Charlton said the nine-kilometre tunnel was "very, very close" to opening, but added there were some challenges facing the final commissioning stage.
"Third quarter thereabouts, maybe a couple of weeks [later]. The commissioning has been a bit more challenging for the contractor," Mr Charlton said.
"There have been issues around supply and overseas workers and other things that have to occur during this period because of COVID and the working environment that the contractors had to manage, and that maybe makes it a bit more complicated."

Transport Minister Andrew Constance in June said the NorthConnex tunnel was "a month or two" away from opening, and as late as Monday said he expected it would open in the third quarter of 2020.

The tunnel, which connects the M1 Pacific Highway to the M2, was first expected to open in late 2019. Users will be able to avoid 21 sets of traffic lights.

Opposition roads spokesman John Graham said the company needed to provide more detail on the project timeline.
"Drivers want to know when this road will open. It has been delayed again. It was originally due to open in 2019, then this quarter, now 'during the coming months'," he said.

Transurban revealed car traffic had dropped by 6.6 per cent across its toll roads in Sydney in the past year, but toll revenue increased by 2.8 per cent, with the new M4 tunnels coming online and the full acquisition of the M5 southwest. Meanwhile large vehicle traffic declined by 4.9 per cent.

The ASX-listed giant, which made a $171 million profit last year, revealed that average daily traffic on its roads in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and North America fell 8.6 per cent in the 12 months to June 30.

Mr Charlton said he was pleased with how the second stage of WestConnex (M8) was performing in its first month of operation, despite only 15,000 cars using it on an average day.
"In a COVID environment we think it's a good result overall. We think we'll see more balancing out overtime on the M8, M5 East, so it's not too far from what we thought," he said.
"It's a new asset on the network so people are learning how best to use it. It's started there and it's seen continued growth on the M8 side which means some of that is moving from the M5 East to the M8."

About 99,000 cars are using the combined M5/M8 corridor a day, according to Transurban figures, with roughly 15 per cent then using the new M8.

Mr Charlton used the yearly results to reiterate the company's interest in securing the operation of the planned Western Harbour Tunnel.

He was also buoyed by the government's decision to move Transurban's pitch to widen the M7 motorway to a second stage of its unsolicited proposal process.
"There's not many projects that make it to stage two, so they must believe there's potential value for the government," he said. Transurban holds the concession on that toll road until 2048.

The company on Wednesday confirmed it will use two regional wind farms to power up to 80 per cent of the power needed for its Sydney toll roads. The move will see up to 120 gigawatt hours per year of renewable electricity provided for the roads from mid-next 2021.

Transurban group executive for NSW Michele Huey said the energy provided from the two wind farms would be enough to power 20,000 homes for a year.
"This new initiative paves the way for us to meet our target of halving our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030," she said.

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

BREACHES
Wedding guests KICKED OUT after 'refusing to follow COVID-19 rules'
Weddings guests were kicked out of a venue after allegedly refusing to follow coronavirus rules - as wild footage showed guests packed together on the dance floor.

Revellers at The Renaissance wedding venue in Lidcombe, western Sydney were asked to leave on Sunday night after allegedly failing to abide by the venue's COVID-safe rules.

Handheld vision from the event showed guests flouting social distancing measures as they danced to music, filling the dancefloor along with the bride Nazife herself.
Image
Video from the western Sydney event showed guests (pictured, with the bride) flouting social distancing measures as they danced to the music


Weddings in New South Wales are allowed to have up to 150 people attending, but guests must keep four metres apart at the service and should stay at least three metres away from performers at the reception.

Other COVIDSafe suggestions from the government include only allowing the bride and groom on the dance floor and only allow people to drink alcohol when seated.
Footage showed revellers packing the floor, and standing close to a man on stage singing into a microphone as they jumped up and down to the music.

The guests were then removed from the venue by management.

A spokeswoman for the venue told Daily Mail Australia the bride and groom were 'very upset' about being told to leave, but declined to comment further.

The bride has also been contacted for comment.

Earlier in day, Nazife and her groom Patrick arrived in lavish Rolls-Royce Phantoms and posed for pictures in Sydney's Circular Quay before travelling to their ill-fated party venue.

Australian Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said the scenes at the wedding were 'beyond disappointing' and could put 'lives at risk'.
'It’s really unacceptable that people are not taking this incredibly seriously,' he told Sunrise.
'We can have people who have no symptoms or very mild symptoms who are still very infectious to other people.
'Lives are at risk when people breach rules and regulations that are put into place to protect us all.'

The wild scenes, which come as the number of fines issued by the NSW government's Department of Customer Service rises to a total of $152,500, prompted Premier Gladys Berejiklian to deliver a warning to the state's venues.
'Compliance is critical,' she said. 'If we don't see a greater uptake in the next little while - we will consider further measures.'

The Garry Owen Hotel in Rozelle in Sydney's inner-west was this week singled out as the 'worst pub seen so far' for COVID safety breaches.

The pub was issued with two fines worth a total of $10,000 for what the NSW government called a 'complete disregard of mandated COVID safety measures'.
'The list of breaches grew from there. In fact the venue was essentially being operated as though there were no restrictions in place,' Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Compliance Mr Argeres said.

Offences included the business not being registered as COVIDSafe, not having an up-to-date COVID-19 Safety Plan, not enforcing sign-in procedures and a lack of hygiene processes.

Inspectors also observed physical distancing not being enforced and customers standing and mingling while drinking.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/sydney/w ... id#image=2

NSW businesses warned to “step up” COVIDSafe plans or face tougher rules
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has again warned the state may need to tighten restrictions on businesses unless the private sector “steps up” its efforts to implement and enforce COVIDSafe plans.

Berejiklian said during a press conference on Wednesday that authorities will assume businesses that don’t register plans with the state government don’t have them.
“If we don’t see greater compliance, we will need to take further action,” Berejiklian said.
The NSW Government moved to make COVIDSafe plans mandatory across the state several weeks ago, after an initial self-regulation approach failed to ensure health and safety measures were widely adopted across the private sector.

But Berejiklian is still concerned compliance is too low, as workplaces across the state continue to report confirmed coronavirus cases.
“We’ve given, certainly, a grace period for businesses, for organisations, for different establishments to step up their COVIDSafe plans,” the Premier said.
“If they don’t do that, we will have to go that step further.”

COVIDSafe plans differ by industry, but in general they involve businesses making written commitments to adhere to certain hygiene, physical distancing and contract tracing requirements.

Businesses must complete at least a template version of a COVIDSafe plan for their industry and register it online with the NSW government.

Businesses that either don’t register COVIDSafe plans, or fail to adhere to them, can be fined up to $55,000.

Businesses with multiple premises or services must complete a separate plan for each place of business and each service they offer.

For example, a business that operates both a pub and brewery will require separate plans for the brewery side of the operation and the pub side, as well as additional plans for any other locations it owns and operates.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/markets ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:41 am

13 AUGUST ACT
NSW grants one-month grace period to returning residents
About 100 ACT residents were caught out by a sudden change to border controls between New South Wales and Victoria. The ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has thanked the NSW Government for letting them through
The New South Wales government has granted a one-month grace period for residents stranded in Victoria, allowing them time to return home without having to foot the bill for mandatory hotel quarantine.
From 9am on Thursday until August 17, ACT residents in Victoria will also be permitted to drive through NSW to return to Canberra, however were ordered not to stop until they reached the territory.

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

13 AUGUST TAS

BREACH
North-west Tasmanian woman fined after breaching coronavirus isolation orders
A north-west Tasmanian woman has been fined for failing to isolate at home, after recently returning from interstate.
The 28-year-old from Burnie returned from Western Australia on Sunday and was directed to isolate at home for 14 days.
During a routine check on Tuesday, police discovered the woman had breached that order — visiting two retail outlets in Burnie that morning.
She was fined $744.

It comes as 2 north-west Tasmanian healthcare workers who came into contact with the state's latest coronavirus case were furloughed "out of an abundance of caution".

Premier Peter Gutwein said the workers at Burnie's North West Regional Hospital (NWRH) were wearing full personal protective equipment at the time.
The case, a man in his 60s, tested positive for COVID-19 after he travelled to Melbourne for medical care.
Director of Public Health Mark Veitch said the man had had two negative tests while he was in hospital in Melbourne in the lead-up to his return to Tasmania.
"He does have significant medical conditions, including those that required him to have the procedure in Melbourne," he said.
Dr Veitch said the man had returned to the state on Friday.
"When his test result came back positive and was notified to Public Health yesterday, we worked with the Tasmanian Health Service to do contact tracing around this man.
"The [NWRH] identified 25 staff who were involved in his care. 23 of those people had no concerns at all about their encounters with this gentlemen and there was no question of any breaches of their infection control."

He said two people reported that "they may have touched their mask at some point while they were involved in his care".
"That doesn't constitute a particularly high risk," he said.
"We wouldn't call that a close contact … but nevertheless the hospital made a decision out of an abundance of caution to furlough those two staff members for two weeks."
He also said no family or community contacts were exposed to the man when he was potentially infectious.

Tourism industry to focus on intrastate travellers
Meanwhile, the State Government and tourism industry have released a plan for the state's visitor economy for the next two years.
"It's the most comprehensive action plan that's been rolled out anywhere in the country in terms of the rebuild of the tourism and hospitality sector," Mr Gutwein said.
"As a starting point, we will focus on ensuring that we work on the intrastate market, but that we are nimble enough to pivot into … both the interstate and international markets when the timing is right and it's safe to do so."

The plan includes commitments to:

 Promote Tasmania as a road trip destination
 Grow visitation to the Bass Strait islands
 Support Tasmanian events adjusting to COVID-19 restrictions
 Maintain connections with international markets

 Research the changed market
"What we want is Tasmanians not just to go away for a weekend, not just to holiday around the state in the school holidays, but to actually visit those parts of the state that they can during the week as well," Mr Gutwein said.
"What's important is that we do what we can right now … while our borders are closed."

He said last financial year, Tasmanians spent more than $1.6 billion out of the state.
"What we'd like them to do is to spend more of that here when they have the opportunity to do so," Mr Gutwein said.

Tourism Industry Council Tasmania chief executive Luke Martin said the industry had been preparing a long-term strategy when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and borders closed.

Mr Martin said elements from that long-term strategy — positioning Tasmania as a carbon-neutral destination, embracing the state's Indigenous heritage and a focus on inclusive tourism for people with disability — remained.
"That's still at the heart of this plan but the medium term is about saving businesses and securing our workforce and making sure that as many of our businesses and our operators can survive the uncertainty we're in," he said.
"[We want to make sure] there is a clear pathway forward so that when restrictions are eased around our borders, when we start to reintroduce our interstate visitation, we've got the core of our industry to start building for the future.
"We are incredibly excited and optimistic and ambitious about our recovery."

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

13 AUGUST QLD
Economically, the jury is still out on lockdowns
It is difficult to determine exactly how far back the clock has been wound on the Australian economy. But it is some time indeed.
Certainly back before international plane travel, which takes us back before 1935, when the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services company carried its first fare-paying passenger overseas.

Back even, perhaps, to before the widespread use of international passenger shipping, as our nation's borders have been slammed shut.

And yet, economies can survive remarkably well, fuelled only by transactions between their own citizens. Indeed, domestic consumption makes up the larger part of economic output.

But amid creeping internal state border closures and as the nation hovers on the precipice of more lockdowns, the clock is ticking back even further.

A nation housebound, living under lock and key with enforced curfews, winds the clock back many centuries indeed. Which is not to say such measures aren't necessary or appropriate, of course. But simply to observe the decades and centuries of progress in advancing human welfare that are being undone along the way.

If you were to sit down and design a method to deliberately detonate the entire capitalist system, a virus that made people disinclined to mingle would be it.

For the magic that lies at the very heart of capitalism is the value that is created when human beings come together to engage in mutually beneficial exchange: the opportunities that arise when the baker trades bread for meat from the butcher, and vice versa. One person's outlay becomes the other person's income, and so on and so forth, to the enrichment of all.

Of course, inequalities and structural flaws in the system can drive unfair outcomes. And that's when governments can and do step in to change the rules or influence those outcomes.

But without that driving impulse - the desire to trade, to interact, to exchange - society loses the best and most proven wealth-generating mechanism ever invented. And while some may be excited by the prospect of radically reshaping the economic system, it is, in fact, a cause for very great concern and, indeed, sadness.

A growing chorus of business people, industry groups and some economists are pointing to the huge economic costs being wrought by lockdown policies.

That's not to say all economists. Many - indeed perhaps most economists - still urge firm lockdowns as the best chance we have to stamp out the virus and reopen the economy safely. This later camp puts much faith in the ability of lockdown protocols to effectively stamp out the virus. As the New Zealand example shows, this may not always be possible.

With or without lockdowns, international experience shows that economies inevitably suffer the ill effects of coronavirus as humans take precautionary measures. Sweden took a more relaxed approach to lockdowns - it never shut schools - but has still seen a very deep economic downturn.

But the aim of the game must always be to minimise this damage.

People accuse economists and business people who argue against lockdowns of trading lives in some purely cynical pursuit of money and GDP.

Gigi Foster, economics professor at the University of NSW, is one of the most outspoken economists against lockdowns.
"Those who say 'GDP and money aren't everything, and economists only value money', it's just not true," she says. "It is just absolutely, blatantly, completely absurd that economics and economists would be targeting money just for the sake of money. What can you get with that? You can get nothing. The only thing that money is valuable for is for the promotion of human welfare."

Nor, says Foster, are economists simply cheerleaders for higher GDP. The point of trying to keep the economy open is to protect incomes. And why does that matter? Because, says Foster, income loss directly affects human welfare - happiness.
"People do spend on stuff that helps them to live better, happier, more quality lives. That's the reason why GDP and happiness are generally correlated. It's not money per se - it's the happiness part that matters ... We're saying we don't want it to shrink because we know human welfare will decline when we have a recession."

Economists remain divided on the best strategy to maximise economic activity in the time of coronavirus. Recession, of course, is already upon us. It is now a question of how long that will last, and lockdown policies hold the key.

So far, most economists continue to support lockdown policies as the best strategy to curb the virus' spread and limit the long-term economic fallout. But make no mistake, great damage is being done.

As time wears on, and the scarring effects of lockdown policies on rising joblessness, mental illness and more widespread foreclosures on homes become clear, the question will increasingly be asked: was it worth the price?

If authorities are successful in doing what they have failed to do so far, and vanquish the virus for good, and safely reopen the economy, we may yet conclude it was. But that outcome still hangs very much in the balance.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/markets ... d=msedgdhp



NSW – QLD BORDER ISSUES
Doctors left waiting for exemptions to cross into Queensland to see patients
Doctors, emergency services and even police living on the NSW and Queensland border are becoming increasingly concerned a hard border closure could cut them off from work.

Queensland Police are now working on contingency plans for officers who work in Queensland but live in NSW – or vice versa – if they can no longer cross the border.
There's a similar concern among doctors, who say delays with being granted exemptions to cross the border is cutting them off from patients in northern New South Wales.
Dr Michael Stapelberg told 9News his Mullumbimby practice has had to cancel more than 170 appointments.
"Well I've been waiting at least seven days for my exemption, I've phoned every day and received the same answer that I'm in the queue," Dr Stapelberg said.
"We're having to delay treatment for them or try and find a suitable option."

Approximately 1000 residents of housing estate Kirra Shores are also dreading the prospect of a hard border closure.

Technically, the estate is in NSW but the gate to enter is in Quuensland, prompting residents to wonder if it will cancel access to their homes.
"We could easily be given access for a few hundred metres to get into the residences here because there's no other vehicle access via NSW roads," Kirra Shores resident Scott Fernance said.

It comes as Queensland marks its 12th day in a row of no community COVID-19 transmission but the premier has warned danger still looms "on our doorstep".
Just 9 active cases remain active across QLD.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk praised the "massive effort" of Queenslanders but warned the state was still at risk as cases continued to be recorded south of the border.
"The danger is still on our doorstep," she told state parliament.
"As of this morning NSW has had 297 active cases. We have nine. NSW has had 96 cases in the past week. They're having to take appropriate measures.
"Like Victoria we wish New South Wales every success in containing the virus. But Queensland isn't taking any chances.
"Our borders will remain closed for as long as the risk remains."

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

Queensland border closure creates 'gaps' in police, ambulance, health worker numbers on NSW North Coast
Police on the New South Wales North Coast are preparing to fill a large "gap" in staff numbers, as a result of the Queensland border closure.

Tweed MP Geoff Provest says around 80 of the Tweed/Byron Police District's 200 officers live in Queensland and cross the border to work.

Mr Provest said a seven-day exemption was put in place by the Queensland Government to allow the police officers to continue working while contingency plans were put in place, but that was due to expire on Saturday.
"Annastacia [Palaszczuk] has now said that she's not going to extend that past Saturday," he said.

Around half the Tweed/Byron Police District falls within the Queensland "border bubble" while the other half is classified as a NSW COVID-19 hotspot.

Mr Provest said NSW Police were working to bring in extra officers from the neighbouring Richmond Police District and Sydney to "fill the gap that will be created in Bryon after Saturday".

Dozens of permanent and casual paramedics who live in Queensland and work in Northern New South Wales have also been affected by the border closure.

Mr Provest said both organisations have been juggling their rosters in order to create crews who can operate in the "bubble" and still go home to their families in Queensland without having to quarantine for 14 days in government accommodation at their own expense.
"Their [Ambulance NSW] Assistant Commissioner has assured us that they're rostering around that to make sure that the people who live in Queensland only work in the bubble and they're bringing in extra troops to facilitate any shortfalls," he said.

Around 200 hundred hospital staff working in Northern New South Wales hospitals have been unable to work this week because of the sudden border closure with Queensland.

Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones said the new border rules had been disruptive and challenging.

Mr Jones said they have had to call on more locums and rely on workers doing more overtime to cover the affected workers.
"We are not seeing a great deal of impact on hospitals like the Tweed and Murwillumbah, [but] we have approximately 200 staff who work below the bubble … in Byron, Ballina and Lismore who live in Queensland and have been impacted," he said.

Mr Jones said northern NSW health officers were making contingency plans in case Queensland imposed a full border lockdown.
"It will cause disruption, there is no disputing that. If we move to a complete border lockdown we will have to look at workforce options," he said.

Earlier this week, Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young asked border community residents to start preparing for the possibility of a full border lockdown.
"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," she said.

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

BREACHES

FOOTY BUBBLE BREACH
Damaging twist in Broncos pub breach furore
A pub poker machine room has become the focus of an investigation into a potentially major NRL biosecurity breach by the Brisbane Broncos.

The club informed the NRL that players had lunch at Everton Park Hotel on August 1, after a hard lock-down ended and COVID-19 restrictions were eased.

Up to 10 players were in attendance, according to reports, with David Fifita, Kotoni Staggs, Jake Turpin, Corey Oates, Ben Te'o and Brodie Croft named; along with Tevita Pangai Jr, who is already facing the sack, and has been stood down indefinitely and fined $30,000 over a separate breach involving the opening of a bikie-owned barber shop.

While a contained lunch that did not involve contact with the general public may have been permissible, and the basis for Brisbane believing its players would be cleared, further claims have emerged that could plunge the Broncos and the NRL into hot water.

Patrons have told Brisbane media that players were drinking in the sports bar and playing poker machines during their visit, apart from having lunch. Those actions could constitute a breach of NRL protocols and the league's strict agreements with Queensland Health.

The NRL has asked Queensland police to provide CCTV footage of the pub, to verify Brisbane's version of events or otherwise. Proven breaches by the Broncos players would potentially be disastrous for the game. Both police and NRL officials are making inquiries into the pub visit.
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned the NRL that her patience is running out, with rugby league players and officials busted over a raft of incidents recently.

When NRL restrictions were tightened again in mid-July, Queensland-based players were expressly banned from attending pubs and clubs.

Restaurants and cafes are permissible according to the relaxed protocols under which the Broncos players believed they were operating. Eating at the Everton Park Hotel bistro may have been deemed permissible but Brisbane could be in strife if its players are proven to have ventured into other parts of the pub.

Brisbane Broncos players returned to training at their Red Hill base on Thursday morning. The club responded to the pub furore in a statement on Wednesday.
"The Brisbane Broncos are aware of reports of an alleged COVID breach by a group of players at the Everton Park Hotel after reports to both Queensland Police and the NRL's Project Apollo.
"The club has spoken at length to the players involved, who attended the hotel for lunch on Saturday, August 1 – the same day that players and staff inside the club's 'COVID bubble' had transitioned back into more-relaxed Project Apollo Queensland restrictions.
"The team had played Cronulla at Suncorp Stadium the night before, which marked the end of a 14-day hard lockdown put in place after the team travelled to Sydney for the Round 10 game against the West Tigers on July 17.
"The players were of the understanding that lunch at the hotel was permissible under the more-relaxed restrictions which they were under at the time.
"The club has been working closely with the NRL and provided a range of information as requested, and is awaiting a determination."

Broncos' pub trip did not breach public health guidelines, Queensland police say
The Brisbane Broncos did not breach Queensland's coronavirus restrictions by going to a pub on August 1, police said today.

Queensland police released a statement saying they had finished their investigation into the Broncos' trip to the Everton Park Hotel and "found no breach of the Chief Health Officer's public health directions".

The NRL is still investigating as to whether the Broncos who attended broke the league's restrictions.

The players involved have been told they are permitted to play on Saturday, when the Broncos take on the Raiders in Canberra.

The club said on Wednesday that the players thought they were allowed to go to the pub at the time because their hard lockdown, in place for 14 days after Queensland teams return from Sydney, had ended the night before.
"The players were of the understanding that lunch at the hotel was permissible under the more-relaxed restrictions which they were under at the time," a statement read.
"The club has been working closely with the NRL and provided a range of information as requested, and is awaiting a determination."

Brisbane has had a series of run-ins with the NRL's coronavirus protocols in the past week.

On Friday, three assistant coaches were forced to isolate after attending a private party in Brisbane, the next day coach Anthony Seibold had to go into two weeks of quarantine after staying in Sydney overnight because of "a serious family matter", and on Sunday it was revealed that star forward Tevita Pangai Jr had breached the Broncos' bubble to go to the opening of a friend's barber shop.

Pangai Jr was fined $30,000 and stood down indefinitely for the breach.

Despite all the off-field drama, stand-in coach Peter Gentle said morale is high in the players group.
"[Morale is] surprisingly good," Gentle said.
"We've narrowed our focus, we've tried to take everything away and just concentrate on Saturday night."

Gentle said that Siebold has been coaching from afar during his COVID-19-hold absence and that the team are focused on performing on Saturday.
"At the end of the day, I'm only filling in for [Siebold], he's back in two weeks," Gentle said.
"He's still calling all the shots, we had him propped up on a chair this morning on a Zoom call, so I'm only filling in.
"We've got to do what we can do, we've got to try and block out all the external noise and all the issues and do what these young kids do, and that's play footy."


Broncos players cleared
Queensland Police have cleared the Brisbane Broncos players of breaching of the CHO's directions when they attended a hotel.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/sport/more-sp ... d=msedgdhp
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/brisbane ... d=msedgdhp
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

QUARANTINE HOTEL BREACH

Man who absconded from hotel quarantine fined, Police Commissioner says system will be investigated
Queensland's Police Commissioner has conceded there must have been a failure in hotel quarantine, after a man managed to abscond from a Toowoomba hotel on his ninth day in isolation.

Aaron Sydney Green, 25, had already completed more than a week of his 14-day quarantine period and had tested negative to coronavirus before he left the facility, triggering a police search.

He has been charged with breaching quarantine requirements and was remanded in custody after being fined $1,500.

Police identified the man was missing the morning after he left the hotel.

He returned about 48 hours after leaving.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said she has asked for a review into the state's hotel quarantine processes to be completed in the coming days.
"I don't know what the system was in this particular hotel," she said.
"Obviously there must have been some failing because if we had a very robust system, with good framework and governance, this would not have occurred.
"So I have concerns about the systems in this particular hotel."

Green today pleaded guilty to contravening a public health direction, after failing to complete two weeks of compulsory isolation.

The Toowoomba man had been ordered into mandatory quarantine after returning from a declared COVID-19 hotspot in New South Wales.

Queensland police said Green was allegedly intercepted at the border in a stolen vehicle and in possession of restricted drugs.

He also allegedly lied to police when entering Queensland.

Queensland's Police Minister Mark Ryan announced his disappearance two days after he left hotel quarantine.

When asked about the delay, Commissioner Carroll said the region had "tried their best to find him".
"In good faith, I believe at this stage they were just trying to find the person," she said.
"However, we do have an expectation, I have an expectation ... that if anyone absconds from any hotel that we are immediately notified.
"So that will definitely be rectified."

Magistrate slams 'selfish' behaviour
The Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard Green had left the hotel on August 10, after having a fight with his partner and going in search of drugs.

Green stayed with a friend for two days before turning himself in to police after being urged to return by his mother and partner.

He appeared in court via video link from isolation at the Toowoomba Watchhouse, wearing a facemask.

He tested negative to COVID-19 at the start of quarantine, and further tests today found he was free of the virus.

In sentencing, Magistrate Graham Lee said Green's actions were foolish and selfish.

He was fined $1,500 and a conviction was recorded.

He will remain in isolation until at least next week.

It's the first time someone in Queensland has been sentenced for contravening a COVID-19 health direction.

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the incident was "disappointing".
"Quarantine's there for a reason," Dr Young said.
"We know it's the most effective way of stopping the virus getting in to our community, mainly because we know that it's the day before you get symptoms that you're most contagious.
"The police were very quick to act and to get him back into quarantine, which was good."

NEW SCHEME = Pharmacy testing 'not thought through': AMA
Overnight, Queensland recorded no new cases of coronavirus.

The state's total number of cases since the onset of the pandemic remains at 1,089, with a total of 693,707 tests conducted.

Yesterday, the State Government announced coronavirus testing could also be conducted in pharmacies.

AMA Queensland President Dr Chris Perry said while the State Government was trying to do the right thing, allowing pharmacists to conduct coronavirus tests hadn't been thought through.
"It's crazy, they're supposed to be in quarantine and the pharmacists are encouraging people to get out of quarantine to come and be tested," he said.
"Pharmacy COVID testing has the potential to be the mirror of what's happening in Victoria.
"They haven't thought it through, they haven't thought about safety.
"It'll make the Queensland Government and the pharmacists extremely legally liable."

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

13 AUGUST SA

Experts question SA backbencher Rowan Ramsey's welfare payment claims
A Liberal backbencher says extra coronavirus payments from his own government have led to an increase in people sleeping rough in the remote South Australian town of Ceduna.

But experts have questioned his claims and the credibility of the Federal Government's policy.

Local MP Rowan Ramsey visited Ceduna on SA's far west coast to speak to locals about the impact of extra coronavirus welfare payments, including the doubling of the JobSeeker unemployment payment formerly known as Newstart.

The card is designed to prevent welfare spending on alcohol, drugs and gambling.

Eighty per cent of welfare payments are made to the card, with 20 percent paid in cash.

Mr Ramsey said the doubling of payments like JobSeeker had resulted in people having twice the cash.

However advocate Kathryn Wilkes from the Say No Seven has pointed out that for someone on the basic JobSeeker payment, this adds up to little more than around $50 extra per week.
"It is not illegal for people on the card to use their 20 % as they please, it is no ones business what someone does with their 20 per cent," she said.

Mr Ramsey said about 100 people from largely Indigenous communities outside the town had travelled there to buy alcohol and gamble with extra money.
"They're cashed up," he said.
"They've come back into town, they've hit the booze, hit the poker machines, and other things."

Mr Ramsey admitted the Government had struggled to get hard data on the scheme.
"It's all very easy for that to be the anecdotal advice, and it certainly is around this time," he said.
"But it's actually trying to encapsulate it into something that looks like hard figures.
"What we do know, is that people are sleeping rough again in the streets."

No evidence for claim
Mr Ramsey called out his own government for giving out the extra cash, thereby undermining the purpose of the controversial scheme.

"It's pretty clear to me that it's been doing a great job until someone, in this case, it's the Federal Government, shovelled a heap of extra cash in the system that didn't go on the card," he said.
"Because then if you've got too much cash, then you've got problems."

But Australian National University Senior Public Policy Lecturer Dr Elise Klein said there was no evidence for that claim.
"He's saying there's a flush of money in communities — but what's he advocating for? Keeping people's amounts really low?" she said.
"I think it's really dangerous to be making policy using anecdotal stories."

Dr Klein said an ORIMA Research report on the scheme commissioned by government had been found by "academics as well as the Australian National Audit Office" to have "problems with the data collection and ways in which the data was analysed".
"Because of these issues, there was no ability to draw any conclusions from that ORIMA research," she said.

She said the Government had relied on largely anecdotal evidence to enforce the schemes in communities around Australia.
"These programs have predominantly been targeted at First Nations people," she said.
"The [Federal Government] continue to use anecdotal stories from visits that they and their departmental staff do, and that's not really good enough to be making public policy, particularly which has such dangerous consequences for those that are subjected to it."

No basis for linking alcohol and welfare
Dr Klein also said there was no research basis for linking welfare recipients with alcohol and drug abuse or gambling, and the extra cash had in many cases improved people's lives.
"They've been able to buy new pants, when they go to a job interview next, to be able to wear new clothes," she said.
"To pay the rent, to be able to keep food on the table for the family."

Dr Klein said creating a voluntary system was preferred by many advocates and researchers, including herself.
"Why force people onto it?" she said.
"If people want their money managed, why not allow them to make that decision themselves?"



South Australia announces tighter restrictions for border communities
Victorians living in South Australian border communities are to be banned from entering the state under as the SA government ramps up its coronavirus response.

Under the new restrictions set to come into force on August 21, Victorian residents will no longer be allowed to enter SA on the basis of shopping, care, work or to attend school in an effort to prevent the spread of cases.
SA venues catering to a large number of customers will also be required to have a COVID-safe marshal to ensure social distancing measures and hygiene requirements were upheld.

Some exemptions will be given to farmers with properties spanning the border.

Students studying Year 11 and Year 12 will also be exempt.

SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the new restrictions were a "critical step" to avoid the spread of COVID-19 from Victoria.

As part of the announcement, it was also revealed that South Australia will relax restrictions on private dwellings and licensed venues.
Currently, the maximum number of people allowed in a private dwelling is 10.

As of August 21, another 10 people "over and above" those who normally reside in the house will be permitted, up to a maximum of 20 people in total.

The maximum number of people allowed in a licensed premises will be capped at 100, depending on the size of the venue.

A COVID-19 safety marshal must be present at all licensed premises, however, after August 21.
Mr Stevens said the new restrictions will also apply to shopping centres, supermarkets, gyms and "anywhere people must congregate at the venue".

He said the new requirements are an alternative to reducing the number of patrons allowed in venues or restrictions on the number of people able to visit stores around the state.
"The new requirements are to ensure people are reminded of their social distancing obligation, to ensure hygiene is maintained and people are held to account for non-compliance," he said.

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

Desperate South Australian and Victorian cross-border residents call on Prime Minister to intervene
Desperate residents living along the Victorian-South Australian border have made an emotional plea for help ahead of tougher border restrictions being introduced.

A social media page — entitled Cross Border Call-out — has already attracted more than 1,100 followers in just 24 hours.

Thousands of cross-border residents will be locked out of South Australia on Friday, August 21, with only essential travellers allowed to enter the state.

Residents will no longer be able to cross the border for shopping, education, and non-urgent medical or dental care.

Apsley resident Paula Gust, who created the page, lives in Victoria right on the border and warned the looming travel directions would put residents at heightened risk of contracting COVID-19.
"SA is shutting the door on us and leaving us to turn back towards the cases," Ms Gust said.
"There are so many people on the line of the border who are doing the same thing and everything we can.
"Even Melbourne [residents] are not being penalised like we are, and they are in the hotspot — that's ridiculous.
"If we jump our paddock fence, we are in SA. We really live as SA residents."

Ms Gust said her family accessed all services and shopping outlets in South Australia.
"There needs to be individual assessments and Victorian police have to work together with SA police," she said.
"I'm hoping someone will come up with a great idea — it is important everybody is heard."

Ms Gust hoped the Facebook post would trigger a response from politicians, so they looked beyond a "blanket approach".

She also warned people who lived in Victoria but worked in SA could lose their jobs.

'Downward spiral'
Victorian resident Tiarnee Dyer — who lives on a farm near Kaniva, Victoria, and is a teacher at Bordertown, SA — has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison calling for help.
"The announcement from SA Police Commissioner has sent us and many members of our community into a steep, downward spiral," Ms Dyer said.

She said many people living in cross-border communities were wondering how they were going to "survive" both medically and financially.
"Our community and the communities up and down the South Australian border need your help," Ms Dyer said.
"Our daughter, Mabel, was born with dysplasia and our specialist and leading expert of her complex condition is based in Adelaide."

Ms Dyer said her two-year-old — who had been wearing a brace for most of her life and may need further surgery — would now not be able to see her specialist.

Essential travel
Member for MacKillop Nick McBride said SA authorities were concerned about the climbing COVID-19 cases in regional Victoria.

He said the unknown number of COVID-19 cases was fuelling the greatest concern.

Mr McBride said he had a phone conversation with Premier Steven Marshall about the potential of border residents being exposed to the virus if they were forced to seek services deeper into the state.
"I did raise this that it is better for this border community to engage with SA, rather than go deeper into Victoria and bring this disease back to the border," the Limestone Coast MP said.
"The cross-border approval process has been evaporated and people will not be able to travel across the border unless they are an essential service traveller."

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

AGED & DISABILITY CARE

Care agency banned after SA woman's death
The company responsible for the care of Adelaide woman Ann-Marie Smith when she died has been banned from operating and had its registration revoked by the NDIS Commission.

The commission has been investigating NDIS provider Integrity Care since the 54-year-old died in hospital in April from septic shock, multiple organ failure, severe pressure sores and malnourishment.

Integrity Care took two weeks to report her death to the NDIS Commission.

The provider was slapped with a $12,600 fine over its failure to notify the commission within 24 hours.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner Graeme Head said Integrity Care was advised early in June of the commission's intention to revoke its registration and to ban it from operating over several contraventions of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act).

"There are very clear requirements under the NDIS Act as to how the NDIS Commission takes compliance actions ... This includes giving ample opportunity for the party subject to these actions to respond," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

The revocation of Integrity Care's registration will take effect from August 14, while the ban will come into place from August 21.

Integrity Care will no longer be able to provide NDIS-funded supports and services to NDIS participants as a registered provider, and will be banned from providing all supports and services to any person in the NDIS.

The commission's investigation into Integrity Care is ongoing and further regulatory action may be taken if necessary.

A carer for the disabled woman, Rosemary Maione, 69, was last week charged with manslaughter over Ms Smith's death. Maione was sacked from Integrity Care in May.

Police allege Ms Smith died of serious criminal neglect and her death was preventable.

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

SA aged care workers banned from working at multiple facilities to stop coronavirus spread
The South Australian Government will ban aged care workers from working in multiple facilities as a precaution to stop the spread of coronavirus.

As of August 27, all personal care workers will only be allowed to work in one aged care facility.

The Government will also require staff — including doctors, nurses and care workers — to wear masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) when they come within 1.5 metres of aged care residents.

SA Premier Steven Marshall said the decision was based on the "devastating" infection rates and fatality rates experienced in aged care in other jurisdictions.
"We don't do these things lightly," Mr Marshall said.
"We don't put additional restrictions in place without very good reason and we do have very good reason."

South Australia has recorded no new cases of coronavirus since yesterday, while no coronavirus cases have been reported in aged care facilities in SA since the start of the pandemic.

Mr Marshall said the restrictions could be hard for some aged care businesses.
"We understand this but they are far better than the alternative that we are seeing in other parts of the country," he said.

SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said everyone working at aged care facilities would be required to undergo infection control training.

She said lessons had been learned from other states about how coronavirus tended to spread to aged care residents from healthcare workers rather than visitors.
"The evidence from Victoria is when you have people working across sites it is much more easy for the disease to spread between facilities and that starts as a small problem which quickly has grown to a very large problem," she said.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said SA Health would work with public, private and non-profit aged care providers to "iron out" any issues, including allowing workers to trade shifts instead of working at one more than one place.
"We want to minimise the disruption to workers," Mr Wade said.
"We are very keen to keep our workforce employed."

He said Victoria and Queensland already had the same measure in place.

Shadow Treasurer Stephen Mullighan urged the State Government to provide financial assistance to affected aged care workers.
"These restrictions seem to make sense but there will be some impact on workers who will, as a result of these change, lose hours and lose incomes," he said.
"Hopefully the State Government is working on some support measures for those workers who will be affected in their take-home pay."

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

13 AUGUST WA

<< THERE ARE CALLS ON SOCIAL MEDIA CALLS FOR WA TO MANDATE FACE MASK WEARING OUTSIDE THE HOME WHERE SOCIAL DISTANCING IS NOT POSSIBLE TO MAINTAIN.>>

Hand washing and social distancing decline in WA, sparking warnings of complacency
Researchers say West Australians are "more relaxed" than the rest of the nation when it comes to physical distancing, hand hygiene and other protective behaviours aimed at preventing community spread of coronavirus.

Monash University's BehaviourWorks research unit has been conducting a national real-time tracking survey of behavioural changes throughout the pandemic.

It shows the proportion of West Australians who said they were "always" practicing physical distancing in public has fallen from 61 per cent in April to 38 per cent in early July.

Over the same period, those who said they were "always" washing their hands for 20 seconds has fallen from 45 per cent to 37 per cent.

Both results were significantly lower than the national average — in early July, almost half of respondents (48 per cent) across Australia said they were "always" physical distancing in public and washing their hands for 20 seconds.
"We are seeing that people in Western Australia appear to perform all of the key protective behaviours less than any other state," lead researcher Peter Slattery said.

The research team has surveyed up to 1,700 people across Australia at regular intervals since the pandemic took hold in Australia in late March.
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Warnings people are growing tired of distancing
Dr Slattery said respondents gave a range of reasons for no longer complying with protective behaviours, some of which pointed to "fatigue".
"They had that period of time where they were doing everything and they were very devoted and now they're tired of doing that and they want to return to their daily lives," he said.

Unsurprisingly, Dr Slattery said respondents who lived in states with low numbers of coronavirus cases were the most "relaxed".
"Western Australia does seem to be a little bit more relaxed than everywhere else," he said.

The study is part of an international project involving participants in more than 40 countries.

It is designed to help government policy makers better target public health messages, and serve as a resource for future pandemic preparedness.

Dr Slattery noted the WA data had a reasonable margin of error because its sample size of 100 was smaller than other states.

However he said the figures indicated West Australians should not underestimate the coronavirus risk.
"I really think Western Australia should look at what has happened in other places … to see just how easily a second wave can emerge and surge," he said.
"Right now the risk might be low but that is almost an illusion.
"It only takes one or two people being lax about it, and suddenly it's almost out of control, at least for a period of time."

Don't get complacent, Premier urges
WA Premier Mark McGowan agreed "we can't get complacent" despite the state's hard border helping to maintain low numbers of coronavirus cases.
"We need to make sure we continue to practice great hygiene measures," he said.
"And that means especially, if you're unwell, don't go out, don't go to work, don't go to school, stay at home."
"I spoke to the Prime Minister about this … and at every opportunity I'm going to encourage people to continue to practice the right sort of measures to keep ourselves healthy," he said.

The national President of the Australian Medical Association, Perth-based orthopedic surgeon Omar Khorhsid, said WA remained at risk, and current restrictions should remain in place.
"If one case slips out of hotel quarantine, if one truckie coming over the border does the wrong thing, very quickly we can see an enormous outbreak," he said.
"And by the time you actually measure your first case, you would already have tens or hundreds of people infected, and it would be an incredibly difficult task for the West Australian government to catch up.
"We have eliminated the virus from our community, we have not eliminated the threat."

'Now they all want to hug you again'
Adele Pink and her daughter Courtney, who both work in a hospitality business in Rockingham, said they had noticed behavioural changes as restrictions started to ease in WA.
"I think people are getting people getting a bit more complacent, but I think that comes with the [relaxing] of rules as well," Courtney Pink said.
"I think it has been managed pretty well. I definitely don't go out and feel scared or anything like that. I think it's great we have the opportunity to get the economy booming."

Adele Pink said she had noticed some customers had stopped strictly adhering to physical distancing guidelines.
"I feel like to start with, everyone was coming in and doing the elbow. But now they all want to hug you [again]," she said.
"You see what Victoria is like and where they are at and I just don't think it's going to take too much for [the virus] to head back here to [WA]"

Supermarket worker Jen said she had also noticed fewer people were physical distancing.
"Not only in the store, like everywhere," she said
"I haven't been to any pubs at the moment, ever since the virus started I'm scared to go out actually.
"With this pandemic, as long as I know that there's no antivirus out there, I am not actually at peace or at ease that I should be doing the normal things."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... ome%20news
Clive Palmer's WA damages claim blocked as bid to delay urgent legislation fails
Legislation to block a $30 billion damages claim by businessman Clive Palmer has passed WA Parliament, after the Nationals and the Greens decided they would not support a move to send the bill to a committee inquiry.
Mr Palmer and the WA Government have been engaged in arbitration over a dispute relating to his iron ore interests in the Pilbara region of WA.

Attorney-General John Quigley told Parliament Mr Palmer was seeking more than $30 billion in damages.

Legislation to block the arbitration and any liability by the state of Western Australia passed the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday night, with the support of the Opposition, and was debated in the Legislative Council yesterday.
The Opposition wanted the bill, which also denied the right to natural justice and to freedom of information (FOI) requests on this specific matter, to be reviewed by a joint select parliamentary committee.
But that motion to delay a vote on the bill was defeated in the Upper House, 19 votes to nine.
The Liberals, One Nation and Rick Mazza supported the motion but it was defeated by Labor, the Greens and the Nationals.
The bill now has a clear path to pass the Upper House.

Mr Quigley said there was no time for committee review.
"We've got to unleash the left hook today. We've got to knock him down today. There is too much at risk for all Western Australians for namby-pamby inquiries," he said.
"This legislation has been crafted over the last six weeks in secret by the best legal minds in this city."

'What did McGowan do?': Palmer
In a statement, Mr Palmer questioned why Premier Mark McGowan and his Government wanted to prevent citizens and the media finding out what the state had done to cause it to incur a liability of $30 billion.
"Why was the act passed in the Western Australian Parliament which takes away the rights of the press and the Western Australian public to make FOI applications to find out what McGowan did?" he said.
"The question for Western Australians is what did McGowan do to cause, as the Attorney-General said, $30 billion of liability for the state of Western Australia? Why should McGowan or anyone else be exempt from the criminal law?"

Despite Mr Palmer's comments, the arbitration matter the bill seeks to quash is a question of civil, not criminal law.

Mr Palmer also asked why there was an emergency to pass the legislation in one day, and whether it was linked to his High Court challenge to Western Australia's hard border closure.

Mr Quigley said the legislation had been prepared in secret and introduced late on Tuesday for tactical reasons to take advantage of a "weakness" in Mr Palmer's position.

Mr Palmer later released a second statement calling on Mr Quigley to resign, saying he was sponsoring a bill into Parliament that was both draconian and extraordinary.

He also claimed he had given instructions to prepare an application for a High Court injunction against Mr Quigley, restraining him from "acting in an unprofessional manner".
"Mr Quigley will be served over the next week," Mr Palmer said.

Legislation timed to outflank Palmer
In 2014 an arbitrator found in favour of Mr Palmer's company Mineralogy over the iron ore dispute, but the award was never registered in the Supreme Court.

Once the award is registered in court, it is protected by the constitution.

Mr Quigley said the arbitration and the award had to be terminated before Mr Palmer could now register the award, which is why he introduced it to Parliament after every court in the country had closed on Tuesday evening.
"It was too late for him to get to a court," he said.

He said he believed Mr Palmer was now trying to register the award in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

But if the legislation passes, it will terminate the arbitration and any damages from the time the bill was introduced to Parliament on Tuesday.
"What he's doing now, too late we think, is trying to register it," Mr Quigley said.
"Had he got a whisper of what the Government was about last week … and made his move to the court then, we would have been in all sorts of difficulty, because once the matter is before the court, the independence of the court is protected by chapter three of the constitution."

Stonehouse pushes for more scrutiny
Liberal Democrat and crossbencher MP Aaron Stonehouse called for a committee inquiry, saying the bill needed to be scrutinised thoroughly so all its risks were completely understood.
"What I suspect is that the Premier and the Attorney-General are going to stamp their feet," he said.
"They are going to become shrill, they are going to complain, they're going to yell and scream, but I think the public deserve to know exactly what's involved in this bill.
"There are clearly risks that there could be a constitutional challenge, there are financial risks of course to the state. But I think as a Parliament we can take pause, maybe a week, two weeks at the absolute most, to get some independent legal advice."

Opposition Leader Liza Harvey said it was very complex and sensitive legislation, and it could benefit from further review.
"It would provide some oversight and perhaps strengthen the bill to ensure there won't be a High Court challenge," she said.
"There's a lot of really talented lawyers in the Upper House who could potentially look at the bill and look at ways to strengthen it."

Mr Palmer has already threatened a High Court challenge if the extraordinary legislation is passed.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/markets ... d=msedgdhp
WA's Clive Palmer bill passes lower house
Mr Palmer and his associated companies Mineralogy and International Minerals are pursuing damages over a 2012 decision by the former Liberal government to refuse to formally assess his proposed Balmoral South iron ore mine in the Pilbara.

The government has calculated the total claim to be $27.7 billion minus costs, an amount Premier Mark McGowan says would effectively bankrupt the state.

In response, the government has put forward unprecedented legislation which would terminate the arbitration between the two parties.
Mr Palmer has said it would damage the state's reputation and cause other companies to think twice about investing in WA.

Opposition leader Liza Harvey says the Liberals broadly support the government's legislation but there is no reason why it should not be scrutinised by a "short, sharp" select committee which could finish its work by mid-September

Mr McGowan has rejected the suggestion, saying the state cannot afford to delay taking protective action.

Attorney-General John Quigley on Wednesday revealed Mr Palmer had taken action in the NSW Supreme Court to attempt to circumvent WA's legislation.

It also emerged Mr Palmer had offered to withdraw his legal challenge against WA's border closures if officials agreed to move arbitration hearings relating to the damages claim from Perth to Canberra.

The offer was made in a letter, written by the in-house counsel for Mr Palmer's Mineralogy company to state lawyers in WA, which Mr Quigley tabled in parliament.
"He just wanted to bring the border down and risk the lives of West Australians so he could get money out of us," Mr McGowan told parliament.

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

BREACH
Perth woman charged for skipping hotel quarantine
A Perth woman has been charged after allegedly avoiding mandatory hotel quarantine when she re-entered Western Australia from Victoria.

Police said the 28-year-old was granted a hard border exemption and was due to arrive at the Perth airport two days ago, however it was alleged she entered the state undetected by road before she was intercepted at her partner’s home.
The investigation remains ongoing as police work to uncover if she was assisted by anyone.

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:42 am

13 AUGUST FEDERAL & NATIONAL

Unemployment edges up despite massive coronavirus jobs bounce-back
The job creation headline was strong, with almost 115,000 new positions being filled last month, but finding work remains a hard slog for Liesl Filippi.
"I'm looking for anything and everything," said the single mother, who is also studying.

But there is huge demand for every new job out there.

"There's about 200 applicants at least for every one job and a lot of those are being taken by people with higher qualifications who've just recently come out of work," she told ABC's The Business.

That is reflected in the official Bureau of Statistics data, which show the huge number of jobs created last month — 114,700, almost three times what most economists forecast — were more than soaked up by an even greater number of job seekers returning to the labour market as COVID-19 restrictions continue to be eased in most parts of the nation.

The Bureau of Statistics data estimated more than a million Australians were unemployed in early July, up by nearly 16,000 from the previous month.

Unemployment up despite signs of pandemic recovery
"The July figures indicate that employment had recovered by 343,000 people and hours worked had also recovered 5.5 % since May," head of Labour Statistics at the ABS Bjorn Jarvis said.
"Employment remained over half a million people lower than seen in March, while hours worked remained 5.5 per cent lower. "

But there was good news in the ABS figures, with the rise in unemployment being driven by more people looking for work.

The participation rate jumped by 0.6 % points to 64.7 % and is now approaching levels of previous years.
The monthly increase in employment in July was underpinned by a larger increase in part-time employment (71,200 people) than full-time employment (43,500 people).

Overall, the percentage of people employed in Australia increased 0.5 % points to 59.8 %, up from a low of 58.2 % in May.

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

That pushed the official unemployment rate up from 7.4 to 7.5 per cent, the highest level since November 1998.

Real unemployment rate closer to 10pc: economists
Jobs website Indeed's Asia-Pacific economist Callam Pickering said the real unemployment rate was much higher, but had dropped since a peak in May.
"If we treat everyone who lost their job as becoming unemployed, then the actual unemployment rate is 9.1 per cent, having improved considerably from 11.6 per cent in May," he noted.

That number would be higher still if not for JobKeeper, with EY's chief economist Jo Masters pointing out that there were still 165,000 people counted as employed but working zero hours.

Sarah Hunter from BIS Oxford Economics reckons the real unemployment rate is still around 10 per cent.
"Without JobKeeper, the ABS estimates that the unemployment rate would be 0.8 percentage points higher, and adding in those people that have lost their job and exited the workforce since March, the rate rises to around 10 per cent."

Good news on jobs overall
However, there was overwhelmingly good news in the ABS figures, with the rise in unemployment being driven by more people looking for work.

While the extra competition is bad news for job seekers like Liesl Filippi, it means people have not just given up on work. High participation rates are also one of the key drivers of national economic growth and living standards.

The participation rate jumped by 0.6 percentage points to 64.7 per cent and is now approaching something like normal levels, which have ranged between 65-66 per cent over recent years.

The participation rate would have been boosted by the reintroduction of some limited mutual obligation requirements in early June, pushing more people on JobSeeker into looking for work to retain their benefits.

It is likely to receive another boost this month, as more requirements were reintroduced on August 4 to everywhere except Victoria.

There was also good news on hours worked, which rose 1.3 per cent during the month.

This helped to reduce underemployment, which dropped 0.5 percentage points, but still remains at a high level of 11.2 per cent.

Combining that figure with the unemployment rate reveals that 18.7 per cent of Australians aged over 15 who want to work either cannot find a job or cannot get as many hours as they want.

Unemployment 'set to track higher' this month
These ABS figures capture people's working situation for the fortnight of June 28 to July 11, and so do not capture most of Melbourne's stage 3 lockdown, and do not reflect the massive loss of work under the current stage 4 restrictions introduced on August 2.
"Restrictions have tightened and conditions worsened since then, with Tuesday payrolls data confirming that employment in Victoria is now falling as a result of the forced shutdown of much of the economy," economist Sarah Hunter observed.
"Employment is likely to slip back in the August print, and with the requirement to actively seek work to continue receiving JobSeeker being reintroduced in early August, the unemployment rate is set to track higher."

While Victoria may be set for by far the biggest unemployment rise in August, it had the second lowest state unemployment rate in July.

Queensland recorded the nation's highest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate last month, with only it and New South Wales recording increases in their jobless rates, while all the other states reported falls.

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

University changes would see students who fail classes risk losing access to HECS loans
<< MAKING IT HARDER FOR YOUNG AND NOT SO YOUNG UNI STUDENTS AND TO PARTICIPATE IN UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL UNIVERSITY LEVEL EDUCATION , AT A TIME WHEN THE NATION NEEDS MORE GRADUATES THAN FEWER , VERY COUNTER PRODUCTIVE , AND AN NEW OBSTACLE TO UNIVERSITY ENTRY AND STUDY >>
University students who fail more than half of their subjects will lose access to government loans and subsidies under changes announced by the Federal Government.

The move is part of a planned overhaul of the university system, which will also result in major changes to student fees.

Here's how it will work, and whether you could lose government support.

Which university students could lose access to HECS?
Under the latest changes, students who fail more than 50 per cent their classes after taking at least eight units will no longer be able to access a Commonwealth-supported place or a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan, meaning they will have to pay the full cost of their studies upfront if they wish to continue.

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment estimates it will affect around 2,500 students each year.

Universities will be able to provide exemptions if students can demonstrate exceptional circumstances — for example, serious illness or bereavement.

Why is the Government doing this?
Education Minister Dan Tehan says the changes are aimed at preventing students with very low completion rates from racking up large debts without any qualifications to show for them.
"Research has shown that nearly six per cent of university students fail every subject in their first year," he said.

The Minister pointed to the example of a student who started 44 courses at 26 different providers but completed none of them, and ended up with a debt of $663,000.

That student's first year of study was 1991, and the Government has since imposed a limit on total HELP loans, which is currently set at just over $106,000.
"What this is designed to do is make sure that universities and students understand that they need to work together to make sure that the student is suitable for the course that they're undertaking," he said.
"And then to make sure that throughout their course, that they get the guidance, support and help that they need to complete their studies."

The President of the National Union of Students, Molly Willmott, criticised the changes, accusing the Government of trying to "incentivise success through fear of punishment".
"Limited access to study, financial instability, education quality, disability, and the ongoing crisis of mental health in the student body are just some of the impediments to student success," she said.
"These are issues that are often unreported and receive inadequate support from tertiary institutions or the Government."

The Opposition dismissed the announcement as a "frustrating distraction" from more pressing issues within the education system.
"The Government's trying to pretend that there's this big problem with failing students," Shadow Education Minister Tanya Plibersek said.
"Of course students who are failing should be given the encouragement and the opportunity to succeed at university.
"But the real problem here is that at a time when hundreds of thousands of people are joining the unemployment queues, this government is locking people out of TAFE and locking them out of universities."

Alison Barnes, the president of the National Tertiary Education Union, said no extra effort was being made to prevent students failing in the first place.
"This policy provides no extra funding to support students likely to fail. No extra staff will be employed to identify and monitor students and give them the help they need," she said.

When will these changes come into effect?
Draft legislation for the university overhaul was released for public consultation earlier this week.

It's already proving controversial within the Government, with the Nationals demanding changes to ensure regional students are not left worse off.

Mr Tehan promised all feedback would be taken into consideration.
"These are major reforms, we want to get them right," he said.
"We'll continue to consult as we take this legislation through the Parliament."

How much students can expect to pay under the changes:
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<< IF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REALLY WANTED TO ENCOURAGE SCIENCE, MATH AND ENGINEERING TO HELP UPSKILL THE AUSTRALIAN WORKFORCE, IMO THEY NEED TO HAVE architecture, IT, engineering, environmental studies, science AND maths MOVED TO BAND 1 , OR BAND 2 REDUCED TO THE MID POINT OF BANDS 1 & 2 COSTWIZE.
clinical psychology, English NEED TO BEMOVED TO BAND 3 OR 4. >>

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<< THE AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL BORDERS ARE CLOSED EXCEPT FOR CARGO, FREIGHT, RETURING NATIONALS >>
ACCC investigates complaints about airlines flying to Australia during Covid-19
Australia’s consumer watchdog is investigating international airlines flying into the country during the pandemic, amid allegations operators are cancelling economy passengers’ tickets in favour of business and first-class customers, as companies comply with a strict cap on overseas arrivals.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s inquiry comes after the opposition infrastructure and transport spokeswoman, Catherine King, wrote to the ACCC chair, Rod Sims, on Wednesday following the Guardian’s reports of allegedly “unethical” behaviour from some airlines.

Accusations include customers claiming airlines are repeatedly removing economy passengers, citing an overbooked flight, while still selling more expensive seats for the same service on their websites.

Australian families stranded in Lebanon for more than a month after their original flight was due to depart are among the travellers waiting for airlines to honour their economy tickets back home. Guardian Australia has been inundated with emails from those affected.

While airlines including Emirates and Qatar Airways have so far denied they are prioritising business and first-class passengers, the Guardian has heard a recording of a Qatar Airways employee telling a passenger their ticket from Edinburgh to Sydney was cancelled three days before departure in order to make space for a last-minute business-class booking on the flight.
The employee said they had been instructed that the “priority is for business-class passengers” on flights from Doha into Australia given the arrival caps.
On Wednesday, Qatar Airways was only selling business-class tickets to Australia, with a one-way Doha-to-Sydney ticket priced at $8,400. The next economy ticket available was on 20 September, for $3,600 one way.

The passenger caps for Australian airports – designed to ease pressure on quarantine hotels for returning international travellers – were introduced then tightened in July and largely affect Australians returning after brief travel for compassionate reasons –with a valid Covid-19 exemption.

A federal transport department spokeswoman said that Sydney airport is limited to 350 international passenger arrivals a day while Perth’s cap is 75 a day.

Brisbane and Adelaide are each limited to 70 overseas passengers a day. Melbourne is not currently accepting international flights.

Last Friday, the national cabinet decided to extend the arrival caps until 24 October.

For Sydney airport, where there are between six and nine scheduled international arrivals most days and more on weekends, the daily arrival cap can allow as many as 60 passengers per flight and as few as 30, with last-minute cancellations or delays meaning capacities per flight can change with little notice.

On Wednesday, King wrote to Sims about Labor’s concern that Australians overseas are “having their economy-class tickets cancelled and are being pressured to purchase more expensive tickets to return home”.
“Understandably, this situation is causing much stress for those Australians who need to return home and are finding themselves unable to do so,” she said.
“I note that the ACCC does have power to enforce Australian consumer laws when tickets are purchased through the Australian website of an airline.”

King also told the Guardian the cap on arrivals, in place to ease pressure on hotel quarantine, “does not mean (Australians) should be facing unexpected price hikes and cancellations at short notice”.
“Cost should not be a barrier for Australians to get to safety. The government needs to take more responsibility in ensuring that Australians who need to return home are able to do so,” she said.

An ACCC spokesman confirmed to the Guardian it was “looking into the issues raised” by King. He said consumer protections would depend on methods of booking.

Since last week’s deadly explosion in Beirut, Wendy Mehreb is worried Lebanon will descend into civil war before her family’s Qatar Airways economy flights to Sydney are honoured.

After relocating to Lebanon so her son with severe autism could attend a specialist applied behavioural therapy school from 2019, the family had begun preparing to return to Sydney early in the pandemic after the school shut.

They booked flights for 6 July, giving them enough time to pack up their lives and organise a return to their Bardwell Park home.

However, Qatar Airways has since cancelled and rescheduled their tickets three times, with their current ticket rebooked to depart Beirut on 6 September.

Mehreb said isolation in Lebanon has been tough for her seven-year-old son, Roman, who has not been able to access his regular therapists since the outbreak began.

She said he has become “self-injurious” and violent towards family members since they became locked down in their village north of Beirut.
While they were not directly affected by last week’s blast, Mehreb said “people stuck here in Lebanon should be made a priority because the situation here is dire and people are afraid it’s the beginning of a war”.
“Surely they should be making exceptions for people with cases like ours, stuck in a volatile situation.”

Mehreb told the Guardian she was ready to abandon her Qatar Airways tickets but noted other airlines had been accused of similar behaviour. She said purchasing new tickets would mean the family would have to pay thousands for hotel quarantine – something they had been exempt from given how early on in the pandemic they bought their original tickets.

A Qatar Airways spokeswoman said passenger lists for flights to Australia are “continually assessed and based on a range of criteria, including compassionate and medical requests, connecting flights, booking class, party size”.
“Each passenger’s case is treated on an individual basis regardless of the cabin they have booked,” she said. While she acknowledged the situation of the Mehreb family, she did not respond to the Guardian’s question asking why they did not qualify as a compassionate request.

Qatar Airways did not respond to questions about the recording of their employee telling another Australian passenger they had been removed from their flight to prioritise a last-minute business-class booking.

A spokesman for Michael McCormack, the infrastructure and transport minister, told the Guardian “we encourage passengers to contact their airline or travel agent as soon as possible for information on any changes to their flights and other options available”.

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Backpackers to pick fruit, mind children under pilot proposal by farm and tourism groups
Backpackers prepared to pick fruit or work as au pairs could become the exception to Australia's inbound travel ban under a pilot proposal by farm and tourism groups.

The National Farmers' Federation and the Backpacker and Youth Tourism Advisory Panel are framing a proposal that would initially allow 150 backpackers to travel to Australia, as soon as October.

The proposal, which is yet to go to government, would permit holidaymakers from countries with low COVID-19 infection rates to travel to Australia.

It is not clear how the cost of quarantining the backpackers on arrival would be covered.

The ABC understands the pilot would be used to employ backpackers on farms or as au pairs, after the positions had initially been offered to local workers.

The Federal Government recently approved a similar pilot in the Northern Territory, which allows workers from Vanuatu on the seasonal worker program to enter the country, despite Australia's ban on international travellers.

Under the NT program, farmers are expected to cover the cost of two weeks in quarantine at a rate of $2,500 per worker.

About 170 workers are expected to arrive in the NT by the end of the month.

'Highly controlled'
Australia's farm sector is heavily reliant on migration labour.

However, growers have become increasingly concerned about how they will harvest spring and summer crops under the COVID-19 restrictions that have reduced backpacker travel.

At a recent parliamentary inquiry into the working-holidaymaker program, NFF spokesman Ben Rogers said the number of backpackers in Australia had fallen from 140,000 in March to about 80,000 in June.
"We look at around 40,000 working in the sector per annum, so there would be enough provided they could move around the country and go to where that work is," Mr Rogers told the inquiry.

He said the NFF was working with the Backpacker Youth Tourism Advisory Panel to develop "a COVID-safe pathway proposal" that would allow backpackers into Australia in a "highly controlled manner".
"The rollout would have to be cautious.
"But with appropriate safeguards it's hard to imagine what rational objection their could be," Mr Rogers said.

In its submission to the same inquiry, the Australian Fresh Produce Alliance referred to a report from EY Consultants that found there were 50,000-71,000 short-term roles in fresh produce throughout the year.

AFPA said backpackers contributed $13 billion to the national economy and filled 127,000 jobs across the fresh-food sector, including in retail and manufacturing.

Australia isn't expected to open its borders to international travellers until next year, but in April the Government announced it would allow some foreigners already in Australia to extend their visas.

According to Home Affairs, 401 people on the working holidaymaker program and more than 3,550 on the seasonal worker program have been granted the extension.

Tourism-style campaign to lure workers
The working holidaymaker inquiry heard about different initiatives to attract workers to the horticulture industry, inlcuding a proposal by AFPA to pay Australians who were unemployed because of the pandemic $1,200 to relocate for work.

When asked about initiatives to incentivise workers Mr Rogers said the former Seasonal Worker Incentive Trial, which encouraged welfare recipients to work on farms, hadn't initially been a huge success.

But he said "circumstances have changed fairly dramatically, and in a few months the program could be rolled out again and given another go".

Committee member and Liberal MP John Alexander also raised several ideas, including a Tourism Australia-type campaign to attract workers.
"It seems to me that there is a way of packaging this to make it really exciting for a young Australian," Mr Alexander said.
"Or equally, for anyone from any other part of the world to come here and be a part of doing some good, hard physical work with a whole bunch of other young people, but having a great social support package and even having proper destinations like R and R and party centres."

Mr Alexander, the Federal Member for Bennelong, told the inquiry he would love to work on such a campaign.

The inquiry into working holidaymakers comes as Australia braces for record unemployment, and unions have called for a ban on backpacker labour which they claim is rife with exploitation.

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Federal Govt 'failed to prepare aged care sector for COVID-19 crisis'
A leading policy expert has lashed the government's efforts to prepare the aged care sector for the coronavirus pandemic during the Royal Commission into Aged Care.

Policy expert Professor John Ibrahim said hundreds of residents have died and would die prematurely because an attitude of futility contributed to a lack of urgency in responding to the disaster.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth launched an emotional rebuttal, describing it as "insulting" to suggest the government took no steps to ensure the safety of vulnerable Australians.
"The assertion there was an attitude towards futility is frankly insulting to the entire Australia community who locked down to prevent deaths among our most vulnerable," Dr Coastworth said.
"Will there be more deaths amongst our elderly residential aged care population because of COVID-19? The answer is yes, and every one of those deaths will have an impact."

Two-thirds of COVID-19 deaths in Australia have been in the aged care sector.

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Labor slams Federal Government's aged care response
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese says the Commonwealth never had a plan to protect the facilities and their elderly residents from COVID-19.

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'A nation divided': how Covid border restrictions have intensified Australian state rivalries
In case you hadn’t heard, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is “putting Queenslanders first”. And if it were up to opposition leader Deb Frecklington, the sunshine state would be “FLOODED with Victorians,” Labor says.

The New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, won’t “apologise for putting safety first in NSW”. One hundred people from the ACT were stranded on the Victorian border for six days, unable to drive home due to a sudden change in permit rules. NSW insisted they go to Melbourne, then fly to Sydney and quarantine at their own expense, until sanity prevailed.
Now the Canberrans will be permitted to drive straight home, stopping only once and not for petrol.

Related: ACT residents trapped at NSW-Victoria border after overnight changes to travel restrictions

In the Northern Territory, chief minister Michael Gunner says border controls could persist for “hotspots” for another 18 months.

And don’t plan on travelling interstate for Christmas. “If you can, cancel your Christmas holiday plans and stay here in the Northern Territory.”

One nation with hard borders
Australia is a nation of just 25 million people, but the revival of state parochialism has been swift and intense. It is as though federation was a nice idea at the time, but at heart we are Queenslanders, South Australians, Tasmanians and Victorians (shame!).

Invisible borders define whether the police will fine you $200 for not wearing a face mask (Victoria), or whether you can have 100 guests at your wedding but only the couple can have a first dance (Queensland), or if the royal show will go ahead this year with a 25% discount on tickets (Western Australia).

‘A nation divided’ is journalese, but it has a whiff of truth about it. This is the year we reverted to colonies again, the veneer of friendliness – “we are all Melburnians now” – masking the revenge of the far flung, put-upon states.
You want to roll your eyes at parochial Queensland and paranoid Western Australia? On Wednesday, Queensland had zero new cases and 10 cases under investigation. Total deaths from Covid-19: six. On Tuesday, Western Australia had zero patients in hospital with the virus and no new cases. Total deaths during the pandemic: nine.

Meanwhile, Victoria has more than a month to go on stage four restrictions, hundreds of cases a day, its aged care homes a rolling tragedy. On Wednesday, it reported 21 deaths in a single day and that 267 people had died in total. NSW recorded 18 new cases on Wednesday, with the state jittery and “on high alert”, the premier said.

We are one nation with hard borders, retreating to the comfort of tribes. Other states have border restrictions – Victoria doesn’t need to because no one can go anywhere – but Queensland and Western Australia have come under the most intense criticism, with disgruntlement from Canberra a few months ago, now subdued due to the “Victorian wave”, as Scott Morrison calls it.

Western Australia shut its border to all states and territories for all but essential travel on 5 April, and that might persist for “months and months and months”, says premier Mark McGowan.

Only Queensland renegade businessman Clive Palmer, furious at being denied entry, is challenging the border closures in the high court, arguing they are unconstitutional. The health risk from states such as Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania is negligible, but McGowan’s nod to the state’s secessionist streak is “staggeringly popular”, as one local journalist put it. The state election is next March.

Queensland has an election on 31 October, and the contest with the Liberal National party appears surprisingly tight, according to opinion polls, even though 81% of Queenslanders support Palaszczuk’s handling of the pandemic.

Palaszczuk swatted away NSW pressure in May for Queensland to open its border, saying she was “not going to be lectured to” by a state with the then highest number of coronavirus cases. It opened in July (although not for the hapless Victorians), then hardened again against “hotspots” this month, including almost all of NSW and the ACT.

We’re all in this together, like it or not
Perhaps this makes some kind of sense. The national cabinet process gave the state and territory leaders recognition and stature for their roles in running hospitals, schools and police. They are responsible for contact tracing and rules around staying at home.

Morrison has looked on askance at times, but the more local the state focus, the more popular the leaders appear to be. Even glum Victorians have a defiant pride, repeating to themselves that “we can do this” despite the swiping from across the borders.
Victorians do look on with envy, or at least longing. In June, premier Daniel Andrews scoffed at South Australia’s decision to loosen its borders except for Victorians: “Look I don’t want to be offensive to South Australians, but why would you want to go there?” he said. What a humiliation it seems now, with police and defence personnel preventing Victorians trying to sneak in.

Queensland is hosting 10 Victorian AFL teams and wants to host the grand final, which every Victorian knows belongs at the MCG. The Queensland AFL hub “will be worth millions to the Queensland economy,” says Palaszczuk, with her characteristic smile. Queensland sports stadiums can operate with 50% of crowd capacity.
Victorians can’t play sport, let alone have fans watching. What’s next? The states squabbling over the Australian Open tennis, the Melbourne Cup?

State rivalries are not new and can be entertaining. But “we are all in this together” seems a distant memory. Victoria’s economic malaise is likely to drag Australia’s economy down, too, whether you’re a Queenslander, from NSW, a Tasmanian, a South Australian, a Western Australian or a Territorian. Like it or not, we really are kind of all in this together. Yet the state bubbles seem so comforting now, and the borders at least something we can control.

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Australia’s state by state coronavirus lockdown rules and restrictions explained
Australians had been slowly emerging from Covid-19 lockdowns since the federal government announced a three-stage plan in May to ease restrictions across the country, but from 8 July the Melbourne metropolitan area and Mitchell shire immediately to the north returned to a stage three lockdown for six weeks.

After consistently high case numbers despite the lockdown, the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, announced further restrictions for the state. From 2 August, metropolitan Melbourne entered a six-week stage four lockdown, while a stage three lockdown took effect across regional Victoria and Mitchell shire from 6 August.
Here we try to answer some of the most common questions people have about the laws, based on the information current as of 10 August.

These answers should not be treated as legal advice. This article will be updated as new restrictions are announced, implemented, or repealed.

Here, you can find the official state and territory restriction guides for NSW, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT.

Victoria coronavirus outbreak: what are the rules and do they apply to me?
Melbourne entered stage four restrictions from 6pm on Sunday 2 August, a statewide mandatory mask policy took effect from midnight Sunday 2 August, and regional Victoria entered stage three restrictions from Thursday 6 August.

You can read all about the rules and recommendations around masks here.

Related: Australia's face mask advice: are reusable or washable masks best, and what are the rules?

You can read all about Melbourne stage 4 restrictions and coronavirus lockdown rules here.

You can read all about regional Victoria stage 3 coronavirus restrictions and lockdown rules here.

Details on restrictions in other states and territories can be found below.

How many people can I have over at my house?
New South Wales – On Sunday 19 July, the government issued advice asking people not to host, or go to, a gathering of more than 10 people at home. But the law in NSW currently allows 20 people from different households to visit. There is no limit to the number of guests you can have over per day, as long as there are no more than 20 at a time and guests can stay overnight.

Queensland – Up to 100 adults from different households are allowed to visit another home.

Tasmania – You can have up to 20 visitors over.

Western Australia – Since 27 June, you can have as many guests over as long as there is no more than one person per two square metres.

South Australia – From midnight 5 August, up to 10 people can visit your home (reduced from 50).

Northern Territory – There is no limit on how many people can gather indoors or outdoors, but you must keep 1.5 metres between you and anyone with whom you don’t live.

ACT – There is no limit on household visitors.

How many people can gather outside?
New South Wales – Currently public gatherings of up to 20 people are allowed. On 1 July community sport for children and adults returned, including contact sports. The Public Health Act says organisers must ensure that venues do not exceed the four square metre per person rule, up to a limit of 500 participants (which includes players, officials and spectators). Associations must also have a Covid 19-safety plan.

Queensland – Up to 100 people can gather in public spaces.

Tasmania – Up to 500 people are allowed in an undivided outdoor space.

Western Australia – There is no limit on the number of people allowed at public gatherings.

South Australia – There is no limit on the number of people allowed, as long as there is no more than one person per two square metres.

Northern Territory – There are no limits on gathering in the NT, but you should maintain physical distancing.

ACT – Up to 100 people can gather together outdoors.

Can I visit someone in an aged care facility?
Please note that in every state, all visitors must have received this year’s flu vaccination, unless they have a documented medical contraindication to receiving the vaccine. Visitors cannot enter an aged care facility if they have recently been overseas, been in recent contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19, or are feeling unwell.

New South Wales – NSW Health provides guidelines for residential aged care facilities. Residents should only have one daily visit with a maximum of two visitors (immediately family or close friends), no large group visits or gatherings, and all visits should be short and take place in the resident’s room, outdoors or a specified area (instead of a communal area).

Queensland – Visiting restrictions are in place for residential aged care facilities in six local government areas – including Brisbane City and Gold Coast City. Residents are not allowed any personal visitors, as well as other restrictions. In all other areas aged care residents can have up to two visitors at any one time. There is no limit on the number of visits allowed in a day or the length of each visit.

Tasmania – As of Monday 22 June, residents in aged care facilities can have multiple visits of two people, with no restrictions on the length of visits or the total number of visitors they receive in a day. Residents are permitted to go outside on trips, and hairdressers can be allowed in. Children under 16 are also allowed in. Additional visitors are allowed for the purpose of end of life support, or if needed to reduce distress and confusion given a residents’ medical condition.

Western Australia – Each resident in an aged care facility can have one care and support visit a day, with up to two visitors at a time. Only immediate social supports, like family members and close friends, professional help or advocacy services can attend.

South Australia – Residents can have one visit per day. Up to two people can visit them at the same time for the purpose of providing care and support. As of 20 June, children under the age of 16 years can visit, and aged care facilities can approve additional visits if this is appropriate or necessary.

Northern Territory – Residents can have up to two visitors at a time, and visits should be kept short. Children aged 16 years and under are not allowed to visit those in aged care facilities, except for special circumstances.

ACT – Residents can have one visit per day, of up to two people, for the purposes of providing care and support. Visits cannot last more than two hours. Those aged 16 years or younger can only visit on compassionate grounds for the purpose of visiting a resident at the end of life.

Can I eat at a restaurant, cafe or pub?
New South Wales – Yes, but from Friday, 17 July, new limits applied on how man people can be inside cafes, bistros and restaurants. Group bookings are limited to 10 people, with venues observing the four square metre per person rule up to a cap of 300 people at any one time. A dedicated marshal must oversee social distancing at all venues with a capacity greater than 250 at all times, while a marshal is only required during lunch and dinner peaks at hotels with a capacity less than 250. All diners must provide their name and contact details, including a phone number or email address, to allow for contact tracing. Food courts have reopened.

Queensland – Yes, restaurants, cafes, pubs, registered clubs, RSL clubs and hotels (with a Covid-Safe Checklist) can seat any number of patrons as long as the four square metres per person limit is observed. Venues with a floor space less than 200 square metres can have a maximum of 50 people, not exceeding a limit of one person for every two square metres.

Tasmania – Up to 250 are allowed in an undivided space, as long as there is no more than one person per two square metres. Up to 500 people are allowed in an undivided outdoor space, density requirements also permitting.

Western Australia – Yes, cafes and restaurants (including in pubs, bars, hotels, casinos, clubs) can open to up to seated diners, with one person per every two square metres. Venues are allowed to serve food and alcohol to non-seated patrons. There is no requirement for businesses to maintain a patron register.

South Australia – Yes, as of 29 June, restaurants, cafes, pubs, food courts, nightclubs and casinos can open, as well as standing hospitality venues. There is no limit on the number of people allowed, as long as there is no more than one person per two square metres. However, alcohol can only be served to seated patrons from 5 August. Communal food, like buffets and salad bars, are not permitted.

Northern Territory – Yes. All businesses are allowed to reopen as long as they have a Covid-19 plan. The two-hour limit has been lifted, meaning night clubs can reopen. You will be able to purchase alcohol from a bar. Licensed gaming activities, including TAB, will start again.

ACT – Yes, restaurants, cafes and other hospitality venues offering seated dining can host up to 100 patrons in each indoor or outdoor space, as long as there is one person per four square metres. This limit excludes staff. Bars, pubs, and clubs can serve alcohol in groups of up to 10 seated patrons, without a meal. From 10 July, food courts will be allowed to open to seated patrons.

How far can I travel on holiday within my state?
New South Wales – There are no limits on travelling within the state, including for a holiday. A number of caravan parks and camping grounds have reopened.

Queensland – You are allowed to travel anywhere in Queensland for recreational purposes, other than in certain designated remote communities. Camping and holiday accommodation sites, including caravan parks, are allowed to open.

Tasmania – There is no limit on where you can go within the state.

Western Australia – Residents are allowed to leave their homes for recreational activities including picnics, fishing, boating or camping. Recreational travel to most nearby regions is now allowed, except to some remote Aboriginal communities.

South Australia – There are no restrictions on travel within South Australia. Some Aboriginal communities across the state have chosen to close access to their townships and lands to non-essential outside visitors. Non-essential visitors to these communities have to quarantine for 14 days and be granted permission.

Northern Territory – There are no restrictions on travel within the Northern Territory.

ACT – There is no limit on where you can travel.

Can I visit another state?
New South Wales – Residents are allowed to leave NSW, and visitors don’t need to quarantine. From 7 July residents have not been allowed to travel to Victoria, due to the outbreaks in Melbourne. As of Friday 7 August, residents returning from Victoria will be required to go into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days. From Saturday 8 August, Queensland has closed its border to people from NSW or the ACT and anyone who attempts to enter will be turned away at the border. Residents can travel to Tasmania if they haven’t been in a designated hotspot, but they will be required to undertake government-supervised quarantine. Only those with exemptions can travel to Western Australia. Residents travelling to South Australia will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Those travelling to the Northern Territory who have been in a declared hotspot will be required to undertake government-supervised quarantine at a cost of $2,500 per person. The entire greater Sydney region is now classified as a hotspot.

Queensland – Since 10 July, anyone can enter Queensland unless they have been in a Covid-19 hotspot in the previous 14 days, in which case they will be refused entry. This includes anyone who has visited any part of Victoria, , NSW and the ACT. Residents travelling to Tasmania will be required to self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive in the state and people from Queensland can’t travel to WA unless they have an exemption.

Tasmania – From 7 August visitors from South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia may enter without going into quarantine, but they must apply first and declare that they have not been in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland or the ACT in the preceding 14 days. Travellers from the “safety bubble” states will have to undergo a mandatory health check upon arrival, and anyone with coronavirus symptoms will have to take a mandatory test, and remain in hotel or home quarantine until the results are received. All travellers from the other states, including returning residents, must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Non-Tasmanian residents must carry out their quarantine in government-provided accommodation.

Western Australia – You cannot enter Western Australia unless you are granted an exemption on application. On Sunday, 20 July, the WA government tightened the rules around exemptions for anyone who has travelled from, or through, NSW or Victoria. There is no date for when the interstate border will reopen.

South Australia – People from Queensland, WA, the NT and Tasmania can enter South Australia without having to quarantine for 14 days. The South Australian government has not set a date to welcome visitors from other states. South Australian residents will not be allowed to return to their state from Victoria unless they are essential travellers. As of 28 July, this restriction was hardened, removing the ability for a resident to return from Victoria and quarantine for 14 days. From 21 August, people who live close to the border who come and go for school, work or for shopping will no longer be allowed into South Australia unless they can comply with essential traveller requirements.

Northern Territory – You can enter the Northern Territory provided you fill out a border entry form up to 72 hours from entering and present your application upon entry. You will be required to legally declare you have not been in an area the state considers a Covid-19 hotspot in the past 28 days. Penalties of up to $5,000 fines and up to three years in prison apply for providing misleading information on this border entry form.

However travellers from hotspots – including Victoria, Greater Sydney and Port Stephens in NSW – cannot enter the NT freely. They will have to complete 14 days of mandatory self-quarantine, at their own expense, which is $2,500 per person. Residents returning to the NT from these hotspots will be made to undergo the same quarantine.

ACT – People who are not ACT residents may not enter the ACT from Victoria, unless they hold an exemption. ACT residenets are required to enter quarantine until 14 days after leaving Victoria.

How many people can attend a wedding or funeral?
New South Wales – From 24 July weddings and corporate events are limited to 150 people, subject to the four square metre rule. Funerals and places of worship are limited to 100 people. People attending weddings and corporate events must remain seated. “No dancing, no singing, no mingling,” the premier Gladys Berejiklian has said.However, when it comes to funerals, places of public worship, funeral homes, or crematoriums can have up to 50 attendees, ignoring the four square metre rule, provided non-household contacts can maintain 1.5 metres of physical distance. Those attending will have to provide their name and contact details for contact tracing, if necessary.

Queensland – No more than 100 people are allowed to attend weddings and funerals.

Tasmania – Up to 250 people can gather in an undivided indoor space, and up to 500 people can gather in an undivided outdoor space. In both cases, the number of people present must also not exceed one person per two square metres.

Western Australia – There is no limit on the number of people who can gather together, as long as there is no more than one person per two square metres.

South Australia – Weddings can have up to 75 attendees, not including the celebrant, venue staff or any other person required to facilitate the wedding. Up to 75 can also attend a funeral. This excludes those officiating the funeral or any staff required to carry out the funeral. If the ceremony involves food or drinks, no shared utensils can be used. Social distancing must be observed.

Northern Territory – There is no limit on the number of attendees.

ACT – Up to 100 guests can attend weddings or funerals, as long as there is no more than one person per four square metres. Under stage three rules, expected to be introduced in July, attendance limits will require four square metres per person.

Can I go to church?
New South Wales – The number of people in a public place of worship must not exceed 100, and the four square metre physical distancing rule must be observed. The state’s chief health officer has urged congregations to reconsider activities that might spread the virus-like group singing and passing round of collection baskets.

Queensland – Yes, up to 100 people can visit a place of worship or attend a religious ceremony.

Tasmania – Yes, up to 250 people can gather in an undivided indoor space, as long as there are two square metres per person.

Western Australia – Yes, attendance is limited only by the two square metre rule.

South Australia – Yes, attendance is limited only by the two square metre rule.

Northern Territory – Yes, but you can only be there for less than two hours. There is no limit on how many people can attend a place of worship at the same time.

ACT – Up to 100 people, the four square metre rule permitting, can attend religious ceremonies and places of worship, not counting those conducting the ceremony.

Are schools back in session?
New South Wales – Yes, all students went back to school full-time on Monday 25 May.

Queensland – Yes, all students are back at school as of Monday 25 May.

Tasmania – Yes, as of 9 June, all students have returned to the classroom.

Western Australia – Yes, all students returned on 18 May. Parents and visitors are also now allowed on school grounds. Events and activities such as assemblies, excursions, choirs, exams, sports training and swimming classes can resume, in line with distancing requirements. School libraries can also open for up to 100 people in a shared space at a time. From 27 June, all gathering limits, including the 100/300 rule, will be removed.

South Australia – Yes, they reopened for term 2.

Northern Territory – Yes, since 20 April all NT students have been expected to physically attend school.

ACT – Yes, all students have returned to school as of 2 June.

Can I shop for clothes and other ‘non-essential’ items?
New South Wales – Yes.

Queensland – Yes, retail shopping for non-essential items is back on.

Tasmania – Yes, you are allowed to leave your home to use businesses or services that are allowed to operate, which includes retail stores.

Western Australia – Yes.

South Australia – Yes.

Northern Territory – Yes.

ACT – Yes.

Are salons, spas and other beauty services open?
New South Wales – Hairdressers, barbers, as well as nail waxing, tanning and beauty salons, and tattoo and massage parlours can open, but must allow four square metres per person within the premises and should minimise personal contact with the customer.

Queensland – Yes, beauty therapy and nail salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlours, spas, and non-therapeutic massage parlours (with a Covid-Safe checklist) can open to up to 100 people on site.

Tasmania – Yes, hairdressers and barbers can open. Beauty services and day spas can reopen withno cap on the number of people allowed inside, as long as there is one person per four square metres. Saunas and bathhouses will be allowed to open from 13 July.

Western Australia – Yes, all beauty services, including nail, tanning and waxing salons, as well as saunas, bath houses, wellness centres, float centres, spas and massage centres may reopen, for up to one person per two square metres.

South Australia – Yes, hairdressers and barbers, along with beauty salons, nail and tattoo parlours, non-therapeutic massage providers, spas, saunas and bathing can open, as long as the total number of people on site doesn’t exceed one person per two square metres.

Northern Territory – Yes, hairdressers, and nail, massage and tanning salons, tattoo and piercing parlours and any other beauty services can open.

ACT – Yes, hairdressers and barbers are allowed. Beauty therapy businesses, including nail salons, tanning and waxing services, day spas, including massage parlous and tattoo businesses are allowed to reopen to up to 100 people, but cannot exceed one person per four square metres, including staff. They must keep a record of customers to enable contact tracing, if needed.

What about cinemas, entertainment venues, museums and libraries?
New South Wales - Museums, galleries and libraries, National Trust and Historic Houses Trust properties are allowed to reopen to guests, as long as four square metres is allowed per person and they have a Covid-19 safety plan. For venues with 40,000 seats or less, attendance to a ticketed event with allocated seating must not exceed 25% of capacity. The total number of people in a major recreational facility hosting a non-ticketed or non-seated event must not exceed one person per four square metres (excluding staff), to a maximum of 500 people. Alcohol can only be served to seated patrons.

Queensland – Libraries, museums, art galleries, historic sites, indoor cinemas, concert venues, theatres, arenas, auditoriums, stadiums, nightclubs, outdoor amusement parks, zoos and arcades are allowed to host up to 100 people at a time on site.

Tasmania – Up to 250 people can attend each undivided space in indoor recreational facilities, such as libraries, arcades, play centres, cinemas, museums, national institutions, historic sites, and galleries, the two square metre rule permitting. Up to 500 people are also allowed per undivided outdoor space.

Western Australia – Community facilities, libraries, galleries, museums, theatres, auditoriums, cinemas, and concert venues can all reopen, along with Perth Zoo, wildlife and amusement parks, arcades, skate rinks and indoor play centres. All venues can have as many people, as long as there is one person per two square metres. The two square metre rule only includes staff if the venue holds more than 500 patrons. There is a 50% capacity cap on major sport and entertainment venues, such as the Optus Stadium, HBF Park and RAC Arena. All events are allowed, except for large scale, multi-stage music festivals. Unseated performances can go ahead at concert halls, live music venues, bars, pubs and nightclubs, and the casino gaming floor will be allowed to reopen under temporary restrictions.

South Australia – Libraries, community and youth centres, cinemas, theatres, galleries and museums can have one patron per two square metres. Indoor play centres, arcades and amusement parks are also allowed to open. Swimming in public pools is allowed.

Northern Territory – Public libraries, art galleries, museums, zoos, cinemas and theatres, music halls, nightclubs, amusement parks, community centres, stadiums, sporting facility and similar entertainment venues can open.

ACT – Up to 100 people are allowed at cinemas and movie theatres, indoor amusement centres, arcades, outdoor and indoor play centres, betting agencies, outdoor amusements and attractions, community and youth centres, galleries, museums, national institutions, libraries historic sites and zoos. There can only be one person per four square metres throughout the venue. Organised tour groups of up to 20 people (excluding staff) will be permitted, as long as they run for less than two hours. Audiences must remain seated at live performances.

Can I go to the gym? What else can I do for exercise?
New South Wales – Yes, gyms, fitness centres, and studios (like dance studios) are allowed to open for up to 20 people per class. The total number of people in a facility must not exceed one person per four square metres, excluding staff. Indoor pools and saunas will also be allowed to reopen to up to 20 people. Community sporting competitions and training can go ahead as long as the number in a facility does not exceed one person per four square metres, excluding staff, to a maximum of 500 people. You can use outdoor gym equipment in public places, with caution, and engage in recreational activities like fishing, hunting and boating.

Queensland – Yes, gyms, health clubs, yoga studios and community sports clubs can open to up to 100 people at a time. Up to 100 people can gather outside, play non-contact sport, and participate in outdoor group training and bot camps. Parks, playgrounds, skateparks and pools are open to up to 100 people at a time.

Tasmania – Yes, up to 250 people are allowed in an undivided indoor venue, as long as there are two square metres per person. A multi-purpose Outdoor gathering limits have increased to 500. Full contact training and full competition sport (contact and non-contact) is allowed, as is the sharing of equipment, change rooms and other facilities.

Western Australia – Gyms, health clubs, and indoor sports centres can reopen for up to one person per two square metres. Gyms can operate unstaffed but must undergo regular cleaning. Contact sport and training can also recommence, and playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment and skate parks can be used.

South Australia – Yes, gyms and indoor fitness classes can operate, subject to the one person per two square metres rule. Outdoor and indoor training and competitions for non-contact is allowed, as is the use of golf courses, tennis courts and public gym equipment.

Northern Territory – Yes. Gyms, fitness studios, and indoor training activities like Cross Fit are allowed to operate. You can also officiate, participate and support team sports, like football, basketball, soccer and netball.

ACT – Yes. Indoor gyms and fitness centres are allowed to reopen to up to 100 people in any enclosed space, as long as there is only one person per four square metres. Patrons are allowed to take part in circuit training, individual weight training, and use gym equipment. That includes yoga, barre, pilates, and spin facilities, boot camps, personal training, swimming pools, organised sport activities, and dance classes. Up to 20 people can take part in outdoor bootcamps and other non-contact training or sport. Full contact training for sport, dance and martial arts, as well as circuit training, is allowed. Communal facilities, such as change rooms, can reopen if a risk assessment has been done and a strict cleaning regime has been put in place.

Who decides if I am breaking the new laws?
Generally, enforcement will be left up to the discretion of police officers.

States have expressed different approaches, for example, the ACT says it will be issuing a warning in the first instance, while Victoria has adopted a more hardline attitude to those break social distancing rules.

NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller said he would personally review all physical-distancing fines issued in the state.
“If I think it’s unreasonable, it will be withdrawn immediately and we’ll make personal contact with the individual,” he said.

What are my options for challenging a fine?
Not all states have specified this, however, it appears these fines can be appealed using the same process as other fines issued by police.

Information on how to lodge an appeal should be available on your state or territory’s government website.

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


ANARCHISTS & COVIDIOTS ARE A NATIONAL ISSUE AND AN INTERNATIONAL PROBLEM WHO SOCIAL MEDIA NEED TO SHUT DOWN.

THE RISE OF 'SOVEREIGN PEOPLE' AND WHY THEY ARGUE LAWS DON'T APPLY TO THEM
Sovereign people have claimed that Australian laws do not apply to them and argue in some circumstances that they do not have to pay taxes. But experts say their claims hold no legal basis.
In recent weeks, social media has been littered with videos of people breaching COVID-19 restrictions.

First, there was Eve Black, the woman who filmed herself laughing as she drove through a police checkpoint.

Then there was ‘Bunnings Karen’, who said it was her right as a “living woman” not to wear a face mask.


And there’s since been countless others who’ve shared videos berating essential workers and arguing with police.

Victoria's Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton claims officers are seeing an increasing trend of so-called ‘sovereign citizens’.
He said they’ve been encountered at “checkpoints baiting police” and “claiming they do not have to provide their name and address.”
“On at least three or four occasions in the past week, we’ve had to smash the windows of cars and pull them out of there so they could provide their details,” he said in a press conference earlier this month.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also weighed in on the issue, telling sovereign citizens to “get real” and comply with the country’s health guidelines.

So who are ‘sovereign people’ and what do they believe?
Dr Harry Hobbs is a Law Lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney. He said that sovereign citizens often reject the former term, referring to themselves as living people or sovereign people.
“They think that the government of Australia is illegitimate, and all the laws passed by Parliament are illegitimate,” Hobbs told The Feed.
“That's because the government is, in their view, a corporation, and they are natural persons or living people,” he said.

Sovereign people attempt to opt-out of the law by using certain phrases like ‘I don’t consent’ and by referencing certain documents like the Magna Carta, according to Hobbs.
But he said there is no legal basis “whatsoever” for their claims.
“The Magna Carta was signed in 1215 between the Dukes and King John, you know, it has nothing to do with laws in Australia today,” Hobbs said.
“If you are a resident in Australia, you must abide by Australian law. There's no way that you can opt out of Australian law by declaring yourself to be a sovereign citizen,” he added.
“No court in Australia, no court in the US, Canada, anywhere that I've seen, has ever accepted the legal arguments raised by sovereign citizens.”

Canadian Jacquie Phoenix is a sovereign person and single mother, who helps manage an Australian Facebook group on the topic of 'lawful' dissent.
She told The Feed she had been extremely disillusioned with the Canadian government when she stumbled across a Facebook group discussing sovereign people.
Phoenix -- who lives in Canada -- claims she swore sovereignty more than a year ago under Article 61 of the Magna Carta and now encourages others on Facebook to do the same.
But she does not define herself as a sovereign citizen, and said there’s a big distinction between sovereign citizens and those who stand under Article 61 of the Magna Carta.
Phoenix said she only pays taxes under duress and has not renewed her license as she has an inherent “right” to travel.
“When I'm stopped [by police], I just grab my video camera and recite the constitutional caution card and let them know that if they ask anything against me, they will be committing a crime,” she said.
“I've got my phone at the ready with my data. I've got Article 61 stickers on my vehicle. I've got my ‘right to travel’ stickers on my vehicle, I carry my oath with me. I carry my constitutional caution card with me,” she told The Feed.
Phoenix believes the Australian government, courts and law enforcement are all corporations and it’s “unlawful to pay taxes, fines or fees while under a treasonous regime”.
She said when she first started reaching out to Australians, she had a “lot of resistance” but the “Australian numbers have grown by leaps and bounds over the last few months”. There are now more than 5,000 members in the Australian Facebook group she helps manage.
“Sovereignty is what gives the people the power. We are self-governing. Parliament is treasonously trying to claim sovereignty,” she said.
“Article 61 [of the Magna Carta] applies to all Commonwealth countries as well as former Commonwealth countries. We all need to work together as a Commonwealth people if we are to stop the treasonous regime.”
Phoenix told The Feed that she also believes birth certificates register humans as corporations and birth bonds are “traded on the stock market”.
“That's why your last name is in all caps letters on your birth certificate,” she said.
But despite not willingly paying tax, Phoenix claims she’s entitled to access government services like public health care, transport, education and other benefits.
She said that’s because she follows ‘Common Law’, which dictates she has to “keep the peace, cause no harm, cause no loss and commit no fraud”.

Are sovereign people linked to the far-right?
Jordan McSwiney is an expert in far-right groups and a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney.
He said while in the US, the sovereign citizen movement has links to militias, in Australia, they are generally non-violent.
He told The Feed that the sovereign people movement developed out of the anti-semitic Posse Comitatus, a precursor to the US Patriot movement in the 1970s, though most sovereigns are unaware of its origins.
“They believed Jews took control of the government through financial institutions,” he said.
“While sovereign citizens aren’t a concrete organisation and their beliefs differ, the movement has long roots in the US Patriot movement and often overlaps with far-right conspiracies like Pizzagate and QAnon.”

One of the most famous sovereign citizens was Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols, who executed an attack on a federal office building that killed 168 people.
It was later revealed that Nichols had filed dozens of frivolous lawsuits against the government in the years leading up to the attack.
While in May 2010, a father and son, who are believed to have identified as sovereign, shot two police officers dead when they were pulled over in West Memphis.

McSwiney said sovereign people are increasing in number due to the failure of social media networks to crack down on misinformation.
“Previously it was pretty difficult to access this stuff but in the context of COVID, it’s circulating and proliferating,” he said.
“There’s no legal basis to break the law”

Hobbs reiterated that while sovereign citizens often seem confident and resolute in their beliefs, they are not entitled to break the law.
“If you're working somewhere and someone comes into your office or to your business and says ‘I don't have to put a mask on because I'm a sovereign citizen, I'm a living person, I'm a natural person’, be reassured in the knowledge that's not true,” he said.
“They do need to wear a mask. And so you have the authority to tell them to put on a mask or not let them in your store.”

<< IE THEY ARE ANARCHISTS FOR VERY SELFISH REASONS , NO ONE BENEFITS OTHER THAN THAN THEY THEMSELVES IF THEY GET AWAY WITH THEIR PUBLICITY STUNTS >>
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/th ... ly-to-them
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 » Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:43 am

13 AUGUST NZ

New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, in level three lockdown after new coronavirus cases
The streets of Auckland have been mostly deserted after New Zealand's largest city was plunged back into lockdown following the country's first coronavirus case in more than 100 days.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's late-night announcement on Tuesday meant residents had less than 15 hours to prepare for level three restrictions that will last for at least three days.

Auckland resident Louise Young told the ABC the streets were very busy in the morning as people tried to complete errands or leave the city before the midday deadline.
"People are panic buying again, even though it's only three days," she said.
"What amazed me is that everybody went down [to the city centre] and did everything they had to do before 12:00pm.
"But by 12:30pm, you can just walk around anywhere on the road, everyone had gone home."

The pandemic has dramatically impacted Ms Young's work as a tour guide in Auckland, but she still welcomed the new safety measures.
"We learnt a lot from the first lockdown … it's for the health of the people," she said.

Long queues for COVID-19 tests
Ms Ardern announced the restrictions were a "precautionary approach" after four people from the same family tested positive for the virus in South Auckland, while level two restrictions have been imposed in the rest of the country.

Employees and students in Auckland have been forced back home, while bars and restaurants are closed and gatherings of more than 10 people have been banned.
Overnight, Auckland residents went from planning holidays and catching up with friends, to seeing long queues form at checkouts and testing centres.

Aged care facilities in Auckland have closed to everyone but staff and essential deliveries. Masks will be mandatory on flights out of the city while wearing them is recommended when social distancing is not possible.

Businesses will also soon be required to display QR codes so customers can check-in using the country's contact tracing mobile application.

Zacharia Najoan, who works in logistics at Auckland Hospital, told the ABC that he, and many others he's spoken to, were concerned about the extent of the spread."What really stood out was the number of people who took the COVID-19 test. The queues were fairly long, some people had to wait for an hour or two," he said.

But Mr Najoan said, "we've been here before" and many people were "well-prepared" of what's to come.
"I think [the lockdown] is for the safety of all New Zealand residents so we can be free again like we were a couple of days ago; where it didn't even feel like we're in a [global pandemic], we didn't have to wear a mask or social distance, and most people were able to make local holiday plans," he said.

'Oh, here we are again'
Auckland resident Carissa Paramita told the ABC the lockdown was "kind of expected", but fears it might last longer than three days as New Zealand health officials said the cause of the new cases was still unknown.

New Zealand's Director-General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield, also said the four new cases visited three locations in Rotorua, a city on the country's North Island popular with tourists, between August 8 and 11, where Ms Paramita had visited.
"I was shocked because I actually heard the news incorrectly. Luckily, they were in Rotorua last weekend, not the weekend prior when we were there," she said.

Ms Paramita said she has mixed feelings about the current lockdown.

She now has to attend her weekly class at the University of Auckland online again, and her work overseeing public transport and traffic management for a Super Rugby match over the weekend, a sell-out crowd of 43,000, is likely to not go ahead.
"It feels familiar but at the same time, it feels like 'Oh, here we are again'," she said.
"We're lucky we still have our jobs and can both work from home, but at the same time, we remember how hard it was to juggle work and deal with a two-year-old at home.
"But it's also a good opportunity to toilet train."

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

New Zealand records 14 new cases of coronavirus
New Zealand has recorded 14 new cases of coronavirus, all but one linked to four members of an Auckland family who tested positive this week.
1 of the new cases was a returned traveller from the Philippines.
3 workers at two Americold refrigerated warehouse facilities in Auckland, 1 at Mount Wellington and another at the city's airport, have confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Another 7 family members of the first 4 cases have also been infected.
NZ records new case of COVID-19 as authorities race to identify 'patient zero'
A student at Mt Albert Grammar School is a relative of the previously announced cases, but New Zealand Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said that child was not symptomatic while they were at school.
He said the student has also not returned to school since they were tested.
New Zealand has recorded a new case of COVID-19 after a student attending Mount Albert Grammar School in New Zealand tested positive to the virus.

The new coronavirus victim was a close contact of the four initial cases within the one family from South Auckland.

Health Officials said the student posed a low risk for passing on the infection because they were not symptomatic when they attended school.

New Zealand authorities have not yet identified 'patient zero' of the latest outbreak.

COVID-19 potentially imported into NZ via refrigerated goods
The first cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand in more than 100 days could be a result of refrigerated goods.
1 of the positive cases was a man who worked at the Americold cold storage company in Mt Wellington.
The Auckland cluster increased to 5yesterday after a woman in her 50s - who flew into the country from Pakistan via Dubai - tested positive.

<< THERE ARE NO KNOWN INSTANCES OF COVID19 ON FROZEN OR CHILL FOODS OR IT’S PACKAGING CAUSING ANY CLUSTERS OF ACTIVE CASES OF COVID19 , DESPITE REPORTS IT’S BEEN DETECTED IN VERY LOW LEVELS ON SOME PACKAGING AND FRESH CHILLED OR FROZEN FOODS , SEE CHINESE REPORT >>
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
Could New Zealand's new mystery coronavirus cases have been imported by freight?
New Zealand officials are investigating the possibility that its first COVID-19 cases in more than three months were imported by freight, as the country plunged back into lockdown on Wednesday.

The discovery of four infected family members in Auckland led Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to swiftly reimpose tight restrictions on movement in New Zealand’s biggest city and travel limitations across the entire country.

The source of the outbreak has baffled health officials, who said they were confident there was no local transmission of the virus in New Zealand for 102 days and that the family had not travelled overseas.

“We are working hard to put together pieces of the puzzle on how this family got infected,” said Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield.

Investigations were zeroing in on the potential the virus was imported by freight.
Dr Bloomfield said surface testing was underway in an Auckland cool store where a man from the infected family worked.

“We are very confident we didn’t have any community transmission for a very long period,” Dr Bloomfield said during a televised media conference. “We know the virus can survive within refrigerated environments for quite some time.”

China has reported instances of the coronavirus being detected on the packaging of imported frozen seafood.

On Tuesday, the city government of Yantai, a port city in eastern Shandong province, said it had found the virus on the packaging of frozen seafood that had arrived from the port city of Dalian, which recently battled a surge of cases.

Officials said the seafood was from an imported shipment that landed at Dalian, but did not say where it originated.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/could-new-z ... by-freight

However, the Director General of Health said he believed it was unlikely the virus was imported into the country via refrigerated freight.
More than 200 close contacts of an infected family of four are being tested. Authorities continue to investigate the source of the new cluster.


After the government plunged Aukland into stage three lockdown in response to the hotspot discovery, the political opposition called for the election - which is currently scheduled for September 19 - to be delayed.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there was not enough information at present to make an informed decision.

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

A Finance Now employee from the Dominion Rd branch and two of their close contacts were also among those who have tested positive for the virus overnight.

Dr Bloomfield said there were now 36 active cases in the country.

Richard Winnall, Americold's Australia and New Zealand managing director, said the company's positive cases worked alongside a man in his 50s who had already tested positive to the virus.
He also told the ABC there had been two positive cases of COVID-19 at Americold's Melbourne plant in Laverton North in recent weeks.
However, he was adamant there could be no link between cases at the two facilities, as the Melbourne warehouse does not ship freight to the company's Auckland plant.
He said the Auckland facility receives imported goods from 15 countries, including Australia, China and the United States.

Auckland is currently in stage 3 lockdown after the first cases of community transmission in the country in more than 100 days.

On Wednesday, authorities confirmed a woman in her 50s, who had travelled from Islamabad to New Zealand via Dubai, had also tested positive.
She arrived in the country on August 7 and was in managed isolation at the Novotel Ellerslie in Auckland.
The woman tested positive around day three of her stay and has now been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.
There is no-one in New Zealand receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19.

The infections have prompted The political opposition called for the election - which is currently scheduled for September 19 - to be delayed.

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

New Zealand PM says Covid-19 outbreak will 'get worse' as Auckland cluster grows
Covid-19 may have been circulating in New Zealand’s biggest city for weeks, the country’s top health official has said, as 13 new community cases were confirmed – all linked to the four cases announced on Tuesday.

The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said the growing cluster in Auckland, now totalling 17, “would get worse before it gets better” in the city of more than 1.4 million people.

New Zealanders have been shocked by the return of the virus after 102 days without community transmission, having become renowned around the world for its successful Covid-19 elimination strategy.
“Once again we are reminded of how tricky this virus is and how easily it can spread,” Ardern said. “Going hard and early is still the best course of action.”

The prospect of a long level 3 lockdown in the city is becoming ever more likely. A decision is expected on Friday. Auckland is nearing the end of a three-day level 3 lockdown in which people are advised to stay at home unless they need to travel for work, or they are shopping or exercising. All schools and childcare centres, and non-essential businesses have closed.

Thirty-six cases are now active in the country, including those in managed quarantine facilities. One of the new cases announced on Thursday was at the Mount Albert grammar school in Auckland, and was confirmed to be a relative of someone in the initial outbreak. The infected student attended class on Monday, and local health authorities said they were contacting and isolating around 100 close contacts they had while at school.
“As we all learnt from our first experience with Covid, once you identify a cluster, it grows before it slows. We should expect that to be the case here,” Ardern told a media briefing in Wellington. “We can see the seriousness of the situation we are in. It’s being dealt with in an urgent but calm and methodical way.”

Dr Ashley Bloomfield, the director-general of health, said all active cases would now be required to enter government-managed quarantine, in a departure from a previous policy which had allowed infected people to self-isolate at home, or be admitted to hospital if they were severely ill.

Bloomfield said despite people’s best intentions many were visited by friends and family when they fell ill, and placing infected people in mandatory quarantine was the country’s best bet at containing the spread. He admitted some Covid-19 patients had resisted the new measure.

Bloomfield said isolation and testing of any close or casual contacts to positive cases was the primary response to the outbreak, as was tracing the original source, which remained elusive a day after New Zealand’s largest city entered level 3 lockdown.

Genome sequencing was “well underway” on the original four cases, to trace the train of transmission, but Bloomfield confirmed the virus may have been circulating in Auckland for several weeks as the original case started displaying symptoms as early as 31 July.

“We will find the source, I have no doubt about that.” Bloomfield said.

One of the infected people worked in an Auckland cool store, and it was being explored whether the virus entered the country on imported freight, though Bloomfield stressed this scenario was “very unlikely”. The cool store had been swabbed to rule it out as a source of infection.

Related: 'We did the right thing': sadness and uncertainty in Auckland as Covid returns

New Zealand health officials say it’s only a matter of time before they solve the mystery outbreak which has plunged the city into lockdown for three days, while the rest of the country has had its alert level raised from 1 to 2.

Experts agree that until the original source of the virus is identified, Auckland’s lockdown would likely be extended past the midnight Friday deadline.

A protest against lockdown measures was held in the Northland city of Whangarei on Thursday, but police said they encountered little resistance to the measures in Auckland itself.

The contact tracing, isolation and testing process has been identified as crucial in New Zealand which, unlike other countries, has pursued an elimination strategy of the virus.

It proved successful back in autumn when a 51-day lockdown eradicated the virus from the community and allowed Kiwis to return to their normal lives, aside from strict border controls.

The outbreak has also returned New Zealanders to a lockdown tradition; waiting for Ardern’s daily 1pm press conference to learn the numbers of new cases.

When the cabinet meets on Friday it must also consider whether to postpone a national election slated for 19 September.

The finance minister, Grant Robertson, said the government would also look at further economic assistance for affected individuals and businesses as needed.

On Thursday morning, lines at testing facilities began before dawn, with waits expected to be up to six hours in some cases. Panic buying of basic food-stuffs continued, and supermarkets have now issued buying limits on some items.

The police commissioner, Andrew Coster, said most Aucklanders were complying well with the lockdown rules, though some had tried to flee the city for holiday homes on the coast

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

NZ's 2Nd Covid19 lockdown will cost the country $440million a WEEK
New Zealand's latest lockdown is set to cost the economy $440million a week but that figure could grow if the outbreak worsens, economists have warned.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the drastic move to force New Zealand back into lockdown on Wednesday after four new COVID-19 cases emerged.

The shutdown is expected to last until midnight Friday but the number of cases are continuing to rise, sparking fears the nation could be hit by a second wave.

There have been 13 new cases detected in the past 24 hours, all of which have links back to a storage facility believed to be at the heart of the outbreak.

Economists are now predicting the lockdown could continue for weeks, with the government expected to take a cautious approach.

Modelling from the ASB economics team shows the cost of the lockdown would spiral if the measures have to be increased.

If the entire country is plunged back into Level Four lockdown - the most severe response - about $1.6billion will be wiped from the economy each week, modelling shows.

Economists predict about 28 % of Auckland's workforce - roughly 250,00 jobs - cannot operate under Level Three.
'Our estimates suggest a modest impact on New Zealand's GDP, but this could easily grow,' ASB senior economist Mark Smith told the New Zealand Herald.
'The more severe and long-lasting the outbreak, and the more difficult to contain it, the larger the subsequent economic disruption and likely cost.'

Ms Ardern used a staggered approach to the lockdown this time around, placing Auckland under Stage Three lockdown for 72 hours and the rest of the country under Stage Two restrictions.

But given Auckland's significant economic weight, the economy will still take a hit, Mr Smith said.

Auckland has the country's largest population, accounts for about 38 per cent of the country's GDP and about 33 per cent of employment.

As a result the current lockdown is expected to wipe $439million a week from the economy, but if the outbreak escalates and Auckland must be placed under Level Four restrictions the cost jumps to $712million.
During the first lockdown in March, which was one of the harshest in the world and lasted 51 days, spending plunged and unemployment rose.

But the economy was showing signs of recovery.

New Zealanders had spent two month enjoying the return of their usual freedoms when Ms Adern reintroduced the extreme measures after after four after new four COVID-19 cases emerged.

How the lockdown will impact New Zealand's economy:
Auckland under Level Three/New Zealand under Level Two: $439million a week
Auckland under Level Four/New Zealand under Level Three: $712million a week
Nationwide Level Two: $166million a week
Nationwide Level Three: $885million a week
Nationwide Level Four: $1.6billion a week

Since then, another four probable cases - and one confirmed in a high school student - have been found.

Three more staff members at the facility also tested positive for the virus on Thursday, taking the workplace cluster to four.

Health experts are still trying to figure out the cluster began after 102 days without a single case of community transmission.

They are using genome sequencing - looking at the genetic material, or DNA, of an organism - to track the source of the infection.

The government has been scrambling to control the outbreak, they are rushing to test about 50,000 people by the end of the week to stop the virus from spreading further throughout the community.

All aged care facilities will close their doors to everyone but staff from Wednesday to keep those residents safe.
'This is tough for people, but it's necessary. We need to protect the most vulnerable,' Ms Ardern said.

Ms Ardern also urged residents in Auckland to wear a mask or face covering when out in public.
'If you are in Auckland, please cover your face if you leave home - masks or a bandanna is fine,' she said.

The new outbreak has baffled authorities who were certain the country had eliminated the virus.

The Prime Minister announced during a press conference on Wednesday morning that the main weapon in her government's response would be testing.
'We are taking a rapid response to break the chain of transmission through contact tracing, testing and the gathering of information,' she told reporters.

Dr Bloomfield said action needed to be swift to avoid a horror second outbreak being witnessed in other countries around the world.
'So, we have seen in other countries, and jurisdictions, like in Victoria, in Hong Kong and in Vietnam, where a resurgence occurs that it is incredibly important to act early.'
New Zealand records first cases of community transmission of COVID-19 for 102 days
THE CASES
* 4 members of a south Auckland family have tested positive to COVID-19.
* The 'index case' is a person in their 50s who has been symptomatic for five days and has no overseas travel history.
* 6 family members received a rapid test on Tuesday evening; three tests came back positive and three are negative.
* A student at Auckland's Mount Albert Grammar School has tested positive for COVID-19.
* Health authorities are awaiting the test results for another 4 'probable' cases of coronavirus - 3 adults and a teenager - linked to a family cluster.
* Health officials are moving to isolate and test contacts of the family, including two Auckland workplaces.

THE RESPONSE
* Auckland returns to a 'level three' lockdown from noon on Wednesday until midnight on Friday. Aucklanders are being asked to stay home except for essential work or essential needs.
* The rest of New Zealand returns to 'level two' for the same timeframe, with caps on gatherings and the return of social distancing.
* These measures have been enacted to buy health officials time time to test and isolate contacts, and to locate the source of the outbreak.
* Every worker at NZ's border regime and managed isolation facility will also be tested in the next few days.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/ja ... 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
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 » Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:01 am

14 AUGUST

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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 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:47 am

14 AUGUST VIC

Victoria's coronavirus rollercoaster continues as state records 372 cases and 14 deaths
Community transmission of coronavirus needs to be driven down to the "lowest possible level" before restrictions can be lifted in Victoria, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says.

The state today recorded 372 new coronavirus cases and 14 deaths, including a man in his 20s — Australia's youngest person to die with the disease.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the other people who died were three women and two men in their 80s, and four women and four men in their 90s.

Mr Andrews said 12 of the 14 deaths were connected to aged care outbreaks. The figures come just one day after the state recorded its lowest single-day increase in cases in more than three weeks and lowest death toll in a week.

But in a promising sign, Professor Sutton said today he was confident Victoria had passed the peak in community transmission numbers.
"Today's a bigger number than yesterday, and we don't know what tomorrow will necessarily bring, but the trend is definitely downwards," he said.
"The five-day trend, the seven-day trend, indicates the peak was probably four or five days ago and we'll continue to see lower numbers overall as the trend from here on in."

The Chief Health Officer said while numbers were heading down, it was not conceivable for the state to open up while still recording hundreds of cases per day.
"We really need to drive numbers down to the lowest possible level, including zero, to give us the greatest confidence that we can ease restrictions and not see an upsurge that would have us heading back to restrictions again," he said.
"We have to get to a point where it's entirely manageable, if not completely snuffed out."

No further details on the man in his 20s were made available at today's coronavirus press conference, but the Premier said the coroner "might" investigate the death.
The Premier said there were now a total of 3,119 "mystery" cases with an unknown source in Victoria, an increase of 51 from Thursday.

Mr Andrews said authorities "remain concerned" about coronavirus cases in Geelong, Greater Bendigo and Ballarat, which have 167, 56 and 25 infections respectively.

The Government announced yesterday that testing capacity in those three regional cities would be boosted.

Melbourne approaching two weeks of stage 4 restrictions
Restrictions on Melbourne and the rest of Victoria have been introduced in a staggered way since early July.

The first stage 4 rules, which took effect on August 2 in Melbourne, included a strict curfew and limiting people's movements to within a 5-kilometre radius of their home unless they had an exemption.

Thousands of factories, shops and offices were forced to close or scale back their operations last Thursday, keeping an estimated 250,000 workers at home.

All of regional Victoria went back under stage 3 restrictions last Thursday.

The final changes under stage 4 for businesses came into effect on Monday. Professor Sutton said the full effect of stage 4 restrictions was "still to play out".
But he said earlier measures, such as mandatory masks, had made a difference to community transmission.
"We've turned the corner with those interventions and we should see a further driving down of transmission with stage 4 restrictions," he said.
"So it is going on the right direction and I'm confident we've seen the peak — but it's got to come down quickly.

Find the number of coronavirus cases in your suburb
Suburbs in Melbourne's west have the greatest number of active coronavirus cases, health data has revealed.

Infections were the highest in the suburbs of Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit and Truganina - which obtain the 3029 postcode – with 463 active cases and a total of 974.
While the suburbs of Cocoroc, Point Cook, Quandong, Werribee and Werribee South – with the postcode 3030 – in Melbourne's south-west, had 331 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 538.

A search tool developed by 9news.com.au shows the number of COVID-19 infections in each suburb and postcode across Victoria based on Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) data.

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

BRAKEDOWNS IN SYSTEM
DHHS contact tracers failed to notify coronavirus close contact until end of quarantine period
The text message came through from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) at 12:25pm on August 6.
"Dear Alexander, unless you have been re-exposed to COVID-19 or you are waiting on test results, you are no longer in quarantine."

The year 12 student and his mother, Anna Perri, were "mortified" — because, they say, they didn't even know he was supposed to be in quarantine at all.
"It just was a great shock, because it potentially could have put us all at risk," Ms Perri told .

When Thornbury High School, in Melbourne's north, was closed in mid-July due to a case of COVID-19, parents were told they would hear from DHHS if their child was required to quarantine.
"When we didn't hear, we believed that we weren't a close contact, so we went about doing what we normally do under the restrictions," Ms Perri said.

The family was "shocked and horrified" to learn Alexander was found to be a close contact two weeks after he had been exposed to the virus.
"We should have known immediately so we could take appropriate steps," Ms Perri said.
"The thought that he could have put me at risk — or other people at risk — was really distressing for him and for me."

At Friday's daily update, Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said contact tracers had been able to get the message out to "virtually 100 per cent" of close contacts within 48 hours.
"When cases are at 50 a day or 50 a week, everyone in the world was doing contact tracing to the nth degree," Mr Sutton said.
"When you've got 300, 400 cases a day, that stretches any system anywhere in the world.
"We are doing much better than a whole bunch of countries that gave up on contact tracing."

Meanwhile, Sarah, who shares a house with a positive coronavirus case in Glen Iris, called the ABC to say she had also had problems with contact tracers.
"We are now on day 10 of our quarantine and isolation, however only two of [my housemates'] close contacts have been contacted by DHHS," she told Virginia Trioli.
"Every day I am sitting by the phone waiting to be contacted to get the right information.
"[I have] received no information about how to properly quarantine or anything, other than what I've researched myself."

She said she was "worried and frustrated" by the lack of information.
"Whenever I've called the [coronavirus] hotline, I've been given different information or been sent in circles with numbers that don't connect to anywhere."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
Parents say they have not heard from health officials 12 days after Victorian childcare Covid-19 outbreak
More than a week and a half since a Covid-19 outbreak that has led to 15 cases at a Victorian childcare centre, parents say they are still waiting to be contacted by health officials.
On 2 August, the management at Bluebird early education centre in South Morang, north-east of Melbourne, alerted parents that a staff member had tested positive.

It was before stage four lockdowns, when childcare centres were still open for more than just permitted workers.

Related: What do Victoria's childcare changes mean for parents?

Parents were told in a letter to keep children at home, with warnings it could be two weeks before the centre reopened.

In the letter, the centre’s manager said the centre had been unable to contact the Department of Health and Human Services about what the centre should do because it was a Sunday.

DHHS did not comment on the centre’s claim, but told Guardian Australia it had staff working over weekends to provide information about Covid-related issues.

On 4 August, parents were advised three staff members and one child had tested positive, but none had attended while infectious. The next day, the centre told staff DHHS was contacting every family potentially affected.

More than a week later, some parents are still waiting to be contacted.

One parent, who asked to remain anonymous, told Guardian Australia: “We have heard nothing from DHHS or DET as yet, despite one educator working across all rooms in the centre, which would render all children as close contacts in my opinion.
“My children attend most of the week so exposure to an educator who is floating around all the rooms of the centre is a certainty.”

He said he had taken his family to a suburban clinic for testing.

A DHHS spokesman said the centre had been closed for deep cleaning and close contacts would be contacted to self-isolate.
“The department has been carrying out contact tracing and notifying any close contacts of their requirements to self-isolate when identified,” he said.

The centre was listed as a key outbreak location by DHHS in a daily case rundown this week.

The current proposal is for the centre to reopen on 17 August, according to communications seen by Guardian Australia, but it will depend on DHHS approval, which the centre has told parents it may not have before Friday.

The centre’s management could not be reached for comment. The New Zealand-based owner of the centre, Evolve Education, which took over this month, did not respond to requests for comment.

The local government area where the centre is located, Whittlesea, accounts for 988 of the state’s coronavirus cases, with 553 active at latest reporting. It is the fourth-highest LGA for Covid-19 cases in Victoria.
Since moving to stage four, childcare centres are allowed to accept only children of workers in permitted industries.

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

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

REGIONAL
Rapid testing blitz launched across regional Vic today
A rapid testing blitz begins today in Victoria's biggest regional cities as Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo all see a spike in cases.

Authorities are considering expanding stage four restrictions to other parts of the state amid concerns the COVID-19 crisis has leaked out of metropolian Melbourne.

Premier Daniel Andrews assured health authorities were closely monitoring the rising numbers.

Victoria has shown positive signs of flattening the curve, recording 278 new cases in the past 24-hour period, which is the lowest daily rise in nearly three weeks.
Regional contact tracing teams have been set up in an attempt to control the virus outside of Melbourne. But there's still concerns that a one-size-fits-all policy is leaving regional Victoria exposed.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
Port Fairy cancels 2021 Folk Festival amid COVID-19 concerns
Organisers of the Port Fairy Folk Festival have cancelled the 2021 event, citing coronavirus concerns.

The event usually takes place on the second weekend of March and draws up to 30,000 people to the tiny south-west Victorian town which hosts a population of around 3,000.

Committee president John Young said the organisers had been working on organising the 45th Folkie since the last one in March.

But he said that as the second wave of COVID-19 hit the state, it became apparent restrictions around social distancing and capacity were likely to still be in effect in March next year.
"We started looking at options for smaller festivals … [but] we thought that was going to be very, very difficult to handle," Mr Young said.
"Front and foremost was our concern that we did not want to bring people to Port Fairy that potentially could put our community and the people that work and play at the festival at some sort of risk."

The town has remained relatively untouched by COVID-19, despite a family from Melbourne testing positive immediately after holidaying in the popular tourist destination in July.

The 2020 Folkie was one of the last major festivals to run in Victoria before the introduction of coronavirus restrictions on mass gatherings.
"We escaped any issues with the 2020 festival back last March and thankfully emerged from that with nobody being infected by coronavirus," Mr Young said.

The Folk Festival brings an estimated $10 million to the local economy each year and is seen as one of Australia's premier music festivals.

It attracts international acts and in recent years its headliners included The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Archie Roach, Kasey Chambers, Steve Earle, Paul Kelly, and The Waifs.

Mr Young said if the situation changed dramatically the committee would re-evaluate the situation.
"If something did lighten up and there were less restrictions in March next year we may be able to do something, but we can't look at that just yet," he said.

He said organisers had toyed with the idea of featuring all-Australian acts.

On the plus side, the organisers have plenty of time to prepare for the 45th festival in 2022.
"It gives us a good timeline to work [with] to get a very, very good program in place," he said.

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

HOSPITALS AND MEDICAL SYSTEMS IN VICTORIA STRESSED
WA nurses bracing for Victoria COVID fight
The threat of contracting COVID-19 is a risk West Australian nurse Troy Jones is prepared to take as he joins Victoria's fight against the pandemic.

Mr Jones is one of more than 80 WA healthcare workers who have volunteered to fly to Victoria as the state grapples with hundreds of new cases per day.

He and four other nurses left Perth on Friday to join a coordination team that had departed earlier in the week.

They will be away for up to six weeks and will head straight to the residential aged care facilities where there have been significant breakouts.

Mr Jones admits to feeling apprehensive, with healthcare workers particularly vulnerable to infection, but says he didn't hesitate to put his hand up.
"I just felt that if Western Australia was in that situation and my parents were in situations like Victorian families find their relatives in, then I would want and I would hope for help," he said.
"We are in a position where we can do that - myself and my four very brave colleagues - so that's what we're doing.
"I think my family is quite concerned. But they're very supportive, they understand this is something we feel we can help with and I think they're quite proud."

Health minister Roger Cook paid tribute to the nurses, who will take their own supplies of personal protective equipment with them.
"I'm in awe of both their professionalism and their commitment," he said.
"Where they're going today will not be easy. They will be going straight into places of greatest need - residential aged care.
"They are also saying goodbye to families and friends for at least a month."

Other healthcare workers with a range of specialities are expected to fly to Victoria in small groups in coming weeks.

It comes as WA on Friday recorded one new case, with a 39-year-old man testing positive after returning home from overseas.

WA now has four active cases.

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

All City of Melbourne parking fines to be suspended during stage four restrictions
The entire city of Melbourne will be free from parking fines for the remainder of stage four restrictions after concerns were raised over essential workers receiving tickets.

In an announcement today City of Melbourne CEO Justin Hanney said all green sign parking bays will now offer unlimited parking, free from restrictions or fees.

Restrictions will still apply to "red sign" parking bays, which include: disability spaces, no stopping areas, tow-away clearways, loading zones and any other bay which may create a risk to public safety.
The backflip on parking restrictions comes just days after widespread outrage that doctors and nurses in the city's hospitals were receiving fines for parking too long while treating COVID-19 patients.

Exhausted Royal Melbourne Hospital doctor Katarina Arandjelovic was shocked to find a $99 parking ticket on her car dashboard when she left the hospital at 10pm on Monday.

In a series of tweets directed to Melbourne's Lord Mayor Sally Capp and the City of Melbourne, Dr Arandjelovic revealed she had worked at least 56 hours over the preceding four days as she cared for "some of the state's sickest patients".
Mr Hanney said the City Of Melbourne will also look to reopen commercial car parks to ease pressure on street parking.
"Parking officers are considered essential workers under State Government definitions and will continue to be visible on our streets," Mr Hanney said.
"They play an important role in managing public safety and road access for residents, essential workers and emergency service vehicles.
"We ask everyone to be mindful of the important of vehicle turnover to support people needing to access essential services and businesses."

Mr Hanney said the city had issued a further 5000 temporary parking permits to frontline emergency workers, cumulating in a total of 15,000 permits issued since the pandemic begun.

Staff on coronavirus frontline overjoyed Melbourne relaxing parking restrictions
arking inspectors in the City of Melbourne will no longer issue fines to people parked in green zones after healthcare workers said they had no choice but to be stung with a fine in order to get to work safely.

City of Melbourne chief executive Justin Hanney said the changes were "in line with State Government guidance received last night".

Parking officers will only enforce restrictions for red sign parking bays that include: disability parking, no stopping areas, tow-away clearways, loading zones, and "any other case where a vehicle creates a risk to public safety or access" including green-signed areas.

The statement said the change came after advice was issued on Thursday by the State Government that said local councils were "only permitted to enforce essential parking restrictions where these relate to issues of safety and access".

Mr Hanney said the Council was working with the State Government to have commercial car parks reopened to take the pressure off on-street parking.
"We understand that these restrictions will also impact our residents using residential permit zones and we will continue to advocate on their behalf."

Healthcare workers relieved 'burden has been lifted'
The changes come after multiple healthcare workers came forward about fines they were issued while working in hospitals on the coronavirus frontline.

Including after working 56 hours over four days in the intensive care ward at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

The subsequent media attention led to Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp saying the fine would be waived.

The City of Melbourne would not say whether fines already issued to drivers in green zones since stage 4 restriction were imposed would be waived.

Akanksha Sharma is a doctor at St Vincent's Hospital's Clarendon Community Mental Health Centre and said the news came as a huge relief to her staff.

Before today, the centre was announcing when parking inspectors were on the street to help staff avoid fines.
"A burden has been lifted," Dr Sharma said.
"This has been an earnest plea for six weeks, and now we don't have to fight fines and can focus on our work and what's important."

Dr Sharma was fined during stage 4 restrictions for overstaying in a green zone and was initially not going to fight the fine.
"I wasn't going to bother but I will now, this changes things," she said.

St Vincent's Hospital psychiatry registrar Manu Bhatnagar said the parking changes were great news.
"There's been a lot of talk in the media about it and it's been great people are actually listening," he said.

The doctor has been issued one warning and three fines for overstaying in a 2P carpark since stage 3 restrictions were reintroduced.

He paid the first two and was planning on paying the third but has decided to contest it.
"I will try and appeal [the fine], based on the fact it's something the Premier himself said should not be happening."

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

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


AGED CARE CATASTROPHY CONTINUES
'Ants crawling from wounds': horrifying scenes at coronavirus-hit aged care home in Melbourne
Horrific footage of a 95-year-old woman left to languish in a Melbourne aged care facility struck by Covid-19 shows ants crawling from a wound on her leg, and the bandages around it crusted with blood.

The footage and photos, described by the federal aged care minister as “heartbreaking”, were taken inside Kalyna Care, a private residential home in Melbourne’s north-west, on Tuesday, some two weeks after the virus was first identified in one staff member.

The woman, known to her family as Milka, died on Friday morning of conditions unrelated to Covid-19.

Care staff brought into the home this week have told Guardian Australia that some residents went without food or water for 18 hours. Faeces were found on the floor. An ant infestation, which had been kept at bay, had got out-of-control in Milka’s room.

The staff say they were not given adequate facilities to change out of infection-exposed clothing and basic hygiene was said to have fallen by the wayside, with some residents not cleaned for days.

The Guardian has spoken to Milka’s family who say they do not blame the managers, staff, or the board of the home for what happened to her, and say until Covid-19 swept through she was provided with excellent care.

But once the home’s health and aged care workers began getting sick and exposed to Covid-19 and were stood down or furloughed, there was no one to fill the gaps despite repeated requests from the management to the state and federal governments for help.

The chair of the board of Kalyna Care, Halja Bryndzia, said that at one point, there was just one nurse and one personal care assistant looking after 68 residents.
“From the moment we had our first case in a staff member at the end of July we clamped down, we communicated with families, we reported the case to the health department, we did everything,” Bryndzia said.
“The whole point of asking for help from federal and state authorities was to avoid disaster like the ones we have seen elsewhere. But when we first asked for help in July, we were not considered bad enough.”
“Then, when our first few residents tested positive they didn’t have severe symptoms yet, so when we asked for them to be taken to hospital the response was again, ‘no, it’s not bad enough’,” Bryndzia said.
“The irony is although we did everything we could on our own to try to stop it getting worse, it was only when things got really bad that the state and federal governments were concerned enough to help us.
“It’s gut-wrenching.”

A workforce left sick and exposed
Now, more than 20 residents and about 15 staff have tested positive for the virus, Bryndzia confirmed, and many more are furloughed due to being exposed, including the entire catering team.

On Thursday the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, announced Kalyna was among the latest of many aged care homes battling to contain Covid-19 that the state government had immediately assumed control of.
“We’ve essentially assumed responsibility, taken over those facilities, for the purposes of the highest-quality care and to deal with challenging circumstances in each of those three,” Andrews said.

On Friday, the prime minister, Scott Morrison, said he was “deeply sorry” for failures in the aged care system.
“The sad truth is, some days, we fall short. And other days, we don’t,” Morrison said.
“On the days that the system falls short, on the days that expectations are not met, I’m deeply sorry about that, of course I am, and I know that everyone who is involved in the process who is trying to meet those expectations is equally sorry.”

But Bryndzia said she had been frustrated by both state and federal responses. “We made repeated and desperate staffing requests and we couldn’t get them, and those requests started from the end of July,” she said.
“But Victoria, generally, has a problem with infected aged care staff and healthcare workers, and so they needed to start sourcing workers from interstate. Eventually, we had people from Queensland and New South Wales come in to help us this week. In the meantime, we are a Ukrainian facility and so we called out to that community for anyone trained and willing to help. We are just one of about 100 places in Victoria that lost staff through no fault of their own.”

Related: Victoria takes control of three more aged care homes as 278 new Covid cases recorded

One interstate nurse brought in to urgently assist began working at the home on Wednesday, and was so shocked by what they saw they decided to speak out.
“I’ve been into homes before I would describe as derelict, but this was so, so much worse than that,” the nurse said.
“This is a high-level care home and in normal times, you can see it would have been. But it is set up to be a residential home, not a clinical ward, and that’s what staff at the home with no experience in this kind of care found themselves trying to turn the home into.”

The first staff member was infected on 26 July, and on Wednesday the state government took over and cleaning teams swept the building.
“What happened in the interim is a mystery, and scares the hell out of me,” the nurse said. “So many of the normal staff were missing, furloughed from being exposed to Covid or because they are sick with Covid. So who was looking after the residents? Who was there to urgently fill the gap before we came in?”

Residents left dehydrated and unwashed
The nurse said they came into Kalyna Care, which caters to people from the Ukrainian and European communities, on Tuesday and noticed dried faeces on a section of the floor. Many residents of the home had dementia, they said.

“A patient had gone to the toilet on the floor in their own room, but then there were also these faeces on the floor elsewhere that were so dried that you couldn’t even get it off with detergent and scrubbing,” the nurse said.
“This was in the dementia ward, and there I saw residents confused, wandering around and tracking bacteria in and out of each other’s rooms. It was horrifying. I put my shoes straight in the wash on a hot wash.”

The nurse said Covid-positive patients also appeared to not have received basic hygiene for days. Some of them had not received their medications for up to five days.
“One of the Covid patients I went and saw had so much crust on his face from not being cleaned,” the nurse said. “This is the reality of some of those in aged care homes, and they are victims of this pandemic the public don’t always see, but need to know about.”

The nurse added that staff were not given uniforms to wear on site. If they brought their own separate clothes to change into, they used the bathroom which was used by many people.

Residents with Covid-19 had been put into a separate area of the building with only a lounge area separating them from other residents. There was no training for some staff brought in to fill in for the more experienced sick and furloughed staff. Some of the team were not even qualified healthcare workers.
“We had a [hospitality worker] at the door keeping an eye on the doors of the Covid area, making sure the residents didn’t invade other spaces,” the nurse said. “When I arrived at work I asked them what their qualifications and expertise were, what their job was, because I needed all the staff I could get and wanted to know how to make the best use of people.
“I told [them] not to do anything else, not to go into patient rooms, that [they were]not to do anything really. There was this mix of staff from all over the place, and some had to be trained in PPE.”

Another health worker was so shocked by Milka, who had a wound on her leg with a bloody bandage that needed changing, and ants crawling over her and the bed, that they took video and photos for evidence. Milka had been receiving palliative care at the home, and was taken to hospital after the ants were discovered on Wednesday.

Milka’s son, Rudy Kelemen, said ants had previously been an issue in her room but had never been out of control until Covid-19 infiltrated the home.
“Mum was very, very fond of the CEO of Kalyna Care,” Kelemen said. “She was in the home three years. Mum was an amazing person, she spent the last 50 years in this country and was very hard working, and she was fluent in English a couple of years after arriving from Europe. Some of my best memories are from my childhood with her, she made me feel loved and protected.
“I’m not saying the home did everything right, I’m not saying there weren’t mistakes made. But I will not be levelling any blame on the administration. I know they are caring and they were trying to get help.”

He did however say that after Milka was taken to hospital, hospital staff told him she had Covid-19, which was not true.
“I made an angry call to Kalyna asking why they didn’t brief the hospital properly, but then I found out it was the hospital that decided that they would treat every person from any nursing home as Covid-positive irrespective of the results because they didn’t trust the tests from age care, which in a way is sheer arrogance.
“So mum was being treated as though a Covid-19 patient. In the end, it didn’t matter much, because she passed away less than 24 hours later.”

Correspondence shows updates about the home and the Covid-19 situation were regularly sent out by the CEO to families, and they implemented numerous measures such as rigorous restrictions on visitors, strict screening of staff and contractors, and supplied staff with PPE [personal protective equipment].

But the nurse who spoke to the Guardian said family members of residents were often left confused as to what was happening with their relatives, and poor handover information meant there was little to tell them.

The nurse received a call from two people wanting information about their family members after they had been told by another staff member their loved one had acquired Covid-19.
“But according to the notes I had, they did not have Covid,” the nurse said. “Yet they were in a Covid ward. If they didn’t have Covid, they should have been in a different space entirely. And if they did have Covid, I didn’t have any information about it.”

The nurse said they always felt safe working at hospitals in their own state, and had worked in Covid wards throughout the pandemic. Working in aged care in Victoria, they said they had no confidence in the safety of staff and residents. Aside from a decent supply of PPE, there were very few safety procedures in place, they said.

An investigation into the incident has now been launched into Kalyna Care, a spokesman for Djerriwarrh Health Services, which has been brought in to assist the state and federal governments in managing the home, said.

The federal aged care minister, Richard Colbeck, described the images of the incident as “heartbreaking and absolutely unacceptable”.
“I have requested that the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner investigate this urgently this evening,” he told Guardian Australia.
“The aged care quality safety commissioner issued a notice to agree on 5 August 2020 following concerns about the welfare of residents. This resulted in the appointment of a new manager.
“[On Wednesday] night the federal and state government took the further action of bringing a hospital manager into the facility with support staff to run the facility.”

The chief executive of Djerriwarrh Health Services, Belinda Scott, said the service was “now assisting the Department of Health and Human Services and the commonwealth government, and is on-site to provide the highest quality care to residents at Kalyna aged care in Taylor’s Lakes”.
“Dedicated care teams are moving room to room to ensure residents are receiving personal care, food and medication. All families and carers are being informed about their health status. The privacy, care and respect of residents and their families is paramount. Djerriwarrh Health Services is working with the board of Kalyna to put into place additional measures to improve the situation and ensure all residents have the best possible care.”

Andrea Pearman, the CEO of Inclusive Australia, which advocates for the elderly, said the pandemic had highlighted existing inequalities in the aged care system. “In times of crisis, we need to be investing in appropriate communication, education and safety measures as well as showing sensitivity to different cultures,” she said.

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

HOAXS
Leaked emails 'identify patient zero' of Victoria's catastrophic second wave
Leaked emails may have identified 'patient zero' - believed to have given rise to Victoria's catastrophic second wave of COVID-19.

Patient zero is believed to be a night duty manager at the Rydges Hotel on Swanston Street after a leaked email seen by The Age revealed he fell ill on May 25 before testing positive to the novel coronavirus.
Security guards, hotel staff and health workers were told to stand down and self-isolate immediately, but five security guards from Unified Security tested positive to the virus soon after.

The virus was then spread to their families across Melbourne, which is believed to have given rise to the second wave of the coronavirus in Victoria, which has killed 275 people across the state to date.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos has been stripped of her hotel quarantine duties and the scheme has been handed to Attorney- General Jill Hennessy.
Melbourne's 'patient zero' in virus second wave not a security guard: reports
A night manager at one of Melbourne's busiest quarantine hotels may have inadvertently sparked Victoria's second wave of the highly infectious coronavirus and not a security guard, according to reports.

Dubbed 'patient zero', the hotel employee is reported to have caught the virus while working at Rydges on Swanston Street before inadvertently spreading it to his colleagues who then passed it on to their families, reports The Age.

Leaked emails obtained by the The Age show the night manager came down with a fever on Monday, May 25, and the next day officials from the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions were told the man had tested positive COVID-19.

There is no suggestion the night manager caught the virus through any improper behaviour. It is unclear how he became infected.
The following day, emails revealed the night manager was "now isolating at Rydges".

Seven security guards from contractor Unified Security were ordered to get tested for COVID-19 and self-isolate at home.

A number of hotel staff and health care workers did the same.
But five of the seven guards had already caught the virus and unknowingly spread it between their families in Melbourne's northern and western suburbs.

Genomic sequencing suggest a large proportion, if not all, of the state's second wave cases could be traced back to the breaches in hotel quarantine, according to Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.
The Age reports the email chain revealed that officials initially mistakenly reported that a security guard was the first positive test.

But that was later corrected by a senior official who confirmed that it was a hotel employee.

According to records, the man was not showing any symptoms of the virus when he began his shift on May 25.
Yesterday Victoria's Health Minister Jenny Mikakos was stripped of hotel quarantine responsibilities as more members of parliament wiped their hands of the bungled project.

The scheme has now been handed to Attorney-General Jill Hennessy.

Melbourne's hotel quarantine system is now the subject of an independent inquiry, with public hearings to start next week.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/melbourn ... d=msedgdhp
Who is 'patient zero' of Victoria's coronavirus second wave? Here's what we know
The Age newspaper has reported that "patient zero" in Victoria's second wave of coronavirus was a night duty manager at Melbourne's Rydges on Swanston hotel, which was being used as a quarantine hotel for returned overseas travellers.

In June, Premier Daniel Andrews said a "genomic sequencing" briefing he had received connected a "significant number" of cases in the north of Melbourne to hotel quarantine.

He said the cases, detected in late May and early June, could be linked to people working in hotel quarantine breaching infection control protocols.

But it is unclear exactly how these cases leaked from hotel quarantine into the community, contributing to a devastating second outbreak that has contributed to more than 100 deaths, thousands of infections and the shutdown of much of the state's economy.

Here's what we know, what we don't know, and what we may never know.
What we know:
The Age reported that leaked emails showed that on May 25, a night duty manager at Rydges on Swanston reported he had come down with a fever.

It reported that by late the next day, officials at the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions had been told the man had tested positive.

The following day, the staff member's infection was announced during Mr Andrews's daily press conference.

We know that a hotel staff member was the first publicly reported case at the hotel, apart from returned travellers.
On May 27, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a case had been detected in a staff member at the hotel.

The same day, the hotel confirmed separately that a staff member had tested positive to COVID-19.

The number of cases linked to the hotel quickly grew.

The next day, a contracted security guard working as part of the government-run hotel quarantine program was confirmed as a positive case.

By June 19, 17 cases had been linked to the hotel.
What we don't know:
It is unclear how the staff member became infected.

We don't know for sure the staff member contracted the virus at work, and if they did, how.

There is no suggestion of any improper behaviour on the part of the staff member.

We don't know exactly how other cases linked to the outbreak, such as contracted security guards, acquired their infections.

Just because someone is diagnosed first, it does not necessarily mean they contracted the virus first.

On May 28, when the second case linked to the hotel was announced, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said it was not clear how the second person had become infected but there "wasn't very much overlap" in the work schedules of the staff member and the security guard.
We don't know whether the staff member transmitted the virus to anyone else at the hotel or in the community.

A Rydges spokesperson said on Friday the staff member isolated immediately after getting tested, and the staff member's family contacts, as well as their colleagues at the hotel had tested negative.

Mr Andrews has not released the genomic sequencing information that he said linked many cases in Victoria's second wave to hotel quarantine, so we don't know whether this work links cases in the community to particular returned travellers or particular quarantine hotels.
Asked at Friday's press conference whether the staff member was "patient zero", Mr Andrews said he did not know.
"I don't have any advice about who that person might be," the Premier said.

He said the question might be determined by the inquiry into hotel quarantine being led by former Family Court judge Jennifer Coate.

Professor Sutton was also asked to comment but declined, saying he could not provide details that might identify a person.
What we may never know:
Mr Andrews said it might not be possible to conclusively determine the source of Victoria's second wave.
"I think that whole notion that we could necessarily have, to that degree of certainty, clarity about one particular person, I don't know the science would ever lead you to that. It could, but it may not."

Professor Sutton has previously spoken about the difficulty of tracing the origin of outbreaks.
Last month, when asked about how the virus might have entered Melbourne's public housing towers, he said it was difficult to pinpoint the source of such outbreaks.
"Sometimes the first case that's notified to us is not the first case in an outbreak," Professor Sutton said.
"Sometimes the first person who develops symptoms is not the first person who's been exposed. So it is tricky in that regard."

Last week, he spoke about the limitations of the genomic testing, saying it was not always possible to grow the virus in order to determine "genetic footprint" of each positive case.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-14/ ... n/12560340

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


Why you shouldn't believe the rumours about nursing homes being paid for COVID-19 deaths
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 to have the next newsletter delivered straight to your inbox.
CoronaCheck #34
As the number of COVID-19 deaths in Victoria continues to rise, so too has the volume of misinformation related to the death toll. In this week's newsletter, we debunk claims that generous government payouts are incentivising nursing homes to claim COVID-19 as the cause of death in situations where residents died of other ailments.

We've also looked at false and misleading claims from new vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris, and checked in with how fact checkers are dealing with the aftermath of the Beirut explosion.

No, nursing homes don't get a payment if their residents die of COVID-19
As the coronavirus death toll mounts in Victoria, with most cases linked to aged care facilities, misinformation around the victims and the circumstances of their deaths is being spread via social media.

One post shared widely on Facebook claims that a caller to Sydney FM radio station The Edge told how his friend's 79-year-old father, who was suffering terminal cancer, had his cause of death wrongly listed as COVID-19. This was supposedly in order for the nursing home in which he died to receive a payment from the Federal Government.
"The Australian govt is handing out $25,000 to all nursing homes who label covid as the main cause of deaths on death certificates," the post states.

In another anecdote detailed in the post, a family was supposedly offered $9,000 by a nursing home to have their relative's cause of death listed as COVID-19.

The post attracted the attention of former English footballer and David Icke, who shared it on his website and also 350,000+ Twitter followers.

A spokeswoman for The Edge confirmed to Fact Check that such a call did take place on the morning of August 7, but that the caller claimed the $25,000 payment would be made to the family for funeral costs, rather than to the nursing home as suggested in the Facebook post.
"During the two-minute call, the hosts of the breakfast program were clearly surprised by the information that the caller provided, and were openly skeptical about its veracity," the spokeswoman said.
"One host referred to it as sounding like a conspiracy theory, also adding that he wouldn't take the caller's word on it."

The spokeswoman added that in order to avoid generating, disseminating or promoting misinformation the audio of the call was "not repeated on the station's online, podcast or social media assets".

In any case, there is no evidence that either the information provided by the caller or posted to Facebook are factual.

In an email, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health told Fact Check that "the comments made in the Facebook post are false".
"Australians are encouraged to rely on reputable and authoritative sources of information to help them make informed choices and stay up to date," the spokeswoman said.

In a later email, a spokesman added that the department was not aware of any payment for funder costs made to families of deceased COVID-19 victims.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services said that any payments to bereaved families or nursing homes would have to come from the Federal Government.

Sean Rooney, the CEO of , which is the national peak body representing all providers of age services across residential care, home care and retirement living, told Fact Check that aged care homes were "not being provided with payments for people who pass away with COVID-19".
"The comments that have been shared [on Facebook] are false and we encourage all people to rely on credible sources, such as the Department of Health and Leading Age Services Australia," Mr Rooney said in an email.

He added that LASA was not aware of any disputes arising from the listing of cases of COVID-19 in aged care.

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




BREACHES

Vic man fined 10 times for breaching rules
A man has been fined 10 times for breaching Victoria's coronavirus restrictions. The man has previously been fined nine times - almost $15,000 in total - for breaching the chief health officer's directives, police said.
Victoria Police did 5007 spot checks on people at homes, businesses and public places across the state in the 24 hours to Friday morning and fined 253 people.
They include a Whittlesea man found in Richmond, who told police he was in the area to visit colleagues but could not produce appropriate documentation.
Some 75 people were fined $1652 for breaching Melbourne's 8pm to 5am curfew and 41 were fined $200 for not wearing a mask.
2 men copped both fines after they were caught buying cigarettes in South Melbourne. One of the men told police he did not need to wear a mask as he has a birth condition that makes him resistant to coronavirus.

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:48 am

14 AUGUST NSW
NSW records 9 new coronavirus cases, 1 without identified source
Health authorities in NSW have confirmed 9 new coronavirus infections with 1 linked to the cluster at a Sydney private school.
Of the 9 new cases, 5 were locally acquired and linked to known cases and 1 was locally acquired without an identified source at this point.
3 are returned travellers from overseas.

SW Health's Jeremy McAnulty said 1 of the cases was an employee at Dooleys Catholic Club in Lidcombe, who tested positive after a co-worker contracted the virus.

Also among the new cases are a staff member at Liverpool Hospital and a student at Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook.
There are now 21 cases linked to the Tangara school which is closed until August 24.
NSW Police have also confirmed they are investigating claims the school breached COVID-19 safety rules.
St Vincent's College at Potts Point and Our Lady of Mercy College at Parramatta are also closed for cleaning after students tested positive.

A total of 29,696 tests were conducted in the reporting period.

It comes as the funeral for a woman who died after contracting coronavirus took place in Sydney's west.
Jamilie Joseph, 80, was farewelled at Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Harris Park this morning.
The grandmother's infection has been linked to a cluster of cases at the same church where the service was held.
Family and friends were temperature-checked before entering, while many also wore masks.
Ms Joseph is the 53rd person to die of COVID-19 in NSW.

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

Another Sydney school closes, as new club warning issued
A yacht club in Sydney's eastern suburbs has been closed again after another member tested positive to coronavirus.
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia was closed last month when a member and their partner tested positive to the virus.
Yesterday, club officials confirmed another member, who had not visited the club in several weeks, had tested positive to coronavirus.
The member's partner did however visit the club, sailing on Sunday and Wednesday, as well as attending a meeting on Tuesday night.
"We have therefore decided to send those persons who attended the committee meeting off for testing, to self-isolate pending the results and, as a precautionary measure, close the Club whilst we await the results," the club said in a statement.

A student at a school in a Sydney coronavirus hotspot has also been diagnosed with COVID-19.
The student at St Vincent's College in Potts Point has tested positive, the school confirmed last night.
The school will be closed today, a post on Facebook said.
Contact tracing is underway and the campus will undergo extensive cleaning as per NSW Health guidelines.
"We received confirmation of a positive COVID-19 student in our College Community. From the outset of the pandemic, the College has taken every precaution in line with Government policy to minimize risk," the school said in a statement.
"This is now however the circumstance we are dealing with and we are well prepared to implement our contingency plans."
The school is in the same eastern Sydney suburb as the Thai Rock and Apollo restaurants, which have been linked to earlier cases.

New warnings have also been issued for a Sydney club, after another diagnosis.
A second employee at Dooley's Catholic Club in Lidcombe has COVID-19.

Health authorities are also urging anyone who visited Dooley's from Friday August 7 between 5pm and 6.30pm, Saturday August 8 between 4.30pm and 11.30pm, Sunday August 9 between 1pm and 9pm and Monday August 10 between 12pm and 9.30pm to self-isolate and get tested immediately.

A third worker at Liverpool Hospital has tested positive for the virus.

NSW Health is working on tracing down anyone who came into close contact with them.
The new cases come after another person died from coronavirus in NSW.

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

Police called in to check if Tangara school cluster breached health orders
NSW Police are examining whether Tangara School for Girls breached COVID-19 protocols after a coronavirus cluster associated with the school expanded to 20 cases on Thursday.

One case linked to the Tangara cluster was reported among the state's 12 new coronavirus cases diagnosed in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday.

The school community has been asked not to speak to the media but one Tangara parent anonymously reported alleged breaches of COVID-19 protocols to radio station 2GB on Thursday morning.
The parent told host Ben Fordham that weekly primary school choirs were still being held without social distancing and that compulsory Mass had continued, with students and teachers taking communion.

The parent also said school assemblies were not following social distancing guidelines and that high school students ran a primary school food stall last Wednesday.

A Tangara spokesperson told Nine News that the independent Catholic Opus Dei school would co-operate with any investigations but had very little concern.

The spokesperson also told Nine that the school was unaware NSW Health had called on NSW Police to assist with investigations.

A NSW Police spokesman on Thursday night confirmed police were taking part in the investigation into whether the school had breached COVID-19 protocols.
"The NSW Police Force is working with NSW Health and the NSW Department of Education to determine whether there have been any breaches of current public health orders," a NSW Police spokesperson said.

Several Tangara students diagnosed with COVID-19 had attended a study-and-prayer retreat organised by Opus Dei's Eremeran Hills Study Centre at Bargo Convention Centre, about 90 kilometres south-west of Sydney.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant have this week reinforced a message that school excursions and overnight stays should not be held during the pandemic.

Tangara has denied it had any knowledge of the Eremeran study retreat attended by its students, and said no Tangara teachers attended the event.

Tangara alumni who attended retreats during their school years said Eremeran and the Opus Dei-run boys' study centre Nairana were embedded within Tangara School for Girls and its brother school, Redfield College at Dural.

The school also regularly advertises Eremeran events in its school newsletter.

A Tangara spokesperson on Wednesday said the school had been following NSW Health advice and had not held extracurricular school activities or camps since March.
"We have always followed the advice of NSW Health around COVID-19 and will continue to do so," the spokesperson said.
"Eremeran is a third-party provider ... Bookings are undertaken directly with the organisation and the school plays no role in organising or monitoring attendees."

At least 12 senior school students and one teacher are among those associated with the school who have now tested positive for COVID-19.

Police find no Covid-19 breaches at Sydney's Tangara school as NSW reports nine new cases
The New South Wales police have found there were no breaches of Covid-19 restrictions at Sydney’s Tangara School for Girls, as the number of cases linked to the cluster grew to 21.

On Friday, NSW Health announced a further nine new cases in the state, including one more student from Tangara, another staff member at Liverpool hospital, a person who worked at Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club, and two household contacts of known cases. One other infection was from an unknown source, and four were overseas-acquired.

The source of the initial infection at the Tangara school is still unknown, though reports have linked the outbreak to a study and prayer retreat attended by several students who later tested positive for the virus.

On Wednesday, the Catholic Opus Dei study centre linked to the Tangara cluster was closed for cleaning after it confirmed that five Tangara students – some of whom later tested positive – had attended a religious study camp organised by the centre.

Another Catholic school, St Vincent’s College at Potts Point, was closed on Friday after a student was diagnosed overnight, and Our Lady of Mercy College in Parramatta was closed earlier in the week.

On Friday, NSW police said an investigation into whether Tangara school could have broken Covid-19 restrictions had found no breaches by the school. The investigation came after a parent anonymously called Sydney radio station 2GB and alleged the school had continued to hold choirs, mass and assemblies in contravention of restrictions over gatherings.
In a letter to the school’s community posted on its website, Tangara’s principal, Rita Sakr, said there had been “misinformation” circulating during the “challenging and emotional period”.
“We have always followed the advice of NSW Health around Covid-19 and will continue to do so,” Sakr said.

She said the study centre was “a third-party provider of after school care, a homework centre and other activities and retreats for the community” and that the school played “no role in organising or monitoring attendees”.

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

https://www.msn.com/en-au/lifestyle/mis ... d=msedgdhp

Urgent alert issued after second worker tests positive at Sydney Catholic Club
New South Wales authorities have issued an urgent alert after a second worker at a Sydney Catholic Club tested positive.
Patrons who attended the Dooleys in Lidcombe between Friday August 7 and Monday August 10 are being told to self isolate immediately for 14 days. The source of infection for the 2 workers is under investigation.
A third case has been confirmed at Liverpool Hospital and all contacts of the staff member have been advised to isolate.

Authorities said there was no ongoing risk at the hospital.

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

NSW Covid-19 hotspots: list of regional and Sydney outbreak locations
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
Wildginger restaurant, Huskisson: 7.45pm to 10.30pm on Saturday 8 August
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
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 local government area (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
Castle Towers Shopping Centre, Castle Hill: 3.30pm to 5pm on Friday 7 August
PharmaSave Cherrybrook Pharmacy in Appletree Shopping Centre, Cherrybrook: 4pm to 7pm on Thursday 6 August
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
Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club, Lidcombe: 5pm on Friday 7 August to 1.30am on Saturday 8 August
Westfield Liverpool, Liverpool: 10.30am to 11am and 12.30pm to 1pm on Friday 7 August
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
Westfield Parramatta, Parramatta: 4pm to 5.30pm on Wednesday 5 August12pm to 1pm on Saturday 8 August
St Agatha’s, Pennant Hills: 6.30 am to 7am on Wednesday 5 August; 6.30 am to 7am on Thursday 6 August
Baby Bunting, Penrith: 1.15pm to 1.45pm on Saturday 8 August
Penrith Plaza, Penrith: 10.30am to 12pm Saturday 1 August
The Eveleigh Hotel, Redfern: 8.30pm to 10pm on Friday 31 July
Ikea, Rhodes: 1.20pm to 2.20pm on Saturday 8 August
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
5th Avenue Beauty Bar, Wetherill Park: 2pm to 3pm on Saturday 8th August

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

New NSW COVID-19 cases likely 10 times higher than official figures: expert
The number of new COVID-19 cases in New South Wales each day is likely to be up to 10 times the figure reported by authorities, according to one epidemiologist, as fears about community transmission in the state grow.

University of Melbourne epidemiologist Tony Blakely said the presence of cases without a known source was "a good signal" actual case numbers were a lot higher.

"So, if they've got an average of 20 [cases per day] in the last week, that means that at any one point in time, there's about 200 other cases out there that we don't know about. Basically, 10 times the daily count," Professor Blakely said.

He said some of those cases would have an identifiable source, but others would be "mystery cases".

"If you've got a case that pops up and you can't trace it back to its source, and you assume that tracking has been done well … it means it's come from silent transmission."

On Thursday, NSW reported 12 new cases of COVID-19, including three that were acquired locally without a known source.

To date the state has recorded 380 locally acquired cases where the source has not been identified.

Leading epidemiologist Marylouise McLaws agreed NSW had some level of undiagnosed transmission of COVID-19, with at least one undiagnosed case for every diagnosed person.

"I am not sure I would put it as high as 200, but I accept the argument that for every diagnosed person, there is probably at least one other that we don't know about, or possibly two or three," Professor McLaws said.

"There are probably at least 20 cases that we are not aware of because it takes people a while to realise they are unwell and to get tested."

This morning, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told Channel Seven mystery cases worried her the most.

"We're concerned there's community transmission we haven't picked up," she said.

"We're doing well, we're holding our own, but when every week you get a couple of unknown cases and they can't be linked, you do worry because what it does tell us is that there is the disease circulating."

Up to a third of all the infected people are "silent transmitters" who do not show any symptoms, Professor Blakely said.

"And then there are other people who are also silent transmitters who are so mildly symptomatic [that] they don't realise they have it," he said.

Both experts noted people who had COVID-19, but were pre-symptomatic, would be spreading the virus unknowingly before symptoms hit, contributing to community transmission.

"Eventually, a chain of transmission that is silent will end up with a case that's symptomatic. Someone … is going to get crook enough to present with symptoms and get tested," Professor Blakely said.

"It means the virus is circulating in the community."

Professor Blakely said after a couple of weeks of cases reappearing, it was "almost inevitable" some of those would be "mystery cases" without a known source.

NZ's elimination vs NSW's suppression
Victoria has widespread community transmission, but is starting to see its daily new case count decrease.
Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the ACT have all successfully eliminated community transmission of the virus.
NSW has a suppression strategy, so some new cases are to be expected, but to move to elimination, the state's response would have to be very different.

When 4 cases emerged among an Auckland family, the New Zealand Government moved quickly to place the city under stage 3 restrictions and the rest of the country under stage 2. Those were the first cases of COVID-19 recorded in New Zealand in more than 100 days.

On Thursday, the country recorded another 13 cases, but they were all linked to the Auckland family.
"New Zealand gives a perfect example of what you do when a mystery case pops up and you want to maintain elimination or get to elimination — you go hard and you go early," Professor Blakely said.
"You need to hit it that hard to get ahead of the virus and stop transmission and stamp out all cases, including both the ones [where] you've been able to find where they come from, [and] the silent mystery cases."

NSW has a different strategy, one that aims to keep the caseload at a "manageable amount". And if authorities can manage to keep case numbers down, Professor Blakely said it would provide a "blueprint".
"NSW is running a game at the moment whereby they're accepting there will be ongoing community transmission and they want to keep it low," he said.
"The suppression strategy allows you to keep your economy open, but there's always a risk it's going to explode in your face."

Masks critical to stop COVID-19 'wildfire'
To keep the caseload low, both Professor Blakely and Professor McLaws recommended widespread use of masks during this delicate time in NSW.

Professor McLaws, who is a member of the World Health Organization experts advisory panel for its COVID-19 response and an infection-control expert, urged everyone to wear a mask for the next two weeks.
"In NSW, over a two-week period, we are now up to 175 cases, which is high," she said.

That figure excludes returned travellers in quarantine who cannot spread the virus.
"A simple mask-wearing exercise for the next two weeks, which is slightly more than two incubation periods, should be able to flush out more of the asymptomatic cases or yet undiagnosed.
"We do not want that number past 100 in a two-week period because then it just takes off like wildfire."

She said mask use was effective in stopping the virus from spreading.
"It won't hurt and if we can all do it for two weeks, we will see those numbers go down," Professor McLaws said.

The Premier said masks were "important", but were not the only form of protection.
"What is really critical is for people to come forward and get tested if they have any symptoms [and] to come forward and get tested if they have been exposed," she said.
"If you're in a position like a bus or a train, or buying your groceries or in a place of worship in particular … you should be wearing a mask."

Professor Blakely agreed with Professor McLaws, saying: "Wearing a mask has no real effect on the economy, it's just a slight imposition on the public."

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

NSW PREMIER Gladys Berejiklian has urged Sydneysiders to get tested for COVID-19
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged residents to watch for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested as fears grow that the virus is circulating in the community.

On Friday Ms Berejiklian told the Today show she was deeply concerned with the worrying number of mystery cases that had been recorded in western and south western Sydney.

'The one thing that keeps me me awake is that every week we are getting a couple of cases with no clear identifiable source and that worries us.
'What that tells us is in south-western and western Sydney the virus is circulating among the community.'

On Thursday, NSW announced 12 new coronavirus cases with four linked to known clusters, three with no known source and five returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
'My strongest message is if you live in south-western or western Sydney and you have the slightest symptom, or you have been exposed as a close contact to one of those venues that have been announced please come forward and get tested and stay home for two weeks,' Ms Berejiklian said.
'It is so important for that to occur because we really worry about that community transmission.'

The state on Thursday also recorded its first COVID-19 death since August 1 after a Sydney woman in her 80s linked to the Our Lady of Lebanon Church cluster died.

There are 135 coronavirus-infected people being treated by NSW Health, with seven in ICU and six of these on ventilators.

Potentially COVID-exposed venues throughout New South Wales
Anyone who attended the following venues during the dates and times below are advised to isolate, monitor and test for COVID-19 should any symptoms present, however mild:
• Rhodes IKEA on 8 August, between 1:20pm -2:20pm
• Parramatta Westfield on 5 August between 4pm-5:30pm and 8 August between 12pm – 1pm
• Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club from 5pm on 7 August to 1:30am on 8 August
• Castle Towers Shopping Centre in Castle Hill on 7 August between 3:30pm – 5pm
• Baby Bunting, Penrith on Saturday 8 August between 1.15pm - 1.45pm

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

REGIONAL NSW
Doors closing in regional NSW to out-of-area visitors in fear of coronavirus spread
Businesses in regional New South Wales are putting restrictions on who they will serve, even shutting their doors temporarily, in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Ron Guthrie, who runs accommodation business Minimbah Fishing Lodge off his farm near Nabiac on the Mid North Coast, is one of them.
Mr Guthrie said he was trying to protect his family — which includes his elderly mother in nearby Taree and seven grandchildren — and the local community.
"We're just concerned about the people that we get here; 80 per cent of our clientele come from Sydney," he said.
"We don't know if they're coming out of a hotspot in Sydney or not.
"So the family decided that for the sake of the family's health and the health of the locals, we should minimise that risk and just close down for people that don't have a residential address inside of the Great Lakes and Manning Valley."

'What price do you put on a life?'
Mr Guthrie also dropped the accommodation capacity from 32 to 16 people but admitted that by only accepting people from the region, he had effectively closed his doors.

He knows it will be a financial blow, and it comes after years of drought, as well as fires and floods.
"But what price do you put on health and what price do you put on life? You can't put a value on that," he said.
"We've just got to suffer it like we did through the drought and the bushfires.
"It's not a good financial decision to make, but it is a very good health decision to make in our view."

Mr Guthrie made the decision in conjunction with Richard Dihm, who runs fishing charters for his guests.
"I agree 100 per cent ... it's just another transit that people can come to and spread the virus either to local people or our families," he said.
"It's hard to draw the line somewhere where you want to work, but by carrying out the work and asking people to come, we're running a risk of extending the length of the virus, which could be even worse financially for everyone."

Hope for strong recovery
Joel Alvey runs the Steampacket Hotel near Batemans Bay, on the state's South Coast, and has closed his doors to people from Sydney and Victoria.
"A lot of the population around here are older sort of people," he said.
"We're trying to look out for our patrons as well as staff and ourselves at the same time ... we're just doing it for the community at the moment.
"It's something that we've had to put in place just to make ourselves feel safe as well as our patrons."

The tourism sector has been hit hard in recent months, first by bushfires and then COVID-19.

Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates showed there was a heavier toll on tourism jobs than on others in the overall economy during the March quarter.

But Mr Dihm said there was hope for a strong recovery.
"After the pandemic, I'm probably getting a bit ahead of myself, but, hopefully, people will get through the pain, then they'll want to come out and stay with us, go fishing with us," he said.

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

Queensland border closure 'unnecessary and cruel', says NSW mayor, suggests rethink of ties

The NSW Country Mayors Association chair has called on her community in the state's north-west to rethink its reliance on services across the border.

Moree Plains Shire Mayor Cr Katrina Humphries has described the harsh COVID-19 restrictions at the Queensland border as "cruel" and "un-Australian".

She said parents had told her they were being denied access to visit vulnerable children at boarding schools in southern Queensland, unless they quarantined for 14 days.
"To me it's a basic human right that a parent is allowed to see their child," Cr Humphries said.
"What if these kids are playing sport on the weekend and one of them has an accident playing football … and you can't get to your kid when they need you?
"This is cruel, unnecessary and cruel. This is un-Australian."

Cr Humphries has urged her community to reassess its ties to the sunshine state.
"It's getting to the stage where they're starting to cherrypick," she said.
"We'll have the grain because we need that for our feedlots, but you're not going to see your kid? It doesn't work that way."

She is not the first person to raise concerns about the impact of the border restrictions on children at boarding school.

The Principal of Fairholme College in Toowoomba, Linda Evans, said she had written to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, asking her to grant exemptions to parents of boarders.
"Some of [the students] are as young as 12 years of age … to be stranded from your parents for a long period of time without an end point is just not tenable," Dr Evans said.

Medical permits too slow
The Queensland Government has introduced a permit system for people requiring medical care in the state to avoid having to quarantine.

However, Tweed MP Geoff Provest says he believes those restrictions will be loosened to allow northern NSW residents to cross the border without quarantining.

The ABC has sought clarification from the Queensland Department of Health about the status of the restrictions on people entering the state for medical reasons.

Cr Humphries said currently, people with genuine need were denied access to the state, including a woman who was 24-weeks pregnant, and had an obstetrician in Toowoomba.
"She was told by policemen at the border that her case was not essential," Cr Humphries said.

In the nearby town of Warialda, doctors at the local medical centre said one patient with cancer had their application to cross the border rejected.

Dr Lizzie Gordon said the process to get approval was too slow.
"The patients really don't have two weeks to wait to see if they're going to get approved," Dr Gordon said.
"If they don't get approved, we need to find them care elsewhere which is often a lot further in distance, and those services are already over-subscribed."

ABC has approached Queensland Health for a response.

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

Dad left sleeping rough after being caught on wrong side of the border
When the Queensland border closed to New South Wales last weekend, Gold Coast father Clinton Wass found himself on the wrong side of it.

Since being turned away from a Coolangatta checkpoint on Sunday, he's been sleeping in a park at Tweed Heads.

The only assistance he's received is a pillow and doona from a New South Wales charity.
Mr Wass's message to Queensland lawmakers is: "I'd like any of those politicians to give it a go."

Under the current health directive, Queenslanders who are returning from NSW are no longer allowed to cross the border via road.

Instead they must catch a plane and then quarantine in a hotel – all at their own expense.

For Mr Wass, who is struggling financially and says he has $10 to his name, the cost of the flight alone is not an option.

Refused entry to the state and with no money for a hotel, Mr Wass has been sleeping under tree on the NSW side of the border.
"Basic human rights is the right to have shelter and food and clothing, I've got all that but it's just over there, about a hundred kilometres, under an hour away and they won't let me," he said.

A Queensland Health spokesperson refused to comment on Mr Wass's case specifically.
"Queensland's health and economy can't afford a second wave," the spokesperson said.
"Individuals may be eligible for a hotel quarantine fee waiver under the grounds of financial hardship."

But there is no financial assistance to help with the cost of the flight into Queensland, even though Mr Wass's car is parked several hundred metres outside state lines.
"The only answer I get from any government department is we're very sorry, there's no box I fit in, so see you later - we can't do anything else," he said.

Which means he's now facing his sixth night sleeping alone in the cold.

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


Calls for essential workers to wear masks when travelling through NSW
Western NSW politicians are calling on essential workers to wear masks as they travel through the state from Victoria.

Except for a case in Orange, western NSW has been COVID-free since May.

But Gilgandra Mayor Doug Batten warned residents to be vigilant as cases continued in greater Sydney and Victoria.
"To date we've been blessed but there's no saying the next case won't be here tomorrow," Mr Batten said.

Gilgandra is situated 45 minutes north-west of Dubbo and is on the junction of three major highways.
"You can't stop the essential workers travelling through our communities, especially the truckies, we need them because the economy will grind to a halt without them," Mr Batten said.
"Managing that is a real challenge.
"It's something I'll take up with our emergency management committee and we might look to put in the shop front windows in town if you're visiting from Victoria or a hotspot in NSW, please wear a mask."

Masks not mandatory
At the moment it is only recommended that all essential workers entering the state from Victoria wear a face mask when travelling through NSW, while COVID-19 testing every seven days is encouraged, but not mandatory, as part of a COVID-19 safety plan.

Member for Barwon Roy Butler said he would like to see essential workers from Victoria, who are travelling through New South Wales, wear masks.
"It is recommended and encouraged, so I suppose it's one of those things where it provides people in communities, who have a high degree of anxiety around COVID-19, with a degree of comfort when people wear masks," Mr Butler said.
"It's a reminder to all of us to keep our guard up and stay vigilant, because if people aren't wearing masks then social distancing and hand sanitisation is our first line of defence to keep ourselves safe."

Mr Butler said if numbers remained high in Victoria, masks should become mandatory in NSW.
"At this stage it hasn't graduated from a recommendation to a health order, but I think if case numbers in Victoria remain in the hundreds and NSW sees numbers go anywhere higher than they are at the moment then we might see that change," he said.

Truckies frustrated by variations in rules
Truck driver and road transport and safety advocate Rod Hannifey said truck drivers were just as concerned about COVID-19 as anyone else.
"We don't want to get it, we don't want to carry it, and I don't think we will if we behave and if we're given the chance to do our job properly and safely," he said.

Mr Hannifey said, when required, he was wearing a mask.
"I'm not wearing a mask in NSW unless sites expect that," he said.
"Some of the places that we do load are asking everyone on site, not just truck drivers, to wear them.
"Of course in Victoria, when you're out of the truck, anywhere in public you are required to wear masks down there at the moment."

Mr Hannifey said even if truck drivers were to get tested it could lead to a logistical nightmare.
"Where are we going to park these trucks to go and get the test? It's not something you can do easily," he said.
"If you send us for tests when we are not sick, we are far more likely to get the sickness that way."

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

RUBY PRINCESS ROYAL COMMISSION

Ruby Princess coronavirus inquiry slams 'inexcusable' mistakes made by NSW Health
Key points:
The independent inquiry scrutinised the March disembarkation of the Ruby Princess
The findings slammed NSW Health for missing a spike in illness among passengers
At least 28 deaths and 662 coronavirus cases were linked to the Ruby Princess

An inquiry into the Ruby Princess cruise ship has identified "serious", "inexcusable" and "inexplicable" mistakes by NSW Health.
Failings that led to one of Australia's largest coronavirus outbreaks have been laid bare, with the release of the final report from an inquiry into the ill-fated voyages of the cruise ship.

But the report from the special commission of inquiry makes few recommendations, saying health authorities had recognised mistakes made, and would "do things differently if they had their time again".

"It is inappropriate and unhelpful to make recommendations to experts that in truth amount to no more than 'do your job'," Commissioner Bret Walker SC said in his report.

The inquiry was established in April after thousands of passengers were allowed to leave the cruise liner at the conclusion of two separate voyages in March.

For the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic read our coronavirus update story.
On both occasions, the ship, owned by company Princess Cruises, was docked in Sydney, and some passengers were at the time displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

In the weeks that followed, 663 of passengers tested positive for COVID-19 in Australia, and around the world, and 28 people died.

At the time, it was Australia's worst coronavirus cluster, an undesirable title it held for months until Melbourne's hotel quarantine debacle escalated.

The commission made several key findings, labelling some of what happened as "serious mistakes", and "inexcusable".

Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak
Download the ABC News app and subscribe to our range of news alerts for the latest on how the pandemic is impacting the world
"NSW Health should have ensured that cruise ships were aware of the change to the definition of a 'suspect case' for COVID-19 made on 10 March," the report said.
"This would have resulted in the identification of such cases on the Ruby Princess.
"NSW Health should also have ensured that such persons were isolated in cabins. These were serious mistakes," it said.

The report also said the risk rating system used by NSW Health, which saw the Ruby Princess classed as low risk, which meant no action was needed, was "inexplicable as it is unjustifiable" and "a serious mistake".
"No evidence provided to this Commission, or given by witnesses in the public hearings, comes even reasonably close to satisfactorily explaining how a decision to 'do nothing' by means of precaution was adequate, or rational," the report said.

The report also criticises a directive to allow passengers to travel interstate and internationally, against public health orders.

It then takes aim at the NSW Government for not providing passengers accommodation.
"Under the terms of the Public Health Order, the State Government should have arranged suitable accommodation for all passengers who were not residents of the State," it said.

The report only makes overarching recommendations in one chapter regarding human biosecurity arrangements, asking the state and federal departments to become more familiar with each other's roles and responsibilities.
In one section, Mr Walker explained why he made few recommendations.
"The mistakes and failures in decision-making here have, to a large extent, been recognised by the physicians of the Expert Panel, and by NSW Health more broadly," he said.
"They would do things differently if they had their time again.
"There are no 'systemic' failures to address.
"Put simply, despite the best efforts of all, some serious mistakes were made," he said.

he NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she had just received the report.
"In the public interest, and for full transparency, I am releasing it immediately," she said.
"I will read it over the weekend and respond early next week."

Princess Cruises said in a statement that the report confirmed "none of our people … misled public authorities involved in Ruby Princess being permitted to disembark guests."
The Ruby Princess inquiry has declined to make any recommendations against NSW Health, despite finding it made multiple “serious”, “inexplicable” and “basic” errors when allowing the cruise ship to disembark in Sydney in March.

Commissioner Bret Walker SC argued in his final report, released on Friday, that it was “unhelpful to make recommendations to experts that in truth amount to no more than ‘do your job’”.

Walker also declined to make any recommendations against the cruise ship’s operator, Carnival Australia, and said the Australian Border Force had “no relevant responsibility” and did “not play any part in the mishap”.

The commissioner said calls for the New South Wales health minister, Brad Hazzard, to resign were based on a “farcical” idea of government.

After more than 20 days of hearings and evidence, the report found that NSW Health made “serious” mistakes, but “it should not be thought though that, by some misguided reflex, recommendations should follow”.

So far, the Covid-19 cluster linked to the Ruby Princess has resulted in 28 deaths, while at least 854 passengers and crew contracted the virus. But Walker wrote that there were “no systemic failures to address”.
“The mistakes made by NSW Health public health physicians were not made here because they failed to treat the threat of Covid-19 seriously,” he said.

“They were not made because they were disorganised, or did not have proper processes in place. Put simply, despite the best efforts of all, some serious mistakes were made.”

The only recommendations in the report were that the NSW human biosecurity officer guidelines “should be reconsidered” when it comes to granting pratique (the approval of a ship to dock), that various government departments develop “a better awareness” of their roles, and that the Biosecurity Act should “make explicit a requirement to update superseded human health information”.

The final report did find NSW Health’s expert panel committed multiple “serious” errors in handling the Ruby Princess and effectively “did nothing”.

The ship’s log of acute respiratory diseases, which tracked how many passengers were ill, was not read by all members of the expert panel. They should have noticed the “significant spike” in respiratory illness, the report said.
Walker found the expert panel did not pay enough attention to a new guideline, issued by the Communicable Diseases Network of Australia on 10 March, which meant that all passengers on board with flu symptoms should have been tested, and treated as suspected Covid-19 cases.

Instead, the ship was classified as “low risk” on 18 March because it had only been between New Zealand and Australia, and not to any then hotspot countries. However, many passengers had come from overseas, and dozens had become sick on board.

“In light of all the information the expert panel had, the decision to assess the risk as ‘low risk’ – meaning, in effect, ‘do nothing’ – is as inexplicable as it is unjustifiable,” the report found. “It was a serious mistake.”

The inquiry heard NSW Health was relying on an out-of-date log of respiratory diseases when it made the initial assessment of the ship. The ship’s senior doctor, Dr Ilse von Watzdorf, did not send through an updated log of illness until after the ship had already docked. This showed a rise in the number of ill patients.

Walker said it was a “serious error” that NSW did not request an updated log either late on 18 March or early on 19 March when the Ruby Princess docked.

He also said von Watzdorf “should have notified NSW Health” earlier, but this was an honest oversight.

“This is an oversight by Dr von Watzdorf. It should be emphasised as such, but no more. It was not something that was deliberate or calculated. It was not something she was asked or required to do under the enhanced procedures.

“Given the lengthy hours she was working, and the pressure she was no doubt under in the final stages of the cruise, it is understandable why it did not enter Dr von Watzdorf’s mind to inform NSW Health about the additional persons who had been diagnosed.”

Walker said it was “unclear whether any different decision would have been made” if she had sent the log earlier.

Walker also said “no criticism” was made of von Watzdorf and the fact that the Ruby Princess left Sydney with fewer Covid-19 swabs than it should have had.

He said there should be no criticism of another Carnival employee, Peter Little.

“No criticism is made of Mr Little for not informing NSW Health of what he perceived as the ‘significant spike’ in [acute respiratory illness/influenza-like illness] numbers on the Ruby Princess on 17 March.”

No recommendations were made regarding the cruise ship operator’s conduct.

The report also cleared the Australian Border Force, the home affairs department and Hazzard of any responsibility, with Walker writing that some media reports regarding the ABF had been “incorrect”.

The ABC’s Andrew Probyn reported in July that “Ruby Princess passengers [were] allowed off ship after border force mistook negative flu tests for coronavirus results”.

In his report, Walker wrote: “As this report was being finished, some interesting journalism was published that advanced the notion that a basic misreading by an ABF officer of negative influenza results as meaning negative Covid-19 results, had somehow contributed to the decision to let the passengers go as they did on 19 March. As the body of the Report spells out, that is not correct.”

He concluded that “the relevant legislative provisions make it crystal clear that the Australian Border Force, despite its portentous title, has no relevant responsibility for the processes by which … passengers were permitted to disembark from the Ruby Princess”.

“The ABF (and, for that matter, the Department of Home Affairs) do not bear any responsibility for the Ruby Princess mishap.”

Walker also responded to calls from some politicians that Hazzard should have appeared as a witness before the commission or resigned.

He describes this as a “farcical” understanding of the minister’s role.

“This commission saw no aspect of ministerial conduct that amounted to any action or inaction of any relevance to be investigated in this Inquiry – let alone by calling the minister as a witness,” he wrote.

“Of course a minister should resign in some circumstances, but as this Commission sees it, without wading into the partisan politics, this case would not appear to fit that outcome. The failures were professional – failures in decision-making by experts. They are not, as to their expert judgments, subject to ministerial direction. Nor should they be, unless our system of government were to become farcical.”

Walker did, however, criticise the federal government for resisting attempts to call witnesses from the commonwealth, describing it as “the one fly in the ointment”.

“A summons to a Commonwealth officer to attend and give evidence about the grant of pratique for the Ruby Princess was met with steps towards proceedings in the High Court of Australia,” the report said. “Quite how this met the prime minister’s early assurance of full co-operation with the commission escapes me. This waste of time and resources, when time, in particular, was always pressing, was most regrettable.”
he inquiry heard from passenger Paul Reid, who said a male doctor on board took a swab from his nose and throat, dipped it “in a mixture”, then told him “you don’t have coronavirus, you have the common cold”, despite the ship having no Covid-19 testing facility on board. Reid later tested positive for Covid-19.

Passenger Josephine Roope, whose friend died of Covid-19, also said the ship’s medical staff told her three times that her friend “only [had] the flu”, even though she had tested negative for influenza.

No recommendations were made regarding these matters in Friday’s report.

The report found passengers were given incorrect advice, multiple times, about how long they should isolate.

It found that passengers were “incorrectly advised by the ABF” during the cruise about the length of their self-isolation, and a fact sheet from NSW Health on 20 March “incorrectly advised that they were permitted to continue with onward travel”.

“The state government should have arranged suitable accommodation for all passengers who were not residents of the State,” the report found.

“Although this advice was corrected by NSW Health by the evening of 21 March, it was at that stage too late to prevent a considerable number of interstate and international passengers from onward travelling, including some passengers who were symptomatic during transit.”

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
NSW Premier acted 'too slowly' initiating Ruby Princess inquiry
New South Wales Labor leader Jodi McKay has praised Brett Walker SC for his ability to pull together a report on the ill-fated Ruby Princess despite the “rushed” nature of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess.

The findings of the inquiry are due to be handed down today to the NSW government following an investigation into why 2,700 passengers were allowed to disembark the cruise ship in Sydney on March 19 without undergoing coronavirus testing.
Ms McKay told Sky News Premier Gladys Berejiklian acted too slowly in launching an investigation into the debacle as she launched a police investigation first.
“That wasn’t going to get to the heart of protocols being breached,” she said.

She said Labor supported the push for an inquiry as it was “one of the most significant public health episodes that we’ve ever had here in NSW”.
“This is not about necessarily blaming different agencies, it’s about understanding who is responsible and ensuring this never ever happens again,” she said.

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

A NSW Police investigation into the Ruby Princess is still ongoing.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-14/ ... n/12557714
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

BREACHES
NRL investigating Brett Finch over alleged New Zealand Warriors bubble breach
EARLIER:
NRL officials are scrambling to deal with yet another possible COVID-19 breach after ex-NRL star Brett Finch allegedly left the New Zealand Warriors’ bubble before sitting alongside coach Todd Payten on Friday night.

As first reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, Finch was ordered to self-isolate immediately following the Warriors’ 18-12 loss to the Penrith Panthers.

The former Canberra, Sydney Roosters, Parramatta, Melbourne and NSW Blues five-eighth was last week granted entry into the Warriors’ Central Coast bubble after the NRL granted a request from Payten.

He sat alongside Payten in the coaches box for the Round 14 clash but was promptly withdrawn from the Warriors’ camp as the NRL investigates pictures posted of Finch on social media.

The 38-year-old was an in-person guest on the You Know The Rules podcast and appeared in at least two since-deleted photographs with the hosts which were posted on Instagram on Thursday.

It is understood the podcast was also recorded on the eve of the Panthers clash.

If Finch is found to have broken the code’s strict biosecurity protocols it will be another bitter blow for NRL officials following a recent spate of COVID-19 breaches.

South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett and St George Illawarra prop Paul Vaughan were last week fined and ordered to self-isolate for 14 days after separate restaurant visits, which are not permitted under the NRL’s strict coronavirus guidelines.

Brisbane Broncos prop Tevita Pangai Junior was this week fined $30,000 and suspended indefinitely for attending a barbershop launch in Brisbane.

The NRL is also investigating a lunch attended by up to 10 Broncos players earlier this month.

Payten praised Finch’s presence in the Warriors camp when asked what it was like having the 38-year-old in the coaching box for the first time in his post-match press conference on Friday night.
“I spoke about him last week, he’s been really good, I think having him in has been good for him as well,” Payten said.
“He likes to talk and that was probably the loudest box we’ve had for a while.”
UPDATE:
The Warriors are expected to be fined after Brett Finch left the club's bubble before entering their coaching box on Friday night.

Finch is expected to avoid sanctioning for actions according to The Australian's Brent Read, however, he will have to wait for clearance from biosecurity experts before he is allowed to return.
“The NRL can’t discipline Finch, he’s not a registered player or official with the NRL so it may be that the Warriors will cope a fine,” Read told Triple M.
“The biosecurity experts will decide if Brett has to go into a COVID hold, when he can re-enter the bubble.”

https://www.msn.com/en-au/sport/news/nr ... 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.
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