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 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:49 am

Three new cases recorded in Queensland
Queensland has recorded 3 new cases of COVID-19, with one a traveler from Sydney and 2 others on a cargo ship.
1 of the cases has been identified as a returned traveller from Sydney who is currently in hotel quarantine.
The OTHER 2 cases are crew on a cargo ship off the north coast .

There are now eight active cases of COVID-19 in the state and 1091 total confirmed cases.
It comes just three weeks after another person located on a cargo ship also contracted the virus.

Yesterday Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll announced a review into the state's quarantine system after a man absconded from a hotel in Toowoomba.
She said she did not believe the issues were "systemic" and were isolated to the particular hotel.

Meanwhile the two girls who tested positive to COVID-19 after travelling to Melbourne, sparking a major scare and record testing blitz, have been released from hospital.
The new cases bring the state's current active cases to eight with a total of 1,092 confirmed cases.

Queensland has now conducted 716,420 tests.

On the state's borders, Queensland police said hundreds of people were still being turned away ahead of the state's long weekend.
As of late Thursday, authorities had checked more than 4,000 vehicles at border checkpoints and refused entry to more than 250 people in the previous 24 hours.
Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said police were continuing to see fairly high numbers of people being turned away.

Meanwhile, an independent review into the state's hotel quarantining failure at Toowoomba is expected to be finalised within days. ... d=msedgdhp ... d=msedgdhp ... d=msedgdhp


COVID-19 concern spreads north as Wide Bay locals flock to get tested
Confirmed cases of coronavirus in south-east Queensland had neighbouring Wide Bay residents on alert this month and testing numbers soaring.

More than 2,500 COVID-19 tests were taken at Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service (WBHHS) fever clinics at Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Maryborough in the past fortnight.

The week from July 30 to August 5 saw 1516 tests, more than double the week before with 694; between August 6 to 12, 1010 tests were conducted.

The health service attributes the leap to heightened public concern after three women were diagnosed with the virus in Brisbane's south.

There was also heightened vigilance in the community after a veterinary surgery at Tinana, near Maryborough, elected to close its doors and have all staff tested, after one staff member declared they had been around a person who had been exposed to the virus.

The cautious move was praised by Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour, who said: "We must all remain vigilant and look after one another."

With no known active cases in the Wide Bay Burnett region, vigilance, hygiene, and social distancing so far appears to have served the region adequately.

Doctor pleads 'call before you come'
Fraser Coast Local Medical Association president Dr Nick Yim joined the Mayor in praising the efforts of the local community.
"The community is doing a great job," Dr Yim said.
"Early on in COVID-19 we probably weren't doing enough. Now we've definitely seen an increase [in testing].
"But we need to realise that coronavirus is a marathon, not a sprint. We need to ensure we don't become complacent."

Dr Yim said if you are sick do not get in the car — pick up the phone.
“The key thing is we don't really want people who have symptoms of fevers, coughs, sore throats, or runny nose actually coming into the medical centre, because they can then potentially spread coronavirus or even just regular viruses like the flu or the common cold," he said.
While the Queensland Government has announced it will trial COVID-19 testing in selected pharmacies around the state, Dr Yim said in general, pharmacies should be avoided if a person has any coronavirus symptoms.
"We have fever clinics located in Maryborough, Bundaberg, and Hervey Bay, along with the private pathology companies," Dr Yim said.
"So if people are unwell do not visit your retail pharmacist.
"Please contact your GP or drop into a fever clinic." ... d=msedgdhp

Coronavirus has 'exposed' Surfers Paradise weakness as shops, restaurants move against pub crawls
A recently formed organisation of Surfers Paradise business operators has called for reform within the entertainment precinct, including the enforcement of bans, or limits, on organised pub crawls.

President of the Surfers Paradise Traders Association, Elvio Pugliese, said 112 traders, including retail outlets and hospitality venues, have joined the organisation over the past month.

He said Surfers Paradise has become too dependent on tourism and the night economy and came at the cost of local trade.
"It's a ghost town," Mr Pugliese said.
"[Coroanvirus] has exposed Surfers and that's motivated us as an association because it will fall off a cliff."

Organised pub crawls were suspended in March due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Pub crawls 'not a real good look'
Mr Pugliese said the reputation of Surfers Paradise has been damaged by pub crawls that were organised by third party businesses who partnered with several major clubs.
"You see a lot of young people at the end of a pub crawl; they're all wasted and they're roaming around," he said.
"Then you have the amenity impact where they [the organisers] are trying to bring them in on early time slots when people are having a bite to eat in a restaurant and they come through and effect the mood and experience.
"If the groups were maybe smaller, and they merged in two, then they can [have] fun in smaller groups."

Mr Pugliese said most organised pub crawls — which offered free entry and drinks — were overpriced and could give Surfers Paradise a bad impression with visitors.
"The entry is free for a lot of offerings for that product — what's the $50 [ticket] buying you?" he said.
"$50 is only buying you four free drinks and the drinks are unknown; it's not a real good look."

Pub crawls in strong demand: club manager
The Bedroom Lounge Bar and SinCity Nightclub, operated by Artesian Hospitality Group, host pub crawls from Surfer Paradise's largest operator, Wicked Club Crawl.

General manager of Artesian Hospitality Group Tim Martin, who is also the president of the Surfers Paradise Licensed Venues Association, says "all the major nightclubs in town do deals with the pub crawls".
"We're happy to sit down and have a conversation but this isn't the way to go about it; by starting a new association and try and get rid of them [pub crawls]," he said.

Mr Martin said company has a cover charge on "at all times" for its venues.
"We present value for what we deliver the guys and if they don't want to go on a pub crawl they can enter our venue without it," he said.
Wicked Club Crawl has been contacted for comment.

Criticism nothing new
The now-defunct marketing body, Surfers Paradise Alliance, wrote to the Department of Justice in 2013 and 2014 and stated that "high density touting/sales being undertaken" by street-side operators should be operated under the same regulations as licensed venues.

But a spokesperson for the Office of Liquor and Gaming (OLGA) said a subsequent investigation found operators were compliant with the Liquor Act.
"OLGR has not taken any enforcement action against party tour operators and has not made any recommendations to change legislation to restrict the operation of party tours," the spokesman said.
"Recently a trader within the Surfers Paradise precinct has raised concerns with OLGR about party tours, and the agency is investigating these concerns.
"Tour operators are not required to obtain a liquor licence and, in the most part, the Liquor Act does not relate to the operator's activities." ... d=msedgdhp

Queensland's tourism industry hopeful after bumper long weekend crowds flock to major holiday destinations
Tourism operators and business owners in Queensland's major holiday destinations are rejoicing as visitors flock to beaches and hotels across the state to enjoy the long weekend.

Tourism regions hope a booming long weekend trade will help make up for the coronavirus shutdown which continues to cripple businesses.

On the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, accommodation operators have reported being the busiest they've been since the onset of the pandemic, with occupancy rates approaching 100 per cent.

Owner of the Big 4 Holiday Park at Helensvale on the Gold Coast, Theo Whitmont, said bookings were strong.
"We're at 90 per cent already, which is great. We find that weekends are very popular and certainly a long weekend makes it extra special, so we'll be very busy," Mr Whitmont said.
"About 60 per cent of our business comes out of Brisbane generally and that's the case this weekend.
"We've got people coming from as far as three hours drive."

Caravan park manager Nikki Dagan said the phones had been ringing non-stop and they were forced to turn guests away.
"We are so full, we're 100 per cent for all of this long weekend — we are so excited."

'Trying to dig ourselves out of a big hole'
Mr Whitmont said while they were expecting a solid long weekend, business was very different to previous seasons with mid-week bookings still very quiet.

He said the shortfall in weekday bookings was due to the absence of grey nomads and overseas tourists.
"All our business is from Queensland so we are of course missing out on internationals and people from other states for good reason," he said.
"We're not getting those grey nomads. I think the grey nomads that did get into Queensland when the borders opened sort of leap frogged the Gold Coast.
"So we're hoping to see them as they wander back down the coast at the end of the season.
"We're trying to dig ourselves out of a big hole from the last couple of months.
"Overall we're behind, but I have to say Queenslanders are keen to enjoy a break when they can."

On the Sunshine Coast, beachfront hotels and accommodation providers are booked out for the long weekend and main streets are bustling with visitors.

Craig Davidson from Visit Sunshine Coast said the occupation rates were fantastic and urged people to drive safely while travelling.

He said he hoped the travel restrictions forced a long term change in people's mindsets about the benefits of holidaying in their own state.
"Hopefully it's more a permanent shift in the perceptions of Australians in terms of their own backyards, I'd love to see it locked in for a lot longer than just the next year or two."

'We're in for tough times'
General Manager of Landmark Hotel and Spa, Brett Thompson, said the whole region was enjoying the much-needed boost.
"I daresay that the 'no vacancy' signs are up in Mooloolaba, so if you can't have your dagwood dog or strawberry ice cream at the Ekka, the next best thing is a weekend at Mooloolaba," he said.
"The Sunshine Coast is fortunate we've got Brisbane in our backyard, which is a great source for tourists coming to the Sunshine Coast for the weekend.
"But certainly during the week, we're showing low occupancy, mainly because that would be cropped up by the interstate or New Zealand markets at this time of year."

Mr Thompson said while the bustling atmosphere over the long weekend was a relief, challenges remained.
"Certainly I think we're in for a long haul.
"Four week bookings are pretty light on, so I think families haven't got the money they used to have — the disposable income has probably dried up during the COVID lockdown.
"I think we're in for tough times."

Mr Thompson said the JobKeeper program was keeping the hotel afloat for now, but warned any further border or travel restrictions would add pressure the industry does not need.

The Morrison family had travelled to the Gold Coast from River Hills in Brisbane.
"[We're] just enjoying being together," Sonia Morrison said.
"It's great. We were just saying that everywhere else is in lockdown and we're out here swimming and having coffees and enjoying it."

Tasmanians Sean and Tammy Britcliffe have been travelling through Queensland on a working holiday for the past five months.
"[We're] just enjoying the beautiful Queensland weather in winter, which is quite nice," Mr Britcliffe said.
"Coming from Tassie, [we] can't complain."

The couple are unsure how or when they will eventually get home to the island state.
"We're not too sure, that's why we haven't crossed the border to head home yet." ... d=msedgdhp

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. ... d=msedgdhp

4 men fined after crossing Queensland border on a boat trip
Four men have been fined thousands of dollars each after they breached Queensland's border restrictions – on a boat.

The men had bought the vessel in Byron Bay in New South Wales and planned to head for Cairns.

But they were halted by Maritime Safety Queensland about noon today at the Gold Coast Seaway.
None of the men onboard had permission to cross the border.

They were each fined $4000, and sent into two weeks of mandatory quarantine.

That hotel stay will also be at their own expense, adding up to a further $2800 each.

The boat has also been quarantined. ... id=msedgdh

Brisbane Roar's Scott McDonald investigated for alleged COVID-19 breach
Scott McDonald's presence in the A-League finals series is in doubt after the Brisbane Roar striker allegedly breached the competition's strict COVID-19 protocols.

The Former Socceroo is under investigation by Football Federation Australia after appearing on Optus Sport as a co-commentator for the UEFA Champions League, which could be in breach of the A-League's strict hub guidelines.
McDonald was shown to be sharing the small a small studio while calling Paris Saint-Germain's 2-1 win over Atalanta in the Champions League quarter-finals for Optus Sport on Thursday morning.

If found to be in breach of the protocols, the former Celtic striker may be forced to undergo a 14-days quarantine or be removed from the A-League hub.
"Football Federation Australia [FFA] confirms that it is aware that Brisbane Roar player Scott McDonald has engaged in activity as a commentator for Optus Sport's coverage of the UEFA Champions League," an FFA statement read.
"FFA is currently investigating the matter to assess whether or not the Hyundai A-League's COVID-19 Protocols were adhered to."

The Roar have completed their regular-season matches. They cannot finish lower than fifth on the table and have already secured a spot in the A-League finals, due to begin next weekend. The Roar were contacted for comment on Thursday. ... d=msedgdhp

SA records one new COVID-19 case
South Australia has recorded one new COVID-19 case, with a man in his 30s testing positive.
A man in his 30s touched down in Adelaide on August 1, and with the rest of the passengers were placed into hotel isolation.
"He is otherwise well and there is no risk or concern to the community at this time and he has been in isolation for this period of time."
The man is expected to remain in supervised quarantine at a medi-hotel in Adelaide for a further nine days.

Dr Kirkpatrick said it was not unusual for someone to test negative on a day-two COVID-19 test, but then positive on the day-12 test, as the man did.
"We know that the timeframe from exposure to developing symptoms can be anywhere up to 10 days, or even longer," she said.
"So we do test at day 12 … and we don't let anyone leave from the hotels until we have a negative result back."

The passengers were all tested for COVID-19 on the first and 12th day of their quarantine, with the man returning a positive result to the second test.
Dr Emily Kirkpatrick of SA Health said the man was otherwise well and there was no risk to the community.
She said they expected the man would be cleared to leave quarantine in a further nine days.

Testing rates remain high in South Australia, with about 13 % of the population having been checked. In all, 311,863 tests have been administered, including 6808 today.

Border 'like a firebreak', minister says
Members of regional Victorian border town communities expressed dismay earlier this week in response to a decision to restrict travel into SA from Victoria to essential travellers only.

Education, shopping and non-urgent medical care will no longer be considered reasons to enter SA from Victoria.

Victorian border residents argued this would cause people to travel further into central Victoria for supplies, increasing their personal risk of contractive the virus.

But SA Health Minister Stephen Wade defended the policy today, arguing that it was necessary in order to keep South Australians safe.
"The border that we have is basically like a firebreak," he said.
"We want to stop the COVID bushfire in Melbourne becoming a spot fire in regional Victoria and leading on to bushfires in South Australia.
"That is why we have a very strong border — we make no apologies for that."

He said the SA Government wanted to maintain the most open society possible, while protecting the health and wellbeing of South Australians. ... d=msedgdhp ... d=msedgdhp ... d=msedgdhp

SA aged care staff can't work across multiple facilities
The SA Government's announced drastic new changes to the aged care sector to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Employees will soon be limited to working at one site only and masks will be required during close contact. ... d=msedgdhp

Clive Palmer's legal action against WA will 'absolutely' be quashed by new law, Premier says
The WA Government is confident its extraordinary legislation to terminate Clive Palmer's multi-billion dollar legal challenge will defeat any federal court action the mining magnate attempts.
Western Australia's Parliament passed unprecedented legislation overnight aimed at blocking a damages claim — relating to a long-running dispute over an iron ore project in the Pilbara region of WA — the damages for which the WA Government estimates as up to $30 billion.
"We've done the right thing, I am absolutely confident that I can rest easy in the knowledge I've done everything I can to protect the people of this state from the most rapacious, largest, most extraordinary financial claim every submitted against the state government in the history of Australia," WA Premier Mark McGowan said.

While the WA Government this week urgently tried to pass the bill, which was rushed to WA Governor Kim Beazley in the middle of the night to be signed off, Mr Palmer was fighting back with his own legal actions.

Mr Palmer denied the WA Government had won and flagged a High Court challenge to the new law because it was "unconstitutional" and made WA an "outlaw state" and a "banana republic".
"The reality is the High Court that will strike down their legislation," he told Radio National.
"The Premier Mark McGowan and the Attorney General are the first law officers that have ever given themselves indemnity from prosecution under legislation.”

The Queensland businessman believes the legislation is invalid and has launched Federal Court proceedings against it.

Further legal action expected
Mr McGowan said he was "not at all" concerned the Federal Court action would blow the legislation out of the water.
"The advice we have … is that the bill we passed last night defeats that," Mr McGowan said.
"The bill is already through, it's the law of the state. It's the law of the land. It defeats any Federal Court action."

Mr McGowan said while the state was "very confident in its position", it was prepared for Mr Palmer to continue to fight the state through litigation.
"That's what he does," Mr McGowan said.
"We knew this was going to happen when we started this process … but we had to do this to protect the people of this state. What were my choices?"

Mr Palmer had previously said he would challenge the Government's move in the High Court.

Clive Palmer hangs up on ABC host
Mr Palmer continued to take aim at Mr McGowan during his Radio National interview.
"We're fighting for justice," Mr Palmer said.
"It's about the Premier of Western Australia giving himself immunity from criminal prosecution.
"You go to Western Australia, he can murder, shoot you, raid your house and he's immune from the criminal law.
"All Australians, no matter who they are, are subject to the law. That's what protects our democracy."

Mr Palmer abruptly ended his interview with presenter Hamish McDonald after he was asked about being depicted as a cane toad and a cockroach on the front page of the West Australian newspaper this week.
"I've had enough talking to you, mate," Mr Palmer said, before hanging up.

Mr McGowan said the Queensland businessman's rhetoric had continued to escalate throughout the dispute.
"Do you think he might be going a little bit far here? Do you think he might be so angry because we stopped him getting $30 billion of West Australians' money?" Mr McGowan said when he was told of Mr Palmer's comments.

Clive Palmer's application 'unprofessional'
Former WA premier Colin Barnett told ABC Radio Perth his government in 2012 rejected Clive Palmer's application to develop the Balmoral South iron ore mine in the Pilbara on a host of grounds including environmental, safety and asbestos issues.
"He just simply presented the department [with] boxes full of documents, it was not a professional or competent way to proceed with a major project," Mr Barnett said.
"We've never had this sort of behaviour in some 80-odd agreement acts in the last 50 or 60 years in Western Australia, so [a] very unusual situation."

In 2014, Mr Palmer put forward another set of proposals to pursue the issue and was given approval subject to 46 detailed conditions.

It was then "up to Clive to pursue it if he wanted to get the project off the ground," Mr Barnett said.

Premier Mark McGowan told Parliament on Thursday the entire saga could have been avoided if Mr Barnett's Government had followed legal advice to appeal against an arbitral award which found in favour of Mr Palmer in 2014 in relation to the case.

But Mr Barnett told the ABC it was "totally inappropriate" for the McGowan Government to table legal advice given to a former government or premier.
"The advice given to me was that we do not appeal," he said.

$30b claim has 'no credibility'
He said the estimate of $30 billion Mr Palmer was aiming to get from the state was "wildly exaggerated" and "had no credibility".
"If you look at it, what loss has Clive Palmer suffered? None," Mr Barnett said.
"I suspect and I think everyone probably suspects … he wants to get this project approved so he can sell it.
"There's never been a dispute like this in Western Australia because it's always been dealing with credible companies that actually want to develop a project not sell the right to a project."

Mr Barnett said he was concerned about the emergency legislation that passed through Parliament overnight.
"I haven't opposed it and the Liberal Party hasn't opposed it either, but it does have some extreme and draconian clauses in it and I think getting into litigation with Clive Palmer will be incredibly frustrating," he said. ... id=msedgdh

Clive Palmer's multi-billion dollar legal claim blocked
The WA Governor has signed off on Mark McGowan's controversial law to block Clive Palmer's multi-billion-dollar legal claim. ... d=msedgdhp

Clive Palmer's legal row with WA is far from over, despite urgent laws to block his damages claim
Western Australia's Parliament has passed unprecedented legislation aimed at blocking a damages claim said to be worth $30 billion, but its extraordinary legal stoush with mining magnate Clive Palmer is far from over.

The eye-watering claim — which amounts to the state's annual budget — relates to a long-running dispute over an iron ore project in the Pilbara region of WA.

Mr Palmer, Mineralogy and International Minerals have an arbitration claim against the WA Government over decisions made in the early 2010s about the Balmoral South iron ore project.

Mr Palmer and his lawyers have argued proposals were unjustly refused, costing him billions.

Legislation to block the arbitration and any liability by the state of WA passed Parliament last night, just two days after it was introduced in the Lower House.
The legislation passed through the Upper House by a vote of 19 votes to 9.
This was despite the opposition and some crossbenchers calling for more time to consider the legislation, due to its unprecedented and complex nature.

Clive Palmer makes pre-emptive strikes
Prior to the bill passing, Mr Palmer made a couple of big moves of his own, aimed at thwarting the legislation.

Firstly, he had a significant win in the Queensland Supreme Court, which ruled that the arbitral awards previously made in favour of Mr Palmer be "enforced".
Then Mr Palmer took further legal action, filing legal papers in the Federal Court demanding the state abandon its legislative intervention immediately.
That application also seeks damages, interests and costs against the state.

What does it mean for the huge damages claim?
WA Attorney General John Quigley previously said the Government couldn't legally pursue the matter once it was registered before the courts, which is why the Government was so keen to see it rushed through Parliament.

For this reason, Mr Palmer was claiming to have had a significant victory following the order made by the Queensland Supreme Court.

But the WA Government had been anticipating such a move and designed this legislation so that once it was passed and became law, the arbitration was terminated as of Tuesday, when it was introduced to Parliament.

Premier Mark McGowan thanked Parliament for passing the legislation.
"The Government has done what it can to protect taxpayers from Clive Palmer's $30 billion claim which would have bankrupted our state, and we're very confident and all the legal advice says these laws will work," he said.

He said it was unprecedented but had to be done.
"I wasn't going to let Clive Palmer cripple our State and cripple our economy just so he could take $30 billion from West Australian taxpayers," he said.
"My conscience is clear. I know we have done the right thing here. We have done the right thing by the 2.6 million West Australians and future generations."

What has Clive Palmer had to say in response?
Mr Palmer denied the WA Government had won and signalled a High Court challenge to the new law.
"The reality is the High Court will strike down their legislation," he told Radio National.
"The Premier Mark McGowan and the Attorney-General are the first law officers that have ever given themselves indemnity from prosecution under legislation."

The Queensland billionaire labelled claims by Mr McGowan he was seeking $30 billion in damages as "bull".

Mr Palmer also said the WA Government could not overrule the Supreme Court of Queensland's decision.
"This is an outlaw swinging his gun around to protect him and his Attorney-General from the criminal law," he said.
"[The legislation is] invalid. It won't take the High Court long to throw it out, because that's not what the separation of powers is all about."

One way or another, the dispute appears bound for court
According to Murdoch University constitutional law lecturer Lorraine Finlay, the incredible legal battle is far from over.
"I don't think anybody can say for certain exactly where this ends up, other than that the winners will be the lawyers and undoubtedly I think the losers are the people of Western Australia," she said.
"Because no matter what happens here, I think there is going to be a protracted legal battle and there are just extraordinary circumstances that seem to leave Western Australia quite exposed to potentially an extremely large damages claim.
"We know that Clive Palmer will launch legal challenges in relation to this entire dispute and undoubtedly I think we are going to find that this will end up being decided by the courts.
"It is just a question of whether it is the [new] WA law that will end up being challenged in court, or whether it is the existing dispute that will proceed through the arbitration and then end up in court."

So what precedent does the law set?
Intervening in a legal process in this way is an extraordinary step with potentially enormous consequences.
Mr Palmer claims the legislation is unconstitutional and will scare business off from investing in WA, by damaging its reputation as a trusted and reliable trading partner.
On the other hand, the WA Government has said this is a really unique set of circumstances, and therefore does not set a dangerous precedent.

But Ms Finlay said this legislation does present a risk.
"It is quite extraordinary because on the one hand we have got the WA Parliament trying to legislate itself out of litigation, and then on the other hand we have got Clive Palmer trying to litigate himself out of being affected by legislation," she said.
"It does create some level of risk because the Government has shown that in some circumstances it is prepared to do this and to enact legislation that targets a particular person or a particular company.
"And undoubtedly that does establish some level of risk in terms of opening up the possibility that if there are extraordinary circumstances again, the government might take this action again." ... d=msedgdhp ... d=msedgdhp

Woman accused of sneaking into WA from Victoria by hiding in a truck
A woman who allegedly snuck through Western Australia's hard border from coronavirus-plagued Victoria has fronted court.

Asher Faye Vander Sanden, 28, appeared in Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday after she was charged with one count of failing to comply with a direction of the Emergency Management Act.

She was arrested on Tuesday by police at her boyfriend's home in Scarborough on Tuesday, the West Australian reported.

Vander Sanden, who has been in jail since her arrest, appeared via video link wearing a face mask and gloves.
She made no application for bail and is in isolation while in Bandyup Women's Prison, WA Today reported.

Police allege that Vander Sanden, who is from WA, travelled to the state by road between July 30 and August 11 after discovering she would have to pay for hotel quarantine.

The cost is estimated to have been $2,500.
She had allegedly been granted an exemption to fly to WA from Melbourne on Tuesday but police launched an investigation after she didn't arrive at the airport.

A police spokesman said more charges could follow if it is determined she may have been assisted by an accomplice.
The vast majority of the WA community are doing the right thing, however everyone is reminded of their obligations to comply with any given direction when entering the state,' the spokesperson said.

Vander Sanden is believed to have tested negative to coronavirus.

If found guilty she could spend a year in prison or be fined up to $50,000.

The case will return to court on August 25. ... d=msedgdhp
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:51 am


Government warns Queensland Premier 'walking a fine line' with border control
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says the Queensland Government is "walking a fine line" with how it is handling state border closures.

Mr Dutton told Today the public would not tolerate the coronavirus pandemic being used as a political weapon.
"There is a lot of politics being played in Queensland at the moment by the state government in relation to this issue," Mr Dutton said.
"The game-playing going on in Queensland at the moment by Premier Palasczuk I think is farcical.
"You see brochures going out into letterboxes in marginal seats and Annastacia Palaszczuk is walking a fine line here."
Mr Dutton also said the Queensland Government's actions could negatively impact its relationship with NSW, after Ms Palaszczuk referred to the current coronavirus situation in NSW as "danger at our doorstep".

Deputy Opposition Leader Richard Marles said border closures should have been implemented earlier.
"Evidently we didn't close the borders in time, that has become completely clear," Mr Marles said.
"(Coronavirus) is throughout the aged care system, which is fundamentally a Commonwealth responsibility.
"What we don't see is the prime minister standing up, day in and day out, accepting that responsibility – like for example what we are seeing with the Victorian Premier – I think that is what Australia wants to see." ... d=msedgdhp

Federal Agriculture Minister urges premiers to 'inject' themselves into cross-border issues
The Federal Government has ramped up pressure on state premiers to resolve major issues caused by recent border closures, with the Agriculture Minister concerned food supplies could fall and prices spike.

The ABC has been told Federal MPs have been inundated with emails and calls from residents in border towns and regional communities who have raised concerns about the effect on farming, supply chains and human health services.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said border closures has resulted in "serious unintended consequences" and he urged state premiers to "inject themselves" into the situation.
"Hard closures are stopping the flow of silage contractors and grain harvesters between Queensland and New South Wales," Mr Littleproud said.
"Particularly as we get into harvest for winter crops, unless we get this right … unless you continue to address it and work with it, it will ultimately fall down.
"This is where we can create mechanisms that will evade us from hitting any of those types of pressures into the future."

Mr Littleproud said if the situation was not addressed consumers might see less meat, fruit and vegetables in supermarkets down the track.
"Potentially, supply chains will be let down and supply will be diminished and that has an effect in terms of pricing," he said.

Animal welfare concerns
Aside from the numerous human health impacts on residents who rely on GPs, specialists and allied health care across state borders, Mr Littleproud said animal welfare was also at stake.

He pointed out that Queensland veterinarians and agronomists were unable to visit clients in northern NSW.
"In one case, a Victorian pastoralist is unable to get to Broken Hill to feed and water her 500 cattle," Mr Littleproud said.
"In Corowa, a number of Victorian-based management and staff of a 5,000-head dairy are prevented from crossing the border, putting at risk the health and welfare of animals."

Cattle graziers John and Sharon Kelly from Korumburra, south-east of Melbourne, have been worried about the 6,000 head of cattle they previously sent to NSW to feed on greener pastures.
"I could just drive up there, [and] check on them," Mr Kelly said.
"I'd camp the night, take a swag, take a float with maybe a horse, some dogs, camp the night and the come back again.
"As of last Friday, we can't do that — we can't get across the border.
"That's now a major concern both on an animal welfare point of view, animal security and just good business practice."

Ms Kelly said she understood the need for border restrictions but argued farming work was critical and urged state governments to communicate with each other and be flexible.
"We are feeding the nation, effectively," she said.
"We are growing the cattle that's going to feed the nation over the next two years — it's not a short-term thing."

Human health impacts
Country communities have also raised concerns about the lack of access to health services due to border closures.
"Patients in Tenterfield, in northern NSW had been unable to access treatment in Queensland," Mr Littleproud said.
"While a heavily pregnant woman in Moree had been declined a permit to visit Toowoomba to see her obstetrician."

From Friday August 21, Victorians living in border towns will be allowed to enter South Australia if they are essential travellers, with minor exceptions such as for Year 11 and 12 students and farmers with properties on either side of the border.

Distraught residents say the decision by the SA Government will have devastating impacts on local morale and businesses, and could also increase the risk of coronavirus transmission.

There is angst over medical staff shortages in northern NSW because doctors, nurses and other professionals living across the border in Queensland cannot enter without quarantining for 14 days.

The Federal Government was not responsible for state border closures, but Mr Littleproud said Prime Minister Scott Morrison would "seek to raise the issue with premiers where practical".

The ABC asked NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard if the permit system could be changed to allow farmers access to their properties and a spokeswoman said the issue is being looked at.

"The Health Minister instructed NSW Health to work with agriculture officials to see what steps can be taken that strike the balance of firstly, keeping NSW residents safe from COVID-19 and, secondly, facilitate agricultural workers to cross the border where absolutely necessary," she said. ... d=msedgdhp

Tough border closures spark fears of higher grocery prices
Border closures across the country could soon hit consumers with higher prices for groceries a likely result of the measures put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Federal Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud, fears the closures could hit supply chains - increasing the cost of groceries and jeopardising animal welfare.

The border closures could soon mean more expensive prices at the checkout, he said.
"Keeping all of our agricultural supply chains secure is absolutely critical to ensuring supermarket prices for fresh products remains affordable for Australians while maintaining some of the best animal welfare standards in the world," Mr Littleproud said.

Mr Littleproud said he respected the decision to close the borders but argued the "practical application" was limiting the agricultural movement of businesses that sit along the border towns.
"So, the practical application of some of the arbitrary closures means that supply chains can be interrupted," Mr Littleproud told the ABC.
"We're coming up to harvest and if we can't get our harvesters there, if we can't even get our vets into some of these communities there's also animal welfare issues.
"And we've got farmers with properties on both sides of the border that can't get up and make sure their stock have got food and water.
"And there is a real challenge that we've got to just - I'm asking the state premiers to come together and understand and appreciate that regional Australia is a little bit different."

Earlier today, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed she had not spoken to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk about the issue outside of National Cabinet.
"She is has not called me or contacted me," Ms Berejiklian told Today.
"We have been trying really hard with the Victorian border, Daniel Andrews and I are in constant contact about that and it is really hard. When you have a border closure it affects so many people.
"We are working every day to make sure that people who need to get through are doing it freely and trying to keep people safe and striking that balance."
"Mini bubbles" between areas along the NSW and Queensland border were not enough, Mr Littleproud said.
"They haven't been well thought out and they don't go far enough, and they've got to be predicated on science, I respect that," he added.
"They need to make sure they are going into areas that don't have COVID cases that are alive and active and that can be achieved, and I think there is a framework.
"But you need to understand and work with these communities locally, not just make the call from Brisbane, or Sydney, or Melbourne but actually get out and understand from these communities what the practical application is for them about living their lives, but also about feeding and clothing us." ... d=msedgdhp ... d=msedgdhp

Defensive Scott Morrison apologises for failures in managing the risk of Covid-19 in aged care
Scott Morrison has offered a qualified apology for failures in managing the risk of Covid-19 in aged care, saying he is “deeply sorry” about the times when the response may have fallen short.

As his government faces mounting pressure over aged care outbreaks, the prime minister went on the defensive, saying he and everyone involved in the frontline response were working their hardest “to ensure that Australians are not let down during this period”.
Speaking on a day when the total number of deaths in residential aged care in Australia passed 200, Morrison said: “The sad truth is, some days, we fall short.”

Morrison said there were “no absolute guarantees in a global pandemic” and that the country as a whole was “moving heaven and earth” to deal with those unprecedented circumstances.
When asked whether he was conceding that the pandemic had gotten the better of the commonwealth’s response in aged care facilities, and whether the affected families were owed an apology, Morrison answered in broader terms.
“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.”

Morrison said he was offering the Australian people “simple honesty” that there were good days and bad days. He said the government was “devastated” by those bad days, but it “motivates us to try to ensure that those issues don’t arise again”.

Morrison also used the media event to push back at strong criticisms aired this week at the royal commission into aged care – an inquiry originally established by Morrison himself.

The counsel assisting the royal commission, Peter Rozen QC, accused the federal government of displaying “a degree of self-congratulation and even hubris” in the crucial months between the Newmarch House outbreak in April and the developing situation in Victoria in mid-June. Rozen also criticised the federal government over the lack of an aged care-specific coronavirus plan.

Rejecting those “assertions”, Morrison said preparations had been made since January and it was wrong to claim the government had no plan.
“Where there have been failings, where things are fallen short, I can assure you it wasn’t as a result of complacency,” Morrison said.
“Those who are doing a professional job each and every day are doing the best job they possibly can, and so, no, I don’t accept that reflection that was made against all of those hard-working people.
“That has not been the attitude of our government and will not be.”

Labor called on the government to immediately act on the advice of the royal commissioner, Tony Pagone QC, who said on Thursday that the government should create an aged care-specific national coordinating body.

The opposition leader, Anthony Albanese, said aged care was a federal responsibility and Morrison needed to take responsibility. He said the federal government had been too focused on responding to events, rather than preventing outbreaks in the first place.
“I must say, when I think of what is going on in aged care facilities at the moment, some of the stories that I am hearing and the pictures that we are seeing, my heart is shredded,” Albanese told reporters.

But at the earlier media conference, Morrison sounded like he was not about to take up the national coordinating body proposal. The prime minister pointed to the aged care response centre the government had established in Victoria last month.

The acting chief medical officer, Prof Paul Kelly, said the national cabinet was considering how to replicate that response centre in other states and territories if needed – but he indicated the focus remained on Victoria.
“Rather than looking at a national one well away from the action, we are going to straight where the action is required and dealing with those matters,” Kelly said.

Earlier, the Australian health department’s top bureaucrat, Prof Brendan Murphy, used his appearance before a Senate committee to reject claims of a lack of planning and to insist that the commonwealth was now “actively looking at what else we can do”.

Related: Hundreds of Australia’s aged care residents will die of Covid because of government failure, expert warns

The royal commission heard evidence on Wednesday from Prof Joseph Ibrahim, of Monash University’s forensic medicine department, who said he believed Australia’s rate of death in residential aged care was more than 68% – the second-highest in the world behind Canada at 80%.

Addressing the Senate’s Covid-19 committee on Friday, Murphy said that was an “extraordinary” interpretation of statistics. He said deaths had affected 0.1% of aged care residents in Australia, compared with 5% in the UK.
“Every death is an absolute tragedy ... but to interpret a percentage of an extremely low death rate as an example of poor aged care management is simply not defensible,” said Murphy, the former chief medical officer, who is now secretary of the health department.
“We find that a very misleading conclusion and we reject that it represents a pejorative assessment of our aged care.”

Labor senator Kristina Keneally challenged Murphy over his statement that Covid-19 had claimed the lives of 0.1% of residents in aged care in Australia, suggesting that sounded “like a degree of self-congratulation”.
“That 0.1% was not in any way self-congratulatory,” Murphy replied.
“It was merely to try and point out the context of the somewhat ludicrous conclusion that the percentage of deaths in aged care of all of the deaths was somehow by intentional comparisons bad.
“I don’t for a minute underestimate the horrible tragedy of every single death and we are absolutely devastated by it. Every day we look at death statistics and we are deeply shocked and deeply concerned, so I think it’s a very unfair characterisation to claim that.”

Pressed on the claim that authorities were not prepared for aged care even now, he said: “Respectfully I would disagree with counsel assisting ... I’m saying we’re actively looking at what else we can do.”

The Covid-19 Senate committee chair, Katy Gallagher, said the statements from the counsel assisting were “a pretty damning indictment on the preparation for aged care outbreaks”.

Murphy said he had attended the royal commission earlier this week “aiming to discuss what we could do better, but we ended up discussing an interpretation of statistics and whether or not a plan was a plan”.

Murphy pointed to the investment of $850m in workforce surge, training, personal protective equipment, first responders and testing.
“We are certainly not arrogant or we don’t show hubris. We know that what’s happening in Victoria is absolutely tragic, which is why we have a large team in the Victorian response centre working very closely with the Victorian Department of Health.”

Murphy said he met with the prime minister and ministers every morning to discuss the Victorian aged care outbreaks.
“It is a serious concern for government and it is a tragic situation which we had hoped would not occur,” he said. “We are responding to it but I do take issue, respectfully, with the conclusions of counsel assisting.” ... d=msedgdhp ... d=msedgdhp

Health Department boss Brendan Murphy hits back in royal commission row over coronavirus deaths in aged care homes
The head of the Health Department has accused the aged care royal commission's lawyer of using misleading statistics to criticise the Government's response to COVID-19.

Department of Health secretary Prof Brendan Murphy and other members of the federal health bureaucracy have bristled against evidence presented in the commission this week that many of the deaths in aged care homes were preventable.

Several times during this week's hearings, counsel assisting Peter Rozen QC said aged care was over-represented in Australia's death toll.
"Presently, 68 % of all COVID-19 deaths in Australia relate to people in residential aged care," he said in his opening remarks on Monday.
"The evidence that you will hear is that this makes Australia the country with one of the highest rates in the world of residential aged care deaths as a proportion of deaths from COVID-19."

By his closing statement yesterday, he said that proportion had increased to 70 per cent.

But Professor Murphy, who served as Australia's chief medical officer until June, today told a Senate committee that using those figures to suggest Australia was performing poorly was an "extraordinary interpretation of statistics", labelling the conclusion "ludicrous".
"When you have a very, very low death rate generally, then the aged care death rate as a proportion is high," he said.
"Every death is an absolute tragedy and it's been an awful situation, but to interpret a percentage of an extremely low death rate as an example of poor aged care management is simply not defensible.
"I don't believe any expert ... would agree with that as a conclusion, we find that a very misleading conclusion.
"We've had tragic deaths in aged care, but it is only 0.1 per cent of aged care residents, compared to 5 per cent in the UK. Other countries have had 20,000 deaths."

The committee's chair, Labor senator Katy Gallagher, said: "Do you think for the families of those that have lost loved ones that that statistic would be particularly difficult to accept?" ... d=msedgdhp

PM rejects claims the Commonwealth lacked coronavirus aged care plan
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pushed back at claims the Royal Commission into Aged Care found the federal government did not have an aged care plan in place to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
Council Assistant to RC Peter Rozen QC told the commission the Commonwealth lacked an adequate aged care plan and that their failure to act led to the premature deaths of a number of elderly patients.

When questioned on Mr Rozen’s claim on Friday, Mr Morrison insisted they were “not a royal commission finding, that is a statement that has been made by the council assisting”.
“There was a plan, there has been a plan, and it has been updated and so we completely reject the assertion that there was not a plan because there was a plan,” he said.
“Every day every effort is being made, and on those days that we fall short we’re sorry and the next day we get up and we seek to make it right the next day.”

PM calls for 'reality check' on pandemic response
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called for a reality check to Australians demanding perfection from those dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
"Each and every day, they are all just doing their best to ensure that Australians are not let down during this period," he said in a media conference.
"And the sad truth is, some days, we fall short. And other days, we don't.
"On some days, the pandemic gets the better of us, and on other days, it doesn't."

Mr Morrison said nobody has ever had to deal with something like the coronavirus pandemic before.
"There are no absolute guarantees in a global pandemic.
"There are no absolute assurances that can be provided.
"I think great that Australians have high expectations of the services and standards and facilities, whether it's in a school or a hospital, an aged care facility - anywhere. That's what Australia should aspire to. And that's what everybody seeks to do each and every single day."

Mr Morrison insisted Australia was "in the fight" and "going to win it".
"There'll be no lack of commitment or effort," he said.
"But guarantees in a global pandemic – if someone's offering them to you, then they're not being straight with you. So I'm going to be straight with you." ... d=msedgdhp

Aus 'moving heaven and earth' to support Victoria
U.N. Human Rights team probes spike in tension in Chile`s restive Araucania
Police seek woman after man's body found in Cairns

Aus 'moving heaven and earth' to support Victoria
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has today praised the nation’s health response to Victoria’s devastating second wave of infections – stating the most was being done to fight the pandemic.

Mr Morrison announced more than 400 aged care residents had been relocated, largely with the assistance of the Aged Care Response Centre, to hospitals for treatment.

He said 71 aged care facilities were now classified as “COVID-free” with bolstered infection control following screening by health officials.

Two additional medical teams were deployed this week from Townsville and Western Australia to join two teams previously deployed from South Australia.

More than 1700 ADF personnel have been deployed in Victoria to date supporting local officials with the health response including testing, police checkpoints and door knocking.
“There'll be more. This will continue. New things will be added … I fear that we will still see things that will occur that we will find absolutely unacceptable, and they are unacceptable,” the prime minister said.
“There'll be no lack of commitment or effort. But guarantees in a global pandemic, if someone's offering them to you, then they're not being straight with you.
“I'm going to be straight with you. That's where we're at. We're moving heaven and earth, as a country at the moment, to ensure that we can deal with this.
"We're in the fight. And we're going to win it.” ... d=msedgdhp ... d=msedgdhp ... d=msedgdhp

How Australians spent their one-off $750 Federal government coronavirus stimulus payments
Nearly a third of people who received the Federal Government's first COVID-19 stimulus payments saved the money, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows.

to about 6.5 million Australians on government benefits, at a cost of

The payment was delivered early in the pandemic as a precursor to the JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs in a bid to stimulate economic activity.

At the time it was announced, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he did not want to tell Australians how to spend the money.

"But what we do know from experience is that they will spend that money, and that money will encourage economic activity," he said.

However, of the millions of people that received payments not everyone put it back into the economy immediately — 29 per cent saved it, and 28 per cent used it to pay bills.
NSW residents were more likely to use the money primarily to pay household bills (35 per cent), compared with 22 per cent who saved it.

The survey of about 2,600 people, conducted between May 10 and 23, found 12 per cent mainly used the money to buy food.

It also showed less than 10 per cent of people used it to pay their mortgage or rent.

A second package, now known as JobSeeker, of a $550 fortnightly supplement to those on unemployment and other benefits, was made in late April at a cost of

The data showed nearly 70 % of the stimulus went to people aged 65 and over, and 45 % of that group added the money to their savings.

Household finances program director at the Grattan Institute, Brendan Coates, said retirees tended to save extra money.
"Our research shows that the average retiree is a net saver, that even applies to those receiving the pension," he said.
"They are saving for a rainy day, even when it is pouring outside."

He said the higher numbers saving the money in South Australia reflected the state's older average age.

Nearly half — 47 % — of Tasmanians received the stimulus money.

He expected the saved money to be spent over the next few months.
"Savings rates rise even if the payments are effective," he said.
"You don't spend it all, that gives us more of a buffer as we come off the JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments."

Around half the people who received a stimulus payment were unemployed or not in the labour force, and receiving the Newstart allowance which was subsequently replaced by the JobSeeker program.

Executive Director of Anglicare Australia Kasy Chambers said at the start of the pandemic when the $750 was dispersed, there were two cohorts of people on Newstart.

She said one group, who were managing to live on the old Newstart allowance but spending about 20 per cent more than they were getting every week, would have spent the stimulus money.

However, she said the second group did not expect to lose their jobs and had some savings as a financial buffer.
"In our emergency release centres, we are now seeing people who have managed to make ends meet until now, but it is getting harder," he said.
"They have worked through the goodwill of friends and family, and their savings."

She said people in the big cities like Sydney were under more financial pressure because of high rents, and casualisation of the workforce which had made work more precarious. ... d=msedgdhp

Australians urged to holiday in Australia as industry struggles
The Tourism Minister has urged Australians to re-think their approach to holidays at home. New figures show Australia's domestic travel spending plunged by more than $11 billion in April and May, compared to the same period in 2019. ... d=msedgdhp

The little known holiday loophole which means you CAN go to Fiji
Holidaymakers can now go to Fiji thanks to a little known travel loophole.

Australians have been stopped from travelling internationally since March 20 due to coronavirus.

But the Blue Lanes Initiative allows Australians to travel to Fiji's Port Denarau by yacht following 14 days of uninterrupted quarantine at sea, with vessels not allowed to stop at any other ports.

Boat owners must also present a negative COVID-19 test - more than 100 tourists have taken advantage of this since the initiative began a month ago.

Kris Fothergill, his wife and four children, who are from the Gold Coast, have been sailing the Pacific Ocean since May 2019.

They docked in New Zealand at the beginning of this year and while the plan was to head to Fiji in May the family were delayed.

However, this meant they could take advantage of the Blue Lanes initiative.
'When borders shut due to coronavirus, sailing vessels weren't going anywhere besides home,' Mr Fothergill told Daily Mail Australia

But we weren't ready to go home and have no plans to return to Australia in the near future.'

Mr Fothergill said his family arrived in Port Denarau in late July after nine days at sea.

The family were required to have a negative COVID-19 test when they left New Zealand and after the 14-day quarantine period.
'Ignorance isn't bliss. We are aware [of the pandemic] and the last thing we want to be doing in endangering people here,' Mr Fothergill said.
'But because we were coming from New Zealand, which up until a couple of days ago was COVID-free, we were confident we wouldn't be a burden and could contribute to the local economy.'

Mr Fothergill said the locals were happy to see the family and described the island as 'apocalyptic'.
'We are on the western side of the island and there are all these hotels and sandy beaches with no one on them,' he said.

New Zealand woman Jo Pullin and her family have also taken advantage of the initiative, the ABC reported.
The family-of-five arrived in Port Denarau after 10 days at sea.

Mrs Pullin said she wanted to meet Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and thank him personally for allowing them into the country.

She said said in a video that was shared to the Mr Bainimarama's Twitter page that it was a great way to escape the New Zealand winter and put money into the Fiji economy.

Mrs Pullin had similar comments regarding the 'heartbreaking' situation.
'The place was deserted … last year it was pumping, there were people [and] boats everywhere,' Mrs Pullin said.
'They were quite keen to know if more people were going to be turning up.'
Fiji had just 27 cases of coronavirus and recently reached 100 days without any cases of community transmission.

In June 2019 there were 85,000 tourists to Fiji compared to just in the same month 413 this year.

Port Denarau general manager Cynthia Rasch said it was the safest way to start opening up the country and the move was 'low-risk'.

The Department of Home Affairs has strict guidelines on whether Australians are allowed to leave the country.

These include whether your travel is in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, such as the provision of aid, if it is essential to business, for medical treatment or urgent and unavoidable personal business.

No one can leave the country without an exemption.

Daily Mail Australia had contacted The Department of Home Affairs for comment. ... d=msedgdhp

RBA governor not ruling out negative rates
Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe is not ruling out a policy of negative interest rates but says it it is extraordinary unlikely.
"In a world that is so uncertain and fluid, I don't think it is prudent to rule it out," Dr Lowe told a parliamentary hearing on Friday.

The cash rate has been at a record low of 0.25 per cent since March in the face of the biggest economic contraction for decades.

It is expected to stay that way for several years.

Dr Lowe said the main benefit from a negative cash rate would be stimulating downward pressure on the Australian dollar.

However, he said negative interest rates do impair the profitability and efficiency of the financial system, while also hampering the ability to provide credit.
"Negative interest rates also encourage people to save more, not spend more," he said.

Someone putting $100 in the bank may only get $95 back in five years' time under a negative interest rate policy.

In some European countries and Japan, there is evidence this has resulted in people wanting to save more.
"So negative interest rates can become contractionary ... I don't think the cost benefit justifies negative interest rates," Dr Lowe said.

He took issue with committee deputy chair and Labor MP Andrew Leigh suggesting he was putting bank profits before jobs.
"What I want to see is the credit supply work properly because we need banks that are profitable and are willing to supply credit and that credit supply markets are not distorted." ... d=msedgdhp

Woolworths hires chief medical officer to look at coronavirus response
Woolworths has hired a doctor with 20 years' experience as a chief medical officer to oversee the company's coronavirus response.

Dr McCartney will create policies to combat the spread of the virus, including educating staff on the importance of wearing face masks

The supermarket giant has already asked customers in New South Wales, Canberra and parts of Queensland to wear a mask while shopping but it's not compulsory.

Melbourne is in the middle of stage 4 restrictions which mean all residents need to wear a mask if they leave the house outside of the 8pm to 5am curfew.
Dr McCartney is the founder of Resile which advises companies like Qantas and Rio Tinto on how to protect workers and reduce risk of exposure to illnesses including COVID-19.

Woolworth's is Australia's largest private employer with 200,000 staff across its supermarkets, distribution centres and head offices.

According to the Australian Financial Review, Dr McCartney will continue his work in private practice while he consults for the supermarket chain.

Dr McCartney believes other companies will start appointing similar positions as they adjust to operating during the coronavirus crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic had bolstered the focus on employee and customer health, but the need to look after their wellbeing pre-dated the spread of coronavirus.'

Woolworths Group safety and health manager, Brian Long said: 'Dr McCartney's appointment will ensure we keep at the forefront of occupational health, hygiene and public health policy as it relates to COVID-19. ... d=msedgdhp

Flight Centre says it has paid nearly $500 million in refunds in Australia – and there's more to come
 Flight Centre has revealed how much money it has refunded to Australians whose flights were impacted by coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
 The company said it has given nearly $500 million in refunds to Australians alone.
 It also expects underlying losses of between $475 million and $525 million during the 2020 financial year.
Flight Centre has revealed how much it has doled out in flight refunds so far, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rock the travel industry.
The travel company said that so far it has processed full or partial refunds of almost $500 million in Australia alone. "The company is working to return money to customers as quickly as possible after airlines and other suppliers return that money to [Flight Centre]," the company said in a statement to the ASX.

It comes as the coronavirus pandemic caused the government to enforce travel restrictions, which led to a number of cancelled flights. Earlier this year, Flight Centre received criticism after initially charging a $300 per person fee to travellers who wanted a refund on a cancelled flight.

The company later capped its cancellation fee to $600 for any international booking and $100 for domestic flights.

In its latest statement to the ASX, Flight Centre said it expects underlying losses (before tax) of between $475 million and $525 million during the 2020 financial year. It also highlighted that 70% of its workers were either put on stand down, furloughed, or made redundant.

The company worked to cut down its costs by selling its Melbourne office, securing a government-backed loan in the UK and getting the JobKeeper subsidy.

With the government imposing travel restrictions and border closures, airlines have been forced to cancel services or scale back operations. And this, according to Flight Centre, has caused "an unprecedented volume of refunds and minimal forward bookings in the near-term."

But despite the impact of these restrictions, the company was able to generate $17 million in revenue in July – a stronger than expected level of sales. "While this represented about 7% of the prior year result, the company had conservatively anticipated a zero-revenue scenario in its initial liquidity modelling," Flight Centre said.

Most of the revenue the company has gained during the lockdowns has come from its corporate travel businesses, as essential services are allowed to continue. Leisure travel, on the other hand, has been more "subdued" due to tougher restrictions and low consumer confidence.

Flight Centre Managing Director Graham Turner said in a statement the government's responses to the coronavirus pandemic has had a "devastating" impact on the airline, tourism, travel and hospitality industries.
"This has severely impacted us and our people and some very tough decisions have been made over the past four or five months," he said.

But the company is starting to see glimpses of recovery, with its revenue starting to increase particularly in Europe and as it has secured new corporate accounts.
“This highlights both our corporate business’s resilience and its strong future growth prospects in this large, global travel sector which was estimated to be worth $US1.5 trillion per year pre-COVID-19," Turner said.

He added that there are still challenges to overcome due to the pandemic.
"There are, of course, further challenges to overcome, plus ongoing uncertainty around government COVID-19 objectives and the strategies they will adopt in the near-term to counter the virus’s effects," he said.
"It is critical that businesses across all sectors know these objectives and data lines for COVID-19 control and the lifting of restrictions – whether the end goal is community immunity, suppression, eradication or learning to live with this virus." ... d=msedgdhp

Australia's Metro Mining to shut flagship mine early as virus chokes sales
Metro Mining Ltd said on Friday it would bring forward a planned wet-season shutdown of its flagship bauxite mine, as the COVID-19 crisis hit aluminium prices and made it difficult for the bauxite and thermal coal miner to secure sales.
The Bauxite Hills Mine in Queensland is expected to cease shipping ore earlier than usual in mid-September and restart next April, the company said in a statement.

The shutdown will result in most of the workforce being made redundant with only a small crew remaining on site, the Brisbane-based miner said.

Prices of aluminium, like other base metals, have suffered a blow as a result of weaker demand during the coronavirus-induced lockdown. However, the commodity has seen a upswing lately due to a better-than-expected recovery in China, the world's top metals consumer.

Metro Mining Chief Executive Simon Finnis said the company was "extremely disappointed" that offtake contracts could not be finalised as the pandemic hampered its bauxite marketing and sales programme.

The company has also enforced cost-cutting measures that include a reduction in directors' fees and senior management salaries.

Metro added that negotiations for bauxite sales were ongoing, and it could reopen the mine later this year if additional sales were secured for 2020 delivery. ... d=msedgdhp

Foreign visitors still pour into Australia despite COVID-19 travel ban
Thousands of international travellers are still arriving into Australia every month, despite tight restrictions introduced to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Officials figures show 5,400 overseas visitors arrived into the country in June alone.

The figure was an increase of 56.8 per cent from the previous month, with a quarter being New Zealanders.

Australian residents returning from overseas during the month also increased 17.8 % - equivalent to 15,760 trips - from May.

The figure was 98 % lower than June 2019, with about 12 % returning home from India.

Source: Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs

Australia recorded 6.7 million overseas visitor arrivals for the 2019/20 financial year, Australian Bureau of Statistics data revealed.

The arrival numbers were down 27.9 per cent on the previous year, and the lowest since 2013/14.

ABS director of migration statistics Jenny Dobak said arrivals increased every month until February, when the impact of COVID-19 started.

On March 20, Australia closed its borders to all non-citizens and non-residents under an entry ban.

It then banned Australians travelling overseas five days later, unless granted an exception.

This means these arrivals are likely to be permanent residents or those with compassionate exemptions.

All travellers arriving in Australia, including citizens, are required to complete a mandatory quarantine for 14 days.

State or territory travel exemptions are available as well in areas with closed borders.

Depending on where an individual is headed, they may be required to self-isolate or complete a 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine upon arrival.
'Once the tighter restrictions came into effect on March 20 the drop in visitors arriving was dramatic, being close to 100 per cent,' Ms Dobak said on Friday.

On March 27, foreign cruise ship were banned from docking in Australia, which will remain in place until September 17.

Domestic and international travel restrictions are still in place, and are unlikely to ease until Australia gets on top of the coronavirus outbreak.

During 2019-20, New Zealand was the largest source country with more than a million visitors. China followed with 900,000 and then the United States with 581,000.

The average stay for visitors arriving on a short-term trip for the year was 12 days.
Those from India stayed the longest, spending 53 days on average in Australia, followed by those from the UK with 20 days, New Zealand with seven days and Japan with six days.

Less than 60 international students arrived in Australia in June - a decrease of nearly 100 per cent compared to the 45,980 in the same month the previous year.

Australians took 8.6 million overseas trips in 2019/20. It was a 23.8 per cent decrease on the previous year and the lowest number since 2012/13. ... d=msedgdhp

Australia lagging on contributions to global body funding Covid vaccine research
Australia’s contribution to a global body funding Covid-19 vaccine research is half that of New Zealand’s and a fraction of the UK’s and Canada’s, data shows.

Scott Morrison has been vocal in his assertion that whoever discovers a successful Covid-19 vaccine, if one is discovered, must share it with the rest of the world.
“There are many projects that are under way around the world and we have a process for identifying those that we believe we can take an early position on,” the prime minister said on Sunday.
“But the other thing Australia has been saying, and it’s supported strongly by the premiers, and I made this point earlier in the week, and that is whoever finds this vaccine must share it.”
Morrison’s comments echo the World Health Organization’s fears that vaccine nationalism may limit the equitable distribution of a successful vaccine, as it has in previous crises.
Australia has committed a considerable amount overall to vaccine development. It has invested $333m in vaccines, therapeutics and Covid-19 medicines, including $256m in vaccines.

But its contributions to one of the main international organisations working to fund vaccine research and development, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi), is less generous.

Cepi is dedicated to ensuring fears such as those Morrison expressed on inequitable distribution are not realised.

Australia has contributed US$4.8m (A$6.7m) to Cepi during the Covid-19 crisis.

Cepi has received a total of US$1.4bn from governments, private companies, and philanthropists.

Australia’s contribution sits well below New Zealand, a nation with a far smaller economy, which has given US$9.2m.

Comparable nations such as Canada and the UK have given Cepi US$28.2m and US$278m, respectively.

A Cepi spokeswoman said Australia had made separate contributions in 2018 and 2019, of US$1.5m and US$3.2m respectively, though they were not for Covid-19 vaccine development.

The organisation is still desperately searching for additional funding.

“Cepi urgently needs $700m to continue its R&D work to invest in additional Covid-19 vaccine candidates to increase the number of shots on goal at finding a safe and effective vaccine and to advance development of our existing Covid-19 vaccine candidates,” the spokeswoman said.

Australia has made other contributions to vaccine development that do not directly involve Cepi, including $5m to fund the University of Queensland’s molecular clamp vaccine development, and an active grant round of $13.6m to support promising Covid-19 development projects.

It is also engaged in direct procurement with leading international vaccine candidates, and says this process is “highly advanced with multiple candidates”.

Related: Will a vaccine or recovery from the virus give us long-term immunity to Covid-19?

A spokesman for the federal health minister, Greg Hunt, said the government was also participating in the international Covax facility, an international consortium designed to give participant nations access to vaccine candidates.

Australia is also examining onshore manufacturing, including through the pharmaceutical giant CSL.

Hunt’s office said the government was assured that CSL had the capacity to produce sufficient vaccine quantities for the entire Australian population, either through licence from abroad or working directly with Australian-based vaccines developers.

“We are confident that these investments and actions will secure early and sufficient access to a safe and effective vaccine,” Hunt’s spokesman said.
“The Australian government is deeply committed to ensuring all Australians have access to a world class health system, now and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The government is assured that CSL has the capacity to produce sufficient vaccine for the entire Australian population, either for Australian-based vaccines or under licence for leading international vaccines.”

The shadow health minister, Chris Bowen, said Australia must do more to fund vaccine development, including by contributing a greater amount to Cepi.
“The Morrison government needs to increase Australia’s investment in a vaccine, including in our contribution to Cepi,” he told the Guardian.
“The Morrison government has unfortunately been very tardy on almost every aspect of Covid vaccine development, from local research to supply agreements to support for global efforts.”

Hunt’s spokesman said Australia was “contributing significantly” to vaccine development both in this country and across the world. It had “direct investment in the work being progressed at the University of Queensland [UQ], investment in the capacity of the CSIRO, as well as ongoing contributions to the global efforts being coordinated by … Cepi”.
“Further, CSL has made a commitment that its dose allocation of the UQ vaccine will be used, at a minimum, to support its longstanding public health commitment to the Australian community.” ... d=msedgdhp


COVID-19 conspiracy theorists prepare to protest around Australia
Coronavirus conspiracy theorists are preparing to protest at capital cities around Australia this weekend, sparking fears of further outbreaks.

Anti-maskers are planning a 'Stand for Victoria freedom march' at local Anzac memorial sites on Saturday across the country, except for Melbourne which is in strict Stage Four lockdown.

The rally, set to take place at midday, was organised in a Facebook group with more than 33,000 members.

One of the members called on the group to 'get together for every single Victorian' in a rambling video posted earlier this week.
The conspiracy theorist also encouraged Australians to stand outside their homes and 'burn your mask, breathe and declare your national sovereignty'.

Members have shared a number of posts encouraging people from their own cities to attend the coordinated rallies.

One conspiracy theorist posted a photo of the Australian Red Ensign flag with the caption 'Australia, let us stand for Victoria at this time when Victoria cannot'.

Another read: 'Saturday we march we stand up for Melbourne. This is our voice.

The Australian Department of Health prohibits large public gatherings due to the risk of spreading COVID-19, particularly amid a second outbreak in Sydney's southwest.

The NSW Police Force said it is aware of a protest scheduled for Saturday in Sydney's CBD.

Police said no paperwork has been submitted to hold a protest, and warned attendees they would not have authorisation due to public health and safety risks.

South Australia Police confirmed they were aware of plans to protest outside the Adelaide cenotaph this weekend.
'Sufficient police resources will be provided to ensure a peaceful protest is held, to minimise traffic disruptions and that the safety of all members of the community is maintained,' a spokesperson said.
'We strongly encourage people to practise physical distancing of 1.5 metres wherever and whenever possible.'

ThUp to 400 people were expected to kick off the illegal protest on the steps of Parliament on Sunday, but most of the people who vowed to protest never showed up.

No more than 30 people arrived and of those, seven were arrested.

6 people were arrested because they refused to provide their personal details to police, but were later released with a $1,652 fine after they complied.

Earlier this month Victoria's Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said there had been an 'emergence of concerning groups of people who classify themselves as 'sovereign citizens'.
'On at least 4 occasions in the last week we've had to smash the windows of cars and pull people out to provide details,' he said. ... 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 Sicko
Posts: 12572
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:51 am

New Zealand confirms 12 new COVID-19 cases
New Zealand has confirmed 12 new cases of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, taking the nation’s total number of active cases to 48.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashely Bloomfield revealed 30 cases were linked to the community outbreak and only one virus patient was receiving hospital care.

Mr Bloomfield praised health officials' contact tracing efforts, saying 771 close contacts were identified and 514 were so far contacted.

2 NZ schools and a preschool closed their doors after confirmed cases of the virus were linked to all three facilities.
A student who attended Glamorgan School in Auckland’s north shore and another from south Auckland’s Southern Cross campus returned positive tests, as well as a pre-schooler from Taeaofou i Puaseisei Preschool.
All Auckland-based positive cases were asked to relocate to the Auckland quarantine facility. ... d=msedgdhp

13 people linked to Auckland coolstore test positive to COVID-19
New Zealand has recorded 13 new COVID-19 cases overnight sparking fears the country will be locked down until October.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield on Friday said two of the new cases are in Tokoroa - 200km away from the outbreak in Auckland.

The Tokoroa cases are linked to a member of the Auckland family which first tested positive this week, sparking the unexpected outbreak after 102 COVID-free days.

All of the new cases are connected to the existing cluster except for one, who is in hospital, which is still under investigation.

Two of Friday's new cases are linked to the Americold frozen storage facility, bringing the total number to 13 and the Auckland count to 19.

It has prompted health authorities to probe whether the virus was spread on frozen food shipments.

Five direct cases are workers, while seven others are family of infected staff. The refrigerated warehousing company is awaiting the results for 14 other workers.
The unexpected outbreak of a family-of-four plunged New Zealand back into lockdown after 102 days without recording a locally transmitted case of the virus.

New Zealand has 49 active cases, prompting warnings from a top scientist that the nation could remain in lockdown for another seven weeks - the start of October.

Epidemiologist Michael Baker said it will depend on how far the outbreak had already spread and if a direct link to an overseas case could be identified.

'You would expect a longer lockdown would be more likely. The most positive outcome is if contact tracing identifies a clear line of transmission from an imported case or someone working at managed quarantine,' Prof Baker told the NZ Herald.

'If the direct line to imported cases is established quickly that's very helpful and then it's finding out the extent of infection among the contacts, if some of them are infected then it's working out the extent of infection among their contacts and so it goes on.'

Prof Baker suggested New Zealand would go back to the situation in March when no more cases were recorded after five weeks of Level Four restrictions and then two weeks at Level Three.

'I don't think anyone is imagining that will be necessary this time around but if you are taking the extreme range of possibilities we know from experience in March that it was very effective,' he said.

There was early speculation the virus arrived to New Zealand on the packaging of frozen-food shipments before infecting a family member - a worker at Americold - who unpacked them.

Chinese health authorities have now revealed that traces of coronavirus have been found in frozen chicken wings and on food packaging.

A sample taken from frozen chicken wings that had arrived in Shenzhen from Brazil were reportedly contaminated with COVID-19, with an epidemiologist now warning the public to take precautions around frozen food.
Why Germany would be especially happy to see the back of Trump
Police seek woman after man's body found in Cairns

New Zealand has recorded 13 new COVID-19 cases overnight sparking fears the country will be locked down until October.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield on Friday said two of the new cases are in Tokoroa - 200km away from the outbreak in Auckland.

The Tokoroa cases are linked to a member of the Auckland family which first tested positive this week, sparking the unexpected outbreak after 102 COVID-free days.

All of the new cases are connected to the existing cluster except for one, who is in hospital, which is still under investigation.

2 of Friday's new cases are linked to the Americold frozen storage facility, bringing the total number to 13 and the Auckland count to 19.

It has prompted health authorities to probe whether the virus was spread on frozen food shipments.

5 direct cases are workers, while 7 others are family of infected staff. The refrigerated warehousing company is awaiting the results for 14 other workers.

Two of Friday's new cases are linked to the Americold frozen storage facility (pictured), prompting health authorities to probe whether the virus was spread on frozen food shipments
The unexpected outbreak of a family-of-four plunged New Zealand back into lockdown after 102 days without recording a locally transmitted case of the virus.

New Zealand has 49 active cases, prompting warnings from a top scientist that the nation could remain in lockdown for another seven weeks - the start of October.

Epidemiologist Michael Baker said it will depend on how far the outbreak had already spread and if a direct link to an overseas case could be identified.

'You would expect a longer lockdown would be more likely. The most positive outcome is if contact tracing identifies a clear line of transmission from an imported case or someone working at managed quarantine,' Prof Baker told the NZ Herald.

'If the direct line to imported cases is established quickly that's very helpful and then it's finding out the extent of infection among the contacts, if some of them are infected then it's working out the extent of infection among their contacts and so it goes on.'

Prof Baker suggested New Zealand would go back to the situation in March when no more cases were recorded after five weeks of Level Four restrictions and then two weeks at Level Three.

'I don't think anyone is imagining that will be necessary this time around but if you are taking the extreme range of possibilities we know from experience in March that it was very effective,' he said.

There was early speculation the virus arrived to New Zealand on the packaging of frozen-food shipments before infecting a family member - a worker at Americold - who unpacked them.

Chinese health authorities have now revealed that traces of coronavirus have been found in frozen chicken wings and on food packaging.

A sample taken from frozen chicken wings that had arrived in Shenzhen from Brazil were reportedly contaminated with COVID-19, with an epidemiologist now warning the public to take precautions around frozen food.

a group of people sitting around a car: People wait for a walk-up Covid-19 test at Eden Park on August 14 in Auckland© Provided by Daily Mail People wait for a walk-up Covid-19 test at Eden Park on August 14 in Auckland
Jacinda Ardern holding a microphone: New Zealand's Cabinet will meet in Wellington for a crunch meeting on Friday afternoon. Pictured: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern© Provided by Daily Mail New Zealand's Cabinet will meet in Wellington for a crunch meeting on Friday afternoon. Pictured: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Frozen shrimp from Ecuador sold in Xian also tested positive for coronavirus, according to local authorities, with the virus able to survive cold temperatures.

This means that an infected worker at a frozen food storage facility could transmit the virus to unknowing shoppers, as the food is dished out to supermarkets across the country.

Americold managing director Richard Winnall told the NZ Herald that the staffer at the centre of the outbreak worked night shifts which may have limited the spread.

'The test results are coming in quite slowly which is frustrating. We have had since last night and this morning, two further positive Covid results back related to this site,' he said.

'One of those positive results was an Americold employee taking the total to five Americold employees.

'One was an agency hire labour worker, who is not a direct employee, but works with us during busy times.'

Despite fears the family member, who works at a cold store facility, contracted the virus from imported food, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters suggested the cluster may be linked to a hotel quarantine breach.
Mr Peters said he hasn't been officially informed that there was a breach but expects it to be announced by health officials on Friday.

He said his source was a 'very reliable' journalist investigating the outbreak.

'It wasn't an official, I found out from somewhere else, but I think there's been a breach inside our quarantine system,' he told the ABC on Thursday.

Meanwhile a school in Auckland's north shore has been closed after a young student tested positive to the virus.

All the 600 families and staff at Glamorgan School in Torbay have been ordered to stay in self-isolation.

A six-year-old boy at Southern Cross Campus in Auckland has also tested positive to coronavirus.

The school's board held an emergency meeting on Thursday night. Two teachers and 28 of the boy's classmates are now in self-isolation.

New Zealand's Cabinet will meet in Wellington for a crunch meeting on Friday afternoon.

Extending a COVID-19 lockdown and possibly delaying the election will be top of mind. ... d=msedgdhp

Coronavirus spreads outside of Auckland as boy, six, tests positive
he coronavirus appears to have spread outside of Auckland with a reported case being investigated two hours outside the city.

Tokoroa, west of the holiday town of Rotorua, has a suspected case of the virus, reports Stuff.

The mayor of South Waikato Jenny Shattock told the publication the council was contacted by health officials about the case, linked to a family cluster in Auckland.

A source from the Waikato District Health Board told the outlet of the case and said two staff members at Tokoroa Medical Centre have gone into self-isolation.

It comes as a six-year-old student in Auckland has tested positive to coronavirus. He is a student at south Auckland's Southern Cross Campus.

The case was confirmed early today by Peter Parussini, the Board of Trustees chairman for Southern Cross Campus, reports Stuff.

It's believed to be connected to the family cluster recorded in Auckland on Tuesday, breaking New Zealand's 102 days free from community transmission.

Ms Parussini said the board was informed of the case just before 5pm and the school community told around 9pm.

Two teachers and 28 other students in the boy's class will now be required to self-isolate.

The campus will remain closed until Sunday.

Mr Parussini "praised" the child's family for keeping him home from school when he became ill earlier this week.

Late last night, the Auckland Regional Public Health Service said the Glamorgan School in Torbay on the North Shore and Southern Cross Campus in south Auckland's Mangere East were closed due to a confirmed COVID-19 case at each facility.

Taeaofou Puaseisei Preschool, also in Mangere East, is closed because of another positive case.

One of yesterday's 13 new cases was a student at Auckland's Mount Albert Grammar School.

New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has suggested a breach in the quarantine system is responsible for the country's new coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Peters said an investigation would be launched into the matter, which he described as "dealing with a strain that has a UK and Australian parallel".

"So that suggests straightaway it must be inside a quarantine situation or quarantine circumstance, and the next question is - well, then how did it get out?" Mr Peters told the ABC. ... d=msedgdhp

New Zealand extends lockdowns to two weeks as cluster grows
New Zealand's current coronavirus lockdowns will remain in place for a further 12 days as authorities work to trace and isolate all cases connected to the country's new outbreak.

This means Auckland will remain at level three and New Zealand will remain at level two until Wednesday August 26, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed at a press conference this afternoon.

The country's health authorities have so far identified 30 cases of active community transmission, with all but one linked to a family cluster in Auckland.

However, the original source of the outbreak remains a mystery.
"At this stage all remain linked to one cluster centred in Auckland, one other case that is likely linked to the cluster is still being investigated," Ms Ardern told reporters today.

More than 30,000 tests have been undertaken in the last 48 hours.

She said 38 people linked to the cluster are now in government managed quarantine as a precautionary measure.
"There are signs we have found this outbreak relatively early in its life," she said.

The earliest coronavirus case linked to the current outbreak became symptomatic on July 31 after visiting a store in Wellington.
"This may not yet be the origin of the outbreak, but on the information we have today, it's the earliest sign of the reemergence of the virus," she said.

Contact tracing and genomic testing has not found a link to the border or quarantine facilities.

Ms Ardern said the outbreak is not related to the community cases in the first original outbreak in New Zealand in March and April.
"This suggests this is not a case of the virus being dormant or of a burning ember in our community. It appears to be new to New Zealand," she said.

She said the COVID-19 outbreak "will grow before it slows".
"It may continue to be linked to schools, churches and social gatherings, as it has done to date," she said.
"We also know, based on overseas experience and our own, that it is possible to contain a cluster or outbreak without ever being able to identify its origin."

Ms Ardern said it is important to make sure the nation establishes the perimeter of the cluster to stop it from growing.
"To do this, we do need to take into account that all-important incubation period," she said.
"And so, in keeping with our cautionary approach and New Zealand's philosophy of going hard and going early, today, cabinet has agreed to maintain our current settings for an additional 12 days, bringing us to a full two weeks in total.
"Our current expectation is that by this time, the perimeter of the cluster will be identified, will be isolated, and we can move to level two in Auckland with confidence."

The settings will be reviewed on August 21.
Ms Ardern said New Zealand's new cluster did not suggest there was a need for Auckland to be placed into level four lockdown.
"I have seen a lot of speculation. There is nothing to suggest we need to move to a level four lockdown. Cabinet also does not want Auckland to be in level three any longer than is needed to ensure the outbreak is managed," she said.
"Our intention is that Auckland and New Zealand will quickly move back down through alert levels if we continue on this track, but it is wise to take a bit of extra time, that bit of extra time is our best way of getting out quickly."

She said lifting restrictions now and seeing a potential explosion in cases "is the worst thing we can do for Auckland and the New Zealand economy".

New Zealand's wage subsidy program extended
The New Zealand government will be extending its wage subsidiary scheme in response to the country's latest COVID-19 outbreak, Ms Ardern announced to her Friday press conference.
"Estimates are the economy operates at roughly 80 per cent of level three, compared to 60 per cent at level four," Ms Ardern said.
"I am mindful, though, of the extraordinary disruption to business and the anxiety that this outbreak will be causing.
"To provide certainty to businesses and workers, I can confirm today cabinet has made an in-principle decision to extend the wage subsidy scheme to support businesses and protect jobs as we undertake the public health measures required to fight the virus."

She said the extension of the wage subsidiary will be nationwide and cover the current level three restrictions that remain in place. ... d=msedgdhp

'Don't expect a NZ - Aus travel bubble any time soon': Birmingham
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham says no one should expect a travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia any time soon, especially after NZ experienced its own resurgence of COVID-19 this week.
"I hope something may be achieved by the end of the year... but I don't think anyone should expect there'll be a breakthrough in the coming weeks and months," he said.
"We know that as we get to the Christmas period, the calls for many people to connect with family and loved ones will get greater.
"If it can be done with the concurrence of both countries we'd love to see it.
"It will be good for many people, both Kiwis and Australians, as well as good news for our tourism industry if we can get an opening there at least between NZ and some states."

Back home, Mr Birmingham urged state premiers to take a "proportionate approach" to borders, looking to reopen them as soon as possible.
"States and territories in similar situations where they've enjoyed remarkable success, ought to be opening up," Mr Birmingham said.
"The quarantine restrictions in relation to Victoria are entirely understandable and necessary.
"It is important health advice is followed but also economic considerations are put into the perspective as well.
"We're talking not just about allowing Australians to have a holiday, we're talking about the jobs and livelihoods of so many people." ... 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 Sicko
Posts: 12572
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:57 am










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 Sicko
Posts: 12572
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:19 am

Victoria records 303 new coronavirus cases and four deaths
Victoria COVID-19 snapshot
Confirmed cases so far: 16,517
Confirmed active cases: 7,875
Deaths: 293
Suspected cases of community transmission: 3,383
Cases in hospital: 661
Intensive care patients: 41
Active cases in healthcare workers: 1,178
Active cases linked to aged care outbreaks: 2,041
Tests since pandemic began: More than 1.93 million
Updated Saturday August 15

Victoria has recorded 303 new coronavirus cases and four deaths, as hundreds of new "mystery cases" are added to the overall tally.

Today's figures are significantly lower than yesterday, when Victoria recorded 372 new cases and 14 deaths, including a man in his 20s — Australia's youngest person to die with the disease.

Premier Daniel Andrews said today's COVID-19 deaths include 1 woman and 2 men aged in their 80s and 1 woman in her 90s.
2 of those deaths were connected to aged care outbreaks.
The Premier revealed 184 of the state’s 293 virus deaths could be attributed to the aged care system.

Mr Andrews said another 264 "mystery cases" — where the source of transmission is unknown — had been added to Victoria's tally, bringing the total number of cases that could not be traced back to another outbreak to 3,383.
He said while that was a "very, very big increase on previous days", the figures tend to be added in batches.
"With that coronavirus detective work it's not all done in one hit, it does take time," he said.
"I wouldn't read too much into that."
Number of mystery coronavirus cases tops 3380 in Victoria
The number of cases without a known source in Victoria has reached 3383.

However, Premier Daniel Andrews said today this figure is not a cause for concern.
"Before people see that as a very, very big increase on previous days, we have always made the point, or try to, that coronavirus detective work is all done in one hit," Mr Andrews said.
"It does take time to try to exhaust all possible sources and then to declare that case a mystery case.
"So, they do come in batches, if you like. I would not read too much more into that, it is simply the product of multiple days' work being brought to book, as it were, recorded in our numbers," he said. ... d=msedgdhp

Local knowledge vital to contact tracing success in fight against coronavirus
Key points:
A testing blitz is underway in regional Victoria after a concerning number of 'mystery cases' have been reported
Local contact tracing teams have been set up in Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat
There are concerns that a one-size-fits-all policy is leaving regional Victoria exposed

When coronavirus hit the rural community of Colac in south-west Victoria it took everybody by surprise, including authorities who were reportedly slow to respond and contain it.

Trinity College school principal Peter Clohesy said after a student tested positive the school identified 76 close contacts, but they were not contacted by contact tracers for four days — prompting the school to do it themselves.
"It was a little bit frustrating, probably surprising given the seriousness of the issue," he said.
"There was a lot going on for them and they may have been really overwhelmed."

Since then the Victorian Government has set up regional contact tracing teams, including the first one in Geelong at Barwon Health tasked with taking over the contact tracing at Colac.
Mr Clohesy said communication improved immediately once Barwon Health took over.

Rapid response
The director of infectious diseases at Barwon Health, Professor Eugene Athan, would not comment on those early delays, but said local knowledge was vital.
"It gives us a rapid response to understand the context of the outbreak and then be able to respond quickly by knowing who to talk to," he said.
"That's a little bit harder to do so centrally from metro Melbourne."

But the Australian Medical Association's Ballarat representative Mark Yates said it had come too late.
"It took some time before regional Victoria had access and was funded to have proper and well established contact tracing," Dr Yates said.
"We need to leverage off the skills of the GPs and the communities that are very close-knit and much more so than in Melbourne."

Rising cases
There are now 492 coronavirus cases in regional Victoria, with a testing blitz underway.

It has come after concerns about the rising number of mystery cases in the regions, which is now at 13 % of all cases.

That has prompted calls for regional Victoria to follow the New South Wales approach of publicly listing the sites where positive cases have been.

Bendigo Mayor Margaret O'Rourke said her community was crying out for more detailed information.
"What I'm hearing from my community is that they want to know that detail. They want that granular detail and we have to trust them with that," she said.
"I think in regional communities people are really fearful because it's too broad, and doesn't give us the understanding of where it is in our community."

Public information
Residents of Colac were also frustrated by the lack of information last month as coronavirus cases grew to around 100 at the peak of the outbreak.

Local librarian Davida McDonald said she was glued to the daily press conferences.
"They [NSW] were very good at informing their whole state about places where they'd been asked about outbreaks and actual venues," she said.
"Whereas I felt that when I listened to press conferences in Victoria, we were not given specifics about things like that."

Ms McDonald said it was brought home when the small community of Beeac, where her parents lived, went from one to 10 cases in a week without the community being informed.
"We felt that there was a big gap in the middle there where there could have been all sorts of transmissions happening in the community, but it hadn't been communicated out there," she said.

Dr Yates said the one-size-fits-all policy for Victoria was not working.
"Making announcements about where infection has occurred, I think, can be very useful," he said.
"But I don't think you can make a universal decision, I think that that should be given greater flexibility."

The State Government said public announcements and community safety must be weighed up against privacy concerns.

Decentralising contact tracing
The contact tracing centre at Bendigo, in central Victoria, has only been running for two weeks, but is already busy with 56 active cases to monitor.

Bendigo Health's Chief Medical Officer Diana Badcock said having a local team was a massive advantage in controlling the outbreak.
"It's not always clear now that places are closed in lockdown how to contact the leaders and the managers," Dr Badcock said.
"But there's always somebody who knows somebody and we have managed to get hold of the right people to get the contacts."

In the United Kingdom, the British Government has announced it will be dismantling its system of national contact tracing, admitting it had failed, and instead setting up 150 teams in local council areas.

Sir Chris Ham is a health policy expert from the UK and said he welcomed the government's backflip.
"Contact tracing has to be done bottom up, not top down," he said.

He said Victoria should consider a similar approach.
"It has to be done locally by people who are part of their communities, who understand the dynamics within those communities, who can do the detective work," Sir Chris said.

But Barwon Health's Professor Eugene Athan said what was most important was having the right resources.
"I think as long as there's capacity to manage all of the cases, notifications, across the state, and the amount of work that goes into contact tracing, if that's resourced adequately, either centrally or in the regions, that doesn't really matter." ... d=msedgdhp ... s/12557504

Mr Andrews said there were 7,875 active cases in Victoria, and 484 of those were in regional Victoria.

He again encouraged people in Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong to come forward to get tested, even if their symptoms were very mild.
"Those regional numbers are actually down on where they were four or five days ago," Mr Andrews said.
"They're relatively stable, but we have seen some growth in those bigger cities."

He said Victoria had conducted more than 1.9 million COVID-19 tests since the pandemic began, giving it one of the highest testing rates in the world.

Chief Health Officer says Victorians should have 'hope and confidence'
Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said it was clear now that the restrictions were working, with the number of active cases stabilising and new cases trending down.
"It's important that people understand that the actions they have taken, especially in recent weeks, are showing up in our numbers now," he said.
"People should have hope and confidence that the things that we know work are now manifesting in our daily counts."

Professor Sutton said the number of new outbreaks being identified each day was down to single figures, after peaking at between 20 and 30 per day.
He said active cases in aged care and among health workers were also starting to stabilise, but were still "far, far, too much".
Over the past week, the daily total of new infections in the state has fluctuated between 278 and 410.
At its peak in early August, the state recorded 725 cases in one day.

Professor Sutton said masks — which became mandatory in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in late July — have made a difference to community transmission, which accounts for around 20 per cent of all infections in Melbourne and 13 per cent in regional areas.

Criticism over number of aged care residents in hospitals
The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) has raised concerns that Melbourne's hospitals are being filled to capacity with elderly patients moved out of aged care homes.
ACEM president John Bonning called for a national strategy to keep aged care patients out of hospitals as much as possible, saying the backlog means those who do need treatment cannot always receive it.
"I was aware of one particular patient [in ED] that had been waiting for 60 hours for a bed."

The Premier said he respected that people would have different opinions on how best to deal with the crisis in aged care, but said the state had cancelled elective surgeries to free up capacity in hospitals.
"I'm not going to put anyone that's in a hospital bed back into an aged care bed unless I am 100 per cent satisfied that that system can provide for them," Mr Andrews said.

There are 2,041 active COVID-19 cases linked to 124 different outbreaks in aged care homes across Victoria.
Almost two-thirds of the state's coronavirus deaths are linked to the sector. ... d=msedgdhp

Victorian coronavirus response 'not doing enough' to reach key groups, Chief Health Officer
Victoria's health chief has conceded authorities are still not doing enough to reach key groups as part of the state's coronavirus response, an issue one advocate says reaches far beyond multicultural communities.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton told Friday's coronavirus press briefing "engagement with culturally and linguistically diverse communities is central to how we proceed" in the pandemic.
He said despite using multiple channels and media sources to communicate the health message, "we absolutely always need to do more".
"So no, we're not doing enough," he said.

Concerns were raised about a lack of community involvement in the national response in May, and as recently as this week translated coronavirus materials in national and state campaigns were labelled "nonsensical".

The mistranslations have been rectified, officials said on Thursday.
"I think what's occurred … is that the urgency and seriousness of what has been happening, people have gone into a one-size-fits-all communication method," said Carmel Guerra, founder of the Centre for Multicultural Youth.
"What we know from working with multicultural communities, and what this Government has historically been good at doing, is also knowing you tailor the message to ways the audience hears it."

Ms Guerra said even when messages were in the correct language, people were often left confused by the literal translations or unclear instructions.
She said her organisation and the young people it represents had "struggled to have felt heard" by health officials during the pandemic.

Community engagement issues run 'far deeper', health advocate says
When the second wave begun, local government areas with high migrant populations were overrepresented in new infections, prompting the Government to increase its efforts to communicate in languages other than English.

Danny Vadasz, chief executive of the Health Issues Centre consumer advocacy group, said culturally diverse communities were not the only people not being reached.
"You could paint an equivalent picture with people who are homeless, people who are refugees, people who are asthmatic, people with disabilities," he said.

Mr Vadasz and the centre have been lobbying the health department to change the scope of a contract it currently has with Safer Care Victoria to instead focus on helping with the COVID-19 response and engaging directly with consumers.
He said the ideas to provide a single point of contact between the Government and high-risk groups in the community had received "zero" engagement with health officials.
"I mean, there are literally hundreds of communities within the community that have specific challenges," Mr Vadasz said.
"This isn't just about better translations of materials into other languages, it's far deeper than that."

Mr Vadasz said without a channel for community feedback to the people running the pandemic response, issues in aged care or community housing were not detected soon enough.
He pointed to problems with Victoria's contact-tracing system, including delays and miscommunication which have seen people waiting for days, and sometimes weeks, to be contacted.
He also said there were "unintended consequences" of a lot of the state's recent policies, like access to carers for coronavirus-positive patients who had other health needs.
"Seeing people as knowledge holders … is a much more effective way of improving the effectiveness of pandemic response, rather than simply lecturing the community about what they're doing wrong," he said.

Diversifying messaging 'not exactly rocket science'
On Thursday, the Government announced the establishment of the CALD [culturally and linguistically diverse] Communities Taskforce, a $14.3 million initiative aimed at providing culturally-specific support and communication.
Ms Guerra said the taskforce was "better late than never", but said her organisation had already been contacted by young people wanting to volunteer their expertise.

The chair of the Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria (ECCV), Eddie Micallef, said for the taskforce to work, it had to "take on board the multicultural community input".
"And not only take it on board, disseminate it and utilise it to the most successful way," he said.
The ECCV, which represents 220 ethnic community groups across eight regions in Victoria, recommended a taskforce months ago.
"I think the Government missed a real opportunity in those early days," said Mr Micallef, a former Labor Party MP.
In a submission to the state's inquiry into the Government's handling of the pandemic in July, the ECCV said a lack of engagement with multicultural expertise may have hampered the response.

Professor Sutton acknowledged on Friday that traditional media and "campaign-style materials" were useful, but not the only means of reaching Victorians.
"We also need local champions, local youth community leaders, but other individuals that people look up to or that people are influenced by, who aren't necessarily establishment leaders," he said.

Youth consumption of traditional media has been steadily declining in recent years, and politicians are some of the least-trusted people in Australia.

Mr Micallef said trust in leaders and health officials had also been damaged in part by the "hard lockdown" on nine public housing towers in July, where police were deployed en mass to enforce the restrictions.
Mr Micallef said the Chief Health Officer's assessment was "not exactly rocket science".
"Translations are not the be-all and end-all," he said.
He said engaging diverse communities would require a diverse approach, from traditional media to text campaigns to engaging youth leaders. ... d=msedgdhp

'One day at a time': Premier
Mr Andrews said the way forward for Victoria is to take the battle "one day at a time".
"Everyone is doing the right thing but yes of course doing it tough we know that," he said, adding to avoid a second or third wave everyone needs to "do this right".
"It's not a sprint, this is an endurance race, an ultra-marathon."

When asked when he last had a day off, the premier said he couldn't remember.
"I don't stop because this virus doesn't stop. It's not just me. It is a team of thousands," he said.
"Thousands and thousands of people who have never worked harder."

He brushed off the suggestion that working such long hours would hinder his ability to lead well.
"This is the job I've signed up for. There are no easy days in this job," he said.
"It is a great honour and privilege to lead this great state. But no-one said it would be easy.
"So you have got to push on, push through, and get the job done." ... d=msedgdhp

Meanwhile, Victoria Police has issued 223 fines in the past 24 hours to people breaching the coronavirus restrictions.
It includes 27 people who failed to wear a mask or face covering when leaving home and 87 fines issued to people breaching curfew, which applies from 8:00pm to 5:00am each night in metropolitan Melbourne. ... cid=msedgd ... d=msedgdhp

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has revealed another 264 ‘mystery’ coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of cases with an unknown source to 3383.
Premier Andrews announced another 303 cases in the past 24 hours and four new deaths, bringing the state’s death toll to 293 since the beginning of the pandemic. ... d=msedgdhp
Governments face criticism over aged care residents filling up Melbourne hospitals
Key points:
Australasian College for Emergency Medicine president John Bonning wants non-critical aged care patients out of hospitals as much as possible
He said the backlog meant some patients in emergency departments were waiting three days for a bed
Premier Daniel Andrews said residents would only be sent back to aged care homes if they could be properly care for

The peak training organisation for specialist emergency personnel in Australia has called for a coordinated plan to move non-critical elderly patients out of hospitals, which are reaching capacity.
The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) raised concerns earlier on Saturday that aged care residents who were recovering from coronavirus, or not sick to begin with, had nowhere to go and were taking up valuable resources in Melbourne hospitals.
The coronavirus crisis in aged care has seen some homes evacuated in recent weeks with all residents moved to hospitals.
ACEM president John Bonning called for a national strategy to keep aged care patients out of hospitals as much as possible, saying the backlog means those who do need treatment cannot always receive it.
"We've got numerous examples today, in emergency departments in Melbourne, of patients waiting more than 24 hours in ED for beds," Dr Bonning said.
"In fact, I was aware of one particular patient that had been waiting for 60 hours for a bed."

On Saturday, the Premier said he respected that people would have different opinions on how best to deal with the crisis in aged care, but said the state had cancelled elective surgeries to free up capacity in hospitals.
"I'm not going to put anyone that's in a hospital bed back into an aged care bed unless I am 100 per cent satisfied that that system can provide for them," Mr Andrews said.

Some families of loved ones in St Basil's aged care home in Fawkner have said they do not want their parents and grandparents returning to the home even when they are well due to allegations of mistreatment in the home.

There are 2,041 active COVID-19 cases linked to 124 different outbreaks in aged care homes across Victoria.

There are 112 facilities with active cases.

Almost two-thirds of the state's coronavirus deaths are linked to the sector.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said about half of the 600 people in hospital with the virus were linked to aged care.

Dr Bonning said part of the problem was the fact the Victorian Government was having to handle an issue that was technically under the authority of the Federal Government.
"We want the federal and state governments to speak to each other so we're not left with these vulnerable aged care residents in hospitals, which is not a good place for them," he said.
"We can't just have these people dumped in hospital. There needs to be a coordinated plan.

Mr Andrews reiterated the State Government did not run aged care but confirmed residents would "have to go back" eventually.
"We have left some staff, hospital staff, in there as a kind of blended team," he said.
"They are taking iPads to people's bedside so they can Zoom their loved ones. They are running phones to people. That is not their job but they are doing it."

Mr Andrews said criticism of the aged care coronavirus crisis "came from the best of places" but said the Victorian Government was in talks with the Commonwealth about the situation "every single day".
"My concerns are for the residents and their families and that will not change," he said.

Mr Andrews also said he had raised the issue of communication from aged care homes to residents' families with the Prime Minister.
"I can tell you he and I are both very motivated to try and improve this. It's very challenging, more challenging than I'd like it to be."

Other arrangements for aged care residents must be made
Dr Bonning said if aged care facilities could not care for the residents then other arrangements needed to be made.
"We need another plan. Potentially putting them in, like, hotels or the quarantine facilities with appropriate supervision and support," he said.

Active cases in aged care have begun to stabilise, according to Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton, but were "still far, far, far too much".

While the number of deaths reported on Saturday was much lower than previous days, Professor Sutton said it was "probably just a blip".
"We know with 2,000 infected residents and staff in aged care that we will see more deaths. We basically need to see those numbers of confirmed cases in aged care come down before we can be confident the deaths that occur as a result also come down," he said.

Providers legally obliged to take residents back: Department
In a statement, the federal Department of Health said residential aged care recipients had security of tenure when they moved into a facility.
"When a person is returning to residential care from a period of hospital leave, the provider is legally obliged to take the resident back so long as they are able to continue to meet the care needs of that individual," a spokeswoman said.

She said the decision to return a resident from hospital was made with a number of factors, including the infection risk posed by the individual, the ability of the facility to manage infection prevention, and hospital system capacity.
"Some aged care residents may require ongoing hospitalisation where there is an active outbreak at the residential aged care facility, [or] the residential care facility is unable to safely manage isolation.
"The appropriate response to a COVID-19 outbreak in an aged care facility needs to be informed by the unique circumstances of the outbreak at that facility." ... d=msedgdhp ... s/12562234

Victorian aged care leak shows Melbourne home 'begging' for staff after coronavirus outbreak
A distressed staff member at an aged care home in Victoria has described how the home struggled to provide staff as Covid-19 swept through the centre, leaving residents and caregivers overwhelmed.
The letter, sent to Leading Aged Care Services Australia by a nurse, said: “There are NO staff available – we are begging for help with regard to staffing, and no one wants to place themselves in the ‘hot zone’. Therefore, it is all up to our depleted staff to help, feed, bathe, medicate and attend to residents who are basically dying.”

The letter follows the revelation by Guardian Australia on Friday of horrific footage of a 95-year-old woman left to languish in another Melbourne aged care facility, Kalyna Care, struck by Covid-19. The footage showed ants crawling from a wound on her leg and the bandages around it crusted with blood.
The 95-year-old woman died in hospital on Friday from other causes. The virus infected so many staff, including nurses, caregivers and caterers, that at one point there was just one nurse and one personal care assistant looking after 68 residents. Although the management of the home requested more staff for weeks, the situation has been repeated in aged care homes throughout the state, with interstate staff from the aged care sector called in to assist.
The letter sent to Leading Aged Care Services Australia said the unnamed Melbourne aged care home’s first case was diagnosed on Tuesday 4 August after a resident was taken to hospital following a fall. After notifying the Victorian health department and the federal government, the home went into full lockdown.
The staff member said workers were forced to “hound” the Department of Health and Human Services and public health units for testing, which took place two days after the first resident tested positive.
“Since then, to today, 2 residents have died, and at least 5 others are palliative,” the nurse writes. “We now have at least 15 residents who tested Positive. About 23 staff [personal care assistants and registered nurses] who are infected.”

The staff member writes that there had been no communication with families over the previous three days because staff were “working 24/7 because there is no one else to replace them with”.
“If we can’t get ANY staff in there immediately, I don’t know how much longer we will remain open,” they wrote.

The footage and photos revealed by Guardian Australia on Friday 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 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. However, management of the home said they asked for support from state and federal government services from even before the first case, in a staff member, was diagnosed. They say despite regularly communicating with families, supplying personal protective equipment to staff, and regular deep cleaning, they struggled as more staff became sick, and they were provided with no assistance from government to fill the gaps in staffing despite raising the issue repeatedly.

When asked about the revelations on Saturday, the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, said: “I have not seen the footage but I have been briefed on it. That is just shameful and would be very distressing for everybody concerned.
“I want to be careful not to be ... critical of any provider but I think, I think that footage relates to a particular facility which we have now taken over, so I would hope, I would hope that any of those issues would be dealt with quickly.
“Hospital nurses have gone and taken over in a number of these situations and I think they have taken over for good reasons.”

Earlier on Saturday, the shadow minister for families and social services , Linda Burney, told the ABC that Labor was calling for a national body focused on the aged care sector, “which I note the prime minister is rejecting”.
“It is just an outrage and I am afraid Scott Morrison’s apology is not going to cut it in relation to so many people that have died in the aged care sector,” she said. “The fact that the government is responsible for aged care and clearly had no plan going into the pandemic is just inconceivable.”

The minister for veterans’ affairs, Darren Chester, said: “I accept and I feel sick to the guts that we have lost so many people in aged care but we need to understand once it gets out into the community, it becomes very difficult.
“I want to work with the federal government and the other states to make sure we get on top of this. It is not about apportioning blame or criticising anyone. The facts are, once it gets out into the community and there is community transmission, the vulnerable people in aged care are very hard to protect.”

When asked if he would support the elevation of the aged care sector from the outer ministry to cabinet, Chester said: “I don’t mind where it sits … The challenge out of the royal commission, the challenge from the pandemic and looking into the future is how we work together in terms of aged care.”

There are currently Covid-19 outbreaks in 124 aged care facilities in Victoria, 119 of those are in privately run aged care homes.

Accusations aged care 'lacked a plan' for COVID-19

Associate Professor Maree Bernoth from Charles Sturt University says the sector [ WHICH IS REGULATED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ] has systemic issues that pre-date the coronavirus pandemic. ... d=msedgdhp

What we know about coronavirus in Melbourne, hotel quarantine and the Australian Defence Force
The involvement, or lack thereof, of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel in Victoria's Hotel Quarantine program has dominated the politics this week.
The furore was sparked on Tuesday when Premier Daniel Andrews told a parliamentary inquiry that it was "fundamentally incorrect to assert that there [were] hundreds of ADF staff on offer and somehow someone said no. That's not, in my judgement, accurate."
What followed was a swirl of "duelling statements", claims and counter-claims.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds came out contradicting Mr Andrews, saying ADF help was offered multiple times, only to herself be contradicted by Victoria's Emergency Management Commissioner, Andrew Crisp, who said it wasn't offered at a meeting in late March when quarantine was being set up.

So, why does it matter?
The start of Victoria's devastating second COVID-19 wave has been pinned on a breach of hotel quarantine and infection of security guards who then took the virus into their own communities.
An outbreak at Rydges on Swanston Street is of particular concern. The Age yesterday revealed a leaked email which suggested "patient zero" at the Rydges was a night manager, not a security guard.
An inquiry led by former Judge Jennifer Coate will examine if every active case emanated from those hotels where returned travellers were required to quarantine for 14 days.

Some argue that the ADF presence would have been preferable to private security guards, and may have prevented an outbreak.
Others argue Victoria Police should have been used, but that issue has not risen above the cacophony on the ADF this week.
It's an impossible "what if?", but proponents of the theory point to the fact that soldiers were deployed to help in NSW, which also had a large number of international arrivals and has not been plunged into Victoria's situation.

However, NSW also employed private security, as did Western Australia.

Here's what we know.

What a difference a day makes
Mandatory hotel quarantine for overseas travellers was enforced from Saturday, March 28.
That meant anyone arriving in Australia from overseas had to undertake 14 days of self-isolation.
On March 27, everyone seemed to be on the same page.

The Prime Minister said in a statement that day: "The Australian Defence Force will begin assisting state and territory governments to undertake quarantine compliance checks of those who are required to be in mandatory isolation after returning from overseas."

The Victorian Premier also issued a press release that day. In it, he said: "It has also been agreed that the Australian Defence Force will be engaged to support the implementation of these arrangements."
At a press conference that afternoon, Mr Andrews said: "I'm very grateful to the Prime Minister for him agreeing to let this be a true partnership between Victoria Police, our health officials, as well as the Australian Defence Force. I think that will work very well."
The same day, the ADF put 100 personnel on standby in large states, and 50 in smaller states, ready to assist with hotel quarantine, but they were not deployed in Victoria.
The ABC understands the offer of support was not specific to any task, and it would be up to the states to work out how ADF would be best used.

The ADF was involved in the planning for hotel quarantine, something Mr Andrews reiterated at his daily press briefing yesterday.
A meeting at the State Control Centre on the afternoon of March 27, chaired by Commissioner Crisp, determined to not use ADF. A recording of that meeting has been given to the Coate inquiry.
"During these discussions I did not seek nor did representatives of the ADF offer assistance as part of the hotel quarantine program," Commissioner Crisp said in a statement this week.
"Subsequent communications with the ADF on the 12th and 15th of April did not relate to ADF assistance as part of the program."

At a parliamentary inquiry this week, the Jobs and Precincts Ministry department secretary Simon Phemister said the decision to use private security guards was made at a 4:30pm meeting at the State Command Centre that same day — March 27.
Mr Phemister was unable to say who made the decision, but said the meeting was chaired by Commissioner Crisp.
The inquiry heard that the Department of Health and Human Services was responsible for infection control.

Mr Andrews explained to the parliamentary hearing this week that the Government was already working with hotels and private security to provide accommodation for health workers to isolate, as well somewhere for homelesses people to stay.
"It [hotel quarantine] was essentially an extension of a program that we had already stood up — nothing more, nothing less,'' Mr Andrews told the inquiry.

What happened the next day?
Senator Reynolds said in a statement on Tuesday this week that on March 28, Victorian authorities advised they were not seeking ADF assistance with mandatory quarantine arrangements.
"Defence agreed to requests for support to quarantine compliance from Queensland and NSW on 28 March," she said.
"ADF officials asked whether Victorian authorities required assistance with its mandatory quarantine system on multiple occasions. No request for quarantine support was subsequently received from Victoria at that time.
"On 12 April 2020, Victorian authorities reaffirmed to ADF officials that all quarantine compliance monitoring operations were within Victorian authorities' capacity."

Troops were deployed to other states
On March 29, a Defence Ministry statement said the ADF would provide logistics support to state police to enforce mandatory quarantine and isolation measures.

In NSW, that included 30 ADF personnel deployed at Sydney airport, "with at least another 40 supporting the quarantine of six separate hotels".

In Queensland, a dozen ADF personnel were sent to Brisbane and Cairns airports, and another dozen supported quarantine at a hotel in Cairns.

A further 50 personnel were approved for deployment to Western Australia "to support quarantine measures for new arrivals".

Soldiers would help state authorities enforce strict measures, and carry out compliance checks for those in isolation, but they did not have the powers of arrest.

In late July, whistleblowers in Western Australia voiced concerns about hotel quarantine breaches.
The next day, it was announced Defence Force personnel would be stationed at Perth hotels to assist contracted security guards.

What do we know about hotel quarantine breaches?
Jobs Minister Martin Pakula said his department requested Victoria Police help early on in the hotel quarantine program.

State ministers were first made aware of a guard testing positive at the Rydges Hotel on May 26.

There have been rumours about security guards sleeping with the guests who were supposed to be isolating, but so far no evidence has emerged to substantiate that.

What we do know is there were subcontracting arrangements where security guards were recruited by WhatsApp.

One there was a lack of personal protection equipment and lax procedures.

Further, a hotel quarantine nurse told the ABC that guests were allowed out for more fresh air, in part due to staff being shaken by a suspected suicide.

The Premier has said he had not heard of quarantine trysts, but a number of staff, "despite knowing about infection control protocols, have decided to make a number of errors".

He said the virus may have spread among staff sharing a cigarette lighter or carpooling.
"[They were] keeping their distance but sharing a lighter between each other," he said in late June.
"An innocent thing that can lead to transmitting the virus.
"There also seems to be carpooling arrangements between staff, which meant they were in closer contact than we would like."

What happened in June?
On June 24, Victoria requested help from the ADF, the Commonwealth and other states.
But hours after Senator Reynolds released a statement saying 1,000 troops would be deployed to Victoria, it was scaled back.
Around 850 soldiers were slated to help with the enforcement of hotel quarantine, but the ABC reported Victoria was considering using police and Protective Services Officers (PSOs) instead.

A few days later, on June 30, the hotel quarantine program was suspended, with all international flights diverted to other cities for two weeks.
That would allow the program to "reset" under the supervision of Corrections Victoria, which run the state's prisons.
The hotel quarantine program in Victoria has now been suspended until at least the end of October.

ADF personnel have been brought in to help police patrol streets and conduct doorknocks to ensure people who have tested positive are staying at home.
Victoria now has 1,743 ADF personnel deployed, more than every other state and territory combined.

Mr Andrews said the June 24 request for ADF help was not made by him and he didn't order for it to be rescinded.
He added that request came a month after the first outbreak at the Rydges and wouldn't have made a difference.

Mr Andrews said in a statement on June 30 that genomic testing showed a number of cases of community transmission in late May and June were linked to an infection control breach in hotel quarantine.
"Clearly there has been a failure in the operation of this program," he said at the time. 'It's not rocket science'
John Parker, a GP with an interest in infectious diseases, was involved in developing quarantine procedures during the Diamond Princess and Ruby Princess cruise ship outbreaks.

He told ABC Radio Melbourne on Wednesday that managing quarantine "shouldn't be difficult".
"People just stay in their rooms. They don't come out," he said.
"They need to be fed, they need to have their garbage collected, but for two weeks, they just need to stay in their rooms. It's not rocket science."

But he said security guards needed to be experienced and skilled, and that they needed a good training, supervision and support. He said quarantine training could be done in half a day.

If someone attempted to leave their room or was having a medical episode, police and mental health nurses needed to be on hand, he added.

What happens now?
Mr Andrews has demonstrated some fatigue with the issue being raised every day in his coronavirus press briefings.
"I reserve the right to respond to questions and perhaps indicate to you when I don't know that there's much more to be gained by having these debates and discussions about things that happened three months ago," he said yesterday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday side-stepped a last-minute question at the end of a press conference when a journalist asked if he had "made an offer" to Mr Andrews.
"That's all been covered off," Mr Morrison said.

The ADF question may resurface at daily press briefings.

But answers may be brought to light by the Coate inquiry, which is set to resume on Monday.

The report is expected to be handed down on November 6.


'Patient zero' entered hotel quarantine himself after contracting COVID-19
Victoria's suspected 'patient zero' - a night manager at a Melbourne hotel - entered hotel quarantine himself after contracting COVID-19.

Rydges on Swanston management told The Age the man isolated successfully and his own family did not catch the virus.

Security guards, health workers and hotel staff who were in the vicinity of the manager were stood down immediately when he reported a fever. There's nothing to suggest the man engaged in any improper activity. ... d=msedgdhp

'Blokes United' helping Melburnian men cope with stage four lockdown
Two AFL Legends are joining forces with a prominent life coach to launch an online forum aimed at helping men in Melbourne through the city's second lockdown.

Quality Mind Global CEO Richard Maloney says "Blokes United" was designed as a response to stage four lockdowns affecting the mental health of Melburnian men, who are generally reluctant to speak up about their problems.
Partnering with Barry Hall and Sean Higgins, Mr Maloney said the forum has seen "roughly 4,000" men sign up in just six days.
"We saw a major issue happening around stage four and decided to act," he said.
"I've been in the coaching game for 15 years and having worked at five AFL clubs and blokes, I had a passion for understanding the mind because of struggles I went through in my early 20s.
"I went through a mystical tour for about 10 years to discover what the hell life was all about and I started to put the mosaic together."

Mr Maloney said he slowly discovered the systems and processes that allow people to live "the good life" and is now sharing that with others.
"Everything is neutral until you give it meaning," Mr Maloney said.


Victoria Police has issued 223 fines in the past 24 hours to people breaching the coronavirus restrictions.
It includes 27 people who failed to wear a mask or face covering when leaving home and 87 fines issued to people breaching curfew, which applies from 8:00pm to 5:00am each night in metropolitan Melbourne. ... cid=msedgd
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EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:20 am


Smithfield RSL restaurant linked to 2 coronavirus cases as NSW reports 9 new infections
Key points:
There have been nine new confirmed COVID-19 cases in NSW
NSW Health has said anyone who dined at the Chopstix Asian Cuisine restaurant earlier this month to monitor for symptoms
The state carried out 27,389 in the last reporting period

NSW Health has issued an alert over an RSL in Western Sydney where two staff members have been confirmed as new COVID-19 cases.

The health authority warned that anyone who dined at the Chopstix Asian Cuisine restaurant at Smithfield RSL from Friday, July 31, to Saturday, August 9, should monitor for symptoms.

One staff member there has tested positive from an unknown source of infection.
A second staff member was "likely" a secondary infection from the first case, NSW Health said.
The venue is in the Fairfield local government area.

The RSL is also in a neighbouring suburb to Wetherill Park, where the Thai Rock restaurant became linked to 116 cases after an outbreak last month.

The state reported 9 new cases in the 24 hours to 8:00pm last night.
1 new case was linked to the Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook, bringing that cluster to 22.
Another was connected to the Mounties Club at Mount Pritchard, which has also seen multiple cases.

An alert has also gone out for the Rick Stein at Bannisters restaurant at Mollymook on the south coast.

The affected person dined there on Saturday, August 1, between 8:00pm and 10:30pm.

Anyone who dined at the restaurant at that time must immediately get tested and self-isolate until midnight tonight or until they receive a negative result.
5 of the latest cases reported on Saturday are close contacts of known cases.
There have been no new cases in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

NSW Health carried out 27,389 tests in the latest period, compared with 29,696 in the previous period.

NSW Deputy Chief Health Officer Jeremy McAnulty continued to urge anyone with the mildest symptoms to come forward for testing.
"As COVID-19 continues to circulate in the community, maintaining high rates of testing is vital at this time," he said. ... d=msedgdhp ... d=msedgdhp ... s/12561840

NSW officials keeping eye on Sydney’s inner west
NSW Health officials are monitoring Sydney’s inner west after the Robyn Sports Centre in Tempe was closed for COVID-19 cleaning. ... d=msedgdhp

Small businesses in Lake Macquarie adapt and overcome in wake of coronavirus lockdown
Small businesses in an industrial estate in the New South Wales Hunter Valley that have so-far survived the coronavirus downturn have described JobKeeper payments as "a lifesaver", but have warned another lockdown in the state would be disastrous.

Nathan Wood employs more than 30 people at his Cardiff kitchen manufacturing business and says the COVID-19 downturn is having a massive impact, with staff laid off and hours cut.
But Mr Wood said his business was already starting to re-emerge after the economic slump as renovators rushed to place orders before Christmas.
He said the Federal Government's JobKeeper assistance package was a game-changer in April, but the real change had happened over the last six weeks.
"All of a sudden things are just going crazy, phones ringing off the hook," Mr Wood said.
"I think people aren't going out as much, also no one can go overseas and spend that money.
"A lot of people are at home realising, 'I can get this done to my house now, I've got time to do this because I'm stuck at home'."

He said the next few months would be crucial for his business and the recent rise in local COVID-19 cases in the Newcastle region has caused serious concern about what another lockdown would do to small businesses.
"It is a bit worrying with what's happening in Victoria; if that spreads to NSW we could be back in that same position we were at at the start of the year," Mr Woods said.
"We'd have to stand down all our employees, it'd be hard on our family too, this business is our sole income.
"I just hope it doesn't turn into that."

Staying afloat on toilet paper sales
Husband and wife team Garry and Jan Brown have owned their office supplies business at the Cardiff Industrial Estate for more than 40 years.

Ms Brown said the pandemic had forced the couple to pivot their business like never before.
"It looked extremely scary, we were very concerned that we wouldn't be able to keep all our staff," she said.
"But we got extremely busy in March [with] toilet paper — we could literally not get enough stock to sell.
"They were doubling and tripling their orders in cartons of toilet paper, hand towel, and hand sanitiser. We couldn't even get enough disinfectant.
"April was pretty lousy, that was the toughest month, but fortunately that was when I was able to get JobKeeper and we haven't had to put anybody off."

Mr Brown said the business had stayed afloat but he worried about coronavirus spreading.
"The Government really saved our backsides, they've protected everybody, but you can't protect from fools and there's a lot of fools out there ruining it for everybody else," he said.
"Jan and I are both in the older age group, so if it gets us, I've got asthma, it'll probably do me in."

Limousine hire on a knife edge
Jack Lebrocq has owned a stretch Hummer hire transport business at Cardiff for just over a year.
He said coronavirus had thrown the business into a spin.
"We've got a few jobs, we're just scraping by at the moment," Mr Lebrocq said.
"But it's going to really start to affect us in the next month or so in terms of peak season.
"We get a lot of weddings around September, October, November when there's a lot of concerts, airport transfers, formals as well.
"It's looking pretty grim at the moment. We've had more than 180 cancellations."

Mr Lebrocq said support from his bank and landlord had been vital.
"The bank has been fantastic in terms of car repayments and our landlord; couldn't thank him enough," he said.
"But the next month or two is really going to test us.
"We can't afford another lockdown. If we go into a full lockdown I'd pretty confidently say we're toast." ... d=msedgdhp

Locals only: Regional businesses turning away Sydney visitors
There are currently no restrictions on movement within New South Wales, but with community transmission continuing to spread around Sydney, local businesses are taking matters into their own hands. ... d=msedgdhp


Coronavirus: Inquiry reveals ‘unjustifiable’ NSW Health mistakes
A special commission into the Ruby Princess debacle has found NSW Health made ‘serious, inexcusable and unjustifiable’ mistakes. ... d=msedgdhp

NSW Opposition Leader addresses Ruby Princess
NSW Opposition Leader Jodi Mckay speaks on the 300 page report into the Ruby Princess debacle AND POINTS HER FINGER AT BOTH BORDER FORCE ( FEDERAL ) AND NSW HEALTH MINISTER , AND SAYS THE CAPTAIN OF THE LINER WAS ALSO CULPERABLE AS WAS THE SHIP’S DOCTOR. ... d=msedgdhp

Closing ACT border is so difficult, and provides so few benefits, authorities say it's not worthwhile
This year has been a lesson in never saying never — with measures once unthinkable suddenly becoming very real.

And as state borders began closing to shut out coronavirus outbreaks, including the extremely active New South Wales-Victoria border, some ACT officials began questioning whether, and how, the national capital could close up.

Authorities have made it extremely clear from the outset that this would be a measure of absolute last resort.

And there is good reason for that — it would be extremely difficult to do, and may provide very limited public health benefits.

The ACT's borders were not designed to close, but the situation has been imagined by those who would need to make it a reality.

Their ultimate conclusion is that it is an option not to be rushed. This is why.

A busy, porous border
In a typical day, 47,000 people cross the ACT border. It is extremely heavily trafficked.
About 25,000 people living in surrounding communities like Queanbeyan commute into Canberra every day.
Crossing the border is such a common, daily occurrence for so many people that most barely even notice the welcome signs.
It is not a huge border (its circumference is just 306 kilometres, compared to NSW's 4,625km land border), but it is busy.
And it has nearly 70 different entry points via road — including main roads like the Monaro Highway, Federal Highway and Barton Highway, and busy roads like Lanyon Drive, Fairbairn Avenue and Canberra Avenue.
Many smaller roads in the ACT are simply fire trails that could be easily closed (a few boulders would stop traffic, but that could be problematic come bushfire season).
But closing the border means manning checkpoints on at least the nine major roads in and out of Canberra — an extremely resource-intensive task.

A booming Canberra region
If the ACT border were closed, no one would be able to enter without a permit or exemption.
Cross-border permits would need to be handed out to the tens of thousands of people in the region who rely on the ACT for work, school, medical care and more.
And exemptions would be issued to those travelling in from non-hotspot areas.

Smooth entry and exit for workers is crucial to many Canberra industries. Manufacturing and construction are just two where more than 15 per cent of the workforce live in NSW.

Manning the roads, which would become a legal requirement of ACT Policing, would place huge pressure on the agency — especially if it was also required to check in on people in quarantine (as it already does).

Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan said the demands placed on his police force must be a consideration in deciding whether the ACT would close its borders.
"One of the things that I need to focus on is ensuring that [if] we do something like that, how we balance that with the rest of the business we have to do," he said.

What about a 'regional bubble'?
The easiest route around some of those cross-border hassles is simply stretching the ACT border, to include the nearest cross-border communities.

It is what is known as the "regional bubble" option, allowing freedom of movement for those close to the ACT who rely upon it most.
It is a reasonably elegant solution — while police would have more roads to monitor, they would likely have less traffic.
But any such move would require active cooperation, and likely heavy resourcing, from the NSW Government.

And as the drama this week involving ACT residents trying to travel from Victoria demonstrated, this situation could require complex negotiations before it became workable.

There is no perfect seal
Authorities are under no illusions about isolating the ACT from the rest of Australia, and cementing Canberra's status as coronavirus-free.

Closed borders would still have plenty of openings — people entering for work, study or medical care, as well as cross-border freight, would perforate any attempted seal.

And as New Zealand learned this week, even the most tightly sealed borders cannot prevent coronavirus breakouts.

ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said it was not an idea anyone should take seriously.
"For the ACT it is really not realistic to put in place a border, and expect that we can go back to what New Zealand has done — back to normal," Dr Coleman said..
"The risk of a case will always be present, and if we go back to what we see as the 'previous normal', the risk of transmission will be too great."

And if the risk of the virus breaking through the border is so high, questions about the value of sealed borders have to be asked — particularly when lesser measures can be very effective.

Smaller steps can make big impacts
If there is a major virus outbreak in somewhere like Sydney, ACT authorities would likely lean heavily on the measures that are already familiar to most.

Advice is already in place to avoid non-essential travel to Greater Sydney because of the ongoing (but relatively low) level of community transmission there.

Dr Coleman said that could be escalated to declaring Greater Sydney a hotspot if the situation escalated.
"I would need to see a rapid escalation of cases appearing in Sydney to indicate that there was a lot of strands and threads that we weren't actually notifying," she said.
"Mostly, we would need to see a significant increase in the number of cases that didn't have a source of exposure identified.
"That would suggest to me that there was quite a bit of underlying community transmission, that NSW Health didn't know about and wasn't on top of."

That decision would require anyone who returns to the ACT from Sydney to self-isolate for 14 days.

There are also the various physical-distancing restrictions that could be reintroduced, as Melbourne has done.

The hope is that those measures would be enough to suppress an outbreak without needing more extreme actions.

When would the border actually close?
While closing the border is a last resort, it has not been ruled out.

But rather than being taken as a proactive measure (like Western Australia or Tasmania), it would be a late measure to try to contain an already highly serious situation.

Dr Coleman said the circumstances would need to be dire — the virus would need to be spreading rapidly both inside the ACT and in regional NSW — and it would be taken to protect the health system.
"I think where I would strongly be considering a hard border was when we had lots of cases in the ACT, and there was big demands and draws on public health resources.
"Really, we would just want to stop the ability for any more cases to be appearing in the ACT because we were struggling to deal with that."

A grim scenario, that many are working hard to prevent from happening. ... d=msedgdhp


Queensland records no new cases overnight
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed the state recorded no new cases overnight with nine active cases across the state.

Ms Palaszczuk said two men who tested positive while attempting to cross the border via boat off the Qld coast were transported to hospital and authorities were "monitoring the rest of the crew".
"We have very strong measures in place," she said.
"I want to reassure the community both Maritime Safety and Qld Health are working collaboratively together to make sure the ship is absolutely being monitored and the people who tested positive have been moved directly to hospital." ... d=msedgdhp

Protesters march on Brisbane hotel where refugees and asylum seekers are being detained
6 people have been arrested during a protest against the ongoing detention of refugees and asylum seekers at a Brisbane hotel.

They are facing 12 charges, including public nuisance and disobeying police direction during the protest outside the Kangaroo Point Central Hotel and Apartments.
2 people who glued their hands to the road on Main Street have been charged with obstructing police.

Hundreds marched on Saturday afternoon outside the hotel, where about 100 refugees and asylum seekers are being detained.

The Supreme Court this week banned the group from a sit-in on the Story Bridge, but organisers moved the midday rally to nearby Raymond Park in Kangaroo Point.

About 3,000 people had said on social media that they were interested in going to Saturday's protest but about 200 showed up and endured a burst of heavy rain.
Some of the group dispersed while the rest huddled under pop-up tents waiting for the weather to pass, chanting: "We won't stop till they free the refugees."

Hundreds gather to protest against ongoing detention of refugees and asylum seekers at Kangaroo Point hotel
Hundreds of people have gathered at an inner-Brisbane park to protest against the ongoing detention of refugees and asylum seekers at a Kangaroo Point hotel.

The Supreme Court on Friday banned the group from a sit-in on the Story Bridge, but organises moved the midday rally to nearby Raymond Park in Kangaroo Point.
It is the second weekend in a row the sit-in was called off in response to last-minute court action.

200 showed up, and endured heavy rain.
Some of the group dispersed amid the burst of rain, while the rest huddled under pop-up tents waiting for the weather to pass, chanting: "We won't stop till they free the refugees."

Under the latest injunction, protesters were prohibited from stopping and sitting down on both the Story Bridge and Main Street, which feeds the bridge.
Police may take action if protesters fail to obey officers' directives or move on orders if people enter a road unlawfully.
Fines can also be handed out to those found to not be social distancing under the state's COVID-19 laws.

Organisers, Refugee Action Collective Queensland and Refugee Solidarity Brisbane/Meanjin, warned activists on social media they still risked police action.
"It is not illegal to stand in a park on a Saturday afternoon and say 'no more' to a disgusting regime of torture, murder and indefinite imprisonment," the post said.
"There's a risk of arrest at this protest, as with all protests that defy the state.
"We encourage everyone who comes to know their rights."

The group is calling for the release of about 100 aslyum seekers and refugees from the Kangaroo Point Central Hotel.
They were brought to Australia from offshore detention centres under the now defunct Medevac laws.

Last month, Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said 45 of the men had their refugee claims denied and they would be safely returned to their home countries.
He could not confirm how many men had their refugee applications approved or how many were still being processed. In the meantime, they are calling the men to be allowed leave the hotel for exercise and for the end to forced transfers to high-security facilities. ... d=msedgdhp

Queensland Police Media confirmed there were six arrests in total.
Under the latest court injunction, protesters were prohibited from stopping and sitting down on both the Story Bridge and Main Street, which not only feeds the bridge but is where the hotel is situated.
Amid heavy police presence, made up of dozens of uniformed and plain-clothed officers, the protesters stopped on Main Street before being moved onto the pathway by officers.
At least 3 people refused to move and were arrested by police and placed in the back of police vans.

A spokesman for the group, who only wanted to be known as Robbie, said he believed the "high" police presence was to try and intimidate protesters.
"That's not going to stop us," he said.
"We haven't done anything violent here in the past. There's not even that many people here."
One man who is being held in detention in the hotel spoke over the phone, telling protesters he wanted to thank them all individually one day.
"I think that will be soon," he said.
"Don't give up on us. This is much, much bigger than a couple of refugees in detention … It’s much bigger."

Another call from a detainee was played to the crowd.
"Refugees are humans like everyone else," the second man said.
"We need your help, this is not an easy war."

Police said they may take action if protesters failed to obey directives or entered a road unlawfully, and fines would be handed out for those found not to be social distancing.

Organisers, Refugee Action Collective Queensland and Refugee Solidarity Brisbane/Meanjin, warned activists on social media they risked police action.

"It is not illegal to stand in a park on a Saturday afternoon and say 'no more' to a disgusting regime of torture, murder and indefinite imprisonment," the post said.
"There's a risk of arrest at this protest, as with all protests that defy the state.
"We encourage everyone who comes to know their rights."

The group is calling for the release of about 100 asylum seekers and refugees from the Kangaroo Point Central Hotel.
They were brought to Australia from offshore detention centres under the now-defunct Medevac laws.
Last month, Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said 45 of the men had their refugee claims denied and they would be safely returned to their home countries.
He could not confirm how many men had their refugee applications approved or how many were still being processed.
A 24/7 blockade has been erected outside the hotel, with protesters holding weekly actions demanding the men be released into the community by the end of the year.

In the meantime, they are calling for the men to be allowed to leave the hotel for exercise and for the end to forced transfers to high-security facilities. ... t/12562088

Group of 4 men caught allegedly attempting to enter Qld illegally by sail boat
A group has been caught allegedly trying to enter the Sunshine State illegally.

The group of four people was allegedly trying to sail from Byron Bay to Cairns when it was intercepted by Maritime Safety Queensland yesterday.

Each person was fined $4,000 and forced into mandatory quarantine AS WAS THE SAIL BOAT THEY WERE CAUGHT ON BOARD. ... d=msedgdhp

SA records 1 new COVID-19 case
South Australia has recorded 1 new COVID-19 case, with a man in his 30s testing positive. << WHO RETURNED FROM INDIA >> ... d=msedgdhp

SA claims victory over coronavirus cluster
More than 1000 South Australians are set to be released from isolation today as the state claims victory over its most recent outbreak.
The state's Thebarton cluster was linked to five cases inside two Adelaide schools.

The state recorded just one new case yesterday, with authorities revealing it was from a returning traveller. ... d=msedgdhp
Coronavirus clinic to target SA's multicultural community as Thebarton Senior College cluster contained
Health authorities in South Australia are targeting the state's multicultural communities with a trial coronavirus testing clinic launched today, as Afghan community leaders are praised for their help in managing a cluster of cases.

State Chief Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the pop-up clinic was established after working with the Afghan community this month, as authorities grappled to control a cluster of cases linked to Thebarton Senior College.

About 1,100 staff and students were forced to isolate after a growing cluster was identified in early August.
"When the Thebarton cluster became apparent, a key factor that enabled us to manage it was reaching out to the community leaders to ensure as much information as possible was available in a timely manner," Professor Spurrier said.
"Leaders of the Afghan community in South Australia have worked tirelessly to ensure health messages are shared as widely as possible and to support individuals who were required to undertake quarantine."

The clinic launch follows Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton conceding on Friday that authorities were still not doing enough to reach key groups as part of the eastern state's coronavirus response.

He said that "engagement with culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD) is central" to how Victoria proceeds in the pandemic.

Translation errors in Federal and Victorian COVID-19 advice materials were also labelled "nonsensical" and "laughable" by the Refugee Council of Australia's Deena Yako, a native Arabic speaker, this week.
The pop-up testing site for South Australia's CALD community, at which translators will be present, is the first of its kind to be trialled in the state.
SA Health met with more than 40 leaders from CALD backgrounds in July, to ensure all communities in South Australia were informed about coronavirus.
"In response, we determined it would be worthwhile to establish pop-up COVID-19 testing sites within CALD communities at critical times, where people who are unwell can be tested and also receive clear, informative and easy-to-understand health information," Dr Spurrier said.

The meeting lead to "simple infographics" being developed in SA, to provide advice on how to get tested and how to safely isolate at home.

Dr Spurrier said more than 1,300 CALD community members had already been surveyed, but SA Health "identified the need" to develop alternate ways to engage with multicultural South Australians.

The trial is hoped to "pave the way" on how SA Health can engage with other CALD communities in establishing similar types of information and testing sites elsewhere.

The pop-up clinic is open from 11:00am to 3:00pm daily at Edinburgh North.

Hundreds released from isolation
The clinic launch followed this morning's release of hundreds of people from isolation in Adelaide's Ibis Hotel.

Last night, 94 close contacts of a woman who attended Thebarton Senior College were cleared after coronavirus testing returned negative results.
"I was extremely pleased for the state, but also for all those people who had the tests done," Dr Spurrier said.
"I'm always slightly cautious — we've had the two weeks, which is that incubation period.
"I like to see two full incubation periods before I say we're home and hosed, but I think we're in a very good position."

Health authorities declared no new cases of coronavirus today, limiting the current number of active cases in SA to seven.
1 new case was declared in the state yesterday — a man in his 30s who flew into Adelaide on a repatriation flight from India on August 1.

SA Health said the case posed no risk to the public as the man had been in hotel quarantine since his return to Australia.
The positive result took South Australia's total number of COVID-19 cases during the pandemic to 460.

More than 316,000 coronavirus tests have been carried out in SA to date. ... 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 Sicko
Posts: 12572
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:21 am

Scott Morrison’s coronavirus mea culpa was barely disguised score-settling with Daniel Andrews
Scott Morrison has delivered a mea culpa. But it pays to be precise about the nature of the apology, which was “sorry, but most of what went wrong was that other guy”. Friday wasn’t so much an exercise in contrition as an attempted reframe of what has been a really bad week for his government on aged care.

PM apologises for aged care failures
Faced with scorching criticism from the Aged Care Royal Commission, Scott Morrison has admitted errors have been made in a system that's accounted for two-thirds of the nation's pandemic deaths.
[/QIOTE] ... d=msedgdhp

Let’s quickly map the week, then we’ll loop back to Morrison. There have been terrible coronavirus outbreaks in residential aged care in Victoria, and deaths, more than 80 this week. Cue Peter Rozen QC. The counsel assisting the aged care royal commission landed some sharp observations. He used an opening statement to contend neither the commonwealth health department nor the aged care regulator developed a Covid-19 plan specifically for the aged care sector. He followed up later in the week by declaring the federal government acted with “self-congratulation” and “hubris” by not learning important lessons and not preparing Victoria for the devastating outbreak in residential aged care – which is quite a charge.

In between those interventions, Rozen put Brendan Murphy, the former chief medical officer, now secretary of the federal health department, firmly in a corner when he attempted to rebut Rozen’s contentions by delivering a counter opening statement to the commission. Rozen also called Murphy out when he tried to prompt a departmental colleague, Michael Lye, the health department’s deputy secretary for ageing and aged care during the proceedings. No mercy. This is our show, not the commonwealth’s.
The commission also heard from Joseph Ibrahim, an aged care expert from Monash University, who injected moral clarity into the proceedings. Elderly Australians would die during this pandemic, he said, because of a “level of apathy, a lack of urgency” and “an attitude of futility which leads to an absence of action”.

Now to Morrison. The prime minister gave a press conference on Monday, then he was off the air until Friday.

On Wednesday, Morrison posted a Facebook message which you might call a warm-up for Friday. The prime minister wanted people to know he felt their pain in all “the hard news”. He said the government would seek to learn the lessons from the recent outbreak. When there were shortcomings, they would be acknowledged. The government would seek to be upfront about the problems.

The benefit of making your points in a Facebook message is no one interrupts you with pesky questions. Monologues transmitted from a bunker spare prime ministers inconvenient inquisitions that make their way into TV packages, which is what leaders continue to care most about. Eventually you will have to take questions but, for now, there is the benefit of being on send on not receive.

By Friday, questions were being raised about precisely when Morrison might put his head up – given the persistent rebukes of the week. So on Friday, the prime minister visited his courtyard because, if he didn’t, not visiting the courtyard would have become a story. Sorry did indeed pass Morrison’s lips, but the language was passive, and indirect.

Instead of our systems failed, Morrison’s choice of words was: “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.” Morrison continued: “So they are the good days, but other days are not as good, and that’s the simple honesty that I’m offering to the Australian people ... Of course we, we’re sorry about that, of course we’re devastated by it.”

So no ownership was claimed of the system (which on this locution could be anyone’s), and the apology touched down on the failure of expectations – which is a bit like those apologies offer if people have been offended, which make the offended parties sound like sooks.

A bit later we washed up at the “other guy” juncture I referenced a minute ago. As the explanation went on, it turns out this wasn’t so much a failure of a system (insert relevant footnote: that the commonwealth has responsibility for as the funder and regulator) – because despite what you might hear from feisty QCs in royal commissions, the government did have an aged care plan. Morrison insisted there was a plan that had been refreshed during the crisis.

“The outbreaks were caused by a community outbreak of the Covid-19 virus in Melbourne,” Morrison said. “That’s where the system received the greatest challenge. We can’t ignore that fact.

“I mean, Covid-19 broke out in Melbourne. It has got into meat-packing plants, it has got into pharmacies, it has got into distribution centres. It has got into hospitals. It has got into aged care facilities. That’s what happens with a pandemic.

“There is not some special force field around aged care facilities that can ultimately protect in that environment, and that’s what occurred. And that has caused an enormous disruption in the continuity of care in those aged care facilities.”

So sorry had no sooner passed the lips when the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, was thrust back in the frame. Morrison’s point was the outbreak in aged care flowed from the outbreak in Melbourne (insert footnote: that the premier didn’t stop).

I mean these blokes really do have to stop this. Australia is in the middle of a pandemic, and Morrison (and proxies for the prime minister), and Andrews, have lapsed into a dynamic where both of them feel they need to have the last word. Anybody who has ever had one of these arguments understands intrinsically this is a plot-losing genre of dialogue.

The carry on over the past few weeks has been about as edifying, frankly, as that Christmas dinner when Uncle Reg went at Uncle Fred about that time he cheated at Scrabble in 1973, with both sides demanding depositions from witnesses.

The two leaders are deploying different approaches in their barely disguised combat with one another. To take this week as case in point, the heavy lifting against Andrews from Canberra was executed mostly through background briefings, and through the defence minister, Linda Reynolds, who fronted Operation Make Sure No One Pings Us For The Hotel Quarantine Debacle Because That Was Dan.

At least Andrews is on the field, carrying his own water. The premier has gone to war by insisting he is not at war with Morrison. Let’s call this offensive Operation High Ground. “My only argument, my only thought, is with the coronavirus,” Andrews told reporters this week. The inference one is invited to take from this is someone else might be playing politics. Perhaps in Canberra. Andrews noted airily at one point he’d be talking to the prime minister some time later on “about aged care” – which in the context of the j’accuse of the week was quite the parry.

Both of these leaders think they can conduct their bout of score-settling safely in code so most voters won’t hear it. There’s probably some truth to that, because much of the cut-and-thrust you can only follow in detail if you speak fluent retribution – (insert relevant footnote: political dialect).

But this persistent diversion of energy is really disconcerting.

I get that events are stretching everyone beyond levels of human endurance. But I reckon it’s safe to say the history wars can wait when Australian citizens have so many immediate needs.

It is perfectly acceptable for leaders to draw precise lines on maps in an effort to understand what might have gone wrong, because you can’t fix problems you don’t understand. But everybody understands the difference between a constructive recap of events to learn lessons and a reconstruction of events to make sure you don’t cop the blame, and the latter is what’s going on, not the former.

Let’s wrap with this observation. People don’t need passive aggressive chest bumping from politicians in the middle of a crisis. People’s needs are much simpler. They don’t need an Aesop’s fable about the Victorian premier’s deficiencies dressed up as an apologia; a masked blame game, which is what they got from Canberra on Friday.

They need governments to be competent. ... d=msedgdhp

Bill Shorten says aged care is a Federal Government responsibility. Is he correct?
The claim
As Victoria grapples with coronavirus outbreaks in multiple aged care facilities, Labor Party figures have sought to blame the Federal Government for the unfolding disaster.

Arguing the Coalition was slow to respond to the looming threat, former opposition leader Bill Shorten told the ABC.
"People in aged care, we know they're more vulnerable. But only now it seems the Federal Government is waking up and saying it's going to do more. It's a federal responsibility, aged care."

Mr Shorten repeated his claim the next day in for the Herald Sun, writing that: "The Prime Minister wants to delegate the tough decisions of the pandemic to the various state premiers.
"In some cases, this is appropriate. But aged care is a federal responsibility, and one that has been neglected for years."

So, is the Federal Government responsible for aged care?

RMIT ABC Fact Check investigates.

The verdict
Mr Shorten's claim is a fair call.

Individual aged care facilities are legally responsible for the safety of their residents, but the Federal Government is responsible for the aged care system as a whole.

The Government's primary role is to fund and regulate facilities to ensure they adhere to agreed safety standards. These standards include preventing infectious disease outbreaks.

Mr Shorten spoke of the preparedness of the system for COVID-19.

Aged care facilities are also subject to the public health laws of their host state or territory, so state governments retain some responsibility for residents.

However, a state's involvement only comes after an outbreak takes hold. Under powers not specific to aged care, it can, if necessary, take over facilities.

In preparation for COVID-19, both levels of government agreed on their roles and responsibilities for helping residential care facilities respond to outbreaks.

These largely reflected existing legislative arrangements, but they made clear the Federal Government would, in addition to its regulatory role, manage the supply of personal protective equipment and help address staff shortages. State governments were tasked with, among other things, testing, contact tracing and working with hospitals to free up hospital beds.

Context of the claim
Internationally, residential care facilities to be tinderboxes for COVID-19 outbreaks, with older people especially vulnerable to the illness.

Australia had experienced two deadly outbreaks by May 2020, at and both in NSW.

Victoria remained largely unscathed until , when, on the eve of reimposing stage three lockdowns, the State Government reported cases linked to five facilities.

By the time Mr Shorten published his article, at least had been affected.

The state had recorded linked to aged care clusters, including staff, residents and close contacts. Cumulatively, had been infected, with 74 dead.

What is aged care?
Australians aged 65 and over access aged care services in a variety of forms.

Seniors living at home can access government subsidised services through the or to help with day-to-day living. These services cover everything from help with household chores to nursing and healthcare.

Separately, of government programs exist for short-term clinical care outside of hospitals.

For people with ongoing and more complex needs, care is available through .

These facilities may be run by businesses, not-for-profits or state governments.

Most of their operating costs are picked up by the Federal Government, which pays a subsidy to the facility operator based on the level of care required per resident.

Mr Shorten's article referred to "aged-care homes", and on this basis Fact Check has limited its analysis to residential care facilities.

Taking the reins
As the of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety explains, state and federal government involvement in aged care stems from the nexus of three policy areas: pensions, housing, and healthcare.

Starting in the 1950s the Commonwealth took an increasingly active role in what was then a state-administered system, injecting capital funds and subsidising service costs.

In July 2011, according to a of aged care laws, changes by the then Labor government saw "the transfer of full funding and policy responsibility for aged care from state and territory governments to the Australian Government".

Indeed, the 2011 National Health Reform Agreement the Federal Government "will take full funding, policy, management and delivery responsibility for a consistent and unified aged care system covering basic home care through to residential care".

The legislative backdrop
Experts told Fact Check the Commonwealth 1997 was the basis for regulating safety standards in residential aged care.

Under the act (s54-1), accredited providers — that is, any provider receiving Commonwealth subsidies — must abide by the .

The Aged Care Quality Standards Commission, the federal government regulator, is responsible for accrediting providers and ensuring they meet these standards.

According to the regulator's : "We independently accredit, assess and monitor aged care services subsidised by the Australian Government, conduct home care investigations, and we determine compliance requirements to be imposed on providers (such as sanctions)."

Facilities are to federal oversight if they do not receive Commonwealth subsidies.

However, from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that just 39 of Australia's 2,884 residential facilities fell into this category in June 2020.

Pinning it on the providers?
While Mr Shorten said the Federal Government was responsible for aged care, the legislation puts aged care operators front and centre.

Quality puts the onus on facilities to minimise "infection-related risks" by implementing "standard and transmission-based precautions to prevent and control infection".

Kathy Eagar, director of the University of Wollongong's Australian Health Services Research Institute, told Fact Check:

"Legally, under the [aged care] act, the aged care provider and the Commonwealth, because it's the regulator, are responsible for ensuring that COVID does not get into homes."

Joseph Ibrahim, head of Monash University's Health Law and Ageing Research Unit, also said: "The aged care provider, the person who gets the money for looking after the resident, is responsible for meeting the legal and regulatory requirements to operate the home."

However, he added, "they are not specifically responsible for the medical care of residents", which falls to GPs and specialists.

On February 26, Australia's then chief medical officer Brendan Murphy to explain their responsibilities in relation to COVID-19:

"[A]ged care homes are expected to assess the risk of, and take steps to prevent, detect and control, the spread of infections... [T]here should [also] be established protocols in place at aged care homes to manage any health emergencies that arise, including service-wide infection outbreaks or broader community epidemics."

In March 2020, (CDNA) released guidelines for managing COVID-19 in residential care facilities.

The CDNA is a standing committee of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, the nation's top , of which every state and territory's chief health officer is a member.

The state that facilities have "primary responsibility" for managing COVID-19 outbreaks, and should "have access to infection control expertise … and outbreak management plans in place".

Facilities must ensure they have enough personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, along with processes to acquire more. They should also plan a "surge workforce" to cover a 20-30 per cent absentee rate, the guidelines say, and "staff should not work at other facilities" during an outbreak.

If all that sounds beyond the power of individual providers, the guidelines also state that facilities will be "supported in their response to an outbreak" by different government departments and agencies.

State-run facilities
Given the responsibilities of care providers, it's worth touching on the role of state governments as facility operators.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that the of Australia's residential aged care facilities are operated by not-for-profit organisations and private companies. A smaller number are operated directly by state governments.

In Victoria, the Government operates around of the state's , which the Government says are mostly in regional areas and tend to people with more complex needs. They are also subject to such as mandated staff ratios.

On the day of Mr Shorten's claim, Victoria's health department the "active aged care outbreaks with the highest cumulative case numbers".

Covering 80 per cent of cases linked to aged care, the list highlighted 704 active cases across 12 facilities, all of them privately run.

A federal system
Experts contacted by Fact Check said the Federal Government was responsible for oversight of aged care at the system level, which includes ensuring private providers were up to the challenge of COVID-19.

Specifically, they pointed to the Government's role in funding and regulation.

Hal Swerissen, La Trobe University emeritus professor and a visiting fellow at the Grattan Institute, explained that the Federal Government essentially operates within contract law, enforcing standards by threatening to withhold funding.

However, the Government's approach had been very "hands off", he added, with oversight largely conducted from Canberra rather than through staff on the ground.

Professor Eagar told Fact Check the Federal Government had "inordinate power" to ensure safety but had in general chosen not to exercise it.

She said the Government not only held the purse strings but could also legislate higher standards of care or, through the regulator, rescind accreditation.

Experts also pointed to the limits of what providers were capable of dealing with.

On the systemic problem of staff working in multiple facilities, for example, Professor Ibrahim told Fact Check it would be an "abrogation of responsibility" for governments to simply say this was a provider's problem.

Professor Eagar said "many people would argue that given the whole thing is being funded by taxpayers … the Commonwealth can't really contract out its responsibility".

Looking at it from the providers' perspective, she asked: "Is the provider still responsible when they're not getting what in their view is an adequate amount of money [from the government] to deliver safety?"

On that question, the CDNA's explain that the Federal Government will "work collaboratively with the overall management of the response to support the viability and capacity of the [facility] to access services".

Federal support covers "additional supplies of PPE [personal protective equipment] from the National Medical Stockpile, a surge capacity of additional workforce if required, and a pathology provider to test residents if requested".

So, what is the state's role?
Experts said that while the Federal Government was responsible for the aged care system, the states were responsible for public health.

Australia's peak body for the discipline "public health" as an "approach to health which focuses on population-wide programs to prevent rather than cure disease and illness".

Christopher Reynolds, an associate professor at the University of Adelaide, said the critical feature of public health was its focus on groups of people: "The care of individual patients tends not to be a public health issue."

Public health "has traditionally been seen as an area of state responsibility", he has elsewhere, explaining that Australian laws around sanitation, disease control and hazardous environments pre-date federation.

Each state and territory has its own Public Health Act. These vary in their approaches, Professor Reynolds told Fact Check: "But as far as dealing with pandemics or epidemics is concerned, there is broad similarity."

In Victoria, the relevant legislation is the . It grants the Government, through its chief health officer, the power to shut down facilities and, in the event of an emergency, to detain people, restrict their movement and issue any other direction considered "reasonably necessary to protect public health".

When worlds collide
Mr Shorten highlighted the Federal Government's role but, as experts pointed out, aged care facilities are not exempt from the public health requirements of their host state or territory.

In this sense, states retain some responsibility for residents. However, their role is to help facilities respond to — rather than prevent — outbreaks.
"If you don't have an outbreak and the public health unit comes and says, 'I think you should be better prepared', the provider can tell you … you've got no authority, we're operating under the federal rules," Professor Ibrahim said.

Professor Eager said "the Commonwealth is responsible, until the point that there is such an outbreak that the state can intervene using its public health powers".
"They [state public health units] have to make a call and say we're confident or not that the Commonwealth and the private provider have got this," she said, adding that the same would happen if the outbreak were in shops or schools.

Professor Reynolds said that, in theory, states may be able to intervene before an outbreak on the basis of their public health act. However, in practice it was unlikely they would, or should, since it was the Federal Government's standards that "very significantly impact on the way those places are run".

Professor Swerissen described the state's role as "reactive", with authorities only stepping in after outbreaks occur — as the Victorian Government had done with several facilities.
"It's a bit like they become the provider of last resort," he said. "And they do indeed have the power to say, 'We're taking [the facility] over', if they have to."

But while states have strong powers to intervene, the CDNA's outbreak guidelines explain that state governments will primarily act "in an advisory role" to help detect and manage outbreaks, as well as communicating with local health care providers and other stakeholders.

Agreed responsibilities
More broadly, the Australian health sector's for COVID-19 sets out the roles and responsibilities of each level of government in relation to the pandemic.

According to the federal health department , the plan, published in February 2020, has been "endorsed" by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.

The emergency plan states:
"The Australian Government will ... be responsible for residential aged care facilities; working with other healthcare providers to set standards to promote the safety and security of people in aged care and other institutional settings; and establishing and maintaining infection control guidelines, healthcare safety and quality standards."

State governments, meanwhile, are responsible for "the operational aspects of public health responses", such as contact tracing, social distancing measures and "the management of cases". They are also responsible for maintaining public health services, hospitals and laboratories:
"They will collaborate with relevant organisations to fill identified service provision gaps; support hospital[s] in coping with increased demand by considering opening more beds, changing staff to patient ratios; cancelling elective procedures or working in partnership with local private hospitals to manage urgent cases where appropriate …"

Additionally, states "will establish systems to promote the safety and security of people in aged care and other institutional settings and support outbreak investigation and management in residential aged care facilities, schools, prisons and other institutions …"

On July 10, the NSW and federal governments that formalised their responsibilities in managing an outbreak of COVID-19 in an aged care facility.

On July 19, the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck, industry-wide measures to avoid Victorian staff working across multiple sites.

These measures came after several other during the pandemic.

On July 25, the Federal Government the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre, which would coordinate the state and federal response. Mr Colbeck said "the Federal Government-led centre would offer a clear and direct oversight to managing outbreaks". ... d=msedgdhp

Nation's carers struggling with COVID-19 restrictions
Advocates say respite and support programs have been suspended or cut back, while the strain on those caring for loved ones around the clock is showing. ... d=msedgdhp

All states to develop aged care rapid response centres
The Australian newspaper has reported that all states will develop their own aged care rapid response centres based on the Victorian model, bringing together the Defence Force with medical and emergency management experts. ... d=msedgdhp

Ruby Princess report vindicates Government and Australian Border Force, Peter Dutton says
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is claiming vindication over the Federal Government's role in the Ruby Princess debacle after an independent report laid much of the blame on New South Wales Health officials.
"The Australian Border Force have been vindicated today by the Walker Inquiry into the Ruby Princess," he said on Twitter.

The special commission of inquiry conducted by Bret Walker SC found NSW Health shoulders much of the responsibility for allowing COVID-19 infected-passengers to leave the cruise ship in March and disperse.
In the weeks that followed, 663 passengers and their contacts tested positive for COVID-19 and 28 people died.
Opposition homes affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally has previously accused Border Force of making the final decision to let passengers leave.

Mr Dutton said she owed the agency an apology.
"If Kristina Keneally had any decency, she would offer a full apology to the ABF officers she has slandered and defamed in recent months."

Last night, Senator Keneally accused the government of leaving ABF "powerless".
"Federal officials — including ABF and Department of Agriculture officials — were on board the Ruby Princess on 19 March. Why didn't the Prime Minister give them powers to stop passengers disembarking?" she said in a statement.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the report shows his government was "being straight" with people about what had occurred.
"The Labor Party wanted to snipe, sledge and throw stones," he said on Sydney radio station 2GB.
He said the report would deliver "some humble learnings" for NSW authorities.
"Officials will make mistakes in pandemics that none of us have had to manage before," Mr Morrison said.
"I've seen New South Wales just go from strength to strength in managing the pandemic and you are seeing that right now.
"In times like this, there will be errors made but what you have to ensure is that you learn from every single one of them and you emerge stronger."

However, the report did rebuke the Federal Government for failing to fully cooperate with the investigation, by stopping a Commonwealth official from giving evidence.
"The one fly in the ointment so far as assistance to this commission goes, is the stance of the Commonwealth," Mr Walker said in his report.
Commonwealth lawyers had threatened legal action in the High Court in their efforts to stop a federal worker from appearing before the inquiry, despite Mr Morrison's earlier assurance of full cooperation.

In statement issued on Friday night, ABF Commissioner Michael Outram welcomed the report's findings.
"The findings of the report are consistent with the statements made by me, including on and the submissions made by the Commonwealth," he said.

Labor Leader Anthony Albanese says the Morrison Government is not off the hook.
"The Australia Government has had responsibility for border issues since 1901, that's something that this Government likes to proclaim proudly," he said.
"It can't proclaim it just when it's convenient.
"The failure of the federal departmental ( BORDER FORCE) officials to appear before that inquiry leaves many questions unanswered." ... d=msedgdhp

Coalition's homebuilder scheme attracts less than 250 applicants and 'no payments have been made'
Fewer than 250 people have applied for the Morrison government’s homebuilder scheme, officials have revealed, despite the hype from an industry association that it was the “most effective stimulus in decades”.
The federal government announced the $688m scheme just over two months ago, offering homeowners up to $25,000 to either build a new home or substantially renovate an existing one in a bid to prop up demand in Australia’s construction sector during the coronavirus-induced economic crisis.
But the government opted against passing new legislation to deliver the scheme, meaning it is relying on agreements with individual states and territories to provide the grants.

Appearing before the Senate’s Covid-19 select committee on Friday, Treasury officials revealed that the government was only aware of 247 formal applications so far. These included 157 in South Australia and 90 in Tasmania.
“And they’re the applications that have been received to date,” Vicki Wilkinson, the head of Treasury’s social policy division, told the committee. “To date no payments have been made.”

The government has previously predicted that the scheme will support about 20,000 new builds and 7,000 substantial renovations. It has previously said tens of thousands of people had registered their interest, but these are not formal applications.
Officials on Friday played down the sluggish start to the program, saying the majority of states and territories had only begun accepting applications throughout the course of July, whereas New South Wales and Victoria had started to do so in just the past week.
Wilkinson said there was no pre-approval process and the work needed to be well underway for the payments to be delivered.
“The application is received, work must commence within three months of the contract being signed and then the payment occurs at different milestones depending on the type of build or the renovation,” she said.

But Labor’s housing spokesperson, Jason Clare, denounced the homebuilder scheme as “homeblunder”. Writing on Twitter, he said the new figures showed the Morrison government was “great at slogans – but hopeless at delivery”.

The leader of the Greens, Adam Bandt, said the “absurd granite benchtops grant scheme” was “doomed from the start”. Bandt wrote on Twitter that Australia should be building 500,000 public and community homes instead.

The criticism came a day after the housing minister, Michael Sukkar, seized on data showing strong growth in new home sales to declare homebuilder was “keeping tradies in jobs and helping more Australians into a new home”.
This week, the Australian newspaper also quoted the Master Builders Association chief executive, Denita Wawn, as saying: “Just today I [have] been told by industry veterans who head some of the largest home building businesses in the country that this is the most effective government stimulus that they have seen in decades in the industry.”

Luke Yeaman, the deputy secretary of Treasury’s macroeconomic group, said on Friday he had been surprised by the strength of some of the home sales figures that had recently come through.

He said housing market activity tended to swing from year to year, and even before Covid-19 there were “cyclical factors” that pointed to a drop from recent peaks.
“On top of that the Covid pandemic has clearly taken a further hit out of activity in that year and then homebuilder provides, if you like, a partial offset to that cyclical effect,” Yeaman told the committee.

Treasury said new builds accounted for 79 out of the 90 applications in Tasmania and 129 of the 157 applications in South Australia. Officials expected more data to arrive in coming weeks.

Under the homebuilder scheme, the contract for construction must be signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020. The building work must then commence within three months of the contract date. However, this latter requirement has been relaxed for Victoria given the additional lockdown measures.

The scheme has caused unease on the Coalition backbench, with some MPs saying they were nervous about the amounts being spent on stimulus or that the $150,000 minimum spend for renovations would put the subsidy beyond the reach of homeowners outside the capital cities. ... hp#image=1

'Farmers are having trouble even harvesting crops' amid coronavirus pandemic
Frontier Services National Director Jannine Jackson says Australians living on the land are now dealing with additional stressors that people in metropolitan areas take for granted.

While coronavirus outbreaks were largely centred in metropolitan areas, Ms Jackson said those in rural Australia were dealing with the flow-on effects.
“The trading partners are closed, they’re having trouble getting raw materials, and now the borders are closed, farmers are having trouble even harvesting crops,” she said.
“The emotional strain of having years of drought, social isolation, and now the uncertainty of coronavirus is definitely creating additional emotional stressors.”

Ms Jackson urged anyone with spare time to reach out to Frontier Services and lend a hand. ... d=msedgdhp

Sydney MP pushing to ditch GST on face masks
Sydney MP Zali Steggall is pushing to ditch the GST on protective face masks. ... d=msedgdhp

One in six Australians victims of cybercrimes during COVID-19 lockdown
Serco given contact-tracing job despite asylum-seekers fine
COVID-19 inconvenient truth: Even when you lock it down ‘it finds a way back’

Research from internet security company Norton shows one in six Australians became victims of cybercrimes during the coronavirus lockdown.

Sky News contributor Stephen Fenech said the large proportion of Australians working from home outside of the "protection of our corporate firewalls" which presented an opportunity to take advantage of the situation.
"Phishing scams and other little scams caught us out but the survey revealed we were taking some risky moves though," he said.
"We were visiting sites and downloading apps we knew weren't 100 per cent secure.

The study showed four in five Australians said they'd consider working or studying from home permanently while many parents expressed concerns with difficulty tracking their children online due to the increased screen time. ... 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 » Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:24 am


New Zealand records 7 new coronavirus cases as authorities investigate possible Melbourne link
Key points:
New Zealand authorities are working with Victorian health officials to determine any link between the outbreak and storage facility in Melbourne
New Zealand had no cases of community transmission for more than three months
There have been 37 people linked to the latest outbreak and 19 remain in quarantine

New Zealand health authorities say they are investigating whether Auckland's COVID-19 outbreak is linked to a cold storage facility in Melbourne.
New Zealand has reported 7 new coronavirus cases after a lockdown in the country's biggest city, Auckland, was extended in response to the country's first COVID-19 outbreak in months.

New Zealand reports seven new confirmed coronavirus case
New Zealand on Saturday reported seven cases of the new coronavirus for the last 24 hours as a lockdown in the country's biggest city, Auckland, was extended on Friday in response to the country's first coronavirus outbreak in months. ... d=msedgdhp

6 of the 7 new cases reported on Saturday have been linked to the Auckland cluster responsible for all the previous community cases, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told a media briefing in Wellington.

Dr Bloomfield also revealed that authorities were investigating whether the fresh outbreak was linked to a cold storage facility in Melbourne.
New Zealand health authorities have been in contact with their counterparts in Victoria, he said, and genome sequencing was underway "to see if there is any possible linkage there".
"We are looking at that possibility, it’s part of the overall puzzle and we are leaving no stone unturned."

New Zealand confirms seven new coronavirus cases
Explainer: Thailand's anti-government protests
COVID-19 inconvenient truth: Even when you lock it down ‘it finds a way back’

A new strain of the coronavirus linked to a recent outbreak in New Zealand has not been shown to be more infectious or cause more severe disease, the country's top health official says.

New Zealand has confirmed seven new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours and the country's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has described the new strain as a variation on a theme.
"There's nothing about this particular strain that suggests either it's more infectious or less infectious or that it is more severe in the illness that it creates," he said on Saturday.

As investigations into the outbreak continue, Dr Bloomfield said he has been speaking to his counterpart in Victoria, where a company linked with the New Zealand outbreak also has facilities.

Genome testing was underway on employees in Melbourne to see if there were any connections.
"We're looking at that possibility, it's part of the overall puzzle and we are leaving no stone unturned," Dr Bloomfield said.

Further test results from the New Zealand sites are expected later on Saturday, Dr Bloomfield said.
New cluster found after months of no community spread
The new cases of the virus came earlier this week after the country had more than three months of zero community transmission.

There are now 37 cases linked to the latest outbreak, while a further 19 people remain in quarantine.

Six of the seven new cases have been linked to the cluster responsible for all the previous community cases.

Until the cluster was discovered on Tuesday, New Zealand had gone 102 days without infections spreading in the community.

The only known cases were travellers quarantined after arriving from abroad.

Health authorities believe the virus must have been reintroduced from overseas, but genome testing has not found a link with any of the quarantined travellers.

That has prompted authorities to investigate whether shipping workers were a source, after several employees at a food storage facility were infected.

On Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced lockdowns across the country would remain in place until August 26.

Health Minister urges people to follow the rules
Health Minister Chris Hipkins said contact tracing across the country had been going very well.

Of the 1,090 people authorities had sought to contact, they had spoken to 934, he said.

He urged people to maintain social distancing and "follow the rules" as they went about their lives.
"We all want to be out of level three as quickly as we can and people following the rules is the best way out of that," he said.

Dr Bloomfield said a strong testing program was one of the reasons behind New Zealand's success in fighting the virus.

But he said he would have liked it to have started faster than it had, while denying there had been other major problems with the scheme. ... d=msedgdhp

New cluster found after months of no community spread
The new cases of the virus came earlier this week after the country had more than three months of zero community transmission.

There are now 37 cases linked to the latest outbreak, while a further 19 people remain in quarantine.
Six of the seven new cases have been linked to the cluster responsible for all the previous community cases.

Until the cluster was discovered on Tuesday, New Zealand had gone 102 days without infections spreading in the community.

The only known cases were travellers quarantined after arriving from abroad.

Health authorities believe the virus must have been reintroduced from overseas, but genome testing has not found a link with any of the quarantined travellers.

That has prompted authorities to investigate whether shipping workers were a source, after several employees at a food storage facility were infected.

On Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced lockdowns across the country would remain in place until August 26. ... s/12561954
The lockdown in Auckland, home to 1.7 million people, was extended for nearly two weeks on Friday after New Zealand confirmed 12 new coronavirus cases and one probable case.

There are now 56 active cases in the country, following more than a hundred days of no new infections in the community.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Auckland would remain in Level 3 lockdown, and the rest of the country in Level 2, until 11:59pm on 26 August.
She said extending the lockdowns would buy authorities more time to stop the Auckland cluster from growing.
"Our current expectation is that by this time, the perimeter of the cluster will be identified, will be isolated, and we can move to Level 2 in Auckland with confidence," Ms Ardern said.

She said the genomic sequence of the virus from the current outbreak is not the same as that from community cases recorded during the country's first outbreak.
“This suggests this is not a case of the virus being dormant or being a burning ember in our community. It appears to be new to New Zealand,” she said.

Ms Ardern said the government would review the restrictions on 21 August, adding there was "nothing to suggest" any area in the country needed to move back to a harsh Level 4 lockdown. ... ourne-link

New Zealand is facing new coronavirus cases but can the Ardern Government nail elimination twice?
For 102 days New Zealand stood out as the global poster child of the COVID-19 era.

It was a nation at one with its "elimination" strategy, with a leader who enlisted the cooperation of citizens while Facetiming in lockdown from the frontline of her family life, and in turn delivered a virus-free return to business-as-more-or-less-usual in record time.

There are plenty of experts who agree that the Ardern Government's approach to coronavirus offers a masterclass in the management of a public health crisis.
The urgent question now facing Jacinda Ardern and New Zealanders — as cases appear to be growing quickly in a nation with a population the size of Sydney — is what this second wave will reveal about the broader effectiveness of that strategy and perhaps most importantly, how sustainable it is — politically, as well as for public health.

s eliminating COVID-19 pie-in-the-sky?
Mary-Louise McLaws — whose career as an epidemiologist and advisor to the World Health Organisation has seen her work on responses to HIV/AIDS, and also SARS — is watching closely, too.
"I think New Zealand is still the poster country of the world," says McLaws, who believes the "very decisive, very fast" move to a stage 3 lockdown by the Ardern Government this week is "exactly what an outbreak epidemiologist would have done".
"New Zealand has been faultless when it comes to the handling of this outbreak," she says. "They have handled it with the right respect for the reality of this virus. You don't muck around with it."

As Melbourne has found out, delaying a city-wide lockdown or attempting discrete geographical lockdowns within urban centres, is not always effective. In NSW — also pursuing a plan to identify and test COVID-19 clusters as they emerge — political briefings are full of warnings about how the state remains on a "knife edge".

Yet the two approaches are born from two different goals: suppression versus elimination.
McLaws — an advocate of masks and fast, hard lockdowns — believes a suppression strategy is naïve.
But has this new outbreak in New Zealand exposed how pie-in-the-sky elimination is, instead delivering ammunition to those who support a less disruptive approach?
"The only reason [the New Zealand outbreak] would give ammunition to those wanting suppression not elimination is that they fail to understand what elimination means," McLaws says. "If the term was 'near elimination' or 'no community spread' then perhaps we could leave politics out of this and accept that [elimination] is a more effective way of getting back to normal life. After that I'll let the economists make the decision about how much faster we can get back to economic health."

Maybe mathematics has the answer?
Epidemiology, politics and economics aside, pure mathematics has a lot to offer the coronavirus response and it supports the New Zealand approach.
"For contact tracing to work it needs to be fast," says Professor Michael Plank from the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Canterbury. "Our modelling shows that if you trace and quarantine 80 per cent of people's contacts within two days (of them testing positive for the virus), that goes a long way to controlling the spread."

But elimination also has weak points, says Plank. "As we have seen recently in New Zealand the risk of the virus re-entering the country is ever-present and when it does come in it can spread even faster because we have relaxed all our restrictions."
For McLaws, the point at which tracing and quarantining becomes out of hand emerges when infections reach around 150 per fortnight.

Plank agrees: "If [cases per day] get too large, it gets harder and harder for the contact tracers to keep up and, as has happened in Melbourne, a [stage 4] lockdown is the only option."
But effective contact tracing also relies on citizens to keep scrupulous records of everywhere they have been.
This worries McLaws, not only because of possible memory lapses but her experience with HIV/AIDS highlights how passing on information about whereabouts can sometimes expose individuals to value judgements, or reveal personal information someone might want to remain private. And so they lie.

This analysis delivers another tick for hard, fast lockdowns.

WilArdern sold her government's coronavirus strategy off the back of convincing New Zealanders the research was sound, the impact had been weighed, and the well-thought-out response was "urgent, calm and methodical".

With an election due next month she must now double down on that image as her government braces for possible political fallout — already emerging in opinion articles and online forums — that may chip into her impressive 60 per cent approval rating.

There is also criticism over the low rate of testing of border and quarantine staff, and failure to mandate mask-wearing during the level 3 lockdown — although Ardern has advised New Zealanders to "seriously consider a face covering".l Lockdown 2.0 undo Ardern's election chances?
David Hall, a political scientist from Auckland University of Technology, says the Government's consistent warnings about the likelihood of a fresh outbreak helped news of a resurgence be received with "a sense of acceptance … a sense of the inevitable".

Yet this initial goodwill may not last and Hall says a second wave of coronavirus carries real risks of tripping up Ardern in the run-up to her re-election campaign.
"The political science literature is clear that when a disaster or crisis occurs the default is to blame the incumbent government unless they display competency in their response," he says. "So, as long as the government demonstrates its competency, then then it will be rewarded. But as soon as there is a demonstration of incompetency, then the electoral effects can certainly be dramatic."

The freight hypothesis, the random encounter or the quarantine stuff-up?
Whether or not that becomes the case has a lot to do with the origin of this new coronavirus outbreak.

In a press conference Friday Ardern confirmed that the new outbreak has different DNA to the virus that originally affected New Zealand, pointing to a completely new infection source.

But where has it come from?

While terrifying scenarios of coronavirus arriving in New Zealand inside cold storage freight are theoretically possible, McLaws believes it highly unlikely. She is also sceptical of suggestions that the virus has been silently circulating in the community, arguing it would have been through 20 "generations" over 100 days and been detected long before now. This point is confirmed by the news that the current cluster is a different strain of the virus.

Hall agrees that the "conspiracy theories" in which the government kept knowledge of a virus resurgence quiet, are completely opposite to its declared strategy of transparency on COVID-19 and would offer no political advantage.
But if a quarantine breach is found to be the source of this outbreak, it also has the most potential to do political damage. Just ask Daniel Andrews.
"If there's any whiff of the Government having not run the quarantine in a way which is adequate, or having failed to anticipate some other sort of risk, then the incumbent government stands to stand to lose votes as a result of that," Hall says.

In the short term the Government is likely to benefit from a feeling that "on the whole the crisis has been managed competently … and when there have been slippages they've been appropriately remorseful and done what they had to do to improve their response", he says

For Ardern and her government, the days ahead will determine how the electorate, and her political adversaries, will respond to the latest outbreak.
Her exemplary communication skills and decisive coronavirus strategy notwithstanding, with an election looming the next few weeks will also reveal if the deadly march of coronavirus can damage glittering political careers, too. ... n/12559070
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 Sicko
Posts: 12572
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:38 am










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 Sicko
Posts: 12572
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:20 am


Victoria records 279 new Covid cases and 16 deaths as NSW reports 5 cases and 1 death
Key points:
Premier Daniel Andrews says he has "a sense of real hope" the state's restrictions are working
Scores more cases have been linked to two Melbourne aged care homes in Sunbury and Yarraville
Residents are being moved out of a mental health accommodation centre in Albert Park

Victoria has recorded 16 more deaths from coronavirus and 279 new cases in the past 24 hours.
The 16 deaths – among people aged in their 70s, 80s and 90s – were broadly in line with the daily fatalities of the past week, except the four deaths recorded on Saturday, which the state’s chief health officer, Brett Sutton, had acknowledged was likely a “blip”.
Andrews said 11 of the 16 deaths were linked to aged care, where there are now 2,075 active cases, while there were 662 Victorians in hospital, including 40 people in intensive care. There are also 1,164 active cases among Victorian healthcare workers.
Commenting on Victoria’s improved figures, Andrews noted the seven-day average had only recently sat at about 700 infections. It has now fallen to 328.
There were 303 new cases and four deaths recorded yesterday.
There are now 16,764 confirmed coronavirus cases and 309 deaths in Victoria from COVID-19.
The latest deaths were one woman and two men aged in their 70s, two women and four men in their 80s and four women and three men in their 90s.
Premier Daniel Andrews said 11 of the 16 deaths were linked to aged care.

At present, 662 Victorians are in hospital with 40 people receiving intensive care — 29 of those are on a ventilator.
Sutton said the reproduction rate, which authorities try to keep below one, was now sitting at about 0.86.
“We are going to see further chains of transmission, but the trend is good,” he said.

Andrews declined to say whether he was now more confident restrictions could be eased at the end of the six-week lockdown.

State of emergency extended as 279 new COVID-19 cases recorded in Victoria
Mr Andrews said the extension of the state of emergency until September 13 would ensure authorities could enforce restrictions.

Since August 2, Victoria has also been under a four-week state of disaster, which may be reviewed.

Mr Andrews implored people in regional Victorian centres to get tested, following stable case numbers in the regions after days of growth.

There are now 158 active cases in Geelong, 49 active cases in greater Bendigo, and 27 active cases in Ballarat.

Mr Andrews said while the numbers in regional areas were "stabilising", there was still some growth in previous days.
"If there is one ask is a takeaway from today's briefing, if people in those regional cities ??? can come forward and get tested, that is the really important part of us keeping the numbers in regional Victoria low," he said. "We want to keep them low and drive them down even further."

“The key point here is that it is perfectly appropriate for us to look at these numbers and say right, ‘The numbers are coming down’, that is what we want to see happen,” he said.
“But none of us can in any way become complacent or think that, ‘OK, now it will all just automatically kick in.’”

Premier cautiously optimistic
Mr Andrews said it was too early to tell whether restrictions could be eased after the six-week lockdown.
"But what I would say is if you do a trend over the last seven to 10 days, then we've gone from around 700-plus cases, we're now certainly not in that territory," he said.
"Might we be tomorrow? We'll just have to wait and see what tomorrow's numbers are so I'm always very cautious.
"But, on my part at least, there is a cautious optimism and a sense of real hope that this strategy is working and that we are seeing numbers fall."
"None of us can in any way become complacent," he said.

Meanwhile, the inquiry into what went wrong in Victoria's hotel quarantine program is due to get underway on Monday with evidence expected from experts during the first few days and key witnesses expected to appear later in the week.

The board of inquiry is being headed by former Family Court judge Jennifer Coate.

Flaws in the hotel quarantine program have been blamed for fuelling Victoria's coronavirus crisis, and Ms Coate will investigated whether every case in the state's second wave emanated from the hotels. ... s/12562708

The premier also highlighted two growing outbreaks in aged care – Sunbury’s Japara Goonawarra aged care home, which now has 72 cases – and a Doutta Galla facility in Yarraville, where a number of residents have been transferred to hospital. Both are now receiving workforce support from state health authorities.

Although there is some concern about a possible aged care-like scenario in disability accomodation, Andrews said the number of cases had reduced by eight over the past 24 hours to 81. This included 61 staff cases and 20 residents, across 53 sites.

Still, Andrews hinted at dissatisfaction with the commonwealth’s involvement in a rapid response unit established by Victoria to handle outbreaks in disability accomodation. In Victoria the sector is mostly, though not exclusively, funded and regulated at the federal level.

Asked about the need for a system similar to the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre established by the commonwealth, Andrews said: “My view is that would serve us well with disability services as well. That’s something we’re going back and forth [on] with the commonwealth.”
Asked if the commonwealth was involved in the state’s response unit, he replied: “No, but I want them to be.”
The comments came despite a move from the federal government this week to announce a panel of four major disability providers would offer additional workforce support – as well as accomodation – for participants living in residential support settings.

The NDIS minister, Stuart Robert, said Aspen Medical had also been contracted to provide a clinical first response to any identified outbreak.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Robert said the commonwealth had been a “formal member of the Victorian Government’s Disability Rapid Response Group since 29 July 2020”, and that three federal officials were involved in its meetings.

Andrews also confirmed the government had extended Victoria’s state of emergency by 4 weeks to 13 September, which gives authorities the legal power to continue restrictions, including the six-week stage four lockdown announced earlier in August.

Mr Andrews again pleaded with Victorians to get tested.
"Please, even the most mild symptoms, please come forward and get tested," he said.
"There's so little flu in the Victorian community this year because of a range of things, not least of which distance, hand hygiene, all of those restrictions and measures we've put in place.
"If you've got symptoms, cold or flu-like symptoms, there's every chance you've got this virus.
"And the best and most important thing to do is to come forward immediately as soon as those symptoms begin," he said.

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said authorities were also investigating an outbreak at Frankston Hospital, but didn't yet have detailed case numbers.
"For all healthcare workers infections, it is not clear how they have been acquired," Professor Sutton said. "But it is a stress obviously for those involved and there is furloughing or quarantine for close contacts, obviously other healthcare workers as well as their families."

Professor Sutton also expressed optimism about the global progress being made towards a vaccine.

He said while he still did not expect a vaccine to be ready to be available within six months, the work on vaccines across the world was a "huge, collaborative effort".

Stage three trials - where people had been given the vaccine with the belief they would likely be exposed to the virus in public settings - are now underway internationally.
"We'll get a picture of that level of protection in the next couple of months," Professor Sutton said.
"The fact there are vaccines in phase three development is very encouraging.

But we have to prepare ourselves for the long-haul if there isn't a vaccine available. ... d=msedgdhp

'We need to put people before profit'
On Sunday Federal Labor frontbencher Bill Shorten blamed Victoria's aged care "disaster" on both the Federal Government and private providers.

The former Labor leader called for an overhaul of responsibility for the sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We should be pursuing the royal commissioner's suggestion of a national pandemic aged care co-ordinating authority," he said on ABC's Insiders program.
"The [Federal] Government has set up a response unit in Victoria, which is good as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough.
"If you set up a royal commission and the royal commissioner makes a direct intervention, why are we second guessing it?"

He also questioned the role of privately owned aged care centres, suggesting some were struggling to "serve two masters" as they sought to make a profit and care for vulnerable people.
"We need to put people before profit," he said. ... s/12563362 ... ocid=msedg

State of emergency extended until September 13
Victoria's state of emergency has been extended until September 13 as Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed 16 more deaths from coronavirus and 279 new cases.
The DHHS in Victoria has provided its extended update for today. Click through for all the information, including the number of cases in each Local Government Area.
Of the total cases:
15,403 cases are from metropolitan Melbourne, while 1,006 are from regional Victoria
Total cases include 8,070 men and 8,642 women
Total number of healthcare workers: 2,343, active cases: 1,164
There are 2,075 active cases relating to aged care facilities ... 9/12562286

Why Victoria needs both state of emergency and state of disaster powers to fight coronavirus
For the past six months, Victorians have watched the State Government use a broad range of powers to control the coronavirus pandemic.

On Sunday, Premier Daniel Andrews announced Victoria's state of emergency would be extended for four more weeks.

But Victoria is also under a state of disaster and while it sounds like that would trump a state of emergency, the two terms operate under different legislation and state mechanisms.

Here's why both are being enforced at the same time.

What is a state of emergency?
A state of emergency first came into effect on March 16 to give the Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton wide-ranging powers to enforce coronavirus restrictions.

The declaration is made under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 when there is a serious risk to public health.

Among the powers it provides, it allows Professor Sutton to direct health officials to detain people, search premises without a warrant and force people or areas into lockdown if it is considered necessary to protect public health.

A state of emergency was initially declared to give Victorian authorities the power to enforce two essential rules: physical distancing and quarantine requirements.

Why has the state of emergency been extended?
With cases of the virus still emerging in Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews says it is necessary to extend the state of emergency for another four weeks so there is "no doubt as to the authority and the effectiveness of all of the measures that we've put in place".

He said the Government took no joy in having to enforce the rules.

"But they are critically important and as you can see from these numbers, and although it is only early signs, and we do know that there's that lag effect, but these are encouraging numbers," he said.

How long can we be under a state of emergency?
A state of emergency can be imposed for six months before it must be revoked.

So it can be in effect until midnight on September 13 unless an amendment is made to the legislation to extend it past six months.

Mr Andrews has already flagged this as a possibility.

How is a state of disaster different?
A state of disaster came into effect on August 2 for one month so stricter, stage 4 restrictions could be enforced.

It is due to end at 6:00pm on September 2.

Under the emergency management act, a state of disaster can be declared if the Premier is satisfied an emergency "constitutes or is likely to constitute a significant and widespread danger to life or property in Victoria", which includes a plague or epidemic.

It allows police to enforce rules such as the nightly 8:00pm to 5:00am curfew and restrict people's movement such as the ban on people travelling beyond the 5 kilometre radius around their home.

It also gives authorities the ability to suspend acts of parliament and take possession of properties.

A state of disaster can be declared for the whole of Victoria, or any part of it.

It currently applies to the whole of the state.

While the state of disaster is due to end in just over two weeks, a declaration can be made to continue if the Premier decides it is necessary based on advice from the Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp.

Why do we need both at the same time?
Mr Andrews says both declarations are needed so authorities have the full range of powers they require to enforce restrictions on movement and keep people safe.

While the state of emergency grants powers to the Chief Health Officer to do "whatever is necessary to contain the spread of the virus and reduce the risk to the health of Victorians", the state of disaster grants powers to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville to respond to the disaster.

Mr Andrews has previously said while states of disaster and emergency can operate independently, they work best together, and he has been advised the conditions needed to trigger them are present. ... d=msedgdhp

Victoria's coronavirus second wave appears to be slowing, so what's next for tough lockdowns and stage 4 restrictions?
Cases of coronavirus in Victoria are slowly declining and stage 4 restrictions are due to end in less than a month, but there are a number of things that need to happen before Melbourne can begin to open up again.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says there are key figures he's looking for in order to start thinking about stage 3 and beyond.

He said it's still too early to make a call on how well stage 4 restrictions are working, but the data was promising.

New outbreaks have dropped to four or five a day from a peak of up to 30 a few weeks ago.

While cases linked to health care and aged care were still "far, far, far" too high, Professor Sutton said, they were "beginning to stabilise".

So what else do health authorities have to see before they think about loosening Melbourne's lockdown?
Where are coronavirus cases still cropping up?
Workplaces remain the settings where cases are continuing to rise, Professor Sutton said.

He said while activity within essential workplaces had been "pared back" and a lot had been done to stop people going to work sick, it was difficult to stop people transmitting the virus if they were contagious while asymptomatic.
"Our efforts have to focus now on those tricky settings where transmission is hard to control — those essential workplaces," Professor Sutton said.

Reproduction number must drop to at least 0.6
Professor Sutton's most concrete indication the state was on the right track was the virus's effective reproduction number, also known as Reff.

Reff indicates how many people, on average, someone with the virus is infecting.

It dropped below one about a week ago and is lingering at 0.96, but Professor Sutton said the figure needed to drop to at least 0.6 before he would start to relax.
"A Reff at 0.6 means we are doing very well. If it's 0.8, it's too slow. It means we are not doing enough," he said.

New daily cases also need to keep dropping, he said.
"If we are in the 300s for all of next week that would be too slow for my liking.
"If it's mostly community transmission across all of Melbourne and Victoria that would be even more concerning."

But he said if a spike in cases could be attributed to an outbreak health authorities had under control, it would give him more "confidence" the stage 4 strategy was working.

Data showing people are staying away from work, supermarkets and parks
Professor Sutton said publicly available data provided by Google and Facebook showed people were staying at home much more.
"We know from people's mobile phones … how much time they are spending at home, how often they are asking for pedestrian directions, how often they are asking for driving directions, and we can get that mobility data at a population level, which tells us very much how restrictive we have been in our activity," he said.
"And it is looking like it is as good as it was in the middle of April when we were at our very best, previously. So that is encouraging."

Data provided by Google as of August 11 showed a steep decline in people moving around their community.

Compared to a normal five-week period before the pandemic, Victoria saw a 77 % drop in public transport use and a 25 % increase in people staying at home.

The data also showed:
A 50% drop in people travelling to work
A 56% drop recorded in people going to retail, hospitality and entertainment venues
A 26 % drop in people going to supermarkets and pharmacies
A 45 % drop in people going to parks and beaches

Will stage 4 restrictions end in September?
Premier Daniel Andrews could not be drawn on what would happen on September 13 when stage 4 restrictions were due to end.

He said it was too difficult to extrapolate the data out so far.
"It depends on how hard we all work right now to get to that point. It's one day at a time," Mr Andrews said.
He said as long as Victorians stuck to the rules, the current "intense period of quite some pain" could lead to "enormous gain".
"The modelling gets better every day you have stage 4 data. The seven, eight, 10-day averages are coming down," he said.

The Premier warned a vaccine for coronavirus was likely "a long way off" and said 2021 would be "at best, a Covid-normal year".

Mr Andrews asked the public to remember that while it was tempting to go outside more as the weather warmed up, some families would be burying their loved ones.
"Keep perspective," he said.

Which restrictions will be eased first?
Professor Sutton sympathised with the public and said he knew everyone wanted to know what would happen next month.
"It's really difficult to say. We have to see what the data says," he said.
"It may mean we can ease up in areas we know are not contributing to transmission."

He said any easing of restrictions would take into account the "profoundly challenging" psychological toll isolation was having on many people.
"I am very mindful of the fact that [isolation] is a burden everyone is carrying and some people will be really struggling with it.
"It's a fine balancing act. We may move to a point where people can have visitors but we need to balance that with transmission risk.
"We won't be jumping to 10 people in a home."

Will the AFL grand final public holiday still go ahead?
On that one, it's a yes.

Mr Andrews said there was no reason to cancel the holiday just because the grand final would be held in another state.
"I reckon Victorians may well have earnt that," he said.
"If there is a bunch of people who want to criticise me for that, go do it, fine. If that makes you feel better, fine.
"We made a commitment, it is not universally popular but we made the commitment and we honour our commitments, that day is there and I have no plans to change that." ... d/12562266

Melbourne business owners fear eviction as they struggle to make rent under coronavirus restrictions
Key points:
Some shut-down Richmond businesses are being issued default notices because they can't pay full rent
Restaurateurs fear they will be kicked out of their premises in September
Their agent said landlords were in a tough position if they relied on rent for their income

Stavros Konis is frustrated and angry. He does not want to see the restaurant his grandfather bought in 1979 close down on his watch.
But he says his landlord's tactics during Melbourne's second lockdown are making it impossible for his business to survive stage 4 restrictions.
"It's very frustrating for me, because I know I can survive this," Mr Konis said.
"I've been in business for a very long time. I've got a very successful business. It'd be a shame for me to close this one and relocate somewhere else.
"But I'll have to if I'm going to survive. I'll relocate to another place where there's a different landlord with a smarter approach."

Salona is a restaurant on Swan Street in Richmond, a once poor, working-class suburb in the shadow of the MCG that has evolved into a thriving inner-city icon of Melbourne life.
As Melbourne's second wave began to bite, Mr Konis said the property manager, Steve Pantelios of Steveway Real Estate, offered him a 50 per cent reduction on the rent from the landlord.

But, he said, with revenue down by 90 per cent there was no way he could pay it.
"You're trying to drive the business, and rejig from an a la carte restaurant to takeaway, and then you're getting the wind sucked out of your sails," Mr Konis said.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Konis said the agency sent him a default notice, along with a $385 administration fee.
"It was a slap in the face," he said.
"We've been here for three generations. My grandfather had this business, my father had the business. We've never missed a rent payment.
"It would make sense if there was another 10 of me willing to jump into my shoes and open a small business here. But unfortunately, that's not going to happen," he said.
Vegan Shack and cooking school also fear eviction
Next door to Salona, the Vegan Shack Cafe also received a default notice from Steveway, which acts on behalf of several local landlords.

Co-owners Deborah Adams and her son Jansen Andre said their landlord offered to cut their rent by a third, and defer another third — but it was still far more than they could afford.
"I've been trying to get a loan, but that default notice means no-one will touch us," Ms Adams said.
"We need that money to pay rent, and to survive at home."
She said the default notice was rescinded after she spent $700 getting legal help.
But this week, she received an invoice asking for the full rent.

Ms Adams says she cannot understand the strategy and is worried she will be kicked out when the moratorium on evictions expires in September.
"I'm a landlord myself. And I've had to be lenient and given my tenant a couple of months rent-free," Ms Adams said.
"Because I know that if they leave, there won't be another one."
The Victorian Small Business Commission has been dealing with more than double its usual number of enquiries and requests for mediation since March.

The president of the Victoria Street Traders Association, Ha Nguyen, is one of them. He owns a cooking school on Victoria Street.

He lodged a dispute at the Commission after he also received a default notice through Steveway, as well as a threat of eviction."It's very scary because you are already down at the bottom. You can't do anything, and someone is bombarding you with phone calls and emails," Mr Nguyen said.

He said his rent was lowered but then raised again, and has not been adjusted to reflect his lack of income from the business since July.

Mr Nguyen also fears eviction when the moratorium ends.

Agency says it's 'mindful of the landlord's interests'
Mr Konis said landlords and agents had not adjusted to the new reality.
"A lot of the properties in this area were bought back in the day, probably in pounds, before the Australian dollar was brought in. They're not used to being strategic, and working with clients," he said.

But Mr Pantelios told the ABC his real estate agency Steveway had "at all times … acted in good faith".
"In dealing with tenants during the crisis, we have, at a minimum, always complied with the guidelines set out in the regulations," he said.
Mr Pantelios said his agency had "in many instances" offered concessions to tenants that exceed the regulations.
"A number of tenants have seen the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to totally avoid their obligations to deal fairly," he said.
"In these instances, we must be mindful of the landlord's interests. We need to explain the situation to our landlords, many of whom, for example, are self-funded retirees who are relying on the rental income to live."

Herschel Landes, the former president of the Bridge Road Traders Association, said Richmond's once-vibrant shopping strips faced dereliction.
"I'm surprised that landlords are taking a tough approach. There's been some examples of generous landlords and you've seen that the businesses have actually bloomed when the landlord gives them a bit of generosity," Mr Landes said.

'Not about us versus them'
Jane Gilliam of Hampstead Flowers on Bridge Road said the attitude of her landlord had helped her navigate through the crisis.
He's been in retail himself, so he understands," she said.
He's communicated really well, we've negotiated. We've talked about it.
"He doesn't want to lose a good tenant and we both benefit."

Mr Konis said the alternative was a "catastrophe" for both landlords and tenants.
"The way they're going, I don't think that there'll be too many businesses that will survive this unless they're lucky enough to have smart landlords that have a long-term vision and they can navigate through this," he said.
"It's not about us versus them. We've got to start working together." ... s/12558802

Aged care cases continue to grow
Mr Andrews said 72 cases were linked to the Japara Goonawarra aged care home in Sunbury, which included 43 residents, 24 staff and five contacts of those staff.

There were also 58 cases linked to Doutta Galla facility in Yarraville — 33 of those were residents and 25 were staff.
Mr Andrews said he was confident there were enough aged care staff to tackle the virus.
"We've got people arriving all the time to play different roles," he said.

Earlier, Victoria's Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley, said more than 17 residents at a mental health accommodation facility in Melbourne's inner south were being moved after a coronavirus outbreak.

He said he was treating the infections at Hambleton House in Albert Park as his "first priority".

Police, paramedics and other health officers have been at the site helping to relocate the residents.
Victoria's state of emergency has been extended until Sunday, September 13.
"The state of disaster works over the top of that, so between both of those frameworks that means there really is no doubt as to the authority and the effectiveness of all of the measures that we've put in place," Mr Andrews said.
"None of which we take any joy in having to impose, but they are critically important and as you can see from these numbers, and although it is only early signs, and we do know that there's that lag effect, but these are encouraging numbers.
"And as I've said many times, we are a strong state.
"Victorians are incredibly resilient, we face enormous challenges each and every year.
"2020 is in some ways unique but I think we have to stay apart — yes — but at the same time we have to be completely united in getting to the other side of this."

Mr Andrews said while he did not have a definitive number of active cases in aged care, experts estimated that figure to be 2,075. ... s/12562708

Residents moved from two Victorian aged care centres
Residents have been moved from two Melbourne care facilities after separate coronavirus outbreaks. Seven residents at the Doutta Galla aged care centre in Yarraville, in Melbourne's west, have died since an outbreak began there 16 days ago.

On Sunday, Federal Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said containing the virus's spread at the centre was a "top priority".

He said an Australian Medical Assistance Team and a clinical first-responder nurse had been deployed to the centre.

And Doutta Galla chief executive officer Vanda Iaconese said 17 patients who had tested negative to coronavirus were moved to hospital early last week to protect them.
She said 23 residents who had tested positive to COVID-19 were being treated at the centre, while another five were moved to hospital for further treatment.
Ms Iaconese said a number of staff members had tested positive and were quarantining at home.
"Consequently, there was a rapid transition to external agency and other specialist nursing and aged care staff, which was naturally disruptive to our residents," she said.
She said there had been no new cases over the weekend.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the decision to move residents was not taken lightly.
"The only consideration when it comes to moving residents or not is their clinical need and clinical circumstances," he said.
"It's not just about moving entire nursing homes out of a familiar environment into an unfamiliar one, it's also about sending very significant numbers of staff, nurses, hospital nurses, and personal care workers into aged care facilities." ... s/12563362

Melbourne hospitals turning away aged care residents sick with COVID-19 is 'appalling'
Aged care specialist Dr Robert Hoffman said the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s dealings with aged care residents is appalling and is not the way a first world country should be reacting to the issue of coronavirus-infected elderly in aged care.

Sky News host Sharri Markson, in her article in The Australian, reported elderly people infected with COVID-19 were being refused treatment and turned away by Melbourne hospitals.

Ms Markson said Glenlyn Aged Care in Glenroy told families of residents the residents would not be accepted by the Royal Melbourne Hospital, were to remain at the facility in Glenroy, and be placed on end of life care or be sedated if they were wandering.

Mr Hoffman told Sky News a team of nurses from Royal Melbourne Hospital came to a nursing home on Thursday August 6 and planned to transfer some residents to hospital.

However, “that afternoon, a doctor from Royal Melbourne Hospital came out, cancelled all transfers, wrote people up who were unwell for palliative care meds, and basically heavy sedation for the rest,” he said.
“With no consultation with me as their doctor, or any other doctors, and no consultation with the families.” ... d=msedgdhp

Aged care facilities in Victoria call on ADF assistance amid unfolding crisis
As Victorian health authorities become increasingly optimistic the unprecedented stage four lockdown implemented in Melbourne is helping to curb the outbreak, the unfolding aged care crisis continues to escalate.
Victorian aged care facility Doutta Galla Yarraville Village has made urgent calls for federal assistance, after 19 residents tested positive on Saturday.

Of the 40 residents living at the home, 23 are now infected with the disease.

Sources working at the facility have told the Herald Sun conditions are chaotic and clinical waste bags are overflowing in corridors.

The ADF have also been deployed to Japara Goonawarra Aged Care Home where it's understood 45 residents have tested positive in recent days.

The facility is reportedly understaffed and remaining workers are said to be exhausted.

While infections are steadily declining in Victoria with only 303 new cases recorded on Saturday and four deaths, there is mounting concern surrounding a rise in mystery cases. ... d=msedgdhp

Yarra Valley homeless program takes long-term view
Last October, Samantha found herself sleeping in her car behind a suburban shopping strip. It wasn't something she thought would ever happen to her.
"It was frightening. It was horrible," the 51-year-old recalls.
Aside from the fear of being assaulted, Samantha was afraid of being perpetually homeless.
3 years ago, she had to move out of her house in Kilsyth, in Melbourne's east.
She earned $800 a week as a hairdresser, but after her two adult children, who had been paying board, moved out, Samantha couldn't afford the rent by herself.
Since then, aside from a few nights in her car, Samantha has lived in often unsafe share houses.One housemate was an alcoholic who shoved her. At another house, she was bashed in a dispute over noise.
Samantha is one of the first residents in a pilot program, called Yarra Valley Winter Shelter, that this winter is housing a small group of homeless people at a conference centre. It's in a gracious country lodge with 16 hectares of fields, kangaroos and stunning views.

The project is run by the charity Stable One, whose annual program providing beds and free meals to the homeless in eastern suburbs churches was scrapped this year because of COVID-19.
Instead, donors have funded homeless people to stay at the lodge.
Residents have their own rooms, for which they pay a heavily subsidised rent, and do chores. Volunteers provide friendship and practical support.

Samantha now feels peaceful and optimistic.
Through Stable One's contacts, she has found a studio apartment in the area to move into later this month.
And she is taking an online course to qualify her to teach hairdressing, and possibly earn more.
??????If I hadn't had this, I don't know where I'd be,'' she said.

Stable One managing director Jenny Willetts said she hoped the program could run year-round, to provide a haven, "and give the care and support they need to move forward".

Heidi Tucker, chief executive of local not-for-profit welfare service Anchor Inc, said the new progam provided a good setting to engage with clients. The homeless in the Yarra Valley were often hidden in parks, couch-surfing or sleeping in cars.

But the housing situation in Melbourne's outer east was the worst she had ever seen it, Ms Tucker said.

Poor government investment in public housing meant that for many people on Centrelink benefits or low incomes, rents were "way beyond their ability to pay", she said.

Demand for help had quadrupled since the pandemic hit in March.

Anchor Inc usually sees about 1000 clients a year in relation to housing, but the total is expected to be about 4000 this year.

Under lockdown, people escaping domestic violence had been less able to stay with friends, and rough sleepers were less tolerated.
"Many housing situations that might have just been hanging on before the pandemic, fell apart," Ms Tucker said. ... d=msedgdhp

Mental Health residential care facility in Albert Park.
Mr Andrews also said residents will not necessarily be moved out of a residential care facility in Albert Park, which caters to people with mental health and behavioural issues, where there are now more than a dozen positive cases.

Police were called to the facility on Sunday, after multiple nearby homeowners said people living in Hambleton House were again on the streets.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said the rest of the facility's residents would be shifted to Alfred Health, St John's in Berwick and St Vincent's Hospital.
"These are unique units hospitals have to support people with mental health issues and challenging behaviour," she said on Sunday afternoon.

Mental health centre residents moved
Victoria's Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley, said more than 17 residents at a mental health accommodation facility in Melbourne's inner south were being moved due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

He said he was treating the infections at Hambleton House in Albert Park as his "first priority", with police, paramedics and other health officers onsite to help with the relocation. ... s/12563362

Metal health patients evacuated from Albert Park supported living facility
" Vulnerable Melburnians have been evacuated from an Albert Park supported living facility after almost half of its residents contracted COVID-19 in just days., but we are concerned about the welfare of those individuals." ... d=msedgdhp

She said the residents would likely be in specialised care units for a number of weeks until it was safe for them to return. ... d=msedgdhp

Victoria's hotel quarantine inquiry to examine genomic testing in hunt for 'patient zero'
The judicial inquiry into Victoria’s hotel quarantine program will on Monday examine evidence from the Melbourne health institute whose genomic testing could shed more light on the source and spread of the state’s second wave.

The inquiry, called by the Victorian government after “unacceptable infection control breaches in hotel quarantine” and chaired by Jennifer Coate, confirmed on Sunday it had added an extra two days of hearings to its schedule for the week.

It means that security companies and return travellers subject to the $80m hotel quarantine program could be expected to give evidence on Thursday and Friday as part of hearings set to probe the experiences of “being in hotel quarantine and working in the hotel quarantine program”.
Two public health experts will give evidence on Monday: Professor Ben Howden of the Doherty Institute, and Professor Lindsay Grayson of Austin Health and Melbourne University.

The Doherty Institute is responsible for genomic testing that the premier, Daniel Andrews, and the Victorian chief health officer, Brett Sutton, have referenced in their public comments on the spread of the virus from out of hotel quarantine.

Sutton has said it is this research that suggests a significant proportion – if not all – of the second-wave infections may have originated from hotel quarantine. Andrews said in June that the same work had traced a number of cases from hotel quarantine to Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

However, Andrews and Sutton have declined to release the genomic testing, citing the Doherty Institute’s ownership of the research.

On Tuesday, Dr Charles Alpren, an epidemiologist at the Department of Health and Human Services, will face questions about state authorities’ infection control, contact tracing and epidemiological work.

The appearance of security companies before the inquiry is highly anticipated given the Victorian government’s decision to rely on private security guards has been a major point of contention.

In July, Andrews said he accepted there had been “unacceptable infection control breaches in hotel quarantine” but he has otherwise broadly deflected questions on the topic, arguing the inquiry has been set up to establish who was responsible for that decision and to evaluate the consequences of the move.

It prompted an extraordinary intervention earlier this month from Coate, who said the inquiry’s work did not prohibit political leaders or other officials from speaking publicly about the hotel quarantine program.

Some media reports have carried unsourced rumours suggesting that a key factor in the spread of the virus from outside the hotel quarantine program was an alleged breach where a security guard had sex with a return traveller.

The claim has never been proven and a report in the Age on Friday suggested that despite claims to the contrary, the first person to test positive at the Rydges Hotel was a hotel manager, not a security guard.

Andrews said on Friday he did not know who the so-called “patient zero” of the Rydges outbreak was.
“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,” he said.

A full witness list for this week’s hearings, which were pushed back due to stage four restrictions, is yet to be released. ... d=msedgdhp

Man fined for travelling 140km to surf
Victoria Police issued 243 fines in the past 24 hours to people breaching Victoria's restrictions.

They included 28 for failing to wear masks, 30 at vehicle check points and 84 for curfew breaches.

Police said among those fined were four people driving in Wyndham during curfew hours who told police they were going to buy cigarettes and two men who travelled from Bayswater to Bonnie Doon to collect clothes.

A Torquay man who said he travelled over 140km to Castle Cove in the Otways to surf because there were "no waves on the east side" was also fined.
Surfer broke virus restrictions to 'find better waves'
A surfer in regional Victoria who travelled more than 140 kilometres to find better waves was among hundreds of people fined by police for breaching COVID-19 restrictions.
The man, from the Surf Coast town of Torquay, made the long journey yesterday because there were "no waves on the east side", he told officers.
He was fined $1652 for beaching the stage three coronavirus restrictions.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said he did not believe police intended to shame anyone by calling out cases of people who failed to comply with the regulations.
"I would always say that we need to put awareness raising and communication engagement at the heart of our approach, and I think that's worked," Professor Sutton said.

He said there was a need for compliance and enforcement for people who were wilfully flouting the rules.
"I don't think police intend to shame anyone in bringing to bear and illustrating those instances of noncompliance," he said.
"I think they are a shot across the bow for anyone who is thinking of being wilfully ignorant of those rules … people continue to do that and I think they need to be called out."

Over the past 24 hours, officers inspected 12,714 vehicles at checkpoints across the state and conducted 4490 spot checks on people at homes, businesses and public places. ... d=msedgdhp ... s/12562708

Police fire gunshots after man caught 'breaching curfew'
Police officers have fired gunshots into a car window after a 64-year-old man was caught allegedly breaching curfew in Altona Meadows , who refused to open the door, and refused to provide any personal details or a permit or an explanation for why he was breaching curfew . ... 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 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:22 am

NSW reports 5 cases and 1 death
For the first time in 5 weeks, NSW has recorded just five cases of COVID-19 with contact tracers working around the clock to provide test results to thousands. ... d=msedgdhp
In New South Wales, meanwhile, a man in his 80s died, as the state recorded five new Covid-19 cases on Sunday.
NSW man dies of COVID-19
A man in his 80s has died of coronavirus in New South Wales as the state records another five positive cases over the past 24 hours- the lowest number of cases in more than a month. The state’s death toll has now risen to 54.

Among the 5 new cases are 3 close contacts linked to the Tangara School for Girls outbreak, which brings the total number of cases in the cluster to 25.
The remaining two are a man in his 40s from Western Sydney, which is still under investigation and a close contact. ... d=msedgdhp

NSW Health said three of the new cases were linked to a cluster at Tangara School for Girls, another, a man in his 40s, was locally acquired and still being investigated, while a fifth case was a contact of the man.

The department has identified a Crust Pizza outlet in Concord, Den Sushi in Rose Bay, Café Perons in Double Bay and Horderns Restaurant at Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa in Bowral as venues where the confirmed cases had visited.

Sydney Girls High School said in a Facebook post on Sunday afternoon it would also close on Monday, delaying a trial HSC exam, after a student tested positive. The school is working with NSW Health to establish close contacts and all staff and students are being asked to self-isolate while that process is underway. ... d=msedgdhp

Elderly patients and carers say age discrimination in NSW hospitals is real and heartbreaking
Key points:
Research shows healthcare professionals generally have negative attitudes about ageing
Elderly patients and carers told the ABC they felt discriminated in NSW hospitals due to their age
Queensland Health is running a trial to 'score' elderly patients to establish just how frail they are

An ABC crowd-sourced investigation has revealed strong concerns about the treatment of the elderly in hospitals in regional New South Wales.
Former NSW Health patients and carers have told the ABC they felt they were discriminated against by healthcare workers in under-resourced hospitals.
Those concerns are supported by the research of a leading ageing expert who is calling for extra training to address widespread negative perceptions of older patients in the healthcare system.

Too old to treat?
Seventy-eight-year-old Delma Stone from Bundarra, in northern NSW, said she suffered extreme pain for six weeks with a broken shoulder before a decision was taken to repair the break.

She said doctors gave her the impression her injury did not warrant hospital resources when she was treated at Armidale Rural Referral Hospital last year.

But a scan eventually revealed she needed surgery.

A spokesperson for Hunter New England Health said it was normal to treat mild fractures conservatively in the first instance, before resorting to more invasive care, such as surgery.

But Ms Stone said she felt as though her initial concerns were dismissed.

"My impression was that I was too old to treat because I didn't have much longer to go," Ms Stone said.
"I felt they wanted to get rid of me so they could get somebody else in.
"The pain was so bad I couldn't sleep."

Healthcare professionals 'generally ageist'
Sydney University psychology lecturer Neil Jeyasingam said his research looked into the prevalence of negative attitudes towards elderly patients among health workers.
He said the level of bias against older patients was "extremely worrying".

Dr Jeyasingam recently analysed more than 4,000 peer-reviewed studies on ageism in health care.
He also surveyed more than 800 individuals working in the field about their attitudes towards ageing and older people.
"The worst perspectives on ageing I found were amongst doctors, while nurses tended to have middle to negative attitudes toward older people," Dr Jeyasingam said.
"It is extremely worrying."

Dr Jeyasingam's findings mirrored his peers' work.
"All the studies show the same thing — healthcare professionals are generally ageist, and they're becoming progressively more ageist as time goes on," he said.

Geriatric medicine 'low prestige'
Dr Jeyasingam said reasons for widespread negative attitudes included death anxiety, a general disinterest in the ageing process and a lack of training and enthusiasm for geriatric medicine.
These biases, he said, affected how healthcare workers interacted with their patients.
"We know biased healthcare workers are more likely to offer fewer treatment options to older patients," he said.
"I've personally seen cases where older people were denied consultations and opportunities to have their care reviewed simply because they were older, and this certainly resulted in worse patient outcomes."

Rural Doctors Association president, John Hall, said he believed many rural clinicians were well equipped to handle the needs of elderly patients.

But the reality was hospital staff had to prioritise their resources.
"I think there is systemic ageism in health care but I've worked in 30 to 40 rural hospitals across Australia and I've never witnessed an instance where someone's care wasn't attended to because they were deemed less important because they were elderly," Dr Hall said.
"Often we have to explain to patients that we triage those who need treatment first.
"Patients can still feel marginalised and like they aren't being prioritised, but the reason is to do with bandwidth — and not their age, status, race or other characteristics."

A spokesperson for NSW Health said it did offer training courses to ensure clinicians understood the importance of providing appropriate and compassionate care for older people.

They said NSW Health was developing education programs for staff on dementia care, caring for older people and person and family-centred care.

Dr Jeyasingam agreed more training was the answer.
"Geriatrics is seen as a low-prestige field of medicine, and we know medical students don't see caring for older patients as a primary reason to enter into medicine," he said.
"More education is needed … we know attitudes toward ageing improve when students have greater exposure to older people."

Understanding frailty better
University of Queensland Professor of geriatric medicine, Ruth Hubbard, said throughout her career she had observed older people missing out on quality care in hospital.

She noticed doctors, overall, did not understand the concept of frailty well.
So she devised a solution: a way to measure it.
"Frailty is about understanding the health status of older patients … it's separate to an individual's age," Dr Hubbard said.
"A person can be old in age but robust and fighting fit.
"Similarly, a person with a lower chronological age may be very weak and suffer from multiple diseases."

Dr Hubbard devised a scheme whereby patients over the age of 75 were assessed and given a score of one to nine as they were admitted to hospital.
"Patients with a score of one will be highly independent, while patients with a score of nine will be terminally ill," she said.

The scoring system is being trialled in a number of hospitals in Queensland.
"This trial has really helped specialists take a more nuanced approach to care and to help them predict whether their patients would benefit from medical interventions or a more holistic care approach," Dr Hubbard said.

She said she did not believe healthcare professionals deliberately stereotyped their older patients, but rather that they lacked tools to help them understand their patients' complex needs.
"No doctor wants to harm a patient, but we can take the time to learn and understand more about the health status of each individual and adjust their interventions as appropriate," she said.
"While one person may be too frail to benefit from bypass surgery, they may stand to gain extra quality of life from a cataract operation."

'Wrote her off like an old car'
One of the key issues raised in ABC Regional's crowd-sourced investigation was end-of-life care and the way healthcare workers engaged with elderly patients and their families.
Jane Turner felt her mother, Joan Steele, was a victim of age discrimination.
Ms Steele died in Wyong Hospital on the NSW Central Coast last September, aged 93.
Medical staff at the hospital made decisions about Ms Steele's resuscitation plan without consulting Ms Turner, who was her mother's power of attorney.
Ms Steele was marked "not for resuscitation", but her plan was not formally signed by a senior medical officer.

NSW Health's policy states a medical practitioner does not need to obtain agreement from the patient or family to withhold interventions considered to be of negligible benefit, but it is still good clinical practice to discuss why these are not being offered in the context of broader end of life goals of care conversation.
Ms Steele died in the early hours of September 10.

No rapid response ensued.
"It just feels like the doctor wrote her off like an old car," Ms Turner said.
"They didn't even take the time to fill out the form properly.
"I feel the lack of consultation about her end-of-life care was a blatant disregard of her rights, and I don't believe it would have happened to a younger patient and their family."

'She was never an inconvenience to anyone'
Dr Jeyasingam said ageist attitudes could affect the way clinicians communicated with their patients.
He said biases could explain why some doctors talked to their patients in a patronising manner and avoided difficult conversations.
"If your doctor doesn't think much of ageing and has a negative attitude to how people grow older, they are less likely to bring up the potential negative consequences of treatment, and this does impact on patient care and experience," Dr Jeyasingam said.

Ms Turner said Wyong Hospital staff failed to communicate with her about key aspects of her mother's hospital care.
After lodging a case with the Health Care Complaints Commission in July, she recently received a reply from the watchdog conceding the hospital failed to communicate clearly.

The statement from the HCCC's complaints manager read:
"Throughout Mrs Steele's admission there appears to be a lack of communication and transparency at various junctures in her care and after her death.
"In light of the above considerations we will make comments to Wyong Hospital reminding them that no matter the circumstances in which a patient passes away, family have the right to know and understand what occurred in their treatment."

In the response, the Hunter New England Local Health District (LHD) apologised that Ms Steele's resuscitation plan was formulated without consulting Ms Turner.

The LHD also acknowledged it was not appropriate Ms Turner was not told that hospital staff prescribed her mother with the antipsychotic drug Olanzapine to manage her delirium.

Ms Turner hoped no family had to endure a similar situation.
"I still think mum was seen as an inconvenience while she was in hospital, which is sad because she was never an inconvenience to anyone," she said.

Time for change
Council on the Ageing chief executive Ian Yates said he would like to see stronger age-discrimination laws to protect elderly patients.
He has spotlighted the problem of ageism for more than a decade.
"We need to look at age discrimination the same way we've looked at gender discrimination," Mr Yates said.
He said more training was needed in hospital settings to ensure elders were not treated differently from younger patients.
"Just as culturally and linguistically diverse people come to us in the health system, we need to understand that in regards to ageing, too," Mr Yates said. ... d=msedgdhp ... 95292?nw=0

NSW sets up formal council for students to air voices unheard due to COVID-19 pandemic
Sydney year 12 student Jude Dolan is finishing his trial HSC exams and has just weeks left of time in the classroom.
"It's certainly come too soon because we haven't been able to enjoy the year 12 aspect of year 12," the Forest High student from Sydney's Northern Beaches said.
"We're at the final stages and we've got to make it the best we can."

The shut down of schools because of COVID-19 earlier this year has robbed year 12 students of a complete year in the classroom.

It's also robbed them of a voice on important matters affecting their lives, like COVID-19.

In response, NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell is setting up a formal student council that she'll meet several times a year to discuss not just COVID-19, but education policy.

The Education Department will start calling for representatives next term from all areas of the state.

Ms Mitchell is keen to hear how students have adapted to challenges like remote learning.
"I was in isolation for 48 to 49 days but they must have been the most productive 48 to 49 days of my life really," Jude Dolan said.

But he concedes it wasn't like that for everyone.
"I think for a lot of people it was the home learning that was quite a struggle to get into," he said.

Nickie Tran, a Year 10 student at Sarah Redfern High at Minto in south-western Sydney, found it a challenge.
"For a lot of students, like me, it's been quite lonely," Nickie said.
"It was really hard to adjust and it was really hard to maximise productivity."

But she also says she learnt from the experience.
"I now know what I am capable and not capable of."

Both students say side projects have helped them normalise this year.

Jude Dolan runs a football tournament of students, called the "Wednesday League".

He enlists the help of professional commentators and it's broadcast on YouTube.

Nickie Tran said it was "motivating" that events like public speaking and debating competitions still went ahead online.

It's these insights Ms Mitchell says she needs to hear.
"It's become really clear to me, particularly this year during the pandemic, while I get to meet with a range of stakeholders in education, our teachers, our principals and also parents, what's been missing is that student voice," the Minister said.
"If the kids are given the voice that they are promised, then it could be huge," Jude said.
"Take in every idea and pluck out and see which ones work, that's my entire process for stuff like the Wednesday League."

Jude won't be eligible for the council because he'll have left school, but Nickie Tran is keen to put up her hand.
"Our voice is valid, it matters and it deserves to be heard," she said.
"I will absolutely take the advice coming from this council very seriously," the Education Minister said.
"I wouldn't be setting it up if I didn't think it was important." ... d=msedgdhp

COVID-19 closure leaves NSW-Queensland border residents suffering 'grief and trauma'’
Key points:
Residents who normally cross the border for work have had to relocate away from their families for their jobs
A Gold Coast psychologist reports that patients are experiencing symptoms similar to grief and trauma due to the border closure
Residents are reporting strains on their families due to the travel time

Painter Leah Bartholomew has always loved making art, but she never thought 2020 would be the year she had to choose between her work and her home.
Ms Bartholomew lives in Coolangatta, just over the Queensland border from New South Wales but her work studio is a 40 minute drive south in Byron Bay, which is outside the "border bubble" zone.

Currently, border residents are only able to move freely between NSW and Queensland if they stay within the designated border zone postcodes.

Ms Bartholomew said since the Queensland Government implemented a hard border shutdown last weekend, she has made the tough decision to live permanently at her work place.
"It means I can't see my family members who live in Queensland," she said.
"I also have no idea when I'm going to get back home again.
"Everyone is doing it tough during COVID but the isolation of living here alone because of state border restrictions is really hard. It breeds an 'us vs them' mentality."

Moving closer to work
Father of three and construction business owner Corey Hobbins said he is also planning on leaving his Gold Coast home to live in northern New South Wales so he can continue to earn an income for his family.
We've got jobs all the way down to Lismore, Alstonville, Goonellabah that we effectively can't service at the moment unless I move south of the bubble," he said.
"I'll take our caravan and move down into northern New South Wales and I plan on not coming home until the borders are open."

Mr Hobbins he is worried about the affect the move it will have on his children.
"They will miss their dad, they won't be able to have a cuddle every night when I get home from work, it's not going to have the greatest effect on them," he said.

Border communities suffering 'trauma'
Gold Coast-based clinical psychologist, Melissa Taitimu, said some of her border community clients are suffering distress due to the upheaval of their daily lives and the ongoing uncertainty around border closures.
"Often people talk about stress and anxiety but I don't think that quite cuts it, I think it's not forceful enough for what people are going through," Dr Taitimu said.
"What I'm seeing in my rooms, [with] a lot of border community people is grief and loss and trauma.
"The border closures have completely altered the rhythm of people's daily life and people are finding it difficult to find ways to cope, they're in a hyper-vigilant stress state."

Families at breaking point
Being in a constant state of stress is something mother of three Elizabeth Sayer can relate to.
She lives with her husband and three children in Bilambil in northern New South Wales.
Both she and her husband work in Queensland, and her two eldest children also attend school there. The family travels across the border multiple times a day, and over the past five months, long traffic delays at border checkpoints and constantly changing permit requirements have taken a toll on the family.
"I'm at breaking point," she said.
"One of my daughters is not normally an anxious child at all — and now we notice she has got anxiety, she's always stressing about getting to school on time."

After an incident where her six-year-old daughter suffered a serious medical episode at school, and border traffic meant she was unable to meet the ambulance in Queensland, Ms Sayer said her family has started looking at rentals in Queensland.
"A lot of the girls I work with, they're in Queensland, so they've offered us to move in with them which is lovely, but we're a family of five so that's a last resort," she said. ... s/12559984

Party bus breaches COVID-19 restrictions with almost 50 people on board
A Sydney party bus operator has been fined after allegedly breaching COVID-19 restrictions in the city's CBD.

The party bus was driven from Penrith to the CBD last night with 43 passengers on board, but it wasn't long before their party came to an end.
Police attention was drawn to the bus about 11.15pm after concerns about how the party bus was driving along Wheat Road.

Officers from Sydney City Police Area Command spoke to the driver of the vehicle, a 25-year old Western Sydney man, which uncovered more than just COVID-19 infringements.
"A drug dog was brought to the scene and a 17-year-old female was arrested after allegedly found with cocaine," NSW Police said in a statement.
The bus operator has been issued a $5,000 Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) for failing to comply with a ministerial direction on Public Health Order. ... &ocid=iehp

Queensland records no new cases, but no return to 'normal' yet
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced there have been zero new cases overnight after 3299 tests were conducted in the last 24 hour period.

There are currently nine active cases in Queensland.

Ms Palaszczuk says despite a positive track record, Queensland will not return to normal until there is a vaccine.
"Queenslanders are doing the right thing, so we can continue life in a semi-normal fashion," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"In many other parts of the world, this is simply not the case." ... wsrc%5Etfw
As Queensland is enjoying its long weekend, Ms Palaszczuk has encouraged people to support local business to help recover from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We don't want to see what is happening in Melbourne, businesses shut down," she said.
"We have a continued focus on getting people back to work - most of our businesses are getting back to work.
"This long weekend, Queenslanders are supporting Queenslanders." ... d=msedgdhp

Popular cross-river ferry service to resume on Monday
The popular Bulimba to Teneriffe ferry service will again carry passengers across the Brisbane River from Monday after a steel-hulled vessel was cleared by maritime experts.

Brisbane City Council flagged the return of the Kalparrin last week, as it released reports showing various levels of deterioration across the three CityHoppers and six CityFerries.

Services will resume on the route from 5.33am on Monday, in time for the return to work after the Ekka long weekend.

"I thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we made the tough decision to remove all nine of the monohull ferries from service," lord mayor Adrian Schrinner said in a statement.

The vessels, some of which are more than 30 years old, were pulled on July 24 after council announced "serious" safety issues had been discovered.

With its steel hull, the returning vessel was able to have minor repairs, but fixes for the remaining eight timber-hulled ferries will be less straightforward.

Cr Schrinner said council was working "around the clock" to get the services back on the river.

A new stop has been added to the CityCat timetable to service Kangaroo Point residents who lost their CityHopper ferry, with a free shuttle bus also now in operation.

An independent report commissioned by council found issues including "rotten planks and frames, faulty bilge pumps, significant rust and corrosion, and water in the bilges" of some ferries, Cr Schrinner said last week.

This was in contrast to a visual inspection by operator Transdev, which said the ferries had been "regularly maintained" and certified every six to 12 months.

With only months left on its contract with council, the company's general manager for transition, Tony Ralph, said it would be a "smooth" handover to SeaLink in November. ... d=msedgdhp

Brisbane’s ‘hotel quarantine from hell’
Young families in Brisbane’s hotel quarantine program have given an insight into what it’s like in the so-called “hotel quarantine from hell”.

With makeshift kitchens, beds in the bathroom and food the guests are saying is inedible; health authorities insist there is little they can do.

Grant, who is quarantining at a hotel in Brisbane with his pregnant wife and son, says it’s “hard to keep it together” with the conditions they are living in.
“No one is listening to us, the hotel is not catering, we've got no facilities to make anything,” he said.

Kate, a quarantining mother whose 13-month-old baby has been forced to sleep in the bathroom says they are waiting up to eight hours for food.
“Absolutely disgusting how we’ve been treated,” she said.

A statement from the health department reads, “We understand these measures are strict and inconvenient to many people, however these rules have kept Queenslanders safe.” ... d=msedgdhp

Six people arrested at Queensland refugee protest
Four men and two women have been arrested at a pro-refugee protest in Brisbane including two campaigners who glued themselves to the road.
The six people arrested have been charged with 12 offences including public nuisance and disrupting traffic.

The march was in support of 120 asylum seekers who are currently detained in city hotels. ... d=msedgdhp

Around 300 foreign students to fly in to SA under university pilot program
Hundreds of international students are poised to jet in to South Australia under a plan to revive the two-billion-dollar education sector.

The national-first pilot program will see 300 foreign students return to Australia.

The flight from Singapore for south-east Asian students is expected to arrive in Adelaide in early September in a test run for a larger-scale return nationally. ... d=msedgdhp

Hard border closure between SA and Victoria is 'untenable and unjustifiable' according to Nationals MP Anne Webster & SKYE NEWS.
Nationals MP Anne Webster says the hard shutdown of the Victorian border creates an untrue fear that COVID-19 is out of control in Victoria.
The South Australian government has announced a hard shutdown of the Victorian border to commence on Friday August 21.

Cross-border exception permits for far Western Victorian residents have so far been scrapped.
“I think that regional Victoria and our cross-border communities are being used as a buffer, or a moat if you like, to keep our sister states away from Melbourne COVID central at this time,” Ms Webster - the Federal Member for Mallee - told Sky News.
“What it’s created is a fear that - you’ve heard the narrative - that Victoria has COVID-19 out of control.
“Well it’s just not true - it’s not true in our regional Victorian areas.
“It’s certainly not true in Mallee, we have 11 cases, and have had 11 to 16 cases in total per the last four months.”

Ms Webster said the border closure had caused grief for border communities. She said there were people living 12 kilometres from the border who relied on crossing it to access basic services.
“It’s really untenable and it’s also unjustifiable,” she said. ... d=msedgdhp

WA records one new COVID-19 case
Western Australia's Health Minister has praised the state's hard border measures after just one new positive test was recorded in the past 24 hours. The new coronavirus infection was a returned traveller in hotel quarantine who has taken WA's total active cases to five. ... d=msedgdhp
Have money, will travel but access difficulties and closed doors still greet WA's disabled
Disability advocates are urging a rethink on accessible tourism as WA's travel sector struggles to make the transition out of coronavirus-imposed restrictions.

While accommodation providers in tourist hotspots in the state's south west record strong occupancy rates, WA's disabled community says a lack of suitable accommodation is leaving them on the outer.

Bunbury's Paul D'Vorak, who lost the use of his lower body in a 2007 accident, said limited available resources were regularly booked by abled-bodied travellers.
"It's so limited. In peak season it's almost impossible to find accommodation, which means if you want to travel with your family you have to wait till off-season," Mr D'Vorak said.
"The only option is to book accommodation that isn't wheelchair friendly, but you don't want to be a burden on everyone on your holiday by having to have them help you in and out of showers, for example, so we just don't do it."

Disability advocate Ben Aldridge said the sector was a 'keen and willing' participant in domestic travel and conducted presentations with local councils spruiking the benefits of opening up regional WA to the disabled.
"The truth is, we are a market like anyone else, we have money to spend and if you make your business inaccessible, we are not going to spend our money where you are," Mr Aldridge said.
"We're not a special breed, we're not any different to anybody else in that want to go on holiday to relax and unwind. We want to take part and do the same as everybody else."

Mr Aldridge said the benefits for accommodation providers were two-fold, citing estimates that the sector spent $8 billion on domestic tourism and travel with an average party size of three.
"The lines of communication within our community are strong," Mr Aldridge said.
"If we find accommodation, a venue or even a park that has something for us, we will be the first to let everyone know. Not only will we bring you patronage, we will keep coming back." ... d=msedgdhp

As governments spend big on stimulus, WA communities warn of more official 'Taj Mahals'
Key points:
Multimillion-dollar government buildings have sat empty for years in remote parts of WA
Community leaders say the lavish, expensive designs do not suit community needs
Planning experts say better consultation is needed

They pop up in country towns across Western Australia with depressing regularity — shiny, expensive government buildings that end up padlocked and empty, or worse, never opened at all.
In the Kimberley town of Derby, a $4 million accommodation facility has been gathering dust for four years.

Along the highway, in the Aboriginal community of Warmun, a $12 million dollar aged care facility is yet to house a single resident.

For community leaders like Dickie Bedford the wastage is frustrating and depressing. "It's difficult when you have this wasted infrastructure and the rhetoric around, 'Oh, it belongs to this particular department or whatever'. It's just not helpful to the community at all," Mr Bedford said.
"It could be seen as a waste of that money, money that could be put to good use up here."

With three levels of government fast-tracking infrastructure builds as part of COVID-19 recovery, local governments and Aboriginal corporations say it is vital funds are not squandered on well-intentioned but failed white elephants.

Efforts underway to use empty building
The accommodation complex in Derby illustrates the hazards of big budget regional builds.

In 2013, the state and federal governments paid $4.24 million to construct two-storey buildings to house young Aboriginal people doing apprenticeships and traineeships.

But it never attracted enough people to be viable and has been locked up and empty since 2016.
Weeds have grown up over the veranda and cobwebs coat the windows.

Shire president Geoff Haerewa said they lobbied the WA Government to let the local women's shelter relocate there, or a local youth service.

"It's not acceptable that these empty buildings are standing here, that could be used for other projects," Cr Haerewa said.

"It is a State Government decision, and they have to go through their process, but we'll keep advocating for it to be used.

"There needs to be more input from people on the ground when these decisions are being made in the first place."

In a statement, the Department of Communities said multiple attempts to find a permanent tenant for the building had ended in failure.

It has confirmed negotiations are underway for the local domestic violence shelter to use it.

Money missing to fund operations
In other cases, buildings are left empty because there is no money allocated to opening and operating them.

Lynne Craigie has been president of the Shire of East Pilbara for 15 years and previously headed the WA Local Government Association.
"I'm all for regional investment, but we just need to be very aware that there are ongoing costs to keep the asset in pristine condition, to maintain it and for staff to run it," she said.
"Often it's left to the local government to try to scramble and find those funds."

She said communities would sometimes prefer a smaller, more humble building, with funding allocated to running it.
"It seems absolutely criminal that we could have facilities that are empty and sitting there going to waste," Cr Craigie said.
"It just seems a bit 'Taj Mahal-ish' when we build great big stuff that doesn't end up being used much."

$12 million aged care facility never opened
Ironically, some of the most underutilised buildings boast award-winning designs lauded in architecture circles.

The $12 million dollar Warmun Community Aged Care facility was built in 2014 after floods destroyed much of the Aboriginal community's buildings.
It features spaces for cultural ceremonies, two-storey verandas, and a commercial kitchen and laundry.
It won the 'Health Buildings' category at the World Architecture Festival in 2015.

Professional photographs taken to promote the winning entry and design in architecture journals at the time highlight the significant investment in the aesthetics and design of the facility.
But there was no plan in place to run the facility and it has never operated.

Last year, Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan visited Warmun and was shocked by what she saw.
"I was stunned to learn that its aged care facility, built in 2014, remained unused," she told the WA Parliament in November.
"A variety of factors have contributed to the facility lying dormant, including a high turn-over of community leadership in Warmun, an inability to source an accredited aged-care provider, and the infrastructure works required to bring the site up to certified standards."

In a statement to ABC, a State Government spokesperson said it had inherited a number of empty buildings from the previous government, and is trying to prioritise future investment on essential infrastructure.

Governments need to talk to communities: expert
There is hope on the horizon for Warmun — the WA Government is spending $500,000 repairing the building after striking a deal with the Commonwealth for it to fund the aged care service.

University of WA Professor Amanda Davies said such situations were unlikely to pass the pub test for regional residents.
"When there is a mismatch between the funding and what they need it's very frustrating for rural communities," Dr Davies said. The expert in regional development and planning issues said problems occur when projects are rushed due to political deadlines, or when the three tiers of government are not communicating.
"That's why it's critically important governments are engaging with regional communities and regional businesses when decisions are being made, and in the design process," Dr Davies said.
"Regional communities aren't necessarily after iconic, award-winning buildings. They want practical services to support their communities as they are now.
"They should be listened to and respected for that knowledge." ... /125468069

'They let us down': WA premier unhappy with Swans, AFL after hub breach
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan says the AFL and the Sydney Swans have "let us down" after teenager Elijah Taylor's deliberate breach of quarantine protocols, which has led to a season-long ban and a hefty fine for the club.
The AFL has apologised to the WA government for the incident, in which Taylor was sprung bringing his girlfriend into the Joondalup Resort, the training and accommodation hub where Sydney has been observing the mandatory 14 days of self-isolation upon entry into the state.

Taylor made his debut for the Swans earlier this season but now won't play again until 2021, while the club has been fined $25,000 - to be included in their soft cap for football department spending next year - with a further $25,000 suspended.
"It's very disappointing," McGowan said on Sunday.
"The AFL gave us every assurance this wouldn't happen. The Swans have let us down, the AFL has let us down. We're disappointed in both organisations.
"I received an apology from the AFL this morning. I appreciate that but ... they promised us this wouldn't happen and they let us down."

The incident occurred in the early hours of Friday morning, after Sydney's terrific 41-point upset win over Greater Western Sydney at Optus Stadium. Taylor did not feature in that game.

Sydney chief executive Tom Harley said Taylor's actions were "very, very, very naive and very foolish" and put not just the AFL season but the wider industry at risk.
"The facts are Elijah's acts were intentional. He knew what he was doing, he knew he was breaching," Harley told 3AW Radio on Sunday.
"I don't want to talk about the specifics of how we found out - we were made aware and obviously confronted and found the girl in Elijah's room.
"It's a significant breach of not only the AFL protocols but, given the West Australian police and community have allowed AFL football to continue with teams outside of Perth coming in ... the privilege of that, it really does double down on the seriousness of the offence."

Harley said WA Police had completed their investigation into the quarantine breach and were satisfied that the incident posed to risk to the wider community. Taylor's partner did not leave his room, meaning there was no further risk of exposure to other Swans players, but she will now have to serve another 14 days in self-isolation.

WA product Taylor, 19, is being supported by the club but Harley made it clear Sydney strongly condemned his actions.
"We've all been around footy for a long time, young players make mistakes - some young players make very, very serious mistakes like Elijah has and when confronted he conceded that was the case," Harley said.
"The worst-case scenario as you could imagine is the competition couldn't go on. There are members who have paid up their membership fees and in real terms are not getting a lot of material return for that - that's significant.
"There's been unbelievable job loss, there's been significant salary cuts and the like. It's certainly not lost on me when someone at our club in this case puts the competition into a state of jeopardy." ... d=msedgdhp
Swans throw support around banned Taylor
Sydney teenager Elijah Taylor will remain in the AFL club's travel bubble for the foreseeable future despite being suspended for the rest of the season.

Taylor was banned for breaching the AFL's return-to-play protocols and Western Australia's quarantine restrictions, after his partner entered the Swans' quarantine hub accommodation in Perth when she was not authorised to do so.

The club was fined $50,000 for the breach, with half suspended, and $25,000 will be included in their 2021 soft cap.

Sydney chief executive Tom Harley said on Sunday the club will continue to support Taylor.

"Our situation is probably two-fold," Harley told ABC radio.

"There's absolute condemnation and making sure that Elijah's aware of what's happened.

"On the same side he is a 19-year-old first-year player who is - like all players and staff and the community - living in pretty challenging times at the minute.

"We absolutely don't let Elijah off the hook but make sure that the support mechanism is there for him.

"He's extremely remorseful and it is a lesson to everyone, if ever we needed another one, of the privileged position that we are in to keep the game going."

Sydney are scheduled to play against Fremantle on Saturday night and Harley said there was never any doubt the round 13 clash would go ahead as planned.

He said Taylor had limited contact with teammates and all had since tested negative to COVID-19 under the usual protocols.

Harley said the Swans had not been involved in determining Taylor's penalty, which was left to the AFL and AFL Players Association.

"Elijah knew exactly what he was doing, it was intentional, and the actual consequence of Elijah's behaviour was extremely high," Harley said.

"The AFL have been afforded this unbelievable social licence to play the game.

"With those two factors in mind, the AFL worked through with the AFL Players Association the appropriate level of sanction."

Sydney will remain based in their hub in Joondalup, in Perth's northern suburbs, until returning to Queensland after the Fremantle match. ... d=msedgdhp


Minimal texts sent between Government departments as passengers disembarked Ruby Princess with coronavirus, inquiry finds
Despite the disaster that was about to unfold as hundreds of passengers disembarked the Ruby Princess on March 19, an inquiry has found the two departments in charge of coordinating human biosecurity were not communicating.

In fact, the only direct communication between NSW Health and the Commonwealth department that morning was a handful of text messages to say there was "no concern" over the "low risk" of reported illness among passengers.

Within hours, about 2,600 passengers would disembark, with some heading home interstate and others overseas, continuing the spread of the virus at home and abroad.

The inquiry into the Ruby Princess cruise ship delivered late yesterday identified "inexcusable" and "inexplicable" mistakes by NSW Health.

It linked 28 COVID-19-related deaths to the cruise ship, including 20 people in Australia and eight in the United States.

The findings outline the shared responsibilities of failings across multiple departments and levels of government.

While it found NSW Health panel made "serious mistakes" in the way it deemed COVID-19 among passengers a "low risk", it also discovered there was "silence" between the two main agencies in the days leading up to ship's arrival in Sydney.

Commissioner Bret Walker SC labelled it "disturbing", prompting recommendations for sweeping changes for better communication and clear chains of responsibility between agencies.

Text message exchange on the morning of March 19
The only "direct communication" between NSW Health and Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE) on the day passengers disembarked the Ruby Princess cruise ship were a handful of text messages.

DAWE team leader: 18 samples for testing came off the Ruby Princess this morning. Do you know about this and should we, Agriculture & Borderforce be concerned?

NSW Health Senior Epidemiologist: Yes they are sending samples, no concern. The ship was assessed as low risk but we're going to test them anyway, they did have elevated numbers of flu. All are OK to debark but all to go into home isolation due to the new rules. Do you know if ABF are enforcing this?

DAWE team leader: Yes, we are handing out the notice for isolation to all disembarking pax and crew here at seaports, I'm not sure how this is monitored once they get home

NSW Health Senior Epidemiologist: Thanks

Chain of responsibility under spotlight
While the Commonwealth Department of Health has the primary authority over human biosecurity, it relies on a coordinated approach between DAWE and NSW Health.

Biosecurity officers within DAWE are deemed ultimately responsible for issuing pratique orders, allowing a ship's passengers to disembark when they reach Australia.

But the inquiry found that while NSW Health had been assessing cruise ship arrivals from February, by March communication with DAWE had "ceased" with each department believing the other had taken over passenger health assessments.

The report said biosecurity officers boarded the ship for inspections early on the morning of March 19 but did not conduct a Traveller Illness Checklist, after being made aware of NSW Health's "low risk" assessment.
"And so it was that, in the lead-up to the Ruby Princess's arrival on 19 March, 2020, there was silence between NSW Health and DAWE," the report said.
"NSW Health would have been justified to assume that Biosecurity Officers would follow their work instructions and administer the Traveller Illness Checklist."
"On the other hand, it was not unreasonable for Biosecurity Officers, on discovering the Expert Panel's assessment of the Ruby Princess, to have concluded that NSW Health had assessed the human health risk as low, and as not warranting further action."

In response, Commissioner Walker recommended all agencies involved establish "more formal protocols" for their interactions and communication and better streamline control orders for the arrival of inbound ships.
"There was poor communication between responsible agencies."
"Policies were ignored.
"The Biosecurity Officers' practices deviated from the written requirements and Human Biosecurity Officers did not have a clear understanding of their role." ... d=msedgdhp

The Government has been left vulnerable on aged care, but it could also spell opportunity
It was one of his first acts as Prime Minister. Just weeks into the job, Scott Morrison announced a royal commission into the troubled aged care sector, a day before a damning expose was due to air on the ABC's Four Corners.

His then aged care minister Ken Wyatt had told the program the idea of a royal commission was a waste of time and money, given the problems were already well known.

This didn't stop Morrison, who had weathered for too long as treasurer the political pain of resisting a royal commission into the banks.

Announcing the inquiry, Morrison warned Australians to "brace for some pretty bruising information about the way our loved ones, some of them, have experienced some real mistreatment".

He could not have foreseen how this royal commission would turn its gaze two years later to his own Government's failures in protecting those very loved ones during a pandemic.

'All that could be done was not done'
At the start of this week's hearings, counsel assisting the royal commission, Peter Rozen, QC, cut to the chase with a damning assessment.
"Neither the Commonwealth Department of Health nor the aged care regulator developed COVID-19 plans specifically for the aged care sector," he said.

This infuriated the Government. Health Department Secretary Brendan Murphy, the face of the Government's COVID response when he was chief medical officer, requested and was granted an appearance before the royal commission.
It was a testy few hours, which failed to convince Rozen the Commonwealth had done enough.

After four days of evidence, the counsel assisting concluded "none of the problems were unforeseeable".

"All that could be done was not done," he said, adding a "degree of self-congratulation and even hubris" had crept into the Morrison Government.

Most alarmingly, Rozen suggested the sector is still "not properly prepared now".

The Royal Commissioner Tony Pagone himself even took the unusual step of urging the Government to consider some immediate action, rather than waiting for his final recommendations at the end of the year.

The former Federal Court judge suggested the Government specifically consider putting in place a "dedicated aged care specific co-ordinating body".

The PM's response was always going to be interesting
After appointing Justice Pagone to lead this inquiry and specifically asking the commission in March to examine the impact of the pandemic on the aged care sector, the Prime Minister's response to this urgent advice was always going to be interesting.
Morrison could have pledged to urgently consider the proposal and accepted the need to redouble efforts. Instead he chose to offer contrition in the broad, but defiance on the specifics.

The idea of a national body to coordinate the aged care pandemic response, he said, "mirrors" the actions the Government is already taking.

The Acting Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly appeared less certain of this, saying he "hadn't seen the details of what was discussed at the royal commission".

A spokesman for the Prime Minister later said he was referring to the "Aged Care Response Centre" now in place in Victoria. Similar bodies are being negotiated with other states, but a new national body specifically focused on the aged care response is not on the cards.

As for Rozen's scathing assessment, the Prime Minister was having none of it. He rejected the suggestion of hubris and insisted there was a COVID plan in place for aged care.

This was a reference to the "guidelines" the royal commission heard were helpful in part, but well short of a comprehensive plan.
Morrison is exposed on aged care
The contrition involved Morrison again saying he was "sorry" for "the days that we fall short", but there was no admission of the specific failures identified at the royal commission: the fact masks weren't made mandatory in aged care facilities until mid-July, the shortages of personal protective equipment, the lack of mandatory PPE training and inadequate surge workforce plans.

The Prime Minister preferred to focus on the widespread community transmission in Melbourne as the underlying cause.
Once the virus gets into a community, "there's no special forcefield around aged care facilities," he said. This is undoubtedly true, but efforts to protect as many lives as possible must still be put in place.

Polls suggest voters remain happy with Scott Morrison's handling of the pandemic, but he's exposed on aged care.

This is the Prime Minister's greatest political vulnerability right now. Ironically, this could also be a potential opportunity, if the Government is serious about fixing some of the well-known structural problems in the sector.

It could be a political win-win
Aged care, disability care and childcare all faced labour shortages heading into this crisis. Nearly a decade ago the Productivity Commission found the aged care sector needed to triple its workforce. Last year's NDIS Market and Workforce Strategy found it needed to double the number of carers.

With more than a million people now out of work, an enormous number of young Australians are struggling to find a job and stressing about career options.
A care workforce strategy involving training, subsidies and supports could be an answer to both problems.

Similar resources to those helping tradies and apprentices through this recession could also be directed towards the care sector.

Even some marketing wouldn't hurt to convince young Australians they can build a successful and rewarding career in caring.

If we're going to pay carers properly, ultimately someone must pay and this sort of workforce strategy wouldn't come cheap.

Still, for something that could deliver a profound intergenerational benefit, as well as a political win-win, it's a price that may be worth considering.

It was a tough week for the Health Department's Deputy Secretary Michael Lye, who also was grilled at the royal commission. He's been brought in this year to fix problems in aged care and as someone respected on both sides of politics, Lye now has a chance to help find some solutions. ... m/12557984

Coronavirus having a devastating impact on migrant families sending money home
For over a year, Nayereh Norzehi shared most of the money she made in Sydney with her parents in Iran, sending home $400 a month to help pay for her mother's hospital bills and medicine.

But that all stopped when the pandemic hit early this year.

The 22-year-old Afghani student, who arrived in Australia last April on a humanitarian visa, lost her jobs as a traffic controller and waitress.
"It was really hard on me because my mum is sick and she needs to go to hospital regularly," Ms Norzehi said.
"Because she knows I don't have money, she doesn't let me know she needs it for the hospital."

But without her help, Ms Norzehi's 64-year-old mother, Najiba Tajik, is struggling to survive.
"I don't have money to buy medicine. It is a very hard life," said Ms Tajik via video link from her home in Isfahan.
"I'm in pain 24/7 … I have arthritis, I have back pain. I cannot walk."

Every year, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers in Australia support their families by sending billions of dollars in remittances back home, often to poor or developing countries such as India, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Coronavirus and the government restrictions to combat it are bringing those critical flows of money to a halt.
Many migrant workers have little or no money to send home as they suffer reduced work hours or job losses due to the economic fallout from the pandemic.
The World Bank predicts global remittances will plummet by 20 % this year, the sharpest decline in recent history.
Last year, migrant workers sent home a record $772 billion worth of remittances.

The pandemic has hit the ability of about 164 million migrant workers globally to support at least 800 million relatives, according to the United Nations Network on Migration.
"We know that migrant communities are being hit hard by the pandemic," said Carla Wilshire, chief executive at the Migration Council of Australia.
"Not being able to send this money back home means many of their families back in developing countries will be tipped into poverty or won't be able to pay for healthcare."

'Sometimes I skip meals'
Last year, Sanjaya Sharma left his home village in Nepal to pursue a master's degree in social work in Sydney. The 26-year-old worked at a local bar and would dutifully send home half his earnings every month.
"It made a lot of difference in their life," he said.

His parents used it to pay for groceries, bills and his younger brother's school fees.
But in March, that economic lifeline came to an abrupt end.

Mr Sharma lost his job and his savings dried up a month later.
As an international student, he is ineligible for government payments such as JobSeeker and is borrowing thousands of dollars from friends to pay his bills, rent and tuition fees.
"At the moment, I'm not able to meet my day-to-day needs. Sometimes I skip meals." And yet it is his parents and younger brother back home he worries about the most.
"My family are not able to do anything at the moment … they are in a situation a lot worse than me."It's been six months since Mr Sharma last transferred money to Nepal and he fears it's unlikely he'll be able to do so anytime soon.
"I feel helpless for my parents. They can probably survive, but on what? That's the question." ... s/12559198

Australian tradies and teachers to be able to work across borders under new licence rules
Federal, state and territory ministers are wasting no time adapting the new national cabinet process to other portfolios, with workers soon to have their occupational licences recognised nationwide.

Under the latest red-tape reduction reforms a uniform scheme will be created that will allow workers to move from one jurisdiction to another without the need to apply for another licence.

While the government announcement follows a recent trend of focusing on tradies, the move will also apply to teachers, real estate agents, electricians and plumbers.

The federal treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, said the Council on Federal Financial Relations, the new treasurer’s body to emerge from the national cabinet system which has replaced the Council of Australian Governments system, would prioritise implementation of the scheme.

It aims to have it take effect from January next year.
“The new framework will cut red tape, drive job creation and allow workers to move more freely around the country to where the work is,” Frydenberg said.
“This will especially assist our tradies to apply their craft around the country without having to get individual licences in each state or territory if they are working across borders.
“This reform sees federal, state and territory governments working cooperatively together to get people back to work as restrictions are eased and our economy reopens.”

Unemployment is estimated to peak at 10% by the end of the year, which is the main driving force of the reforms.

But with workers on the wage subsidy program jobkeeper not counted as part of the Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force figures, and record numbers of people dropping out of the job market altogether, the “real” or unofficial jobless rate was expected to be much higher – peaking at more than 13%.

Governments across the country are desperately looking at ways to drive job growth after the pandemic sent the nation into recession. For the first time in Australia’s history, more than one million people are out of work, available for work and actively looking for work.
Women continue to struggle more than men as part of the pandemic’s employment challenges, with female full-time employment dropping almost 1.5% more than men since February.

But it’s Australia’s youngest and most insecure workers who are bearing the brunt of the economic downturn, with youth unemployment last month measured at 16.3%.

Last month, the ABS recorded Australia’s unemployment rate at 7.5%, two points higher than the same time last year. But the analysis was taken before the stage four lockdowns took hold in Melbourne, which stopped a further 250,000 from being able to go to work.

Overall, the number of unemployed people increased by 15,700 in July, which pushed the number of jobless people north of one million.

An analysis of hours worked by the ABS notes that since the low point in May, total hours worked in Australia have increased by 88 million, recovering almost half of the 186 million decrease recorded between March and May. But the bureau notes that hours worked in July were still 5.5% lower than hours worked in March. ... &ocid=iehp

The Morrison government is trying to lock in a less equitable economy for years to come
As the pandemic crisis continues we need to focus not just on the economic recovery but what kind of economy and society we want that recovery to lead to – because the government is using this crisis to push its agenda.
Discovering this week that 2.5 million people are either out of work or underemployed is pretty scary, but add in record low wages growth and you can understand people being fearful of what the future holds.
But we need to remind ourselves that even before the pandemic the economy had weak wages growth and declining shares of full-time work, and the government is seeking to ensure that continues once the pandemic subsides.

Every recession sees a fall in the average hours men work, and any recovery that comes afterwards never fully returns those hours. (The impact on women’s hours of work is less clear given the number of women in the workforce has risen over the decades due to social changes.)
The problem over the past decade is that after the GFC there was no recovery – average hours worked continued to decline, and as a result wages growth has also remained weak.

This is the logical feature of an industrial relations system that preaches the need for more flexibility. Without an abnormal mining boom it inevitably leads to a declining share of men working full time and weak wages growth.

And if you think employers and the government are sad about that have a look at what is being discussed.

Last month the prime minister told reporters: “As we come out of the Covid-19 crisis, what is important is that employers continue to have that flexibility. That’s the real issue ... We will need to continue to have flexibility to keep people in jobs.”

Flexibility is always code for the ability to reduce employees’ hours. And with that comes lower wages growth because workers constantly feel pressure of a trade-off between better wages for fewer hours.

The government is negotiating with employer groups and the ACTU for changes to the IR system, but has threatened to “go it alone” should no agreement be reached by the end of this month.
Among the changes mooted are ones to the enterprise-bargaining system, which has been undermined by employers for years. Employers have taken to terminating agreements in the midst of negotiations for new ones – pushing workers on to award rates.
The enterprise bargaining system requires good faith on both sides – and employers have worked out that acting in bad faith is in their interests.
Anyone thinking this government will use the economic crisis to give workers a better say at the bargaining table has a near life-threatening level of gullibility.

This week as well, the head of Scott Morrison’s Covid advisory commission, former gas company director Nev Power, confirmed to a Senate committee that the commission was pushing for a gas-led recovery rather than one underpinned by a shift towards renewable energy.
The government is clearly using the crisis to favour fossil-fuel energy and sideline renewables as it hopes people’s attention has shifted from the climate-change crisis. (By the way, the first half of this year was the second hottest on record.)
And then this week the government also announced it would seek to remove funding for students who fail half their first-year courses.
Off the back of repeated interventions by the treasurer to ensure universities are unable to access jobkeeper, this is just another in the long line of efforts by conservative governments to keep university education for those they deem deserving.
It is a dumb culture war attack which in all likelihood will serve only to lower academic standards as the pressure not to fail students will rise. But it fits in with the government’s other culture war against the arts sector, which is unlikely to receive any emergency funding before the end of this year.
What will our economy look like when (and if) we are able to move past this pandemic?

The high-income tax cuts will remain, but add in more “flexibility” for employers, fewer students from regions and lower incomes attending university, and a greater emphasis on fossil fuel – all supposedly in the interest of jobs and cutting government spending.
The economic news right now is bad, but the government is using people’s fear of unemployment to lock in a less equitable and clean economy for years to come – making a bad situation worse. ... d=msedgdhp

Federal government enters two agreements for potential COVID-19 vaccines
Health Minister Greg Hunt optimistic of vaccine
The federal government is set to unveil further details about two agreements it has made on potential future COVID-19 vaccines.
Health Minister Greg Hunt has confirmed the government has already signed two non-disclosure agreements believed to be relating to two vaccine trials that could result in a treatment being manufactured in Australia.
"I think the world is moving closer to a vaccine, and it's unlikely that it will be just one – it's likely that it will be many," he said.

Of the 160 vaccines currently under development around the world, Australia could now be close to striking the supply deals with international candidates, such as the United Kingdom's Oxford University vaccine.

The government is also helping to fund a University of Queensland trial, but has drawn criticism from the opposition who says it is not pledging enough money.
"Five million dollars to the University of Queensland vaccine is not enough when you consider the government of Queensland's put in $10 million," Shadow Health Minister Chris Bowen said.

Unlike the vaccine for influenza, which is produced in chicken eggs, there are different paths to a potential coronavirus inoculation.
The Oxford vaccine uses a cold virus taken from chimpanzees which is modified to make it harmless.
That is then made into a vehicle in which a piece of COVID-19's protein is placed and after being injected it primes the immune system to attack the virus if it enters the body. Mr Hunt has said, however, that all promising trials could still be a long way from widespread manufacture in Australia.
"All our advice has been 2021 is the most likely," he said.

Another federal government announcement is expected on the two agreements later this week. ... d=msedgdhp

Australia will not have a coronavirus vaccine for at least a year
Australia will not have a coronavirus vaccine for at least a year and producing one before then could do 'more harm than good', a top disease expert has warned.

Professor Peter Collignon of the Australian National University said a rushed vaccine may not work and could cause adverse side effects including paralysis.

He said the federal government should not hurry to buy vaccines from foreign countries after Labor raised fears that Australia would miss out on a vaccine because no deals have been signed so far.
'A vaccine that has not been fully tested may not protect people and may even expose them to getting pneumonia,' Professor Collignon told Daily Mail Australia.
'In a worst case scenario it could cause a funny side effect that gives you paralysis or something nasty like that.
'This may only happen to, say, one in 5,000 people but if you vaccinate one million people you may end up with 200 people paralysed.'
He added: 'We are so desperate for a vaccine that we'll clutch at anything but that approach may do more harm than good.'

Professor Collignon, a microbiologist who used to work for the World Health Organisation, said the earliest a safe vaccine could be rolled out would be next year. 'It needs to be tested on thousands of people which will take months and then you need to produce the vaccine. So the most optimistic timeframe is a year from now.
'Anyone who thinks we will have a vaccine before the end of this year is deluding themselves,' he said.

Six vaccines around the world have reached phase three clinical trials and Russia has approved a vaccine to be rolled out in October, although experts say it has not been rigorously tested.

To date, Australia has not signed any advanced purchase agreements to bring the vaccines Down Under if they are successful.

On Wednesday Labor health spokesman Chris Bowen slammed the government for not signing any deals.
'We are way behind the eight ball and it would be just unthinkable if a vaccine breaks through and we just can't get access for it in Australia because of these failings,' he told ABC radio on Wednesday.
But Professor Collignon said that was 'not a reasonable criticism' of the government.
'There are more than 100 vaccine candidates so how can you pick a winner when you have no data on whether it actually stops the infection,' he said.
'The Oxford University vaccine looks the best but it's too early to put any great amount of money into purchasing it.
'I would strongly caution against rushing any vaccine through. We have to see it is not only safe in the lab but also safe and effective in the real world.'

Professor Collignon said even after a safe vaccine in produced, it will take years before the pandemic is over.
'The influenza vaccine is sometimes only 30 per cent effective in older people so there is no guarantee any coronavirus vaccine will stop illnesses and deaths,' he said.
'Countries with money including us, the US and European nations will be first in line for a vaccine but we need to immunise the whole world which will take time.
'This ain't going to go away for another couple of years,' he said.

What is the government doing to secure a vaccine?
The strategy is four fold – research, purchasing agreements, international agreements and onshore manufacturing.
1. The first Medical Research Future Fund vaccine development round has been independently peer reviewed and announced. A second round has been opened and the Minister is expected to receive the peer reviewed recommendations shortly.
2. Direct procurement with leading international vaccine candidates is highly advanced with multiple candidates.
3. There is participation in the international Covax facility, which is an international consortium to give participant nations access to a variety of potential vaccine candidates.
4. Onshore manufacturing in Australia either directly or under licence, including through CSL.

A health department spokesman said: 'We are confident that these investments and actions will secure early and sufficient access to a safe and effective vaccine.'

There are 20 deals in place to ship three billion vaccine doses to countries around the world once approved.

The federal government is in talks to buy a potential vaccine which is being made at Oxford University, but no agreement has yet been reached.

A health department spokesman told Daily Mail Australia that negotiations are ongoing with several potential vaccine producers.
'Direct procurement with leading international vaccine candidates is highly advanced with multiple candidates,' the spokesman said.

Labor is also urging the federal government to increase funding for vaccine research so Australians have the best opportunity to get a coronavirus jab.

The federal government has put $5million towards a University of Queensland study but Mr Bowen says the cheque needs to be bigger.
'We're not investing enough in vaccine research,' Mr Bowen told ABC radio on Wednesday.
'We're putting all our eggs - and not very many eggs - in one basket.

There is also $13.6 million on offer in grants to support possible vaccine development projects.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has fired a warning to other world leaders to ensure they make a vaccine globally available should their nation discover one.

Russia has become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing.
The World Health Organisation is in discussion with Russian health authorities about possible prequalification for the vaccine, which still has to complete final trials.
Meanwhile, Australian manufacturers are being urged to tell the federal government if they could help to reproduce a coronavirus vaccine.
Submissions will be used to determine the national capacity to make and distribute the drug if an effective candidate is found. ... 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 Sicko
Posts: 12572
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:24 am

New Zealand records 13 new coronavirus cases, most linked to Auckland cluster
Key points:
The 13th infected person was a traveller returning from abroad
The number of active cases in New Zealand is now 69
Auckland is currently under alert level 3

New Zealand has reported 13 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, as the country's first outbreak in months continues to grow.
All but one of the new cases were acquired locally and appeared to be linked to a cluster in Auckland where the most recent outbreak started, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said.

Mr Bloomfield said one of the cases was a child who arrived in the country from Afghanistan earlier this month.
After initially testing negative for coronavirus, the child returned a positive result 12 days into their mandatory 14-day isolation period.
They have since been transferred to an Auckland quarantine facility.

Mr Bloomfield said the 12 other cases were all from the community.
"From early investigations [it appears], all have a connection to the existing outbreak as close contacts of cases already reported," he said.
The new cases bring New Zealand's infection total to 1,271, with active cases in New Zealand reaching 69. Since the start of the year, the country has recorded 1,271 cases.

Mr Bloomfield said environmental tests were being carried out at an Americold facility because one of the earliest confirmed cases to show COVID-19 symptoms worked for the food storage firm.
He said authorities were working with their counterparts in Victoria and looking into a possible link to the Americold facility in the Australian state.
After New Zealand went 102 days without new infections, the resurgence of coronavirus in Auckland last week prompted an immediate lockdown of the country's largest city.
Health officials have said the new coronavirus outbreak is still growing.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins said COVID-19 testing was being carried out at "unprecedented levels", with 23,682 people tested on Saturday.
He said this had bumped processing times out from 24 hours to 48 hours.
Mr Hipkins also issued a stark warning about misinformation about the virus outbreak being published on social media.
Auckland is currently under alert level 3, which states people are required to work from home where they can and "highly recommends" people wear face masks where they cannot maintain physical distancing of more than two metres.
The rest of New Zealand is at alert level 2, which encourages people to "consider" wearing a mask where physical distancing is not possible.
Mr Hipkins said at this stage face masks would not be made mandatory, but encouraged New Zealanders to listen to the health advice being provided.
"The issue is a supply challenge, so we want to make sure that people can access a mask," he said.
"We could make it compulsory and spend a lot of time on enforcement, but what we need is cultural acceptance amongst all New Zealanders.
"If you make something mandatory you're talking about a lot of people. My message to New Zealanders is if we're asking you to do something, it's because we need you to do it." ... s/12563404

'Go hard, go early' – now New Zealand goes back to the drawing board
When scientists in Auckland began modelling an outbreak of Covid-19 in the city’s densely populated southern regions – situated right by the country’s only international airport – they hoped they were participating in a drill scenario.
“This is exactly the type of outbreak we were worried about, and in fact it’s exactly what happened,” said Professor Shaun Hendy, who works modelling the progression of the disease for the government.
“We’ve been looking at different ways it [coronavirus] could come back and they’re all low-likelihood ways, but this was very much one of the scenarios we considered. For a while we were hoping it was a drill.”

Just last week New Zealand celebrated a significant milestone: 100 days free of the deadly disease, which has claimed 800,000 lives worldwide and 22 in New Zealand.

But as the seemingly successful elimination strategy was being lauded, both domestically and overseas, the virus was stealthily circulating through the community, with at least one victim falling ill with symptoms as early as 31 July.

Three of the person’s family members became infected in the next two weeks but a positive test was not returned until 11 August, by which time dozens more people in the country’s largest city – and its economic powerhouse – had fallen ill.

The latest outbreak is a huge blow for the island nation, heralded as a global success story for effectively eliminating the virus in June after a tough seven-week lockdown, which, like similar lockdowns around the world, led to a growth in unemployment, a spike in domestic violence and a surge in mental health problems.
“Go hard and go early” was New Zealand’s motto, and combined with strict border controls and high compliance with lockdown measures from “the team of 5 million” it seemed to have worked. Until now.
“I was gutted obviously. We had reached 100 days so it does feel like a kick in the teeth,” said Dr Siousxie Wiles, a British microbiologist and science communicator who lives in Auckland, a city of 1.5 million.
“But we know that with people coming in there is the chance this would happen.”

Wiles praised the government’s resurgence strategy as “absolutely spot-on” and said it had shown an impressive ability to adapt and move swiftly through alert levels.
“They have been very fast and very transparent. The speed which they moved people up the alert levels really frightened people, but this is the way to do it. What we will see now is: how quickly can you stamp out an outbreak?”
“We have done it before, we can do it again”
The prime minister made the decision for Auckland to re-enter lockdown six hours after the first positive test result came back – light years ahead of the likes of Vietnam, South Korea, and the Australian state of Victoria all of whom were slower to reinstate lockdown.

This decisiveness has won her widespread praise, apart from the opposition who said they should have been consulted.

On Friday afternoon Ardern announced a softer resurgence plan than many had expected, one that will allow the economy – even in Auckland – to cope, if not flourish.

Tracking and tracing cases related to the south Auckland cluster is the priority, and New Zealand police have been drafted in to help investigate the source or “index case” that kicked it off, with efforts focusing on the borders and the Ports of Auckland area, as well as a cool store facility that handled international freight in the city’s west.

In addition, active cases are being quarantined in government-run hotels – a new measure adopted from some south Asian countries.

Testing in the community has been ramped up with 30,000 tests conducted in 48 hours and labs working 24 hours. Auckland will remain at level 3 for an additional two weeks, giving health authorities time to test and track everyone related to the outbreak. The rest of the country will remain at level 2.

The resurgence plan has earned the approval of epidemiologists, and so far, the compliance of the general public.

But the fact it has to be enacted at all is being viewed as a major failure for the Labour coalition government, who are now just five weeks out from a general election. Attention is turning to the borders, where more than 30,000 people have entered a fortnight of mandatory quarantine on returning to New Zealand.

Management of the dozens of quarantine hotels has long been lambasted as “shambolic” by the opposition, after a series of people escaped the facilities and made trips to the liquor store and supermarket, prompting the police and army to start regular patrols.

In other cases, perhaps as many as 1,000 of them, returning New Zealanders were allowed to leave the facilities without being tested.

It is at these hotels, and the international airport facilities, where Covid-19 is thought to have re-entered New Zealand. It is a scenario that was modelled and planned for, but public outrage is growing that such a high-risk frontline was not better policed, after a report revealed 60% of those working on the border had not been tested.

Wiles called the oversight “deeply disappointing” while the Otago university epidemiologist Sir David Skegg said it was “extraordinary” that border workers were not being tested weekly, on a compulsory basis.
“We haven’t been doing weekly testing of workers, so I think that may have turned out to be a missed opportunity to avoid this lockdown,” Professor Hendy said.

Skegg agreed and called the government’s handling of the border complacent.
“I think it is absolutely vital for our elimination status that we have the most stringent protections at the border.”

The health minister, Chris Hipkins, has said all border workers would be tested for the virus by the weekend, but with the disease having circulated in the community for up to two weeks, the horse has well and truly bolted.

A second wave, a second lockdown
In Auckland compliance with lockdown measures has been high, even as the city haemorrhages money – a calculated NZ$150m in the last three days alone.

Zafer Isiklar is a cafe owner in the Auckland suburb of Mt Eden. He believes this outbreak is the result of incompetence. “They didn’t control the borders or manage quarantine well,” Isiklar said.
“Even after the army was brought in, people [broke out]. They were incompetent. I believe this community transmission has come either from across the border or from those in isolation.”

The region of south Auckland is one of the most densely populated in the country, and the suburb of the latest outbreak is a mere 14km from the country’s only international airport.

Hundreds of airport and border workers live in south Auckland, and its proximity to quarantine hotels also had it under Covid modellers’ microscope as a high-risk site for a potential outbreak.

According to Statistics New Zealand half of all New Zealand’s overcrowded homes are in Auckland, with the highest rates in south Auckland. Pacific and Māori people are the most likely to live in overcrowded homes. If it was going to happen anywhere, it was here.

But Hendy said there were some silver linings to New Zealand’s outbreak, and the prime minister has stressed that things are not complex or severe enough to warrant a level 4 nationwide lockdown, as so far the outbreak is limited to a single cluster.
“We definitely have had the benefit of learning from what has happened in other countries,” Hendy said.
“The Melbourne example was quite instructive. We learnt that suburban lockdown just didn’t work.”

The prime minister has said that New Zealand will be building on it’s earlier success, which she calls “evidence-based”, “following the philosophy of hard and early.”
“As we have said from the start, our overall Covid-19 strategy remains elimination. That means stamping out the virus whenever it comes back,” Ardern said.
“We have been world-leading in our Covid response – we can do all of that again.”

For Aucklander Craig Shearer, a software-developer from Hobsonville, any “science-based approach to handling the pandemic” wins his approval.
“I think we have dodged a bullet,” Shearer says.
“There have been very few deaths. I think it was the right thing to do to lock things down as soon as it was discovered there had been community transmission. If we didn’t do that we could be in a situation like Victoria or even the [United] States with a wide spread of the virus.” ... 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 Sicko
Posts: 12572
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:31 am










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 Sicko
Posts: 12572
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:22 am

NEWS FOR 17 AUGUST FOR AUSTRALIA AND NZ ... .docx?dl=0 ... .docx?dl=0 ... .docx?dl=0

Last edited by kingofnobbys on Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Sicko
Posts: 12572
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:52 am








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 Sicko
Posts: 12572
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm
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