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 » Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:13 pm

test

17 AUGUST VIC
Coronavirus deaths rise by 25 in Victoria as the state records 282 new cases
Victoria has recorded 282 new cases of coronavirus and 25 further deaths, making it the state's deadliest day since the pandemic began.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said 22 of the 25 deaths were linked to aged care outbreaks.
Victoria's previous highest daily coronavirus death toll was 21, recorded last Wednesday.
But in a sign of hope, today was the second consecutive day where new case numbers were under 300.


Yesterday Victoria recorded 279 new coronavirus cases and 16 deaths, pushing the state's COVID-19 death toll over 300.
Eleven of those 16 deaths were linked to aged care.
Mr Andrews yesterday pleaded with Victorians to get tested, saying there was "every chance" even mild symptoms could be coronavirus.
"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," he said.
"If you've got symptoms, cold or flu-like symptoms, there's every chance you've got this virus."

Although the daily case numbers continue to fluctuate, the state's seven-day average of new case numbers is going down.

Victoria's state of emergency, which provides the legal framework for the Government to enforce coronavirus restrictions, has been extended until September 13.
Mr Andrews said it was too early to tell whether some restrictions could be eased after the six-week lockdown.

Meanwhile, the inquiry into what went wrong in Victoria's hotel quarantine program will start hearing evidence today, with experts, including epidemiologists, expected to appear first.
In his opening statements to the inquiry last month, senior counsel assisting the inquiry, Tony Neal QC, noted "comments made by the Chief Health Officer [Brett Sutton] to the media have suggested that it may be that every case of COVID-19 in Victoria in recent weeks could be sourced to the hotel quarantine program".

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

FAMILY VIOLENCE
Andrews government allocates $20.41m boost for family violence services
Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams announced an additional $20.4 million in funding for support services that target the perpetrators of family violence.
Victoria’s Prevention of Family Minister Violence Gabrielle Williams announced the additional funding on Monday and acknowledged “home is not a safe place” for a number of Victorians currently in lockdown
"This investment will essentially get more perpetrators of family violence into alternative accommodation which … supports victim survivors of family violence to be able to remain safely in their own homes," she said.
Ms Williams said in times of crisis and disaster there was an increase in domestic violence, and the Men's Referral Service had seen an 11 per cent increase in demand over the past four weeks, compared to the same time last year.

But she also said that during coronavirus lockdowns there had been a decrease in the number of people reporting family violence.
"That's not unexpected, partly because there are more limited opportunities to reach out for help when you are confined to your home," she said.
"If you are experiencing family violence, if you are unsafe in your home, it is perfectly legitimate to leave — you will not be fined."

In the past month, the Men's Referral Service has reported an 11 per cent increase in calls compared to last year.
The $20 million would enable 1500 perpetrators of family violence, or people who believe they are at risk of using violence, to leave their homes and move into short or long-term accommodation options, Ms Williams said.

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

QUARANTINE INVESTIGATION
Victoria's hotel quarantine inquiry to examine genomic testing in hunt for 'patient zero'
The inquiry into what went wrong in Victoria's hotel quarantine program will start hearing evidence today, with experts, including epidemiologists, expected to appear first.
In his opening statements to the inquiry last month, senior counsel assisting the inquiry, Tony Neal QC, noted "comments made by the Chief Health Officer [Brett Sutton] to the media have suggested that it may be that every case of COVID-19 in Victoria in recent weeks could be sourced to the hotel quarantine program".
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.

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


Melbourne hotel quarantine inquiry hears returned travellers connected to APPROX '90 % of Victoria's COVID-19 outbreak
Key points:
Genomic sequencing showed the state's outbreak could be traced to returned overseas travellers
The inquiry is looking at how the quarantine program was run, and why private security was hired
An expert says online training modules for guards were "confusing" and "misleading"

Nearly all of Victoria's current coronavirus cases can be linked back to returned travellers, an inquiry into Victoria's hotel quarantine program has heard.
The first day of evidence at the inquiry also heard there was confusion about who was running the program, and guards were given "inappropriate" training advice.

Professor Ben Howden, a director at the Doherty Institute, said genomic sequencing data showed more than 99 per cent of Victorian cases at the end of July could be traced back to three "transmission networks".

Professor Howden said the three networks had similar characteristics — initial cases were made up of returned travellers, before cases spread through the Victorian community.

He said the Doherty Institute's sequencing had looked at 46 per cent of the state's cases up until July 23.
"We're incredibly confident about the accuracy of that clustering," he said.

Professor Howden did not specifically link the transmission networks to Victoria's hotel quarantine program or other locations, however at the end of March the Federal Government ordered all returned overseas travellers into mandatory quarantine programs run by the states.
According to Professor Howden's witness statement, the first network of 91 cases was identified in March and "expanded rapidly throughout May". However cases had died out by May 30.

The second network was the largest, making up 1,705 sequenced cases. It was first identified in mid-May in a group of returned travellers, leading to 17 further clusters.

The third network of 27 cases and a linked cluster of 65 cases were identified in returned travellers in June, leading to further community cases into July.
'It was not clear who was in command'
The inquiry, chaired by former judge Jennifer Coate, is investigating who was in charge of Victoria's hotel scheme and how it was run.

On Monday, counsel assisting the inquiry Tony Neal QC said the program "fell short of its goal" to prevent COVID-19 spreading into the community.
"There is material suggesting for some participants in the program, it was not clear who was in overall command of the operation," he said.
"From the very beginning it seems there were multiple and potentially overlapping areas of responsibilities between departments."
Mr Neal said "steps were set in train" for the program at a meeting at the Victorian State Control Centre on March 27, in time for the first arrivals to be placed into hotel quarantine on March 29.

He said the inquiry would seek to determine how the program was structured and who was ultimately responsible for its operation, why private security firms were hired to oversee returned travellers, and what improvements could be made if hotel quarantine was required in future.

Mr Neal said the inquiry had received more than 180,000 pages of documents from government agencies, private operators and individuals linked to the hotel quarantine scheme.

Guards given 'confusing' and 'inappropriate' training advice
The inquiry also heard guards from private security companies, hired to oversee hotel guests, were required to complete a federal government training module online, which said wearing a mask in public "won't help to protect you from infection".
The module, titled 'How to protect yourself and the people you are caring for from infection with COVID-19', was not updated until the end of July.

Professor Lindsay Grayson, the director of infectious diseases and microbiology at Austin Health, described the module as "confusing".
"Clearly this is misleading for health workers or quarantine staff if they thought they didn't need to wear a mask," he said.
Professor Grayson told the inquiry the virus was usually spread through larger droplets from coughing and sneezing, meaning the use of masks was "crucial", while goggles or safety glasses prevented droplets from getting in the eyes and disposable gowns protected clothes from contamination.
He said it was possible COVID-19 could be spread by people touching surfaces with droplets on them, and there was some evidence people could catch the virus from airborne "droplet nuclei" that travelled further than one metre and lingered in the air.
Covid training for security WAS 'misleading'
<< HAD SOMEONE WHO WAS COMPETENT PUT THE INDUCTION FOR GUARDS , THIS WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED >>
Poor advice on use of personal protective equipment for security guards in hotel quarantine from both the state and federal governments was “misleading” and “inappropriate,” the inquiry into the program heard on Monday, as evidence suggested 99% of cases could be linked back to outbreaks in the hotels in late May and early June.

On the first day of hearings for the Victorian hotel quarantine inquiry, being overseen by former judge Jennifer Coate, a training module on Covid-19 that personnel working for security contractors in hotel quarantine were required to undertake was examined by the director of infectious diseases at Austin Health, Prof Lindsay Graham.
Graham said the module, which he reviewed in July, appeared to be more geared towards the general public.
Grayson said it said he took the test like this in July.

It was reliable for the general community, but not for people in health settings. pic.twitter.com/PCaoojq4Hk
— Josh Taylor (@joshgnosis) August 17, 2020


In line with early advice for the general public at the time, one slide in the training suggested, in July, that mask use was not required, and a quiz at the end marked users as incorrect if they said that everyone should wear masks to prevent Covid-19.

Grayson said the mask advice at the time was not correct for people working in settings looking after people who were potentially Covid-positive.
“Clearly this is misleading for healthcare or quarantine staff, if they thought they didn’t need to wear a mask when I would consider it crucial if they were likely in contact with a potentially infectious patient,” he said.

On PPE use, Grayson said there was no information other than to seek information from local authorities.

“My assessment of this training module is that it’s hard to know who their target audience is, and elements of it – and the majority of it – is like a training module for the general public, rather than someone who is going to come into direct contact [and] will indeed be responsible for managing Covid patients,” he said.

The mask guidelines were later updated, but Grayson said the new guidelines, which ask people to wear masks in areas where there is local community transmission, would be confusing to most people because most people would be unaware of where there is local community transmission.

“I think this is unhelpful,” he said. “It could be better targeted.”

Victorian advice recommended against PPE
On the afternoon of the first hearing day, Arthur Moses SC, acting for private security firm Unified Security, showed Grayson a document provided by the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria regarding use of PPE in hotel quarantine.

The document stated no PPE was required for security guards escorting guests for exercise breaks, or fresh air, or when bringing in new returned travellers, or interacting with them on the hotel quarantine floor.

It was only recommended when 1.5m distance could not be observed.

Grayson said for each of these scenarios, even where 1.5m could be observed, recommending no PPE was “inappropriate” because use of PPE would minimise the risk of transmission of Covid-19.

“They should have a gown, and a mask, eye protection, and ideally if they’re going to handle objects that belong to individuals that they wear gloves because those objects may be contaminated and cause transmission,” he said.

Almost 100% of cases linked to hotel outbreaks
In the afternoon, the inquiry heard that based on the genomic sequencing data collected on cases since Victoria’s second wave, almost all cases appear to stem from returned travellers kept in hotel quarantine with Covid-19.

Professor Ben Howden, who heads up the Doherty Institute’s microbiological diagnostic unit, told the inquiry that bar a few, all current cases in Victoria could be linked back to returned travellers in May.
“…Over 99% of all current cases in Victoria for which we have genome sequence data derived from transmission network two predominantly, as well as transmission network three, as well as cluster 45A,” he said.

Howden showed the inquiry the cases prior to late May and early June had no links to cases later on, indicating the earlier cases were not the source of the outbreak, while at the time in late May and early June, outbreaks were being recorded in hotel quarantine in the Rydges on Swanston and Stamford Plaza.

In his opening statement to the inquiry, senior counsel assisting, Tony Neal QC, revealed that ministers – along with senior public officials, those involved in setting up and overseeing hotel quarantine, security guards, nurses, authorised officers and cleaners – would give evidence before the inquiry in the coming weeks.

There are now more than 180,000 pages of documents submitted to the inquiry, and Neal said evidence provided suggested there was a lack of clarity around which departments – between the health department and jobs department and Emergency Management Victoria – was responsible for which part of the program.
“From the very beginning, it seemed, there were multiple and potentially overlapping areas of responsibility between departments,” he said.

Neal said some evidence suggested the command structure of the program was not at all clear.
“For some participants in the program, it was not clear who was in overall command of the operation.”

He said a recurring theme was the need to balance the public health imperative against the personal and medical needs of the more than 20,000 returned travellers, the majority of whom did not have Covid-19, and the 14 days’ lockdown was a severe imposition on them.

He said the program also demanded much on those who were working within it, working long hours and often working outside their area of expertise.

Neal said the first two days of hearings would focus on the nature of Covid-19 as an illness, and the extent to which infections now seen in Victoria could be traced back to international travellers.

On Thursday and Friday, the inquiry would examine the experience of being in quarantine and the experience of working in the hotel quarantine program, but a witness list has not yet been released.

On Monday, the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, said he had not yet been called by the inquiry, but if he was then he would be there.

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

Doctors warned Victoria's health department about hotel infection control dangers before coronavirus spread
Frontline doctors warned about infection dangers inside Victoria's hotel quarantine program more than a month before workers started catching COVID-19, but the state's health department never responded to their concerns.

An ABC Four Corners investigation can reveal the Australian Medical Association wrote to Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on April 15, recommending a range of infection control measures to stop returned international travellers transmitting the deadly virus to workers and members of the public.

The emails, seen by Four Corners, were written after frontline health workers involved in the care of COVID-19 patients in hotel quarantine began raising concerns.
"We had a whole host of concerns around how the hotel quarantine system was being managed, in terms of resourcing and also in terms of the protocols being used," AMA Victorian president Julian Rait said.
"The department wasn't really perhaps as conscious of the need to have the proper infection control protocols around the security personnel.

"We really needed to have someone checking the compliance of their behaviours to make sure that they followed the right processes."

Associate professor Rait said they were concerned about travel arrangements for COVID-19-positive patients from the quarantine hotels who were getting medical checks at hospital emergency departments.
"Often they could be transferred in the appropriate ambulance but would need to find their own way back to the hotels themselves. And that would involve either a taxi, an Uber, or even, prevailing upon family members," he said.
He said this created the potential for cross-infection to the drivers and other people in the community.
The AMA also suggested that staff in all hotels use hospital-grade personal protective equipment, wear scrubs while on duty and split returned travellers into separate quarantine zones depending on whether they had tested positive for COVID-19.

Associate Professor Rait was dismayed when the department did not respond to the recommendations.
"We were obviously disappointed that those suggestions, given in good faith, were not subsequently followed," he said.
Video of guards sleeping on shift
In late May, a hotel quarantine breach at the Rydges on Swanston marked the start of a deadly wave of infection that forced Victoria into an economically crippling second lockdown.

Four Corners has established the first case at Rydges was a hotel staff member that worked an overnight shift in the lobby doing tasks including cleaning.

The following day, a guard working at Rydges under the security company, Unified, also tested positive. Four more Unified guards working at the hotel subsequently tested positive and a month later, 14 guards working under MSS security at the Stamford Plaza also became infected.

A spokesman for Unified Security told Four Corners it's unclear how the guards caught the virus but they had shared a supposedly COVID-free area with other service providers and hotel personnel.

Unified said it also provided security guards to quarantine hotels in New South Wales where there were no quarantine breaches.

A spokesman said the key difference between NSW and Victoria was the "control and command structure."

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has conceded it is not clear which department was in charge of the hotel quarantine operation. However, DHHS placed an "authorised officer" in each hotel to oversee infection control.

Four Corners has obtained photographs and a video of security guards sleeping on the job at another quarantine hotel in Melbourne where Unified Security operated.

The company said the guards were terminated after the photos were reported to management.

Security guard says he was given one mask for 12-hour shift
A security guard, "Peter", has told Four Corners he quit after one shift at the Novotel on Collins hotel in April because he was worried about catching COVID-19.

Peter did not want to be identified because he still works in the security industry.
He said he received no infection control training before being posted in a corridor on an upper level of the hotel and was told to stop returned travellers from leaving their rooms.
"All I know about COVID is from television, not from the security company. No training whatsoever," he said.

Peter started to feel unsafe when guests without face masks were escorted past him in the hotel's corridors.
"They don't have any protective gear; they don't have a mask. And they're not far from more than one foot from us," he said.
"I have a family waiting for me at home … I don't want to pass this disease on to them."
Peter said he was given a single pair of gloves and face mask to use for the entire 12-hour shift, which he removed for a coffee break at a nearby 7-Eleven but put back on when he returned to the hotel.

According to DHHS advice, disposable masks should be discarded after one use.

Peter was recruited by a subcontractor for Unified Security.

Unified Security said its guards were provided with "ample" supplies of PPE — including three face masks per shift, unlimited gloves, and one pair of reusable eyewear.

The company said its guards were all required to do an online training course on infection control which was followed up with face-to-face training.

But multiple guards working under Unified have told Four Corners they did not receive any training.

Hotel guest worried about guards' potential exposure to virus
Queensland nurse and clinical research co-ordinator Christine Cocks was quarantined with her husband at Rydges in April after the couple contracted COVID-19 on the Greg Mortimer cruise ship that had returned from the Antarctic.
"When we heard that one of the security guards had tested positive, the reaction from both of us was, 'well, I'm not surprised'," she said.

Ms Cocks said she witnessed a range of concerning behaviour among security guards at the hotel.
"From our window, we could watch them arrive at 6:00am in the morning — two cars, eight guards would all get out to start their shift," she said.
"That would've been the first thing that you would've stopped, that they would be travelling in a car together to come to work."

Ms Cocks was worried about the guards' potential exposure to the virus.
"The guards that didn't have their gowns on would be wearing gloves and masks, but that doesn't necessarily protect you," she said.
"It takes a mindset and an education to understand the nuances of non-transfer of pathogens."

The United Workers Union, which represents security guards, has cautioned against blaming individual guards for infection breaches.
UWU National Secretary Tim Kennedy said governments have become too reliant on private security guards as part of a broader trend of outsourcing essential services.
"It's been based on the fact that the private sector is more effective and proficient, and what this crisis has shown us is that they're neither," he said.
"They're very good at extracting profit and moving risk onto individual workers. What the pandemic has shown us is they've moved risk not only onto individual workers, they've moved the risk onto all of us. And now we're all paying the price of this COVID pandemic."

An inquiry is now investigating the problems that plagued Victoria's hotel quarantine program, and whether the current outbreak can be entirely traced back to its failings.

It starts its first substantial hearings today.

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

Ministers, quarantine staff set to be called to inquiry
A DHHS epidemiologist, Dr Charles Alpren, is due to give evidence on Tuesday, while guests and people who worked within the hotel scheme are set to appear before the inquiry on Thursday and Friday.

Mr Neal said government ministers would also be called to the inquiry, but no specifics were provided.
Today's inquiry kicked off hours after the Victorian Government announced the state's highest daily death toll of 25, and 282 new cases in the last 24 hours.
More than 300 Victorians have died after contracting COVID-19, and nearly 8,000 active cases remain.

Ms Coate is expected to deliver findings in November.
The hearings are separate to a state parliament inquiry, run by the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee, which is also looking into the Victorian Government's response to the pandemic.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-17/ ... s/12564676
Wilson Security accused of Victorian hotel quarantine contract 'cover up'
A security company contracted to provide guards for Melbourne's COVID-19 quarantine hotels potentially breached its agreement with the Victorian Government, with an email suggesting it failed to inform at least one of its subcontractors of its obligations.

Wilson Security then attempted to conceal this failing by asking the subcontractor to backdate documents for the Government.

Wilson made the backdating request in an email, provided to 7.30, nine weeks after its subcontractor had hired guards to work in a quarantine hotel.

Victoria's former chief crown prosecutor, Gavin Silbert, has reviewed the correspondence.

"It was an attempt to cover up, effectively, by Wilson," he told 7.30.

"Wilson are trying to cover their tracks and to cover themselves from any sort of legal liability and any sort of blame."

Subcontractors must 'agree to the same obligations'
In March three private security companies, MSS, Unified and Wilson Security, were contracted at short notice by the Victorian Government to provide hundreds of guards to work in quarantine hotels.

Subcontracting was allowed under the Government's agreement with Wilson, obtained by 7.30, but the security company was meant to pass on its obligations of training and infection control to every subcontractor.
"They must agree to the same obligations and that's got to be consented to prior to the subcontracting," Mr Silbert said.
"And if Wilson subcontract without the prior approval of the Victorian Government, they're in breach of the agreement."

Hotel quarantine is the suspected source of Victoria's second wave of COVID-19, which has seen thousands of new cases and hundreds of people die. An inquiry into the program's potential failings started hearing this week.

Subcontractor not aware of the obligations
Within hours of the Victorian Government announcing an inquiry into hotel quarantine on July 2, Wilson sent an email to the subcontractor.
"Wilson is asking the subcontractor on the 2nd of July to sign an acknowledgement that they were aware of the obligations as at the 30th of April," Mr Silbert said.
"The request was to backdate the acknowledgement by the subcontractor that they were aware, as at the 30th of April, of the obligations that were being subcontracted to them.
"The subcontractor refused to sign such an undertaking and in an email to Wilson said that they could not sign it because they were simply not aware of the obligations and the conditions that they were bound by as at the 30th of April, and that they couldn't backdate from the 2nd of July."
<< CLEARLY CASE OF FRAUD ON THE PART OF WILSON SECURITY , A POLICE MATTER >>
Mr Silbert said the revelation did not just reflect badly on Wilson Security.
"It also suggests a sloppiness on the part of the Victorian Government, not having insisted on seeing written consents and agreements to be bound by the agreement by the subcontractor prior to consenting to the subcontract being entered into," he said.

Messages highlight concerns over guards' behaviour
In a statement, Wilson told 7.30 all contractors had agreements in place before commencing work on the hotel quarantine program and were aware of their obligations and duties.

Wilson Security had no positive cases of COVID-19 in its quarantine hotels, unlike MSS and Unified Security which looked after the Stamford Plaza and Rydges on Swanston where multiple guards were infected.

But WhatsApp messages provided to 7.30 reveal Wilson still faced its own issues in managing guards.

In one of the messages, another of Wilson's subcontractors suggested an investigation was launched by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) after a guard was caught speaking to a guest with the door open.

A separate message flagged concerns guards were breaching isolation rules and engaging with guests at "a hotel project".

Wilson told 7.30 it "identified and acted swiftly in addressing all matters arising during the program to ultimately contain the spread of COVID-19".

Subcontractors contacted by 7.30 declined to comment on whether Wilson asked them to backdate any documents.

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

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

TO BE CONTINUED ?

When posting issue resolved
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Been trying to cut and paste segments of text from Word docs to the thread
see
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SEEMS I can add small additions of text and images and links , but the board spits the dummy if I try to add a large box of text ( appending this post , and as separate "continuation" post mmm?? strange ).

I have already posted my 17 August updates as DROPBOX links to the docx files I've saved these edited / combined / merged news reports in .

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:05 am

18 AUGUST VIC
Victoria records lowest number of new Covid cases in a month and 17 more deaths
Victoria has recorded 222 new coronavirus cases, the third consecutive day of numbers below 300.
The state has recorded 17 further deaths from COVID-19.
Today's new case numbers are the lowest in a month, since Victoria recorded 217 new cases on July 18.
The state's death toll now stands at 351, which accounts for about 80 per cent of Australia's coronavirus deaths.
Today's deaths involve one man aged in his 60s, one woman and one man in their 70s, two women and four men in their 80s and four women and four men in their 90s.

Premier Daniel Andrews said there were now concerns that testing rates were dropping, with 30,000 fewer tests conducted over the past seven days compared to the previous week. That's a decline of 17 per cent.
"It seems logical that there would be less testing but not this much less," he said.
"What we're all trying to avoid here is that case numbers come down to a point where we start to think about opening up and what that will look like, only to be unable to do that because the test numbers are too low for us to have clarity about how much virus is out there."

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the number of active cases in the state was "coming down by the hundreds each day".
"But it's still a pretty big number: 7,274 active cases still in Victoria, but I do expect that to decrease by a couple of hundred every day this week, and more next week," Professor Sutton said.
"I would hope that we're in the hundreds, not in the 200s, next week but again it all depends on everyone doing the right thing which includes stepping up for testing."

He said authorities were most worried about people with mild symptoms not coming forward.
"It doesn't have to be severe high fevers, it might be a very mild temperature. It doesn't have to be days and days of cough, it can be just the beginnings of a cough," he said.
"A change in smell, a change in taste … that can be a sign of coronavirus infection as well.
"Please get tested if you have any of those symptoms."
Professor Sutton said the state was only seeing around 10 cases of influenza each week, meaning "you are much, much, much more likely to have coronavirus than influenza if you've got symptoms".

Active coronavirus cases in regional Victoria, which is under stage 3 restrictions, dropped again, down to 422.
Of those, 159 were in Geelong, 44 in Bendigo and 24 in Ballarat.

Head of the Kirby Institute biosecurity program, Raina MacIntyre, said it was "really great to see" today's drop in new case numbers.
"I think the Victorian Government has done a really good job under very, very difficult circumstances and clearly the epidemic there has peaked and the numbers are coming down," Professor MacIntyre told ABC Radio Melbourne.
"Hopefully it will be a week or so before we see those numbers down to the double digits."
But she said more needed to be done to prevent health workers from contracting the disease.
"It's a really urgent issue that needs to be addressed. Health workers all over Australia are really distressed," she said.

There are 1,036 active cases in healthcare workers in Victoria, and 2,024 active cases linked to residents and staff in aged care.
The number of cases where a source of infection could not be determined — known as mystery cases — grew by 43 to 3,669.

It comes as Victoria's hotel quarantine inquiry heard today that 90 per cent of Victoria's current coronavirus cases could be traced back to a family of four that returned from overseas and stayed at Melbourne's Rydges on Swanston hotel.
Department of Health and Human Services epidemiologist Charles Alpren said it was ''likely" that around 99 per cent of current COVID-19 cases in Victoria had arisen from either the Rydges or Stamford hotels.

Epidemiologist Nancy Baxter, the head of Melbourne University's School of Population and Global Health, told ABC Radio Melbourne that Victorians would need to get used to long-term lockdown.
"We've certainly seen a downward trend in cases, and our rolling average is definitely on the down-swing," Professor Baxter said yesterday.
"But the second wave always takes a lot longer to come down and people have to be in for the long haul."

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

FINDINGS OF QUARANTINE COMMISSION
Victoria hotel quarantine inquiry: Covid training for security gave 'misleading' advice
Poor advice on use of personal protective equipment for security guards in hotel quarantine from both the state and federal governments was “misleading” and “inappropriate,” the inquiry into the program heard on Monday, as evidence suggested 99% of cases could be linked back to outbreaks in the hotels in late May and early June.

On the first day of hearings for the Victorian hotel quarantine inquiry, being overseen by former judge Jennifer Coate, a training module on Covid-19 that personnel working for security contractors in hotel quarantine were required to undertake was examined by the director of infectious diseases at Austin Health, Prof Lindsay Graham.
Graham said the module, which he reviewed in July, appeared to be more geared towards the general public.
In line with early advice for the general public at the time, one slide in the training suggested, in July, that mask use was not required, and a quiz at the end marked users as incorrect if they said that everyone should wear masks to prevent Covid-19.

Grayson said the mask advice at the time was not correct for people working in settings looking after people who were potentially Covid-positive.

“Clearly this is misleading for healthcare or quarantine staff, if they thought they didn’t need to wear a mask when I would consider it crucial if they were likely in contact with a potentially infectious patient,” he said.

On PPE use, Grayson said there was no information other than to seek information from local authorities.

“My assessment of this training module is that it’s hard to know who their target audience is, and elements of it – and the majority of it – is like a training module for the general public, rather than someone who is going to come into direct contact [and] will indeed be responsible for managing Covid patients,” he said.

The mask guidelines were later updated, but Grayson said the new guidelines, which ask people to wear masks in areas where there is local community transmission, would be confusing to most people because most people would be unaware of where there is local community transmission.

“I think this is unhelpful,” he said. “It could be better targeted.”

Victorian advice recommended against PPE
On the afternoon of the first hearing day, Arthur Moses SC, acting for private security firm Unified Security, showed Grayson a document provided by the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria regarding use of PPE in hotel quarantine.

The document stated no PPE was required for security guards escorting guests for exercise breaks, or fresh air, or when bringing in new returned travellers, or interacting with them on the hotel quarantine floor.

It was only recommended when 1.5m distance could not be observed.

Grayson said for each of these scenarios, even where 1.5m could be observed, recommending no PPE was “inappropriate” because use of PPE would minimise the risk of transmission of Covid-19.

“They should have a gown, and a mask, eye protection, and ideally if they’re going to handle objects that belong to individuals that they wear gloves because those objects may be contaminated and cause transmission,” he said.

OVER 90% of cases linked to hotel outbreaks
In the afternoon, the inquiry heard that based on the genomic sequencing data collected on cases since Victoria’s second wave, almost all cases appear to stem from returned travellers kept in hotel quarantine with Covid-19.

Professor Ben Howden, who heads up the Doherty Institute’s microbiological diagnostic unit, told the inquiry that bar a few, all current cases in Victoria could be linked back to returned travellers in May.
“…Over 99% of all current cases in Victoria for which we have genome sequence data derived from transmission network two predominantly, as well as transmission network three, as well as cluster 45A,” he said.

Howden showed the inquiry the cases prior to late May and early June had no links to cases later on, indicating the earlier cases were not the source of the outbreak, while at the time in late May and early June, outbreaks were being recorded in hotel quarantine in the Rydges on Swanston and Stamford Plaza.
In his opening statement to the inquiry, senior counsel assisting, Tony Neal QC, revealed that ministers – along with senior public officials, those involved in setting up and overseeing hotel quarantine, security guards, nurses, authorised officers and cleaners – would give evidence before the inquiry in the coming weeks.

There are now more than 180,000 pages of documents submitted to the inquiry, and Neal said evidence provided suggested there was a lack of clarity around which departments – between the health department and jobs department and Emergency Management Victoria – was responsible for which part of the program.
“From the very beginning, it seemed, there were multiple and potentially overlapping areas of responsibility between departments,” he said.

Neal said some evidence suggested the command structure of the program was not at all clear.
“For some participants in the program, it was not clear who was in overall command of the operation.”
He said a recurring theme was the need to balance the public health imperative against the personal and medical needs of the more than 20,000 returned travellers, the majority of whom did not have Covid-19, and the 14 days’ lockdown was a severe imposition on them.
He said the program also demanded much on those who were working within it, working long hours and often working outside their area of expertise.
Neal said the first two days of hearings would focus on the nature of Covid-19 as an illness, and the extent to which infections now seen in Victoria could be traced back to international travellers.

On Thursday and Friday, the inquiry would examine the experience of being in quarantine and the experience of working in the hotel quarantine program, but a witness list has not yet been released.

On Monday, the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, said he had not yet been called by the inquiry, but if he was then he would be there.

Victoria's coronavirus crisis traced back to seven travellers, as ADF official says hotel quarantine help was offered
Ninety per cent of Victoria's active coronavirus cases can be traced back to a family of four staying at Melbourne's Rydges on Swanston hotel, an inquiry has heard.

Meanwhile, a senior Australian Defence Force official has rejected suggestions military personnel were not offered to help Victoria with hotel quarantine enforcement.

The state's hotel quarantine inquiry has heard from Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) epidemiologist Charles Alpren, who said almost all of Victoria's second-wave cases could be traced back to the Rydges hotel.

He said one member of a family developed symptoms of the virus on May 9, and the other three family members became symptomatic over the next three days.

All four members of the family eventually tested positive to COVID-19, as did three other people who worked at the hotel and showed symptoms on May 25, Dr Alpren said.

By June 18, a further 17 people connected to the hotel had tested positive and showed epidemiological links to the Rydges outbreak, he said.
"They were either people working in the hotel in a range of roles, or household or social contacts of staff members," Dr Alpren said.
"Approximately 90 per cent or more of current COVID-19 infections in Victoria can be traced to the Rydges hotel."

Dr Alpren said at the time of the Rydges outbreak, there were "few other cases of COVID-19 which had been acquired in Australia".

There were two smaller outbreaks that originated at the Stamford Plaza Hotel, he said — one from a man who returned to Australia on June 1, and another from a couple who landed on June 11.

About a month later, 46 people linked to the Stamford Hotel had acquired the virus in "two distinct chains of transmission".
"I know of no links between cases in the Rydges hotel outbreak and cases involved in the Stamford Plaza outbreak," Dr Alpren said.
"It is likely that a high proportion, approximately 99 per cent of current cases of COVID-19 in Victoria have arisen from Rydges or Stamford."

As of Tuesday morning, there were 7,274 active cases of coronavirus in Victoria.

How virus spread remains a mystery
Dr Alpren said the "transmission event or events" at the hotels were not identified.

But he noted there was "an episode of environmental contamination" in the family of four's room at Rydges on May 18.
"[The event] required assistance from nursing staff to rectify," Dr Alpren wrote in his witness statement.
"There is a suggestion that the family were approved to walk outside their room, during which they were accompanied by security guards. It is possible a transmission event or events happened at that point, however, cases have not been identified that were involved in the environmental contamination or the walk.
"Transmission could have occurred directly from the family to staff or through contamination [of] surfaces in the hotel with which staff then had contact with."

#victoriacaseslookupEMBED

Lawyer Andrew Woods, representing Rydges Hotels, told the inquiry one of the first three staff to contract the virus from the family was a Rydges employee. The other two were not directly employed by the chain.

Because incubation times of COVID-19 patients ranged from two to 14 days, Dr Alpren said there was no evidence to suggest that the Rydges employee was responsible for passing the virus on to the other workers.
"The precise mechanism of their employment is not really something that the epidemiological investigation would need to know," he told the inquiry.
"We need to know the role they do but not exactly who employs them."

Senior ADF official rebukes quarantine claim
Meanwhile, at a separate inquiry in Canberra, the commander of the ADF coronavirus taskforce pushed back on suggestions that the military did not offer to help Victoria manage its hotel quarantine regime.

Last week, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said he did not believe his state received an offer of ADF assistance, sparking a rebuke from the Federal Government.

Lieutenant General John Frewen has now told the Senate's COVID-19 committee that similar offers of support were made to all states and territories after the Prime Minister's announcement on March 27.

He said it was "made plain" that ADF help "would be made available to all the states and territories to help with whatever arrangements were put in place for quarantine and quarantine enforcement".
"The offers to the states and territories were the same," he said.

NSW and Queensland took up the offer of ADF help for hotel quarantine, with about 360 and 100 personnel deployed respectively. There were 100 on standby for Victoria if they required it.

Mr Andrews told a state parliamentary inquiry last week that he believed ADF support was provided "in limited circumstances in New South Wales, not to provide security as such but to provide transportation from the airport to hotels".

He added it was "fundamentally incorrect to assert that there was hundreds of ADF staff on offer and somehow someone said no".

Lieutenant General Frewen said the ADF had been involved in a broad range of tasks, from baggage handling to concierge-type roles in hotel lobbies.
"We have worked in hotels in support of police. It's important to note that the ADF do not have any law enforcement authorities and we must work in support of law enforcement agencies around ensuring quarantine requirements are met," he said.
"We have been involved in checking people are not trying to sneak out of the hotel or people are not trying to sneak into the hotel," he said, adding any breaches were immediately referred to police.

Guards completed 'inappropriate' training
On Monday, the inquiry heard evidence that more than 99 per cent of Victoria's current coronavirus cases could be linked back to returned travellers.

Federal Government training modules that security guards were required to complete at the start of the hotel quarantine program were also criticised by infectious diseases expert Lindsay Grayson.

Professor Grayson also said Victorian DHHS advice to security firms, which said personal protective equipment was not required while completing some of their duties, was "inappropriate".

Counsel assisting the inquiry Tony Neal QC said there appeared to be confusion among those running the program, which was put together in 48 hours after the Federal Government ordered the states to quarantine returned overseas travellers in hotels.

Part of the inquiry's remit is to determine exactly who was in charge of the hotel program, why private security guards were hired to oversee guests, and if improvements could be made in the event that Victoria needed to implement another quarantine program in future.

Former Family Court judge Jennifer Coate is expected to call ministers, department staff, security workers and returned travellers during the inquiry, which is due to report findings in November.

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

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

Epidemiologist says Victoria will probably have to stay under stage 2 coronavirus restrictions until vaccine is found
A Melbourne epidemiologist has warned Victoria will be lingering between stage 2 and stage 3 coronavirus restrictions "for a long while" as the state's second wave continues its slow decline.
Nancy Baxter, the head of Melbourne University's School of Population and Global Health, said Victorians would need to get used to long-term lockdown.
"I'm extremely optimistic. We've certainly seen a downward trend in cases, and our rolling average is definitely on the down-swing," Professor Baxter told ABC Radio Melbourne.
"But the second wave always takes a lot longer to come down and people have to be in for the long haul."

Professor Baxter said it would take some time "for things to loosen up" and warned Victorians would need to get used to wearing masks until a vaccine was available.
"I'm not sure if we will ever get beyond stage 2, I think we will always be in a stage 2.2, a stage between 2 and 3, until we get a vaccine," she said.
"What we've shown is that mask-wearing works. So we are going to be in masks for a long time. Even if we get down to stage 1.5 we will be wearing masks."

The loosening of restrictions that took place in May, when restaurants and cafes were allowed 20 patrons and 10 people were allowed in homes, could become the norm for Victoria into next year.
"If we want people to go back to work and kids to back to school, we are going to have to sacrifice," she said.

Fears hotel quarantine errors are being repeated in healthcare
While other states like Queensland are in a safe enough position to open stadium events like sports matches to crowds, Professor Baxter believes it is unlikely Victoria will get to that stage.
"If we can get to elimination then maybe that will be us too, but I'm not sure we can do that.
"We won't be able to be like other states."

Routine testing was likely to be introduced to hotel quarantine and aged care staff once there was the capacity to receive test results back more quickly, she said.
"So we can find any spread of the virus early before people are symptomatic.
"Everybody in aged care would need to be tested once a week because the real challenge with COVID-19 is it spreads before people develop symptoms, so it spreads far and wide before people know they are spreading it."

Professor Baxter is also concerned the mistakes made in hotel quarantine are being repeated in healthcare settings.
"I'm really concerned about aged care. We still don't have our arms around it.
"We still have 14 per cent of active cases in healthcare workers.
"We did something systematically wrong with people in quarantine hotels, we are doing something systematically wrong with healthcare workers."

As of Monday, Royal Melbourne Hospital's Royal Park campus, Northern Hospital and Frankston Hospital all had confirmed outbreaks.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was also investigating a possible outbreak at Brunswick Private Hospital.

A staff newsletter seen by the ABC shows 48 staff from Peninsula Health, which operates Frankston Hospital, have been diagnosed with coronavirus, and 308 of the network's more than 52,500 patients have tested positive to the virus.

Victoria's daily cases, Reff continue to drop, but mystery cases rise
Victoria recorded its deadliest day on Monday, with 25 deaths in 24 hours, but the daily case count remained low compared to previous weeks, at 282.

Premier Daniel Andrews said with more than 600 people in hospital with the virus, including 44 in intensive care and 32 on ventilators, there would be "incredibly difficult" days to come.

While the number of active cases in the state continues to drop, from 7,671 on Sunday to to 7,474 yesterday, the number of "mystery" cases — where contact tracers were unable to identify the source of the infection — increased by 148 to 3,626.

The reproduction number, or Reff number, of the virus has also continued to drop. The Reff is the number of people, on average, one person with the virus infects.

The figure sat at 0.99 last week and dropped to 0.97 on Sunday and 0.95 on Monday.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said on Saturday he wanted it to drop to 0.6 before any restrictions were loosened.

He also said he wanted daily cases this week to remain below 300.

Aged care homes and workplaces remain the sites of the largest outbreaks.

There are 205 cases linked to Bertocchi Smallgoods in Thomastown, and 205 linked to Epping Gardens Aged Care in Epping.

The next largest clusters are Al-Taqwa College with 191 cases, and St Basil's aged care home with 190 cases.

The inquiry into what went wrong in Victoria's hotel quarantine program, led by former Family Court judge Jennifer Coate, is continuing today.

Doherty Institute director Ben Howden gave evidence at the inquiry yesterday and said genomic sequencing data showed more than 99 per cent of Victorian cases at the end of July could be traced back to three "transmission networks" with initial cases in returned travellers.

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

AGED CARE COMMISSION FINDINGS
Time is of the essence when Covid enters aged care but the government response has been sluggish
he furious debate that has broken out in the past week about whether or not the federal government had a plan for Covid-19 outbreaks in aged care is missing the point.
Scott Morrison is right to say the government has published several plans that touch on issues to do with aged care. But the problem is that there appeared to be significant gaps in those documents, they were slow to be updated to reflect the developing situation, and they still contain contradictory advice about issues such as workforce shortages.

Australia on Monday suffered its most deadly day of the pandemic as Victoria reported 25 deaths with 23 of them linked to aged care. Outbreaks within aged care continue to be a serious challenge in Victoria with about 2,000 active Covid-19 cases related to the sector. The national cabinet is due to meet on Friday to consider the results of an urgent audit of aged care preparedness across the country.

Against this backdrop, it is important to ask whether enough was done to prepare. The debate escalated last week when the counsel assisting the royal commission into aged care made the startling claim that the federal government had not developed a Covid-19 plan specifically for the sector. The government says that isn’t true. But as Peter Rozen QC noted during the hearings, the real issue is not the title of documents, but their substance. In other words: were there adequate plans that were reviewed frequently.
The document that Prof Brendan Murphy, now secretary of the federal health department, cited as the “overarching Australian government coronavirus health response plan” – released in February – stated the federal government would be responsible for residential aged care facilities, but didn’t go into any great detail, and said the states had to manage the public health response.

There were 22 mentions of the phrase “aged care” in the Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) but many were when residents were listed as being more likely to experience severe illness if infected.

More specific information about responding to aged care outbreaks was later outlined in a document produced by the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA), the first version of which was published in the middle of March. CDNA is a sub-committee of the health panel chaired by Australia’s chief medical officer.

These guidelines were aimed mainly at the actual providers of residential aged care, and the first (13 March) and second versions (30 April) didn’t even detail the responsibilities of the federal health department. The third and most recent version (14 July) delivered an “update of roles and responsibilities of government agencies”.

The latest version emphasises the main responsibility for managing Covid-19 outbreaks lies with the residential care facility itself – because providers are supposed to manage care and infection control – and says providers will be “supported in their response to an outbreak by different government departments/agencies”.

It says the federal government will assist aged care facilities that receive funding from the commonwealth (that’s the vast majority). This will include allocating a state-based 24/7 case manager who will connect the residential aged care facility “to all available commonwealth support”. If needed, the commonwealth will also provide a first nurse responder to assess infection prevention and control and help with surge workforce support.

The latter issue has proven difficult. Substantial numbers of staff have been sidelined because of the risk of infection spreading and concerns about staff working across multiple facilities. There have been distressing reports of how standards have slipped.

The national guidelines in March, April and July all urged aged care providers to plan for a surge workforce in the event large numbers of staff couldn’t attend due to sickness. In all three cases, providers were told, the workforce management plan “should be able to cover a 20-30% staff absentee rate”.

However, providers could be forgiven for a degree of confusion, given that a separate document issued by the federal health department on 29 June urges providers to “keep in mind up to 80-100% of the workforce may need to isolate in a major outbreak”. That document says if the aged care provider is unable to sufficiently staff the facility “the commonwealth case manager can assist”.

Morrison defended the worsening situation in Victoria on 29 July by stating that “the complete withdrawal of the workforce” was “a new situation … that had not been anticipated or foreshadowed at a state level or considered at a federal level”. That was just a few days after the federal government established a joint response centre, bringing together commonwealth and state government agencies at the State Control Centre in Melbourne, in a bid to coordinate the management of outbreaks in residential care.

But evidence presented to the royal commission last week revealed the federal government was in possession of a report as far back as April that pointed to the almost complete withdrawal of care and nursing staff at the Dorothy Henderson Lodge – an 80-bed nursing home in Macquarie Park in Sydney.
“As more cases were diagnosed, it was assumed that all personal carers and RNs [registered nurses] had been close contacts, so they were furloughed for two weeks’ self-quarantine,” the report said. “The sudden departure of almost [all] regular carers and RNs was a major blow to both residents and management.”

While agency nurses were provided by Health Care Australia, it was difficult to secure adequate numbers, and many worked at other facilities, too. The fact that some staff had to be brought in from interstate or elsewhere in NSW added to the transport and accommodation costs. “The total staff costs have been enormous and presumably could not be sustained by a smaller, less well-resourced organisation,” the report said.

All of this suggested that the staffing issue in the case of aged care outbreaks was one that needed serious and urgent attention. Labor contends the government dropped the ball. “The prime minister and his government were alerted to the fact that aged care facilities could lose 70-80% of their staff back in April,” Labor’s spokesperson for ageing and seniors, Julie Collins, said on Monday.

The royal commission also heard the national guidelines failed to properly explain when a positive resident should be transferred to hospital. The early versions told providers to transfer residents to hospital “only if their condition warrants”.

The peak body for non-profit aged care providers, Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), remains seriously concerned about this issue. It says there’s still a reluctance to transfer people to hospital in some states, even though moving the first one or two confirmed cases could buy providers crucial time to slow the spread of Covid-19.
“Time is of the essence,” the ACSA chief executive, Patricia Sparrow, told Guardian Australia.

That means this week’s national cabinet meeting on aged care can’t come soon enough.

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

RURAL VICTORIA – A NEW PANDEMIC
Bird flu outbreak at Bairnsdale in Victoria sees 4,000 turkeys euthanased
Agriculture Victoria has killed 4,000 turkeys at a property in Bairnsdale in an effort to contain an outbreak of avian influenza, also known as bird flu, in eastern Victoria.
Agriculture Victoria deputy chief veterinary officer Cameron Bell said the department was investigating how the first infected bird travelled from a farm in Geelong to eastern Victoria.
"The investigation is continuing and focused on that connection between the two premises," he said.
"There's a connection to a property in the Lethbridge restricted area over near Geelong, where we've had another outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza."

Lethbridge has been the site of ongoing monitoring for avian influenza over the past two weeks following several previous outbreaks.

Neighbours concerned
Neighbours to the turkey farm have told ABC Gippsland they received no notification of the outbreak or when the killing would take place. The birds were euthanased on Friday and Saturday.

Neighbours are worried for their backyard poultry and say the lack of communication is concerning.

Mr Bell said the department would be in contact with neighbours soon.
"Any poultry owner, whether that be a backyard owner or a commercial poultry owner, if they have any deaths or unexplained sick birds we encourage people to report that to our 24/7 emergency animal disease hotline which is 1800 675 888," he said.

Mr Bell said the department may need to undertake sampling of neighbour's birds.
"If people haven't been contacted, they can certainly expect Agriculture Victoria will be in touch," he said.

There is no risk to humans from eating the meat of infected birds.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/melbourn ... 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 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:15 am

18 AUGUST NSW
NSW records three new coronavirus cases overnight as daily infection figures continue to decline.
Health authorities in NSW have confirmed three new coronavirus infections in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday.
One of the cases is a returned traveller in hotel quarantine and one is linked to the funerals cluster in Sydney’s south west.
The latest infection brings the funeral cluster to 73 cases.
The source of the third case is under investigation.

Australian COVID-19 infections hit one-month low
Australia on Tuesday 18 AUGUST recorded its lowest one-day rise in new COVID-19 infections in a month, buoying hopes that a stringent lockdown in the country's second-most populous state has prevented a fresh wave of cases nationally.
Led by cases in Victoria state - the epicentre of Australia's latest COVID-19 outbreak - Australia said it has detected 226 new infections in the past 24 hours, the lowest since July 18 when 212 cases were recorded.
The national figure is well below the more than 700 infections detected in a single day earlier this month, almost all of which were in Victoria.

"We have seen numbers going up and down recently, but by and large what we are seeing is a continuing downward trend," Australia's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd told reporters in Canberra.

Australia has now recorded nearly 24,000 cases of COVID-19, while the death toll rose to 438 after 17 people in Victoria died from the virus in the last 24 hours.

The slowdown in new infections comes two weeks after the Victorian capital Melbourne imposed a nightly curfew, tightened restrictions on movement and ordered large parts of the state's economy to close.

Australia's biggest biotech company CSL Ltd , meanwhile, said it was in talks with AstraZeneca to determine if the potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the British drugmaker could be manufactured locally.
"We are assessing the viability of options ranging from the fill and finish of bulk product imported to Australia through to manufacture of the vaccine candidate under licence," a company spokeswoman said in a statement.

The government on Sunday said it was close to striking a deal that would permit the production of a vaccine in Australia, likely in 2021.

Still, officials urged people to continue practising social distancing and to wear a mask if in a crowded venue.

Masks are only mandatory in Victoria, and many people in other states continue to shun health advice THAT MASKS ARE VERY POWERFUL TOOLS IN REDUCING THE EFFECTIVE REPRODUCTION RATE ( R0EFF ).
Sydney bus drivers on Tuesday said they would strike for 48 hours if face coverings were not made mandatory.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/au ... d=msedgdhp
Residents are being urged to remain vigilant after New South Wales recorded just three new COVID-19 cases.

Of the new cases announced on Tuesday, one has been linked to the funeral cluster in South Western Sydney, while one was a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.

One is of the cases remains a mystery and is still under investigation. There were 13,736 tests undertaken in the 24 hour period.

While it is the lowest number of new cases for NSW in more than a month, health authorities have asked residents to remain cautious as there have been 16 cases in the past four weeks which were not linked to any clusters.

Unknown community transmissions are the most dangerous category in the pandemic as it means the virus is still spreading undetected.
'It is vital to maintain high rates of testing at this critical time, in order to find the source of these cases still under investigation,' NSW health said.
'Anyone with even the mildest of symptoms – including runny nose, sore throat, cough, or loss of taste and smell – to come forward for testing as the best way to protect their family, friends and wider community.'

Areas on high alert include South Western Sydney, Western Sydney and Sydney east, including Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Woolloomooloo, Potts Point, Rushcutters Bay, Elizabeth Bay and Centennial Park.

Customers who visited Bankstown Central Shopping Centre on Saturday, August 8 have been urged to get tested for the deadly virus after an infected shopper visited the area between 10am and 3pm.

An infected shopper also visited the Sydney Market in Flemington on Sunday, August 9, between 8am and 4pm.

Anyone who attended either venue during those times are considered casual contacts. Health authorities have asked people monitor for symptoms and immediately get tested and isolate if symptoms occur.
On Monday NSW Health declared the City of Sydney a coronavirus hotspot on Monday following recent confirmed cases in the east including at Cafe Peron in Double Bay and the Den Sushi restaurant in Rose Bay.

The move comes after the Thai Rock restaurant in Potts Point sparked an outbreak of 37 cases and a number of new infections linked to CBD venues surfaced over the past two weeks.

The virus is steadily burning through the state having jumped the border from Victoria, as increasing numbers of outbreaks and clusters infect suburb after suburb.
The majority of outbreaks have come from pubs, restaurants and schools.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned 'that the 'mystery' community transmission cases where no known cause is found are the biggest risk.
'Whilst the case numbers have pleasingly been declining, my anxiety remains the same – if not higher – because every week we have an accumulation of undetected, unsourced cases,' she said.
NSW authorities 'anxious' about 15 coronavirus cases from unknown sources
There have been 552 coronavirus cases in NSW since an infected patron walked into the Crossroads Hotel last month, but 15 of them have authorities "anxious".
The Crossroads cluster, which has been traced back to a Victorian man who visited the venue on July 3, sparked a COVID-19 resurgence in Sydney.

Since then, the number of new infections in NSW has remained steady, but Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday said that offered little comfort.
"My anxiety remains the same if not slightly higher, because every week we've had an accumulation of undetected or unsourced cases," she said.

Those 15 mysterious infections in NSW have the Premier worried how many other people in the community could be unknowingly creating COVID-19 clusters.
<< MY PERSONAL SUSPICION THAT THESE UNKNOWN SOURCES ARE FROM THE FOLLOWING EVENTS
--- THE MAY 31 COVIDIOT RALLY HELD IN SYDNEY ( NO ONE SOCIALLY DISTANCED , NO ONE WORE A MASK , AND NO SIGN OF ANY EFFORT TO SANTIZE SURFACES
--- MELBOURNE COVID-REFUGEES WHO POURED ACROSS THE VICTORIA – NSW BORDER IN THE 1 WEEK INTERVAL BETWEEN THE VIC PREMIER FLAGGING LOCKDOWNS IN PART OF MELBOURNE AND THE CLOSING OF THE NSW-VICTORIA BORDER WHO MANY OF WHO ARE LIKELY CARRYING COVID19 EITHER ASYMPOMATICALLY OR HAVE SINCE BECOME ILL BUT NOT ILL ENOUGH TO CALL AN AMBULENCE OR SHOW UP AT A CLINIC OR ER TO BE TESTED ( LIKELY MANY ARE LOWING LOW BECAUSE THEY FEAR BEING PROSECUTED BY NSW HEALTH AND NSW POLICE FOR BORDER RUNNING AND BREACHING THE COVID ORDERS. >>

Ms Berejiklian warned her state was still battling coronavirus infections six weeks after the Crossroads cluster.
"And that's from one case," she said.
"We're still worried because there could still be unknown sources in the community.
"I can't stress enough how virulent the disease is, how difficult it is to control and how much effort goes on behind the scenes.
"I know it's a joint effort with community and police, but these health detectives are 24/7 literally trying to look under every nook and cranny to stop the spread."

Epidemiologist Gregory Dore said the continued daily cases in NSW had the potential to lead to an "upswing" in the spread of the virus.
"The small number of cases per week with no known contact is reassuring, but it only takes one highly infectious person in a high-density indoor setting without adequate physical distancing or mask-wearing to lead to a major outbreak," he said.
"A short-term closure of pubs, clubs, and restaurants should still be considered to enhance prospects of reaching zero community transmission."
But Professor Dore said, for now, NSW appeared to be on a very different path to Victoria.
"The key difference in NSW has been early identification of clusters, which together with impressive NSW Health contact-tracing capacity and community support for self-isolation, has contained spread.
"From late June in Victoria, there was a continual increase in cases per day for more than a month.
"In contrast, New South Wales has maintained case numbers at around 10-20, and now even lower, from mid-July."

Professor Dore said "high testing levels" had helped contain the spread, as well as "greater physical distancing awareness" from the public.

NSW Health data shows in the six weeks up until August 8 that 60 per cent of cases without a known source were residents of South-Western Sydney, while 25 per cent were from Western Sydney.

With the exception of two children, all cases were adults ranging from 19 to 75 years of age and among them was an even distribution of men and women.

There was one mystery case in the Sydney area and one in the Nepean Blue Mountains area.

While a mystery case in the Hunter New England region was a man who may have become infected after travelling to Sydney.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said it was more important than ever for people with flu-like symptoms in Sydney's west and south-west to get tested for COVID-19.
"It is essential that anyone with symptoms, particularly in those areas, come forward for testing, to allow us to stop any further transmission," she said.
"Having low levels of grumbling transmission of this virus just poses so much risk."

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Epidemiologists have warned that some people who carry the coronavirus show no symptoms at all, so this will not prevent the virus from spreading through asymptomatic carriers.

While most other states and territories in Australia are largely virus-free, Victoria continues to struggle to subdue its outbreak.

Health warnings for NSW locations
NSW Health issued a public health alert on Monday warning of a coronavirus exposure at Sydney's Flemington Markets.

A person worked at the busy markets on Sunday, August 9, while infectious.

People who attended the following locations at the following times are considered 'casual contacts' and should watch for symptoms and get tested:

* Sydney Market Flemington on August 9 from 8am to 4pm
* Parramatta Local Court on Tuesday, 11 August and Wednesday, 12 August, from 8.30am to 12.30pm
• Woolworths Metro North Strathfield on Saturday, 8 August between 12.50pm and 1.15pm
• DFO Homebush on Saturday 8 August between 10:45am and 12pm

NSW Health issued warnings on Sunday over four Sydney venues which hosted people found to have coronavirus from August 2 to August 8.
* Milton Park Country House Hotel in Bowral on August 2 between 7.45pm and 9.15pm
* Crust Pizza Concord on August 6 between 5pm and 9pm
* Den Sushi Rose Bay on August 8 between 7.15pm and 8.45pm
* Café Person Double Bay between 1pm and 2pm

These warnings follow from Saturday's warnings about other restaurants in the state, including a new outbreak at the Smithfield RSL in Western Sydney.

Affected outlets are:
* Chopstix Asian Cuisine restaurant from Friday 31 July to Saturday 9 August
* Rick Stein at Bannisters in Mollymook on Saturday, 1 August between 8.30pm and 10pm

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Shoppers at Sydney Markets urged to get tested due to infected worker
A warning has been issued to shoppers at a popular Sydney market after authorities discovered a worker had coronavirus.

The worker attended the Sydney Markets at Flemington, in the city's inner west, on August 9 while infected.

NSW Health advised anyone who was at the markets between 8am and 4pm on August 9 to monitor their condition and get tested if any symptoms develop.
People who had close contact with the infected worker were told to isolate for 14 days and will undergo testing for coronavirus.

NSW Health said the area where the infected person was working had been cleaned and is not a threat to the public.

The department reported seven new cases in the state on Monday, including six from community transmission and one traveller who flew in from overseas.
It comes as the entire city of Sydney, including the CBD and surrounding suburbs, was declared a hotspot on Monday.

It stretches from Circular Quay past Central Station to Camperdown, Glebe and Chippendale in the inner-west, and to Eastlakes and Rosebery in the south.

To the east, where the outbreak is spreading, it encompasses Elizabeth Bay, Potts Point, Darlinghurst and Kings Cross.

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said on Monday Sydneysiders were more likely to have coronavirus than the flu.
'Some of the information that we have received recently is that people are tending to think their illness is influenza,' Dr Chant said.
'They're saying, "It's OK I got flu-like symptoms. I must have influenza. I don't need a COVID test." It is essential at the moment we have very low rates of influenza circulating.
'So if you have symptoms, respiratory symptoms of cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, headache, aches and pains, it is most likely that you have COVID, not flu.'

On Tuesday, Victoria announced another 222 cases of coronavirus and 17 deaths - a significant drop from a record high of 725 cases on August 6.

Health warnings for NSW locations
NSW Health issued a public health alert on Monday warning of a coronavirus exposure at Sydney's Flemington Markets.
A person worked at the busy markets on Sunday, August 9, while infectious.

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

DRIVERS WANT THE NSW PREMIER AND NSW HEALTH MINISTER TO MANDATE MASK WEARING ON THE BUSES

NSW transport workers have threatened to strike next week, if Transport NSW doesn't enforce the use of masks on public transport.
<< THIS IS THEIR RIGHT UNDER OHS , IE TO HAVE A SAFE WORKPLACE >>
More than 2300 SYDNEY bus drivers to strike for 48 hours over face masks ( THEY FEAR FOR THEIR OWN HEALTH AND THAT OF THEIR LOVED ONES AS MANY PASSENGERS ARE NOT WEARING MASKS WHEN BOARDING OR TRAVELING ON THE BUSES , EVEN IN SYDNEY COVID-HOTZONES )
More than 2,300 Sydney bus drivers will walk off the job for two days unless face masks are made mandatory and social distancing is properly enforced on public transport during the coronavirus pandemic.
The strike would affect hundreds of routes along the city's north western suburbs, northern beaches and eastern suburbs on Monday and Tuesday next week.

NSW Rail, Tram and Bus Union division secretary David Babineau will meet with Transport Minister Andrew Constance on Tuesday to discuss health and safety demands.
If the pair cannot come to an agreement, the industry action will go ahead and impact tens of thousands of commuters across the CBD.
'It's going to be a nightmare for everybody, unfortunately. But we're in a situation where we have tried everything and we're at our wits' end,' Mr Babineau told radio station 2GB.

He claimed the union had written to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian 'several times' addressing their concerns and decided to strike as a last resort.
'Bus drivers have been fronting up to work every day during this pandemic, despite great personal risk to themselves and their families, to keep our state moving,' he said on Tuesday.
'We're calling on the Berejiklian government to put the needs and safety of the travelling public first.

But Mr Constance said the action would potentially jeopardise public health and safety further by forcing commuters to crowd into the remaining buses and trains due to the reduced number of services.
'My message to them is if you start protesting like this you're going to force commuters to be closer together because of less services. There's actually a risk,' Mr Constance told the Sydney Morning Herald.
'We're trying to have as many people physically distanced as possible and I don't want to see industrial action get in the way of that.'

He also praised bus drivers who 'have done an amazing job throughout the pandemic' and said he hopes the conflict can be resolved quickly.

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


C AREFUL WHERE YOU PLACE THE BOTTLE OF HANDSANITIZER IF THERE ARE LITTLE CHILDREN
Urgent warning amid alarming spike in children DRINKING hand sanitizer
A six-year-old girl was hospitalised with ethanol poisoning after drinking an entire 50ml bottle of hand sanitiser, prompting a dire warning to parents.
The girl had been playing on her own at a home in New South Wales before telling her carer she felt dizzy and was struggling with slurred speech.
Her older sister said her breath smelled like hand sanitiser, prompting her to be rushed to hospital where she vomited twice.

Horrified doctors discovered she had a blood alcohol reading of 0.19 per cent due to the ethanol in the sanitiser, making her four times over the NSW drink-drive limit.
The girl was struggling to breathe, her heart rate was slow and her response levels were low, forcing doctors to intubate her.
'Thorough history obtained from the parent confirmed that there were no alcoholic drinks in the house,' the hospital report read.
'Once awake, the patient disclosed that she had often tasted the hand sanitiser over the last few months and had done so the previous night.
'She was unable to report the volume that she consumed but the NSW Poisons Information Centre estimated it to be in the region of 50ml.
'She reported liking the smell and taste of the hand sanitiser, which her mother noted had been missing for a few days.'

The girl recovered and was discharged within 24 hours.
Most hand sanitisers in Australia have an ethanol content between 62 and 70 per cent.

Genevieve Adamo, a senior specialist at the NSW Poisons Information Centre, told Daily Mail Australia there had been more than 1,000 calls about hand sanitisers from February to the end of July - mostly regarding children.
'This is 2.5 times the number of calls received for the same period in 2019,' she explained.
'Three-quarters of these have been accidental exposures in children under the age of five.'

Hand sanitiser flew off the shelves at chemists and supermarkets in February and March at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health bodies in Australia have repeatedly made clear the importance of washing your hands and carrying hand sanitiser in attempts to promote hygiene.

But its increasing popularity prompted NSW Health to issue a warning to parents and carers regarding the potential dangers of the product around small children.
'Alcohol-based hand sanitiser is great for killing germs but can be dangerous if swallowed, particularly for children,' a social media post read.
'Follow these safety tips: store hand sanitiser products safely and out of reach of children, supervise any use by young children and be aware of imported products which may not be clearly labelled and may contain more toxic alcohols such as methanol that make the product more dangerous.'

The post advised that if there were any concerns that a child had ingested hand sanitiser that the Poisons Information Centre should be called 'regardless of the quantity'.
'Remember, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is also a safe and effective option,' the post read.

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SCHOOLS THROUGHOUT NSW HAVE NEW RESTRICTIONS

NSW coronavirus rules for community sport tightened, authorities fear mystery cases
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant has tightened the restrictions around community sport for the next six weeks.

Zone, regional, state championships or state-based competitions are banned to reduce "the mixing of participants and staff" between different regions of Sydney and regional areas.

Award ceremonies, end-of-season social gatherings and post-training group dinners are also banned.

Only one parent is permitted to watch team sport where a child requires parental supervision.
The move comes as a growing cluster was linked to Tangara School for Girls, as well as one case confirmed at Sydney Girls High School.

Under the new measures, all graduation ceremonies and formals will be scrapped and all spectators banned from school grounds, including parents.

Students will also be required to return a negative coronavirus test before returning to school if they have experience flu-like symptoms.

Sydney’s CBD was declared a hotspot after a number of cases were sourced to inner-city suburbs.

The state recorded seven new cases of the virus in the past 24-hour period, with six locally acquired and one from hotel quarantine.

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

SYDNEY HOTEL QUARANTINE INVESTIGATION

NSW coronavirus investigation after Sydney hotel quarantine security guard tests positive
Guard likely caught COVID-19 from quarantined guest at Sydney hotel
A security guard who tested positive for coronavirus is believed to have caught it from a hotel guest in quarantine.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the incident was under full investigation.

He developed the symptoms on August 11.

Speaking to the media today, she said the guard was found to be most likely infected by a returning overseas traveller quarantined at the Marriott Hotel in Circular Quay.

The guard had worked at the hotel earlier this month, when the traveller was quarantined after returning from the US.

Dr Chant said the guard has told investigators he did not recall coming into contact with any guests.

The viral strain of his infection was not similar to those identified in the Crossroads Hotel or other recent Sydney outbreaks.

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A security guard who became infected with coronavirus while working at a quarantine hotel in Sydney is now the subject of an "intense investigation", health authorities in NSW say.

Genome sequencing traced the security guard's infection to a returned overseas traveller who was staying at the Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay earlier this month.

The security guard worked at the hotel on August 3, 4, 7 and 8. The hotel guest was swabbed on August 2 and received their positive result on August 4.

The security worker developed symptoms on August 11 and was diagnosed on August 15.

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said: "Our detective work has indicated that the most likely source of infection was at the Marriott Hotel, but the exact nature of how that infection could have been acquired is a matter under intense investigation as we speak."

Dr Chant said urgent testing had pinpointed the strain of coronavirus the security guard had contracted.
"What that's identified is that it's quite a different sequence to the virus associated with the Crossroads [Hotel] and other clusters that New South Wales is experiencing which is related back to the Melbourne virus," she said.
"This is a different virus and matches this person who was quarantined at the hotel."

The development was revealed at a press conference this afternoon attended by NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Leanne McCusker.
"What has occurred over the last couple of days, is no doubt concerning," she said.
"NSW Police are working strongly with NSW Health, in terms of the investigation … we are currently doing that as we speak at the Marriott Hotel, in terms of viewing CCTV footage, conducting various interviews and having conversations with those that are involved in this matter."

It had previously been announced the infected security guard had worked at Parramatta Local Court and Sydney Markets at Flemington.

However, this was the first time the link to the state's hotel quarantine system had been revealed.

Assistant Commissioner McCusker said security and police had "strong and robust safety protocols in place" and that they wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
She said no police officers have tested positive to COVID-19 since the hotel quarantine program began in late March.

Dr Chant said the guard had been interviewed and there had been no indication of breaches.
"We haven't had evidence to the state of other cases but, let me tell you we will not leave any rock unturned in terms of our search for confirming there are no further cases linked to at this moment, a single case and a security contractor."

The security guard case comes amid strict lockdowns and surging COVID-19 cases in Victoria, which have been linked to breaches at hotel quarantines in Melbourne.

The NSW Opposition has urged the State Government to ensure security guards working at quarantine hotels in Sydney do not work elsewhere.

Shadow Health Minister Ryan Park has called on NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard to give the community assurances about the state's hotel quarantine program.
"What we want to try and see is security guards, if they are used, compensated well enough so that they're only being used in those quarantine hotels which are very, very high-risk environments anyway," he said.

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VICTORIA – NSW ISSUES

Victorian MP urges the NSW Government to show more compassion for terminally ill at border
A northern Victorian MP has urged the New South Wales Government to show more compassion, describing border conditions as "beyond heartless".

People are only allowed to cross the NSW-Victoria border on compassionate grounds if they are attending a funeral or if a family member is in the final days of their life.

Tania Maxwell, who represents Northern Victoria in the state's Upper House for the Justice Party, believes people should also be able to cross the border to care for terminally ill relatives.
"The border restrictions are impacting residents in very personal and traumatic ways, completely disproportionate to the risk," Ms Maxwell said.

Sick residents 'let down by government'
Margaret Docking was diagnosed with stage 4 uterine cancer in March. She is now considered terminally ill.

Ms Docking lives with her husband on their farm in Bullioh in the Towong Shire, on the Victorian side of the border.

Two of Ms Docking's children live in Albury on the NSW side of the border, one lives in Queensland, and the other in Melbourne.

Border restrictions, combined with Melbourne's lockdown, means Ms Docking is banned from seeing her family, including her 10 grandchildren.

Ms Docking said her only wish was to spend as much quality time as possible with her family.
"There is only one thing left in this world that I want and that is more time with my family," she said.
"For someone who was coping quite well with the diagnosis, I now find myself sitting in a chair more tearful than not."

Ms Docking's husband, her main carer, is struggling to look after her alone while also tending to their farm.
She said she felt deeply let down, describing the NSW Government's requirements for compassionate permits as strict and cruel — particularly considering Towong Shire has zero coronavirus cases.
"I'm in a period of reasonable wellness at the moment," she explained.
"These could be my good weeks and I want to make memories with the grandchildren.
"That has been taken away from me. I feel it's been stolen."

Daughter devastated
Ms Docking is not alone.

Richard Ellis, who lives with his wife Wilma in Victoria's Kerang, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease earlier this year.

He has four daughters, and three of them are banned from seeing him due to border restrictions.

One of his daughters, Nicki Jewell, described his condition as aggressive and fatal.

She lives with her twin daughters in Port Macquarie and is devastated she cannot visit her father.
"He hasn't been given long to live," Ms Jewell said.
"At the start of the year he could walk and do everything he's done his whole life. Now he can't use his arms or legs. What if he dies and we aren't there?"
Mr Ellis is currently being cared for by his wife and one of his daughters who lives around the corner from him.

Ms Jewell is frustrated she can not help.
"My mum is also aged so she can't care for him full-time, and my sister has four little boys she needs to look after," she said.
"There's three more children. We could be helping, but we can't get over the border."

The last time Ms Jewell saw her father was at the end of June, just after his diagnosis.

She and her daughters spent their four-day visit building a ramp and veranda to ensure her father had wheelchair access and paramedics could enter the house easily, if necessary.

While Ms Jewell understands the State Government needs to put restrictions in place to protect people, she believes there should be more thought and compassion when it comes to a situation like her father's.

Fears restrictions 'taking away precious time'
Jacqui Warden lives on the Victorian side of the border in Tallangatta.
Her parents Christine and Peter Kirk live in Lavington in NSW, along with her sister Elaine Kirk.
Both her parents, who are in their eighties, are severely unwell.
Her mother has been diagnosed with dementia, which is classed as a terminal illness, while her father has heart failure and lung disease.
Before the border closure, Ms Warden visited her parents at least three days a week to help her sister care for them.
"It has put a lot more stress on my sister," she said.
"She gets phone calls in the middle of the night from dad who is worried about coronavirus.
"Meanwhile, mum doesn't know what's happening due to her memory loss. She doesn't understand why I never come and visit."

Ms Warden relocated to Tallangatta from Canberra twelve months ago to be closer to her parents — a move that now feels somewhat pointless.
"It's just so frustrating," she said.
"The New South Wales Government has put a whole community's mental health and wellbeing at risk when there's barely any cases here.
"They're taking away precious time from us."

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

VICTORIA – NSW BORDER – PROBLEMS FOR FARMERS

Victorian agriculture workers now allowed to cross into NSW without quarantining
Farmers, contractors and those employed in the agriculture sector will now be able to cross from Victoria into New South Wales without quarantining in Sydney for two weeks.

Frustrations boiled over last week as some regional Victorian workers were asked to drive to Melbourne, then fly to Sydney and quarantine, before driving to their place of employment in regional NSW.

NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said new exemptions would allow critical agricultural employees to pass across the border for work — regardless of whether they lived in the border bubble or not — although it is limited to a distance of 100 kilometres north of the border.

Mr Marshall said critical agriculture workers needing to move beyond the 100km limit would be considered on a 'case-by-case' basis.
"It's safe from a health perspective to protect people in NSW from COVID-19 clusters in Victoria," Mr Marshall said.
"But it also allows critical agriculture workers, including shearers, agronomists, and other employees to come across the border, and those people who own properties and farms on both sides of the border."

Workers will need to apply for a 'Highly Specialised Critical Services (Agriculture) Permit' through Service NSW.
"Even those who are outside the border bubble will be able to access an agricultural exemption permit to cross into NSW to undertake that critical work," Mr Marshall said.
"If they stay the night, they must isolate and ideally be accommodated on the property that they're actually working at.
"If they are coming across in the day, they can return back to Victoria and keep coming across each day.
"This is absolutely vital, not just for our border communities but our overall economy."

Mr Marshall said the situation had been "incredibly frustrating".
"It has taken far too long," Mr Marshall said.
"I would have loved to have had this done on Monday [last] week, but the health process is a difficult one to navigate.
"In all of this we have to protect people, we have to keep COVID-19 out of NSW communities that have never had it or don't have any cases at the moment.
"But at the same time, we have to make sure our core primary production activities are still able to continue.
"A lot of communities and farmers have been smashed by drought, and this is their first chance at the moment with some good rain to come out of it."

Mr Marshall said he hoped to relax the distance condition when he meets with Health Minister Brad Hazzard in a week's time.

Frustrations fizzle out with exemptions
Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said the move supported an "integral workforce".

"It has been frustrating," Ms Symes said.
"We've been dealing with this for five weeks now, and it's been a case of one step forwards, two steps back.
"The amount of people who go into supporting the agriculture sector, I don't think is something the politicians out of Sydney have really had an appreciation of."

Bunty Driver, who farms near Myrtleford in Victoria and Jerilderie in NSW, said last week had been a "disaster".
"A resident, a primary producer, anyone in those critical industries should be able to move quite freely between those [two states]," she said.

Ms Driver said the latest announcement was an enormous relief.
"I am very stressed at the idea that I can't properly care for my cattle, as I normally move them from paddock to paddock regularly and I still need to provide supplementary feeding.
"This is on top of earlier this year when I was very stressed about my animals when the bushfires looked like they were heading to our farm — I didn't need the extra aggravation on top of everything else.
"I am pleased that it seems to be sorted, but I am still a bit sceptical and I would like to see how it all works in practice.
"Hopefully it will run smoothly."

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:51 am

18 AUGUST QLD

Queensland records no new coronavirus cases overnight as the state reaches 29 days without community transmission
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the State Government was preparing a "shield against coronavirus" by stockpiling more than 120 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE), despite recording another day of no new COVID-19 cases.

The state has reached 29 days without community transmission of coronavirus, leaving just seven active cases.
“We are doing absolutely everything we need to do in case we do have a COVID outbreak," Ms Palaszczuk said.

She said there were plans to double a 900,000 square metre warehouse space dedicated to storing PPE.
"We have 900 days' worth of surgical masks, 200 days' worth of medical gowns, 300 days' worth of gloves permanently on hand and that's stage one," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said stage two would see PPE manufactured in Queensland.
"Of course some of the equipment comes from places overseas, but I want to see Queensland have the capacity to also produce some of the equipment here," she said.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the stockpiling of protective equipment meant healthcare staff in Queensland would "never again have to worry if there is enough PPE to keep them safe".
"Throughout 2020, Queensland's healthcare workers have had our backs and today is all about making sure we have theirs," Mr Miles said.
"The Chief Health Officer already had one of the country's biggest stockpiles of masks and that kept us safe during this pandemic.
"We now have $110 million worth of stock."

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said there had been "solid work" for months to source the PPE needed to keep health workers and Queenslanders safe.
"It's not easy to go out and find all the equipment that's needed at a time when there is a worldwide shortage," Dr Young said.
"This will stand us in good stead going forwards."

Parents not denied access to baby
Dr Young said no refusal had been given to the parents of a baby from New South Wales currently receiving medical care in Queensland.

She said the parents' exemption request would be accepted and urged them to submit one.
"If a child was in Queensland who's parents were elsewhere then of course we'd allow the parents in.," Dr Young said.

If the parents entered Queensland, Dr Young said they would be allowed to leave quarantine to see their child in hospital, provided they wore PPE and were supervised at all times.
"Of course we don't want them to potentially spread covid to other patients in that facility."

Aged care residents return negative results
A nursing home on the Sunshine Coast << Immanuel Gardens in Buderim >> has entered a strict lockdown after three elderly residents presented with respiratory symptoms on Monday.

The Immanuel Gardens aged care facility in Buderim took precautionary measures and moved the facility into lockdown as they await the test results from the three residents.

Queensland last week moved to lift nursing home restrictions across the state and reopen them to visitors.

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

Meanwhile, three residents at a Sunshine Coast aged care centre — who were in isolation after reporting "respiratory symptoms" — returned negative COVID-19 test results.
An additional resident of Immanuel Gardens in Buderim was also tested yesterday and is still awaiting their results.
The Immanuel Gardens Home in Buderim went into lockdown yesterday when four people displayed respiratory symptoms.
Parts of the centre remain closed to visitors while the results are pending, and residents remain under close monitoring.
Lutheran Services said no cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in any of its 10 aged care facilities to date.

In the last 24 hours, 7,728 coronavirus tests have been conducted in Queensland.

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

It will take a coronavirus Christmas miracle for Queensland's borders to reopen in time for the festive season
As Queensland passes four weeks without community transmission of COVID-19, the State Government's goal posts for a southern border reopening have just become a whole lot clearer.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said yesterday the Government had no intention of opening Queensland's borders to any state or territory that still had community transmission.

With thousands of coronavirus cases still being monitored in Victoria, many of which can be linked to community transmission, as well as an "accumulation of unsourced cases" in New South Wales, it could take months for those states to reach a point where they can show evidence of zero community transmission.

To further delay that timeline, Queensland's Chief Health Officer (CHO) Jeannette Young indicated states would need to be free of community transmission for one month before borders reopened, to allow for two incubation periods.

Ms Palaszczuk has said she expected a border reopening for Victoria was a shaky prospect this side of Christmas, barring some unforeseen minor miracle.

Dr Young's powers extended
If an extension in Victoria's declared public health emergency is anything to go by, Dr Young will be actively reviewing these issues until at least October.

The considerable powers wielded by the CHO have been extended until October 2, meaning active public health directions have been extended through until then as well.

Economist Nick Behrens from Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions said while cases remained active south of the border, it would remain economically prudent to keep the borders closed.

He said the economic hit from reintroducing restrictions in Queensland would be greater than the economic benefit of an open border for interstate tourists.
"The border really should be able to be open and shut on a fairly adaptive basis … [it] needs to be nimble, it needs to be able to open and close efficiently," he said.
"Above all else, it needs to be effective when it is closed.
"It's probably very prudent at the moment to have a closed border with both NSW and Victoria."

'Too much on the line'
Ms Palaszcuk reiterated that keeping the border closed was about putting Queenslanders first.

Mr Behrens said any COVID-19 transmission in Queensland could jeopardize signs of economic recovery and that Queensland was in a far better position than Victoria.
"The unemployment rate [there] is rising substantially, the number of jobs lost is considerable," he said.
"States like Queensland that have been able to avoid community transmission, we're starting to recoup the jobs that were lost."
Mr Behrens said chasing the tourism dollar from Victoria and New South Wales was still a risky call.
"If you're talking risk-reward, there's too much on the line to chase after that," he said.
"But the soonest possible moment we can get those borders [to] reopen, they should be open because Queensland tourism operators should be afforded every right to be able to reap the benefit of those persons wanting to holiday in Queensland."

Call for more targeted measures
Tourism bodies are hoping border closures are lifted well before Christmas.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind said the prospect of prolonged border closures had further dashed the hopes of operators.
"We hope that the other borders can be open a lot sooner than Christmas that's for sure," he said.
"We're hopeful that the measures will be more targeted very soon, because it seems this virus will be around for some time.
"We have to really start living, to some extent, with the prospect of having cases here and there without shutting everything down."

The Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce said the Queensland Government needed to consider easing COVID-19 restrictions on local businesses if the Queensland border remained shut until Christmas.

President Martin Hall said a new strategy was needed and relaxing patron limits would help stimulate the struggling local economy.
"We need to have that discussion about, if we're a closed shop once more, we need to ease some restrictions so our businesses can get more people through the door and can generate more money," Mr Hall said.
"At the end of the day we'll trade ourselves out of this if we're given the chance."

Mr Hall said more consultation between businesses, industry bodies and government was needed, as well as a marketing campaign targeting local tourists.

He said operators were fearful of missing out on school holiday crowds.
"We need to see a plan of how we are going to be able to survive internally and stimulate the economy, through two school holiday cycles nearly," he said.
"[That's] a big chunk of revenue, which is half the revenue for many businesses a year.
"Northern Territory did some great work recently incentivising locals with vouchers to go and spend and enjoy within their own garden literally and that's been a great success."

'Beautiful one day, lockdown the next'
New South Wales Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, today took aim at the Palaszczuk Government's tough border restrictions.
"Well you know Queensland's tagline — beautiful one day, lockdown the next," Mr Barilaro said.
Mr Barilaro argued the Premier should not be locking out the northern New South Wales region as the area had no coronavirus cases.
"We know that this community and this region relies heavily on the services provided out of Queensland and vice versa."
He said the Premier was only thinking of Queenslanders.
"The Premier in Queensland is playing to a political agenda and an election agenda rather than the goodwill of the region," he said.

Queensland police figures for last weekend showed there were still people travelling into Queensland from across the country, with 132 flight arrivals.

More than 7,200 passengers were screened, but only 19 were refused entry, while a further 740 people were placed into quarantine.

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

MORE PROTESTORS – THIS TIME THE REFUGEE ACTIVISTS ( DESPITE ORDERS TO NOT GO AHEAD )
Protesters disrupt morning peak as they march through Brisbane
Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski says officers will be out in force to ensure protesters are kept in check this morning.

RESULT
Crowds of protesters have left Brisbane's CBD after a pro-refugee rally through the heart of the city during the morning rush.

Close to 100 people - most who were wearing masks – started at Parliament House before walking through George and Adelaide streets, where they momentarily held a sit-in, disrupting peak hour traffic.
Image
Protesters are right now marching through Brisbane's CBD towards the Immigration Department over refugee rights

Image
Activists are set to march towards the Immigration Department to protest the detention of 120 asylum seekers in a Brisbane hotel.

Cars and buses along Adelaide Street were brought to a standstill as the activists sat on the road during the largely peaceful rally.
Some delays were being experienced up until 9.30am in the city as the demonstrators move on.

It's believed no arrests were made during today's protest action.

The protesters ended their action at the Immigration Department, over the detention of 120 asylum seekers at a Kangaroo Point hotel, under the Federal Government's medevac laws.

Among those protesting is Greens Councillor Jonathan Sri.
"We're here today we want to rule the government to rule out sending people to Christmas Island. We want them released in the community," he told Today.

Mr Sri said protesters were aware of the COVID-19 risks and would be adhering to the rules.
"People are wearing masks. We're safely spaced. If 10,000 people can gather in the stadiums and go to shopping malls this is fine," he said.

Earlier, Queensland Police made a last-minute plea for protesters to act within the law during today's planned rally, or at best, to stay at home.
https://twitter.com/ShannonMM9/status/1 ... wsrc%5Etfw
"It's really not the time or not the way I would think to try and get a message across," Queensland Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski told Today.
"There are other ways. Of course, we live in Liberal democracy. These people have that right.
"We'll make sure they are able to exercise that right lawfully but in a way that doesn't unlawfully impact members of the community."

Today's protest had been given approval unlike Saturday's rally, which saw six people charged.
"This protest has been planned for some time," Mr Gollschewski said.

Image
Brisbane protesters are set to march through the city this morning.
<< FOREIGNERS – PLEASE NOTE HOW PROTESTS ARE CONDUCTED DOWN UNDER , MAYBE YOU CAN LEARN SOMETHING >>
"They've done their notice of intention under our Act which they have to do.
"We've checked with the protesters around what they can do to try and minimise impact on the community.
"We'll be there of course with numbers to make sure they do comply with conditions that are in place."

The weekend rally was due to be held on the bridge and at Kangaroo Point, but it was swiftly banned the day before, due to concerns it would infringe on the public's right to stay safe from COVID-19.

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

BREACHES
NRL issues fines to Broncos for pub visit
Image
Brisbane NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE Broncos footy team.

Brisbane's pub lunch earlier this month has turned out to be very costly with the NRL issuing the Broncos and 10 players fines for breaching biosecurity protocols.
The Broncos have been fined $75,000 and each of the 10 players fined five per cent of their salary, totalling $65,000, after the group attended a lunch at the Everton Park Hotel on August 1.

In a statement, the NRL said while the Broncos players were permitted to dine at restaurants and cafes they were not permitted to sit in pubs and gaming areas at the time of the breaches.
"It is our view that this breach involved a significant failure of the club to properly administer the league's biosecurity protocols," NRL acting chief executive Andrew Abdo said.

The players fined for contravening the league's COVID-19 restrictions include regular first-graders
David Fifita,
Kotoni Staggs,
Corey Oates,
Corey Paix
and Jake Turpin.

Three development players were also among the group and will have a portion of their fines suspended.

It's the latest in a string of COVID-19 related breaches by the Broncos including Tevita Pangai Jnr's visit to a barber shop which was subsequently attended by police amid suspected outlaw motorcycle gang links.

While Pangai Jnr wasn't accused of anything illegal, he has since been stood down indefinitely by the NRL and fined $30,000.

Former Brisbane player and current assistant coach Allan Langer was among three staff members to be fined and stood down after attending a private function at the Caxton Hotel.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/sport/rugby-l ... hp#image=1

Brittany Lauga MP cleared in relation to release of coronavirus contact-tracing details
The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) will not investigate corruption allegations against central Queensland MP Brittany Lauga, finding there is insufficient evidence of a criminal offence.

The commission said it received two complaints against the Member for Keppel, alleging she had given the media confidential contact-tracing information involving a Rockhampton nurse who tested positive for coronavirus.

It assessed the allegations but decided not to proceed with an investigation.
"Following an assessment of the allegations and information provided in the complaint, and after reviewing information independently obtained by the CCC, the CCC has now determined there is insufficient evidence that a criminal offence has been committed by the Member for Keppel," a statement said.
"Therefore, the CCC will take no further action in relation to her."

The commission said it had referred another allegation of a confidentiality breach by a health official to the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service.

Ms Lauga told ABC Capricornia this morning that it was the outcome she expected.
"I think they've found what I've been saying all along is that I didn't do anything wrong," she said.
"I'm really pleased with the announcement and I'm disappointed that there was any kind of mud thrown in the first place.
"Yes, it does [exonerate me].
"There is no investigation and I did nothing wrong and that's the end of the story."

Ms Lauga said she obtained the information to which the complaints referred through the media.
"That's where I learnt about it just like everyone else, so that kind of level of information is not provided to me as a Member of Parliament, nor should it be," she said.
"The conversations that people have with contact tracers is incredibly private and confidential and should be kept that way."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
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Posts: 12572
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:01 am

18 AUGUST WA
WA delays easing of restrictions by two months
Western Australia recorded one new COVID-19 case overnight, after a woman in her 20s returned to Perth from overseas.
She is in hotel quarantine.
The state now has a total of 647 coronavirus cases, with five of those active.
All of the active cases are Western Australians who have returned from overseas

Phase five had been tentatively flagged to commence on August 29 after being delayed numerous times from the original date in mid-July.
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan has announced his government will extend phase four restrictions until October 24 on advice from the state’s chief health officer.
“On the advice of the Chief Health Officer, the new tentative start date of phase five will now be Saturday, October 24," he said.

Mr McGowan said the move was about balancing public health and simultaneously keeping the economy running.
“By remaining in phase four for longer, it assists us in reducing the numbers of people who could be potentially exposed and requiring health responses, should an outbreak occur in our state,” he said.
No need to 'push the envelope': McGowan
Phase 5 would have seen the state's remaining COVID-19 restrictions removed, except for WA's hard border and access to remote Aboriginal communities.

The expiring restrictions would have included the removal of the two-square-metre rule as well as the 50 per cent capacity cap for major venues.

But Mr McGowan said even though WA had not seen community transmission of the virus for 120 days, the state could not afford to become complacent.
"The virus could sneak back into Western Australia and spread like wildfire," he said.
"If we can learn anything from over east and overseas, including New Zealand recently, it's that's this virus can spread extremely fast."

Mr McGowan said health officials had advised it may take two months or longer for Victoria's outbreak to be "fully under control".
"By remaining in phase 4 for longer, it assists us in reducing the numbers of people who could be potentially exposed and requiring health responses should an outbreak occur in our state," he said.
"We don't need to push the envelope."

The WA Government had previously extended phase 4 in two-week periods, but Mr McGowan said he understood the short extensions had created uncertainty.
"It's difficult for many people across our community and across a wide section of industries to properly plan," he said.
"I can understand many people were hoping and planning for phase 5 to be introduced sooner, and this decision will throw those plans out, but proceeding to phase 5 too soon is just not appropriate right now."

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

Perth Royal Show cancelled as WA phase 5 eased restrictions pushed back in WA by two months
Mr McGowan also announced this year's Perth Royal Show had been cancelled based on health advice.
"This morning I informed the Royal Agricultural Society that the show cannot go ahead this year," he said.
"Obviously, this news will be very disappointing for many families, for many businesses and of course for many regional farming communities."

The annual show was due to run from September 26 to October 3.

WA has recorded one new COVID-19 case overnight, a returning resident who remains in hotel quarantine.

There are now five active cases in the state.

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

PALMER STILL TRYING TO STRIPMINE WA’S ECONOMY
Clive Palmer suing WA for almost $28 billion, confidential documents tabled in Parliament show
Clive Palmer is seeking tens of billions of dollars in damages relating to his stalled iron ore project in the state's north, documents released by the WA Government show.

The McGowan Government last week passed extraordinary legislation seeking to terminate Mr Palmer's legal rights over the claim, saying he was seeking more than $30 billion in damages, costs and interest.

The Queensland businessman repeatedly rejected that figure last week, at one point telling ABC Radio National the figure was "bulls**t".

WA Attorney-General John Quigley tabled details in WA's Parliament this afternoon, showing the total damages sought by Mr Palmer and his companies in relation to the Balmoral South iron ore project is $27.75 billion.

The claim, signed by Mr Palmer on the 28 May 2020, lists "unquantified" figures for a second damages claim, which the State Government said would take the figure over the $30 billion mark.

Clive Palmer a 'liar': Quigley
Mr Quigley told Parliament it proved Mr Palmer was a "liar".
"There's his signature, beyond reasonable doubt he is a liar," Mr Quigley told Parliament.
"He's telling bald-faced lies to the Western Australia public … and to the Australian public and he will go down in history as one of the rankest liars we've had in this state in litigation."

Claims made in arbitration are supposed to be confidential, but the State Government chose to release details of Mr Palmer's action under parliamentary privilege.

A spokesperson for Mr Palmer questioned why the State Government had released the document.
"Mr Palmer has always said that this matter is in confidential arbitration and he won't breach confidentiality," the spokesman said.
"Mr Quigley and McGowan don't care about breaching confidentiality."

Mr Palmer's proposal to develop his iron ore project was rejected in August 2012 by the then-government, specifically by the former state development minister, who is also the ex-premier, Colin Barnett.

Mr Palmer and his companies allege they suffered enormous financial loss, including damages, interest and costs because they were unable to sell the project to a Chinese company as a result of decisions made by the state over the past decade.

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

HOMEBUILDER GRANT SPURS A MICRO BOOM IN COUNTRY WA

Building grants for coronavirus recovery spark land sale 'frenzy' in country WA
Regional Western Australia has experienced a land sale spike following the opening of state and federal COVID-battling development grants, with one town seeing a 12-times increase from a year ago.

The Real Estate Institute of WA (REIWA) reports 89 blocks of land sold in Albany in June, smashing the number (7) from the same period in 2019.
A further 30 blocks sold in July, compared to just five the same month last year.
<< NOT THE RESULT SCOMO HOPED FOR , BY 2 OR 3 ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE >>

Albany's figure was the highest for a WA regional centre last month, followed by Busselton (77) and Bunbury (53).

Kahlia Ericson was among the rush of buyers keen to secure land while state and federal Building Bonus and HomeBuilder grants, worth a combined $45,000, were available.

She and husband Chris had been weighing up whether to build or renovate when the grants went live.
"For us, it was the tipping point," she said.

Land sales spike in June
The Ericson property was one of nearly 300 land sales — or 10 a day — across regional WA in June.

By July that rate had halved, prompting REIWA president Damian Collins to predict the initial boom had ended.

But while the frenzy had calmed, he said subsequent sale rates continued to exceed previous years.
"They're certainly still significantly higher than they were 12 months ago, but they're nowhere near the highs that we saw coming into June and early July," he said.

The grants created a construction boom across the state, leading to fears builders could develop a months-long backlog of work.

It is a pertinent concern for people hoping to access the grants before both offers end in mid-2021.

The hard end date threatened to create a situation, Mr Collins said, that could lead to a dearth in demand for the construction industry.
"The Government will have to taper it off, otherwise we're going to have … a rush coming in the next three or four months and [then] there's nothing after for the building industry."

Governments firm on grants 2021 end date
Despite the worry, neither government said they would consider extending the grants.

The federal Minister for Housing, Michael Sukkar, said the HomeBuilder program was not a handout for the construction industry beyond COVID-19.
"We are protecting and creating more jobs across the construction industry at a time when the economy needs it most," he said.

This month, the State Government amended its requirements for grant eligibility to make funding available to anybody who had started basic works on their block before mid-2021.

But it too showed no interest in extending the cut-off date for people whose work had not commenced by that time.

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

Federal MPs get WA border coronavirus exemption to investigate Rio Tinto's Juukan Gorge destruction
Image
Juukan Gorge before it was destroyed by a mining blast in May ( RIO TINTO IRON ORE MINE EXPANSION )
Federal politicians investigating the destruction of ancient Aboriginal rock shelters in a mining explosion will travel to a remote part of Western Australia to hold face-to-face hearings with traditional owners.

The Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia is holding an inquiry into mining company Rio Tinto's decision to detonate explosives in Juukan Gorge in May, destroying a 46,000-year-old site of cultural significance.

Committee chair, Liberal MP Warren Entsch, said he sought permission from WA Premier Mark McGowan for a small group of politicians and staff to travel to the Pilbara region for a hearing with traditional owners early next month.

The permission, which was confirmed this week, includes an allowance for Hansard to attend to ensure there will be an accurate and complete recording of the hearing.

A number of committee members are based in WA but politicians and staff entering from other states will be required to take a coronavirus test when they arrive.

If they return a negative result they will be free to travel.

The committee is also seeking access from traditional owners to conduct a site visit at Juukan Gorge to see the damage to the area firsthand.
"I think it's very important we go and see specifically the devastation of the site," Mr Entsch said.
"What was, in Rio's own report, reported as the most archeologically significant site in the country, which is now basically a hole where there's $135 million of iron ore being removed from."

In the wake of the blast and public controversy, Rio Tinto Iron Ore apologised to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama People and the Pinikura People for the "distress" caused.

The mining company appeared before the inquiry earlier this month, admitting it did not tell traditional owners about options that could have avoided the blast at Juukan Gorge.
"The answers to the questions that were asked [of Rio Tinto] only raised far more questions," Mr Entsch said.

He said the committee planned to recall the mining giant for further evidence after hearing directly from the traditional owner groups.
"We want to establish how much of this process could accurately be described as 'informed consent'."

WA lays down COVID-19 demands
Western Australia's border has been closed since the beginning of April, with people only to enter the state with a government-backed exemption.

In this case, WA Premier Mark McGowan has granted approval for federal politicians and staffers on the condition that they submit to a coronavirus test on arrival in Broome.

Once they are cleared of having the illness, a process that's expected to take about 24 hours, they will be free to travel into the Pilbara, which is south of Broome.

Mr Entsch said it was important, as a courtesy, to get the express written agreement of the WA Government.

He said the pandemic has caused a myriad of challenges for holding the hearing, particularly for securing connecting flights to Broome.

He is expecting fellow Queensland Coalition colleague George Christensen to travel to WA, along with Labor's Annika Wells, Anthony Chisholm and Warren Snowdon.

Three other committee members, Liberal senator Dean Smith, Greens senator Rachel Siewert and Labor's Patrick Dodson are already based in WA.

The exemption also applies to the committee's secretariat staff and a Hansard representative who will be travelling from Canberra.

A senior staff member from Mr Entsch's office is also expected to attend.

Mr Entsch said he would forgo the next two sitting weeks in Canberra, because the Queensland Government's mandatory two-week quarantine condition for politicians makes it impossible for him to do both.

Federal Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd told reporters he was confident appropriate precautions were being taken ahead of the hearing.
"Clearly that group will be working with the authorities, the health authorities in Western Australia, to make sure any visit is going to be safe," Professor Kidd said.
"[And] that any risk to local Aboriginal people is going to be no risk at all, that people are going to be protected."

States and territories have imposed varying restrictions on travel to remote communities at times during the pandemic.

Professor Kidd said the measures had worked.
"We've been very successful in Australia to date in keeping COVID-19 out of remote communities, and particularly out of remote Indigenous communities, and it is absolutely essential that continues."

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

BREACHES
Two women escape from hotel quarantine after flying into Perth overnight
Key points:
The women arrived in WA at 8:20pm on Monday without a permit
Police allege the women were directed to a hotel to wait for a flight home
It's alleged the women took a taxi from the hotel to attend a party

Two South Australian women have been charged after they allegedly left a hotel where they had been ordered to quarantine after flying into Western Australia overnight without a permit to enter the state.

The women, aged 19 and 22, were refused entry to WA and were taken to a CBD hotel until return flights to Adelaide could be arranged.

WA Police said they caught at taxi to a unit block in Coolbellup in the early hours of the morning before being taken into police custody.

The women were apprehended later in the morning but police said they did spend some hours with "associates".

However Acting Police Commissioner Gary Dreibergs said the women had not been tested for COVID-19.
"We don't test people who arrive from South Australia but we have been advised by the Health Department that they don't pose a significant health risk," he said.
"It's very disappointing, it's a very serious matter.
"We established hotel quarantine to assist our community.
"It isn't there for detention and when people breach hotel quarantine it really does rock the trust of our organisation."
Perth: Two women charged by police after allegedly escaping from hotel coronavirus quarantine
A 19-year-old and a 22-year-old woman who arrived in WA from Adelaide without applying for a travel exemption will front court this afternoon after escaping hotel quarantine early this morning.

Acting Commissioner Gary Dreibergs said the women had landed in Perth at 8.20pm last night without permission and were escorted by police to a hotel on Murray Street in Perth.

He said they came to WA to holiday and visit family in the State, and that police’s intention was to return them to South AAt 1.30am today, however, the women escaped hotel quarantine and took a taxi to a unit on Malvolio Road in Coolbellup, where associates of theirs were living.
“This breach is a very serious matter,” Mr Dreibergs said.
“It’s very disappointing, it’s a very serious matter.
“Apprehending these two women was an absolute priority for WA Police.“

Their escape has prompted an immediate review by police into the hotel quarantine system.

As a result, there will now be police officers present to provide security at quarantine hotels where people who have been deemed as high risk are staying.
“Unfortunately when we have people like this who do the wrong thing we have to review our circumstances and then we escalate it for what we do around managing that environment,” Mr Dreibergs said.
“Going forward, when we do a risk assessment of people entering the state, there will now be police officers present at hotels where we’ve done that risk assessment and we deem that that risk level requires police officers to be present at the hotel.
“These women would’ve hit that threshold. That’s why we’ve done that assessment now and we believe it’s appropriate that police officers provide additional security at areas where we have high risk people.”

The determination of whether someone is considered high risk or not will depend on an in depth risk assessment, conducted when a person arrives in the State without an exception.

Mr Dreibergs said police found the women within two hours of their escape and said he couldn’t provide information on why security guards stationed at the hotel weren’t able to stop them breaching quarantine.
“It really does rock the trust of our organisation,” he said.

He told media the women had not been tested for COVID-19 since being in WA and had been deemed as a low risk by the Health Department.
“The women haven’t been tested for COVID. We don’t test people that arrive from south Australia for Covid,” he said.
“These people don’t pose a significant health risk to West Australians.”

The women were apprehended by police about 4am today.ustralia at the first opportunity.

https://thewest.com.au/news/coronavirus ... 881642176z
Review launched into hotel quarantine breach
Acting Commissioner Dreibergs said police had launched an immediate review into the alleged breach and had taken steps to conduct closer monitoring of "high risk" arrivals.
"There will now be police officers present at hotels when we've done that risk assessment and we've deemed that the risk level requires police officers to be present at the hotel. These women would have met that threshold," Acting Commissioner Dreibergs said.
"It's concerning that they breached security, I'm not going to talk about how that occurred because that is before the courts."
"I can advise that this breach is a very serious matter, and that apprehending these two women was an absolute priority for the West Australia Police."

Women not tested
Acting Police Commissioner Gary Dreibergs said the women had not been tested for COVID-19.
"We don't test people who arrive from South Australia but we have been advised by the Health Department that they don't pose a significant health risk," he said.
"It's very disappointing, it's a very serious matter.
"We established hotel quarantine to assist our community.

"It isn't there for detention and when people breach hotel quarantine it really does rock the trust of our organisation."



The women have been charged with failing to comply with a direction under WA's Emergency Management Act.

They are due to appear in court this afternoon.

The incident comes after an unrelated case where a man allegedly used a ladder to climb out of the window of the Mecure Hotel, where he was quarantining, on four occasions to go visit his girlfriend.

He appeared in a Perth court yesterday facing multiple counts of failing to comply with a lawful direction, and was denied bail.

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

Perth: Two women charged by police after allegedly escaping from hotel coronavirus quarantine
A 19-year-old and a 22-year-old woman who arrived in WA from Adelaide without applying for a travel exemption will front court this afternoon after escaping hotel quarantine early this morning.

Acting Commissioner Gary Dreibergs said the women had landed in Perth at 8.20pm last night without permission and were escorted by police to a hotel on Murray Street in Perth.

He said they came to WA to holiday and visit family in the State, and that police’s intention was to return them to South AAt 1.30am today, however, the women escaped hotel quarantine and took a taxi to a unit on Malvolio Road in Coolbellup, where associates of theirs were living.
“This breach is a very serious matter,” Mr Dreibergs said.
“It’s very disappointing, it’s a very serious matter.
“Apprehending these two women was an absolute priority for WA Police.“

Their escape has prompted an immediate review by police into the hotel quarantine system.

As a result, there will now be police officers present to provide security at quarantine hotels where people who have been deemed as high risk are staying.
“Unfortunately when we have people like this who do the wrong thing we have to review our circumstances and then we escalate it for what we do around managing that environment,” Mr Dreibergs said.
“Going forward, when we do a risk assessment of people entering the state, there will now be police officers present at hotels where we’ve done that risk assessment and we deem that that risk level requires police officers to be present at the hotel.
“These women would’ve hit that threshold. That’s why we’ve done that assessment now and we believe it’s appropriate that police officers provide additional security at areas where we have high risk people.”

The determination of whether someone is considered high risk or not will depend on an in depth risk assessment, conducted when a person arrives in the State without an exception.

Mr Dreibergs said police found the women within two hours of their escape and said he couldn’t provide information on why security guards stationed at the hotel weren’t able to stop them breaching quarantine.
“It really does rock the trust of our organisation,” he said.

He told media the women had not been tested for COVID-19 since being in WA and had been deemed as a low risk by the Health Department.
“The women haven’t been tested for COVID. We don’t test people that arrive from south Australia for Covid,” he said.
“These people don’t pose a significant health risk to West Australians.”

The women were apprehended by police about 4am today.ustralia at the first opportunity.

https://thewest.com.au/news/coronavirus ... 881642176z

Police fine Swans rookie Elijah Taylor and girlfriend over breach
Sydney Swans player Elijah Taylor is set to face a further penalties for sneaking his girlfriend into the club's quarantine zone at their Perth hotel last week.

It constituted not only a breach of the AFL return-to-play protocols but also the Western Australian COVID-19 quarantine dir WA Police said the pair would be fined, although it is not clear how much.

The Swans have suspended Taylor for the rest of the season and the club was fined $50,000, with $25,000 of the amount suspended.ections that apply to Swans players and officials at their accommodation.


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-18/ ... e/12570356
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12572
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:23 am

18 AUGUST SA
Retail employees fear extra abuse over COVID-19 marshal rules
The rollout of "COVID marshals" in South Australia is under fire, with supermarket workers slamming the plan, saying it will make them the focal point of community anger and anxiety.

Retail staff say they've been copping abuse for too long now, and the marshal role will only make their jobs more difficult and dangerous.

One young Coles worker told 9News she already had experience of what happens when customers lost their cool over stock limits and panic buying.
"I've come into work and I've had bread thrown in my direction," she said.

Another retail employee said she'd been told by a customer "that they hope I get coronavirus".

And the workers have the backing of the union.
"Supermarkets should have paid trained security to the work of marshals," SDA secretary Josh Peak said.

But the government said the marshals' role was purely for compliance reasons – a dedicated role required to ensure the job doesn't get overlooked.
"When everybody is responsible, sometimes nobody is responsible," Premier Steven Marshall said.
"We're not asking them to be security guards, but we need a single point of contact so somebody is responsible for the implementation of the COVID-safe plan."
The online training course for marshals is now live, and so far more than 10,000 people have completed it.

But the state opposition is questioning its validity.
"It's the sort of questions everyone would pass, and if you don't pass them, you get to back and through them again," Shadow Health Minister Chris Picton said.

Sport will also be affected by the new rules, with games attracting more than 200 people required to have a marshal present.

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


SA security guards and hotel workers to be tested for COVID-19
SA Health isn't expected to find any positive cases but it wants to ensure the virus doesn't spread to the wider community.

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


BORDER ISSUES

Coronavirus restriction exemption granted to community near SA-Victoria border dogleg
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Lindsay Point is located in Victoria, near the border with NSW and SA

Residents of a remote Victorian irrigation community will be exempt from South Australia's tough coronavirus border restrictions that come into place on Friday, authorities have confirmed.

Locals of Lindsay Point, an almond-growing area near an anomaly in the border, had been worried they would not be allowed to journey to nearby Paringa and the rest of SA's Riverland.

The closest Victorian regional centre is Mildura, which is about 155 kilometres away by sealed road via Paringa, or 122 kilometres by unsealed roads through the Murray-Sunset National Park.

South Australian authorities had previously said that, from August 21, only essential workers, farmers with properties on both sides of the border, Year 11 and 12s and people with medical exemptions will be permitted to cross from Victoria into SA.

But the SA Government today confirmed that Lindsay Point locals would also be allowed to continue crossing the border.

Premier Steven Marshall today said the small community's isolated location was the reason for its exemption.
"My understanding is that Lindsay Point is a significantly different arrangement because the road that goes into Melbourne is cut off at the moment for other reasons," he said.
"[There is] not much of a risk of the disease coming into Lindsay Point at the moment and that's something SA Health is taking into account."

Riverland state MP Tim Whetstone said the details were still being worked out, after Lindsay Point orchard manager Peter Rohrlach raised concerns on ABC Radio about the area's predicament.

Mr Rohrlach said even the SA Government's Department of Primary Industries and Regions treated the area as if it were part of SA, rather than Victoria.
"This is the bizarre situation that we're in," he said.

Locals have since expressed reassurance, with Lindsay Point resident Bronwyn Cant saying the right decision had been made.
"It's an incredible relief. Just talking to people today, that's the main thing I am getting back," she said.
"I had neighbours who were facing losing their jobs — they just happened to live this side of the border and were going into Renmark and they weren't going to be able to get the essential worker status."

South Australia recorded no new coronavirus cases today, with the state's total remaining at 462.

Toddler allowed to travel to Adelaide
Meanwhile, SA's Health Minister has confirmed that a two-year-old girl from western Victoria with hip dysplasia will be allowed to travel to Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital.

Kaniva toddler Mabel Dyer has been treated at the hospital since she was born, but the imminent travel restrictions had her parents concerned about whether she would still be able to go to Adelaide.

An exemption granted yesterday allowed the family into the south-east town of Naracoorte for scans, but they were told an appointment in Adelaide next week would be via telehealth.

But Health Minister Stephen Wade said Mabel would be given an exemption to travel to Adelaide if her clinician decided that was needed.
"We are very keen to provide Mabel the care she needs," Mr Wade said.
"My understanding is that the telehealth appointment was at the instigation of the clinician.
"Her understanding is this appointment can be effectively delivered through telehealth."

Mabel's mother, Tiarnee — who is a teacher in Bordertown in SA — said she was disappointed she had to find out that information through the media.
"We've heard through the media that we're allowed to go for subsequent appointments if the need arises, but we haven't been told that from SA Health," she said.

The Premier said there had been, and would be, no change to the rules for medical exemptions which came into effect on March 23.
"Anybody that would have previously been provided with a medical exemption will still be provided [one]," he said.
"I think there are some anxious people out there.
"People have been sending into my office requests and SA Health just processed them in the normal way."

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

Coronavirus border restrictions keeping Victorian aged care workers from jobs in SA
Victorian aged care workers say their lives have been thrown into turmoil after being rejected as essential travellers in the lead-up to South Australia's border lockdown on Friday.

The situation has triggered Boandik, one of SA's largest regional aged care providers, to call on state authorities to ensure its employees can cross the partition.

The provider said it remained hopeful that affected staff who lived along the border would be given permits to attend work.

Debbie Brockie, who works at Boandik in Mount Gambier and lives across the border in Nelson, described the decision as heartless.
"This decision is so cruel, it just impacts on everything."

She said she had been rejected three times for a permit and now could not reapply.
"It is so devastating. I love my job and I will miss the residents terribly," an emotional Ms Brockie said.

Dartmoor resident Kayla Madex, who also works at Boandik, said her employment was under a cloud.
"I am still waiting on a response from SA Health, but it is not looking good," she said.
"I am pretty devastated. I have worked really hard to get where I am. I don't know what the future will hold."

Aged care worker Caitlyn Henke, who lives nine kilometres from the border at Mumbannar, said her future was also uncertain.
"I have applied twice through SA Police to get an exemption — these were both declined within a couple of minutes," she said.

Ms Henke said she had also applied through SA Health but had not received a response.
"It is just a matter of time until I receive a third rejection," she said.
"It is so hard, it makes me want to cry."

Boandik chief executive Gillian McGinty said several staff remained in limbo.
"We have had two staff declined permits at this point, both of whom work as lifestyle coordinators," Ms McGinty said.
"They work directly with residents each day in the lifestyle program, organising and running activities and are integral to the wellbeing of the residents."

She said Boandik was also waiting to hear about another four staff — three were personal care assistants and one was a cleaner.
"We are really worried about our staff levels," Ms McGinty said.
"All are required staff as we are moving to a one-worker one-home model from Monday next week, and we need all the staff to be available to support this new model."

The state's nursing union also weighed in, warning the state needed to avoid the failures of Victoria's aged care sector.
"The reality is that we need all the workers we can get at the moment," Australian Nursing and Midwifery SA chief executive Elizabeth Dabars said.

She raised concerns the reduction in the aged care workforce could lead to a "worsening" COVID-19 situation in South Australia.
"And our concern is when we look over the border, and we do look at what happens in Victoria, we would like to avoid a situation like that."

According to SA Health, travel exemptions were considered on a case-by-case basis and took account of local epidemiology, including evidence of community transmission.

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

18 AUGUST TAS
Tasmania's borders to stay closed until December to wait out Victorian coronavirus threat
Tasmania's borders will remain closed until at least December 1, the Premier has announced.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon, Peter Gutwein said restrictions would stay in place until at least December "to allow sufficient time for the COVID-19 situation in Victoria and the threat posed to other states to be clearly controlled".

Mr Gutwein said the decision was based on advice from the state's Public Health service, Health Department and the State Control Centre.
"This will enable our community and our businesses to understand and prepare for border relaxations, and to ensure appropriate planning and risk mitigation processes are in place," he said.
"It will also give us time to build the community's trust in our border measures to protect Tasmania from areas in the rest of the country that pose a high risk, while allowing travel to and from areas that pose a very low risk."

The state will also change its requirements for essential travellers — people who can enter the state without going into quarantine.
"The Department of State Growth will now also be involved in the assessment process, along with DPIPWE [Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment] and the State Control team to provide another layer of review in the assessment process before the State Controller makes the final decision," Mr Gutwein said.
"To ensure that the public is kept informed we will also make publicly available statistical and regional information regarding essential traveller exemptions granted to enter Tasmania, on a weekly basis, taking into account people's individual privacy."

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

EFFECT OF BORDER CLOSURE ON TASMANIAN BUSINESS
Tasmania won't host AFL games in 2020
Hawthorn and North Melbourne say they're disappointed but understand a Tasmanian government decision which prevents them playing AFL games in the state.

Tasmania's government has extended its border closure until at least December 1, ruling out the prospect of North and Hawthorn playing games there this season.

Both clubs had played nominal home games in Tasmania in recent years.

Hawthorn's chief executive officer Justin Reeves said his club understood the reasoning of Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein.
"While we are incredibly disappointed, we also fully support the premier's decision," Reeves said in a statement.
"Tasmania has done an incredible job of managing COVID-19 to date and we completely understand the reasoning."

North Melbourne's chief executive Ben Amarfio said his club also respected the government edict.
"This decision has been made with the health and welfare of Tasmanians paramount and we are fully supportive of it," Amarfio said in a statement.
"While we are disappointed for our Tasmanian supporters who won't get the opportunity to see us play there this year, we agree with the decision and understand the priority must be on keeping locals healthy and the state up and running."
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/ta ... d=msedgdhp
COVID-19 creates a tough year for Tasmanian winemakers
Climate struggles have led to low harvest this year, but despite that, the vintage is high quality

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

North-west Tasmanian real estate performs better than the rest of the state despite lockdown
Lauren Timmins started saving for a house when she was 17 years old and 10 years later she watched with joy as the "sold" sticker went on the sign outside what was now her home.

It was a moment she had long hoped for, but never did she think it would happen amid a global pandemic.
"When [coronavirus] hit it was a bit uncertain, because I'd just started a new job so to go straight in to putting an offer on a house was a bit scary," Ms Timmins said.
"But I'm good with my money and I always have a backup plan."

Ms Timmins said even as the world around her changed, the goal of buying her own place did not.
"We didn't want to put our life on hold just because the rest of the world was on hold," she said.

'Running into a brick wall'
Ms Timmins put the offer in just months after north-west Tasmania was plunged into a severe three-week lockdown, and as COVID-19 cases spread throughout the area's three major hospitals in April.

All of the hospitals shut almost completely, with Australian Defence Force personnel staffing the emergency department at the North-West Regional Hospital as the facility's usual employees underwent enforced quarantine.

Against this backdrop, local real estate agent David Russell feared the worst, but was pleasantly surprised.
"When we went into lockdown no-one knew what was coming — it was totally new ground for us and our office was on-track for a record month in March," he said.
"But COVID hit and it was like running into a brick wall.
"April was fairly quiet, but in May it just took off again, like someone just flicked a switch.
"Everyone's surprised with just how strongly we've bounced back."

Median price up, rental vacancy down
Real Estate Institute of Tasmania president Mandy Welling said the statistics backed up the relative strength of the north-west coast's property market.
"The only place in Tasmania where the median house price has increased is the north-west coast," she said.
"In the last quarter, the median house price was down 7 per cent in Hobart, Launceston was down by a very moderate 0.3 per cent, but in the north-west they increased by a massive 8.5 per cent.
"The coast is coming forward in leaps and bounds."

Ms Welling said that was because of a simple lack of supply.
"We have a huge shortage of stock available on the market," she said.
"So after the lockdown on the coast, what stock there was was snapped up very quickly, so that magnified the shortage."

Rental vacancy rates increased slightly in Hobart but decreased in Launceston and in the north-west, and the volume of properties sold was down across the state.

Mr Russell said the only thing that would slow momentum in the market was a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Ms Welling said even if that were to happen Tasmanians have a lot of confidence in the state's borders.
"We have this really unique ability to shut ourselves down," he said.
"I think the public are quite confident that no matter what happens we'll come out of this better than the rest of the country."

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:18 am

18 AUGUST NATIONAL

EVICTION BAN
Tenants struggling to get coronavirus rent relief, research reveals
With weeks until the expiry of a nationwide ban on rental evictions, new research reveals just how difficult it has been for tenants to secure any rental relief from their landlords.

The Portraits of a Pandemic report from Tenants Victoria found negotiating to reduce rent was difficult and stressful, particularly against the backdrop of broader uncertainty over people's work and finances.

Negotiated reductions were "hard won" and generally for just three months or less, the report found.

Many tenants were forced to settle for a deferral of rent — a future debt — instead of a reduction.

A large number of renters who participated in the survey reported they expected their tenancies would be at risk as soon as the protection against eviction for arrears related to COVID-19 finished at the end of September.

Intensive care unit nurse Carolyn Brownie was unable to negotiate any rent reduction on her Melbourne flat after her income crashed in April when the number of her shifts fell in the early days of the pandemic.

Unable to access support programs like JobKeeper or JobSeeker, she began three months of fruitless correspondence with her real estate agent over her financial hardship. It garnered no result, apart from the suggestion she attempt to find a flatmate to share the rent.
"I was told you need to get someone to move in with you," she said.
"I'm the most high-risk COVID housemate, the most high-risk date around!"

It took the involvement of Consumer Affairs Victoria to find a resolution.

The watchdog contacted the landlord, who would not agree to a reduction, or even for Ms Brownie to go into arrears. This enabled the rental contract to be terminated and her to move out before the end of the term.
"This doesn't sound very fair to the landlord," the real estate agent told her when the consumer body's decision was handed down.

With stage 4 restrictions — currently some of the strictest quarantine conditions in the world — in place in Melbourne, Ms Brownie is unable to search for a new property.
"I'd be homeless except for having a girlfriend who's up in northern New South Wales — and not coming back for a while, clearly — with an empty apartment I could move into," Ms Brownie said.

Renter-landlord 'power imbalance'
Landlords gave the survey a raft of reasons for refusing to reduce rents, but the most common — more than a third — was "no reason given", incensing the renters' lobby group.
"It's an extraordinary statement of the power imbalance that exists between tenants, real estate agents and landlords," Tenants Victoria chief executive Jennifer Beveridge said.
"And it's a blatant disregard of the clear directive given by the Premier and Prime Minister for 'good faith' negotiations to be had between all parties."

National Cabinet asked renters to negotiate with landlords for a rent reduction if they had lost income due to the impact of coronavirus.

But legislation enacting a broad, but not complete, ban on rental evictions was passed by separate states and territories.

Some allowed wide, "no reason required" clauses that continued to permit evictions. Others resulted in most reductions really being deferrals, creating a growing issue with tenants accruing massive debts.
"Deferral means the problem hasn't been averted, it's just been delayed, and it's snowballing into a bigger problem," Ms Beveridge said.
"People in Victoria aren't returning to normal work in September.
"People are affected now who have never had to ask for help before. They've dipped into their super, they're coming up to September and they've got nothing left."

The second most common reason given to tenants for refusing a rental reduction (22 per cent) was "landlord said no/needed income/not eligible", which points to the aligned nature of the problem.

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

Add in small business, car and other loans, and the number on hold rises to around 900,000 agreements worth about $266 billion from Australia's 20 biggest banks and mutuals.

But it is a payment freeze — and does not pause interest accruing on the debts. In most cases, the loans are being extended with extra interest loaded onto the total owed.

With a cliff of problems looming in September, Australian Banking Association chief executive Anna Bligh last month announced a further four-month extension to loan deferrals for those still in need, subject to negotiation between customers and institutions.

Tough road ahead
With the rental eviction ban in different states set to expire at the end of September, each jurisdiction will need to deal with the problem.

It comes as rents start to fall steeply in some regions hardest hit by the virus, and associated lockdowns and border closures.

With many young people returning home to their parents due to their income falling, and many international temporary residents also returning home, the number of vacant rental properties has surged in some areas.

But there are multiple housing markets in Australia, and different areas within the same big cities can see vastly disparate results.

CoreLogic's head of research, Eliza Owen, has seen a surge of rental listings across Australia's inner-city markets, particularly Melbourne and Sydney.
"This is because the majority of new migrants to Australia are renters, at least initially," she wrote.
"Other factors contributing to the heightened level of rent listings include a recent … surge in high-rise construction activity."

Meanwhile, demand has been hit because industry sectors in which many of the workers tend to rent, such as hospitality, accommodation, tourism, the arts and recreation, have been slammed by the economic impact of the virus.

With more large apartment projects approved and built during the last boom and set to hit the market soon, investors may choose to cut their losses and sell, which could lead to falling prices for buyers — and renters.

The looming situation also puts a focus on the relationships and responsibilities of real estate agents as conduits between renters and landlords.

Ms Brownie sees the agent's position as too conflicted to be of any use.
"Our real estate agent wasn't a neutral person — she acted like a judge," she said.
"The real estate agent more than once tried to stop me even bringing it to the landlords … she told me no multiple times and accused me of lying about my financial situation, even when presented with bank statements."

Few people would have had the time and persistence to get the result she did, Ms Brownie said.
"Good luck to people. But I have balls and brains to do it, and I can get things done," she said.
"It's just me — I can research the Residential Tenancies Act, I've got the time. I'm not a mum, I don't have kids to look after, I don't have things going on."
https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/markets ... d=msedgdhp

EARLY ACCESS TO SUPER SCHEME ( COVID STIMULOUS FUNDED BY EVERYONE EXCEPT THE GOVT )
Aussies flout super scheme
Almost half of those who claimed a second round of cash from their superannuation amid the coronavirus pandemic hadn't suffered a drop in earnings, research has revealed.
Citizens and permanent residents were able to access $10,000 of their super until June 30 and an additional $10,000 from July 1 if their income had fallen.

AlphaBeta and leading credit bureau illion partnered to track the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Their analysis revealed almost 40 per cent of the 1.35 million Australians who applied for early access to their superannuation hadn't seen a drop in their income.
<< SO THEY APPLIED FOR THE MONEY ON FALSE CLAIMS AND ARE LIKELY TO BE PROSECUTED AND END UP MANY THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN THE RED >>

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Recipients who were granted the second round of super withdrawals spent an extra $3,618 during the first fortnight, compared to $2,855 during the first lot of super withdrawals. Pictured: Data from AlphaBeta-illion and leading credit bureau illion

Recipients who were granted the second round of super withdrawals spent an extra $3,618 during the first fortnight, compared to $2,855 during the first lot of super withdrawals.

The data revealed 64 per cent of the spending during the second round was 'discretionary', including gambling (11 per cent) and clothing (10 per cent), while 24 per cent was 'essential' and 12 per cent was 'debt repayment'.

The research was based on a sample of 13,000 Australians who withdrew their super in round one and 10,100 who accessed the cash in round two.

Cash spent on groceries during the first fortnight with the lump sum increased by more than $200 - from $320 in round one to $531 in round two.

Those wishing to access the cash were told they had to meet strict criteria such as being unemployed, being made redundant or having working hours reduced by 20 per cent.

However, there were few checks on this when people applied - and now the ATO is launching a crackdown on people who took money out of their superannuation that they were not eligible for.
Image
The data revealed 64 per cent of the spending during the second round was 'discretionary', including gambling (11 per cent) and clothing (10 per cent), while 24 per cent was 'essential' and 12 per cent was 'debt repayment'
'The government has amped up warnings on compliance checks and penalties for misuse of this scheme but that doesn't seem to have stopped withdrawals by many who should not be using it,' AlphaBeta director Andrew Charlton told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Australian Tax Office has warned they will take action against people who have deliberately exploited the system during the unprecedented health crisis.
'Compliance remains one of our priorities to ensure the integrity of the tax and super system,' the ATO said.
'We have seen some COVID-19 early release of super examples where people are doing the wrong thing.
'In some cases, we have stopped applications and prevented super money from being released.'

Those who provide false or misleading information could face penalties of more than $12,000 for each false and misleading statement.

More than 2.7 million people have acted on the early access to super funds during the pandemic, withdrawing more than $33 billion.
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

HOTEL QUARANTINE MATTERS
Hotel quarantine will pose Covid outbreak risk as long as virus thrives overseas, experts warn
A hotel security guard in Sydney has contracted Covid-19 from a returned traveller in quarantine and infection-control experts say that as long as the virus rages overseas, “hotel quarantine will remain a source of risk of further outbreaks”.

It has been suggested that security guards should now be replaced at hotels by trained nurses.

The New South Wales chief health officer, Dr Kerry Chant, announced on Tuesday that a guard who worked at the Sydney Harbour Marriott hotel in Circular Quay had “most likely” contracted the virus from a traveller from the US, and subsequently worked at a court building, a market and a shopping centre in western Sydney while infectious.
Chant said genomic sequencing showed the strain of the virus the guard had acquired matched the traveller in quarantine. It was different from the clusters in Sydney, including the Crossroads hotel, which have been linked to Melbourne’s second wave.
The guard worked at the Marriott hotel in early August and subsequently worked at Parramatta local court and Flemington market.
“They were the times when the person was infectious,” Chant said.

NSW Health is now warning people who were at the Flemington market on Sunday 9 August from 8am to 4pm, or at the Parramatta court on Tuesday 11 August or Wednesday 12 August from 8.30am to 12.30pm, to monitor for symptoms and get tested if any develop.

Chant said the guard, who was a security contractor, did not work while infectious at the Marriott hotel. He developed symptoms on 11 August.

NSW police assistant commissioner Leanne McCusker, when asked why the guard had worked across so many different locations, said that was a matter for his private employer.

There is always the potential for a similar spread [to Victoria] if the authorities don’t find out about the infection of a security guard rapidly.

Prof Mary-Louise McLaws
Prof Mary-Louise McLaws, an infection prevention expert from the University of New South Wales, said the case showed the difficulty of quarantining returned travellers in hotels.
“That is a built environment for a hotel, not for an infectious disease,” she said.
“Security guards are not healthcare workers and they might not be fully appreciative of any slight breach in infection control that could place themselves at risk – and the wider community. They need to have very specific training, and not just online training.”

McLaws said there were potential parallels between NSW and Victoria, where breaches in hotel quarantine led to thousands of cases in the state.
“There is always the potential for a similar spread if the authorities don’t find out about the infection of a security guard rapidly and remove them from household contacts. Often security guards live in shared housing, they share lifts to work and they also may share meeting rooms and lunchrooms without their masks on.”

Prof Raina MacIntyre, also from UNSW, said hotel quarantine would “continue to pose a risk” as long as the virus was still “raging overseas”.
“Every time we bring Covid under control, hotel quarantine will remain a source of risk of further outbreaks,” she said on Tuesday.

Australia’s acting chief medical officer, Prof Paul Kelly, when asked about Victoria’s hotel quarantine arrangements in early July, said “appropriate people” had to be trained properly “to really reinforce the issues around infection control”.

According to Chant, the traveller in question was tested for Covid-19 on 2 August and a positive test was returned on 4 August. They were then transferred to a health hotel for people with Covid-19.

She said the guard told NSW Health he had “no recollection of coming in contact with any guests”. She said it was possible “there may have been an intermediary who got infected”.

McCusker said NSW police had launched an investigation and were looking at CCTV footage to see how the guard contracted the virus.

McLaws said it was possible the guard could have contracted the virus through his eyes – as most security staff do not wear eye protection – or through poor ventilation.

She said the government should consider replacing security guards with trained health professionals, or pairing them with nurses.
“It is now time for security guards to wear a shield to protect their eyes and to potentially increase the environmental cleaning,” she said.
“If they replace them with nursing staff, that is potentially replacing them with the correct group. Nurses are not trained to be security officers but they are trained in infection prevention and control.
“It is difficult for one staff member to be trained in both to the level that is needed. Potentially a nurse needs to accompany a guard in all cases. But that won’t protect their eyes or prevent opportunistic airborne spread that happens when you have low airflow changes.”

NSW has used 2,500 police guards in hotel quarantine and 2,000 private security guards to date.

McCusker was asked what roles security guards play in hotel security. She said they “maintain security around the various floors”. She did not disclose what company the guard worked for.

The assistant commissioner added that police “ensure” strict safety is observed at NSW hotels.
“In terms of the police and the security guard, can I say that we have strong and robust safety protocols in place,” McCusker said. “All police and security guard prior to deployment are part of a safety briefing.
“The PPE equipment is worn appropriately, in particular, when close contact is taking place, and police continue to ensure safety observations and strict safety protocols at these locations.”

McCusker said that all the police who worked at the Marriott hotel at the same time had been tested for Covid-19 and so far tested negative. All the security guards who worked with the positive worker have been tested and over half had received negatives results so far.

NSW Labor’s health spokesman, Ryan Park, called on the health minister, Brad Hazzard, to “urgently outline what steps are being taken to ensure hotel quarantine is robust and working properly”.
“Is he increasing PPE supplies or staff training to ensure the safety of those in quarantine, those working in quarantine and the wider community?” Park asked.
“If there is a risk of exposure, should we be employing these guards full-time so we can prevent community transmission?”

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

RUBY PRINCESS
Agriculture officers did not conduct coronavirus health checks as required on Ruby Princess
Officers from the Department of Agriculture did not follow proper processes when inspecting the Ruby Princess, neglecting to conduct health checks on passengers before they were let off the coronavirus-struck ship.

The special commission of inquiry examining the bungled disembarkation of infected passengers handed down its report on Friday, finding blame primarily lay with NSW Health for several "serious mistakes", including classifying the ship as low risk.

But when the ship docked in March, federal authorities from the Department of Agriculture and the Australian Border Force (ABF) were present.

A national protocol required Agriculture officers to complete Traveller with Illness checklists if unwell passengers were reported.

But on Tuesday department secretary Andrew Metcalfe told the Senate's COVID-19 committee that did not happen.
"There were local arrangements in place in Sydney that were heavily reliant upon the interplay between my department, the Department of Health in NSW and the doctors on the ship," he said
"In hindsight, the national protocol was not followed and the officers believed that they were exercising their responsibilities appropriately through the communication that did occur with the NSW Health Department."

He said his officers had relied on discussions with NSW Health in their assessment, rather than speaking to the ship's doctor.
"[Aren't Agriculture health checks] supposed to be the last line of defence to detect the very type of outbreak we were seeing on board the Ruby Princess?" Labor senator Kristina Keneally asked.
"That arrangement was part of an overall scheme which obviously failed in multiple places," Mr Metcalfe responded.
"Our officers adopted a local practice at the port of Sydney, that is a clear lesson that has been learned."

Mr Metcalfe told the inquiry his officers were responsible for granting pratique — or permission to disembark — but he was unable to say precisely when or which of the two biosecurity officers present granted pratique.

He later said that even in an informal sense, pratique was granted because his officers did not attempt to stop passengers from leaving the ship.

Border Force rejects misreading of test results contributed to disaster
The NSW commission of inquiry rejected the notion an ABF officer's misreading of passengers' test results, as revealed by the ABC, played a direct role in the disembarkation of passengers.

The ABF has always maintained its officers have no legislated responsibility for human biosecurity. It led to questions on Tuesday about why its staff were being asked to examine test results and report back to superiors.

ABF commissioner Michael Outram said his officers did not have any power to examine the materials or make decisions relating to them, arguing his officers were just trying to be "helpful".
"I think my officers were just trying to be diligent," he said.
"They had no legislative basis to do it, they were trying to be helpful.
"Had they unearthed some information that was indicative of a problem, I've got no doubt they would have contacted my colleagues at Agriculture."

But he also said the result would "probably not" have been different if the officer had properly understood 11 passengers in isolation had not been cleared of COVID-19.
"Had the officer become concerned for any reason, they would have made a phone call … [the] issue would have been elevated if there were concerns," he said.
"The fact that he misread COVID test negative or influenza test negative — he has no medical training, he wouldn't know the difference really.
"I'm not going to criticise my officers for trying to be helpful."

He flatly rejected Senator Keneally's suggestion the officer's work outside of their legislative role could have contributed to confusion on the ground.

ADF says it was on offer to Victoria
The inquiry also provided the opportunity for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to address comments by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews that no offer was made for the Army to assist with hotel quarantine efforts.

Mr Andrews said last week military assistance for his state's hotel quarantine program was not offered.

But the head of Defence's coronavirus taskforce, Lieutenant General John Frewen, told the committee ADF support was on offer to all states and territories equally.

He said the Prime Minister had offered ADF help as early as late March, when the quarantine regime was established.
"The Prime Minister made an announcement that the ADF would be available to provide support with the mandatory quarantine arrangements that had been agreed," he said.
"The ADF, it was made plain, would be made available to all the states and territories to help with whatever arrangements were put in place for quarantine.
"The offers to the states and territories were the same."
ADF says it was on offer to Victoria
The inquiry also provided the opportunity for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to address comments by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews that no offer was made for the Army to assist with hotel quarantine efforts.

Mr Andrews said last week military assistance for his state's hotel quarantine program was not offered.

But the head of Defence's coronavirus taskforce, Lieutenant General John Frewen, told the committee ADF support was on offer to all states and territories equally.

He said the Prime Minister had offered ADF help as early as late March, when the quarantine regime was established.

"The Prime Minister made an announcement that the ADF would be available to provide support with the mandatory quarantine arrangements that had been agreed," he said.

"The ADF, it was made plain, would be made available to all the states and territories to help with whatever arrangements were put in place for quarantine.

"The offers to the states and territories were the same."

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

Scott Morrison is accused of 'flat-out lying' over Ruby Princess
Scott Morrison has been accused of 'flat-out lying' after it emerged the Australian Border Force had no power to stop infected passengers getting off the coronavirus-riddled Ruby Princess cruise ship.

On 15 March, four days before 2,700 passengers were allowed to disembark in Sydney, the prime minister told reporters that cruise ships would be subject to new rules under the command of the Border Force.

But a report on released on Friday found that Border Force was 'granted no specific powers' to stop passengers disembarking.

The Ruby Princess has been linked to 28 coronavirus deaths, after more than 600 passengers later tested positive.
Labor Senator Kristina Keneally on Tuesday accused the prime minister of lying to Australians.
'The prime minister, let's call a spade a shovel here, flat out lied when he announced on the 15th of March, that arriving cruise ships would be under "bespoke arrangements" under the "direct command" of the Australian Border Force,' she told ABC Radio.
'Four days later the Ruby Princess arrived and what Commissioner Walker's report lays bare that the Australian Border Force had absolutely no power to stop that ship.
'Despite the Prime Minister's grand announcements just four days earlier, Australian Border Force were unable to stop passengers from disembarking from the ship and were unable to stop the ship from even arriving.'

Senator Keneally added: 'This is so typical of Scott Morrison. He might be the Prime Minister of Aus, but he's more like the Wizard of Oz.
'He's standing up making these big announcements but when you pull back the curtain, you realise it's all just smoke and mirrors there's nothing much of substance there.'

A spokesman for the prime minster declined to comment on Senator Keneally's accusation.

In an interview on Sydney radio 2GB on Saturday, Mr Morrison said Labor's 'sniping' was 'disappointing'.
'We were being straight with people about what happened. The inquiry has borne that out,' he said.

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

JOBSEEKER
No permanent changes to JobSeeker coming
The committee also heard from Social Services Minister Anne Ruston, who said it would be irresponsible to make changes to the permanent rate of JobSeeker while the economic impact of the pandemic was evolving.

The payment — formally known as NewStart — was effectively doubled earlier this year, with a $550 "coronavirus supplement" added to the $40-a-day payment.

From September the supplement will be reduced to $250, taking the overall payment to $815 a fortnight.
Labor and the Greens have pressured the Government never to return to the old NewStart rate.

But Senator Ruston told the committee it was not feasible to consider permanent changes to JobSeeker as the pandemic unfolded.
"Ongoing permanent structure change to our welfare system is a matter for another time," she said.
"Right now I am focused on dealing with the circumstances that are currently before me."

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

NO COVID PLAN FOR DISABLED
Government coronavirus plan did not include people living with disability, royal commission told
The Federal Government's emergency response plan to COVID-19 made no mention of people living with a disability, a royal commission has heard.

Senior Counsel Assisting Kate Eastman SC said people with a disability and their advocates "watched and waited" for the Government to come up with a plan.

Ms Eastman said the COVID-19 plan released at the start of the pandemic addressed groups such as the aged care sector and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.

But people living with disability were conspicuously absent.

The Royal Commission into Disability heard that when there was still no plan by April, a group of some 70 disability organisations issued an open letter imploring the Government to address pandemic measures specifically for the disability sector.

It was not until April 16, more than a month after the World Health Organization had declared a pandemic, that the Federal Government finally released a plan.

The royal commission is looking at the impact of COVID-19 on people with disability and how the Federal Government has responded.

It will also investigate whether the Federal Government did enough to prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disabilities.

In his opening address, the Chair, Ronald Sackville QC, said: "Whatever may be uncertain about this pandemic, it was clear from the outset that people with disability were likely to be disproportionately affected.
"In one sense we are all in this together but we have not all been affected equally."

The inquiry heard from a Tasmanian woman who was left without a care worker for four days due to the pandemic.

Tammy Milne described the lockdown she experienced as "like living in a science fiction film".

She told of one Friday evening when her care worker failed to show up.

Ms Milner and her husband, who has a chronic illness, had to call in a friend to help.

She described her shock when she learnt her care worker was self-isolating after a possible exposure to COVID-19.
"We hadn't done anything to bring it on ourselves," she said.
"It had invaded our home without our consent and we had no control over it coming in because potentially it could come in with a support worker."

The commission also heard there had been a sharp increase in violence against women with a disability during the pandemic.

Ms Eastman described the findings of a recent survey on domestic violence as "frightening".
"One in four said they had experienced physical violence during COVID-19. One in six said they had experienced sexual violence during COVID-19," she said.
"Two in five said they had experienced emotional, abusive, harassing or controlling behaviour during COVID-19."

Giving evidence via videolink from Victoria, lived experience witness Nicole Lee said she'd endured a decade of abuse at the hands of her former husband.

She said the lockdown was making it more difficult for women with a disability to ask for help.
"If a support worker is coming in, with a violent partner there it isn't safe," she said.
"The opportunities to have those conversations have been removed."

Witness AAV from South Australia is a full-time carer for her four children, who each have a disability of some kind.
"The rest of the community has experienced social isolation due to COVID-19. That's my everyday life," she told the commission.

She said even before the pandemic, she was trapped at home and her family were trapped with her.
"It's like having a newborn in the house where you have to organise all your activities around your most disabled," she said.

She receives a carer's allowance of $9 a day.
"We're the forgotten members of this society," she said.

The commission heard evidence about the economic impact of COVID-19 on people with a disability.

Patrick McGee from the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations said he was concerned to see the National Disability Agency had introduced a temporary 10 per cent increase to the price providers could charge for some services.

But the inquiry heard there was no similar increase in the plans of participants in the scheme.

On top of that, people on the Disability Support Pension (DSP) did not receive the coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight which was paid to people on JobSeeker.
"The lack of the DSP in the pandemic payments really sowed confusion in the disability sector," said Mr McGee.

He said those with a disability had suffered a direct financial impact due to the pandemic with increased transport costs, food delivery costs, increased utility prices and difficulty in accessing medications.

The hearing continues

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

EXPATS STRANDED IN BALI ( INDONESIA )
Thousands of Australians forced to pay $140 every day to stay in Bali
Australians will be fined $140 every day unless they leave Bali as Indonesia attempts to control its coronavirus outbreak.

The country previously chose to freeze all visa arrangements for international travellers and allowed them to stay.

The arrangement is expected to end on Thursday, which will mean that the estimated 7,000 Australians living there will face the daily penalties.
<< WELL , THEY HAVE HAD SINCE MARCH TO RETURN TO AUSTRALIA AND HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO DO SO >>
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Smart Traveller website warned Australians last week to apply to extend their visa or make plans to come home as soon as possible.
'Indonesia's Directorate General of Immigration will no longer automatically extend expired visas or stay permits under COVID-19 emergency arrangements,' it said.

'Overstaying your permit may result in fines, detention and/or deportation.'

It noted that COVID-19 was 'widespread' in Indonesia and Australians were not allowed to travel to the island nation.
Indonesian Institute president Ross Taylor said the changes had left many Australian's unprepared but he believed that detention was unlikely.
'It has really caused a lot of panic, he told The West Australian.

Mr Taylor said the group is lobbying to extend the visa freeze to allow Australians to get out of the country without facing massive charges due to flight delays.
'We just want to give people a chance because at the moment there are no international flights operating out of Bali,' he said.

Mr Taylor said the only available routes out of Bali would take Australians through a string of countries and cost thousands of dollars.
He said once Australians arrived they would need to foot an additional $2,500 bill to be placed in hotel quarantine.
WA Premier Mark McGowan said he would be looking at ways to bring home Australians while keeping his state safe.
'Obviously we have to cope with large numbers of people still coming into the country,' he said.
'At any given point in time we have between 1200 and 1500 people in quarantine hotels.'

Mr McGowan said he wanted to avoid a Victoria-style outbreak from the influx of travellers.

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

EFFECT OF LOTS OF CBD WORKERS WORKING FROM HOME
Coronavirus has forced Australians to work from home, but what are the impacts on CBDs?
Over more than a decade, millions of Australian workers have made the transition out of the physical workplace and into the home office.

Since the COVID-19 shutdowns, almost half of the Australian working population has spent time working from home.

Experts believe at least a significant minority of these newly-at-home workers will stay there in the longer term, with potentially dramatic consequences for the central business districts of Australia's capital cities.

Many of Australia's largest corporate employers are keeping most of their staff at home for now.

Some city-based small business owners are worried their customer base may never return to pre-COVID-19 levels.

A recent study found that most Australian workers now want to work at home two weekdays out of every five.

Getting the balance right
Professor John Buchanan, head of business analytics at the Sydney Business School, said there are strong incentives for business operators to keep workers at home, and strong incentives for workers to stay there.
"Employers are looking at reducing costs," he said.
"If you cut half of the size of your … [office] requirement in the CBD in Sydney that's a monumental saving.
"On the supply side, there are workers … looking for more accommodating arrangements."

Frustration about commuting times and a "recognition of the need to have a better balance" between work and family life are also strong factors, Professor Buchanan said.

Bosses generally want to keep an eye on what their employees are doing, and workers can suffer mental health and family consequences if the line between home life and work becomes chronically blurred.

But Professor Buchanan argued employers are likely to push for greater surveillance of workers at home — just as universities have turned to online software to stop students cheating on exams — rather than miss the cost-saving benefits of leasing less physical space.

Overseas, the coronavirus crisis has caused major global businesses to discover they may be better off allowing staff to work from home.

The birth of a trend
If you wind the clock back to November 2008, when the Global Financial Crisis was raging, only about one in every hundred Australian employees, excluding business managers, worked mainly from home according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

By 2019, before COVID-19 was detected in Australia, about a third of the country's working population was regularly working from home.

As April turned to May this year, after Australia's first coronavirus wave peaked, nearly half of the Australian workforce — 46 per cent — was mainly working from home.

Michelle Marquardt, program manager for the ABS household survey, said that although many workers will return to their former workplaces, some will not.
"There certainly will be less people going into the workplace," she said, adding that this may have an impact on those workers' mental health.

The impact on CBD businesses
Office workers help sustain all manner of hospitality venues, retail stores, cultural and arts institutions — and less directly, government coffers — by spending money and engaging in the life of the city.

At the time of the last Census, about 420,000 people travelled in and out of Sydney's CBD to work each day.

That's about three quarters of that city's working population.

It's an even higher proportion in Adelaide, where about 95 per cent of city workers made the commute.

Linh Nguyen owns an Asian takeaway restaurant in the centre of Adelaide's CBD with her sister Bich, serving lunch mostly to office workers.
Although business has begun to pick back up since the initial COVID-19 shutdowns, she's worried it will never return to pre-pandemic levels.
"A few customers have actually said they work a lot better from home and they wouldn't mind staying [and] not having to spend so much money on lunch and coffees," she said.
"They don't have to waste time commuting [and] they didn't realise how much money they were spending until COVID happened.
"That has definitely been weighing on us. I don't think it will go back to normal … it's a bit concerning for the future."

Ms Nguyen said she and her sister have been focusing more on the catering side of the business, and pushing to be more visible on social media, to mitigate the impact.
"Most of our customers are people who work in government jobs and office jobs," she said.
"We definitely have to try to change with what's happening — that's the only way to survive really."

Major corporates keeping workers home
With the COVID-19 pandemic far from over, many of Australia's biggest white-collar employers are taking a cautious approach and keeping the vast majority of workers at home.

The Commonwealth Bank has said about 5,950 of its employees were working in city offices around Australia during a one-week period last month — down from almost 18,000 during the first week of February.

Westpac said in a statement that it was "continuing with a distributed workforce for the foreseeable future, with a mix of people working from home and working in the office each week".
"In March we scaled from around 1,000 to 22,000 employees in Australia working from home in just two weeks," a spokesperson said.

Major financial services and consultancy firm Deloitte said an unexpected benefit of the working-from-home arrangement was "finding out that in our profession, and with our investment in technology and people policies, we have been able to work from home effectively at very short notice for extended periods of time".

A Deloitte spokesperson said the company was committed to its physical office space around the country, but noted that a new "skillset" had emerged in a "physical-digital hybrid environment".
"The physical workplace will remain important for encouraging activities that bring our people, partners and clients together," the spokesperson said.
"These distinctly human activities will be supported and augmented by the use of digital technologies."

Commercial real estate and workplace culture
Property Council of Australia national president Ken Morrison said it was clear some businesses would not return all their staff to offices at pre-pandemic levels — but that is yet to be reflected in commercial real estate statistics.
"There's no doubt some [businesses] will make that decision to lease less space over time," he said.
"What we have yet to see in the market place is examples of existing tenants offloading office space.
"We may well in the future."

However, Mr Morrison said that despite the significant changes to working arrangements, offices and CBDs were likely to remain "a really important part of the economy".
"People are asking … is the role of the CBD dead, or under challenge?" he said.
"There is a lot of economic activity which is dependent on people being in the CBD.
"The reason why businesses bring people together [is] for productivity, to solve problems [and] for culture."

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

Desperate plea for blood donations as numbers decline during lockdown
The Red Cross has issued an appeal to all Australians eligible to give blood due to a downturn in donations during the coronavirus lockdown.
Up to 10,383 donations of blood and plasma are needed in the next two weeks or trauma patients, pregnant women and cancer patients are expected to suffer, the organisation said.

Lifeblood Chief Executive Shelly Park said 31,000 donations are needed every week across Australia to meet demands and said 5000 people have either cancelled or not shown up to their appointment in the past three months.
"We want to thank everyone who's continued to step up and donate during this pandemic," Ms Park said.
"However the reality is, the need for blood and blood products never stops."

The Red Cross wants to reassure the community COVID-safe measures are in place across all Lifeblood donor centres.
"Donating blood and plasma is classed as essential care giving and we have worked with all state and territory governments to make sure donors can keep their appointments, even in lockdown."
Only healthy people are eligible to give blood and plasma and stringent wellness checks are taken out prior to appointments, including temperature checking.

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

COVID19 VACCINE DEVELOPMENTS
FEDERAL Health minister 'confident' about coronavirus vaccine progress
Australian researchers are "punching well above" their weight in the push for a COVID-19 vaccine, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says.

Mr Hunt is now "confident" a jab will be made available by the middle of next year.
"I have been very cautious until now, but now the data and the science is looking more prospective and we're in advanced negotiations on a number of those vaccines," Mr Hunt told 2GB's Ray Hadley this morning.



The Australian government is in negotiations with promising vaccine trials around the world including one at Oxford University in the UK and another locally at the University of Queensland.
"We are working right across the world to look at the most prospective vaccines and we have one particular ace up our sleeve and that is Australian manufacturing capability through CSL's Parkville plant in Melbourne – they have an international gold standard vaccine manufacturer called Seqirus in their portfolio."

That could help roll out a vaccine to supply Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, Mr Hunt said.
"We are very well placed on that front."

The government was looking at "a number" of different vaccines, he said.
"You don't know which one is going to be successful but we've been able to identify the top candidates," Mr Hunt said.
The exact details of just how effective the vaccine would be remains unclear, he said.
"This is where the jury is still out – whether it would be a partial vaccine like the flu which will reduce the likelihood of you getting it and reduce the consequences if you do, or a full vaccine such as measles or smallpox, there's a lot more science to go," Mr Hunt said.
"I've been cautious on the nature of the vaccine but I am now more confident on the fact of a vaccine."

As for a timeline, Mr Hunt said: "Our best expectation is middle of 2021, it could be a little earlier, it could be a bit later, but we'll be right up there with the fastest in the world because we have this manufacturing capability.
"We can cover a portion of the world to help whoever is successful and that is good news for Australians and it's good news for the world.
"We are punching well above our weight on the research side."

Progress around a possible vaccine would no doubt bring a glimmer of hope for Victorians, who Mr Hunt said are experiencing "unprecedented" times.
"It's especially frustrating for the people of Victoria," Mr Hunt said.
"This is my city, my state, and to see five million people in the Melbourne area in lockdown where they can't leave their homes except for an hour a day, this has an unprecedented impact on daily life, so our focus is to help them get the numbers down."

Victoria has recorded 222 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

Additionally, 17 more people have lost their lives to the virus in the state, taking Victoria's death toll to 334.


Mr Hunt also touched Victoria's aged care centres, where a majority of the COVID-19 deaths have occurred.

He urged Australians to remember the "vast majority" of health care providers around the country who were doing the right thing.
"I think it is important to say the overwhelming majority of aged care providers and staff do an incredible job," Mr Hunt said.
"The vast majority have magnificent, loving care, and it's important to honour our carers and those who do the right thing.
"But those who do the wrong thing – no mercy, no forgiveness."
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp


FEDERAL Parliament set to resume under tight COVID-19 restrictions IN ACT / CANBERRA .
Parliament is set to resume with fewer than 90 MPs in the lower house in order to comply with the ACT’s strict quarantining rules.
“So, there will have to be less than 100 people in the House of Representatives, including attendants, to avoid a potential shutdown of the parliament next week,” Sky News Political Editor Andrew Clennell said.
“The rules in the ACT are that if there are more than 100 people in a room, and someone tests positive to COVID-19, all the people in that room must get tested and self-isolate for 48 hours.
“So, the numbers of MPs will have to be kept below 90 and other MPs paired off.

Mr Clennell said the government is concerned important legislation may not get passed if parliament is shut down due to stringent COVID restrictions.
“You could have a situation where they are in the middle of debating legislation to enable the extension of Job Keeper and are unable to pass it because of a positive test,” Mr Clennell said.

He said in light of the difficult working conditions, the government and Labor are close to an agreement on remote parliament screenings, which will enable politicians to make speeches but will not allow them to vote on legislation.

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:56 am

18 AUGUST NZ
New Zealand reports 13 new confirmed cases of coronavirus
New Zealand on Tuesday reported 13 new confirmed cases of coronavirus for the last 24 hours compared with nine a day earlier as the Pacific nation battles to contain an outbreak in the biggest city of Auckland.

Twelve cases are linked to the existing virus cluster in Auckland, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said in a media briefing in Wellington.

Auckland, home to nearly a third of New Zealand's 5 million people, remains in lockdown due to a flare up in infections there. Social distancing rules are in place in other towns and cities.

New Zealand has so far recorded just under 1,300 confirmed cases and 22 deaths.

Director-General of Health and Chief Executive Dr Ashley Bloomfield said 12 of the 13 new infections reported on Tuesday are linked to known clusters.

New Zealand is currently battling 90 active infections: 69 linked to a community cluster in Auckland, 20 in returned travellers in hotel quarantine and one separate infection in a maintenance worker.
The man works in maintenance at the Rydges Hotel managed isolation facility in Auckland but he does not have any routine contact with guests.
Worker at New Zealand quarantine hotel tests positive for Covid-19
A new case of Covid-19 separate from the main cluster has been confirmed in New Zealand, with the infected person identified as a maintenance worker in a quarantine hotel in Auckland.

On Tuesday, 13 new cases were confirmed, with 12 relating to the Auckland cluster, which now numbers 69 in total.

One new case not related to the Auckland cluster has been discovered, with a hotel worker at the Rydges hotel testing positive on 16 August.

The hotel worker attended two church services before he was diagnosed and his contacts are being traced, authorities said.
“A new case not linked to the existing cluster shows a second border breach has occurred since New Zealand achieved elimination,” said Dr David Welch at the centre for computational evolution at the University of Auckland.
On Monday, prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced she was delaying the general election by four weeks as a result of the new outbreak.

Genome sequencing has revealed that the strain of the virus the worker became infected with correlates to a guest from the US who stayed at the hotel in quarantine in late July and tested positive for Covid-19 on 31 July.

The director-general of health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, said no-one else related to the man had tested positive, and it was believed he has not spread the disease.

Bloomfield said the man performed maintenance on hotel rooms between bookings after the rooms had been cleaned, and had no direct contact with guests.
“The genome sequencing indicates his case is not linked to the current outbreak in the community but is most closely linked to a positive case that was in the Rydges and identified was on 31st of July. This is a returnee from the USA,” Bloomfield said.

Megan Woods, who is overseeing quarantine for the government, said a wider outbreak had not occurred at the Rydges Hotel.
All staff at Rydges hotel had now been tested, the minister said.
“The discovery of this second transmission into the community illustrates the challenge in keeping the virus at the border and reinforces the need for regular testing of workers at the border and MIQ facilities, whether they have symptoms or not.” said Professor Shaun Hendy, director of Te Pūnaha Matatini.
“It also shows the value of routine and rapid sequencing of all cases in New Zealand.”

Woods said the room the US returnee stayed in at the Rydges hotel had not been stayed in since she left, and had undergone industrial cleaning since her departure.

There was no evidence the infection occurred through “person-to-person contact”, Woods said, meaning it most likely spread through contaminated services.

Earlier on Tuesday Ardern revealed that although she thought all border workers were being tested for Covid-19, in reality, less than 40% were.

Health authorities are investigating the ports, the international airport and a cool store that handled freight for clues to where the virus entered New Zealand, but have warned the “index case” of the Auckland cluster could never be found. The cool store facility in west Auckland has been effectively “ruled out” as a potential site of infection.

Some 90% of the cases in the current cluster are Māori or Pasifika, and these communities have become the subject of intense harassment on social media.

Ardern told Radio New Zealand on Tuesday that prior to the outbreak it was her understanding that everyone working on the border was being tested, whether they were symptomatic or not.

A report released last week found that 60% of border staff had never been tested, with Ardern saying she had been told that some asymptomatic staff were “reluctant”

Ardern admitted that testing at the border was not “ as comprehensive as it should have been” but that no one was to blame. On Monday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the failure to border test comprehensively was the fault of “miscommunication”.

The minister of health, Chris Hipkins, expressed regret that rigorous testing had not occurred on the border, but said all front-facing border workers had been tested by the end of last week, and the priority is now shifting to the ports, with a mobile testing site erected at the Port of Tauranga.
“[Testing] does need to be mandated,” Ardern said. “It needs to stand alongside PPE and daily health checks”
Epidemiologists in New Zealand have criticised the government’s border testing regime as “very disappointing” and “complacent”, saying the borders and quarantine hotels were the highest-risk entry points for Covid-19.

Mandatory weekly testing for port and border staff has now been introduced, Hipkins said.

But Ardern cautioned against placing too much faith in weekly testing. “A weekly testing regime is not foolproof,” she said.

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

He carries out maintenance tasks in the hotel rooms between bookings and after the rooms have been disinfected. He wears personal protective equipment while on the job.
The man, who developed symptoms on Tuesday August 11, went to work for two days with a cough.
He tested positive to coronavirus on Sunday August 16 and genome sequencing results released on Tuesday indicates his infection is not linked to the Auckland community cluster.
'It is most closely linked to a positive case that was in the Rydges and was identified on the 31st of July,' Dr Bloomfield said.
'This is a returnee from the USA.' << A VERY HIGH COVID RISK NATION >>
The traveller was staying in the hotel from July 28 to July 31 before testing positive and being moved to the Jet Park quarantine facility.

Health authorities said there is 'no obvious person-to-person connection' between the worker and the returned traveller but investigations continue.

The maintenance worker has also been taken to the Jet Park Hotel quarantine facility.

Contact tracing and testing has not connected any further infections to the maintenance worker. He remains a single case.

All staff and returned travellers at the Rydges are being retested as a precaution.

Health officials have also contacted worshippers who attended two of the Emmanuel Cook Islands Good News Fellowship church services on August 9. All attendees are in self-isolation and will undergo testing.

Dr Bloomfield said 98 people - 44 positive cases and their close contacts - have been moved to the Auckland quarantine facility.
Auckland has returned to lockdown, or level three, to suppress the spread of the virus.

The rest of New Zealand has been placed at level two, which mandates social distancing and caps on gathering sizes.

The source of the fresh Kiwi outbreak is still yet to be determined.

New Zealand and Australian officials are collaborating over a possible link through a freight business with outlets in Melbourne and Auckland.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has delayed the New Zealand election by four weeks, naming October 17 as the new polling date after an outbreak of COVID-19 in Auckland.

New Zealand was set to go to the polls on September 19 until the country's first community outbreak in 102 days sprung up in Auckland last week.

Responding to calls from the opposition and her deputy Winston Peters, Ms Ardern decided to defer the election.
'I want to ensure we have a well-run election that gives all voters the best chance to receive all the information they need about parties and candidates and delivers certainty for the future,' she said in Wellington on Monday morning.
'I do need to provide certainty, a sense of fairness and a sense of comfort to voters to ensure them that this will be a safe election.'

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

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

New Zealand's PM Ardern hits back at Trump over coronavirus 'surge'
<< CALLING HIM OUT ON HIS FALSE / FAKE CLAIMS REGARDS THE NEW SPIKE IN NZ >>
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hit back on Tuesday against U.S. President Donald Trump for saying her country is experiencing a "big surge" in COVID-19, calling the remarks "patently wrong".
Trump sparked uproar in New Zealand when he told a crowd in Minnesota that the South Pacific country of 5 million people was in the grip of a "terrible" upsurge in COVID-19 cases, having earlier succeeded in eliminating the disease.

13 new infections were confirmed in New Zealand on Tuesday, taking the country's total number of cases since the pandemic began to 1,293, with 22 deaths.
This compares with the U.S. tally of more than 5.2 million cases and 170,000 deaths under Trump’s watch.
<< NZ TO BE DOING AS BADLY AS THE USA , NZ WOULD HAVE A DEATH RATE = 6 * 170K / 330 = 3090 AND AN INFECTION RATE OF 6 * 5.2/330 = 95K . >>
"You see what's going on in New Zealand?" Trump said.
"They beat it, they beat it, it was like front page they beat it ... because they wanted to show me something.
"The problem is ... big surge in New Zealand, you know it's terrible. We don't want that."

Ardern said there was no comparison between New Zealand's handful of new cases a day and the "tens of thousands" reported in the United States.
"I think anyone who's following COVID and its transmission globally will quite easily see that New Zealand's nine cases in a day does not compare to the United States' tens of thousands, and in fact does not compare to most countries in the world," she told reporters.
"Obviously it's patently wrong," she said of Trump's comments.
"We are still one of the best-performing countries in the world when it comes to COVID ... our workers are focused on keeping it that way."

New Zealand's death rate per 100,000 people, at about 0.44, is one of the lowest in the world thanks to strict lockdowns enforced early in the pandemic. The United States has a death rate of 5.21 per 100,000, one of the highest in the world.

MYSTERY OUTBREAK
New Zealand has fared far better than most countries during the pandemic, but an abrupt resurgence of COVID-19 last week in Auckland prompted the government to extend a lockdown for the city's 1.7 million residents until Aug. 26, while social distancing rules are in place in other towns and cities.

The origin of the latest outbreak is still unknown, but authorities earlier on Tuesday ruled out the possibility that it came from frozen food items or freight.
"Seems clear now that the possibility is being ruled out from that investigation," Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told reporters.

New Zealanders celebrated when the country passed 100 days without any community transmission earlier this month.

With an election due in mid-October, Ardern is keen to remind voters of her government's track record on fighting the virus.
"Every other single country in the world has experienced resurgence. We went longer than many, our outbreak is certainly not as significant as what we are seeing in Vietnam, in Hong Kong, in South Korea or in Australia," she told state broadcaster TVNZ.

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

<< REPORTED IN NEW HERE TODAY : A CHINESE FISHING MOTHERSHIP HAS BEEN TRACKED AND INTERSEPTED OFF NEWCASTLE ( DESPITE VERY HIGH SEAS ON MONDAY ) BY BORDERFORCE AND NSW OCEAN GOING PATROL BOAT SMUGGLING SEVERAL HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS OF ILLICIT DRUGS , THE VESSEL’S CREW IS RIFE WITH COVID19.
THIS SAME VESSEL MAY WELL HAVE BEEN INTERCEPTED BY AN AUCKLAND BASED TRAWLER OFF NZ AND THIS MAY WELL BE HOW COVID19 CAME BACK TO THE AUCKLAND , WOULD BE A VERY GOOD IDEA TO DOUBLE CHECK THE LOCAL FISHERMEN AND CHECK THEM FOR COVID19. >>


EVEN NZ HAS COVIDIOTS
New Zealand anti-lockdown protest is mercilessly mocked online
The 8-strong group gathered at Auckland Aotea Square on Saturday to slam Jacinda Ardern as the city returned to level three lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.

An image of the demonstration posted on Twitter on Sunday showed picketers milling about and waiting for others to arrive.
Image
'I don't think I will ever stop laughing at this Auckland anti-lockdown protest photo,' the caption read.
<< I HOPE THEY COPPED A LOT OF FLAK FROM THEIR WORKMATES , FRIENDS , FAMILIES AND NEIGHBOURS TOO >>
The social media user left a follow-up comment on Monday claiming a further 12 people appeared later in the day, bringing the total to 20.

People in the comments noted the initial group were within the ten-person limit.
'Looks like they kept under the crowd limit - how thoughtful!' one user wrote.

Others joked about the low turnout in a city of 1.6 million people.
'Goodness. It's a massive crowd. Well, it would be, if it was being held in a garden shed,' one woman wrote.
'Are you sure they aren't just lost on their way somewhere else?' another asked.
'Can you sure they weren't just waiting for the bus?' asked someone else.

Footage of the lackluster event was also shared on YouTube and featured lonely protesters holding signs, as police in face masks told them to go home.

A woman named Carol who donned a sign that read 'save our economy' and 'God bless New Zealand' said she was 'concerned about our economy'.
'[The government] won't even tell us if people have suicided over [the lockdowns].'
'No one has ever seen anything like this before. This is unfamilar ground for everyone, and they're frightened.'

After an officer told another protester to leave, he replied: 'Come try arrest us next week. There's 1,000 of us coming here'.

The next protest is set for Saturday August 22 at the same location in the middle of Auckland, but only 302 residents have clicked 'attending' on the Facebook event.

A further 1,200 people have marked themselves as 'interested' in the demonstration that promises to 'keep the government in check'.
'We will be taking a stand towards the people holding power over the decisions that are made for our nation,' the event details read.
'We would like all COVID-19 legislation and policies repealed as they violate our human rights and allow too much power to the Government and their agencies.'

The country is currently battling 90 active infections: 69 linked to a community cluster in Auckland, 20 in returned travellers in hotel quarantine and one separate infection in a maintenance worker at the Rydges Hotel.

While Auckland is in leven three lockdowns, the rest of New Zealand has been placed at level two, which mandates social distancing and caps on gathering sizes.

The source of the fresh Kiwi outbreak is still yet to be determined.

New Zealand and Australian officials are collaborating over a possible link through a freight business with outlets in Melbourne and Auckland.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/ne ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 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 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:07 am

19 AUGUST

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NOTE THE CHANGE IN SLOPE FOR THE LINE THAT NOW FOLLOWS THE SEMILOG EPIDEMILOGICAL CURVE WHICH IS NOW VERY FLAT FOR THE 2ND WAVE.
THERE IS ALSO A DEFINITE TREND DOWN FOR THE DAILY CASES.
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CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12572
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:25 am

19 AUGUST VIC

Victoria records 216 new cases and 12 deaths
Victoria has recorded 216 new coronavirus cases and 12 deaths over the past 24 hours.
The figures mark another continuous fall in daily cases and the death toll, with the case number the lowest in over a month.

Yesterday the state recorded 222 cases and 17 deaths.
Today's drop in cases reaffirms hope to Victorians that the number of COVID-19 infections was "trending down".

However, experts previously told 9news.com.au numbers had not dropped as much as expected.
"The decline in the last week hasn't been as dramatic as I might have expected. Nevertheless, it is going down," Tony Blakely, a Professorial Fellow in Epidemiology at the University of Melbourne said.
"It does look a bit better. It's going to take time."

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said overall the state's downward trend was "good".
"The number of overall active cases is coming down by the hundreds each day, but it is still a pretty big number," he said.
"I do expect that to decrease by a couple of hundred every day for the rest of this week and more next week. I would hope that we are in the hundreds, not in the 200s, next week but it all depends on everyone doing the right thing, including stepping up for testing."

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said overall the state's downward trend was "good".

"The number of overall active cases is coming down by the hundreds each day, but it is still a pretty big number," he said.

"I do expect that to decrease by a couple of hundred every day for the rest of this week and more next week. I would hope that we are in the hundreds, not in the 200s, next week but it all depends on everyone doing the right thing, including stepping up for testing."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to give further details of today's figures later this morning.
Wednesday's total, the lowest since July 13, further raises hopes the state's strict lockdown is slowing the spread of the virus.

Those who died were
3 men in their 70s,
4 women and 1 man in their 80s
and 3 women and one man in their 90s - all in aged care where there are 2,050 active cases across 120 facilities.
The deaths take the state's toll from the virus to 363 and the national toll to 450.

Five cases are in Victorian public sector aged care, while 2,045 cases are linked to private-sector facilities, which are regulated by the federal government.
'We are trending down and that's a very good sign,' Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said of the case numbers.
'The number of active cases in aged care is stabilising, the numbers in ICU and on ventilators have been pretty stable in the last couple of weeks.'

Professor Sutton said Wednesdays were usually a 'spike day' following testing over the weekend but the number of people getting tested is dropping.
He urged anyone with symptoms to come forward.

Melbourne is in the third week of a strict level-four lockdown, which includes an 8pm-5am curfew, due to end on September 13, while the rest of Victoria is under level-three restrictions.

There are 675 Victorians in hospital with the virus, 45 of those receiving intensive care.
29 of those in ICU are on ventilators.
The inquiry into the state's hotel quarantine program heard on Tuesday 90 per cent of cases in the second outbreak can be traced to the family who moved into the Rydges on Swanston hotel on May 15 after displaying coronavirus symptoms.

The family all tested positive to the virus three days later and within a week two security guards and a Rydges staff member were infected.
By mid-June, a total of 17 workers at the hotel and their close contacts had tested positive.

Department of Health and Human Services epidemiologist Dr Charles Alpren said on May 18 nursing staff were called to the room following an 'episode of environmental contamination'.
The incident is believed to have involved the spreading of human waste by children in a distressed state, The Herald Sun reported.
'Subsequently there is a suggestion that the family were approved to walk outside their room, during which they were accompanied by security guards,' Dr Alpren told the inquiry.
Victoria recorded 216 new cases of coronavirus and 12 deaths on Wednesday as horrific details emerged about the family who sparked the state's horror second wave.

An inquiry into Melbourne's quarantine program heard that the family were allowed to roam freely around the hotel after their children spread faeces around their room.

Wednesday's total, the lowest since July 13, further raises hopes the state's strict lockdown is slowing the spread of the virus.

Those who died were three men in their 70s, four women and one man in their 80s and three women and one man in their 90s - all in aged care where there are 2,050 active cases across 120 facilities.

a group of people walking down a street next to a body of water: Victoria has recorded 216 new cases of coronavirus and 12 deaths. Pictured: Police speaking to a local on Wednesday© Provided by Daily Mail Victoria has recorded 216 new cases of coronavirus and 12 deaths. Pictured: Police speaking to a local on Wednesday
a group of people walking down the street: Police and paramedics in Melbourne today after reports a man was found passed out in a laneway© Provided by Daily Mail Police and paramedics in Melbourne today after reports a man was found passed out in a laneway
The deaths take the state's toll from the virus to 363 and the national toll to 450.

Five cases are in Victorian public sector aged care, while 2,045 cases are linked to private-sector facilities, which are regulated by the federal government.

'We are trending down and that's a very good sign,' Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said of the case numbers.

'The number of active cases in aged care is stabilising, the numbers in ICU and on ventilators have been pretty stable in the last couple of weeks.'

Professor Sutton said Wednesdays were usually a 'spike day' following testing over the weekend but the number of people getting tested is dropping.

He urged anyone with symptoms to come forward.

Melbourne is in the third week of a strict level-four lockdown, which includes an 8pm-5am curfew, due to end on September 13, while the rest of Victoria is under level-three restrictions.
There are 675 Victorians in hospital with the virus, 45 of those receiving intensive care.
Twenty-nine of those in ICU are on ventilators.

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

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has conceded Victoria's second wave of coronavirus has suffered at hands of failures in contact tracing and hotel quarantine.
He told Today the situation to NSW, which had recently seen a rise in positive cases. When asked by Today host Karl Stefanovic whether he knew how many contact tracers Victoria had, the PM said: "I don't know the specific number off the top of my head Karl, no.
"I know that it is less than it is obviously in other states."

But the situation in Victoria was improving despite high death rates.
"That the numbers we are seeing coming out of Victoria on cases is improving," Mr Morrison said.
"Obviously the number of deaths we have seen is very upsetting and disturbing and again our sympathies to all of those families affected.
"But those numbers look like we are getting on top of it now which is welcome and we have got to stay the course." [/QUOTE]
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

Melbourne doctor but warns many more people will die before a vaccine
U.S. judge dismisses Trump's lawsuit to block subpoena for tax records
Coal is in crisis regardless of what Labor does

A doctor on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis in Melbourne says many more people will die before a vaccine is found.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Wednesday that all Australians will get a free dose of an Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is deemed effective and safe.

Director of Emergency at Royal Melbourne Hospital Mark Putland said it was the 'best news I've woken up to in a while', but warned the worst could be yet to come.
'You can't really go counting your chickens with this sort of things,' he told Today.
'Vaccines have to be tried, tested, very few of them make it through to be something useful ... I think the death rate will sty high for a little while yet.'

The number of new cases dropped in Victoria from 279 on Tuesday to 216 on Wednesday, but the death toll remains high with 17 fatalities recorded overnight.

The new daily total is the lowest since July 13, raising hopes the state's strict lockdown is working to slow the spread.

Doctor Putland added that the Oxford University vaccine has progressed through the testing process quickly was a promising step, and called for elderly people and healthcare workers to get the jab first.
'It seems selfish. I think there is sense in vaccinating healthcare workers and frontline responders, mainly because it is hard for us to isolate away from the disease,' he said.
The approval process for the vaccine candidate is expected to be concluded late this year or early next year.
As part of its multi-billion-dollar COVID-19 treatment and vaccine strategy, the government has also announced a contract with US company Becton Dickinson to supply 100 million needles and syringes at a cost of $24.7million.

An expert panel would rule which Australians should receive the first doses of the potential vaccine, with those suffering from two or more conditions moved to the front of the queue.
Cancer patients and those with co-morbidities such as asthma and heart disease would likely be prioritised, as would Australians over the age of 60, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Earlier trials of the Oxford University vaccine found it generated a strong immune response and a four-fold increase in antibodies against coronavirus in 95 per cent of participants.

A 'Letter of Intent' has been signed with AstraZeneca which would mean the firm agrees to hand over the vaccine once it is approved.
Australia would then make millions of doses on home soil and distribute them across the country.

The government would later sign a final formal agreement with the company, which would include details about the distribution, timing and price of the vaccine.

Scott Morrison said: 'The Oxford vaccine is one of the most advanced and promising in world, and under this deal we have secured early access for every Australian.

'If this vaccine proves successful we will manufacture and supply vaccines straight away under our own steam and make it free for 25 million Australians.'

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

Premier Andrews urges Victorians to get tested as case numbers fall
As the Victorian COVID-19 curve starts to flatten, Victorian authorities have warned the fall in case numbers may be an artificial and temporary lull due to fewer people presenting themselves for testing.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced only 16,109 coronavirus tests had been conducted in the last 24 hours while the state average per day was closer to 20,000.

“Obviously there are far less people moving around the community, that may mean that testing for some is not as convenient as it would otherwise have been,” he said.

As such the Premier encouraged all people with COVID-19 symptoms to come forward immediately and get tested saying “if you’ve got symptoms, then there’s every chance you’ve got this virus”.
“We’ve got to keep these testing numbers up”.

He pointed out the importance of having a complete picture of the COVID-19 impact on different parts of the state at different times.
“That intelligence, that data, is very important in terms of making really important decisions in the weeks and months to come”.

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

Vic council elections green-lit amid virus
Local council elections in virus-hit Victoria will go ahead with the blessing of chief health officer Brett Sutton.

As the state recorded 216 new COVID-19 cases and 12 further deaths, Local Government Minister Shaun Leane said the elections scheduled for October 24 would proceed as planned.
"This decision was not made lightly and is based on the best public health advice available," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

Mr Leane consulted with the Victorian government solicitor's office and chief health officer when making the call.

Mr Sutton concluded October represented a "substantially lower" risk than at present and there weren't compelling health grounds to delay the elections, the minister said.

The Victorian Liberals and Greens both welcomed the decision not to push back the date but the Municipal Association of Victoria said the October elections would be "seriously compromised".
"Minister Leane's announcement today means that the elections will not have the quality and diversity of candidates that Victoria deserves," MAV president Cr Coral Ross said in a statement.

Ms Ross said stage four and three lockdown restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, due to remain in place until September 13, would make campaigning difficult and costly.

But, from a health perspective, Mr Sutton is satisfied with the Victorian Electoral Commission's COVIDSafe plan.

Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately said measures included increased distancing in election offices, limiting face-to-face contact, enforcing mandated mask-wearing and moving operational activity online whenever possible.

Counter service for replacement ballot packs and unenrolled votes will be removed but voters can still hand-deliver completed papers to election offices if they miss mail collection times.

All campaign information sessions for prospective candidates have been moved online.

It's expected vote counting will be hampered by social distancing requirements, delaying the declaration of results for some elections by at least a week to November 13.

<< NO COMPELLING REASON WHY LOCAL , STATE , OR EVEN FEDERAL ELECTONS CAN NOT BE CONDUCTED ENTIRELY BY MAIL HERE IN AUSTRALIA , WE DON’T HAVE THE SAME NONSENSE GOING ON HERE WHERE LARGE PARTS OF THE ELECTORATE ARE BEING DISENFRANCHISED BY PEOPLE WHO WISH TO SABOTAGE POSTAL VOTING , AND HERE VOTING IS COMPULSORY ONCE A CITISEN TURNS 18 YO ( A RITE OF PASSAGE TO ADULTHOOD ) , AND APPLYING FOR POSTAL VOTING IS A VERY EASY PROCESS THAT CAN EASILY BE DONE ONLINE .
WE ALSO HAVE THE OPTION TO VOTE ONLINE AS WELL .
PLUS POLLING DAYS HERE ARE TRADITIONALLY 9AM TIL 6PM ON A SATURDAY FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO VOTE IN PERSON.
NO ISSUES WITH VOTING SHEETS , ALL YOU NEED IS A PEN AND SPACE TO LAY OUT THE BIG VOTING SHEET . >>
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/melbourn ... d=msedgdhp


How Melburnians are coping under stage 4 lockdown
All Australians have had to adapt to the changes introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but life has been especially tough for Melburnians.
As the rest of the country gradually eased restrictions, Melbourne remained in the midst of stage 4 lockdown, which is set to run until September 13.
It is having an impact on jobs and income and also on mental health.

GP and clinical consultant to mental health support organisation Beyond Blue Grant Blashki lives in Melbourne and is seeing the anxiety first-hand.
"I'm seeing that patients are feeling very frustrated and a bit fatigued," he told 7.30.
"What I'm noticing with my patients is a great deal of uncertainty — where am I going to be in three to six months?
"I think that it's really a triple whammy: they're worried about the infection, they're worried about big changes to their home life, and they're also worried about work and money."

In August, 75 per cent of contact with the support services Beyond Blue offers are being accessed by Victorians.

"There's no doubt that there's been an increase in people reaching out for mental health assistance," Dr Blashki said.
"At Beyond Blue, every month since March compared to the same time last year, we've seen a 40 to 60 per cent jump. We've had a doubling on the forums, so 1.3 million people are on these chat forums talking to each other.
"That's a good thing in a way, that people are reaching out, but it's also indicative of the stress. And the other thing we've noticed is that new figures in August [show] that three-quarters of our contacts are coming from Victoria."

'I can't let myself get down'
Hairdresser Debbie Wood is out of work and in lockdown with her four daughters at their home in south-east Melbourne.
"This is my second stint of being off work due to the coronavirus. The first time, the boss closed the salon due to safety measures and the second time, the Government has closed us down," she told 7.30.
After 19 years at the same salon, she has no idea whether her boss will re-open when restrictions ease.
"It's just a waiting game, like every other small business around, just waiting to see if they can get back on their feet or not," she said.
Ms Wood is supporting the family on JobKeeper.
"With four kids, it's not a lot. You're worrying about tomorrow. Am I going to be able to feed my kids next week, are we going to be able to pay the rent? So it's very stressful, it's on my mind 24/7," she said.
"I can't let myself get down but I do have days where it affects me. I just have to keep myself active and busy."

'Biggest strain on relationship we've ever had'
Jenelle and Todd Delahunt run the Kick n Paddle Swim School at Reservoir in Melbourne. When stage 3 restrictions were eased, they hoped business would start to return to normal.

But then came a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases and the Victorian Government introduced stage 4 restrictions.
"It was heartbreaking," Ms Delahunt said.
"We'd been closed since mid-March, and we'd re-opened for seven, eight days and we basically stopped after that.
"We have no idea when we are returning, whether it will even be this year or not."

The couple re-structured the business in January so do not qualify for the Government's cash boost.

Mr Delahunt has other full-time work but, with two children to support, the couple is having to dip into their savings to pay the bills.
"We've got 15 or 16 staff in total. We've been able to get eight of them onto JobKeeper, the others, unfortunately, didn't qualify so we had to stand them down," Ms Delahunt said.
"We've had some tears, we've had sleepless nights. We've had some doozy fights!"

Mr Delahunt said, "It's probably the biggest strain on our relationship we've ever had.
"There is so much pressure and we feel like we've got a really good, close-knit team who are relying on us to provide an income for them. It's just not us, we are talking about 15 families.
"It's pretty hard."

Their children, Ryan, six, and Billy, four, have both had birthdays during lockdown.
"They're missing their friends, they're missing going outside. There are times when we want to go for a walk and they don't want to leave the gate because they're scared of the 'superbug'", Ms Delahunt said.

They say it is tough when they speak to friends interstate who are living a very different life.
"They are talking about pubs in Queensland opening. We are going to the complete opposite. [We] feel like the lepers of Australia, sort of," Mr Delahunt said.

'Take each day at a time'
Debbie Wood's four daughters are also struggling with the tough regulations, with distance learning and limited outings or travel.
"The girls are very sporty, we normally have activities five nights a week. My oldest daughter, who's 20, her boyfriend lives in Sydney so he can't come down due to having to go back into quarantine. It has affected us a lot," Ms Wood said.

Ms Woods is considering whether she needs to re-skill and find a new career.
"I've been looking at TAFE. I need to work full-time for the future. My youngest is 12 so I've got a long way to go with my kids financially. And if I do study, is it going to lead to anything because of my age?"

Dr Blashki said, "I think Victoria feels like it's in a bit of a parallel universe at the moment.
"You speak to your friends around the country and they're going out to dinner, out and about, worried about those everyday things people worry about, and I think a lot of Victorians are feeling, 'Oh, you don't quite get where we're at.'
"We can only go out of the house for one hour a day, we can't do our usual work and it's really quite a challenge for people at the moment."

Dr Blashki has some words of advice.
"It is a really tough time. Have realistic expectations for yourself. You will have good and bad days. Take each day at a time, and I am hopeful we will look back at this time as a strange time in history," he said.

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

EFFECT OF COVID RESTRICTIONS AND ON INTERSTATE AND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IN MELBOURNE
Students tackle homelessness in the time of COVID-19
We have been told not to leave our homes unless necessary.

But what if you don't have a home to leave?

I was giving advice to a group of RMIT University journalism students on a project to tell stories of the homeless, when coronavirus took hold in Melbourne.

A difficult project suddenly became even harder as lockdowns tightened.

To their credit the students persisted, determined to give a voice to some of the most vulnerable in our community.

I'm very proud of their work in giving an insight into the world of more than 100,000 Australians who have nowhere to call home, as the day-to-day struggle to survive was overtaken by a new threat: a global pandemic.

You can check out their work below.

Gabriella Payne, Brodie Hoyne
One small Melbourne charity making sure that even as every other door closed, theirs stays open to those most in need.
https://rmitjournalism.shorthandstories ... index.html
https://rmitjournalism.shorthandstories ... index.html

Alexandra Middleton
Family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children. For many it's their only way to escape.
https://rmitjournalism.shorthandstories ... index.html

Giulia Raneri
For thousands of children in state care turning 18 means they're suddenly without a home. At the worst possible time.
https://rmitjournalism.shorthandstories ... index.html

Karly Smith and Emma Sullivan
Already dealing with the stress of homelessness, many women suffer from increased burden of access to period products.
https://rmitjournalism.shorthandstories ... index.html

Saba Hashimi
Exploring how homeless people in developing countries are coping with the Coronavirus outbreak.
https://rmitjournalism.shorthandstories ... index.html

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


QUARANTINE FIASCO
The inquiry into the state's hotel quarantine program heard on Tuesday 90 per cent of cases in the second outbreak can be traced to the family who moved into the Rydges on Swanston hotel on May 15 after displaying coronavirus symptoms.

The family all tested positive to the virus three days later and within a week two security guards and a Rydges staff member were infected.

By mid-June, a total of 17 workers at the hotel and their close contacts had tested positive.

Department of Health and Human Services epidemiologist Dr Charles Alpren said on May 18 nursing staff were called to the room following an 'episode of environmental contamination'.

The incident is believed to have involved the spreading of human waste by children in a distressed state, The Herald Sun reported.

'Subsequently there is a suggestion that the family were approved to walk outside their room, during which they were accompanied by security guards,' Dr Alpren told the inquiry.

a person holding a sign: A woman walks past a sign urging people to stay home in Melbourne as state records a new daily low© Provided by Daily Mail A woman walks past a sign urging people to stay home in Melbourne as state records a new daily low
'It is possible a transmission event or events happened at this point.'

No cases have yet been identified stemming from either the contamination episode or the supervised walk though, Dr Alpren said.

Together with the Stamford Plaza Hotel in Melbourne, The Rydges on Swanston has been credited as the source of 99 per cent of infections in Victoria's deadly coronavirus second wave.
'However I cannot be very precise in the number or proportion to have arisen from each outbreak separately,' Dr Alpren said.
'It is likely that the large majority - I said in my statement approximately 90 per cent or more - of COVID-19 infections in Victoria can be traced to the Rydges Hotel.
'Transmission could have occurred directly from the family to staff or through contamination with virus of surfaces in the hotel with which staff then had contact with.'
At the time of the Rydges outbreak, there were very few other cases of COVID-19 in Victoria and just 19 people had died from the virus.

The state's death toll now stands at 351, with 7,274 cases active.

The outbreak at the Stamford Plaza was traced back to a man who returned from overseas on June 1 and a couple who returned on June 11.
A worker at the hotel was the first to show symptoms on June 10 and tested positive on June 14.
Some 46 workers at the hotel and their close contacts were found to have caught COVID-19.

Dr Alpren found 'no links' between cases at the Rydges and cases at the Stamford Plaza.
Having analysed the genomic sequencing of 5,395 active cases, Dr Alpren said 3,594 could be linked to the Rydges hotel.

The outbreak is also linked to another 24 clusters.
Dr Alpren said the department has seen 'no evidence of any other transmission' outside the hotels, excluding three exceptions.

'That's not to say that there are no other transmission events that could be there. But because there are very few people now coming into Victoria who potentially offer new sources of importation of the virus, it is less and less likely,' he said.

The evidence follows an expert on Monday describing advice on personal protective equipment given to security staff at the hotels as inappropriate and inaccurate.

Infectious disease expert Professor Lindsay Grayson said security guards should have been wearing eye protection, gloves, a gown and mask when interacting with returned travellers or handling objects belonging to them.

The inquiry continues on Thursday with hotel guests and workers expected to give evidence.

RYDGES ON SWANSTON CLUSTER:
* May 9 - Family-of-four return to Australia from overseas and begin mandatory hotel quarantine. First family member becomes symptomatic on the same day.
* May 10 - Second family member becomes symptomatic.
* May 11 - Third family member becomes symptomatic.
* May 12 - Fourth family member becomes symptomatic.
* May 14 - First two family members test positive to COVID-19.
* May 15 - Family moved to the Rydges on Swanston Hotel.
* May 17 to 18 - Other family members test positive to COVID-19.
* May 25 - Three members of staff at Rydges on Swanston Hotel become symptomatic. They subsequently test positive to COVID-19.
* May 26 to June 18 - A total of 17 people are epidemiologically linked to the Rydges outbreak, and were either working in the hotel or household members or social contacts of staff at the hotel. An additional case, a household contact of a staff member at the Rydges hotel, is diagnosed with COVID-19 in Queensland.
* May 30 - Department of Health and Human Services receives first genomic analysis relating to the outbreak and comes to the conclusion all cases belonged to the same transmission network.
<< MAY 30 MELBOURNE COVIDIOT MASS RALLY ( NO PPE WORN, NO SOCIAL DISTANCING, LOTS OF RANTING AND RAVING AND YELLING BY PROTESTORS , ABOUT 1000 PARTICIPANTS INVOLVED )
* By July 31 - DHHS has received genomic sequencing reports of 14 of the 17 cases epidemiologically linked to the outbreak. It found all 14 cases cluster genomically together and cluster genomically with the family of overseas returnees.

STAMFORD PLAZA CLUSTER:
* June 1 - Man returns from overseas and enters mandatory hotel quarantine. On the same day, he becomes symptomatic.
* June 3 - Man tested for COVID-19, diagnosed with the virus the following day.
*June 10 - Staff member becomes symptomatic.
* June 11 - A couple returns from overseas and enters mandatory hotel quarantine. On the same day, one of them becomes symptomatic. The second becomes symptomatic the following day.
* June 14 - Staff member diagnosed with COVID-19. The couple is tested for the virus.
* June 15 to 16 - Couple diagnosed with COVID-19.
* By July 13 - A total of 46 people have been epidemiologically linked to to the Stamford Plaza outbreak are diagnosed with COVID-19. They are either workers at the hotel or household contacts of staff members.
* Subsequent genomic sequencing concludes the outbreak consists of two distinct chains of transmission. One cluster arose from the overseas traveller from June 1, the other from the couple from June 11.
* To date, the DHHS has received genomic sequencing reports of 35 of the 46 cases epidemically linked to the outbreak.
* No links found between the cases in the Rydges hotel outbreak and Stamford Plaza outbreak.

Source: Witness statement of Dr Charles Alpren, epidemiologist at the Department of Health and Human Services.

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

AGED CARE
Private sector aged care bearing the brunt of COVID-19 in Vic
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced all deaths recorded in Victoria over the past 24 hours are linked to aged care outbreaks.

The state’s daily coronavirus tally has continued on a steady downward trend with 216 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours and 12 fatalities.

Of the 12 deaths, three people were in their 70s, five were in their 80s and four were in their 90s.

While there are currently 2050 active cases connected to aged care settings in Victoria, Premier Andrews pointed out only “five of those are in public sector aged care and 2,045 of those are in the private sector aged care”.

Senior doctor says aged care still faces surge workforce shortage, as class action launched against Epping Gardens
A senior geriatrician overseeing the fight against COVID-19 in aged care says the industry still does not have enough staff to respond with a surge workforce if multiple facilities are hit with outbreaks at the same time.
Michael Murray was the Austin Health divisional director overseeing geriatricians in aged care in Melbourne's north until late July, including during the period when the St Basil's and Epping Gardens aged care homes experienced large-scale outbreaks.
"I think we fully under-appreciated the level of community carriage and the likelihood that we would get as many facilities testing positive in rapid succession," Dr Murray said.
"I don't think that ever crossed anybody's mind as being a most likely outcome."

Dr Murray said Victoria did not have the necessary surge workforce to replace staff when there were multiple aged care outbreaks.
"Increasingly, it's pretty obvious that you cannot deliver the same amount of care with less staff," he said.
"Therefore you're left with two choices: bring in more people, or actually start to move people to other environments."

Dr Murray told the ABC the experience of the recent wave of aged care infections in Melbourne had led to a change in the way those facilities were being managed.
"The key difference is, it's all about workforce. We had this idea, it seems like hubris in retrospect, that we would go in and that we would rescue, so to speak, the one sick person, and then everything would be fine.
"But of course, it's complete rubbish.
"Everybody is competing for the same surge workforce."

Dr Murray said steps were being taken to source and train more workers to step in when nursing homes had an outbreak.

Residents and families launch class action against Epping Gardens
Dr Murray's warning comes as residents and families launch a class action against Epping Gardens, the nursing home at the centre of the country's largest aged care coronavirus outbreak.

The Supreme Court writ was issued on Tuesday by Sebastian (Sam) Agnello, as the representative for residents, families and staff of the facility.

Epping Gardens residents launch class action against aged care facility
More than 25 families of Epping Gardens aged care residents have launched a class action against the home.

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

Mr Agnello's mother, Carmela Agnello, contracted coronavirus and died at the Northern Hospital on July 28, eight days after the first two Epping Gardens cases were discovered.

In the four weeks since the outbreak took off, 100 of the 118 residents at the facility have caught the virus, and 28 have died.

Doctors at the hospital told Ms Agnello's family she was dehydrated and showed signs of extensive infection when she arrived.
"I was really, really horrified," Mr Agnello told the ABC.
"How long [had] my mum been in this condition?"

Lawyer Tony Carbone is representing the group of plaintiffs, including many residents whose care and welfare suffered in the initial period as the facility lost more and more of its staff, either through compulsory isolation or reluctance to work in the centre of a COVID-19 outbreak.

The writ claims that Epping Gardens failed to care for Ms Agnello adequately and to protect her from coronavirus, and claims the operator of the facility did not employ adequate levels of staff.
"There was no one there to care for them," Mr Agnello said.

He said other families had told him residents became dehydrated, lost weight, or suffered falls and bruising.
"Quite a few of them have passed away."

Greg Reeve, the chief executive of Heritage Care, which operates Epping Gardens, said the company repeatedly raised concerns about the number of staff available to deliver hands-on care to residents over the first eight days of the outbreak.
"We tried every agency," he told the ABC's Four Corners program. "We accessed the Government, we informed the department of human services, we informed the public health unit, we informed the quality and safety commission."

The aged care regulator confirmed that assistance with accessing the necessary surge workforce to deal with an outbreak is a Commonwealth Department of Health responsibility.

The Department of Health told the ABC that, in addition to a clinical first responder, it assisted with sourcing workers to care for the residents: "44 staff commenced from July 27 and some staff still remain at the site."

By July 27, 60 of the 118 residents had been infected with coronavirus.

Families have told the ABC Epping Gardens significantly reduced its roster of registered nurses in early June, almost two months before coronavirus took hold in the home.
"The staff that were actually there looking after the residents were under so much pressure that they didn't know where to turn to," Mr Agnello said.

The company confirmed it reduced its registered nurses, but said each was replaced with three staff: an enrolled nurse and two personal carers.

Epping Gardens discussed staffing with regulator before outbreak
Janet Anderson, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner, told the ABC that in a self-assessment survey with the commission completed in April, Epping Gardens flagged that there "could be some issues with their staffing levels should a COVID outbreak occur", although "no significant risks were identified".

A further discussion was had in July between the commission and Epping Gardens in a COVID readiness telephone assessment.
"The service advised the commission it was increasing its primary care staffing numbers," Ms Anderson said.

Once the outbreak took hold, Ms Anderson confirmed that "staffing issues were raised by Epping Gardens during daily operational management meetings".

By July 28, at the height of the crisis, the commission issued the operator with a notice setting out concerns including that clinical care and infection control at the centre may be putting residents at risk.

The same day, Austin Health's director of nursing was sent into the centre to help steer the health response.

Ms Anderson told the ABC staffing issues were considered as part of the risk assessment that underpinned the notice.
"Equally important is prompt, decisive action by the corporate and onsite managers of a service to address a range of priorities that quickly emerge in the event of an outbreak," she said.

Heritage Care's head, Mr Reeve, told the ABC he understood how much distress the episode had caused residents and their families.
"Their reaction was entirely understandable. I mean, anxiety must have been through the roof," he said.
"If there was anything we could've done differently, we certainly would've."

The owners of Epping Gardens declined to comment on the litigation.

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

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

Daniel Andrews says he will use 'facts' after Morrison claims 'shared' responsibility for aged care Covid failures
Daniel Andrews says only a handful of the active coronavirus cases in aged care are in state government-run facilities, after the prime minister said blame for the outbreak should be shared between state and federal governments.
Scott Morrison said he would not take personal responsibility for the ongoing crisis of the coronavirus outbreak in aged care, saying that although the federal government had responsibility for the aged care sector, public health was a responsibility of the Victorian government.
“Well public health – we regulate aged care, but when there is a public health pandemic, then public health, which, whether it gets into aged care, shopping centres, schools or anywhere else, then they are things that are matters for Victoria,” Morrison told ABC News Breakfast on Wednesday.

There are 120 coronavirus outbreaks in aged care homes in Melbourne, of which only six – two located at the same premises – are in state-run public aged care.

Of the 2,050 active cases in aged care in Victoria, only five are in state-run public sector aged care.

The remaining 2,045 cases are in private or not-for-profit run aged care, which is regulated by the federal government.

Andrews told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday that he had not seen Morrison’s comments in full and repeated the line that has become his slogan: “The only attack that matters is our collective attack against this virus.”
“I am not seeking to make any other point than the facts … if it’s OK by you I’ll continue to do that,” he said.
“I am having a conversation with the PM later today and I am pretty confident that one thing we won’t talk about is a syllable-by-syllable breakdown of the language he uses and the language I use because we just don’t have time for that. We just don’t have time.”

While Andrews was speaking, Morrison told reporters in Sydney, where he was announcing an agreement between the Australian government and Oxford University to access a vaccine the university is developing, that responsibility for managing the aged care outbreak was shared, but stressed that it was due to community transmission – which would come under the state’s management of public health.
“We understand our responsibilities and we will be responsible for those, but when have you a community pandemic, the virus will find its way into many places … so it’s the overlapping of public health responsibilities, which sit with states, and federal aged care regulation responsibilities [which] sit with the federal government,” he said.
“It is a complex set of responsibilities and they are shared and that’s why we’re working together. I keep stressing – working together, not against each other, is the way we manage these impacts.”

Morrison has repeatedly rejected a suggestion heard by the aged care royal commission that the federal government does not have a plan for aged care.
“The plan was in place,” he said. “Assertions were made by individuals at the commission, and those assertions have been rejected and we’ve provided that factual information directly to the commission.”

More than two-thirds of the 363 people who have died with Covid-19 in Victoria to date were connected to aged care outbreaks.
A further 12 people – all in aged care homes – died in the 24-hours to Wednesday. Victoria recorded 216 new cases, the lowest since 13 July.

The Victorian chief health officer, Prof. Brett Sutton, said the numbers were “stabilising” both in the community and in aged care sectors. The number of people in hospital and in intensive care has also stabilised.

However the number of tests is also down, with just over 16,000 conducted on Tuesday. More than 2m coronavirus tests have been conducted in Victoria since the pandemic began.

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

HOSPITALS
The Victorian government has again delayed the release of detailed data on how Covid-19 has been contracted and spread by healthcare workers.
Frankston Hospital is dealing with an outbreak in which 50 patients and hospital staff have tested positive.
Sutton said there had been a “significant opportunity for transmission” at the hospital “so we do need to bear in mind that there will be an increase in furloughed staff”.

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

MEAT PROCESSING PLANT COVID ISSUES
Victorian health department gave meatworks permission to ask workers back before their coronavirus test results were in
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services decided to allow some staff at a meatworks to skip the ordinary self-isolation period after their COVID-19 test, so it could remain partially open despite several infections amongst staff.

JBS Brooklyn in Melbourne's west has closed all but one section of the plant — its second shutdown in a month due to new coronavirus cases — raising questions from workers about the company's infection control methods.

The exemption from self-isolation after testing is a new rule devised for asymptomatic workers in some industries and means some who have been tested for COVID-19 have been asked to come back to work by bosses before receiving their results.

But some health workers have told the ABC the decision by DHHS is a half-measure that risks the virus spreading further.

Richard*, a worker at JBS Brooklyn who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, said while the virus had spread through the kill floor and boning room, the cold storage facility was so far not infected and remained open.

Last week, he got a letter from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), asking all workers in cold storage to get a test "as soon as possible" as a precaution.
"If you have any symptoms associated with COVID-19 please seek testing immediately and isolate at home until you have received your results," the letter read.

Richard took this to mean he should stay home until he received a result, as is the requirement for all other Australians awaiting coronavirus swab results.

But in a text message exchange seen by the ABC, a JBS Brooklyn manager told Richard he should go back to work before getting the results.
"You can come back before your test results come back, only if you or anyone in the family is showing no symptoms," the manager wrote.

Richard said JBS Brooklyn's Human Resources Department has also told him he was expected to show up to work while awaiting his test results if he was not symptomatic.
"I was repeatedly told that I am required to work," he told the ABC's AM program.
"There is a chance it is still in the facility but unfortunately, money is needed and I am getting to the point where I have no choice but to risk it."

Meatworks given permission for some workers to return to work after tests
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the DHHS confirmed workers who were not considered close contacts of infected workers and who were not feeling unwell, could return to work without the usual isolation period.
"Workers who were tested as a precaution or as part of a targeted workplace testing program but do not have symptoms, do not need to self-isolate," the spokeswoman said.

The instruction is part of updated by the Communicable Disease Network Australia on August 12 and applies to sectors where there have been outbreaks, including meatworks, poultry and aged care.

Melbourne general practitioner Dr Vyom Sharma said he was not confident in the DHHS' decision.
"We know it's been a problem in the past, we know there are problems with workers living together, socialising and the very nature of the meatworks itself makes social distancing very difficult," Dr Sharma said.
"So to see this response from the government, that they are not requiring some people to isolate, feels a bit like of a repeat of Cedar Meats, where they made assumptions that people in separate departments of the factory were not close contacts — and that came back to bite us in a big way."

The Cedar Meats abattoir cluster is one of the largest clusters in Victoria.
"For me to have faith in DHHS saying it's okay for workers in other compartments of [JBS Brooklyn], but we'll test a little bit anyway, seems like they are hedging their bets either way," Dr Sharma said.

The move has also been criticised by Australian Medical Association (WA) president Andrew Miller.
"We should not be testing people and sending them back to work before we know the results," he said.
"We will know in time whether this half-measure will be enough.
"I think it would be preferable to be more precautionary and take more severe measures, earlier."

Department and business urged to communicate clearly with workers
University of Sydney epidemiologist Dr Fiona Stanaway said the new guideline to excuse some asymptomatic workers from isolating after their test does make sense for workers who are thought to be at low risk of having the virus.

But she explained testing someone who has no symptoms is not likely to find anything.
"When you don't have any symptoms, the test is not likely to be sensitive, but I imagine they are doing this extra testing because they know these workplaces are at increased risk and so they think that it is going to have some value if one or two people can be picked up by this asymptomatic testing," Dr Stanaway said.

She also encouraged the DHHS and JBS Brooklyn to properly communicate the reason why tested workers were being asked back to work, to avoid anxiety and confusion.

In a statement, JBS Australia, which operates the Brooklyn plant, said it was working with DHHS to minimise risk to team members and that it had implemented several procedures at the site to keep the workforce safe.
"These include supervised and contactless entry and exit to the facility; separate paths to working areas; separate toilets, change rooms and meal rooms; split shifts and meal timings; marshals in car parks; as well as social distancing and temperature testing protocols."
"The Brooklyn facility is made up of the cold store and three independent processing facilities, operating separately onsite."

Industry body the Australian Meat Industry Council has previously argued the industry was being unfairly labelled as a problem area because many of the cases attached to meatworks outbreaks were not just employees, but their friends and family members.

*Name changed to protect identity.

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

BORDER ISSUES
Mum with cancer is stranded in Victoria over COVID-19 border lockdown (NSW – VIC , NSW – QLD BORDERS)
A young Queensland mother with cancer has been left stranded in Victoria with her newborn baby due to tough border closures.

Kristy Simmons was diagnosed with breast cancer in June, just 10 days before delivering her daughter Eden.

Ms Simmons was admitted to hospital last month with a severe infection, but while she was recovering, Queensland and New South Wales shut their borders to Victoria amid its second COVID-19 wave.

The first-time mother and her partner Dwayne - who is stationed at an army base south of the Victorian border - are now desperate to get home to their family and support system in Queensland.
'There's moments where I just want to break down... and I have, there have been times,' she told 7News.
'I feel like I have to be strong... I have an eight-week-old baby.'

Queensland has granted an exemption for the couple to return, but due to Ms Simmons' poor health she is medically unfit fly there.
Their only option for getting home is to drive the nearly 1,500km journey through NSW up to the Sunshine State.
The couple had planned to take their own food and only stop for toilet breaks or for petrol.

But in another blow, NSW Health is insisting they fly despite health professionals declaring it is dangerous for Ms Simmons to do so.
'Kristy is immunosuppressed at the moment due to her chemo,' midwife Barbara Roberts said.
'That would be very, very dangerous for her.'

The couple are now considering chartering an expensive private plane to get home to Queensland.
'Just knowing what she's going through... it should be the happiest time of her life, but it's not,' Dwayne said.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned border restrictions will remain in place for now, given coronavirus outbreaks in Victoria, NSW and New Zealand, despite pressure from the federal government to reopen.

Victoria recorded 216 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday and 12 more deaths, taking the national to 450.
Scott Morrison today expressed frustration at the 'incredibly disruptive' impact state border closures are having on individuals and businesses.

He acknowledged state premiers were trying to protect their own citizens but said the restrictions needed to be more flexible.
'I understand what they're seeking to do but it's important that all premiers act on the basis of transparent medical advice,' he said.
'If there are going to be these border arrangements in place they will, of course, have very serious impacts on the economies of their states and the livelihoods of those who live in those states.
'That all has to be weighed up.'

Queensland has warned its borders could remain sealed for several months or until its infections have fallen to zero.

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

Victoria-SA border closure concerns farmers amid claims of issues obtaining permits
Farmers living near the South Australian and Victorian border say they are already having issues applying for new border permits ahead of a tightening of the border on Friday.
From Friday, cross-border community members will not be allowed to cross into South Australia.

Only students in years 11 and 12 and farmers living near the border will be given travel exemptions.

But some farmers are saying their travel applications have been denied.
Fleur Finlayson's family farms across the Victorian and South Australian border near Serviceton.
Late last week, she applied for border exemptions for seven family members who work across the properties.
"I applied for five originally and four were accepted — my father's was denied and he is actually the director of the entire enterprise," she said.
"I applied for two more family members and within four hours they were denied as well.
"The South Australian Government said we needed to have a COVID-safe plan, even though all of the literature I had read said we didn't."

SA Police have confirmed farmers who manage staff will need to provide evidence of a COVID safety plan when applying for exemptions.

Ms Finlayson said if all the family members and the farm's three South Australian workers did not receive border exemptions it would have huge consequences.
"It would mean the guys who are allowed over will have to pick up the other tasks," she said.
"It's actually unacceptable to think we can't get access to our own land that we pay rates on.
"Every day we get new information, every day someone in our area is getting different information. We don't know where we stand."

Potentially dire scenario
Further south in the Wimmera's west, James Hawkins farms around 7,000 pigs.

He has five workers who come from South Australia.
"My permit has been denied, and for my workers they are either pending or have been denied," Mr Hawkins said.
"If we can't get employees out of SA we might not be able to attend to pigs or truck pigs out.
"There are huge downstream implications for animal health and welfare.
"It's a blunt instrument and the implications haven't been considered."

Mr Hawkins said if his staff could not cross into Victoria and go back home it would be impossible to replace them with Victorians.
"We have staff who have been there since the inception of the property, since 2012. These are specialised pork production guys that have been in the industry for 30 years," he said.

Farmers seeking clarity
The Victorian Farmers Federation said farmers wanted more clarity on border restrictions and exemptions.
"I have been contacted daily by groups of farmers who are concerned about the restrictions," VFF president David Jochinke said.
"Trying to get clear information to give them is a challenge for us. If a permit isn't approved, we need an understanding as to why."

Mr Jochinke has called on the South Australian Government to introduce a similar border permit system as was announced by the NSW Government this week.
"At the end of the day it's about feeding the nation, and we can't have farmers being choked by red tape," he said.

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

BREACHES

Victorians slapped with nearly $5000 fines for breaching quarantine
More than a dozen Victorians have been fined nearly $5000 each for failing to self-isolate after testing to positive coronavirus or being deemed a close contact.
Alarming new Victoria Police data confirmed 16 people had been hit with the tough new $4957 infringement to date, after breaching quarantine protocols.
While 26 people had been fined $1652 for failing to self-isolate before the inflated penalty came into effect earlier this month, bringing the total to 42 fines.

Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent today said police had 98 out of 444 cases currently under investigation, where people did not answer upon being doorknocked by ADF and authorised officers over the weekend.
"We are both doing phone checks to geo-locate the people, as well as attending at properties and doing doorknocks at those premises to check people are at home and complying with CHO directions," he said.
The main reason people left their home was to go to the shops or for a walk, with some people claiming they were unaware they had to self-isolate despite testing positive to the virus.
However, in other cases, people were excused from fines as their address had been incorrect or they had left home for one of the permitted reasons, such as medical care.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced the hefty infringement on August 4 to further deter people from flouting quarantine directions.
People who repeatedly breached the rules would face court proceedings and fines of up to $20,000.
"The majority of people are doing the right thing."

Police issued a 154 fines to people for breaching Chief Health Office directions in the past 24 hours, including:

• 19 for failing to wear a face covering when leaving home
• 35 for curfew breaches
• 17 at vehicle checkpoints - where 18,216 vehicles were checked

A woman who claimed she was not wearing a mask because a "bird swooped her associate's hamburger" and distracted her, was among the Victorians fined.
The woman was caught walking on Spencer Street in Melbourne's CBD without a mask. She later told police she was about to continue smoking.

A man who travelled from Melbourne to Geelong to go fishing was also fined, including a man and woman from Darebin, who did not live together, who were caught withdrawing money from an ATM after curfew.

Dep. Commissioner Nugent said the most common reason people broke curfew was to get takeaway food.
"You can't go and get [food] after 8pm.
"It is not a permitted purpose to leave metropolitan Melbourne to steal a car, for dealing drugs," he added.

He said some rulebreakers would drive through a police checkpoint despite it being "lit up like Luna Park".
"It's nice of themselves to deliver themselves to police," Dep. Commissioner Nugent said.

Both the Deputy Commissioner and Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed rules around exercise would be discussed, following public outcry people could not drive within their 5km bubble to exercise.
Melbourne residents fined for driving to exercise amid lockdown
Melburnians have been warned they can expect a $1,652 fine if they drive anywhere for exercise under strict stage four restrictions.

Under current lockdown rules, residents in metropolitan Melbourne are able to exercise within 5km of their home - but they are unable to drive to parks or beaches to do so.

Police from the Port Phillip area in the city's south issued a warning to all residents on Monday, adding many had already been fined over the little known rule.
'It has come to our attention that there is some misunderstanding in relation to whether or not it is permitted, under Stage 4 restrictions, to drive to a park within 5km of your home for exercise,' they wrote on Facebook.
'According to the Department of Health and Human Services, travelling in a vehicle to exercise is NOT permitted.
'We understand that some people are unhappy with this restriction.'

Exemptions will be made available to residents where it is not practical for them to exercise without travelling somewhere.
Many residents were furious upon hearing the rule and questioned how walking would be safer than driving.
'Driving there would actually be safer for health. This is insanity,' wrote one man.
'This is a total load of rubbish, it's becoming a joke, if we are within the 5km, wearing a mask why does it matter if we took the car or not,' said another.

For those wishing to exercise under stage four restrictions, they are only permitted to do so for one hour a day and in areas within 5km of their home.

Residents can exercise with one other person but must keep 1.5 metres distance and avoid hugging or handshakes.

Gyms and sport centres are closed and all community training has been suspended.

Outdoor exercise facilities and swimming pools are also closed to the public.

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:55 am

19 AUGUST NSW

7 new coronavirus infections in NSW, authorities confirm
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says it's a "miracle" the state has not seen a hotel quarantine security guard case until now, as seven new coronavirus infections were confirmed.

Of the 7 cases, 2 are returned travellers in hotel quarantine,
one from overseas
and one from Victoria, NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant confirmed.

5 are locally-acquired including one who is a close contact of a previous case with an unknown source.
2 are cases from Western and South-Western Sydney, and two cases are household contacts of those cases.

Dr Chant said 19,414 people were tested in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday.

Ms Berejiklian said authorities remained concerned with the amount of community transmission in Western and South-Western Sydney.
"Anytime any of us leave the house, especially if we live in Western and South-Western Sydney, we have to assume we have been exposed to the virus, and we have to make that assumption every day," she said.

But Ms Berejiklian said she was more worried about "the 16 cases we can't trace back to a source".

When questioned as to why a hotel security guard who contracted the virus worked at the crowded Sydney Markets at Flemington while infectious, Ms Berejiklian said there was "no evidence to suggest" the guard did anything wrong.

She said that frontline workers had a higher risk of contracting the virus.
"We've had, day in and day out, many staff — police officers, security officers, health officers, transport workers ... thousands of people involved in this process," she said.
"It's actually been a miracle that we haven't had anyone contract the virus in that setting before now," Ms Berejiklian said.

She said NSW is an international gateway for many returned overseas travellers and that the state had shouldered that responsibility well during the pandemic.

"We've welcomed from overseas around 48,000 Australians, we also know that 2,000 people in NSW have acquired the disease from overseas," she said.

"It's been a tremendous effort that we haven't had a case yet."

Dr Chant said health authorities were investigating the chain of transmission between the two female quarantined travellers and the security guard at the Sydney Marriott Hotel.

She said there wasn't anything so far which explained how the guard contracted COVID-19, but they were exploring his interactions with up to three people.

After speaking with the guard and reviewing CCTV, NSW Police found the guard did not have "overt contact" with any returned travellers.

Dr Chant said it was not clear yet whether the two women caught the virus from each other or whether both caught the virus independently.
They remain in hospital quarantine, Dr Chant confirmed.

NSW Health said it was also screening anyone who worked at the Marriott Hotel between July 31 and August 14.

Ms Berejiklian expressed gratitude that people had taken to wearing masks and urged the hospitality sector to take up the measure.
"I ask people who work in cafes, restaurants, hotels and clubs to make sure their staff are encouraged to wear masks," she said.

Health authorities said an additional case was confirmed after 8:00pm last night — a patient at Liverpool Hospital.
Close contacts were identified, and the areas affected have been cleaned.

NSW health authorities confirm Sydney supercluster
New South Wales health officials have confirmed a Sydney coronavirus supercluster after two outbreaks were genomically linked.
Authorities discovered a close genomic fingerprint between 2 Thai Rock restaurants despite a 34 kilometre separation between the two sites.
The cluster accounts for 153 infections, while authorities remain uncertain how the virus spread from the Wetherill Park restaurant to the Potts Point restaurant.

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

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

List of outbreaks in NSW
If you were at the following venues on these dates you must get tested and self-isolate for 14 days, even if your test is negative.

Wildginger restaurant, Huskisson: 7.45pm to 10.30pm on Saturday 8 August
Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club, Lidcombe: 5pm on Friday 7 August to 6.30am on Saturday 8 August; 4.30pm to 11.30pm on Saturday 8 August; 1pm to 9pm on Sunday 9 August; 12pm to 9:30pm on Monday 10 August
Rick Stein at Bannisters, Mollymook: 8pm to 10.30pm on Saturday 1 August for at least one hour
With the growing number of cases in the area, NSW Health is asking all people who live in, or have visited, the following areas in the past two weeks to get tested if they have any symptoms of Covid-19 at all, even the mildest of symptoms such as a runny nose or scratchy throat.

Campbelltown local government area (LGA)
Canterbury Bankstown LGA
Cumberland LGA
Fairfield LGA
Liverpool LGA
Parramatta LGA
City of Sydney (East) LGA
If you were at any of the following locations on these dates, monitor yourself for symptoms and self-isolate and get tested if symptoms occur.

Bankstown Central Shopping Centre, Bankstown: 10am to 3pm on Saturday 8 August
Horderns Restaurant at Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa, Bowral: 7.45pm to 9.15pm on Sunday 2 August
Bunnings Warehouse, Campbelltown: 11am to 7pm on Tuesday 4 August; 8am to 4pm on Wednesday 5 August; 1pm to 3pm on Thursday 6 August
Castle Towers Shopping Centre, Castle Hill: 3.30pm to 5pm on Friday 7 August
PharmaSave Cherrybrook Pharmacy in Appletree Shopping Centre, Cherrybrook: 4pm to 7pm on Thursday 6 August
Crust Pizza, Concord: 4pm to 8pm on Thursday 6 August; 5pm to 9pm on Friday 7 August
Café Perons, Double Bay: 1pm to 2pm on Saturday 8 August
DFO, Homebush: 10.45am to 12pm on Saturday 8 August
Sydney Markets Flemington, Homebush West: 8am to 4pm on Sunday, 9 August
Liverpool Hospital, Liverpool: 7am to 3pm on Thursday 6 August; 7am to 3pm on Friday 7 August; 5am to 1.30pm on Saturday 8 August; 5am to 1.30pm on Sunday 9 August
Westfield Liverpool, Liverpool: 10.30am to 11am and 12.30pm to 1pm on Friday 7 August
Woolworths Metro, North Strathfield: 12.15pm to 1.15pm on Saturday 8 August
Parramatta Local Court, Parramatta: 8.30am to 12.30pm on Tuesday 11 August; 8.30am to 12.3opm on Wednesday 12 August
Westfield Parramatta, Parramatta: 4pm to 5.30pm on Wednesday 5 August
12pm to 1pm on Saturday 8 August
St Agatha’s, Pennant Hills: 6.30 am to 7am on Wednesday 5 August; 6.30 am to 7am on Thursday 6 August
Baby Bunting, Penrith: 1.15pm to 1.45pm on Saturday 8 August
Ikea, Rhodes: 1.20pm to 2.20pm on Saturday 8 August
Den Sushi, Rose Bay: 7.15pm to 8.45pm on Saturday 8 August
Chopstix Asian Cuisine, Smithfield RSL, Smithfield: Friday 31 July to Saturday 9 August
5th Avenue Beauty Bar, Wetherill Park: 2pm to 3pm on Saturday 8 August

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https://www.theguardian.com/australia-n ... -locations


SCHOOL COVID REGS TIGHTENED UP
New South Wales COVID-19 ban on school formals and graduations 'last straw' for some students
There is widespread frustration from students, parents and small business owners in regional New South Wales about the decision to ban school formals and graduation ceremonies across the state due to COVID-19.

The State Government announced the ban as part of a suite of measures to help deal with the coronavirus pandemic and ensure face-to-face learning continued at public schools.

Hamish Wishart is in year 12 at Junee High School, in the Riverina region, and said he was gutted by the announcement.
"I was devastated when I heard — everyone at school was — because the formal is always such a fun way to celebrate with your friends," he said.
"We usually have a massive ball with all the students from year 7 to 12.
"To be honest, everything else about this year, being cut short of activities and trips and opportunities because of COVID-19, was kind of alright but this really is the last straw."

Hamish had not started organising his outfit for the event, earmarked for the end of September, but said some of his female friends had already booked their hair and nail appointments.

More power to the principal
Hamish's mother, Marney Wishart, criticised the government's "blanket approach" and said special consideration should be given to country schools with smaller cohorts of students.
"We have approximately 30 students in year 12 at Junee High so if they all invite two parents or carers to a graduation ceremony there would be 90 people sitting socially distanced in a school hall," Ms Wishart said.
"For a school to have their regular assembly, there are approximately 280 students in that hall.
"So, can someone please explain to me the logic that they can allow 280 but they can't allow 90?"

Ms Wishart would like principals, instead, to have the power to decide whether events could go ahead or not.
"We're talking 30 kids, not 200," she said.

An unwelcome blow for business
Dressmaker Jasmine Imber owns a boutique in Wagga Wagga and said she could lose around $10,000 because of the ban on end-of-school celebrations.
"I think a lot of people will want their deposits back or will no longer want their dresses," Ms Imber said.
"Because they're custom-made, I can't just put them back on the shelf for someone else to buy.
"And it's putting me in between a rock and a hard place if people ask for refunds."

Ms Imber said she was relying on formal season for cashflow and hoped some formals would be held later in the year.

'We're already at the bottom of people's lists'
Just like weddings, school formals are big business in Griffith — a fact beauty salon owner Jess Hall was banking on.
"Business has dropped by at least 50 per cent since the pandemic started," Ms Hall said.
"We really are the last thing people need to splurge on at the moment and because of coronavirus, everyone is trying to hold on to their money a little bit tighter, which is completely understandable.
"But when I heard that formals were cancelled as well, it was almost a numb feeling."

Ms Hall, who opened her salon six years ago, said she was not confident her business would survive the year.
"We're used to having weddings in Griffith that are normally anywhere from 300 to 800 people, so that's a lot of people who need to get ready and have treatments, and they've all been cancelled," she said.
"And now with formals and graduations cancelled, I can't help wondering what the rest of the year will look like and if we're even going to make it through to 2021.
"Going into spring, there's going to be no formal season, no wedding season, no parties — it's just so daunting."

Education Department boss apologises
The secretary of the New South Wales Education Department, Mark Scott, has apologised to year 12 students for the decision.
"It's a very disappointing piece of news for year 12 students and we're very sad it's come to this but the health advice is clear," Mr Scott said.
"Hopefully at the end of the year the rules will be different."

But Hamish Wishart did not see the point of postponing school formals until later in the year.
"It's a massive event that sums up the end of the year and while everyone is going back to school for term four, you're studying for the HSC and focused entirely on getting the mark you want," he said.
"You don't want to have to worry about planning a formal and having that in the back of your mind when you're supposed to be concentrating solely on something much more important."

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

MORE ON ISSUE OF NON-MANDATED MASKS
Minister can't fine bus users who refuse to wear masks
SW's Transport Minister Andrew Constance has said it is not in his power to fine or punish users of public transport who refuse to wear a mask.
Mr Constance's comments come as the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) threatens to strike for 48 hours from Monday if the state government refuses to act on its concerns about social distancing and a lack of regulation over the use of masks.
Appearing on Today, Mr Constance said all drivers had been issued masks by the government but not even all drivers are wearing them.
"It is important for everyone to know we have provided free mask to see our bus drivers," Mr Constance said.
"Not all of them are wearing them. We want them to wear them."

Mr Constance said without a mandate on masks issued by the Chief Medical Officer he cannot fine users.
"We don't have the health advice to mandate masks. They want us to fine people and deny people services," Mr Constance said.
"We don't have the advice from the Chief Medical Officer to mandate them. That's what mandating means. We are out there telling everyone to put them on and people are starting to do that."

RTBU Tram and Bus Division Secretary David Babineau said in a statement yesterday drivers felt the government was putting their safety at risk by failing to either put in place or enforce coronavirus restrictions.
"Bus drivers have been fronting up to work every day during this pandemic, despite great personal risk to themselves and their families, to keep our state moving," Mr Babineau said.
"The Government has consistently failed to provide proper regulations for public transport users. What regulations they have put in place, such as passenger limits, they have failed to enforce.
"Bus drivers have given notice that we cannot in good conscience continue to work in an environment that endangers themselves and the travelling public."

<< THE EVIDENCE THAT MANDATED MASK WEARING IS A VERY EFFECTIVE TOOL IN MITIGATING THE SPREAD OF COVID19 IS PROVEN , IT’S STUPID NOT TO DO IT AS IT’S MUCH CHEAPER THAN MOST OTHER MITIGATING REGULATIONS >>
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

NSW QUARANTINE FACILITY COVID CLUSTER
NSW police investigate alleged illegal subcontracting in Covid-19 hotel quarantine security
New South Wales police are investigating whether private security companies contracted to work in the state’s hotel quarantine regime were illegally subcontracting to third-parties.

Police confirmed on Wednesday that suspected breaches of laws in NSW preventing private security firms from subcontracting work to third parties had been discovered during monitoring of the state’s hotel quarantine regime.

The use of subcontractors by private security companies has been a major issue in Victoria, where companies were allowed to hire third-parties as part of the hotel quarantine program. The ABC revealed this week that some subcontractors hired to work at hotels in Victoria may not have been aware of their responsibilities.
In NSW, private companies hired to conduct security at hotels were not permitted to hire third parties. The state’s security industry legislation makes it an offence for a security provider to subcontract work without the original client’s approval.
Police confirmed to Guardian Australia that suspected subcontracting had been discovered during monitoring of the hotel quarantine scheme and that “inquiries” were being made.
“DPC [Department of Premier and Cabinet] identified suspected subcontracting of security services as part of their monitoring processes, and it was immediately reported to [police] for investigation,” a police spokesperson said.

Guardian Australia can also reveal a security guard believed to have contracted Covid-19 while working in the hotel quarantine program was employed by at least two security companies at the time, prompting calls for the government to employ security staff full-time.

On Tuesday the NSW chief medical officer, Dr Kerry Chant, confirmed that a private security guard who worked at the Marriott Hotel in Sydney “most likely” contracted Covid-19 from a traveller from the US.

The guard worked at the Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel on 3, 4 and 7 August “when he could have acquired the infection”. He subsequently worked at the Sydney Market in Flemington on 9 August and at Parramatta local court on 11 and 12 August.
He tested positive for Covid-19 late on 15 August.

Sydney Markets, the company that runs the market in Flemington, told Guardian Australia it had informed its security contractor, Asset Security, that no guards were permitted to work at the markets if they had previously been stationed “in a Covid-19 hotspot or high-risk location”.

However, a spokeswoman for Sydney Markets said the guard in question “was only contracted through Asset to work at the markets and not the hotel quarantine”.

Asset Security is not involved in hotel quarantine, and there is no suggestion it is related to the police investigation.
Asset Group Solutions has been contacted for comment, but a spokesperson previously confirmed to the Sydney Morning Herald that the guard was contracted through them to work only at the market.

Labor has called for private security to be hired fulltime when conducting hotel quarantine.
“What we’re saying is that this should be their only job, to minimise the risk of this happening,” Ryan Park, the shadow minister for health said.

On Wednesday the premier, Gladys Berejiklian, defended the hotel quarantine regime, insisting there was no need to change the program and saying it was a “miracle” there had not been other cases of staff guarding returned travellers contracting the virus because of the “high risk” nature of the work.
“It’s actually been a miracle that we haven’t had anyone contract the virus in that setting before now,” she said.
“If you continue that logic [that security guards should not work across venues] what you’re saying is that if you work in a high-risk activity … a police officer or someone working in hotel quarantine, that you shouldn’t be doing anything else because you could spread the virus at your local supermarket. Employment or not employment isn’t the issue.”
Contract tracers believe the guard may have caught the virus from one of two returned travellers staying at the Marriott, and Chant said NSW Health was investigating whether there had been any “overlap” between the guard and the overseas returnees.

The security guard had worked on the same floor as the two overseas travellers, but after NSW police reviewed CCTV footage of the hotel Berejiklian said there was “no evidence” the guard “did the wrong thing at all”.
She said she “wouldn’t assume” there had been a breakdown in the process, and that it would be “improper” for the government to make changes to its hotel quarantine regime based on “one case or based on one set of circumstances”.

Berejiklian said NSW had processed 47,000 returnees since hotel quarantine was introduced and was “bearing the load” for the rest of Australia after Melbourne stopped accepting returned travellers in July.
“Can I please ask everyone to put this into perspective. We’ve had 47,000 people come through quarantine, we’ve had day in and day out many staff, police officers, security officers, health officers, transport workers, we’ve had a myriad, thousands of workers involved in this process. The fact that this is the first case, of course is a concern, but it also means we have to approach this in a local way.”

There were 7 cases confirmed in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday from more than 19,400 tests, with 2 in travellers in hotel quarantine.
Another case was confirmed after 8pm, in a patient who attended Liverpool Hospital.

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

Two scenarios could explain how Sydney security guard caught coronavirus
There are two possible scenarios which could explain how at security guard working at the Marriott Hotel in Sydney's Circular Quay contracted coronavirus.
The first is "potential overlap" with two people in a room, one of which had the virus and later infected the other, Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said today.
"We've obviously got to explore the infectiousness and the overlap of those, but they were in the same room, and they were moved out of the hotel on the 5th of August," Dr Chant said.

NSW Health is also investigating whether there may have been contact with another positive case which is yet to be determined.

Dr Chant said CCTV has been reviewed, and health officials are maintaining an "open mind" and "casting a wide net".
The guard worked at the hotel on August 3, 4, 7, and 8 and could have acquired the virus there on these days, either from the infected individual or from another person.

However, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian stressed there was no suggestion the security guard had broken any rules while working at the hotel.
"There is no evidence to suggest this person did the wrong thing at all," she said.
She also said some jobs and activities carry higher risk than others.
"We know the disease is out there, our job is to find it, isolate it, and stop the spread, it's 100 per cent fact it's out there and circulating," Ms Berejiklian said.

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

NSW Premier stands firm on govt's handling of hotel quarantine system
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian is standing by her government’s handling of COVID-19 after a hotel quarantine security guard tested positive to the virus on Tuesday.
“It’s actually been a miracle that we haven’t had anyone contract the virus in that setting before now,” she said.

The Premier pointed out most people entering Sydney were not NSW residents.
“With Melbourne out of the picture Sydney is pretty much picking up the load and if we don’t do it … you won’t have Australians being able to come back home and secondly those international flights will get cancelled”.

The state's Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said “on average we have about one or two cases predominantly from south-western Sydney and western Sydney where the source is unclear”.
While only seven COVID-19 cases were recorded across NSW in the past 24 hours, she flagged the possibility for chains of transmission to be occurring unreported.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... id=msedgdh

BORDER ISSUES
Double-lung recipient misses critical check-up because of Queensland border closure
The mother of a 14-year-old boy who survived a double-lung transplant says his ongoing treatment has been dangerously compromised by Queensland's border restrictions.
Sean Rice received the double-lung transplant at the age of nine.
His mother, Lee-Anne Rice from Tweed Heads South, said she could not take her son for his routine clinical review at a Brisbane hospital, where his specialist was based, because the approval to travel outside the border bubble came too late.
"I rang the hotline first thing Monday, [and they] said that I would get approved no problem," she said.
"But the approval came through too late for us to use it, and so unfortunately it was null and void."

Staff from Prince Charles Hospital in Chermside then organised an alternative plan for Sean to be reviewed by staff at the John Flynn Hospital on the Gold Coast, which is inside the border bubble.
<< THERE ARE OTHER MAJOR REGIONAL HOSPITALS IN NSW AND TRANSFERS BY AMBULANCE AND AIR-AMBULANCE AVAILABLE IF NEEDED >>

But Ms Rice said she believed the care given there was inappropriate.
"The man was lovely, but he did admit that he had never done it before, he has no post-transplant experience, he has never tested a child before and it wasn't actually his job to do the testing," she said.
"He tried to give my son an asthma puffer, which my son has never used before."

Premier: 'Queensland hospitals for our people'
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has raised the ire of border residents with her comment during a press conference on Tuesday that state hospitals should look after their own residents.
"People living in New South Wales, they have NSW hospitals, in Queensland, we have Queensland hospitals for our people," she said.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said he was astounded by the comment.
"Premier's Palaszczuk's comment is … astonishing, given the life-saving service NSW hospitals regularly provide to Queenslanders in need," he said.

Mr Hazzard said last year 6,000 Queenslanders were admitted as in-patients at the Tweed Hospital in NSW, representing almost 20 per cent of admissions.

Over the same period, 27 per cent of all surgical admissions were Queenslanders.

Mr Hazzard said residents from northern New South Wales were being disadvantaged.
"A patient with significant burns from Grafton, who would normally have gone to Brisbane, was instead required to be transported by medivac to Sydney, which also meant that the medivac aircraft was not available for other emergencies," he said.

Deputy Premier slams shutdown
While visiting the Tweed Coast, the NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro slammed Queensland's drawn-out border closure.

He said it was a political decision before Queensland held a state election in October.
"There is a lack of communication, but I still think the Premier is playing to a political agenda, an election agenda, rather than the goodwill of the region," he said.

Mayor of the neighbouring Byron Shire, Simon Richardson, said it was also up to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to step up and provide services that were now being denied to local residents.
"Can the NSW Government subsidise anyone who needs accommodation in Queensland?" he said.
"Can the NSW Government talk to our defence forces and have mobile hospitals or mobile medical centres to come in and fill the gap?"

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

Border closure wreaks havoc on separated families
Brisbane woman Beth Ishii is eight months pregnant with her second child and trying to stay calm.
"I am stressing, but then trying not to stress because I don't want to go into labour early," she says.

Mrs Ishii and her husband Ren are currently stuck on either side of the Queensland and NSW border.

For the past 12 days they have been waiting anxiously to see if Mr Ishii will be granted an exemption to travel home for the birth of his child.
"We have applied for an exemption but we are still waiting. My whole birth plan is relying on this exemption," Mrs Ishii said.
"Things happen in childbirth all the time. I can have my sister or a friend with me but if there is an emergency you want your partner to be there."

When Queensland closed its borders to all of NSW on August 8, the couple was forced to decide whether Mr Ishii would stay with his family or temporarily relocate to Casino in northern NSW where he works at a meatworks.
"The first time the border closed we managed because I went down to live at my parent's house (in NSW). But because I'm close to my due date I have to be in Brisbane now," Mrs Ishii said.

Having chosen to stay in NSW, Mr Ishii hasn't seen his family in 10 days.

Mr Ishii's workplace is one postcode outside of the bubble which allows people in some border towns to travel across state lines freely with a pass.

Mrs Ishii said the hard border closure was causing a lot of anxiety and frustration for many people.
"I understand that the borders need to close and that it's necessary, but I just wish the people who are making the decisions would extend that bubble for those who have to rely on the border," she said.
"And the exemption process needs to be sorted out because I have heard of people waiting two weeks for their response and not hearing anything."
"It's so frustrating that no-one seems to understand what is happening."

Queensland borders could stay closed until Christmas

Earlier this week, the case of young mother from Casino, NSW made headlines after she was separated from her baby. The newborn who was flown from Lismore to a Queensland hospital for urgent medical treatment.

Chantelle Northfield and her husband, Glen, were reportedly refused entry to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital until they spent 14 days in hotel quarantine.
Speaking on Today this morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison referenced the case when speaking of his difficulties in trying to get state premiers to ease border restrictions.
"We will continue to raise cases with the Queensland government. The case of that young family out of Lismore who couldn't be with their young child, I think all of Australians should would have been shaking their head about that. I certainly was."

While he was pleased with some progress made on sorting out issues relating to the NSW and Victorian border closure, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was remaining firm, he said.
"She has taken her position on that," Mr Morrison said.

Ms Palaszczuk said yesterday Queensland borders would remain closed to Victoria and NSW until there was no active coronavirus community transmission.

The comment has led to speculation it could be Christmas before they are reopened.

NSW Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, took aim at the Palaszczuk Government's tough border restrictions yesterday, arguing the premier should not be locking out the northern NSW region as the area had no coronavirus cases.

An online petition "Save our border towns" calling for restrictions to be eased for towns left outside the designated bubble has so far attracted 8000 signatures.

'I thought my biggest issue would be I would miss him'

School teacher Carrie Watchirs, who lives just outside Inverell in NSW, said she had been separated from her 17-year-old son by the border closure and was not sure when she would see him again.
"Campbell is a boarder in Year 11 at Brisbane Grammar School. We didn't really realise it was such a big issue until about three days before the closures when the boarding house got in touch with us," she said.

Ms Watchirs said the closure meant her son would be unable to come home during the next school holidays.
"I understand why they are doing it, we are in support of it. But his brothers are desperate to see him and we really don't know when it will be. I'm thinking now it will be Christmas school holidays."

Ms Watchirs said her son had only starting boarding school at the beginning of this year and she was worried he would be missing home.

Another fear was what would happen if her son, who attends the school on a rugby scholarship, was injured, she said.
"He is up there playing rugby. They are big boys and it's a tough competition. If he was injured we wouldn't be able to get to him in a hurry," she said.
"I thought when he started school there my biggest issue would be I would miss him, not that I couldn't access him."

Ms Watchirs said she knew of other parents of boarders who had temporarily moved across the border to be with their children.
"I have a friend staying up there in a unit to be with her son who is at another boarding school.
"I think there are lot of people doing that at the moment from country areas. That is the only way to have access to your children."

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

COVID-19 regulations see Albury trainer forced to give up almost 20 racehorses
One border trainer has been forced to give up almost 20 of his horses because of strict COVID-19 regulations introduced by Racing NSW.
Mitch Beer has been training horses around Albury for a few years.
A number of his horses were spelling on the Victorian side of the border but have been unable to cross back to his stables since Racing NSW announced its policy.
"There are about 16 [horses] now that have gone to other trainers in Victoria … the longer this goes on the more I'll lose," he said.

Racing NSW said it had a strict policy in place that, as of July 8, horses in Victoria were not permitted to travel into NSW.

Marc Van Gestel, Chairman of Stewards, said it applied to any race stable, racecourse or spelling property.
"Our first and foremost operation is to protect the NSW racing industry," he said.
"Until such time that the risk has been minimised, we're in a position where we will continue to maintain the current status."

Mr Beer has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the horses that he has now been forced to hand over — including one of his most promising.
"It's heartbreaking," he said.
"You can't really hand over a horse and say 'Do the best job you possibly can with it and treat it as one of yours until the phone rings and the border opens'.
"It's not fair on the owners, it's not fair on the horses themselves."

Staff given three hours to relocate
Mr Beer said when the borders initially closed his staff were given only three hours' notice that they had to pack their things and relocate to NSW.
"Even though they would have been eligible for a permit, Racing NSW weren't comfortable with them living in Victoria and coming to work," he said.
"It was a very hard conversation to have with your staff, to ask them to choose between their job or their family."

Mr Beer said he had footed all expenses involved in the relocation of his staff, including accommodation and food, but had concerns for how sustainable it was.
"You're trying to keep everyone in a job but not being able to bring horses back in I'm struggling to keep up the work to keep everyone in a job who have packed up their lives to move here," he said.

Risk of spread through horses
Albury is a large racing jurisdiction with many horses travelling from Sydney, Melbourne, and overseas to compete in the Spring Carnival.

Mr Van Gestel said COVID-19 border closures were not just affecting those border trainers.
"We have trainers located in Sydney who are quite often transporting horses between states," he said.

He said Racing NSW received expert advice on how the virus could spread among the racing community if transportation of horses was allowed.
"There are two concerns: the first is it can be spread through the transport drivers coming from Victoria," he said.
"Secondly, we've received expert advice that it can be transported on a horse's gear when that horse is transported as well.
"While we sympathise with [the trainers'] current position, Racing NSW really needs to look at the whole industry and our role is to protect the NSW industry from having COVID spread."

He said the situation was being monitored closely.
"There might be some impact on the industry," he said.
"That impact is far outweighed by what could potentially be a complete shutdown if COVID was to find its way within the industry."

'There's nothing else I can do'
Mr Beer said it was a frustrating situation given the low case of COVID-19 numbers on the border.
"We're dealing with an area that has zero active cases. There are more cases in Sydney than where any of my horses are spelling or where they need to come to," he said.
"There's nothing else I can do. I just hope a change comes soon."

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

BREACHES

NSW police to investigate after leaking emails of people who complained about pepper spray at Black Lives Matter rally
The New South Wales police say they have launched an internal investigation after more than 150 people had their personal email addresses leaked after complaining about the use of capsicum spray against protestors at a Black Lives Matter rally in Sydney.

But victims of the leak say they have still not been contacted about the privacy breach and are considering taking the matter to the NSW information and privacy commissioner.

Last week, Samuel Leighton-Dore received an email from the NSW police informing him that a complaint he had lodged about the use of force against protestors after a Black Lives Matter protest in June had been dismissed.

In a letter from the Professional Standards Unit, the internal body responsible for investigating complaints against officers, Leighton-Dore was told that after reviewing body-worn camera footage of the incident police had concluded there was “no reason to conduct a further internal investigation”.

About an hour later, he received a second email from the same officer with the same letter attached. This time, however, the officer had also attached the personal email addresses of about 150 other people who had also lodged complaints.

Leighton-Dore tried to contact the NSW police to inform them of the incident. He was placed on hold, he said, before being hung up on. He then wrote about the incident on Twitter, saying it “felt like a significant data breach”.

Related: Australia needs to face up to the dangers of facial recognition technology | David Paris

The leak was first reported by Gizmodo, which was told by police that “at face value, it appears be an administrative error” and that they would “discuss with those whose email address was shared with the individual”.

One of the people who had their details leaked is Alisdair Bates, a Sydney community services worker who lodged a complaint with police after seeing the capsicum spray footage online.

Bates said the fact the police had divulged his details after making the complaint was “mind-boggling”.
“These complaints are supposed to be lodged and dealt with anonymously, and it does really make me wonder how they are dealing with people’s private information,” he said.
“I’m lucky enough to feel comfortable about talking to you about it but there are obviously a lot of people who aren’t as fortunate. Indigenous activists, members of the queer community, people of colour. Understandably some of the people who lodged complaints have had pretty dreadful interactions with the police [and] I don’t feel like it’s hyperbolic to say that lists of the civil population who complain about excessive force by police generally aren’t viewed favourably in history. It’s pretty scary stuff.”
The NSW police said an internal investigation has been launched into how the incident occurred but did not answer questions from Guardian Australia. Neither Leighton-Dore nor Bates have been contacted by the force.
“I haven’t heard from them at all,” Leighton-Dore said.

The incident raises questions about the handling of complaints internally by police, and the role of the police watchdog the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.

Leighton-Dore initially lodged a complain with the LECC but was told in an email that the commission’s “limited resources means that it usually investigates only the more serious cases of misconduct and refers other complaints to the police”.
“The commission has decided that it is not a matter justifying investigation by the commission and accordingly the NSW police force is the appropriate agency to deal with this complaint,” the letter stated.

The LECC’s “limited resources” have been an ongoing problem for the organisation. In 2019 it revealed that continued cuts to its budget meant it was only able to fully investigate 2% of what it called a “firehose” of serious complaints levelled against officers.

And the role of police in conducting internal investigations has been the subject of continued criticism. Critics say investigations handled by the force’s professional standards command lack transparency, are frequently delayed, and often lack oversight.

In the case of complaints made after the use of capsicum spray at Central Station following the Black Lives Matter protest, both Leighton-Dore and Bates were concerned that an identical letter from the Professional Standards Unit was sent to all complainants with the same reference number.
“I would have assumed that in matters involving complaints to the NSW police that each complaint would have its own case number and be addressed individually, but it just seems like they’ve swept it all into the one bucket and just arbitrarily dismissed it,” Leighton-Dore said.

The victims of the leak are now being encouraged to contact both the LECC and the NSW information and privacy commissioner. A letter sent to the 155 people whose emails were compromised, seen by Guardian Australia, points to section 169A of the Police Act which “provides that a member of the NSW police force must not disclose to any person the identity of a complainant”.
“It is simply not enough for the NSW police force to say that this was an administrative error!” the letter states.

Bates said he would “absolutely” make a formal complaint about the leak.
“I’m going to rattle as many cages as I can,” he said. “I just think it’s crazy that this can happen and there be no consequence for it.”

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

COVIDSCAMMERS
Police arrest man over online puppy scam targeting the lonely during coronavirus
Australian authorities are warning of a major puppy scam targeting those seeking comfort during the global coronavirus pandemic.
Heavily armed officers with bulletproof vests stormed a home at Oxley Park in Western Sydney and arrested an alleged fraudster early this morning.
The 27-year old man was wearing black tracksuit pants and a T-shirt when he was handcuffed before being driven to St Marys Police Station.
Detective Superintendent Jason Pietruszka said he falsely advertised the sale of Staffordshire bull terriers on Gumtree and through an animal rescue website.
"We believe through our inquiries that the dogs never existed — they were simply photos taken from various websites that he used as bait to get people interested," he said.

At least eight people from Queensland, Western Australia, New South Wales and the ACT allegedly deposited up to $2,000 into various bank accounts.
"He would then say the dogs are on their way — when the delivery was about to happen, he would then ask for a remaining balance," Detective Superintendent Pietruszka said.

Police said the aspiring pet owners refused to pay the remaining balance until the dog arrived at their home — although that never happened.
"Once he realised further money was not forthcoming, he would then cut off all contact and then the victims couldn't get in touch with him," Detective Superintendent Pietruszka said.

The man has been charged with 16 fraud offences, but investigators believe there are a further 50 victims and are urging them to contact Crime Stoppers.
"The prices of dogs have skyrocketed recently … people are not only seeing what is a cute dog, they are also seeing a price that is too good to be true and ultimately it is," Detective Superintendent Pietruszka said.
"People are struggling, they are looking for that companionship and, unfortunately, we have a person who is willing to take advantage for his own financial gain," he said.
"Hopefully the courts find that as disgusting as we do."

The man has been refused bail and will face Penrith Court tomorrow.

Animal lovers are being advised to meet with well-established breeders in person first before handing over money.
"Don't hand over money until you are 100 per cent sure that the person exists, the animal exists and that it's a legitimate transaction," Detective Superintendent Pietruszka said.
"If it seems to good to be true, then it probably is," he said.

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

BUSINESS
The industry investing millions in Sydney during COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic has put a shocking number of Australians out of work, but there's one sector anticipating a boom.

Western Sydney has welcomed a range of developments set to turn the region into a hub of packaging and warehouse delivery.

Increasing numbers of people and businesses working from home has resulted in a surge in delivery orders.
Sydney Business Park development director Owen Walsh said they had created 4500 jobs and hoped to push through to 23,500.
"It's a huge area – there's three kilometres by two kilometres, twice the size of the CBD," Mr Walsh said.

Figures compiled exclusively for 9News by Australian Commercial Property showed the Blacktown local government area – including Marsden Park, Prospect, and Riverstone – was leading the rest of Sydney, with $640 million of development approvals last financial year.

It's followed by Cumberland ($166 million), Canterbury-Bankstown ($93 million) and Sutherland ($91 million).
"This is set to accelerate of course, because more people are working from home and sing the internet both for personal goods and business goods," Dr Andrew Wilson of Australian Commercial Property said.
"The real epicenter of this has been Sydney's west."

There's now a push to make sure roads and infrastructure keep up with the fast pace of development.
"This industry of warehousing is absolutely sensational in terms of job opportunities," Blacktown Mayor Tony Bleasdale told 9News.

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

Mass job losses at Hunter Valley mine as industry reacts to plummeting thermal coal price
Workers at Peabody Energy's Wambo Underground Mine in the New South Wales Upper Hunter Valley face an uncertain future.
The company has announced plans to halve the site's workforce and drastically scale back production.
The US miner, which has , is attributing the decision to the "incredibly challenging market conditions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic."
The job losses come after an eight-week partial suspension of operations that commenced in mid-June.
At the time, the company said the "proactive steps" were designed to "protect the long-term sustainability" of the mine.

Union fuming
The Northern District Hunter-based president of the CFMEU, Peter Jordan, said the announcement was disappointing, but not surprising.
"All of our members took appropriate leave during that period and we have a sneaking suspicion that Peabody haven't been entirely honest with their workers," he said.
"It just seems so funny that we have eight weeks off the job, at their request, for a forced shutdown, return after the eight weeks and within days get confronted with the situation of 50 per cent of the workforce losing their jobs.
"There's a bit of anger out there at the Wambo mine about how Peabody’s managing this current situation."

While 75 union members face losing their permanent positions at the site, it is understood that as many as 150 workers could be impacted.

In a statement, Peabody said consultations with employees were now underway.
"We commit that all affected employees will receive full redundancy entitlements, employee assistance and counselling to help them and their families adjust to this difficult news," the company said.
"The decision to ramp down production at the mine has not been taken lightly and Peabody very much regrets the impact this action will have on our loyal employees, their families and the community."
"We will continue to monitor market conditions and the performance of the mine while we undertake further study of the reserves, including South Wambo.
"Where possible affected employees will be offered roles at Peabody's other operations."

But with demand for thermal coal exports decreasing, Mr Jordan said that was unlikely.
"The ability of these workers to be able to find other jobs at the moment are very remote," he said.
"The company is saying that there's opportunities for redeployment.
"Well, let me tell you, there's not too many jobs for redeployment whatsoever — you could count them on one hand."

Sliding price felt across Valley
Peabody is not the only miner in the region to rethink its production plans as thermal coal prices drop.
Prices have fallen to an average of $60-$70 a metric tonne from nearly $100 at the start of the year.

Earlier this month, Glencore announced a suite of temporary site and equipment shutdowns across its Hunter Valley mines in response to the global market environment.
"These measures will enable us to align our production levels with market demand, while providing the flexibility to ramp back up as economies recover from the effects of COVID-19," the company said in a statement.
"Where temporary shutdowns are necessary, these are planned to coincide with the September school holidays.
"Workers will be required to take leave during this time."

Meanwhile, BHP confirmed its intention to offload its Mount Arthur open cut mine, near Muswellbrook.

Federal Hunter MP, Joel Fitzgibbon, said he believed the coal industry had a long-term future in the region despite the downturn.
"Beyond the COVID-19 crisis, things will be fine," he said.
"But how long demand will be depressed in those Asian markets, we do not know.
"I've no doubt that Mount Arthur will be picked up by another player — who knows which.
"I fear we are now just getting a small taste of what it would be like in the Hunter Valley without our coal mining industry.
"I just appeal to the companies to hang on as long as they can, to do the right thing by the employees, and I'll pray that we can hang on long enough to wait for that demand to grow strong again."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/markets ... d=msedgdhp
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:48 am

19 AUGUST QLD

One new Queensland case from PNG quarantined
Queensland has recorded one new COVID-19 case in the past 24 hours who is a returned traveller and currently in hotel quarantine.
A male in his 40s who returned from Papua New Guinea tested positive on his seventh day of hotel quarantine.
The man is currently being managed by the Metro North Hospital and health service.
Papua New Guinea has recently seen a spike in coronavirus cases.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state's 10,000 tests in the last 24 hours is a "wonderful effort".
There have been 28 flights into Queensland processed in the past day.

Queenslanders get call up to vaccine trials
The University of the Sunshine Coast is calling on Queenslanders between 18 and 84 who are non-smokers to participate in vaccine trials for COVID-19.
Developed by US vaccine manufacturer Novavax, the trials are the first of their kind in the state.

Queensland borders likely shut until Christmas
Ms Palaszczuk this week said the Queensland borders would remain closed to Victoria and NSW until there was no active coronavirus community transmission.
"We will put the safety of Queenslanders first and we do not have any intentions of opening any borders while there is community transmission active in Victoria and NSW," she said.
"I think we're going to continue to see restrictions in Victoria until up around Christmas time."

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

Premier blasted for saying Queensland hospitals are for 'our people'
Annastacia Palaszczuk has been slammed for saying Queensland hospitals were 'for our people only' - after woman pregnant with twins in far northern NSW was forced to fly all the way to Sydney for emergency surgery.

The premier made the controversial comment on Tuesday when she was asked about the women, who lived in Ballina, jut 30km from the Queensland border who was told she was unlikely to be given an exemption to pass into the state.

Ms Palaszczuk said she while she was not aware of the specifics of the case. the decision about who to let into Queensland would be made by health professionals, not politicians.
'People living in NSW they have NSW hospitals. In Queensland we have Queensland hospitals for our people,' she said.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard called Ms Palaszczuk's comments 'astonishing'.
He urged her to review her border arrangements to 'ensure patients receive the health care they need'.
He said there were patients in northern NSW in need of renal transplants who were being denied access to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.
Those patients were being forced to drive themselves '12 or more hours to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney', he said.
llan Watt, the father of the Ballina mum, told 9News the unborn twins needed the emergency treatment after being diagnosed with a rare illness at just 24 weeks old.

Instead of being treated in a nearby Brisbane hospital, his daughter were forced to wait 16 hours to be transported to Sydney after being told they were unlikely to be allowed into hospital.
'She could have lost those babies in the time she was waiting,' Mr Watt said.
'The Queensland government is treating people that are in dire need like they are lepers.'

Another young mother was also left heartbroken as she was separated from her newborn son due to the draconian border restrictions.
Chantelle Northfield, from Casino in northern New South Wales, welcomed her second son Harvey at nearby Lismore Base Hospital last Friday.
Little Harvey had difficulty breathing and was airlifted to Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital for lifesaving treatment.
But his terrified mother was unable to be at her newborn's bedside as she would need to quarantine for 14 days first.
'Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the closure of the Queensland border, Glen and I were refused entry to the hospital until after 14 days mandatory quarantine in a hotel,' Ms Northfield wrote in a gut-wrenching Facebook post.
'We would of been more than willing to do that if there was a guarantee that Harvey would be there for that long but no one is 100 per cent sure and the second he no longer needs such extensive treatment he will be flown back to Lismore.'

Ms Northfield was willing to take a coronavirus test but still wouldn't be able to be with Harvey even if the result came back negative.
'We have tried our absolute hardest to get there, and the workers for the hospital tried as well, it was just one person from higher up that refused our entry.
'The best we get is FaceTime for now.'

Ms Palaszczuk has come under fire for her staunch approach to the border closure, earning her the nickname 'Comrade Anna'.
On Tuesday she announced Queensland will keep its hard border lockdown in place until New South Wales and Victoria completely eliminate community transmission of coronavirus.
Ms Palaszcuk said her government is still 'very concerned' about the situation in NSW and is monitoring it daily.

As for Victorians, she said they will be barred from entry at least until December.
'I think we're going to continue to see restrictions in Victoria up until Christmas time,' she said on Monday.
'That's very unfortunate for people living there but it's a serious situation.'
Queensland's border slammed shut to Victorians on July 10 as a second wave of coronavirus began smashing the state.
Fears the outbreak could spill into NSW quickly mounted, prompting Ms Palaszcuk to lock NSW and the ACT out a month later, on August 8.

Despite infections dwindling in NSW, the QLD Premier said the changing situation in the state, like the City of Sydney this week being declared a hotspot, meant interstate travel still poses a health risk.
'We are still very concerned about NSW and we are watching very closely if there is any movement of cases in northern NSW,' Ms Palaszcuk said on Tuesday.
'It’s critical that we keep on top of that … we can't give that certainty when the situation is constantly evolving and changing.
'I will make the best decisions to keep Queenslanders safe.'

Ms Palaszcuk has been slammed for her tight border restrictions, with critics arguing they are impacting the economy and draining resources needed to enforce them.

Responding to criticism on Tuesday, Ms Palaszcuk credited her state's tight regulations with keeping Queensland's community transmissions low.
'Queenslanders can go about their daily lives which is not the case in other parts of the world,' she said.
'My priority is to keep Queensland as open for Queensland as much as possible during this time.'
'We are not the only state that has borders shut, and what we have seen with those states with hard border closures we do not have a large number of cases.'
The premier also revealed she had recently received a letter from Prime Minister Scott Morrison expressing his concern about the economic hit to the agricultural sector and supply chains, which he said were at risk due to border closures.

Ms Palaszczuk said the letter was addressed to all premiers and she would be open to discussing the matter further in Cabinet.
'The prime minister has written to all premiers. We only just received that letter. It's a very generic letter and of course we're happy to have further discussions at national cabinet,' she said.
'It's just a very generic letter. It talks about health, well freight we have a national agreement about freight and the testing of drivers and in relation to health we want the best health care for all Australians no matter where they live.'

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

Palaszczuk defends restrictions as Qld records one new COVID-19 case
Queensland has reported just 1 new coronavirus case; a man in hotel quarantine.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also announced the Queensland town of Goondiwindi will be added to the border bubble with New South Wales.

Qld border bubble extended to include Goondiwindi
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced two more postcodes in Goondiwindi to be added to the border bubble which will make it easier for residents in the region to go about their daily business.
The border bubble was set up after consultation with the local Mayor of Goondiwindi.

While the Premier was willing to ease border restrictions in Goondiwindi, she remained firm on the 14-day hotel quarantine isolation for those entering from outside Queensland.
“Where we can cooperate, we will cooperate,” she said.

However, “tough decisions” are necessary to ensure the safety of Queensland residents.
A hotel quarantine guest was the only new coronavirus case recorded in Queensland in the past 24 hours.

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

Queensland 'border bubble' to be expanded as state records one new case of coronavirus
Cross-border movement in Queensland's southern inland should become easier, with the border bubble to be expanded, as the state records one new case of coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

The latest case is a man in his 40s who is in hotel quarantine after returning from Papua New Guinea.
"We have absolutely no concerns about that case," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

As the numbers of cases rise in PNG, the state's northern border will also be strengthened with the help of Border Force.

The Premier announced today that the border bubble around Goondiwindi would also increase in size to take in more postcodes.
From tomorrow, people in towns including Weengalloon, Limevale, Inglewood, Gore, North Star and Deepwater will be able to cross the Queensland-New South Wales border.
"These are very small numbers of people and, of course, it's just to make that movement between those border communities a little bit easier," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"We are continuing to work with people when it comes to their health concerns, but also when it comes to the movement of agriculture."

Goondiwindi Mayor Lawrence Springborg said he lobbied Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young for the change, and said she saw "the common sense and practicality in that".
"We've had enormous disruption — these are communities where the border is irrelevant," he said.
"The postcodes are an anomaly because postcodes don't follow straight lines out here.
"So they needed to be ironed out."

Increase in numbers quarantining
Almost 10,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the past 24 hours, with six active cases in the state.

Since yesterday, Queensland police have processed 1,945 passengers on 28 flights arriving into Queensland.
No-one was refused entry, but 88 people were placed into quarantine.
At the road borders, 3,939 vehicles were intercepted, with 181 people refused entry and 110 placed into quarantine.

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

Premier Palaszczuk said there were no plans to ease any of the restrictions in her state.
The state currently has 6 active cases of COVID-19.

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

Coronavirus health alert issued for Brisbane cafe after woman tests positive
Urgent contact tracing and coronavirus testing is underway after a woman tested positive for COVID-19 in Japan after flying into the country from Brisbane.
Queensland Health authorities said the woman tested negative in hotel quarantine in Sydney in mid-July, before coming to Brisbane some time around early August.
She flew to Sydney on August 17 then tested positive for COVID-19 upon her arrival in Japan the following day, but was asymptomatic.
Japanese health authorities advised Queensland Health of the case on Wednesday afternoon.

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said a health alert had been issued for Virgin flight VA-962 from Brisbane to Sydney on Monday August 17 and anyone who dined at Greenslopes cafe The Jam Pantry on August 16.
"The woman arrived in Australia in mid-July and was in hotel quarantine in Sydney for two weeks prior to coming to Brisbane," Dr Young said.
"While in quarantine, she returned two negative test results," she said.
"While we are still determining where the virus may have been acquired, we are working with Japanese authorities to gather necessary information."
"We have been in touch with six close contacts in Brisbane identified by the woman. These people have been tested and are now in quarantine."

All passengers of the Virgin flight are being asked to monitor their health and get tested immediately if they develop symptoms.

People who visited The Jam Pantry cafe between 9:45am and 11:00am on August 16 will be contacted by local health authorities, but other patrons of the cafe are also being asked to monitor their health.

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

Coronavirus: Queenslanders forced into hotel isolation after operations
Queenslanders rushed interstate for lifesaving operations are being forced into quarantine hotels despite some of the country's leading medical experts pleading with Queensland authorities to let them isolate at home.

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

BREACHES
'Plan C has been successful': Elderly couple accused of border breach
An elderly couple accused of breaching Queensland's tough border restrictions have denied lying on their border passes.

Charged with fraud and failing to comply with border directions, Western Australians Lawrence Gordon Petersen and Edith van Dommelen are out of hotel quarantine and fronted Richlands Magistrates Court this afternoon.

Police allege the couple falsely declared they had not travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot when they entered the state on July 27.
On July 25 the couple, who are professional pet sitters and document their travel on social media, left Woodend, Victoria on a "transit permit". By July 27 they had driven through New South Wales and crossed into Queensland at Goondiwindi.

Ms van Dommelen appeared to outline their itinerary in a series of social media posts.

One included a map showing their planned route from Victoria to Queensland.
<< PRETTY DUMB PUTTING IT UP ON SOCIAL MEDIA >>
"I did say watch this space ... well confirmation that Plan C to exit Victoria, has been successfully executed and completed," one post read.
Couple posted about border crossing on Facebook
Meanwhile, a couple who travelled from Victoria via New South Wales into Queensland to pet-sit cats, without going into compulsory quarantine, have had their matter adjourned.

Edith van Dommelen, 68, and Lawrence Gordon Peterson, 63, were both charged with fraud and failing to comply with a public health order.

The couple were detained at Nanango on July 4 after police received information they had travelled through the Goondiwindi checkpoint on July 27 and had not gone into hotel quarantine.

In a social media post, Ms van Dommelen said the couple had applied for a transit pass before they left Victoria and had spent one night in Wagga Wagga in the New South Wales south-west on the way to Queensland.

They then stayed one night in Toowoomba before travelling to Nanango.

The couple told the court they would apply for legal aid and would stay at a residence in Mount Gravatt until their next court date in September as part of bail conditions.

Man sentenced for coronavirus breach
A man was yesterday sentenced to two months in jail for breaching coronavirus health directions.
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said officers were called to his home in Caboolture, north of Brisbane, in April and issued an on-the-spot fine for having too many people there.

They returned the next day and issued a notice to appear in court for the same offence.
"The directions are very clear around what you're able to do and this person exceeded them," Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said.
"There are serious consequences for people not abiding by the Chief Health Officer's directions and that includes our border crossings and more broadly."

There are four ongoing investigations into similar alleged breaches.

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

Before they were intercepted by Queensland police on August 4, Mr Petersen and Ms van Dommelen had taken an elderly friend to the Royal Brisbane Hospital.

Couple accused of flouting border restrictions visited a HOSPITAL
A couple who allegedly breached Queensland's tough border restrictions visited a restaurant, a café and a hospital in the days after entering the state, social media posts shows.

Lawrence Gordon Petersen, 63, and Edith van Dommelen, 68, are accused of lying about travelling to a coronavirus hotspot on their border forms.

The couple allegedly entered into Queensland at Goondiwindi on July 27, despite having been in coronavirus hot spot Victoria just two days before, coming into the state to house sit at multiple locations.

The pair often house sit and pet sit for families across Australia, and share pictures of their adventures on social media for friends and family to see.

According to what appears to be Ms van Dommelen's page, the couple had been in Woodend, about 72km from Melbourne, just days before they made their way into Queensland.
Queensland strengthened its border restrictions on Victorians on July 9 after Melbourne's COVID-19 cases soared.

Previously Victorians could enter the Sunshine State if they spent two weeks in quarantine - but now they have been banned completely and will be turned back if they try to enter Queensland.

Queenslanders have been forced to pay for their own quarantine if they return from Victoria.
'We'll miss the beauty and rustic Victorian countryside with all its numerous historic sites and places to sightsee but it's time to move on,' Ms van Dommelen's Facebook page says.

The Perth couple had made multiple attempts to leave Victoria, they shared on Facebook.
'I did say watch this space.......well confirmation that Plan C to exit Victoria, has been successfully executed and completed,' she wrote.
'Now relaxing in our Toowoomba accommodation for 2 nights until the start of the first of two house/pet sits that replaced SA Crystal Brook house/pet sit that we should have started today.'

'Plan A' had been to exit Victoria with a permit to enter South Australia, but they would not have found out if they could get through until they got to the border.
'Plan B' was to exit Victoria with a NSW permit as seasonal workers, they would've had to self-isolate for 14 days, which they were going to do in Tuross Heads in NSW, the social media posts show.
'However, on (July 21) at midnight that option was removed our permits voided not valid, needed to reapply under new application and new exemptions', Ms van Dommelen wrote.

'Plan C' saw them enter NSW with a permit for being 'in transit by road rail or plane' as they made their way to Queensland.
She detailed their journey after crossing the border, sharing how they had stayed at a hotel in the main street of Toowoomba and eaten at a nearby cafe.
On July 30, Ms van Dommelen shared how they had been to Brisbane hospital.

'First day at our Nanango house/pet sit, trip to Royal Brisbane Hospital taking our host...for her pre op appointment and check in preparation for her submission into hospital next Monday for major shoulder surgery,' she wrote.

The couple were caught after police received a tip-off about their travel plans.

They were immediately placed in mandatory hotel quarantine outside the South Burnett area.

The couple appeared in the Richlands Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning charged with fraud and failing to comply with border directions, the Courier Mail reported.

Their case was adjourned to September 15 to allow them time to seek legal advice.

Police will allege the couple crossed the border with false declarations, claiming they had not travelled from a COVID-19 hot spot.
A timeline of the couple's alleged adventure to Queensland:
July 25: Lawrence Gordon Petersen, 63, and Edith van Dommelen, 68, are pet sitting in Woodend, about 72km from Melbourne
July 26: They start their 'long journey' travelling to Queensland via New South Wales
July 27: The couple share how they plan to get from Victoria to Queensland
They eventually enter the state through the Goondiwindi police checkpoint
The couple stay at a hotel in Toowoomba for two nights
July 29: They make their way to Brisbane where they are house sitting for an elderly woman
July 30: The couple take the woman they are house sitting for to Brisbane hospital
August 4: The pair are caught after police received a tip-off about their travel plans
They are taken to mandatory hotel quarantine
August 18: They appear in the Richlands Magistrates Court charged with fraud and failing to comply with border directions

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

They then headed to Kingaroy, where they visited a café and a shopping centre before police found and detained them in Nanango, about 90 minutes west of the Sunshine Coast.
Outside court the couple said they did not lie on their border passes and did not know they were not allowed into Queensland.

The pair has been granted bail and are scheduled to appear on September 15, to give them time to seek legal advice.
"Looking at you I get the impression you won't run away," Magistrate Aaron Simpson said.


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

19 AUGUST SA
SA stands by tougher Victoria border rules
South Australia's tighter border restrictions with Victoria will only remain in place for as long as absolutely necessary but are a direct result of the high number of COVID-19 cases in Melbourne, the state's chief public health officer says.

New measures will be imposed from Friday, preventing even people living in close border communities from crossing into SA or from leaving South Australia and then returning.

Only people with properties that straddle the state line and students in years 11 and 12 will get exemptions, although others can apply for essential traveller status, including those with medical issues.
"I absolutely appreciate that it is really hard for people at the moment," Professor Nicola Spurrier said.
"It will be a wonderful day when we can release that border and we will do that absolutely as soon as we possibly can."

Professor Spurrier said SA Health was also working on establishing another hotel quarantine facility in Mt Gambier, in the state's southeast, which could be used to isolate people coming from Victoria once those restrictions are eased.

It could also help with about 150 Victorian university students looking to return to their studies in Adelaide.
She said officials were working on ways to get those students back and those who might drive, could be accommodated at the Mt Gambier centre.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said border restrictions were constantly being reviewed and while the situation in Victoria had improved, people should prepare for the tighter measures coming into force.

'It is no understatement to say that we are monitoring, on a daily basis, what is happening in Victoria," he said.
"But people should prepare for that direction to be implemented on Friday.
"As much as we try to accommodate those people who live in cross-border communities, at this point in time, with the activity of coronavirus in regional Victoria, the decision was made on health advice that this was a step that we needed to take."

Mr Stevens said there was no specific trigger for easing restrictions with a number of factors involved, including the spread of virus cases in regional districts.

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

More than 10,000 workers complete COVID-marshal training in SA
More than 10,000 workers in South Australia have already rushed to complete their online COVID-marshal training ahead of new restrictions coming into force this Friday.

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

SA Government can't say where TRIAL CONTINGIENT OF international students will come from as Victorian COVID-19 restrictions tighten
The South Australian Government will not say if 300 international students returning to Adelaide in a pilot program will come from high-risk countries for coronavirus.
It comes as the state gets set to ban almost all Victorians from crossing the border on Friday.
Premier Steven Marshall said "no decisions have been made" about where they will come from.
South Australia is part of a pilot program announced on Sunday to get international students to return to Australia via Singapore.
Everyone apart from essential workers, some farmers and Year 11 and 12 students will be blocked from crossing into SA from Victoria from Friday, which cross-border communities say will throw their lives into chaos.

Speaking at a school this afternoon, Mr Marshall said "the final planning is being done at the moment" on the international student program.

He said there were no "exact dates" they would be arriving on and a decision about which countries they would come from would be done as late as possible to keep an eye on the COVID-19 situation in their home countries.
"No decisions have been made about where those students are coming from," he said.

When pressed, he said: "That decision hasn't been made."
The international students will have to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel at their own expense and pay for their flights to Australia.

Health Minister doing an 'excellent job'
The Premier also defended Stephen Wade as "the best health minister in the country" after Mr Wade last night overstated the number of active coronavirus cases in Victoria while defending the international student scheme.

Mr Wade told Sky News last night there were 17,000 active cases in Melbourne, whereas the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services says there are 7,274 in the entire state.
He could not name the number of cases in Singapore.

There are 3,378 active coronavirus cases in Singapore, the country's Government says.
Singapore has a slightly larger population than Melbourne.

Mr Marshall told ABC Radio Adelaide Mr Wade, "does an excellent job".
"I think he does an 18-hour day," Mr Marshall said, adding that the Minister had not had a day off work in months.
"I'm not going to criticise the man that I think is the best health minister in the country," he said.

South Australia has seven active coronavirus cases, including three diagnosed in the past week, all of them in hotel quarantine.
There were no new active cases reported today or yesterday.
Important from 'economic perspective'
Facing criticism about the plan from the Opposition and especially from people wanting to come to South Australia from Victoria, Mr Marshall said the state could not afford "to shoot itself in the foot" economically during the coronavirus pandemic by not allowing the students to return to Adelaide.

Mr Marshall said the move would help prop up the state economically.
"We've got a health crisis but we've also got an economic crisis and we don't want to be shooting ourselves in the foot from an economic perspective while we try to solve the health crisis," he said.
"I think it's difficult and I understand it but comparing and contrasts on these things is not helpful and it's completely a different situation."

Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas said Labor had "grave concerns about some of the lack of information from Steven Marshall about this".
"The Premier is saying we have to have all this inconvenience on the South Australian-Victorian border in order to keep South Australians safe but then we're going to have all these international students coming from overseas but failed to tell people where they were coming from," he said.
"If the justification for international students coming in is they're coming from safer jurisdictions than Victoria, then I think South Australians are entitled to know what those jurisdictions are."
He named the United States, Brazil, South Africa, India and the UK as countries he was worried about.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said he could not foresee any relaxation of heightened cross-border controls that take effect on Friday.
Mr Stevens said he had been advised that Victorians from towns near the border could access health services in that state.

He said tougher border controls were needed because SA Police could not direct people's activities interstate.
"And as difficult as those restrictions are on some of those families, and we appreciate those difficulties, we are certainly not blind to those we are looking at the bigger picture in terms of public health in South Australia," Mr Stevens said.

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

Pinnaroo loses health clinic as COVID-19 border closure splits rural community
Nurse practitioner Di Thornton helps her rural patients with chronic disease management, medical needs and COVID-19 tests — but she's been told she's not an essential worker.

Her application for an exemption to cross South Australia-Victoria border was rejected on Tuesday afternoon, and from Friday the doors of her Mallee Border Health Centre in Pinnaroo, SA, will close, because five of her seven staff live in Victoria.

The clinic's closure will mean its existing GP, physiotherapy, podiatry, skin cancer, diabetes and mental health services will not be available.
However the town has other health and medical services.
"I feel devastated and really worried for our client base," Ms Thornton said.
"I am really concerned what that's going to do for them.
"Chronic diseases and their management will go by the wayside unless they can seek services elsewhere.
"Mental health [issues] are already on the increase."

Shock at healthcare decision
From Friday, SA will tighten its border with Victoria and cross-border community members will lose their exemptions to travel between the states.

Farmers with properties that straddle the border, along with Year 11 and 12 students, have been told they will be given exemptions — but other residents will need to apply for essential travel permits.

Ms Thornton said she was shocked by the decision to deny healthcare workers exemptions.
"Disbelief, I think is probably the one that comes up," she said.
"People just can't believe that these rules have been imposed upon us."

SA Premier Steven Marshall said despite the impact, an exemption should not be made solely for Mallee Border Health Centre.
"That will be a decision that will be made by clinicians," he said.
"If there are other staffing arrangements that need to be made on our side of the border, then that's precisely what we'll do.
"If there are issues we need to address with regards to the Pinnaroo health service, then we can have input into that situation.
"But as we have heralded now for two weeks, there is a changed situation as of tomorrow that we've put in place, on a temporary basis, to keep our state safe."

'Devastated and sick'
Teachers and students cross the border in both directions to attend both Pinnaroo Primary School and Murrayville Community College.

The towns are only 26 kilometres apart, but from Friday that access will be cut off, forcing schools to operate with reduced staff on campus while providing resources for students unable to attend class.

Siblings Amelia, Jacob and Isaac Daniel live on a farm that straddles the border, but their home is 500 metres inside Victoria, which means they will no longer be able to go to school at Pinnaroo.
"It means I might not get to come back to school here, because I'm in Year 7," 12-year-old Amelia said.

Their mother, Katharine Daniel, is a physiotherapist who works with Ms Thornton at the Pinnaroo health clinic.
She said she was worried about the impact on the children's education and the family's livelihood.
"Just devastated and sick, to be honest," she said.
"I knew it was going to mess pretty much every part of our life up, because we are so integrated in the South Australian community."

Schools lose staff, students
Pinnaroo Primary School principal Sunyl Vogt said the school would lose three staff, including one teacher and four students.

He was concerned about the mental wellbeing of the community.
"Seeing police, armed forces, in the street on a regular basis, kids are not sure what to think, whether they can still trust a policeman," Mr Vogt said.

Murrayville Community College is also bracing for the impact.

6 of the school's 18 staff and a quarter of the student population come from South Australia.

The school has established a learning hub at Pinnaroo to support its SA students, but principal Natasha Mundie was concerned about the impact if the border closure remains in place after Victorian schools reopen for classroom learning.
"It's still going to be a massive disadvantage for those students when we go back to face-to-face teaching if they aren't able to return," she said.

Pinnaroo loses shops, workers
Two businesses have already closed their doors along the main street of Pinnaroo because their owners live just across the Victorian side of the border.

Guy Badman, who operates a coffee shop and is the chairman of the Pinnaroo Action Group, says the impact of the border closure will be widespread.
"My wife is a teacher at the school and my kids come here for school as well, so we're heavily involved in the local community," he said.
"Basically every business in Pinnaroo will be impacted."

'Changing sides' not viable
Earlier this week local MP Adrian Pederick suggested cross-border residents would need to "choose a side" and should consider moving to South Australia to maintain their livelihoods.
But residents said Victorians had been told they cannot simply move to South Australia.
Instead they want greater communication, understanding and a more workable solution.
"What they need to look at is a bubble proposal," Ms Thornton said.
"I put it together last week and sent it far and wide.
"It's worked in Queensland — I can't see why it won't work here."

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

19 AUGUST TAS
Tasmania's border is staying shut. What are the coronavirus travel vouchers and can I get one?
On the whole, Tasmanians have welcomed the Premier's snap decision to keep the drawbridge up on the island state's "moat" until the end of the year.
As coronavirus ravages parts of the mainland, Peter Gutwein is taking no chances and is signalling the Christmas travel plans of many may also be under a cloud.
The extended closure has upset Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham, who sees no reason why states shouldn't open their borders to others without community transmission of COVID-19.
And while some tourism operators are warning the longer closure will send some businesses to the wall, others are buoyed by an attempt to get Tasmanians out spending cash — from state coffers — while the borders remain shut.
The State Government has offered residents "travel vouchers" to encourage local tourism. Here's what you need to know.

I'm sorry what? I'm getting paid to take a holiday?
Kind of. As a way to get the Tasmanian tourism industry through the COVID-19 border closures you can get $100 to book a room in a hotel mid-week or $50 for a tourism experience like a cruise, walk or entry to a site like Port Arthur or Tahune Airwalk.
So you either get $100 to cover one hotel room during the week, or $50 off one experience any day of the week. Not both.

What does the Premier mean by mid-week? Well, we will have to get back to you on that one. But don't book your annual leave in too quick.
The vouchers are available from September 1 for the months of September, October and November.

Where can I go?
Be wary of making your staycation too close to home.

The vouchers will be available to Tasmanians to travel outside their municipality, to stay mid-week in accommodation or buy a tourism experience for the three months of the program.
It's not clear if Airbnbs will be included since the Government's announcement specified it applied to "commercial accommodation" only.

Who is eligible?
The full details of the program are still to be worked out but it looks like anyone over 18 who is a Tasmanian resident can get a voucher.
As Premier Gutwein said in announcing the program it's "any Tasmanian who is prepared to travel outside their municipality".
"The final rules will be worked through with industry. We want to ensure there's appropriate access but also that it's dealt with fairly," Mr Gutwein said.
"We don't want to see a particular sector of the community that benefits more. We want to ensure this is shared statewide."

The government wants local businesses to make use of the offer by conducting meetings, or team building workshops, across the state as well holding mini-conferences and meetings.

Does this mean I can use it once as a resident and once as a business?
Well it's unclear, like we said: full details are still to be worked out.
"I expect that after this consultation occurs that the guidelines and details of the booking system will be outlined before the end of this month for activation in September," the Premier said.

Why are our borders shut until December 1?
Premier Peter Gutwein said it's to give time for the COVID-19 situation in other states to be effectively brought under control.
"It will also give us time to build the community's trust in our border measures to protect Tasmania from areas in the rest of the country that pose a high risk, while allowing travel to and from areas that pose a very low risk," he said.

The long lead up to reopening, he said, would also give businesses time to prepare for border relaxations in the busy summer, while also giving the tourism and hospitality business a bit of certainty.

But are they really shut?
Well, there's no drawbridge that's pulled up at Devonport. But what it means if you come to Tassie by boat or plane there'll be some kind of quarantine restriction and it could cost you.

Can I get out?
The real question is why on earth do you want to leave? Tassie is the best.
But seriously, if you need to visit loved ones on the mainland you can leave. But, again, there are not that many flights these days.

And, you'll be subject to whatever restrictions are in place in the state you are head to. Plus depending where you go,

What does the industry reckon?
While no-one can force you to take a holiday, the tourism industry hopes residents will use their vouchers to actually have a break.

Tourism operator Rob Pennicott said it was great news.
"This new stimulus package, it will make a big difference to myself as an attraction," he said.

West-coast council mayor Phil Vickers said it now falls to regional Tasmania to convince those in the cities to visit and use their voucher.
"It's up to regional Tasmania to put its best foot forward," he said.

But Anthea Pritchard, the general manager at the Salamanca Wharf Hotel, said she was worried it won't be enough to stop some businesses from going to the wall."A lot of businesses like ours, you put off some of the major bills you have to pay for the year thinking 'we'll hold that for as long as we can until later in the year when there's some money coming in'.
"Well that's now looking very doubtful."

Is Tasmania the only state doing this?
No, the Northern Territory which relies on tourism about as much as Tasmania has been had been offering vouchers for internal tourism since July 1 and will keep its scheme going well into next year.

It's a dollar-for-dollar scheme where internal travellers get $200 for every $200 they spend.

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

19 AUGUST WA

WA Government concedes women involved in alleged hotel quarantine breach should have been 'flagged'
The WA Government has admitted two women who allegedly escaped from hotel quarantine in Perth should have been flagged as "high risk guests and had "tighter restrictions around them".

Police have charged two women after they flew into Perth on Monday night without permission and allegedly left hotel quarantine to attend a party.

Police said 19-year-old Isata Jalloh from Queensland and 22-year-old Banchi Techana from South Australia arrived in Perth from Adelaide with a man and had been taken to the Novotel hotel until return flights could be arranged.

WA's Health Minister Roger Cook said because the individuals involved were known to police they should have been identified and had additional security measures imposed upon their arrival.
"[They] had already been directed to return to South Australia," Mr Cook said.
"They should have been flagged as higher risk guests in our hotel arrangements and perhaps we should have put other measures in place."

Mr Cook said those measures could have included accommodating them separately, or assigning a police officer to the case.

He said those matters had been urgently reviewed, and changes would be implemented by the end of the day if they had not yet already been made.

Mr Cook stressed the breach was rare and the hotel quarantine system was under constant review.
"We've had over 11,000 people now accommodated in our hotel quarantine arrangements and just a handful of people have seen fit to breach those arrangements," Mr Cook said.
"[Authorities hold] weekly meetings … with all our staff to actually make sure that we're on top of any sort of breaches or weaknesses in the system."
Mr Cook admitted the Government had "certainly learnt from the experience".

Opposition health spokesman Zak Kirkup said the alleged incident revealed the state was "very exposed" to the threat of a coronavirus outbreak.
"It beggars belief that you have such a security failure of such a significant scale," he said.
"If this is the frontline for our defence against COVID-19, there are some serious questions that the Government has to answer."

Quarantine gaps must be plugged: Kirkup
The Opposition has doubled down on its call for an independent review into the hotel quarantine system and a detailed risk assessment of interstate and international arrivals being granted exemptions.
"If this is the standard of security that we have to lock down our state and our so-called hard borders, then we are very exposed," Mr Kirkup said.
"We want to know, are there any gaps in our hotel quarantine system? And if so, let's invest to make sure we plug them now."

Mr Kirkup last week raised concerns about how an average of 52 people per day were being allowed to enter the state without being required to undertake a 14-day quarantine period.

Debate was also sparked in WA's Parliament on Tuesday afternoon after a number of serious quarantine breaches were recorded over the past week, including the case involving Sydney Swans footballer Elijah Taylor.

Opposition police spokesman Peter Katsambanis said the review was essential because the state's "hard border isn't hard".
"There's an open door where you can get an exemption and the quarantine is being breached," he said.
"We can see where that has ended up [in Victoria]. It is sad and unfortunate and we do not want that to happen here."

Health Minister defends hotel quarantine system
During the debate Mr Cook said the state's approach and protective measures put in place since the pandemic took hold in March, had been "resoundingly successful".
"No system is perfect, but we are continuing to undertake the risk assessments to ensure we address any perceived anomalies and weaknesses and fill those gaps," he said.
"We assess the risk, we respond to the risk and we make amendments about the hard border. That is what we have been doing all along."

Mr Cook said exemptions to the quarantine period were granted for people to maintain essential services.
He criticised the Liberals for the push, saying their position on hard borders had continued to change over the course of the pandemic, and highlighting how they wanted to open WA up to some other states months ago.
"Why do you care? You want to pull down the borders, so why do you care about how well the borders operate?" Mr Cook said.

Request for more ADF personnel
Western Australia has requested more than 130 additional Defence Force personnel to help manage the coronavirus pandemic.

Premier Mark McGowan said he had written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to take up an offer made by the Commonwealth last week.
Mr McGowan said around 36 ADF personnel would be deployed to patrol the state's border checkpoints, 32 would be sent to help monitor the airport and around 20 would be trained in contact tracing.
He said an additional 40 were requested to add to the current contingency of around 50 ADF personnel already helping to manage the state's quarantine system.
"We look forward to the Commonwealth providing the support I asked for in coming weeks," Mr McGowan said.

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:49 am

19 AUGUST NATIONAL AND NZ
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ahmtj2jiaimv6 ... .docx?dl=0

19 AUGUST NATIONAL

VACCINE

Australian-made COVID-19 vaccine could be rolled out in the Pacific and South-East Asia, Scott Morrison says
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine to the Pacific and some South-East Asian countries if Australia develops a supply of working drugs.

The Federal Government struck an agreement with UK-based drug company AstraZeneca to locally produce a vaccine which is currently being trialled at Oxford University.

If the trial is successful, and the Government is able to ramp up local production of the drug, then it has promised to deliver the vaccine for free to all Australians.

Mr Morrison said Australia also planned to use its aid program to "roll this sort of support out to our Pacific neighbours."

"To be honest, in the region, that's expected," Mr Morrison said.
"It's a partnership with our family in the Pacific and the rest of the world looks on Australia as providing that support to developing countries in our own region and that is specifically in relation to the Pacific countries.
"We have a regional role to play here as well as a domestic role to play here and we will be living up to all of those responsibilities."

Mr Morrison also said he had discussed the vaccine with Indonesia's leader Joko Widodo, and flagged that Australia might also roll out a vaccine to South-East Asian countries interested in receiving it.

The Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Government could use the facilities of biotech giant CSL to manufacture the vaccine both for Australia and the region.
"CSL has its production facilities for vaccine in Melbourne and whichever company brings a vaccine to market, will need additional production facilities around the world," he said.
"And we can produce for Australia, for New Zealand, for our South Pacific region to help others."

Federal Government sources said it was too early to estimate the cost of the roll-out, and that it would take time to hold discussions with South-East Asian nations about whether they'd be interested in receiving a vaccine from Australia.

New resources required to roll out effectively: Aid groups
Aid groups have welcomed the Prime Minister's declaration but are urging the Coalition to increase the aid spending to fund a vaccine rollout, rather than drawing from the existing development budget.
"Australia's development cooperation program has built the connections to help roll out this vaccine to the region. But we have reached the end of repurposing the aid budget," Marc Purcell, CEO of the Australian Council for International Development, said.
"In order to do this effectively, new resources are required. Otherwise, we risk running down other critical areas of development cooperation and compromising existing relationships."

The Government is increasingly anxious about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Pacific Island nations.

So far the large majority of countries in the region — including Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Kiribati — have remained free of coronavirus.

But the virus has been steadily gaining ground in Papua New Guinea, which has now recorded almost 350 confirmed cases.

The World Health Organization fears the real figure might be much higher than that because testing levels in the country remain so low.

The pandemic has also taken a heavy economic toll on several Pacific Island countries, particularly those with large tourism industries like Vanuatu and Fiji.

The Federal Government has already repurposed hundreds of millions of dollars in the aid budget to help Pacific nations deal with the fallout, and has flagged that more sweeping changes are to come.

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

Australian government does deal to secure potential Oxford University Covid vaccine for free
The Morrison government says it has reached an agreement with the British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca to supply Australians with the University of Oxford Covid-19 vaccine for free – assuming it clears clinical trials.
The vaccine agreement also includes a $24.7m contract with medical technology company Becton Dickinson for the supply of needles and syringes to make sure there is sufficient supply on hand to roll out the vaccine nationally.

The Federal Government has secured the right to make and distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University in collaboration with international pharmaceutical company Astrazeneca to supply Australians with the University of Oxford Covid-19 vaccine for free – assuming it clears clinical trials.

The vaccine agreement also includes a $24.7m contract with medical technology company Becton Dickinson for the supply of needles and syringes to make sure there is sufficient supply on hand to roll out the vaccine nationally.

Scott Morrison says Australia has pursued the Oxford vaccine because it is “one of the most advanced and promising in the world”. But the prime minister says Australia will continue negotiations with other parties.

“There is no guarantee that this, or any other, vaccine will be successful, which is why we are continuing our discussions with many parties around the world while backing our own researches at the same time to find a vaccine,” Morrison said in a statement.

The government proposes to sign a letter of intent with AstraZeneca and enter a consumables contract with Becton Dickinson for the supply of needles and syringes. The total cost of the program is likely to be in the billions of dollars.

The government says the initial agreements will cover vaccine development, production and distribution, and it will contain a commitment to produce the vaccine locally. Subsequent agreements will include distribution, timing and the price of the vaccine.
Australia’s largest biotechnology company, CSL, has confirmed it is in discussions with AstraZeneca and the government concerning local production of the Oxford vaccine, as well as continuing work on another candidate under development at the University of Queensland.

A statement from CSL said: “Development of the UQ vaccine candidate remains CSL’s priority, however, we are currently in discussions with AstraZeneca and the Australian government to assess whether it is possible to provide local manufacturing support for the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine, should it prove successful, while protecting our commitment to the UQ vaccine.

“We are assessing the viability of options ranging from the fill and finish of bulk product imported to Australia through to manufacture of the vaccine candidate under licence. There are a number of technical issues to work through and discussions are ongoing.”

With the government signalling over the weekend that a deal on a vaccine was close, Labor said Morrison should increase the funding available to Australian researchers.

“There absolutely should be more commonwealth funding, and $5m to the University of Queensland is not enough when you consider that the government of Queensland is putting [in] $10m,” the shadow health minister, Chris Bowen, said.
. “The state government is putting in double what the national government has done and there are other vaccines under development in Australia with zero government support and funding for Covid-19. Some of those may work.”

Morrison has been stepping up public warnings in recent weeks that countries need to share any vaccine against the coronavirus that is found to be successful and safe through clinical trials. While declining to nominate which country or countries he might be referring to, the prime minister has said: “Any country that were to find this vaccine and not make it available around the world, without restraint, I think would be judged terribly by history and that’s certainly Australia’s view.”

As well as working to secure supply for Australia, the government says it will work to ensure the Pacific and countries in south-east Asia have early access to a Covid vaccine.

Australia has submitted a non-binding expression of interest to join the World Health Organisation’s “Covax” program, which is an international collaboration to combat so-called “vaccine nationalism”. The program has the aim of securing two billion doses of a Covid vaccine by the end of next year.

More than 160 candidate vaccines are currently under development. Trials of the Oxford vaccine are expected to run through 2020 into 2021.

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

Scott Morrison expects a successful coronavirus vaccine would be mandatory in Australia
Australians are likely to face mandatory coronavirus vaccinations if Prime Minister Scott Morrison gets his wish.

The nation is a step closer to gaining access to a vaccine, with the Federal Government securing an international deal to produce a vaccine frontrunner locally if trials succeed.

If that happens, Mr Morrison expects Australians will have to undergo mandatory vaccination.
"I would expect it to be as mandatory as you could possibly make it," he told Melbourne radio station 3AW.

"There are always exemptions for any vaccine on medical grounds, but that should be the only basis.

"We are talking about a pandemic that has destroyed the global economy and taken the lives of hundreds of thousands all around the world, and over 430 Australians here."

The Government has signed an agreement with UK-based drug company AstraZeneca to secure the potential COVID-19 vaccine, being developed by Oxford University. If the vaccine clears trials, the Federal Government would manufacture it and make it free for all Australians.

But that's unlikely to be until next year at the earliest, Mr Morrison said. While the Prime Minister outlined his preference, he said the Government was yet to make a decision on making the vaccine mandatory.

He said the Government would take medical advice on the rollout, including on who would get access first, with medical workers and the nation's most vulnerable people likely to be a priority.

During a round of morning media, Mr Morrison repeatedly said he expected pushback from anti-vaccination campaigners. But he repeatedly said he was the minister who introduced a "no jab, no play" rule, and his stance on vaccinations was clear and would not change.
<< TELL ME WHEN AND WHO TO CONTACT AND WE’LL GET THE JAB/S NO PROBLEMS – IF IT MEANS WE CAN GO BACK LIVING A NORMAL SOCIAL LIFE AND FAMILY LIFE >>

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

Opposition disputes Federal Government's vaccine agreement claim
The Opposition says the Federal Government has not locked down a deal with the company Astra Zeneca in terms of payment or number of doses.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
<< THE SHADOW HEALTH MINISTER AND OPPOSITION LEAD REALLY NEED TO BE INCLUDED IN THE NATIONAL CABINET IMO SO THEY CAN BE ACROSS THE DETAILS OF WHAT IS HAPPENING NATIONALLY AND IN EACH STATE AND PARTICIPATE IN THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS – THE WAR AGAINST COVID PANDEMIC IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE BEYOND POLITICS >>

How COVID-19 vaccine could provide 'effective immunity'
Australia's Deputy Chief Medical Officer has provided some detail on how different COVID-19 vaccines would work - including the one Australia could be distributing next year in its new agreement with UK company AstraZeneca.

Dr Nick Coatsworth said the AstraZeneca vaccine, under development at Oxford University, was a "viral vector vaccine".

Australia's own researchers in Queensland have been focused on a "molecular clamp" style of vaccine.
A molecular clamp involves using a polypeptide to maintain the shape of proteins in experimental vaccines.
It's designed to trigger a protective immune response to a virus.
"It is complicated science," Dr Coatsworth said.
"Science that's been generated and researched here in Australia with those vaccines in phase one studies at the moment."

Viral vector vaccines, by contrast, take a non-infectious virus and alter its genetic code to produce an immune response akin to that of COVID-19.
"It stimulates less of the antibody-type response and more of the cellular-type immune response," Dr Coatsworth said.
"And that really does have the potential to take harness the dual aspects of the immune system, antibody and cellular, to give you enough of an immune response to make you effectively immune to COVID-19."

Dr Coatsworth suggested there might be an "incentive stick" used to increase vaccine take-up when it was available, but said it was too early to commit to any specific policy measures.
He said regulations around international and interstate travel, and even moving in the community, would have to be discussed.
But he said he believed vaccine take-up would be high, pointing towards unprecedented rates of flu vaccination this year in the wake of the coronavirus.

Who gets the vaccine first?
A COVID-19 vaccine is still at least months away, but questions are already rising about who will be first in line for it.
Dr Coatsowrth said there would be a "prioritisation system".
"(The vaccine) may not be available to all Australians at once," he said.
Elderly Australians, people with co-morbidities and people with multiple health conditions were likely to be the priority recipients.
Health and aged care workers - those on the "front lines" against the pandemic - could also qualify.
"If and when it decided it will be clearly indicated to the Australian public," Dr Coatsworth said.
"But those decisions have not been made at this point and appropriately so, given we're not even at the manufacturing stage of the vaccine yet."

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

Anti-vaxxers protest against coronavirus vaccine
Scott Morrison has said will make a coronavirus vaccine 'as mandatory as possible'.
The government on Tuesday signed a deal to bring Oxford University's vaccine to Australia as soon as it is approved, which could be at the end of this year.
As the news broke, thousands of anti-vaxxers bombarded politicians with online abuse and said they would refuse to take it.
But in an interview on Melbourne radio station 3AW, Mr Morrison said he would make the jab compulsory.
'There are always exemptions for any vaccine on medical grounds but that should be the only basis,' he said.
'I mean we're talking about a pandemic that has destroyed the global economy and taken the lives of hundreds of thousands all around the world and over 450 Australians here.
'We need the most extensive and comprehensive response to this to get Australia back to normal,' he said.
Asked if he was prepared for a backlash from anti-vaxxers, the Prime Minister said: 'I'm used to that, I was the minister that established no jab, no play.
'My view on this is pretty clear and not for turning. You have to do it for yourself, your family and for your fellow Australians.'
Children have been required to take vaccines to attend school since 1998, unless their parents are granted an exemption.
Under the no jab, no play scheme in 2015, the government removed exemptions for conscientious objectors.
Some scientists feared that making vaccines compulsory could make people angry and reduce immunisation rates but rates slowly ticked up around the country.
The Prime Minister today said he wanted to reach a 95 per cent coronavirus vaccination rate in Australia.

Asked in a press conference today how he will make sure everyone takes the vaccine, the Prime Minister said: 'We'll take those issues as they present and consider what steps are necessary at that time.'
Some people are unable to take the vaccine for legitimate medical reasons. Everyone else must be vaccinated to protect them, he said.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said the first step would be to encourage people to take the vaccine voluntarily.
The elderly and healthcare workers are likely to be prioritised as the vaccine is steadily rolled out, the Prime Minster said.
On Tuesday night Science Minister Karen Andrews said she was 'attacked' by protesters on Facebook and slammed them for spreading conspiracy theories.
'Last night, my social media pages were attacked by anti-vax protestors,' she wrote in a Facebook post.
'While I support freedom of choice, in my role as Science Minister I'm not prepared to allow these people to promote pseudoscience.'

Under the government's deal all 25 million Australians will be able to get injected for free just weeks after the Oxford vaccine is approved.
The vaccine, licensed by UK drug firm AstraZeneca, is in phase three trails on thousands of people in the UK, Brazil and South Africa.

Earlier trials found it generated a strong immune response and a four-fold increase in antibodies against coronavirus in 95 per cent of participants.

The federal government has signed a so-called 'Letter of Intent' with AstraZeneca in which the firm agrees to hand the vaccine over to Australia as soon as it is approved.

Australia will then make millions of doses on home soil and distribute them across the country.

The government is in talks with the nation's biggest health company, CSL, to make sure enough doses can be made as fast as possible.

AstraZeneca has already agreed to share the vaccine with the UK, the European Union and international organisations including the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

Australia will later sign a final formal agreement with the company, which will include details about the distribution, timing and price of the vaccine.

Scott Morrison said: 'The Oxford vaccine is one of the most advanced and promising in world, and under this deal we have secured early access for every Australian.
'If this vaccine proves successful we will manufacture and supply vaccines straight away under our own steam and make it free for 25 million Australians.'

The government is also negotiating to buy vaccines from other developers if the Oxford vaccine does not work out.
There are currently 167 vaccine candidates in pre-clinical and clinical trials around the world, including 29 undergoing clinical trials in humans.

There are three candidates in Australia - at the University of Queensland, the University of Melbourne and Flinders University in Adelaide - all of which have completed phase one trials.

Mr Morrison said: 'There is no guarantee that this, or any other, vaccine will be successful, which is why we are continuing our discussions with many parties around the world while backing our own researches at the same time to find a vaccine.'

Australia is expected to spend billions of dollars on researching, buying and producing a vaccine.

Before the announcement of the deal, Labor's health spokesman Chris Bowen slammed the government for taking too long to sign an agreement.
'I am concerned Australia is way behind the game when it comes to getting access to the vaccine,' he said on Tuesday afternoon.
'It is incumbent on the government to take more steps - urgently - to ensure that we have those advanced supply agreements in place.'

The United States has six advance supply agreements, the UK has five, Japan and Indian have three, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil and South Korea have one.

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

Scott Morrison walks back mandatory coronavirus vaccination comments
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has moved to assure Australians any coronavirus vaccine will not be compulsory, despite earlier saying he expected that would be the case.

Overnight the Federal Government announced it had signed a letter of intent with UK-based drug company AstraZeneca, in a step towards securing supply of a leading vaccine candidate that could be supplied free to Australians.

If a successful candidate is discovered, the Government wants to see 95 per cent of Australians vaccinated.

Talking up hopes of a successful vaccine on Wednesday morning, Mr Morrison told Melbourne radio station 3AW he would "expect it to be as mandatory as you can possibly make it", noting the devastation COVID-19 has wreaked on the world.
"There are always exemptions for any vaccine on medical grounds, but that should be the only basis," he said.

But just hours later, Mr Morrison told listeners on Sydney radio station 2GB that the Government would not make vaccination mandatory for anybody.
"It's not going to be compulsory to have the vaccine," he said.
"There are no mechanisms for compulsory … I mean, we can't hold someone down and make them take it."

While the Government does not mandate vaccination for other diseases, parents can lose access to Government payments like the Family Tax Benefit A and the Child Care Subsidy if their children do not meet immunisation requirements.

Mr Morrison said the Government would take measures to "encourage" people to be vaccinated.
"Nobody's going to force anybody to do anything as a compulsory measure, but we will certainly be encouraging people to take this up," he said.
"There will be a lot of encouragement and measures to get [a] high rate of acceptance.
"What we want to achieve is as much vaccination as we possibly can, should the vaccine actually prove successful."

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

DISABILITY ROYAL COMMISSION
Disability Royal Commission hears from woman who has been bedridden for 20 years
A woman who has been bedridden for two decades has told a royal commission she's worried she will lose access to life-changing technology after the coronavirus pandemic.

Ricky Buchanan has lived with multiple disabilities since she was a teenager and hasn't been able to leave her Melbourne home for 20 years.

The 45-year-old is largely bedridden because of severe chronic fatigue syndrome, which she has lived with since contracting glandular fever in her 20s.

A video interview that appeared on SBS's Insight program was played to the Disability Royal Commission, which is sitting in Sydney this week.

Ms Buchanan said the opportunity to watch live theatre and musical concerts that had become available online due to the pandemic had changed her life.
"Everything I've have been campaigning for, for 20 years, has now been dropped in my lap and I'm so scared they are going to go once the pandemic is over," she said.
"I feel I've been starved for 20 years and then dumped in an all you can eat buffet restaurant and of course you will eat everything."

She says access to Telehealth — consultations with her GP and other specialists via video link — has been the biggest benefit to her care as she struggles to access medical assistance.
"I really hope a lot of these opportunities stay around once COVID-19 isn't such a big problem … because people like me are still going to be isolated and homebound ... and it would just be heartbreaking if these opportunities became unavailable again," she said.

The royal commission also heard from the sister of woman with severe and complex mental health issues, who tested positive to coronavirus.

Melbourne woman Sheree Driver said her sister, who has a psycho-social disability and lives alone, needed NDIS support to help her eat, get out of bed and manage her personal hygiene.

Ms Driver's sister caught coronavirus from her support worker, who tested positive in late July and was later in an induced coma in intensive care.

Ms Driver's sister has had no carer support since then because authorities were concerned she would infect others.

Ms Driver, who is also a disability support worker, says she asked the National Disability Insurance Agency if she could look after her sister during Melbourne's lockdown, but that the request was rejected because of a policy that bans family members working for relatives that are NDIS participants.
"I was in a bad way myself so I sent a short email to NDIS asking them to please reconsider this, telling them my sister had COVID now and it was likely contracted through her support worker," she told a hearing in Sydney via video link.

Ms Driver said the family was concerned about how her sister would cope in isolation.
"All our lives stopped," she said.
"Right now, my sister hasn't had the support. We don't know when that ends."

Associate Professor Michelle Villeneuve, from the Centre for Disability Research and Policy at the University of Sydney, told the commission many Australians with a disability suffer from increased vulnerability during a disaster because their specific needs aren't known or understood.
"As we have seen in the Black Summer bushfires and current pandemic, community health care, disability and rehabilitation providers will be increasingly called upon to maintain service continuity in disasters and support the inclusion ... of people with a disability and chronic health conditions to prepare, respond and recover."

She wants disability-inclusive and person-centred approaches to enable people with a disability to access hazard risk and emergency information, saying generalised information is "insufficient for some people with a disability".

The inquiry also heard from Kirsten Deane from grassroots organisation Every Australian Counts.

She referenced a survey her organisation did with more than 700 people with disability and their families about their experiences during COVID-19.

She said 50 per cent of respondents were already living in poverty before the pandemic and many were disappointed that people on Disability Support Pension weren't given extra coronavirus supplements.
"That was particularly frustrating because that was at the time when costs were going through the roof."

She said the NDIS wouldn't allow for the purchase of PPE at the beginning of the pandemic, so people had to purchase it at increased prices out of their own money.
"They were really pushed to the limit financially," she said.

Samantha Dwyer from Brisbane lives with a condition called Friedrich's ataxia which means she's at higher risk from the effects of COVID-19.

With only 30 per cent lung capacity and heart disease, the 28-year-old said the isolation and restrictions of lockdown had a major impact on her life.
"A lot of my services were cancelled and I wasn't able to access them.
"It meant that everything changed. I had to stay at home a lot more."

She says she has a message to the able bodied community of "welcome to my world."
"With able bodied people being made to stay home, they got to find out what it was like. Having to stay home for something that's out of your control."

The commission also heard from the mother of a year seven student with Down syndrome who was initially excluded from using the Google Classroom platform by her school during the pandemic and was given low-level tasks to complete, including colouring in.

The 12-year-old student, who cannot be identified, had started in a mainstream high school this year.

Her mother told the commission that in a meeting in June, the school principal and other school figures had pushed for her level of disability to be reassessed and upgraded from moderate to "severe" so the school would get more funding for her.
"It's really quite upsetting because it shows they really don't understand my daughter's disability, and are just trying to paint the worst picture of my child in order to gain extra funding as opposed to finding ways to support her," she told the inquiry.

She said her daughter, who had loved school, became increasingly withdrawn.
"Especially at the start of the shutdown, she would often write down the name of her friends and teachers and point to the names as if to say 'where are these people?'," she told the hearing.
"It's pretty evident that my daughter is not a full member of the classroom. During the shutdown, she had zero contact with any of her peers and I think this should be turned around and that students with a disability be made a priority rather than an afterthought."

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

AGED CARE
PM acknowledges joint state, federal responsibility for aged care sector
Premier Daniel Andrews has downplayed claims of tension between the Victorian and federal governments, insisting his only focus is on the “collective attack against this virus”.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison appeared to shift the blame for Victoria’s troubled aged care sector to the state government, later clarifying at a press conference there is joint federal and state responsibility for the sector.

“It’s the overlapping of public health responsibilities which sits with states and federal aged care responsibilities which sit with the federal government, so yes it is a complex set of responsibility and they are shared,” Mr Morrison said.
When asked about the remark, Mr Andrews said he was “not interested” in attempting to interpret the Prime Minister’s comments.

The Premier moved on to outline of the 2,050 active coronavirus cases in the aged care system, only five were linked to state-run facilities.
“I’m not seeking to make any other point than the facts, and they are the facts and I’ve consistently presented them that way … that is the appropriate thing to do,” he said.

Meanwhile Victoria Police revealed only 42 state residents had been fined for breaching the state’s lockdown laws.

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

Aged care homes urge government backing to transfer residents to hospital at first sign of coronavirus
Aged care homes must have government backing to transfer residents to hospital at the first sign of Covid-19 infections, non-profit residential care providers have argued.

With aged care at the top of the agenda for the next national cabinet meeting on Friday, Aged and Community Services Australia is calling on all states and territories to embrace immediate transfers to hospital to give operators time to stop the spread to other residents.

ACSA, the peak body for non-profit aged care providers, is also stepping up its calls for government funding to deliver paid pandemic leave for aged care workers across the nation, not just in designated Covid-19 hotspots.


Victoria on Tuesday reported 17 more deaths, with 13 of those linked to known outbreaks in aged care facilities. There are now 2,024 active cases relating to aged care facilities.

The chief executive of ACSA, Patricia Sparrow, said Queensland and South Australia had policies supporting the transfer of Covid-19-positive aged care residents to hospital, but every other state was making decisions on a case-by-case basis.
“Our concern is that the policy doesn’t enable for that immediate transfer,” she told Guardian Australia.

Sparrow said her group believed that the first cases that were diagnosed in an aged care facility should go to hospital, because they could receive treatment there and it “helps us to try and stop it from spreading any further which is really critical”.
It would also give the provider time to set up “hospital in the home” equipment in the facility.

The focus on the aged care response intensified this week when the ABC’s Four Corners program reported that some residents from Epping Gardens, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, had been turned away from hospital, the facility had suffered from workforce shortages, and there were critical delays in receiving test results.
Sparrow said she understood concerns about the potentially disruptive impact of transferring some people with complex needs to hospital.
“But our issue is in residential aged care is we know what happens when it gets into a facility and we know that we’re in a pandemic and that we need to actually take more steps to make sure that people are as protected as they can be,” she said.

Last week the aged care royal commission heard evidence of a “stand-off” between commonwealth and state health authorities over how to best handle an outbreak at Sydney’s Newmarch House. According to evidence tendered to the commission, NSW Health had a “preference” not to transfer residents into hospitals “given the precedent it would set”.

Sparrow said it was “really not about a precedent – this is about saving people’s lives”.

She said the different responsibilities of the commonwealth and the states needed to be clarified.
“I think mostly they’re working well together, but aged care is funded and regulated by the commonwealth and the hospitals are in the state domain, and I think it’s really important that the interface between aged care and hospitals is sorted out,” she said.

Asked about people whose advanced care directives said they did not want to go to hospital, Sparrow replied that providers would always want to help individuals have the outcome they desired.
Sparrow said the transfer of residents from Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Sydney “enabled the facility to get set up properly and then some people with advanced care directives were able to be supported at the home, but if we don’t get in and act very quickly and it spreads then it’s very different for everybody”.
“Covid has turned out to be far more devastating than some of the things that providers have had to plan for in the past,” she said.

Federal government-backed advice to providers had urged them to prepare for potential absences of 20% to 30% of their staff, but severe outbreaks have resulted in most or all of the workforce having to be replaced. The sector is highly casualised and some workers have shifts across multiple facilities.

Sparrow praised aged care workers for doing “an amazing job”. She reaffirmed the sector’s calls for the government to help aged care providers fund paid pandemic leave nationwide. That funding should be uncapped and based on demand.
“We want to make sure that they’ve got all of the support that they need to make sure that they can stay home if they need to isolate and that that’s not a worry for them,” Sparrow said.

Last month the Fair Work Commission ordered residential aged care providers to provide two weeks’ paid leave to workers required by their employer or a government medical authority to self-isolate because of Covid-19.

The federal government argues it has invested $850m in supporting aged care during the pandemic. But aged care groups say the funding is focused on coronavirus hotspots and it needs to be broadened.

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:53 am

19 AUGUST NATIONAL PART2
AUSTRALIANS STILL IN BALI
Thousands of Australians forced to pay $140 every day to stay in Bali
Australians will be fined $140 every day unless they leave Bali as Indonesia attempts to control its coronavirus outbreak.

The country previously chose to freeze all visa arrangements for international travellers and allowed them to stay.

The arrangement is expected to end on Thursday, which will mean that the estimated 7,000 Australians living there will face the daily penalties.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Smart Traveller website warned Australians last week to apply to extend their visa or make plans to come home as soon as possible.
'Indonesia's Directorate General of Immigration will no longer automatically extend expired visas or stay permits under COVID-19 emergency arrangements,' it said.
'Overstaying your permit may result in fines, detention and/or deportation.'

It noted that COVID-19 was 'widespread' in Indonesia and Australians were not allowed to travel to the island nation.
Indonesian Institute president Ross Taylor said the changes had left many Australian's unprepared but he believed that detention was unlikely.
'It has really caused a lot of panic, he told The West Australian.

Mr Taylor said the group is lobbying to extend the visa freeze to allow Australians to get out of the country without facing massive charges due to flight delays.
'We just want to give people a chance because at the moment there are no international flights operating out of Bali,' he said.

Mr Taylor said the only available routes out of Bali would take Australians through a string of countries and cost thousands of dollars.

He said once Australians arrived they would need to foot an additional $2,500 bill to be placed in hotel quarantine.
WA Premier Mark McGowan said he would be looking at ways to bring home Australians while keeping his state safe.
'Obviously we have to cope with large numbers of people still coming into the country,' he said.
'At any given point in time we have between 1200 and 1500 people in quarantine hotels.'

Mr McGowan said he wanted to avoid a Victoria-style outbreak from the influx of travellers.

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

'Checkmate': Stranded Australians tackle Bali's murky visa system since they can't afford to come home
Fears Australian holidaymakers would face hefty fines if they didn't leave Bali by August 20 have eased after Indonesian immigration announced it would allow tourists an extra month to be granted new visas.

The Indonesian Institute in Perth has been lobbying for the extension of emergency visas granted to stranded Australians in Bali, as many faced being caught in a complex web of Indonesian bureaucracy or pay skyrocketing costs to come home.

The institute's Ross Taylor said many of the 3000 Australian short-stay visa-holders in Bali had sought a six-month social visa, which required a local sponsor and meant stepping around the usual laws of immigration; "so it does take you into a slightly murky, complex world".
"People, I understand, are going to where the accommodation is and get to know the people at the hotel, saying: ???Look is there someone where we pay you X amount of dollars, would you agree to be an authority that gives us the letter you need?'" Dr Taylor said.
"But once again you need to exercise caution, [because] you're basically buying your visa extension."

Australian expat Sammi Salter told Nine News Perth some people reported being "ripped off by visa agents" because they were "stressing out about the information coming out" and scrambling to beat the August 20 deadline.

Fellow Australian Peter Cisilin, who has been living in Bali for four years, said he was still awaiting word on his visa that would allow him to stay without facing $US100-a-day fines ($140) or imprisonment.

TOURIST DEADLINE Australians in Bali have been given just three days to update their visa - or face being thrown out of the holiday island. #9News | Nightly at 6.00pm


"If there's one spelling mistake, one error, your application is then rejected," he told Nine News. "I find myself bursting into tears at the drop of a hat."

But the vast majority of expats hold valid visas and face no pressure to leave, including West Australian retiree Geoff Page, who said immigration, despite being somewhat slow and awkward due to a lack of simplicity and clarity over the interpretation of announcements, had been "fantastically obliging and helpful - gradually finding solutions to suit, albeit temporarily, for most".

Stranded foreigners have posted to Facebook groups that the cost of coming home could buy them a house in Bali, yet some were living on dwindling funds with close to expiring passports.

But the pleas haven't swayed Prime Minister Scott Morrison or WA Premier Mark McGowan, who said Australians were warned for six months to come home.
"And if they haven't come home, they need to pay for their hotel quarantine. The taxpayers shouldn't have to pay," Mr McGowan said on Monday.

Dr Taylor said the fortnightly Garuda flight from Jakarta to Perth cost $3500 per person travelling economy, coupled with the mandatory hotel cost of $2500 for singles or $3000 for couples.
"You've just got this almost checkmate situation for Aussies in Bali, [where] ??? governments now are saying to people, ???well we told you so', but I'm not too sure how that helps our citizens."

Dr Taylor has been speaking with the Bali Tourist Board to lobby the Indonesian government about the complexities Australians faced given many couldn't get economy flights home due to limited flights and a cap on international arrivals.
"Because there's such a tight quota coming into WA the airlines are saying, well there's 40 seats and 40 people are prepared to upgrade [to business class] - there's your $9000 - either pay that or you're stuck. And that's a mess too," he said.
"It's a really complex problem and ??? given the uncertainties, it would be prudent to extend the freeze perhaps for another two months to give people just a little bit more time because people just can't make it and the clock continues to tick."

Dr Taylor said Australians could catch a cheap domestic flight from Bali to the Indonesian island of Batam and then catch a 40-minute ferry to Singapore, which operated more flights to Australia. Singapore also provides free quarantine.
"It's a very easy process and it is possible when you arrive in Singapore to say to immigration, ???I don't want to go into quarantine, would you allow me to get on the next boat without leaving the facility and go back to Indonesia?' And then of course when you go back there's another 30 days [extension]," he said.
"It's very messy and it's pretty dangerous in this environment but if people need an option it could work."

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

OTHER EXPATS AND OVERSTAYERS STILL OVERSEAS
Can we still call Australia home? The refrain of expats facing shut borders and $20k flights
I can't tell you how it feels to know that I can't go home because I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that my country has shut the door in the faces of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of Australians trying to return home from overseas.

It has never happened before. Australia closing its borders. Not only to immigrants but to its own citizens.

Expats all over the world - me, in New New York, among them - are suddenly finding they can no longer call Australia home. And it is a bitter experience.

On August 7, Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a press release containing the bland announcement: "National Cabinet agreed that existing caps on international passenger arrivals would continue in order to manage and maintain quarantine arrangements across jurisdictions".

You might think this refers to foreigners wanting to visit for holidays, or business or a friend's wedding, but "international passengers" includes Australian citizens who are now subject to a quota on arrivals.

Until October 24 arrivals into Australia are limited to the following numbers: Sydney - 350 per day; Perth 525 per week; Brisbane 500 per week; Adelaide 500 per week and Hobart and Melbourne - zero. Canberra and Darwin have to figure out "on a case-by-case basis" how many people they will be allowed to welcome. And Sydney has signalled that 350 a day (already reduced from 450) might be more than the local quarantine system can handle.

It is especially cruel and capricious that the quota is managed by the airlines since price is their preferred mechanism for selecting who can fly.
I have not yet tried to book a flight myself, but I know from the dozens of anguished stories being shared on special Facebook pages that, with only 30 to 60 passengers allowed per flight, it is virtually impossible to travel economy. Countless Australians are telling of confirmed tickets being cancelled, often for five or six flights stretching into the future, while business or first-class tickets magically become available for the same flights.

There are heart-wrenching stories of families being told at the airport that they've been bumped because "there are already too many Australians on this flight". Often these families no longer have jobs, apartments or other ties to the city they have leaving. With no consular assistance available, what are they supposed to do?

We can't deal with our national carrier because Qantas is not currently flying international routes. Instead, Australians have to throw themselves at the mercy of American, Middle Eastern or Asian carriers that have no incentive (beyond price) to assist.

Sarah, 35 (who did not want to give her last name) was working in New York until she was fired three weeks ago. She has to return home because her E3 visa is tied to her employment. She emailed me: "I'm now faced with a four-month lease break fee, sky-rocketing airfare home in September, $3K [Australian] in quarantine fee and all the other move costs associated with packing up your life".

She told me that fares on Qatar Airways have gone "from $US700 [$966] two weeks ago to over $10K this morning". When I check, Qatar offers only business class to Australia and the fare is currently more than $US15,000 ($20,700) - for a 40-hour flight.

There is no queue for Australians trying to return, just as refugees and asylum-seekers found when they took extraordinary measures to reach Australia by boat and were accused of "queue-jumping".

Australia does not have an orderly arrivals process. Even for its own citizens who now want, or are being forced, to return to Australia because they have lost jobs (pandemic, people!), visas have expired or been cancelled, courses have ended or, simply, because with the world falling apart, they just want to come home.

<< THEY’VE HAD PLENTY OF WARNING AND TIME ( SINCE FEBRUARY 2020 ) GET HOME >>
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

JOBKEEPER PLANS
Labor urges Coalition to reverse plan to cut jobkeeper as economy worsens
Labor has called on the Morrison government to reverse its plan to cut the jobkeeper wage subsidy in September, because economic conditions have deteriorated since the announcement.

Ahead of the resumption of federal parliament next week, where the economy and aged care will be a major focus, the shadow treasurer, Jim Chalmers, told Guardian Australia the government needed to rethink its plan to taper the jobkeeper payment in the light of the Victorian outbreak.

Chalmers said the government needed to tailor income support to the current economic conditions “and we know the jobs crisis has been getting worse, not better”.

“The extension of jobkeeper was welcome, but it makes sense for the tapering to be reconsidered now, given it was announced just as the situation in Victoria was deteriorating,” he said.

Related: Scott Morrison's persistent effort to sidestep accountability for aged care is utterly transparent | Katharine Murphy

According to a spokesman for the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, the government is able to proceed with tapering the payment without having to secure parliamentary approval until the end of this year. Any changes in 2021 would have to come back to the parliament for approval.

But Chalmers said the government needed to consider the impact of reducing the wages subsidy next month given the prolonged second wave of Covid-19 infections in Victoria and the risks of an outbreak in New South Wales.

“Winding back jobkeeper will remove a fair bit of support from the economy, which is more alarming in the absence of any comprehensive jobs plan,” he said.

“If they are winding back jobkeeper, and the economy is not recovering as fast as we like, then what is going to fill the hole? Economists and peak groups we speak to are increasingly worried about this new September cliff."

“The Reserve Bank and others are already warning that withdrawing support too soon risks compromising recovery, and we can’t afford a generation of lost and discarded workers left out and left behind.”

The latest labour force data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics says more than a million Australians are now out of work.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, and Frydenberg in July announced an extension of the income support rolled out to support Australians during the pandemic, but it foreshadowed cuts to both the jobkeeper and jobseeker payments on the rationale that the government could not keep “burning cash”.

As well as lowering the rate of the jobkeeper wage subsidy and the $550 coronavirus supplement in jobseeker after September, the government proposed to tighten the eligibility requirements for both payments – including retesting businesses in October.

But three weeks later, the government changed tack, overhauling the new eligibility requirements for the jobkeeper wage subsidy in the light of the deterioration in Victoria.

The government’s adjustments in early August mean that businesses and not-for-profits will only have to show a fall in turnover in the September quarter compared with a comparable period in 2019, rather than having to show declines in the June and September quarters to requalify for the subsidy after 28 September.

After 4 January 2021, businesses and not-for-profits will have to show a fall in the December quarter compared to a comparable period the year before instead of having to demonstrate a fall in turnover in the June, September and December quarters to access the payment.

The comments from Chalmers follow a declaration at the weekend by the former Labor leader, now shadow minister for government services, Bill Shorten, that the government should not cut either jobkeeper or jobseeker in September.

Shorten told the ABC Labor would “arrive at its position” but “I live in Victoria – it’s pretty bloody obvious that we should be extending jobseeker and jobkeeper into the next year”.

“As a Victorian, I see the hardship,” he said. “Jobkeeper has, on balance, done more good than harm. Let’s just get on with it.”

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


Businesses raise concerns about JobKeeper inconsistencies
Some businesses in Melbourne are concerned about inconsistencies regarding how JobKeeper rules are being applied, according to Sky News Political Editor Andrew Clennell.
"When it comes to JobKeeper I’ve been contacted by a business owner in Melbourne with an inconsistency in how the rules are applied,” Mr Clennell said.

This woman in locked down Melbourne wants to keep an employee by putting her on JobKeeper but because the employee was previously on JobKeeper with another employer, she is unable to keep her on.
“This looks like something that could easily be remedied with a change to the legislation next week when parliament resumes.
“We have spoken about the decision to keep JobKeeper with the same national rules despite the fact Victoria is worse off. This could be a reason why.”

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

NATIONAL CABINET
National cabinet secrecy under fire in first-of-its-kind challenge to new arrangement
Scott Morrison has no power to extend cabinet confidentiality to his national cabinet meetings with state premiers, Senator Rex Patrick has charged in a first-of-its-kind challenge of the intergovernmental body.

After the prime minister’s department rejected a freedom of information request for minutes of national cabinet meetings explaining its rules, the newly independent senator lodged a review arguing that it is not lawful to make the body a subcommittee of federal cabinet.
The appeal to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner could have wide-ranging ramifications for access to national cabinet documents, and echoes legal advice for the Australian Conservation Foundation that these may not be exempt from FoI.

National cabinet minutes about Australia’s response to Covid-19 include details of hotel quarantine arrangements, which might otherwise be blocked from release even to the Victorian inquiry into the source of the second wave of infections.

On 15 March Morrison announced the establishment of national cabinet, replacing the Council of Australian Governments with a regular meeting between the prime minister and premiers.

In an FoI decision dated 10 August, the department refused Patrick access to minutes of the national cabinet, claiming they were exempt because they were an “official record of cabinet”.

Patrick appealed to the OAIC for an urgent review, arguing that national cabinet “is not a cabinet” because it is “not constituted by members of government responsible to one parliament”.

“A cabinet (or a sub-committee of cabinet) is properly a single cabinet of ministers exercising collective responsibility, not a single minister (or prime minister),” he submitted.

Patrick warned that replacing Coag with national cabinet “creates a confidentiality span that is so broad it intrudes on rights” created by the Freedom of Information Act.

Although courts had recognised cabinet, the expansion of the convention in such a way “must be held to be unlawful”, he argued, because it “interferes with the accountability of government that is the very essence of responsible government”.

In 2019 Morrison established the “cabinet office policy committee” of cabinet – which still only has one permanent member, himself – to conduct policy “deep dives” in meetings with other cabinet members, public servants and stakeholders.

In March Labor’s Penny Wong warned that the structure, later used to establish national cabinet, allowed the government to make all consultations cabinet in confidence. She labelled it an “abuse” of the convention that could be used to “cover up blatant political decision-making”.

The legal opinion prepared for ACF by the Sydney barrister Jeremy Farrell argued that national cabinet is “an expedient and improvised system of governance that operates in a vacuum of statutory authority or intergovernmental agreement”.
The advice also rejected the view state leaders could be members of a federal cabinet committee, suggesting a committee “must be comprised of federal government ministers, as opposed to state premiers and territory chief ministers”.

In May Morrison defended cabinet secrecy applying to policy discussions between state and federal governments, telling reporters in Canberra national cabinet was “not a spectator sport” but rather a “serious policy deliberation”.

He argued that the same rules applied to state and federal cabinets which “work together under cabinet rules to come to conclusions and have debates, which produces good decisions that supports essential services”.

Morrison has signalled that one of the other groups created during the crisis, the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission, comprised largely of business leaders, would now “work within government and can form part of the cabinet deliberative processes – which is an important innovation”.

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

COUNTERFEIT FACE MASKS HIT AUSTRALIAN ONLINE MARKETS
Face mask scammers rip off unsuspecting online shoppers
Scammers are taking advantage of online shoppers during the coronavirus pandemic, the ACCC has warned, face masks their latest target.

As coronavirus takes its hold in Melbourne and hotspots continue to crop up across NSW, facemask regulations and recommendations have grown and so too have scams to rip off unsuspecting shoppers.

Australia's leading scam detection agency ACCC's Scamwatch took to Twitter to warn consumers of increased reports of online face mask shopping scams in recent weeks.
"Scamwatch has received reports of alleged online shopping scam websites purporting to sell expensive medical face masks but not providing the goods," an ACCC spokesperson told nine.com.au.

Scamwatch has received over 3,900 reports mentioning coronavirus and over $3 million in reported losses since the start of the pandemic.
https://twitter.com/Scamwatch_gov/statu ... wsrc%5Etfw
These scammers have created fake online stores claiming to sell not only face masks, but also cures or vaccinations for COVID-19, which don't exist, the ACCC said.

The detection agency says the biggest tip-off to identify a fake retailer is the method of payment.

"Be careful of online shopping sites requesting unusual payment methods such as up-front payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency, like Bitcoin," the ACCC spokesperson said.

"The best way to detect a fake trader or social media online shopping scam is to search for reviews before purchasing."

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
19 AUGUST NZ
Six new coronavirus cases confirmed in New Zealand
New Zealand has recorded another six cases of coronavirus overnight, five of which are linked to the Auckland cluster that ignited the country's second wave of infection.

The total number of cases linked to the Auckland cluster is now 61, while New Zealand's total cases of COVID-19 now sits at 1299.

The other new case is a woman in her 50s who returned to New Zealand from Qatar, via Sydney, on August 14. She is currently in hotel isolation.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today's numbers were encouraging and she believes the virus is "not expanding exponentially".

Ms Ardern announced a small team has been put together to help the Ministry of Health manage the resurgence of infection, saying the current plan in place "needed improvement".

"As the plan was implemented, we then started getting in data that showed that we needed ongoing improvement," Ms Ardern said.

Former NZ prime minister Helen Clark's top advisor, Heather Simpson, will oversee the new group that will support the ministry as border testing ramps up across the country.

Ms Simpson recently led a major review of the country's health system and will be supported by Brian Roche, who has done an extensive review of the country's contact tracing measures.
Ms Ardern also announced a further 500 defence personnel would be deployed over the next six weeks to help manage isolation facilities and airports, saying that border testing has not been executed at the scale and speed necessary.

This change will see the number of defence staff involved in the government's management of the virus increased to 1200.

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

New Zealand court rules part of early coronavirus lockdown was illegal
A New Zealand court on Wednesday found the first nine days of a hard lockdown put in place by the government earlier this year requiring people to isolate at home was justified, but unlawful.
The ruling comes after Wellington lawyer Andrew Borrowdale challenged the legality of steps taken in the early stages of the five-week lockdown, including calls by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and other officials between March 26 and April 3 telling New Zealanders to stay at home.

An order imposing stay at home restrictions was not passed until April 3, so New Zealanders rights and freedoms were unlawfully limited for those first nine days, the court said.
"While there is no question that the requirement was a necessary, reasonable and proportionate response to the COVID-19 crisis at that time, the requirement was not prescribed by law," the court said.
All other challenges to the lockdown were dismissed.
The court said few, if any, prosecutions for lockdown breaches would be affected.
“The Government was trying to educate people about the health risks and transition them quickly to take actions that curtailed normal freedoms like staying at home to stop the spread of the virus," Attorney General David Parker said after the ruling. "In the end the measures taken by the government worked to eliminate COVID-19, save lives and minimise damage to our economy."

New Zealand fared far better than most countries during the pandemic, due to early action by the government to lock down the country, forcing most New Zealanders to stay at home and businesses to shut.
The measures were later lifted but an abrupt resurgence of COVID-19 last week in Auckland prompted the government to reimpose some lockdown restrictions on the city's 1.7 million residents.

Ardern said on Wednesday she would increase the number of defence personnel at New Zealand's quarantine facilities and borders to beat any further spread of COVID-19, as five new cases in the community were reported.

Around 500 more defence personnel will be deployed, taking the total defence force personnel supporting the COVID-19 response to around 1,200.
"There's nothing to date that has tracked this particular cluster we are dealing with to the border, but nonetheless we want that to be as tight as possible," Ardern said at a news conference.

Ardern however said the low number of new cases indicated the country was not seeing a surge of COVID-19 in the community.
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/ne ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12572
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:00 pm

20 AUGUST

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CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12572
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm
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