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

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Oct 03, 2020 8:02 am

2 OCT VIC

Victoria records seven new coronavirus cases and two deaths as Melbourne average falls
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There are now 11 cases linked to the Butcher Club at Chadstone shopping centre

Key points:
Melbourne's daily new cases average is down to 12.8
The state's fortnightly tally for cases with an unknown source is down to 14
The Premier has this week said Melbourne is on track for a significant easing of restrictions on October 19

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Premier Daniel Andrews has warned a recent outbreak linked to Chadstone shopping centre highlights the risks of lifting coronavirus restrictions too soon.
The number of cases linked to the Butcher Club at the shopping centre, in Melbourne's south-east, has grown to 11.


Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said authorities were offering testing to all workers in the shopping centre, including those without symptoms.

He said it was not yet clear who the "index case", or first person in the chain of transmission, was. So it was important that anyone with symptoms in the area came forward to be tested, he said.

"The setting [butcher] seems to be a subsequent site of infection or transmission, but who the index case was in this whole cluster is unclear," he said.

A Frankston family linked to the cluster had been moved into supported accommodation to help them safely isolate, he said.

remier Daniel Andrews said the Chadstone outbreak served as a reminder of the risks of lifting restrictions too soon.

"There's been a bit written and a bit said in recent times, and perhaps for a long time, about superspreaders and how a very small number of cases can lead to a very large number of cases," he said.

"Just for a moment imagine what a normal Chadstone would have looked like … if that scenario had played out when we had had literally, in the course of a day, hundreds of thousands of people moving through that setting."

He said modelling showed if restrictions were lifted too soon, outbreaks like that could lead to "many hundreds of cases".

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Melbourne on track to hit roadmap trigger points
Victoria has recorded seven new coronavirus cases overnight and a man and a woman in their 80s have died from the virus.

Both of those deaths were linked to aged care outbreaks.

Melbourne is set to move to the third step of its restrictions roadmap when Victoria hits two trigger points: a 14-day rolling average below five, and a two-week total of mystery cases below five.

If no more mystery cases are recorded, that second trigger point is expected to be hit within the next two weeks.
Mr Andrews this week said public health officials would look at the "narrative and story" surrounding coronavirus infections, rather than just hard numbers, but the state remained on track for a "significant" easing of restrictions by October 19.

Under the third step of the roadmap, stay-at-home order will lift.

The plan as announced on September 13 also said Melburnians would be allowed to travel across the state.

But on Thursday, Mr Andrews threw doubt on whether intrastate travel would be permitted from October 19, and said it depended on cases and public health advice.

"I can't at this stage say that that ring of steel, as it has been called, will just be thrown open and you can travel throughout the state," he said.

"That might not be a smart thing to do at that point.

"But that shouldn't also be read to mean that for all of the second half of October and all of November that those rules would stay in place, it might be a shorter period."


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-02/ ... e/12724766

Chadstone outbreak proof 'it is too early to open': Andrews
Premier Daniel Andrews says the coronavirus cluster linked to the Chadstone Shopping Centre is proof it is too early for Melbourne to reopen – warning "a small number of cases can lead to a large number of cases".

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Sky News Australia logoChadstone outbreak proof 'it is too early to open': Andrews

Premier Daniel Andrews says the coronavirus cluster linked to the Chadstone Shopping Centre is proof it is too early for Melbourne to reopen – warning "a small number of cases can lead to a large number of cases".

Play Video
Chadstone outbreak proof 'it is too early to open': Andrews
11 cases have so far been linked to the shopping centre cluster.

Mr Andrews appealed to business owners who were frustrated over the state's prolonged closures.

“Just for a moment imagine what a normal Chadstone would have looked like if that scenario had played out when we had literally, in the course of the day, hundreds of thousands of people moving through that setting," he said.

“It is not safe to open up now, it will be soon when we have driven these numbers down even further.

“That case makes two points: One, the response has been excellent, and I thank all of those who have been part of that.

"Two, it makes the point very clearly, if we were to open up now, just as our modelling tells us, just as our experts confirm for it, one of it or even a handful of these events won't be a handful of cases, it will be many hundreds of cases."

Victoria recorded seven new infections overnight and two deaths.

The rolling 14-day average also dropped to 12.8 in Metropolitan Melbourne dropped and to 0.2 in regional Victoria.

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

FINDINGS OF THE HOTEL QUARANTINE INQUIRY - Contact tracing AND genomic sequencing conducted OF VIRUS strains SHOW THIS FOR LATEST HOTEL GUARDS INFECTED

Victorian coronavirus hotel quarantine staff became infected in community, not at work, CHO says
Key points:
The last positive case in hotel quarantine was detected in late August
All nine workers likely caught COVID-19 in other settings, Brett Sutton says
Two staff members who attended work while infectious were asymptomatic

An investigation suggests it's unlikely the Melbourne hotel quarantine workers who recently developed COVID-19 were infected while at work, Victoria's Chief Health Officer says.

Nine workers in Melbourne's revamped program have tested positive for coronavirus since July 27, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) confirmed earlier this week.

Two of those staff members worked in the program while infectious, but were not showing any symptoms at the time.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the infections recorded in hotel quarantine were "absolutely a reflection of the very substantial community transmission" in Melbourne at the time.

He said genomic sequencing conducted for six of the infected workers pointed to links to known clusters or community transmission.

The other three workers did not have genomic testing done, but Professor Sutton said there was evidence they all contracted the virus in the community too.

"One of the three for whom there's no sequencing was a household member of two others, so almost certainly acquired their infection through transmission in the household," he said.

"The second of the three without sequencing was epidemiologically linked to an aged care facility, and a third … had contact with a known case who acquired their infection elsewhere.

"So no cases, really, with a probable acquisition at either of these hotels."

He also said the nine staff members did not pass the virus onto other people.

"People isolated and identified their close contacts, and those close contacts were followed up quickly and quarantined," he said.

"There is no further transfer of transmission from those people."

The last positive case in hotel quarantine workers was detected in late August.

Some infected hotel quarantine workers lived together
The Department of Justice and Community Safety was tasked with overseeing a "reset" of the program in late June after it emerged that new outbreaks in the community could be traced back to private security guards in the system.

International arrivals were put on hold at the time, but a "health hotel" quarantine program has continued to run for people who cannot self-isolate safely at home.

Alfred Health was contracted to provide clinical services and infection control in the program, and sub-contracted some of that work out to services company Spotless.

Spotless provided cleaning services from mid-June, and performed other roles like "customer service officers, bag checking and floor monitoring" from early July, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Victoria Police started managing security in the program on July 17.

Professor Sutton said the nine workers who became infected were:
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He said the hotel quarantine infections reflected the fact that "cleaning services are a vulnerable cohort for infection".

Earlier on Friday DHHS said three of the infected staff members had contact with known outbreaks — one connected to Victoria Police, one aged care facility, and one public housing outbreak.

However it is still not clear which workers were connected to which known outbreak.

Professor Sutton said he did not know whether the hotel quarantine worker whose infection was linked to aged care was also working in that setting.

Infection control issues raised as workers stood down mid-shift
Victoria Police had a 24-hour presence at the Grand Chancellor Hotel Melbourne on Lonsdale Street and the Brady hotel on Little La Trobe Street in Melbourne's CBD, the two hotels used when international arrivals were phased out.

On Monday, guests were transferred to the Novotel Melbourne South Wharf hotel, with the Grand Chancellor and Brady hotels no longer being used for hotel quarantine, Victoria Police said.

On Wednesday, workers from services company Spotless were stood down mid-shift after concerns were raised about infection control, and their floor monitoring roles were handed to Victoria Police.

Attorney-General Jill Hennessy said since taking over the hotel quarantine program the justice department was focused on "minimising the risk of transmission".

Police roles expanded to include monitoring hotel floors
The role of police in the program previously involved securing hotel grounds, checking guests in and out, and responding to incidents, Police Association Victoria secretary Wayne Gatt said.

But since Wednesday, their role had been expanded to monitoring hotel floors and potentially escorting COVID-positive people if they needed to move, he said.

"It's observational security, it's certainly work that is now being asked by police to do," he told ABC Radio Melbourne.

"You'd hope for good reason that it is utilising police for their skills that they have, not skills that they don't have."

Mr Gatt pointed out that private security guards were still being used in the New South Wales hotel quarantine program "in great numbers", and said other ways of monitoring guests needed to be explored.

"You need to strive to minimise the contact between COVID-positive persons and any person," he said.

"There are better ways of doing this that we should look for, such as CCTV and looking for surveillance that doesn't require people to be standing on floors, potentially exposed.

"That's really important — not because of who's doing it or why it's being done — it's about infection control."

Spotless is still providing specialised cleaning services, Alfred Health said on Thursday.

Alfred Health said sub-contracted workers received "extensive PPE training" before starting work in the program, and a spokeswoman from Spotless said staff followed strict infection control procedures.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-02/ ... f/12724594

MASK MANDATE REMAINS IN PLACE - DESPITE WARM WEATHER RETURNING
Chief health officer rejects lifting mask restrictions during regional Victoria heatwave
Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton has rejected the possibility of restrictions around mask-wearing being lifted in parts of regional Victoria despite Mildura expecting a heatwave over the weekend.

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton has rejected the possibility of restrictions around mask-wearing being lifted in parts of regional Victoria despite Mildura expecting a heatwave over the weekend.

"Masks make the difference between a super-spreading event and potentially infecting no-one at all," he said.

<< WE'VE ALL SEEN THE RESULTS OF CROWDED BEACHES AND PARKS AND VENUES WHERE LOTS OF ASYM AND PRESYM AND EVEN SYMPTOMATIC PEOPLE ARE OUT AND MINGLING AND SOCIALISING WITHOUT SOCIAL DISTANCING OR MASKS ON WARM DAYS , EVEN HEATWAVE DAYS - IT'S A RECIPY FOR SUPERSPREADING AND SETTING A COMMUNITY BACK BY MONTHS AND STARTING NEW WAVES OF COVID19 INFECTION .
LOTS OF PEOPLE HAVE TO WARE MASKS AND RESPIRATORS UNDER HOT CONDITION AS PART OF THEIR OHS REQUIREMENTS , NOT COMFORTABLE OR NICE , I ALWAYS HAD TO WEAR A N95 REPIRATOR AND EVEN FULL AIRPACKS AND VISORS WORKING INSIDE FURNACES AT XMAS SHUTDOWNS ( 50 - 60 DEG C plus SITUATION ) I SURVIVED . PEOPLE NEED TO STOP WINING , THEIR ARGUMENTS DON'T CUT THE MUSTARD.


"When you're not wearing a mask, the ability to spread the virus to anyone around you is much, much greater. So, that's a setting that we think is really important now. We will review it over time.

"As these numbers are driven down... we have seen a halving of the number of cases of unknown origin, we have seen halving of the number of active cases. So, it's totally heading in the right direction."

Mr Sutton said the settings "should change" over time but claimed "if there was a seeding" the possibility of a cluster that becomes an outbreak that becomes explosive numbers was a really "high stakes game".

The mercury was tipped to hit the mid-thirties in Mildura on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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

Victoria's COVID-19 face mask rules will be tough in the heat, regional leaders say
Calls are mounting for mask rules in regional Victoria to be relaxed amid low case numbers and rising temperatures in some areas.

Masks have been mandatory for the entire state since July, with those caught going without facing a $200 fine.

But with low case numbers in regional Victoria, there are calls for the regions to relax the mask rules, particularly in the north-west in places like Mildura, where temperatures have already topped 30 degrees Celsius.

Mildura MP Ali Cupper said wearing masks in her electorate during spring and summer was unrealistic.

"We can get temperatures of up to 45 degrees in spring in the Mallee, and we get heat waves in the summer," she said.

"This will be untenable.

"I was a very strong supporter of masks in the early days — it is a cheap, low risk, high reward way to contribute to the COVID-19 fight.

"But that was when numbers were spiking in Melbourne — now numbers are plummeting across the state and it is getting hotter."

Temperatures in Mildura are forecast to hit 35C on Saturday and 34C on Sunday.

"We are in the desert and masks are going to get very uncomfortable, and when people are in general discomfort, they are going to be resentful and not comply," Ms Cupper said.

State won't budge
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said he understood the frustration, but could make the difference between a "superspreading event and potentially infecting no one at all, or one or two individuals".

"When you're not wearing a mask, the ability to spread the virus to anyone around you is much, much greater," he said.

"So that's a setting that we think is really important now.

"We will review it over time, the settings will change.

"But right now, the stakes are so high for regional Victoria that if there's a seeding – and there are still people moving into regional Victoria in their hundreds, if not thousands – we need to protect everyone there from the possibility of a cluster that becomes an outbreak that becomes explosive numbers.

"That's a really high-stakes game."

Fears for trade
Mildura CBD's head of retail trading Danielle Hobbs said she was concerned mandatory mask wearing would stop people from getting out and about in the city.

"The rules do really need to be relaxed," Ms Hobbs said.

"I think we've done a really great job at complying with the requests so far, but we are in a very unique situation with our environment, so I think it's going to become harder to comply.

"There has definitely been conversation with traders and the public on how we are going to deal with this.

"I think it will have an effect on productivity by wearing them in this heat.

"Last year we reached 47 degrees, so I think the rules need to be dropped a bit."

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

AGED CARE ROYAL COMMISSION
Experts say aged care royal commission's Covid review does not address wider problems
ged care experts and advocates say they feel let down by a much-anticipated royal commission review into the sector’s handling of the pandemic.

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The Guardian logoExperts say aged care royal commission's Covid review does not address wider problems


Video: Restrictions on movement based on chief health officer's advice: Andrews (Sky News Australia)


Aged care experts and advocates say they feel let down by a much-anticipated royal commission review into the sector’s handling of the pandemic.

a person standing in a room: Photograph: Daniel Pockett/AAP© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Daniel Pockett/AAP
A special report released on Thursday afternoon said the federal government’s efforts to prepare the sector were “insufficient” in some respects, but the commission also emphasised it was “not the time for blame”.

The government has accepted all its recommendations, some of which include publishing a detailed national plan for Covid-19 and deploying infection control experts into nursing homes.



Prof Joseph Ibrahim, the head of the Health Law and Ageing research unit at Monash University, told Guardian Australia the report was “pretty benign in terms of an investigative approach”.

“The public should understand this was a fact-finding mission not a critical analysis,” said Ibrahim, who gave evidence at the commission.

“The terms of reference specify that … They were meant to find out how to do things better.”

That explained why the commission had made reasonable recommendations but had not addressed what Ibrahim suggested were wider problems.

“The recommendations are sensible, they could have been stronger and they could have been more detailed,” he said.

The government and the sector have come under fire for their response to the pandemic, which has seen more than 650 deaths, most during Victoria’s second wave.

During the pandemic, Guardian Australia has reported how residents have been confined to their rooms for long periods without fresh air breaks or visits from family.

In homes that have been struck by the virus, in particular, there have been shocking allegations of neglect, and some facilities in Victoria are now facing legal action.

In addition to a published Covid plan and infection control experts in homes, the commission also recommended the creation of a national aged care advisory body and said major outbreaks should also be investigated independently.
It also called for the government to “immediately fund providers that apply for funding to ensure there are adequate staff available to allow continued visits” to residents.

Annie Butler, the federal secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, welcomed the recommendations but said a failure to be specific about staffing levels was a “large part of the reason we got into this problem in the first place”.

“There has been chronic understaffing for years because the Aged Care Act just says providers need to provide ‘adequate numbers of staff’,’” she said.

The sector has faced criticism for having varying visitation rights, despite a voluntary code established by the government at the start of the pandemic.

The commission made no call to make the code mandatory and Ibrahim said the fact it was “still running” was damning.

“There’s no way of enforcing it, assessing it, and there’s no way of ensuring equity between homes or families,” he said.

Experts and unions have said while extra funding was provided to ensure staffing levels, some operators reduced staff hours when they went into lockdown.

This occurred despite the commission saying last year that 57.6% of all Australian aged care residents lived in homes that are understaffed.

Critics have also raised concerns about a lack of transparency about how funding is spent.

The peak bodies for the non-profit and for-profit aged care sectors both welcomed the commission’s report.

The Leading Age Services Australia chief executive, Sean Rooney, said the report made “protecting and maintaining the physical and mental health of older people in care the end game, not a blame game”.

Maree Bernoth, an aged care and nursing expert at Charles Sturt University, questioned why infection control standards that would be adhered to by the experts deployed to homes would be determined by the new advisory body.

“We’ve already got standards that nurses have to meet [in hospitals],” she told Guardian Australia.

“Why would we set standards by an advisory body who, chances are, will be dominated by industry? Are older people not deserving of the standards of the general community?”

Lynda Saltarelli, the founder of the advocacy group Aged Care Crisis, said the industry’s response had been telling.

“The industry seemed to be thrilled with the report, that says it all,” she said.

Related: Brendan Murphy admits earlier federal action could have prevented some aged care deaths in Australia

“I know the report is not to lay blame, but families we spoke to are really disempowered,” she added. “To us [the response to the pandemic] was a very inhumane response.”

She also questioned why there was not greater scrutiny of the regulator, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, in the report.

“There were so few visitors, there were so few sanctions, even when there were the deaths,” she said.

Ibrahim said his view was the regulator should “never have been asked to manage the pandemic”.

The RMIT professor Sara Charlesworth, who researches the aged care workforce, welcomed that the commission had acknowledged many workers had been “traumatised” by the pandemic.

“It shines a light on the very real damage that has been done to workers who have been invisible,” she told Guardian Australia.

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: 12567
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Oct 03, 2020 8:31 am

3 OCT VIC

Victoria records eight new coronavirus cases and three deaths as Melbourne's average falls, police patrol beaches
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The Chief Health Officer urged Victorians to hold the line obeying the restrictions.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has said he is "disappointed" at "unacceptable" scenes at a Melbourne beach, where people gathered in defiance of strict coronavirus restrictions on Friday.

Large groups of people gathered at St Kilda beach in warm conditions but some were observed not wearing masks and were not social distancing.

"Those scenes were very disappointing," Mr Andrews said at his daily media conference on Saturday.

"It has made a lot of people very angry, I think, that they are doing the right thing, because they can see how close we are."

Mr Andrews said he had spoken to Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton and officers would be out in force fining people for breaches of Melbourne's restrictions.

"Spending time at the beach without a mask, without social distancing now will just mean that you won't get to go to the beach for all of summer. It just doesn't make any sense," he said.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton responded to video of a TV reporter being surrounded during a live cross by tweeting "don't risk everything".

"What we hold back now means a truly normal summer. Please — Hold. The. Line," he wrote.

Professor Sutton told Saturday's media briefing "of course people can go to the beach".

"But I was concerned, as the Premier is, as the Commissioner is, about the fact that people stopped wearing masks, didn't keep physical distancing," he said.

Beaches could be closed, council says
The current rules in Melbourne allow all members of a household to gather outside together, or up to five members of two households.

Masks must be worn when in public, except for exemptions such as eating or running, and there is a two-hour limit for recreation and exercise.

The City of Port Phillip, where St Kilda is situated, said the scenes could delay the reopening of metropolitan Melbourne.

"Unfortunately if we have large crowds of people doing the wrong thing then we will have no choice but to close the beach or park as a last resort," said council chief executive Peter Smith.

[embed: 14-day average]
Professor Sutton said Victoria had a "golden opportunity" and urged people to stick to the restrictions for "this little bit longer".

"I think if there is any message now, it is that the light at the tunnel is really apparent," he said.

"Single figures … we could not have dreamed of it two months ago."

Chadstone cluster grows to 17 cases
Eight new coronavirus cases were reported in Victoria on Saturday, with a further three deaths, as the state edges closer to the next step on the roadmap to reopening.

Two of those cases are linked to healthcare facilities and four are linked to a cluster at Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne's south-east.

Seventeen cases are now linked to the Butcher Club, including five staff and six household contacts of the existing cases and two customers.

Professor Sutton said two other cases were linked to customers at a nearby cafe, Jasper Coffee.

Image
Image


Melbourne's 14-day average of new infections has fallen to 12 from 12.8 and regional Victoria's is now 0.1.

The total number of "mystery" cases with an unknown source for the fortnight to September 30 is down to 11 in metropolitan Melbourne.

Melbourne is set to move to the third step of the roadmap to reopening by October 19 if Victoria hits two triggers: a 14-day rolling average below five and a two-week total of below five mystery cases.

There were 241 active cases in the state on Saturday and six of the new infections are linked to known outbreaks.

The three deaths reported, a woman in her 80s and two women in their 90s, have been linked to aged care.

The Premier said 11,281 tests were conducted on Friday.

On Friday, there were seven new cases and two new deaths reported.

Police have warned Victorians to continue to obey the coronavirus restrictions as warm weather saw many people heading outdoors as the school holidays come to an end.

Eighty-two people were fined by Victoria Police in 24 hours for breaching the orders of the Chief Health Officer.

Police fined two men from regional Victoria who wanted to attend a strip club in Melbourne.

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

CROWDS PACK ST KILDA BEACH - IGNORING MASK MANDATE AND SOCIAL DISTANCING
Vision emerges of crowds at St Kilda beach
Survalience Vision has emerged showing crowds of beachgoers clearly breaching COVID-19 restrictions in St Kilda.

Victorian health authorities slam beachgoers gathering en masse
The state's Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton says it's an insult to those ( the vast majority of Melbournians and Victorians ) who have done the right thing ( and now fear their sacrifices have been all for nothing because of the stupid and selfish behaviour of a very part of the community , especially when there is a REAL GLIMMER OF LIGHT at the end of that very dark covid tunnel ).

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

Result = Police increase patrolling Melbourne and regional Vic to manage and enforce mask and social distancing and travel limits and prevent ( hopefully ) closure of parks and beaches to all.
<< PEOPLE IN MELBOURNE AND REGIONAL VICTORIA ARE ON NICE , AS ARE THOSE IN SA, NSW, ACT AND QLD BY THEIR RESPECTIVE PREMIERS , CMOs AND POLICE COMMISSIONERS , WE DON'T WANT THE EVENTS AT ST.KILKA, BONDI, MEREWETHER, NEWCASTLE BEACHES AND AT THE GOLD COAST'S BEACHES REPEATED AS THE DAYS GET HOTTER AGAIN LIKE THEY WERE IN MAR & APR AND EARLY MAY ON THOSE HOT DAYS.
Victoria stepped up patrolling on Saturday as hundreds of people in the city of Melbourne breached stringent lockdown restrictions and flocked to beaches on the warmest weekend in months.

Under the restrictions, nearly five million people in Melbourne, may exercise or socialise outdoors for a maximum of two hours a day, but must stay close to home ( WITHIN 5 KM ) . People must wear masks in public places.

But television and social media footage showed crowds, many people without masks, at some of Melbourne's beaches as temperatures soared ahead of summer in the southern hemisphere.

"A number of fines were issued to people who breached directions .... and Victoria Police will be conducting increased patrols of popular public spaces this weekend," police said in a statement.

Fines for not wearing masks reach A$200 ($143) and for breaching public health orders are more than A$1,600.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said the behaviour of the beach-goers was "unacceptable".

"Spending time at the beach without a mask, without social distancing now, will just mean that you won't get to go to the beach for all of summer," Andrews said at a televised briefing.

State officials said eight people had been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours and three more people died. The numbers have been going steadily down after reaching more than 700 in new daily cases at their peak in July.

Melbourne has been under a strict lockdown for months, with the measures set to remain in place until the average number of new daily cases over a two-week window falls below five. On Saturday it was 12.

Victoria, accounts for 90% of national COVID-19 deaths. Australia, with 893 fatalities, has fared far better than many other developed countries.


https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/po ... hp#image=2
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp

STUPID BREACH
Mates travel from regional Victoria to Melbourne to go to a STRIP CLUB
A pair of covidiots have been busted travelling from regional Victoria to Melbourne to go to a strip club - despite non-essential services being shut down since July.
<< HOW IS A STRIP CLUB EVEN OPEN UNDER MELBOURNE'S RESTRICTIONS ?? >>

The men were intercepted by Victoria Police at a vehicle checkpoint in the Macedon Ranges, north of Melbourne, and fined for entering a Stage Four restricted area.

They told police they had gone to the city to 'attend a strip club' but had not realised no such venues were open when they arrived in Melbourne.

They were among 82 people who were fined in the last 24 hours for breaching the directions of the Chief Health Officer.

Of those, 13 people were fined after failing to wear a face mask when leaving their homes and 11 fines were issued at vehicle checkpoints.

One woman was fined after she exited an Uber in Port Phillip, south Melbourne, and had no lawful reason to be 5km from her home in Cranbourne.

A woman from Melton, west Melbourne, was also checked on board a train travelling into the city and told police she was going to buy organic food.

She was fined after having no lawful reason for travelling 5km from home.

Coronavirus fines in Victoria include $200 for not wearing a face covering in public and up to $1,652 for stay-at-home order breaches.

Premier Daniel Andrews increased fines for those who flout the restrictions on gatherings from $1,652 to $4,957 on Monday.

Melbourne remains under a strict lockdown and people are only able to gather in maximum groups of five, from two households.

A variety of restrictions have been eased, including the harsh 9pm to 5am curfew.

Melburnians still need to keep to the 1.5m social distancing rule and wear the compulsory facemasks.

Victoria recorded eight new coronavirus cases and three deaths on Saturday.

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
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12567
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:38 am

2 OCT NSW

NSW goes a week without recording a locally-acquired COVID-19 infection
But Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged the state not to get complacent as travel ramps up over the school holidays.

NSW reaches major coronavirus milestone — one week with no locally acquired infections
Key points:
There were over 11,300 tests conducted in the last 24 hours
Queensland has flagged a November 1 re-opening of the border if NSW community transmission stays at zero
Gladys Berejiklian fired shots at the WA Premier for accusing other states of "self-interest"

NSW has reached a major coronavirus milestone, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirming the state has gone a week without a locally acquired infection.

Four new cases were reported in the 24 hours to 8.00pm on Thursday, all of which were returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

Three of the cases were from overseas and one was from Victoria.

The Victoria case has sparked a public health alert after they travelled on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney while infectious.

NSW Health is contacting 47 passengers and crew on the Jetstar Flight JQ10 that left Melbourne at 11:00am on September 27, however other passengers are already in quarantine.

NSW Health said there was no ongoing risk of infection to the general public.

Just over 11,300 people in NSW were tested.

On Thursday, health authorities said one historical infection, that had been acquired locally and identified through serology testing, was included in the state's COVID-19 statistics.

The turning point for the country's most populous state come as Queensland announced plans to, possibly, open the border to NSW on November 1.

"We are looking very closely at New South Wales and if they do not have any community transmission for 28 days, we said very clearly that at the end of the month, we review the plans and that would mean there may be a possibility of opening up to New South Wales if there is no community transmission," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

"Their health experts are also concerned about some undetected community transmission at the moment. So we will be watching that space very carefully."

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was "ecstatic" with this news.

"I would welcome that with open arms," she said.

"If that is the case, I'm ecstatic about it. I would've hoped it happened sooner but I can live with the first of November because it gives hope to our local residents.

"There's no doubt NSW is well placed at the moment."

Ms Berejiklian has been pushing for the Queensland border to reopen for months and both Premiers have traded barbs with each other.

Queensland considers all of NSW, except for a select number of areas in the state's north, as a coronavirus hotspot for the purposes of travel.

The NSW Premier also criticised her WA counterpart, Mark McGowan, who on Thursday accused other states of peddling "self-interest" in trying to bring down his hard border with the rest of the country.

"I'm extremely disappointed by that ... often NSW provides GST to states like WA. So if we're not strong, and with Victoria out of action ... the other states will rely more on NSW for their share of the GST," she said.

"We're all in this together and that's been my point ... and NSW is doing as well as any other state."

NSW Health is treating 48 COVID-19 cases, including two in intensive care, none of whom are being ventilated.

Meanwhile, the NSW Government has announced a $20 million fund to prop up the Sydney CBD economy over the summer.

Sydney city will host live music performances, 24-hour alfresco dining and more public transport options to reinvigorate the coronavirus-hit economy.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the initiatives will be in place by the start of summer.

"There's a range of initiatives including opening up and more alfresco dining, lifting restrictions, putting on events throughout the city not just throughout the day but in the night as well," Mr Perrottet said.

"Opening up our state cultural institutions and art galleries into the evening, we'll have night at the museum here over summer — it's going to be a fantastic time," he said.

The State Government has committed $20 million, with $5 million contributed by Sydney City Council.

"Just think of the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, just think of the Piazza Navona in Rome, think of the wonderful squares in Malaga — this can be happening in Sydney," Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-02/ ... s/12725018

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

NSW Covid hotspots: list of Sydney and regional case locations
List of case locations 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.

Campbelltown Golf Club, Glen Alpine: 2pm to 4.30pm on Wednesday 16 September for a 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
Liverpool LGA
Parramatta LGA
If you were at any of the following locations or travelled by taxi or rideshare during the time and date indicated, monitor yourself for symptoms and self-isolate and get tested if symptoms occur.

Wray St Oyster Shed, Batemans Bay: 12pm to 1pm on Saturday 12 September
Campbelltown Golf Club course, Glen Alpine: 9.30am to 2pm on Wednesday 16 September
Picnic Point Bowling Club, Panania: 3pm to 6pm on Friday 18 September

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

JETSTAR COVID ALERT
Jetstar alert as Melbourne-Sydney flier tests positive for coronavirus
New South Wales health authorities are urgently contacting all passengers and crew from a Melbourne to Sydney flight after a customer tested positive to coronavirus.

Jetstar Flight JQ510 left Melbourne at 11am on 27 September and one passenger is believed to have flown while infectious.

The passenger was a traveller returning from Victoria, who tested positive on day two of hotel quarantine, NSW Health said in an emailed alert on Friday.

Most passengers are already in hotel quarantine, however health authorities are urgently contacting 47 passengers with special permits or quarantine exemptions including crew.

Those deemed close contacts are advised to get tested immediately and isolate themselves for 14 days even if the test result is negative.

The news came as Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a joint statement with five senior ministers announcing Australia would establish a safe travel zone with New Zealand.

Passengers from New Zealand can travel to Australia, quarantine-free from Friday, October 16, as long as they've not been in a coronavirus hotspot during the previous 14 days, the statement said.

New Zealand had no known hotspots as of Friday according to the Australian Government definition of a three-day rolling average of three locally acquired cases per day.

'Any state or territory that imposes travel restrictions consistent with the Australian Government-defined hotspot ... will be able to participate in the Safe Travel Zone,' the joint statement said.

New South Wales reported another four coronavirus cases in the 24 hours to 8pm Thursday, all of whom were returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

NSW has only recorded one new locally acquired case over the last 10 days.

The state's total now sits at 4227 with 53 deaths according to Federal Health Department figures on Friday.

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

BORDER BUBBLES ALONG VIC-NSW BORDER WIDEN
Victoria-NSW border bubble expanded again but some Alpine Shire towns still left out
The New South Wales Public Health Order has been amended to include more Victorian towns in the pandemic border bubble.

Bogong, Buffalo River, Eurobin, Falls Creek, Greta, Havilah, Merriang, Merriang South, Ovens, Porepunkah, Rosewhite and Tawonga South are included effective immediately.

Residents from these areas can apply for a border resident permit that will allow them to cross into NSW provided they meet the criteria listed.

The Member for Albury, Justin Clancy, said he had been lobbying for the inclusion of these towns, some of which acted as a thoroughfare.

"We had Tawonga South out but Mount Beauty in; that was obviously an anomaly that we know of down here," he said.

Those eligible for a permit would have to travel through the postcode of Tawonga South, which was previously excluded, to get to Mount Beauty which was included in the border region.

Alpine Shire Mayor Peter Roper said the situation did not make any sense.

"It just seemed ridiculous that say Mount Beauty was included but five kilometres away was not," he said.

It comes as school holidays end
The Mayor said he looked forward to the positive impact the changes were expected to have on the local economy.

"It's great to see cars with NSW number plates on them loaded with pushbikes and people," he said.

"Unfortunately, the Victorian school holidays are coming to an end, but the NSW ones go for an extra week so this is almost perfect timing."

Victoria on Friday recorded seven new cases of the virus while NSW reached its seventh consecutive day with no new locally acquired cases.

Mr Clancy said they were promising signs but the situation still needed to be monitored because of school holidays and the changes to regional Victoria's restrictions.

"With these movements and these changes, it's really important to make sure that we're giving an opportunity to see what impact that has," he said.

"The last thing anyone wants to see at this stage is any rebound."

Still towns missing
While the bubble changes are great news for some communities, there are still others that have been left off the map.

"The map looks amazing ... but unfortunately Freeburgh, Smoko and Harrietville have been left out," Mr Roper said.

He said he would like to see a map that encompassed the entire Alpine Shire.

Mr Clancy said it was always going to be hard to please everyone.

"Wherever we have this region extend to, there's always going to be someone falling on the other side of that region, but hopefully we've captured a significant number of communities now," he said.

With the easing of regional Victorian restrictions, he said conversations are being had with the Government around the need for a border bubble at all.

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

NSW GOVT WANTS PEOPLE TO COME BACK TO THE CBD AND SPEND MONEY THERE
$20 million to boost Sydney this summer
Summer in Sydney's CBD could feature outdoor dining and pop-up entertainment stages as part of the NSW's government plan to revitalise the coronavirus-battered economy.

The $20 million plan was on Friday announced by the NSW government and the City of Sydney Council

Pop-up entertainment stages, outdoor dining areas and better opening hours for cultural attractions are among the initiatives hoped to revitalise the Sydney CBD.

"The pandemic forced the CBD into a COVID hibernation and it's vital we revive our use of the city for work and pleasure, to keep people in jobs and businesses in business," NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said in a statement.

"This summer will be a testing time for many businesses but this funding will help breath life back into the city and get our economy moving again."

The state government has committed $15 million, and the City of Sydney another $5 million, to help businesses in the city get back on their feet.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said she hopes the funding will transform Sydney in the long term too.

"The city and the NSW government are working together on a shared vision for transforming Sydney into a 24-hour alfresco city over summer and beyond," Ms Moore said.

More flexible public transport options, government-funded live music performances and an advertising campaign are also among the proposals being considered.

Paganini on the pavement as Sydney CBD gets $20m entertainment package
Paganini on the pavement as Sydney CBD gets $20m entertainment package

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra will play at outdoor locations around the city's ailing central business district as part of a local and state government initiative to revive the area.

They will be among performances by various musicians as part of a $20 million funding injection from the NSW Government and City of Sydney to bring workers and revellers back to the CBD.

Announcing the initiative on Friday, alongside members of the SSO, Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello and Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said tourism was down by 30 per cent in the city as a result of the pandemic, whereas it had increased in other areas of the state.

"We know the city has particularly been doing it tough," Mr Perrottet said. "We want people to come back."

Outdoor stages will be set up in key locations around the CBD, with Cr Moore previously announcing the city was intending to pay for musicians to play at venues.

The state is contributing $15 million towards a range of initiatives encouraging people to return to the city, with the City contributing $5 million.

Mr Perrottet said the state would continue to invest as much as it could.

The announcement is among a cache of projects designed to bring the city out of its COVID-19 slump, including an al fresco taskforce looking at relaxing outdoor drinking and dining regulations, as well as the state government encouraging its own workers to return to their offices.

Mr Perrottet said some of the initiatives, including bringing Sydney's hospitality industry outdoors, should have occurred in the past and businesses had been mired in pointless red tape.

Cr Moore said she hoped the city would transform to be similar to various famous piazzas in the Mediterranean.

"Wouldn't it be fantastic if this could become permanent," she said.

Mr Perrottet said the government was continuing discussions with health officials regarding halving the four-square-metre rule to allow venues to increase their capacities, following calls from the hospitality industry.

Longer retail trading hours, more flexible or free transport options, and allowing cultural institutions to stay open longer were among other ideas floated at a recent government summit.

The City of Sydney has also prepared a pilot to help bring bars and restaurants outdoors, including onto the street along thoroughfares such as Crown St in Surry Hills and Pitt St in the city.

A section of Barrack Street, off George Street, would be closed, while hospitality businesses would be able to sprawl into Tankstream Way and Wilmot Lane to enable them to accommodate more customers than presently allowed under COVID-19 restrictions.

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

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/sydney/2 ... d=msedgdhp

UNDER RESOURCED / UNDER MANNED REGIONAL HEALTH DISTRICTS
Western NSW Local health District under fire as Gulgong forced to rely on telehealth
Regional towns in New South Wales have lost face-to-face access to doctors, with the Department of Health failing to renew contracts with visiting medical officers (VMO).

The publicly owned Multi-Purpose Service (MPS) in Gulgong has been without a doctor since June, when the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) failed to renew the contract of Nebras Yahya.

Dr Yahya said the department wanted to reduce the pay of his VMO contract by 40 per cent and support more patients with telehealth.

"They [patients] are not very convinced to go and see a doctor on a videocall," he said.

The WNSWLHD said it was actively trying to recruit a doctor for the Gulgong MPS.

"Recruiting health professionals to regional, rural and remote areas is a challenge nationwide and not just confined to our region," a spokesperson said.

Dr Yahya is still in Gulgong working at a private practice and said he would renew the contract with the MPS if the department offered similar terms to the original arrangement.

"I think they [the community] have the idea that I don't want to go there [the MPS]," he said.

Town fights back
Gulgong resident Sharelle Fellows has started a petition to reinstate a doctor at the Gulgong MPS.

"I was prompted to start the petition by a friend of mine's husband, who has a complex health condition and is non-verbal," she said.

"And the consultation was by telehealth, rather than the doctor who is familiar with his entire history."

The petition has more than 2,000 signatures, which Ms Fellows says is a clear indication that the people of Gulgong do not want to rely on telehealth services.

"It's just not satisfactory, and there's a lot of disquiet in the community about that fact," she said.

The WNSWLHD said the budget for the Gulgong MPS was more than $3 million and the community still had access to general practitioners.

"Clinical staff at the Gulgong MPS are supported by a range of innovative telehealth services that have proven successful in supporting rural health services," a spokesperson said.

Other towns losing services
It is believed that a similar contract dispute led to the loss of a doctor in Coolah, and the closure of the town's private health facility as a result.

The Rural & Remote Medical Service wrote to patients informing them the privately run Coolah Medical Facility would close in mid-July because the WNSWLHD had failed to renegotiate a contract with the town's VMO, who worked at the private practice as well as the MPS.

The Member for Dubbo, Dugald Saunders, said he was working towards an outcome that benefited everyone.

"Everyone concedes that telehealth and video technology has a place, however I think everyone would concede that seeing a doctor face-to-face is sometimes advantageous," he said.

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

LABOR ASKS IN STATE PARLIAMENT FOR PROBE INTO DEVELOPER KICKBACKS RESULT OF THE KOALA MUTINY
NSW Labor asks for probe into alleged developer donations to Nationals
The NSW Labor party has written to the state’s electoral commission asking it to investigate allegations the NSW National party accepted nearly $20,000 in breach of the ban on donations by property developers.

In a letter submitted on Tuesday, the local MP for Port Stephens, Kate Washington, alleged the NSW branch of the Nationals accepted $19,350 between 2013 and 2018 from David Maurice (Maurie) Stack, the chairman of Stacks Law Firm on the mid-north coast, and Paul Stack, who runs Stacks Finance.

The donations were disclosed to the NSW commission and in some cases were noted as having been donated to Stephen Bromhead’s campaign.

Bromhead is the MP for Myall Lakes on the mid-north coast. Along with his leader, John Barilaro, he has been a vocal opponent of the koala protections that almost caused a dissolution of the NSW Coalition earlier this month.

The Berejiklian government has proposed a state environmental planning policy to protect koala habitat. It expands the type of vegetation considered core koala habitat, and requires landholders within mapped core habitat areas to put in a special koala report with their development application.

In February Bromhead wrote to the planning minister, Rob Stokes, who has carriage of the koala policy, to pass on an email from Raymond Stack, the chairman of Stacks Finance, concerning the koala planning policy.

“Is there anything that can be done to delay it ’til there is proper consultation”, Stack wrote in a letter to Bromhead dated 24 February, which was later released to the NSW parliament.

Maurie, Raymond and Paul Stack are directors of a company, Hocana Pty Ltd. Washington submitted to the electoral commission that the company owned numerous properties including one which is part of the Figtrees on Manning residential development.

“Furthermore, Hocana Pty Ltd appears to be a member of the Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW (UDIA NSW) – the peak body for the property development industry in NSW – and was named as a finalist in the UDIA awards,” Washington wrote.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that Raymond Stack said Figtrees on Manning was not affected by the draft koala policy and was being built on suburban land.

Some of the 271 properties owned by the Stack family – who are major landholders on the mid-north coast – may be affected.

Maurie Stack did not respond to emails and phone calls to Stacks Law, where he is the chair.

Paul Stack said that in June 2018 he made a donation to the National party relating to budget night.

“So far as I can recall that is the only political donation I have ever made. So far as I know that donation was a perfectly legitimate donation and I reported it as required,” he said.

Bromhead referred any queries about donations to the NSW Nationals office saying all donations were handled by them.

A spokeswoman for the NSW Nationals said: “All donations to the NSW Nationals are disclosed in accordance with the relevant electoral laws.”

The ban on property developers giving to NSW politics was introduced in 2009 to curb the influence of developers over planning and environmental decisions.

But the laws are complex and there remains some uncertainty around who constitutes a property developer.

The definition says it is “a corporation engaged in a business that regularly involves the making of relevant planning applications by or on behalf of the corporation in connection with the residential or commercial development of land, with the ultimate purpose of the sale or lease of the land for profit”.

It also includes a person who is a close associate of such a corporation.

There is no suggestion of wrongdoing on behalf of the Stacks.

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

3 OCT NSW

New South Wales enjoys an EIGHTH day of zero coronavirus cases OF COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION.
Image
New South Wales has reported just one new coronavirus case on Saturday, a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.

NSW records one new COVID-19 case
NSW has reported one new case of coronavirus overnight after a returned overseas traveller tested positive to the virus.

The traveller returned a positive COVID-19 test in hotel quarantine.

NSW continues to keep its community transmission at bay, with the state recording eight consecutive days without a single case.

https://twitter.com/NSWHealth/status/13 ... wsrc%5Etfw
The case brings the state's confirmed numbers to 4043.

In the past 24 hours, more than 10,000 tests were conducted.

To date, more than 2.7 million tests have been carried out across the state.

Two people remain in ICU with the virus and 55 people have died.

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

This marks the state's eighth day of zero new cases acquired within the community.

The promising figures are bolstering hopes Queensland will open its border to New South Wales within weeks.

At least 10,334 coronavirus tests were performed in the last 24 hours.

NSW Health are currently treating 51 people for COVID-19 with two in intensive care.

The state has recorded a total of 4,043 coronavirus cases and 55 deaths.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has promised to reopen the border as long as NSW goes 28 days without any 'unlinked' cases of community transmission of COVID-19.

The planned border reopening would take place on November 1.

Thousands of holidaymakers would be allowed to freely travel into the state ahead of Christmas in a massive boost to the local tourism industry.

But if there is just one 'unlinked' community transmission case recorded in NSW the border reopening could be pushed back.

New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was disappointed when she learned the border policy was based on community transmission.

'After having a second of excitement, because somebody had told me at the press conference that the border was coming down on the first of November...

'It was then brought to my attention that it's pretty much just a reiteration of the 28-day-free period of community transmission. Their definition hasn’t changed,' Ms Berejiklian said on Friday.

Ms Berejiklian has openly criticised the 28-day policy as a 'pretty tall order'.

Communication between Ms Berejiklian and Ms Palaszczuk has deteriorated as the two premiers war over the closure of the state border.

Ms Berejiklian has constantly insisted Queensland lift its border closure while Ms Palaszczuk has remained firm on her policy to keep it shut.

In September, Ms Berejiklian said the pair had completely lost communication with each other and only spoke about the border issue at National Cabinet.

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

Beachgoers will be watched by drones to ensure social distancing
Image
Thousands of sunseekers will be watched by hi-tech AI and drones as summer approaches to ensure social distancing is followed at the beach.

Authorities in Sydney are worried beaches will reach capacity due to the scorching conditions - with the October long weekend already heating up.

Waverley Council, who look after Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte beaches in the city's east, will monitor how many visitors log onto free WiFi in the area to track the crowds, NCA NewsWire reported.

Several councils have already warned that beaches could be forced to shut if crowds swell and fail to socially distance.

THIS WHAT NSW DOESNT WANT TO SEE UNTIL COVID19 IS A THING OF THE PAST.
Image
Crowds are seen at Bondi Beach in Sydney's eastern suburbs during the coronavirus pandemic in March & April.

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:26 am

2 OCT QLD

Queensland records two new cases
Queensland has recorded two new cases of COVID-19 today, continuing the state's low infection rate.

https://twitter.com/AnnastaciaMP/status ... 8493109255
Both of the cases are returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

A total of 5256 tests were conducted in the last 24 hourss.

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

Queensland unveils roadmap to ease restrictions
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has unveiled a roadmap which will see restrictions eased throughout Queensland by the end of the year and will begin rolling out from today.
From 4pm on Friday, standing patrons at any venue – indoor or outdoor – can be served a drink as long as social distancing protocols are still observed.

Under step five – which is due to come into effect from November 1 – gatherings in homes and public spaces will be increased to 40 people, with up to 40 people also allowed to dance at weddings.
Step six is set to be rolled out on December 1 and will increase the gathering limit to 50 people and allow an unlimited number of dancers at weddings.

Queensland’s borders will also reopen to all New South Wales residents from November 1 under the proviso the state recorded 28 days of zero community transmission.

“The reason we can ease the restrictions is because Queenslanders have done a brilliant job … keep up the great work,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

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

Restrictions ease across Queensland
Queenslanders are now able to stand up at the bar, and the border is set to open with all of New South Wales on the first of November, should NSW record no new cases of community transmission before then.


Queensland will open its borders to all of New South Wales from November 1 - as long as the state continues to record zero 'unlinked' cases of community transmission.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Friday she would consider relaxing the harsh restrictions that have crippled Queensland's tourism industry.

But NSW must go 28 days without community transmission of COVID-19 before residents can holiday in the Sunshine State.

A reopening on November 1 would be occurring one day after the October 31 state election, in which Labor is hoping to win a third, straight term.

'We've made it very clear our borders have kept us safe. We are looking very closely at NSW,' Ms Palaszczuk said.

'If they do not have any community transmission for 28 days, we said very clearly that at the end of the month we review the plans.

'That would mean there may be a possibility of opening up to NSW if there is no community transmission.'
As of Friday, NSW had not recorded community transmission of coronavirus for the seventh day in a row.

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young explained the 28-day count would restart if NSW reported a COVID-19 infection 'unlinked' to previous outbreaks.

'It's when they've had a case that they aren't able to immediately linked to one of their known cases. So it's unlinked cases,' she said.

The Queensland premier also announced dancing will be allowed at weddings, with up to 40 people on the dance floor. The limit will be lifted entirely on December 1.

Up to 40 people will be allowed to gather in homes and in public places from November 1. This will increase to 50-people gatherings from December 1.

From the beginning of December, outdoor events will be allowed to have 1,500 attendees.
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Bushfire threat reduced to Advice for a Far North Queensland town
Daily Mail logoQueensland FINALLY opens its borders to all of New South Wales

Annastacia Palaszczuk wearing a pink shirt: MailOnline logo© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo
Queensland will open its borders to all of New South Wales from November 1 - as long as the state continues to record zero 'unlinked' cases of community transmission.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Friday she would consider relaxing the harsh restrictions that have crippled Queensland's tourism industry.

But NSW must go 28 days without community transmission of COVID-19 before residents can holiday in the Sunshine State.

A reopening on November 1 would be occurring one day after the October 31 state election, in which Labor is hoping to win a third, straight term.

'We've made it very clear our borders have kept us safe. We are looking very closely at NSW,' Ms Palaszczuk said.

'If they do not have any community transmission for 28 days, we said very clearly that at the end of the month we review the plans.

'That would mean there may be a possibility of opening up to NSW if there is no community transmission.'

Annastacia Palaszczuk wearing a pink shirt: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Friday she would move to relax her border restrictions next month as long as New South Wales continues to record zero 'unlinked' cases of community transmission© Provided by Daily Mail Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Friday she would move to relax her border restrictions next month as long as New South Wales continues to record zero 'unlinked' cases of community transmission
As of Friday, NSW had not recorded community transmission of coronavirus for the seventh day in a row.

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young explained the 28-day count would restart if NSW reported a COVID-19 infection 'unlinked' to previous outbreaks.

'It's when they've had a case that they aren't able to immediately linked to one of their known cases. So it's unlinked cases,' she said.

The Queensland premier also announced dancing will be allowed at weddings, with up to 40 people on the dance floor. The limit will be lifted entirely on December 1.

Up to 40 people will be allowed to gather in homes and in public places from November 1. This will increase to 50-people gatherings from December 1.

From the beginning of December, outdoor events will be allowed to have 1,500 attendees.

a group of people riding on the back of a car: Residents from NSW will still need valid border declaration passes to enter the state but they will not be required to quarantine for two weeks on arrival. Pictured: Police stop vehicles as they enter Queensland on October 1© Provided by Daily Mail Residents from NSW will still need valid border declaration passes to enter the state but they will not be required to quarantine for two weeks on arrival. Pictured: Police stop vehicles as they enter Queensland on October 1
From 4pm on Friday, Queenslanders will be able to grab a drink or meal at a venue without having to be seated.

'I hope this gives Queenslanders confidence to get out there and enjoy this state,' Ms Palaszczuk said.

'We've been able to do things more in Queensland because we have taken those proactive steps we've kept Queenslanders safe, and that means now that Queenslanders can enjoy Queensland, even more.'

Queensland recorded two new cases of COVID-19 on Friday but they were ship crew and not exposed to the community, with just six active cases overall.

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

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

COVID19 IN THE WHITSUNDAYS ?
How did coronavirus end up in a Whitsundays sewage treatment plant when nobody is REPORTING IN AS SICK OR BEING DETECTED IN SENTINAL TESTING IN THE AREA ?
Image
Much remains unknown about the positive test in the Airlie Beach sewage, Dr Mackay said.
Key points:
The Cannonvale sewage treatment plant has been a source of constant surprises
Experts say it is a mystery where virus fragments came from
Results do not necessarily mean there are active cases in the area

Queensland COVID-19 snapshot:
Confirmed cases so far: 1,160
Deaths: 6
Tests conducted: 1,126,673
Active cases: 6

A walk-in COVID-19 testing clinic has reopened at Airlie Beach this morning after scientists found more traces of the deadly coronavirus in sewage samples.

With no cases of community transmission recorded since September 10, Queenslanders are being told there is nothing to worry about.

But how could the virus be found "living" in a waste treatment plant in the Whitsundays when there are no known human cases in the region?

It is a mystery to researchers, who point out the Cannonvale treatment plant has been throwing up COVID-19 surprises since mid-August.

There was a previous detection of virus fragments on August 20, but results were clear in samples on August 31 and again on September 7 and 14.

So is this a matter of false negatives and false positives or a genuine positive test result for this latest tracing?

How helpful is sewage testing?
University of Queensland virologist Ian Mackay said because sewage testing was still an emerging technology, it needed to be treated with caution.

"It is important to take these things with a grain of salt initially until we make sure these methods are working," Dr Mackay said.
He admitted it was baffling when it came to trying to work out where the latest fragments had come from.

"It may mean a lot of things — it may mean a traveller passed through the area who was infected," he said.

"But it could also mean there was a cruise ship that came and pumped its waste into a pump at shore facility in that particular region.

If that was also included in the sample, anyone infected on that boat may have shown up as a signal.

"So we do need to know a bit more information about any positive when it happens before we can assume it means community transmission."

Dr Mackay said it was understandable the community was worried about this latest detection.

"Let's be very clear, this does not mean there is virus in the community," he said.

But it could also be a sign coronavirus is present in the Airlie Beach community, "so more testing is the way to know that".

The Mackay Hospital and Health Service (MHHS) said there was no need for concern and the ramped-up testing clinic was simply a precaution.

"These surveillance tests are extremely sensitive and can pick up tiny pieces of the genetic material of the virus," MHHS said in a statement.

"The result does not necessarily mean there are active cases in the Airlie Beach/Cannonvale region.

"There are no known outbreaks or cases in the area; however, we cannot rule out the possibility that infectious persons were or are still in the area, who have not been tested.

"People who have recovered from COVID-19 can have live or dead virus in their stool for weeks after recovery."

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said sewage testing was helping enormously in the detection of COVID-19.

"But we still can't be totally confident that we might not have a case somewhere in the state we are not aware of," she said.

Sewage testing is part of a statewide pilot wastewater surveillance program run by University of Queensland researchers and the CSIRO, as part of the overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic as patients may shed viral fragments in their faeces.

Researchers said fragments could also come from used tissues or wash off of hands and bodies via basins, sinks and showers.

Get tested just in case
Dr Young was urging anyone in the tropical holiday strip to get tested if they have any COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or loss of smell or taste is urged to be tested.

Dr Young said they should then stay home and isolate themselves from other people until they get their result.

Testing is free for everyone including foreign nationals.

Mass testing of locals in this area was the only way authorities could determine the region was actually COVID-free, despite the sewage results.

Other testing options in the Whitsundays are:

Whitsunday Respiratory Clinic, afternoons Monday to Friday, call 4804 5664 to book
BHP/Vanguard Health Bowen Testing Clinic, 10:00am–5:15pm daily, call 1800 980 574 to book
Proserpine, Bowen and Collinsville Hospitals
Call your GP to ask about testing opportunities
More freedom to entertain
Long delays are expected to continue at the border over the long weekend now that Queensland has relaxed border controls for northern New South Wales residents.

An easing of restrictions since yesterday means the number of people able to party outside has also increased.

Larger groups can also enjoy outdoor dining with the restriction now one person per two square metres rather than one per four square metres.

Dr Young said it was also time to start planning festive season events such as Christmas carols and fetes, as up to 1,000 people can now attend outdoor events with a COVID-safe plan.

Stadiums can now run at 75 per cent capacity, up from than 50 per cent.

This means the promised crowd of 30,000 for the AFL grand final at the Gabba will be possible.

At home, up to 30 people can now gather.

Dr Young said she was confident the state's success at contract tracing and health protocols would mean Queensland would not have to go back into lockdown.

"We are going to get more cases that is inevitable," she said.

"But we can very rapidly respond now, and not have to close everything down as we had to do in March."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-02/ ... e/12678882

BORDERS & MANDATORY QUARANTINE
Calls to allow hotel quarantine exemptions for special circumstances in Queensland
Linda Holland is moving her mother from Melbourne to live with her on the Sunshine Coast. She says her mother was denied an exemption to quarantine at home, despite being in a vulnerable position.

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

Sydney news: Queensland reopens to northern NSW, search for missing surfer resumes
Queensland reopens to northern NSW
Queensland's extension of the border bubble zone has come into effect, meaning more freedoms for five areas on the NSW North Coast.

Residents in the Lismore, Ballina, Byron Bay, Richmond Valley and Glenn Innes local government areas are now allowed to apply for border passes and travel into Queensland for any purpose.

Likewise, Queensland residents will also be able to travel anywhere on the NSW side of the border bubble for any purpose.

The Queensland Government says they will not open completely to NSW until there are 28 consecutive days without community transmission.

Plans for Queensland to reopen the border to all of NSW on November 1 as state records two new cases of coronavirus
Queensland's border measures will also be relaxed under stage 5, if New South Wales records 28 days without community transmission.

"Their health experts are also concerned about some undetected community transmission at the moment. So we will be watching that space very carefully," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"The reason we can ease more restrictions is because families have done a good job."

Under Stage 6, which begins on December 1, gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed in homes and public spaces and 1,500 people will be allowed to attend outdoor events that have a COVID Safe plan.

The cap on dancing at weddings will also be removed on December 1, with an unlimited number of people allowed to hit the dance floors remains forbidden for now. Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said dancing at bars was still not allowed.

"It's about that close interaction. At venues there are a lot of people who don't know each other, you wouldn't normally interact with them," Dr Young said.

"That's why we want to start with weddings, where people genuinely do know each other."

However, Dr Young said "standing up and wriggling [your] hips" at a bar was fine.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was "extremely pleased" with the Queensland Government's plans to re-open the border.

he said she had not spoken with the Queensland Premier yet.

"I would welcome that with open arms. If that is the case, I'm ecstatic about it. I would've hoped it happened sooner but I can live with the 1st of November because it gives hope to our local residents," Ms Berejiklian said.

Two cases in hospital
The news comes as Queensland records two new cases of coronavirus overnight.

Both cases were onboard a ship and have been in quarantine.

Dr Young said the men flew into Brisbane and were tested before they boarded a vessel in the Port of Brisbane.
They went from the airport when they arrived into Queensland, into hotel quarantine, were tested in hotel quarantine," Dr Young said.

"The protocols are very rigid and they were followed, so we think the risk is very low."

Two vessels were undergoing a crew changeover when the new cases were detected.

There were other crew members onboard the flight with the men who tested positive.

"We're just holding both those vessels at the moment while we work out if there's anything further that needs to be done."

There are just six active cases remaining in the state.

A total of 5,200 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-02/ ... s/12724608

Missing NSW ( Newcastle ) surfer
Rescue crews are resuming their search for a surfer who went missing at a Newcastle beach last night.

About 6:20pm yesterday emergency services responded to reports that a surfer appeared to be struggling in the water at Newcastle Beach.

A female witness told police she saw what she believed was a surfer facing difficulties in choppy surf conditions about 100 metres offshore.

NSW Police have appealed to any surfers who were in the water at the same time to come forward with any information.

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

3 OCT QLD
Queensland records zero new coronavirus cases as ADF border withdrawal stoush continues
Queensland's Health Minister has accused the Federal Government of misleading the state over the Defence Force's withdrawal from the state's border checkpoints.

Speaking in Brisbane, Deputy Premier Steven Miles said he was "disappointed" to learn yesterday that 110 Queensland-based AFD personnel had been deployed to Western Australia to help with their border response.

"No less than three Federal Government ministers said the troops were being withdrawn from the Queensland border in order to prepare for the disaster season," he said.

"Now we learn they lied, we learn they were being withdrawn to be sent to another state that still has border restrictions in place.

"It simply shows how political Scott Morrison has been about this whole thing.

"I think it's about time he stopped using our Defence Force as a political bargaining chip."

Queensland authorities have been lobbying the Federal Government for an extension of ADF support at the state's border checkpoints beyond September 30 to match agreements with other states.

It is understood Defence will still provide support to Queensland police at hotel quarantine operations beyond October 1.

'Obscene' politics
Speaking on the Gold Coast, Police Minister Mark Ryan labelled it "obscene politics from the Federal Government".

"My question is, why can't Queensland troops do COVID-19 duties here in Queensland?" he said.

"Why are they sending them to Western Australia and why are they fibbing to the Queensland community about the reason?

"They said it was to prepare for storm season, obviously that's not the case because those troops are now doing COVID duty in Western Australia."

Mr Ryan said while the Defence Force withdrawal had an impact, there were sufficient police resources in place to handle border restrictions, hotel quarantine and other work.

"It means they [Queensland police] have to do more," he said.

"If the Prime Minister wants to put his politics aside and say that the troops can come back to the Queensland border, we'd be very happy about that."

In a statement, the Department of Defence said the Queensland Government had not been misled and that the troops going interstate to assist with hotel quarantine were not the same ones who were pulled from the Queensland border.

The department said troops were helping with hotel quarantine in several states, including Queensland, so more Australians could return home from overseas.

It said some troops were being rested ahead of what is expected to be a busy storm season.

"The ADF is prioritising urgent national priorities such as support for mandatory COVID-19 quarantine arrangements and preparations for the high-risk weather season," the department said.

Zero new cases
It comes as Queensland recorded another day of zero new coronavirus cases, leaving six active cases remaining across the state.

Mr Miles said the result was "fantastic news" as Queensland approached 250 days since its first case of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the state's Chief Health Officer has extended Queensland's public health emergency declaration to the end of the year.

Jeannette Young said the extension until December 31 was necessary to protect the state from COVID-19.

"We can't forget that we are still in the midst of a global pandemic and our response to the pandemic must continue," she said in a statement.

"We have proven the strength of our response time and time again here in Queensland and for that, I would like to thank Queenslanders for working with us."

'Mysterious' COVID-19 traces detected
Minister Miles said wastewater testing, which has been rolled out across the state, had detected "a small number of positive" traces of coronavirus.

"Some that we would expect and some that are a bit mysterious," Mr Miles said.

"We have positive results in North Rockhampton, Cannonvale, which we advised during the week, as well as in Cairns and Goodna, which we would expect.

"In North Rockhampton, the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service has stood up their fever clinic for additional hours over the coming days.

"They just want to increase their testing rate to see if we can get to the bottom of that."

A total of 4,804 tests were conducted in the last testing period.

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

THE END OF THE 2ND WAVE IN QUEENSLAND IS NEAR - THINGS LOOKING UP IN THE SUNNY STATE
Coronavirus restrictions are easing in Queensland, here's what you'll soon be able to do
Image
Patrons enjoying the eased restrictions at the Story Bridge HoteL
There may be a few hangovers out there this morning after restrictions on bars eased late on Friday afternoon, allowing people to have a few beers standing up and mingle at venues across the state.

The new road map in celebration of how Queenslanders have managed to keep coronavirus at bay reduces restrictions for travellers, home gatherings and weddings as well, step by step.

Story Bridge Hotel manager Dee Maloney said relaxing the rules will make her job so much easier.

"We can't wait. It has been pretty stressful. It will make us happier and definitely makes the customers happier," she said.

"Hopefully everyone behaves and things keep going the right way with community transmission. If things keep going well, hopefully we can have a dance floor by Christmas."

But if you like to hit the dance floor after a few drinks, you will have to wait until November 1 to let your hair down, and only if you are heading to a wedding.

Chief Health Officer (CHO) Jeannette Young said guests at any wedding with a COVID-safe plan from November 1 could boogie the night away.

But only 40 at a time.

Dr Young said this would be a "trial" to see how the new rules worked.

If deemed a success, we might be free to trip the light fantastic into the festive season.

But don't despair — for now, a confined form of dancing is at least allowed at bars.

"I am not sure what the definition of dancing is standing up, but wiggling their hips is fine," Dr Young said.

"We have got this virus under control in Queensland and we can continue to loosen restrictions."

How far we have come?
We can go to dinner or drinks at our favourite pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants.

Kids can go to school and play sport.

We can attend big and small events. A thousand people can gather outdoors with a checklist of one person per 2 square metres.

Stadium and amphitheatre capacity is now at 75 per cent — good news for the AFL grand final and State of Origin fans.

What else can we do after November 1?
Up to 40 people will be able to gather in homes and public spaces in Queensland as a group.

The wedding dancing will kick in.

That's music to the ears of Brisbane wedding planner Danielle Hutton, who is hoping couples will now start rebooking weddings after a "catastrophic" year of cancellations.

Couples "want to be able to hug and kiss their friends and family, they want to be able to have a few dances," she said.

And visitors and returned travellers from New South Wales can enter Queensland with a valid declaration pass without having to complete mandatory quarantine provided community transmission is under control (including whether there have been any unlinked cases in the previous 28 days).

It gets even better from December 1 if we stay the course
We will be swinging into the festive season by then, so the good news is, gatherings at homes and public places will jump to 50 people (up from 40).

Outdoor events can host 1,500 people — that's a jump of 500 — as long as they have a COVID-safe plan, of course.

For couples wanting to say "I do" and throw a big party with family and friends as well, there will be "unlimited dancing at weddings".

Health authorities say that, depending on the success of the November dance trial, they may open up dancing to all venues.

At this stage, Victoria's border will remain closed up to Christmas and until community transmission is under control.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said health authorities here were closely looking at NSW infection rates and if there was no community transmission for 28 days, borders would be flung open to all of NSW.

If there were locally acquired cases within that time that cannot be linked to a known source, the borders will remain shut.

What happens if there is another outbreak?
Dr Young says the turning point was the Logan cluster triggered by the three women who came from a Melbourne hotspot back to Logan and allegedly lied about where they had been.

"We had 130 days of infections at the peak of the Logan outbreak," Dr Young said.

She admitted she was worried.

"I am amazed we restricted that cluster to 55, I did think it was going to be a lot higher than that".

So that's when the COVID-19 horizon started to look not so bleak and the CHO felt she could take her foot off the brake but still ensure the community was protected from infection.

But what happens if there is another outbreak?

Dr Young said "we can't stop the virus from entering Queensland" but proven success in contract tracing and the high rollout of people still getting tested were the keys to moving forward.

The CHO was confident we would avoid another lockdown (like Victoria's) if we had a cluster of new cases.

As of yesterday, two maritime workers at the Port of Brisbane were detected with COVID-19. They are in quarantine at the PA Hospital.

We had just 6 active cases as of late yesterday.

Dr Young said: "We do need to continue to be cautious although we have done well managing protocols.

"No matter how unlikely you think it might be COVID, it could be — so please come forward and get tested."

There were 5,256 tests carried out in the last testing period. The turnaround time is 24 hours "and people need to continue to isolate until getting the result".

"Because of all of the testing Queenslanders have been doing, showing we do not have community transmission in Queensland … we can continue to remove restrictions."

Rules for the new normal
Maintain physical distancing (1.5m)
Wear a mask when distancing is not possible, particularly indoors
Maintain good hygiene
Stay at home when sick
Allow for effective contact tracing
Rapid response to outbreaks
One and off-again travel restrictions to "hotspots"


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

NSW - QLD BORDER OPENING MAY NOT HAPPEN AS SOON AS HOPED
NSW and QLD border may not open as soon as you think
Image

New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian has warned the state border with Queensland may not reopen on the promised date of November 1.

Her Queensland counterpart Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Friday she would relax the harsh restrictions and reopen the border to all of NSW residents.

Thousands of holidaymakers would be allowed to freely travel into the state ahead of Christmas in a massive boost to the local tourism industry.

But Ms Berejiklian said she her momentary excitement lapsed when she learned the November reopen date was still based on a 28-day-free community transmission policy.

If there is just one 'unlinked' community transmission case recorded in NSW the border reopening could be pushed back .

After having a second of excitement, because somebody had told me at the press conference that the border was coming down on the first of November,' Ms Berejiklian said on Friday..

'It was then brought to my attention that it's pretty much just a reiteration of the 28-day-free period of community transmission. Their definition hasn’t changed.'

Ms Palaszczuk has promised to reopen the border as long as NSW goes 28 days without any 'unlinked' cases of community transmission of COVID-19.

NSW is currently on its seventh consecutive day of zero community transmissions.

But the good run was placed in jeopardy on Friday after a passenger on a Melbourne to Sydney flight tested positive to COVID-19.

The remaining passengers on the Jetstar Flight JQ510 could have been exposed to the virus and most of them are in isolation.

Ms Berejiklian has openly criticised the 28-day policy as a 'pretty tall order'.

To add insult to injury, the state premier said she only learned of the November reopening date through a press conference.

Communication between Ms Berejiklian and Ms Palaszczuk has deteriorated as the two premiers war over the closure of the state border.

Ms Berejiklian has constantly insisted Queensland lift its border closure while Ms Palaszczuk has remained firm on her policy to keep it shut.

In September, Ms Berejiklian said the pair had completely lost communication with each other and only spoke about the border issue at National Cabinet.

Ms Berejiklian now says she has becoming increasingly frustrated with 'hard' border states like Queensland and Western Australia.
'We came off a low base; it's frustrating to me that Western Australia and Queensland keep lumping us in with Victoria.

'What happened in NSW was not what happened in Victoria.'

Australia's Deputy Prime Minister has also demanded state leaders open their borders in time for Christmas.

Michael McCormack said it's 'not good enough' that Australians still can't travel within the country despite daily coronavirus cases continuing to plummet.

'We want the Premiers of those states who have still got very tight lockdowns to ease those restrictions,' he told Sunrise on Monday.

'People want to travel, particularly as we approach the warmer months where people want to go on holiday and they want to catch-up with their loved ones over Christmas.

'It's not good enough that we've got tight border restrictions that are preventing many people from travelling where they want to be around this great nation.'

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

BUSHFIRE EMERGENCY IN NORTH OF QLD
Queensland bushfire threatens lives, homes
Image
A large "dangerous and uncontrolled" bushfire is threatening lives and homes in far north Queensland, with residents told to leave immediately.
The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services is fighting a blaze travelling on both sides of Oakey Creek Road in Cooktown, north of Cairns.

Conditions are very dangerous and firefighters may soon be unable to prevent the fire advancing, the 'leave immediately' alert issue warns.

"The fire poses a threat to all lives directly in its path," it says.

"You should not expect a firefighter at your door: act now."

QFES says the fire is expected to reach multiple properties and have a significant impact on the community.

Power, water and mobile phone service may be lost and road conditions may become very dangerous over the next several hours.

People in the area will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality.

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

At least one Cooktown home destroyed as large, uncontrolled bushfire burns in Far North Queensland
Image
Firefighters are expected to battle the blaze into Saturday night.
Firefighters in Cooktown are performing backburning after a vegetation fire burned out of control on Saturday night, destroying at least one house.

The fire was burning near Ironwood Avenue and Oaky Creek Road late on Saturday night.

Earlier on Saturday night, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) had advised Cooktown residents to leave the area as it would soon be too dangerous to drive, warning of a "large, dangerous and uncontrolled" fire.

But that warning was changed to advice at 11:00pm.

Residents have been warned to keep up to date with the latest warning and decide what actions to take if the situation changes.

Earlier, Cooktown Mayor Peter Scott said one house was destroyed in the fire on Ironwood Avenue.

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
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12567
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:38 am

2 OCT SA

Overseas travellers in hotel quarantine become SA's latest coronavirus cases
Image
The travellers are in quarantine in a hotel in Adelaide's CBD.
Key points:
Two travellers returning from overseas have tested positive for coronavirus in medi-hotels in Adelaide
The man and woman were not travelling together
The Premier has flagged reopening SA's border to regional Victorians

wo new cases but no risk to the community
Two new cases of coronavirus were recorded in South Australia today with a man and woman in their twenties now in hotel quarantine, having just returned from overseas.


SA Health said they are both aged in their 20s and recently but separately returned from overseas, and tested positive while in quarantine.

They are the only active cases in the state and authorities said there was no public health risk.

Both will remain in isolation, with the total number of reported cases in South Australia now at 470.

"Both cases have been in medi-hotels since their arrival and while we await further testing to confirm whether they represent active cases," SA Health said.

"The man tested positive on his day one test and the woman tested positive on day nine after showing symptoms of COVID-19."

There had been no active cases of coronavirus in South Australia for two days.

The last positive cases were reported on September 23.

More than 474,500 tests have been undertaken in the state since the start of the pandemic, and four people have died of COVID-19.

No SA bubble with New Zealand yet
For now, South Australia is not joining New South Wales and the Northern Territory in allowing New Zealanders to travel to the state.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said South Australia was very close to agreeing to be the next jurisdiction to come on board if it used the Commonwealth's definition of a coronavirus hotspot.

Premier Steven Marshall said the State Government was willing to explore the proposal.

"We would need to have the same arrangement we have with the other states in so much as having an excellent flow of data about what is happening on the ground and that hasn't been established yet, but I'm thinking in the coming months we'll establish that link," he said.

"We'll look at those risks and when it's safe to do so we might be able to establish a bubble with New Zealand.

"I think a lot of South Australians would really enjoy that."

A spokesperson said the State Government would be "carefully monitoring the data from New Zealand to determine when is the right time to join the travel bubble".

Both Business SA chief executive Martin Haese and South Australian Tourism Industry Council chairman Eoin Loftus were hopeful and confident South Australia would join the other states in relaxing its restrictions on Kiwis soon.

They also said, however, that if New Zealanders still had to go into quarantine on returning home, it would not do much for South Australian tourism.

"If there is a quarantine, that would be a barrier to demand," Mr Loftus said.


Tristan Keys, a coach in the South Australian Maori Rugby League, moved to Adelaide in 2006 and has not been able to see his three oldest children, who live across the Tasman, this year.

He said he was hopeful a bubble would be created with New Zealand as it was his turn this year to host his children for Christmas.

"It will just mean locking in Christmas plans and that sort of thing would become a reality instead of just a dream," he said.

Adelaide woman Kayla Hamilton, who has competed in "krump" street dance competitions in New Zealand over the past few years, said she was sad she would miss the next nationals in late October.

"For me, it would just be fulfilling to be able to attend an event I've attended the last few years and actually attend a dance event this year, since this is the first year in eight years I haven't," she said.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-02/ ... e/12727310


3 OCT SA

BUSFIRES ON AYRE PENINSULA
Crews scramble to contain fires on Eyre Peninsula
Image
Fire crews gained the upper hand on the blazes before they threatened buildings.
Image
Image
The fires served as a late night wake up call for fire crews.
CFS members were assisted by locals to came to defend their properties.
Bushfire crews have scrambled to douse two blazes on the Eyre Peninsula as flames neared homes on the outskirts of Port Lincoln.

The blaze broke out in grassland on the edge of town, providing fire crews with the first ominous signs of the summer season.
Fortunately the crews, assisted by locals, gained the upper hand on the fires before they reached local homes.

"To get a couple in one day when conditions were not at their best is basically a good wake-up call for everybody," said Kym Eagle of the Lower Eyre Peninsula Country Fire Service.

"It was burning in some reed country and some dry grass with some structures close by.

Bushfire crews have scrambled to douse two blazes on the Eyre Peninsula as flames neared homes on the outskirts of Port Lincoln.

The blaze broke out in grassland on the edge of town, providing fire crews with the first ominous signs of the summer season.

"To get a couple in one day when conditions were not at their best is basically a good wake-up call for everybody," said Kym Eagle of the Lower Eyre Peninsula Country Fire Service.

"It was burning in some reed country and some dry grass with some structures close by.

"Particularly when the wind change came in, it was due through the night, it would have pushed the fire close to those structures."

Residents in fire-prone areas are now being advised to reduce the fuel load on their properties.

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
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12567
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:57 am

2 OCT WA
Trans-tasman travel bubble that won’t include WA
Kiwis will soon have more freedom to travel around the country than West Australians under a trans-Tasman travel bubble that will not include Western Australians.

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

Tour operators rail against WA's hard border
Western Australian tour operators say they're being bled dry by the state's ongoing hard border, as other jurisdictions around Australia open up.

The backyard holiday boom has benefited some operators, but others are only just scraping by. Interstate tourists spent more than $2.7 billion in Western Australia in the year to March – an average of $1500 per tourist.

Image
Western Australia's hard border is costing tour operators money.

Figures today showed the state's domestic tourism had declined by 26 per cent for July.

"The truth is, we will save more tourism jobs with interstate tourism than without," Tourism Council of WA CEO Evan Hall said.

But Premier Mark McGowan claimed "other states" wanted Western Australia to open its border so westerners would travel east, not the other way around.

"The borders will come down eventually," Mr McGowan said.

"Let's just be cautious and careful in the way that we do it."

WA tourism operators are also still waiting for cash grants from the state government to help them through the pandemic.

Grants of up to $100,000 were due in September.

And meanwhile, bookings for next year are being lost.

"They're going to be going to Cairns instead of Broome, they're going to go to Tasmania instead of Margaret River, and those bookings are being made now," Mr Hall said.

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

3 OCT WA

WA mining town of Leinster flies ballet teacher in so kids don't miss out
Image
Cygnets ballet teacher Hayley Cumming teaching her younger students how to twirl at the town hall in Leinster
KUDOS TO THEM FOR GOING THAT EXTRA MILE TO ENSURE MAKE SURE THOSE LITTLE CUTES HAVE THEIR LIVES ENRICHED BY LEARNING TO DANCE.
There are more steel-capped boots than slippers in the remote West Australian mining town of Leinster, but a young girl's love of dance has inspired her mother to bring ballet to the bush.

Mother-of-three Belinda Haldoupis has lived in Leinster in WA's northern Goldfields, about 1,000 kilometres north-east of Perth, for several years with her husband so the family could be together every night instead of dealing with a fly-in, fly-out roster.

The closed mining community has a small population of about 500 permanent residents and its remoteness means there are limited activities for the children in town.

So when Mrs Haldoupis's five-year-old daughter, Samara, showed an interest in ballet, she did not want to see her miss out.

"We were in Perth for Christmas and she attended dancing lessons for the holidays," Mrs Haldoupis said.

"But after a while I started to think, 'What if we could get dancing here in Leinster?'"

FIFO dance teacher
Mrs Haldoupis reached out to Perth-based Cygnets Dance and, with the help of mining giant BHP, a ballet teacher has been flying to Leinster every Monday to teach the local children.

"As a mother anyone would try their best for their children, and Samara's very strong-willed," she said.

"If she wants to do something it's up to me to try and make it happen for her.

"I don't know that she quite understands what it's taken to make something like this happen, but to see how much she enjoys it each week definitely makes it worth it."

Ballet teacher Hayley Cumming has committed to travelling to the remote community every week to teach four classes.

The young teacher is picked up from Leinster Airport in the afternoon and taken straight to the town hall to teach classes into the evening.

"This is my first time doing any regional ballet teaching, so it's just been such an amazing experience," she said.

"It's just so rewarding to see every week they're improving, and it just makes me so happy as a teacher to have the opportunity to offer it to these kids.

"I've learned not to take as many things for granted — in Perth we're so used to having all these regular activities and it's just been really interesting to see the difference."

Providing opportunity
Leinster Sports and Recreation Association president Marc Trenfield said it was important to provide recreational opportunities for the children of the town.

"They don't have access to the sports and the recreational facilities they would in somewhere like Perth or other major centres," he said.

"We try to provide every opportunity we can for them so they don't miss out, otherwise there would be nothing for them."

Twenty-five of the town's 110 children signed up for ballet classes, including Mr Trenfield's six-year-old son, Rhys.

"Rhys has always been the sort of person who is dancing," he said.

"He'd be standing in front of the TV dancing and everyone would be there, and he doesn't have a care in the world when it comes to that.

"We've always encouraged our children to follow what they enjoy, we've never tried to have stereotypes or anything like that."

Rhys was one of two boys to sign up for the classes.

"It is excellent to see that we've got boys doing it as well," Mr Trenfield said.

"Not only getting involved, but really enjoying themselves doing it."

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

2 OCT TAS

Urgent care centre study still not public, despite critical pressure on Tasmanian hospitals
A study into whether urgent care centres could reduce pressure on overstretched emergency departments in Tasmania has failed to see the light of day — two years after it was promised.

The study was promised as a first-year agenda item when the Liberal Government was re-elected in 2018 under former health minister Michael Ferguson.

Labor's shadow health minister, Sarah Lovell, said the feasibility study had been completed but was yet to be released.

"What we do know is that there was $240,000 given to an external consultant to conduct that feasibility study," Ms Lovell said.

"According to the Department of Health annual report, the study was completed in 2018 and yet nobody outside of government has seen it since."

The Launceston General Hospital emergency department continues to operate under extreme pressure, prompting registrars in the department to write to hospital management last month to say they could "no longer remain silent".

Patients have also shared their experiences of the overloaded system, saying the emergency department felt like it was "on the brink".

The urgent care centre model is used in other jurisdictions to reduce demand on emergency departments by directing non-life threatening emergencies to a centre run by general practitioners, with specialist support.

Tim Jackson, Tasmanian chair of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), said urgent care centres could fill the gap between general practice clinics and hospitals.

The RACGP supports the idea of urgent care centres, which Dr Jackson says could prevent unnecessary hospitalisations, provided the model is implemented with consultation.

"There hasn't been any consultation with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners as yet," he said.

"We would hope to be involved in that."

Private medical centre steps in to fill gap
Meanwhile, a private medical centre in Launceston has stepped in to fill the gap.

Newstead Medical Centre is building an eight-bay urgent care centre nearby, which partner at the practice Dr Toby Gardener says is due to open in mid-January next year.

"It'll be essentially like a small emergency department with a central nursing area where we can admit patients ... do bloods, radiology, treat them as needed with fluids, IV antibiotics, fractures and so forth," said Dr Gardener, senior lecturer in emergency medicine at the University of Tasmania.

"[We] then send them home and avoid the need [for them] to present to the emergency department."

Dr Gardener said he hoped to be able to work more collaboratively with the State Government to provide a more holistic treatment approach for patients.

The urgent care centre is being funded privately and through federal Medicare funding.

"With funding from the State Government, it would make it much more affordable for people to be seen in a private-emergency-type set-up. It would reduce the gap they have to pay," he said.

"I think that would really help take away pressure from the emergency department. Particularly for the elderly and those ... from nursing homes who tend to spend a lot of time in emergency departments because of the complexities of their conditions."

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

TAS TO LOWER THEIR DRAWBRIDGE SOON
Tasmania to open borders to safe and low-risk COVID states and territories on October 26
Tasmania will reopen its borders to safe and low-risk COVID states from the end of October.

Premier Peter Gutwein said based on public health advice the state would open its borders to South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT on October 26th.

He said the situation in New South Wales was looking promising, but they would be keeping an eye on it over the next week.

"If at any time the situation changes in these jurisdictions and the advice is that the risk is increasing or too high, then we won't hesitate to change this decision," he said.

"We're simply not prepared to put Tasmanians at risk, meaning that border restrictions will remain in place for the time being with Victoria, and we'll keep New South Wales under advisement.

"The date will give Tasmanians certainty as they plan for the end of the year but also provide a date for our airlines to work to."

Mr Gutwein said this travel would be taken through "as many direct routes as possible, which don't rely on commuting via Tullamarine".

"My understanding is there is real interest from the airlines, based on our engagement with them, in terms of direct flights to Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and to Sydney should we open to New South Wales," he said.

Victoria 'important destination' for Tasmania
On Victoria, Mr Gutwein said it was "fair to say that Victoria had improved quicker than most people thought it would".

"Victoria is a very important destination for Tasmania, both in terms of it being a major export partner and also in terms of travel — 60 per cent of our interstate travel in previous years has come through Victoria," he said.

"I would hope that Victoria would be able to get on top of this to a point where it was safe enough to open up to… but if it's not safe, we won't be opening to it."


Deputy Director of Public Health Dr Scott McKeown said Tasmania was now prepared to deal with new coronavirus cases and it was important the current internal restrictions remained in place.

"They're all designed to limit the amount of mixing and movement that we have," he said.

"This virus spreads when we have close contact with lots of people. It's much riskier in indoor environments.

"[The measures] help prevent community spread, if a coronavirus case did occur in Tasmania, and these measures are aimed to limit the consequences of a case and help to prevent an outbreak or establish community transmission."

He said they were constantly reviewing the state's restrictions and the patterns of the disease.

Gutwein 'confident' Tasmania will join NZ travel bubble
On the newly announced travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia, Mr Gutwein said he was "confident" Tasmania would get to a position when they could be part of it.

As it stands, the bubble means New Zealanders would be allowed to travel to certain Australian states, but Australians could not travel to New Zealand.

"Our aim is to be in a position when the travel bubble opens properly to have an international airport supported by border force so we can join and Tasmanians and New Zealanders can travel," he said.

He said it was his understanding that the airport could be ready within 8 to 10 weeks, and they were aiming for Christmas time or early next year.

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


3 OCT TAS

EXTINCTION REBELLION PROTEST IN HOBART
Police arrest 27 Extinction Rebellion protesters in Hobart following Dead Sea March
Image
Police physically removed protesters who were lying down on the road following the Dead Sea March.
Tasmania Police have arrested 27 demonstrators, including 11 youths, following a planned protest in Hobart's CBD.

About 150 people took part in the Dead Sea March on October 3, organised by climate activist group Extinction Rebellion.

The demonstration, highlighting the mass deaths of Tasmania's kelp forests, had been approved by Hobart City Council and was expected to end on Murray Street.

Police say after the march ended, about 30 people continued to protest by lying across the Murray and Collins streets intersection for approximately half an hour.

Detective Senior Constable Angus Dobner said many of the demonstrators had to be physically removed from the intersection.

"The agreement that we had prior to the protest was that that would be where it ceased, but upon arrival, a group of approximately 30 people lay on the road in the middle of the intersection and refused to move," he said.

"They just wouldn't get up, wouldn't move and as a result had to be carried to be moved off the roadway for everyone's safety."

Police say 16 adults have been bailed to appear in court early next year charged with failing to comply with the direction of a police officer.

The 11 youths were charged under the Youth Justice Act.

Senior Constable Dobner said Tasmania Police was disappointed in the protestors' actions.

"We obviously like people to have the opportunity to have their voices heard but would encourage everybody once that has been achieved to go about their business and do so lawfully," he said.

According to police, the protestors followed COVID-19 social distancing requirements.

"From what was observed, especially during the actual planned part of the protest, there were safety measures being implemented by the group," Senior Constable Dobner said.

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

2 OCT ACT

ACT COVID-19 restrictions set to ease further from Friday allowing cinema audiences, gatherings and sporting crowds to increase
Image
Medium-sized Canberra venues can now have a maximum of 50 people (excluding staff).
More Canberrans can attend sporting, entertainment and hospitality venues from next Friday under a further easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman today announced the ACT was moving to step 3.2 of its coronavirus recovery plan.

The changes will allow Canberrans to hold gatherings of as many as 200 people and most indoor and outdoor venues to reach 50 per cent capacity.

"The changes relate to gatherings sizes and are a result of the community and local businesses hard work to keep Canberra COVID-safe," Dr Coleman said.

"These changes are not about filling venues to an uncomfortable or impractical level.

"They are about how best we return to business as usual in the ACT."
Image

Dr Coleman said the new rules would be re-assessed after four weeks and that venues must still limit patron movement and face-to-face interactions to avoid a COVID-19 outbreak.

Health officials also said they would consider relaxing restrictions so that outside areas of venues could have one person per two square metres, but a firm decision would be made next week.

Canberrans to thank for new rules
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the changes were the result of Canberrans' "hard work".

"We have all collectively worked together to achieve this outcome," he said.

"Our suppression of the virus and the situation where we have never had a hard border closure is a testimony to that.

"It is a testament to listening to expert advice, which we will continue to do."
NSW cases helped decision
Dr Kerryn Coleman said low case numbers across the border contributed to her decision to ease restrictions.

"It's fantastic news to see New South Wales has gone one week without a new locally acquired case," Dr Coleman said.

"We also see that the rates of transmission in Victoria continue to decrease.

"We don't live in a vacuum and when our neighbours are doing well it can only strengthen our position in the ACT."

ACT testing rates drop
Health officials have, however, raised concerns over Canberra's dropping testing rates in the midst of school holidays.

"Testing levels are slowly reducing daily, and while we have not dipped too far yet, we need to keep an eye on them," Dr Coleman said.

"This will be particularly important from next week onwards when people return from school holidays and perhaps travel to NSW.

"It's important the people are still going to get tested if they have symptoms."

The ACT Government's next COVID-19 checkpoint is November 6.

It has been more than 12 weeks since Canberra recorded a new case of coronavirus.

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 » Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:42 am

2 OCT FEDERAL

BUILDING INDUSTRY LIFE SUPPORT - GOOD FOR SOME FIRST HOME BUILDERS.
Government extends first home buyer support in hope of driving new construction
The Federal Government will add an additional 10,000 places to a scheme designed to make it easier for first home buyers to purchase a house with a small deposit.

The First Home Loan Deposit scheme allows people to purchase property with a deposit of five per cent, with the Government guaranteeing loans up to a certain price threshold.

Currently the Government offers 10,000 places in the scheme each financial year, on a first-come-first-served basis.

Government extends first home buyer support in hope of driving new construction
Key points:
The First Home Loan Deposit scheme will be extended with 10,000 new places
All of the new places will be for people buying new homes
The Government will guarantee larger loans, as new homes are generally more expensive

The Federal Government will add an additional 10,000 places to a scheme designed to make it easier for first home buyers to purchase a house with a small deposit.

The First Home Loan Deposit scheme allows people to purchase property with a deposit of five per cent, with the Government guaranteeing loans up to a certain price threshold.

Currently the Government offers 10,000 places in the scheme each financial year, on a first-come-first-served basis.

But the Federal Government will extend the scheme to allow for a further 10,000 places from October 6, on the condition those people are purchasing new builds.

Housing Minister Michael Sukkar said that would help to drive construction of new homes.

"The additional grants will not only help first home buyers but also support the jobs of Australia's tradies at a time when the economy needs it most," he said.

The scheme commenced at the start of the year, and within its first six weeks more than half of the 10,000 places in the scheme had been filled.

But the Federal Government will extend the scheme to allow for a further 10,000 places from October 6, on the condition those people are purchasing new builds.

It works by having the Government guarantee the loans of people who buy their first homes on small deposits, eliminating the need for costly lender's mortgage insurance.

Under the extension to the scheme, price caps will also be raised, reflecting the fact new builds are generally more expensive.

Whereas previously houses worth up to $700,000 in Sydney were covered under the scheme, houses worth up to $950,000 will now be covered.

The upper cap for Melbourne will now be $850,000, while in Brisbane the cap will increase to $650,000.

To be eligible, home buyers must work through one of 27 participating lenders.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-02/ ... t/12728010

Housing Minister Michael Sukkar said that would help to drive construction of new homes.

"The additional grants will not only help first home buyers but also support the jobs of Australia's tradies at a time when the economy needs it most," he said.

The scheme commenced at the start of the year, and within its first six weeks more than half of the 10,000 places in the scheme had been filled.

It works by having the Government guarantee the loans of people who buy their first homes on small deposits, eliminating the need for costly lender's mortgage insurance.

Under the extension to the scheme, price caps will also be raised, reflecting the fact new builds are generally more expensive.

Whereas previously houses worth up to $700,000 in Sydney were covered under the scheme, houses worth up to $950,000 will now be covered.

The upper cap for Melbourne will now be $850,000, while in Brisbane the cap will increase to $650,000.

To be eligible, home buyers must work through one of 27 participating lenders.

It comes as the Government prepares to hand down the Federal Budget on Tuesday.

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

AGED CARE
Aged care sector welcomes royal commission report on coronavirus response, but one advocate calls it underdone
Key points:
A man whose mother died in an aged care home says the report shows the system was not prepared
One advocate says the report was an "indictment" of the Government and regulators
Peak bodies are pleased access to hospital care and visitors in aged care facilities have been identified as key issues

The Aged Care Royal Commission's special report on the response to COVID-19 has been well received by peak bodies representing providers and older Australians, but one prominent advocate says the report should have gone further.

"I think it's a really good report," said Pat Sparrow, chief executive of Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), which represents not-for-profit aged care providers.

"It picks up the key recommendations and issues that, you know, certainly a number of our members who are on the … frontline every day in terms of battling COVID have been raising with us."

The special report made six recommendations regarding the response in aged care to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck has already said the Government accepts all the recommendations.

Ms Sparrow said it was particularly gratifying to see the Royal Commission recommend funding to ensure adequate staff to allow continued visits to people living in aged care.

"This recommendation around making sure that there is support and that providers are funded to be able to do this is really important," she said.

The royal commission heard evidence about the impact of cutting residents off from visitors.

"COVID-19 has seen a large increase in depression, anxiety and confusion," the report said.

"The risk of suicide in residential aged care has increased."

Lack of plan an 'indictment' of Government and regulators
Chief Advocate for National Seniors Australia, Ian Henschke, said the report said the industry needed to ensure that people in aged care could get visitors.

"It confirms what we've been saying and that was that there were unnecessary lockdowns keeping people out of aged care facilities," he said.

One recommendation in the report calls for the establishment of a national aged care plan for COVID-19, to be run through the National Cabinet with input from the aged care sector.

"That's a bit of a heads-must-roll recommendation," said prominent aged care advocate Lynda Saltarelli from Aged Care Crisis.

"The recommendation for a national aged care plan for COVID, that's pretty much an indictment of the regulators and Government.

"I mean, almost a year into the pandemic and we still don't have a national plan."

Labor's aged care spokeswoman Julie Collins said the Government now needed to act quickly to implement the report's recommendations.

"The royal commission has said this needs to be done by 1 December, the Government has eight weeks to get this right and to fix it," she said.

"There is a lot of public concern about whether or not the Minister and the Government are up to the task of fixing this within the time frame specific by the royal commission."

Spiros Vasilakis, whose mother died during the COVID-19 outbreak at St Basil's home in Melbourne, shared that assessment.

"The finding was that the aged care system was not prepared," he said.

"What I and others who have lost loved ones — even those, you know, currently, have said for a long time they weren't prepared.

"This is despite being told that they had all the PPE ready to go. How is it that they weren't prepared?"
Ms Saltarelli called the report "a little bit underdone" — largely because none of the recommendations addressed the failings of the federal regulator, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

"Since the start of a pandemic, they visited just 30 of the 220 nursing homes with coronavirus outbreaks. That's like just over 10 per cent. So there was nothing in any of their recommendations to address the shortcomings," she said.

"At the least, they could have made recommendations such as the regulatory framework, [they] could have mandated more visits."

Government urged to act now report is out
The special report says: "Now is not the time for blame … however the nation needs to know what lessons have been and can still be learnt."
One of those lessons is to establish clarity when outbreaks occur in aged care homes.

The royal commission heard evidence there was no agreement about whether residents diagnosed with COVID-19 should be transferred to hospital or stay in the aged care residence.

"There is no one size fits all," the report said.

But it also stated that equal access to the hospital system is the fundamental right of all Australians young or old regardless of where they lived.

"We're really pleased to see today that the royal commission has picked up on the issue of the need for older Australians to have equal access to hospital care," ACSA chief Pat Sparrow said.

"We think that's really important for the individual older person, for them to get the care and support that they need, but also to help us to try and minimise or stop the spread in facilities where there may be another hundred people living."

The special report also recommended the deployment of infection control specialists to aged care homes to train and assist staff.

Mr Henschke said now that the report has been delivered, it was clear what the Government had to do.

"The Prime Minister called the royal commission because he said he wanted to restore faith in the system," Mr Henschke said.

"The royal commission is telling him how to do it. It's up to the Government to then put the resources there, both in manpower and money, to make it happen."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-02/ ... s/12723648

Federal Government promises action after aged care report
The recommendations from the Aged Care Royal Commission's report into the sector's handling of the pandemic have been well received across the industry, but there are fears the Government won't act quickly enough to fix the problems.

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

Why you shouldn't believe those social media posts about the 'true' COVID-19 death rate
CoronaCheck is RMIT ABC Fact Check's weekly email newsletter dedicated to fighting the misinformation infodemic surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

You can read the latest edition below, and subscribe to have the next newsletter delivered straight to your inbox.

CoronaCheck #41
In this week's newsletter, we return to an example of what Fact Check calls "zombie claims": that is, claims that refuse to die. In this case, it's the suggestion that the "true" COVID-19 death rate is far lower than reported, with most casualties supposedly dying of other causes.

We've also debunked a photo purporting to show Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews flouting his own rules, and have checked a claim from former prime minister Tony Abbott, who suggested Melbourne's lockdown was the strictest in the world outside of Wuhan.

Another week, another claim about the 'true' COVID-19 death rate
With the world surpassing more than 1 million COVID-19 deaths, claims that the "true" death rate of the disease is far lower than officially reported continue to circulate.

In the latest example, a post shared on Facebook declares that a Federal Government report "proves with its own evidence the 29 August deaths were not 600".

"The true COVID deaths are only 54!", states the post, which was shared by a user known as "Political Posting Mumma" who has 20,000 followers.

The image points to a page of the Government's 22nd COVID-19 Epidemiology Report, which supposedly indicates that just 9 per cent of reported COVID deaths were actually caused by the disease.
Image
This image misrepresents the findings of a government report.

But that's not what the report shows.

The page of the report cited in the post does not refer to COVID-19 deaths. Rather, it discusses COVID-19 cases admitted to Australian hospitals, either in general wards or intensive care units.

For those cases, the report found all but 9 per cent suffered from one or more comorbidities in addition to COVID-19.

Referring to COVID-19 deaths, a table in the report shows that 80 per cent of patients who died in hospital, and for whom data was available, had suffered one or more comorbidities.

When a similar claim about over-reported deaths went viral in the US a few weeks ago, fact checkers found that although COVID-19 was listed on death certificates as the sole cause of death in just 6 per cent of fatalities attributed to the virus, that didn't mean the coronavirus didn't cause or contribute to the remaining 94 per cent of deaths.

As FactCheck.org explained, death certificates list "any causes or conditions" that contribute to a person's death.

"In the case of COVID-19, the disease often causes other serious conditions, such as pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome," the fact checkers said.

"The underlying cause of death, however, is the condition that started the chain of events that led to a person's death."

A spokesman for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told FactCheck.org that in 92 per cent of all deaths that mention COVID-19, the coronavirus was listed as the underlying cause of death.

"So, it's misleading to say that 94 per cent of those who died with COVID-19 also had other ailments without explaining that the disease causes other serious illnesses. And it's wrong to claim that only 6 per cent of the recorded COVID-19 deaths were caused by the disease," the fact checkers concluded.


How does Melbourne's lockdown compare with the rest of the world?
Speaking in London earlier this month, former prime minister Tony Abbott claimed coronavirus restrictions in Victoria constituted the "most severe lockdown tried anywhere in the world outside of Wuhan itself".

Fact Check this week found Mr Abbott's claim to be wrong.

Many governments adopted individual policies similar to Victoria's such as curfews and stay-home orders.

Some rules were even stricter. For example, Spain and Argentina banned outdoor exercise entirely while Israel limited walks to within 100 metres of home.

Meanwhile, Chile allowed only twice-weekly shopping trips, and both South Africa and India banned the sale of alcohol.

And whereas New Zealand prohibited takeaway food and drinks, Victorians could at least still visit their local cafe to pick up a coffee.

Nor was Melbourne alone when it came to quarantining buildings, with the German city of Göttingen and a number of Indian cities sealing off apartment blocks.

Additionally, at the time of Mr Abbott's claim, Victoria had not had the longest lockdown. Melburnians had by then spent 31 days under the state's toughest stage 4 restrictions.

By contrast, residents of greater Buenos Aires had been stuck at home for 166 days straight. Santiago's lockdown lasted 94 days — and was even longer for seniors.

Nine countries had kept strict, countrywide stay-home orders in place for at least 50 days running. That included Honduras, whose lockdown stretched for 159 days.

According to a comparative "stringency index" developed by academics at Oxford University, 14 countries achieved the maximum possible score for the overall severity of their lockdowns.

While smaller jurisdictions such as Victoria are not included on the index, Fact Check has calculated that the state's coronavirus restrictions would not have fallen within the maximum range.

By Fact Check's reckoning, 37 countries scored the same as — or higher than — Victoria at various times during the pandemic.

Of those, 21 had sustained those scores for longer than Victoria's stage 4 lockdown when Mr Abbott made his claim.

Image

From Washington, D.C.
US fact checkers spent a sleepless Tuesday night running the rule over myriad claims from the first US presidential debate between incumbent Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden ahead of the November 3 election.

On the topic of the coronavirus, PolitiFact found that a claim from Joe Biden regarding Mr Trump's handling of the pandemic lacked context.

While Mr Biden claimed the President had "no plan" for the pandemic, the fact checkers found that while public health experts have said Mr Trump did not have a plan for national coronavirus testing, his administration had announced a plan for distributing vaccines.

Meanwhile, a claim from the President that his campaign rallies had not had a "negative effect" in regards to COVID-19 was rated false by the New York Times.

"At least eight campaign staff members who helped plan President Trump's indoor rally in June in Tulsa, [Oklahoma], including members of the Secret Service, tested positive for the coronavirus, either before the rally or after attending," the Times said.

The Times also found Mr Trump falsely claimed the Obama administration's response to swine flu (H1N1) was a "disaster" and that his assertion that "we are weeks away from a vaccine" went against the advice of top health officials, who say a widely-available jab is months away.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-02/ ... e/12721210

The countries winning the COVID battle (and those still losing)
Through the month of September, just ended, 23 countries recorded zero deaths. That’s up from 21 in August.

Another 29 nations recorded deaths at a rate lower than one per million inhabitants, and 28 others kept deaths below three per million.

Countries with the pandemic under control — if we take deaths below three per million as our benchmark — reached 80 in September. That’s up from 74 in August. Total deaths globally in September were 158,543, down from 173,778 in August.

So the world is definitely making progress, with some regions doing much better than others.

Europe
Most European nations bordering Italy which were devastated in March and April now have the virus controlled. Deaths per million in September were 7.8 in Switzerland, 6.8 in Italy, 5.5 in Ireland and just 2.4 in Germany. All of these copped deaths per million per month above 70 in April. Ireland and Italy were above 230.

Not all of Europe was so fortunate. France suffered badly in September with 1,321 deaths at twenty per million and Spain even worse with 2,697 deaths at 58 per million.

The Americas
The most glaring revelation from September’s data is that the Americas — North, South and Central — are now far and away the worst-hit part the world.

Total deaths worldwide in September were 158,543. Just six American nations — with 9.9% of the world’s population — accounted for more than half of these.

They were the USA (24,134 deaths), Brazil (22,581), Mexico (13,005), Argentina (8,439), Colombia (6,634) and Ecuador (4,799). Of the 16 countries with the most deaths per million, 13 were in the Americas.

Data reliability
The best information we have available is from Worldometers, which each day updatestotal infections, active cases, deaths, recoveries and tests completed. The data there is, of course, only as reliable as the agencies in each source country. We must accept that several nations cannot report infections and deaths accurately, including some which showed zero deaths in September.

These include poor African countries Burundi, Eritrea and Niger which have basic health facilities, and China which, with 1.44 billion people spread across 9.6 million square kilometres, seems unlikely to have had no deaths at all.

So for deeper analysis, we shall focus again — as we did here a month ago — on the 54 countries classified by the UN Development Program as very highly developed.

Leading nations worldwide
Of these advanced nations, the five which survived September without a coronavirus fatality were Estonia, Iceland and Luxembourg in Europe, and Singapore and Taiwan in Asia. Two kept deaths below one per million: Malaysia with nine deaths and New Zealand with three.

Other nations to keep deaths below three per million were Finland, Latvia, Cyprus, Norway, Lithuania, Germany and Slovakia in Europe, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong in Asia and Uruguay in South America.

Worst outcomes among advanced nations
Only nine nations lost more than 30 citizens per million in September.

Those with deaths between 30 and 70 were Bulgaria, Bahrain, Oman, Spain, Romania and Israel.

Just three countries fared worse than 70 deaths per million: the USA (73), Chile (76) and Argentina (186).

Australia below the global median
The surge of infections and deaths in Victoria began in late July and peaked in early September on one disastrous day, September 4, when 59 deaths were recorded.

Fortunately the trajectory has been much more positive since. The seven-day moving average on September 30 was down to just four.

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Australia recorded 234 deaths in September at a rate of 9.2 per million. That is much better than August’s 455 death tally at 17.8 per million, which was an average of 14.7 per day. Of the 54 highly developed countries, Australia ranked 29 th in September, just outside the top half.

The USA still lagging badly
The USA ranked 52nd out of the 54 advanced nations, with 23,134 deaths at a rate of 73 per million. Only Chile (1452 deaths at 76 per million) and Argentina (8439 deaths at 186 per million) had worse rates.

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September confirms that most governments which are following the science, speaking the truth to their citizens and implementing appropriate preventative and remedial strategies are making progress. But not all. Random surges are still bedeviling several nations, despite their best efforts.

Those regimes not yet following the science, not being straight with their people and not implementing the recommended policies are experiencing serious and worsening outcomes.

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Was Tony Abbott right when he called Victoria’s lockdown the toughest outside of Wuhan?
htImage
The claim
Critics of Victoria’s COVID-19 lockdown have argued the rules are too strict, reaping benefits insufficient to justify the freedoms lost.

On September 1, 2020, during a speech in London, former prime minister Tony Abbott labelled Victoria a “health dictatorship” and called for restrictions to be eased to afford people more personal responsibility.

Abbott then said the Victorian government’s “extraordinary ineptitude” in managing its hotel quarantine system had produced the biggest outbreak in Australia so far, “responded to with the most severe lockdown tried anywhere in the world outside of Wuhan itself”.

So, barring Wuhan, China, is Victoria’s lockdown the toughest attempted anywhere in the world?

The verdict
Abbott’s claim is wrong.

Many governments adopted individual policies similar to Victoria’s such as curfews and stay-home orders.

Some rules were even stricter. For example, Spain and Argentina banned outdoor exercise entirely while Israel limited walks to within 100 metres of home.

Meanwhile, Chile allowed only twice-weekly shop visits, and both South Africa and India banned the sale of alcohol.

And whereas New Zealand prohibited takeaway food and drinks, Victorians could at least still visit their local cafe to pick up a coffee.

According to a comparative “stringency index” developed by academics at Oxford University, 14 countries achieved the maximum possible score for the overall severity of their lockdowns.

While smaller jurisdictions such as Victoria are not included on the index, Fact Check has calculated that it would not have reached the maximum.

By Fact Check’s reckoning, 37 countries scored the same as or higher than Victoria at various times during the pandemic.

Of those, 21 had sustained those scores for longer than Victoria’s stage 4 lockdown when Abbott made his claim.

Victoria’s response
Abbott said Victoria responded to its second wave outbreak with the “most severe lockdown” tried outside Wuhan, where Chinese officials were reportedly seen welding residents’ front doors shut to contain the virus.

Victoria initially imposed restrictions on March 30 and eased them on June 1. Within weeks, cases start to balloon.

In response, the state government ordered residents in several hotspot Melbourne suburbs to stay home from July 1, before extending restrictions to all of Melbourne and regional Mitchell Shire from July 9.

The state entered its strictest lockdown at 6pm on August 2, with Melbourne moving to “stage 4” and all of regional Victoria moving to “stage 3” (from midnight on August 5).

Under stage 4 restrictions, residents could leave home only for work, exercise, buying essentials, or giving and receiving care.

Travel was limited to 5km from home unless absolutely necessary, exercise limited to one hour per day, and shop visits restricted to one person per household per day.

However, exercise could be done with one other person, and though home visits were banned, exceptions applied for “compassionate reasons” and visiting partners.

Even stricter rules applied between 8pm and 5am, during which time the only reasons to leave the house were work, caregiving or medical care.

Schools and childcare centres were closed to all but a few children, and many businesses were forced to close or reduce their staffing, with specific rules issued for each industry.

Still, retail stores remained open for “click and collect” services,while customers could still visit cafes and restaurants for takeaway food and coffee.

Locking down buildings
Abbott referred to the most severe lockdown tried anywhere in the world.

Arguably Victoria’s most severe measure was announced on July 4, when police surprised residents of nine public housing towers with an immediate lockdown “at all times” that, for some, would last two weeks.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the “complete” lockdown meant there would “be no reason for any of those residents to leave their home”.

Locking down individual buildings is not unique to Victoria, however. In Germany, local authorities quarantined 700 residents of an apartment block in the city of Göttingenfor a week while they were tested for COVID-19, sparking clashes with police.

India instituted a system of containment zones allowing authorities to “seal” individual buildings or floors. On the day of Abbott’s claim, nearly 6,300 buildings were sealed in Mumbai alone.

Fact Check has considered India’s lockdown in more detail, further below.

Limiting movement
On other measures, too, Melbourne’s stage 4 rules were not exceptional.

Many governments established nightly curfews during the pandemic, including South Africa, Nigeria, India, Thailand, Chile, Sri Lanka and the US city of Miami.

Exceptions for 24-hour stay-home orders varied between countries, but Victoria’s 5km limit for an hour of exercise was far from the strictest. In Israel, for example, walks were only permitted “for a short time” within 100 metres of home.

In Spain, children were not allowed outside to exercise for six weeks. It was even longer for adults, though exceptions were made for dog walking.

Similarly, Argentina banned outdoor exercise for more than a month, eventually allowing walks within a 500 metre limit.

Fact Check has also taken a closer look at Argentina’s restrictions, further below.

Buying ‘essentials’
Some countries cracked down on what Victorians might consider “essential” items, which were still available in Melbourne even during stage 4.

New Zealand banned takeaway coffee and food, for example, unless from petrol stations.

Argentina also prohibited the face-to-face sale of takeaway, meaning cafe visits were not allowed.

India placed a “strict ban” on the sale of alcohol and tobacco. Both South Africa and Nuuk, the capital city of Greenland, banned alcohol sales during the pandemic too.

And, when it came to grocery shopping, Victorians were at least permitted one visit per day.

The same couldn’t be said for Chile, where people in lockdown required permits to go out, and were only allowed two supermarket visits per week.

The full effect?
Fact Check has also examined data from the Coronavirus Government Response Tracker, published by Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government, to assess the overall severity of restrictions tried around the world.

The tracker covers 185 countries and includes a “stringency index” that seeks to quantify the combined strictness of policies over time.

Toby Phillips, Head of Research and Policy with Digital Pathways at Oxford, told Fact Check the tracker relied on official government sources as a “first preference” but also sourced information from international media reports where these were unavailable.

The tracker awards each country an overall stringency score based on indicators for nine policy areas; for example, school closures, travel restrictions or stay-home requirements.

Each indicator receives a mark out of 100, with the results averaged to produce the final score.

Notably, these indicators reflect the most stringent policy adopted anywhere in the country. If a policy only applies to part of the country — for example, an individual state — the indicator is “weighted lower” when calculating the overall index score.

The tracker necessarily adopts a limited range of indicators and scores that capture the nuance of some countries’ restrictions better than others.

How would Victoria score?
While Abbott compared the rest of the world with Victoria, the tracker only gives a score to Australia as a whole.

Phillips said that if state-level data were assessed, “the Victoria-only score would be higher [than Australia’s] because there would be no downward adjustment to reflect non-lockdown states”.

At the time of Abbott’s claim, Australia’s highest score to-date was 79.2, recorded in August when Victoria implemented stage 4 restrictions. Before Victoria’s second outbreak, the peak for Australia was 73.2, recorded during April.

Fact Check has applied the tracker’s methodology to calculate a score for Victoria, finding its stage 4 restrictions would have scored 94.4.

This reflects maximum scores as follows:

Closing all levels of schools;
Forcing all non-essential workers to work from home;
Cancelling public events;
Restricting gatherings to 10 people or less;
Requiring people to stay home, with minimal exceptions;
Restricting movement within Melbourne and Victoria;
Banning international travel
Running a coordinated public information campaign.
The state did not achieve a maximum score for public transport restrictions as its operations were reduced but not shut down.

chart© Provided by Crikey
How does it compare?
Since Abbott compared Victoria’s lockdown to those “tried” anywhere in the world, Fact Check has analysed all scores since the start of the pandemic.

By September 1, the data shows, 31 countries had surpassed Victoria’s maximum, while another six countries had matched it.

Those 31 countries included New Zealand, with a score of 96.3, and 14 countries whose stringency scores reached 100 — the maximum possible.

chart© Provided by Crikey
Whose lasted longer?
Fact Check has also analysed the stringency data to show the duration of these lockdowns.

Before Abbott made his claim, Andrews said he expected stage 4 restrictions to last for at least six weeks.

At the time of Abbott’s claim, 21 countries had sustained their strictest measures for longer than Melbourne’s 31 days of stage 4 lockdown.

chart© Provided by Crikey
Duration of stay-home orders
Looking only at stay-home measures, many countries outlasted Victoria when it came to the tracker’s rating for “minimal exceptions” for going outside.

It shows Honduras had these restrictions in place for 159 days straight.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan spent a total of 103 days with strict stay-home rules, including stretches of 50 and 48 days.

By contrast, when Abbott made his claim, Melbourne’s toughest stage 4 restrictions had been in place for 31 days.

As noted, the tracker’s score for each country reflects the strictest measures in force anywhere in the territory.

While this score is adjusted when the geographic scope is limited, for example to a single state, the tracker does not show whether that was always the same part of the country over time.

For this reason, Fact Check has limited its comparison of the duration data to countries whose measures applied nationwide.

That means the numbers do not cover stay-home orders in particular regions or cities.

In Chile, for example, the capital Santiago was placed under “quarantine” for 94 days from May 15. Nationwide, people aged over 75 were placed under “preventive quarantine” for 109 days.

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What happened in Argentina?
Argentina offers an example of how other countries imposed restrictions at least as severe as those in Victoria — and, in some cases, for much longer.

In March, the government ordered all Argentinians to remain at home for a period of “social, preventive and compulsory isolation”.

This meant residents could only leave the house for “minimal and essential trips” for food, medicines and cleaning supplies.

Shopping centres and non-essential businesses were closed, though some retailers continued to operate, such as suppliers of fuels and hardware.

While Melburnians could drive within their five kilometre limit, only exempted groups in Argentina could use the roads.

Local public transport continued for essential workers only, subject to a 60% cap on passenger capacity, and long distance transport services were suspended.

Schools and childcare centres were also closed.

Restaurants could offer takeaway services but, unlike in Melbourne, this was restricted to delivery only, with face-to-face services prohibited.

Notably, outdoor exercise was banned for the first five weeks of lockdown (March 20 to April 26). The rules were eventually adjusted to accommodate one-hour walks — but only between 8am and 8pm and within 500 metres of home.

Even then, running and cycling was not permitted in Buenos Aires. Children in the capital had to wait several more weeks before they were allowed outside, on either Saturdays or Sundays.

Though local authorities relaxed some restrictions during May and June, they were quickly rolled back.

At the time of Abbott’s claim, residents in the capital had remained under stay-home orders for 166 days in a row.

What happened in India?
India went into a nationwide lockdown on March 24 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that “from midnight tonight, a complete ban is being imposed on people from stepping out of their homes”.

Police in the capital New Delhi explained that people were “required to stay home and come out only for basic needs within the vicinity of their residence”.

Under the national guidelines, all schools and non-essential businesses were forced to close or arrange for staff to work from home.

Food and grocery stores continued to operate, though the guidelines suggested district authorities could “encourage and facilitate home delivery to minimise the movement of individuals outside their homes”.

At the same time, “all transport services” were suspended by the national government, including travel by air, rail and metro, as well as interstate movement by road, with few exceptions. Private buses, taxis and rickshaws were also banned, the Delhi Police said.

Meanwhile, funerals could go ahead with strict 20 person limits, but all other gatherings were prohibited.

India’s government stipulated that states could not “dilute” the national rules but “could impose stricter measures” depending on local requirements. This saw local police arresting people for taking a walk or going for runs.

Later, when the lockdown was extended, the national government placed a strict ban on selling alcohol and tobacco.

As restrictions began to ease in some areas, the government instituted its system of containment zones for sealing off potential outbreaks. These could be virtually any size within a district, the government said, and allow “no movement of population in or out” except for essential services.

Principal researcher: David Campbell, with Sonam Thomas

factcheck@rmit.edu.au

Sources
Tony Abbott, Policy Exchange speech transcript, September 1, 2020
Tony Abbott, Policy Exchange Q&A, September 1, 2020
Four Corners, How the deadly epidemic sparked a global emergency, February 24, 2020
DHHS Victoria, Coronavirus update, March 30, 2020
ABC Story Innovation Team, Charting the COVID-19 spread in Australia; accessed September 14, 2020
Daniel Andrews, Statement from the Premier, May 24, 2020
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Daniel Andrews, Statement from the Premier, July 7, 2020
Daniel Andrews, Statement on changes to Melbourne’s restrictions, August 2, 2020
DHHS Victoria, Stage 3 restrictions, August 31, 2020
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DHHS Victoria, Coronavirus update, July 4, 2020
DHHS Victoria, Coronavirus update, July 18, 2020
Daniel Andrews, Coronavirus update press conference, July 4, 2020 (2:45)
Gottingen Government, Media release (building complex quarantined), June 18, 2020
Gottingen Government, Media release (quarantine expires at midnight), June 25, 2020
Indian Press Information Bureau, Press release on lockdown extension, May 1, 2020
Indian Express, Containment zones explainer, July 3, 2020
Greater Mumbai Public Health Department, COVID-19 daily update, September 1, 2020
Cyril Ramaphosa, Presidential statement, July 12, 2020
US Mission Nigeria, Health alert: phase two of lockdown begins, June 2, 2020
Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, Order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A), June 29, 2020
Government of Thailand, Press statement on curfew, April, 2020
UK Foreign Office, Travel advice for Chile, archived July 21, 2020
Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry, Declaration of police curfew, March 20, 2020
Miami-Dade County Government, Statement announcing curfew, July 2, 2020
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Spanish Palace, Royal decree 463/2020 (state of alarm), March 14, 2020
Spanish Palace, Latest announcements, April 25, 2020
Spanish Government, Guidelines for animals during the pandemic, accessed September 2020
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Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, Revised guidelines for 40-3/2020, April 15, 2020
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Embassy of Malaysia in Santiago, Instructions for transit permits Chile, June 12, 2020
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Chilean Ministry of Family and Social Development, Statement, May 15, 2020
First Lady of Argentina, Statement, August 30, 2020
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ONE-WAY AUS-NZ BUBBLE
Australia opens borders between New Zealand and NSW, Northern Territory as coronavirus restrictions ease
Key points:
New South Wales and the Northern Territory will accept New Zealand arrivals from October 16
The Federal Government says the move is stage 1 in a more comprehensive travel bubble
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern says it is still too early to let Australians into New Zealand

Australia has finalised a deal for a limited travel bubble that would allow people from New Zealand to travel to New South Wales and the Northern Territory, with flights across the Tasman expected to resume in a fortnight.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke to his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern earlier Friday, agreeing that New Zealanders could visit the jurisdictions from October 16.

However, Ms Ardern is yet to agree to allow Australians into New Zealand, and has warned Kiwis eager to visit Australia they may still have to quarantine upon their return.

Announcing the news, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said stage 1 of a travel zone with New Zealand would see one-way quarantine-free travel into NSW and the NT.

"This is the first stage in what we hope to see as a trans-Tasman bubble between the two countries, not just that state and that territory," he said.

"This will allow New Zealanders and other residents in New Zealand who have not been in an area designated as a COVID-19 hotspot in New Zealand in the preceding 14 days to travel quarantine-free."Mr McCormack said the Government was hopeful travel arrangements would be expanded, saying states and territories that agreed to the Commonwealth's hotspot definition would be able to participate.

"South Australia are very close to agreeing to these terms and agreeing to be the next jurisdiction to come on board," he said.

"They will certainly probably be the next cab off the rank."

For the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic read our coronavirus live blog.
Under the hotspot definition employed by the Government, an area in New Zealand will be allowed if it has a rolling three-day average of fewer than three cases per day.

By allowing New Zealanders coming into NSW and the NT to skip hotel quarantine, Mr McCormack said an additional 325 spaces in Australia's quarantine capacity would be freed up.

'Still too early' for quarantine-free travel to NZ: Ardern
Mr McCormack said the ball was in New Zealand's court as to whether Australians, or New Zealanders returning from their Australian visit, would be allowed in without quarantine.

"I know if Jacinda Ardern wants to have Australians going into New Zealand, that will be up to her," Mr McCormack said.

"I know Prime Ministers Morrison and Ardern have had those discussions, it's very much in Prime Minister Ardern's court at the moment."

Speaking earlier, Ms Ardern said it was still too early to allow entries into New Zealand from Australia.

"We have resisted that because we want to keep New Zealanders safe," she said.

"We will not open the borders for quarantine-free travel with Australia until it is safe to do so, because doing it too early risks losing all of the freedoms that we already have in our economy."
She also warned people eager to make the trip across the ditch they may still have to quarantine upon returning home.

"I want New Zealanders to keep in mind that even if Australia may open up borders one-way so Kiwis can go there without quarantine, it does not mean that they won't have to go into quarantine on return," she said.

"At this stage they will."

Mr McCormack said allowing New Zealanders into Australia could assist with farming and agriculture sectors, suggesting fruit pickers and shearers who come to Australia could find love on the homestead.

"Shearers may well avail themselves of this because we've got a wool clip that's needing to be shorn, we've got work to be done with agriculture if that opportunity is there too and as I said the other day, they might even come over here and find love," he said.

'The fish are biting and the beers are cold': New Zealanders will be able to travel to New South Wales and the Northern Territory from October 16
* New Zealanders will be able to travel to New South Wales and the Northern Territory from October 16.
* Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack made the announcement on Friday, suggesting it could be a first step to a two-way travel bubble including more Australian states and territories.
* Travellers from New Zealand will be required to not have been in a hot spot for the past 14 days.

People living in New Zealand who have not been in an area designated as a COVID-19 hot spot will be able to travel to New South Wales and the Northern Territory from October 16 under a new arrangement.

"Today, I'm announcing the first stage of this arrangement, under which quarantine free travel will be possible from New Zealand to New South Wales and the Northern Territory from Friday 16 October," said Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack in a press conference on Friday afternoon.

Under the arrangement, New Zealand residents who have not been in a hot spot in the preceding 14 days will be able to enter New South Wales and the Northern Territory without having to quarantine.

The working definition of hot spot agreed upon by the jurisdictions is more than three cases for three successive days.

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https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-02/ ... a/12726228



BUSHFIRE SEASON IS UPON US - BE PREPARED
Australians urged to have bushfire survival plan ready to go
With this year's bushfire season already upon us, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud is urging everyone to be prepared.

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LONG WEEKEND - SCHOOL HOLIDAYS PETROL PRICE EXTORTION IS BACK
Motorists across Australia have been warned to brace for a painful hike in petrol prices just in time for the long weekend.

Fuel prices are likely to surge from Friday onwards as New South Wales, the ACT, South Australia and Queensland prepare to have Monday off.

Corporate Communications Manager at Royal Automobile Club of Queensland Renee Smith described the hike as 'painful' and told Daily Mail Australia 'the timing couldn't be worse'.

'With Monday being the public holiday and border restrictions easing, plenty of people want to hit the road and the prices have gone up at the same time.'

Ms Smith said petrol was the most expensive in Adelaide but on the rise in Sydney and Brisbane.

'Brisbane and Sydney are in the hike phase so prices are going up and we're seeing some servos charging up near $1.50 a litre.

'That's a huge difference when you compare it to the other end of the scale where there is some cheap fuel still left closer to $1 a litre,' she explained.

Ms Smith warned drivers to carefully choose where they fill up their cars.

'It's really important that motorists are paying attention to what the servos are charging and not assuming they're all charging the same.'

She also slammed Coles Express petrol stations for leading the hike in fuel prices.

'A few of the servos go first and the rest follow when it comes to jacking up those prices and Coles Express is one of the first to go,' Ms Smith explained.

She advised motorists to use petrol pricing apps to avoid overspending on fuel.

'The best bet is to log on to one of the many apps that are out there, with real time fuel pricing data you can see exactly what all the servos are charging.

'That's going to be the easiest way to make sure you don't get ripped off.'

Ms Smith said the best strategy was to use common sense.

'Motorists should avoid those servos where they're ripping them off, pay attention to what you're being charged and if it's over $1.40 a litre don't fill up there,' she said.

NSW, ACT and South Australia will be celebrating Labour Day on Monday while Queensland will mark the Queen's Birthday.

A Coles spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia the petrol prices at Coles Express are managed by Viva Energy.

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TAXABLE WORK EXPENSES RELATED TO COVID19
Coronavirus lockdowns spur rise in work expense claims for face masks and hand sanitiser
With just a month left to get your tax return in on time ( IN AUSTRALIA AND ALSO IN NZ ) , accountants are reporting a dramatic increase in claims for working from home, but they warn many people may be seriously short-changing their refunds.

More Australians are attempting to claim the cost of furnishing their home office, as well as equipment to protect against COVID-19 including face masks and hand sanitiser.

But accountants are warning people to think twice before using the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO's) 80 cents per hour shortcut method, which has now been extended until the end of the year, as it may result in lower tax refunds.

In April, in response to more people working from home due to the coronavirus crisis, the ATO announced people could claim 80 cents per hour for all their running expenses, rather than needing to calculate costs for specific running expenses.

Taxpayers still have the choice to use the old method, known as the 52 cents per work hour method, to calculate the work-related portion of specific items such as phone and internet expenses, computer consumables, stationery and the decline in value of a computer, laptop or similar device.

But accountants say people could potentially double their tax refund if they keep using the old method, rather than the shortcut.

"In many cases, this rate will not produce the best deduction for taxpayers who may have incurred considerable costs on buying office equipment, heating their home office, using personal mobile phones and home internet," H&R Block's Mark Chapman said.

"They are losing out on valuable deductions that they could have claimed."

He noted a typical claim using the shortcut method — for someone who worked from home full-time from mid-March — was about $450, but the taxpayer could easily double that if they used the existing 52 cent per hour method instead.

"The shortcut method doesn't include things like mobile phone and home internet, which can be claimed separately," he said.

"Or they could multiply it four-fold if they used the 'actual method', which involves claiming the work-related proportion of each individual expense."

How one claim went from $550 to $1,850
Pilot Partners director Kristy Baxter agreed the shortcut method may not be the best way for people to maximise their working from home deductions.

"Using the shortcut method can severely limit working from home deductions," Ms Baxter said.

"One client we assisted worked from home from March 1 to June 30 and advised us that they wanted to use the 'shortcut method' which equated to an approximate deduction of $550.

"Upon further questioning, we discovered that they did have a dedicated home office and had also purchased a new computer, a second computer screen, a new chair and paid for internet and phone which they used for both work and private purposes.

"When we calculated the total cost of all of this using the 'fixed-rate' method, their actual deduction was approximately $1,850, which is significantly higher than the deduction under the 'shortcut method'."

She said if the taxpayer has a dedicated work area, the 'fixed rate' method allows a claim of 52 cents per hour for working from home and also a percentage of phone and internet, stationery and computer consumables and decline in value on any computer equipment.

The other method that they can go with is the 'actual cost' method. This does not require the individual to have a dedicated work area.

"Being based on actual costs, there is no set rate allowed per hour," Ms Baxter said.

"However, it allows a claim for all the other expenses under the set rate method, plus decline in value of office furnishings used for working from home, and also potentially your electricity and gas usage for the appliances used for working from home and cleaning costs for the dedicated work area."

Rise in home office and electronics claims
Mr Chapman said while many people were self-lodging via MyTax, accountants were seeing a massive surge in interest in the items that people can claim and the best way to claim.

He said the rise in work-related expense claims was to be expected given many people were working from home, especially in Melbourne and regional Victoria where people are still under heavy coronavirus restrictions.

He said there was a huge increase in people claiming purchases of office furniture and equipment such as chairs, desks and computers.

Electricity bills were also a big feature, with more claims for heating and lighting the home office, as well as mobile phone and home internet costs.

"The other most queried deduction this year is equipment to protect against COVID-19 — lots of people [are] looking to claim face masks, hand sanitiser, surface spray," Mr Chapman said.

"In many cases, those claims are legitimate, particularly where the taxpayer is in a role that involves close contact with others, such as hospitality, retail, medical, beauty, hairdressing or teaching."

Chartered Accountants tax leader Michael Croker said many employers were now receiving requests for a more extensive range of home office equipment.

"Employees realise they'll be working from home for a longer than expected period, so they're deciding to really revamp-up home spaces into a more office-like environment," Mr Croker said.

He said people were claiming ergonomic desks, office chairs, a range of electronic office equipment and NBN upgrades.

But Mr Croker said shared workspaces at home could create complexities in claims.

"For example, spouses, partners or housemates are now working from home, and duplicating claims for support sought from their respective employers," he noted.

He said the question of 'where is home?' was also now more fluid.

"Some well-off employees now have work from home arrangements … involving multiple residences, including a city address and their weekender," he said.

Need good records to make higher claims
The Tax Institute's senior advocate Robyn Jacobson said their members were also reporting a big focus this year on working from home expense claims.

She agreed that people could potentially get higher deductions if actual costs are claimed, but said some people may not have the detailed records that would need to be kept if using the old method.

"There will be complexities when equipment such as a laptop is acquired before March 1," she said.

"Taxpayers should seek advice from a registered tax agent to make sure they get it right."

Tax & Super Australia's tax counsel John Jeffreys also noted that by using the ATO's shortcut method people could not claim other home office-related items, such as technology, desks, monitors and chairs.

"It's a one or the other approach," he said, adding that regardless, people needed to keep good records including diary notes, timesheets and rosters to substantiate hours worked.

"It could be that significantly higher claim by an employee compared to benchmark claims for same hours worked — for example 35 hours a week — would be a red flag to the ATO," Mr Jeffreys said.

Mr Chapman said many people were also confused about the types of items that could be claimed.

He said people were trying to claim things the ATO has previously warned are not claimable such as coffee, tea, toilet paper, their rent or mortgage interest.

Mr Chapman said there had also been a fall in other common deductions this year such as work-related travel, work-related car use and laundry claims.

"Most of [these claims] stopped around mid-March when people started working from home," Mr Chapman said.

PAYS TO KEEP EVERY RECIEPT AND INVOICE AND DO YOUR OWN TAX , CLAIMING EVERYTHING REMOTELY ATTRIBUTEABLE TO THE JOB AND NEVER TAKE SHORT CUTS.
https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/markets ... d=msedgdhp

3 OCT FEDERAL

AGE CARE
COVID failures in aged care reveal flaws far beyond a dud minister
he remarkable, deeply depressing special report by the aged care royal commission on the response to the pandemic illustrates the extent to which aged care and the needs of aged care facility residents are simply absent from policymakers’ minds.
Sacking aged care minister Richard Colbeck — a fate richly deserved by a minister who has presided over such colossal and fatal policy failure — won’t even begin to address the problem that key decision makers work without considering the needs of aged care, and the sector experts have no input into the systems of decision making.

Commissioners Tony Pagone and Lynelle Briggs explicitly avoid laying blame for the deaths of — so far — over 650 seniors in residential aged care and the outbreaks that tore first through NSW facilities and then, at a much larger scale, Victorian privately-run facilities.

But they identify huge structural problems in the way people making decisions failed to address the needs of the aged care sector, leaving providers, even with the best will in the world, struggling to stop their residents contracting the disease and dying from it.

The overarching conclusion from the report is that aged care was, in effect, shoehorned into the existing pandemic response, without consideration for the fact that it was the sector most exposed to the risk of infection and death.

COVID-19 is a public health crisis that has disproportionately affected aged care in Australia. Much was made during the hearing of whether there was an aged care-specific plan for COVID-19. There was not a COVID-19 plan devoted solely to aged care. But there was a national COVID-19 plan that the Australian Government sought to adapt and apply to the aged care sector.

But much of the governmental response to the pandemic was made without input from aged care experts or the sector itself.

The Communicable Diseases Network Australia, a sub-committee of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee which has driven health policy advice to national cabinet through the pandemic, released national fuidelines for residential aged care facilities March. This was described by chief health bureaucrat Brendan Murphy as “the fundamental foundational plan” for the sector. But in the view of the commissioners, they were no substitute for a national aged care plan.

Worse, no one on the CDNA has aged care expertise, the commissioners found. And the “guidelines” issued in March proved disastrously inadequate. Anglicare used the guidelines as the basis for self-assessing its preparedness and realised, after the Newmarch House outbreak, that the guidelines weren’t enough. They “caused Newmarch to treat COVID-19 ‘as a flu-like illness’ when in reality it had ‘a lot more of an impact’”.

The AHPPC belatedly released an overhaul of aged care guidelines in late August. The commissioners recommend an advisory body specifically composed of aged care and geriatric medicine specialists to fill what is clearly a major advisory gap for policymakers. The government’s stop-gap, time-limited aged care advisory body set up in August isn’t good enough, the report says.

The guidelines also provided that infected residents should only be transferred to hospital “if their condition warrants”, phrasing now removed entirely from the guidelines. This contributed to the reluctance of NSW Health to accept the need to transfer Newmarch House residents to hospital after they’d become infected, an outcome that almost certainly led to more deaths at that facility. NSW Health preferred to employ “hospital in the home” processes. NSW Health, too, failed — even in the wake of Newmarch House debacle — to seek the input of aged care experts:

On 4 August 2020, NSW Health’s Agency for Clinical Innovation released a guideline entitled Caring for adults with COVID-19 in the home. This document was prepared without consultation with those who had recent experience of Hospital in the Home and without consultation with the aged care sector more generally.

The commission also suggests that whatever lessons were learnt from the NSW outbreaks were not “shared widely before community transmission put people living and working in aged care in Victoria at risk”.

That’s the statement for which Colbeck, and his advisers and senior bureaucrats, should resign forthwith. If the NSW aged care outbreaks were unforeseeable tests of the sector, they at least provided lessons that needed to be learned, and weren’t.

Nor is the failure confined to the minister. The AHPPC “provided no written guidance to the aged care sector in the period between 20 June 2020 and 3 August 2020”.

Nor does the purported regulator, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, emerge with any credit, except that it knew the sector was particularly vulnerable. But its “regulation” was extraordinarily passive: in March, the commission wrote to aged care providers asking them to use an online survey to self-assess their preparedness against the discredited CDNA guidelines. Predictably, 99.5% assessed themselves as ready — indeed, 43% thought they were “best practice”.

The commission also used “assessment contacts by telephone”. Neither the commission nor the Department of Health mandated or recommended the use of face masks in aged care facilities, which would have contributed significantly to lowering infection rates.

From the regulator and the responsible minister, to the health officials driving pandemic policy, to state health departments, the needs of aged care recipients, and the expertise of people working in the sector, appear to have been back of mind at best as residential aged care faced its biggest ever challenge. Hundreds died as a result.

How do we fix the government’s aged care mistakes? Let us know your thoughts by writing to letters@crikey.com.au. Please include your full name to be considered for publication in Crikey’s Your Say section

The post COVID failures in aged care reveal flaws far beyond a dud minister appeared first on Crikey.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:45 am

2 OCT NZ

KIWIS CAN SOON COME TO NSW & NT

NZ residents given green light to travel to NSW, NT
The federal government has today signed a trans-Tasman travel bubble which will allow New Zealand residents to travel to New South Wales and the Northern Territory without being required to quarantine.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack announced the first step of the deal would come into effect from Friday, October 16.

Under the agreement, any New Zealand resident would be allowed to travel to NSW and NT on the proviso they have not been in a declared COVID hotspot in the 14 days prior to leaving.

“I know that New South Wales, Premier Gladys Berejiklian and I know that the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Michael Gunner welcome this indeed,” Mr McCormack said.

“I have just gotten off the phone with Chief Minister Gunner who says the fish are biting and the beers are cold".

He revealed the agreement was open to any other state or territory that enforced travel restrictions which were in line with the Commonwealth hotspot definition.

"Everything we have done, we have taken, we have heeded that advice and we do so again today on the basis that the hot spot definition is robust and proportionate as of course, it has to be, the Commonwealth is comfortable in recommending that these people not be placed in mandatory quarantine," he said.

"I am very pleased that Scott Morrison has been able to arrange this, I know that it will be welcomed with our New Zealand friends and I know that it is certainly being welcomed by those people in New South Wales, in the Northern Territory in particular."

Australia and New Zealand travel bubble is set to open in TWO WEEKS
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The president’s personal agony is also a moment of deep national reckoning
Bushfire threat reduced to Advice for a Far North Queensland town
Daily Mail logoAustralia and New Zealand travel bubble is set to open in TWO WEEKS

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Travellers from New Zealand will be able to fly to Sydney and Darwin without quarantine from 16 October under the first stage of the trans-Tasman travel bubble.

Anyone arriving will have to declare they have not been in a hotspot - defined as place with three Covid-19 daily cases over three days - in the two weeks before their flight.

The agreement will free up 325 Sydney hotel quarantine places for Australians to return from overseas.

What is a hotspot?
As has been announced already, the Australian Government is defining a hotspot using a three-day rolling average of three locally acquired cases per day.

There are currently no COVID-19 hotspots in New Zealand. The last locally acquired case with an unidentified epidemiological source occurred on 21 August 2020. The government is working closely with New Zealand authorities to ensure we are notified promptly of any outbreaks there
.

Any state or territory that imposes travel restrictions consistent with the Australian Government-defined hotspot, as advised by the acting Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, will be able to participate in the Safe Travel Zone.

South Australia is likely to be the next state to sign up to the agreement, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said on Friday.

Mr McCormack said he wanted two-way travel but said no date has been set for when Australians can go to New Zealand.

New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday: 'In our view, we are not ready to have quarantine-free travel with Australia.'

The agreement between the federal government and the NSW and NT governments means Pacific islanders will be able to fly into Australia for work after spending 14 days in New Zealand.

'They can avail themselves of this opportunity, they can come and pick fruit, shear our sheep, fall in love,' Mr McCormack said.

The deputy prime minister said this was the first step in Australia's plan to re-open to the world after the Covid-19 pandemic.

'We may well extend this. We want to open up Australia to the world. This is the first part of it,' he said.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Scott Morrison flagged that flights could next be allowed from Japan, South Korea and Pacific islands such as Fiji.

Mr Morrison said opening up some international travel will be great for tourism businesses.

'New Zealanders being able to travel to Australia - that's good for Australian tourism,' he told 5AA radio.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said: 'The fish are biting and the beers are cold'.

Queensland has refused to sign up to the deal. Mr McCormack said if the Sunshine State agreed then 250 hotel quarantine spots would be freed up for Australians to return home.

This is because people taking these spots from New Zealand would no longer need to quarantine.

Thursday: 'In our view, we are not ready to have quarantine-free travel with Australia'
The prime minister explained states insisting on quarantine for domestic travel would not be included in the bubble.

'We can't have New Zealand tourists coming and taking up those quarantine places in those states,' he said.

Ms Ardern on Thursday wanted Kiwis not to travel to Australia for a holiday.

'I encourage New Zealanders to think about spending their dollars here locally,' she said.

'Even if Australia opens up borders for New Zealanders to go in without quarantine, that doesn't mean that they won't have to go into quarantine on return. At this stage they will.'

Ms Ardern and Mr Morrison have been discussing the return of regular travel across the Tasman for months, though New Zealand's COVID-19 elimination strategy means Ms Ardern is less inclined to open up.

'They have a very different strategy to us, and so they're making that decision and that is their prerogative but for now we of course have to keep New Zealanders safe.'



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

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

EASING OFF COVID RESTRICTIONS
NZ on track to ease COVID-19 restrictions
New Zealand has hit a new COVID-19 milestone, now free of patients in hospital with the virus after its most recent outbreak.

On Friday, health officials announced no new cases either in the community or in managed isolation.

They also reported one person, previously in isolation on a general ward of Auckland's Middlemore hospital, had been discharged.

In June, New Zealand relaxed all restrictions after achieving its goal of elimination.

The virus returned in August, prompting Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to lock down Auckland and slap restrictions on the rest of the country.

The restrictions have curbed the virus once more. There have been no cases outside the Auckland region through that outbreak.

Auckland, which has since relaxed most restrictions, has tallied 179 cases in this outbreak but hasn't seen any new cases in a week.

The new outbreak has seen three more Kiwis lose their lives, bringing the country's death toll to 25.

On Monday, Ms Ardern will hold a cabinet meeting where she is expected to relax all restrictions once more.

That meeting is also the final gathering of her ministers ahead of the October 17 election.

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

3 OCT NZ

SCOMO TOLD NO - NOT SO FAST MATE !
NZ not ready for trans-Tasman bubble
New Zealand will stand strong on its pledge to not open up to Australia for quarantine-free travel until it records a long run without community transmission of COVID-19.

On Friday, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack announced NNW and the Northern Territory would allow Kiwis to bypass the compulsory fortnight of quarantine on arrival from October 16.

New Zealand is yet to reciprocate as it pursues an elimination strategy of the virus.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reiterated one of the chief criteria for New Zealand to allow visitors to skip quarantine would be the origin country or state recording a month without local spread of the virus.

"That's key for us. One of our criteria is 28 days clear," she said.

"You can see from NSW, they themselves are still warning their population but they're not at the stage clear as to whether they still have community transmission.

"So there's a bit of time here for who we would consider it safe to have a two-way quarantine-free travel arrangement."

On Saturday, NSW health authorities announced eight consecutive days without a locally transmitted case, making October 23 the next possible day it could fulfil New Zealand's requirements.

Still, it is unlikely Ms Ardern's government will move on borders that quickly, given other requirements including assurances on border controls, splitting up airports and flights.

"We're not ready," Ms Ardern said, pointing to Queensland's border arrangements and suggesting a go-slow was more in line with her thinking.

"It's not every state (that's opening up) even though there are some other states that have been free of community transmission for longer."

In announcing Australia's shift, Mr McCormack said Kiwis would be welcome to come across, "pick our fruit, shear our sheep, fall in love".

Ms Ardern said while she wanted New Zealanders to holiday at home, helping an embattled domestic tourism industry, Kiwis were welcome to fall in love with Australians.

"Shearing and finding love? Absolutely!", she said.

"I'm not (worried about that). We've had generations worth of New Zealanders and Australians moving between New Zealand and Australia."

On Saturday, NZ health authorities recorded another day without local transmission.

That stretch without community cases is likely to see the government do away with its remaining COVID-19 restrictions after a cabinet decision on Monday.

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

NZ-Australia travel bubble SOON AS IT'S SAFE BOTH WAYS .
A partial trans-Tasman bubble is two weeks away from being launched – but only for NSW and the Northern Territory – allowing New Zealanders to travel to Australia without having to go into quarantine.
South Australia is expected to be the next state to join the bubble.

Kiwis can travel provided they have not been in a COVID-19 hotspot 14 days prior to their travel, and those who opt to travel would need to quarantine on their way back home.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern believes two-way quarantine-free travel would be possible by Christmas.

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
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12567
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Oct 03, 2020 12:21 pm

2 OCTOBER + 3 OCTOBER COMBINED DATA

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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: 12567
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:42 am

4 OCT VIC

Victoria records 12 new coronavirus cases and one further death, concerning uptick in mystery cases
Victoria's Chief Health Officer has expressed concern about an uptick in the number of "mystery" COVID-19 cases, or cases with an unknown source, in the state.

Officials reported 12 new cases on Sunday, with metropolitan Melbourne's 14-day rolling average falling to 11.9, from 12 on Saturday.

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The 14-day average in regional Victoria is at 0.2, up from 0.1 on Saturday.

Six are linked to known outbreaks including three at the Butcher Club at Chadstone Shopping Centre and three at Electra Park Medical Centre in Ashwood.

However, there were 13 mystery cases in Melbourne in the fortnight to October 1, an increase of two from a day earlier.

"Mystery cases … remain a concern with an uptick in the 14-day rolling average," Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said.

Professor Sutton said there were three additional mystery cases not included in Sunday's figures.

Those cases were found in the south-east and west of Melbourne in postcodes 3145, 3023 and 3019.

"One single case of unknown acquisition — we don't know what it represents but it might represent five true cases out there. It might represent 10 or 15 cases out there because we don't know where they got it from," Professor Sutton said.

"It's really a call to arms … anyone in those postcodes should be aware that there's transmission in those postcodes."

The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, has urged people to remain cautious about coronavirus as the weather heats up, with an outbreak at a Melbourne butcher’s shop spreading to a regional area.

Three of the 12 new cases reported in Victoria on Sunday were linked to The Butcher Club in Chadstone, including one person who lives in the Mitchell shire, just north of the metropolitan area. It brings the number of active cases in regional Victoria to three.

Andrews also announced a man in his 80s living in an aged care facility had died, bringing the state’s death toll to 806.

The chief health officer, Prof Brett Sutton, said casual contact or “initiate facilities like the public toilets in Chadstone” contributed to the transmission linked to the butcher.

“So it is a salient lesson,” he said. “People who work closely together can be part of a cluster, and all of their household contacts then become the secondary cases, and then the tertiary cases are where some of those household contacts go to their essential workplaces, again, before potentially they are infectious.”

Six of the new cases are still under investigation and three have been linked to an outbreak at a medical centre in the eastern suburbs.

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

Butcher Club cluster linked to Chadstone Shopping Centre grows
There is one new case in regional Victoria in the Mitchell Shire, which is linked to a cluster at the Butcher Club at Chadstone Shopping Centre. Overall, there are now three active recorded cases outside of Melbourne.

There are now 20 cases linked to Chadstone cluster including six staff, eight household members and two customers.

"And there are four other contacts comprising customers and staff who were present at the centre, but not, as yet, and may not be easily identified as a link to the Butcher Club," Professor Sutton said.

He said the suspicion was that the four cases at the shopping centre would be linked to the Butcher Club.

"And it might be, again, super spreaders or super-spreading events where somebody's particularly infectious and there's only casual contact, or there's only shared facilities like the public toilets at Chadstone that might have contributed to this transmission," he said.

Mystery cases remain a 'concern' as Chadstone outbreak spreads to regional Victoria
A Los Angeles socialite fatally struck 2 kids with her Mercedes while they were…
Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis ask Sir David…
The Age logoMystery cases remain a 'concern' as Chadstone outbreak spreads to regional Victoria

A single new case of COVID-19 in regional Victoria has been linked to a growing outbreak at a butcher's shop in Chadstone Shopping Centre.

A Frankston cleaner who failed to self-isolate when her family members contracted coronavirus is believed to have sparked the outbreak at The Butcher Club. The cluster has now reached 20 cases, including the new regional case in Mitchell Shire.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said authorities were investigating whether the outbreak was a super-spreading event, and that it was a "salient lesson" for workplaces about how infectious the virus can be.

"It is a point to note that regional Victoria will remain at risk while there are still essential workers who need to move into regional Victoria and the close contacts that occurred by virtue of that. So we have to be mindful about that."

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

If Victoria hits two triggers — a rolling 14-day average below five and a two-week total of below five mystery cases — it will move to the third step of reopening by October 19.

There was one new death recorded on Sunday, a man in his 80s, taking the total number of deaths in the state to 806.

There are 241 active cases, a number which is unchanged from the previous day.

Professor Sutton said he was "absolutely" concerned the rate of decline in cases could stagnate, but said "I think we'll get there".

"We've got days before us … that'll be lower than 12, so that number of active cases will continue to come down," he said.

Health authorities 'concerned' as Victoria's numbers stagnate
Victoria recorded 12 new cases and one death on Sunday. The city's 14-day rolling average is 11.9, which is slightly down from Saturday.

With the number of Victoria's active cases stagnating on Sunday and mystery cases increasing, health authorities say they are "concerned".

Three new mystery cases have been identified in the postcodes of 3145, 3023, 3019, which covers suburbs including East Malvern, Caulfield East, Caroline Springs, Deer Park and Braybrook.

Professor Sutton said he was "absolutely" worried by the stagnation in dropping active cases today, but fewer aged care cases should ensure lower numbers over coming days.

"Obviously it will be reflected with the fact that there have only been a dozen cases that have completed their infectious period that are no longer considered cases, and we've got 12 new ones," he said.

"But we need to drive it down ??? the activity in aged care continues to drop, especially for residents, but also for staff as well. This will slowly but surely reduce active cases.

"Mystery cases or cases of unknown origin remain a concern."




'Dont do anything silly or selfish right now'
After a number of arrests by police on Saturday at Melbourne's parks and beaches, the Premier has again encouraged Victorians to continue to follow the rules.

Victoria remains on track to open up further on October 19, Daniel Andrews said, and he was "pleased to see these numbers trending the way that they are".

With Melbourne experiencing overcast conditions on Sunday morning, and rain expected, Mr Andrews said he hoped "not to see the behaviour we saw Friday night, and in some instances, a little bit yesterday".

He thanked Victorians who followed the rules while out in public in parks and beaches, saying "heavens knows Victorians have earned it, but it has got to be done in the right way".

"We've just got to stay the course on this. The trend is with us, the numbers are coming down, once we get them low, we can keep them low and we can open up again," Mr Andrews said.

"And if you want to spend summer at the beach, then that will be the time to do that. If we don't do anything silly or anything selfish right now."

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said while he "focused on [discussing] lawbreakers yesterday", he had seen many examples of people doing the right over the last 24 hours.

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

There are now three patients in intensive care across the state.

5km limit could remain in place: Andrews
On Saturday, the Port Phillip Council threatened to close St Kilda beach if people flouted coronavirus restrictions including practising social distancing and wearing masks.

Police fined four men at St Kilda beach who were outside their 5-kilometre zone and told police they were "just having a day at the beach".

After blasting "disappointing" and "unacceptable" crowds who gathered at St Kilda and other beaches on Friday, Mr Andrews reiterated his plea for Victorians to follow the restrictions.

"We are so, so close," he said.

"The trend is with us, the numbers are coming down. Once we get them low, we can keep them low and we can open up again," he said.

Asked whether the 5-kilometre rule could stay in place to limit movement, Mr Andrews stressed its importance.

"Those rules serve a really important purpose and they'll be in place as long as that purpose is relevant and proportionate," he said.

He said when the restriction could be removed "or might be extended" could not be said for certain.

Professor Sutton said the current restrictions in Melbourne — allowing all members of one household or up to five people from two households to meet outdoors, wearing masks, for up to two hours — were an important step in reducing transmission.

Premier won't 'put a timeline' on 5km rule
Premier Daniel Andrews has not ruled out keeping the 5km radius rule in place well past October 19, after thousands of Melburnians took to the beaches yesterday.

He said on Sunday he could not "put a timeline" on when the rule would be removed.

"Those rules serve a really important purpose and they'll be in place as long as that purpose is relevant and proportionate," he said.

"There'll be a time when that can come off, but exactly when that is, or might be extended, when that is, we can't be certain now."

The 5km radius from home restrictions were expected to be rolled back when Victoria's rolling 14-day average for cases dipped under five per day, along with fewer than five mystery cases across the state during a two-week period.

Mr Andrews said he was "as confident as you can be" that Victoria was on track to make changes to COVID-19 restrictions at the earliest possible date on October 19.

"You can't be certain, that's not the nature of this virus. But all of our modelling that's been run and rerun, inputs from multiple universities ... (the public health team is) confident we're a week ahead of schedule, that's why we went from roughly the 26th back to the 18th or 19th," he said.

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

Opposition calls for student transport refunds
As some students prepare to make a staged return to the classroom over the next two weeks, Victorian's Opposition leader Michael O'Brien is calling for help for parents who "shelled out" money for their child's myki passes.

He said many kids have "barely seen the inside of a classroom" this year.

"We believe that it's only fair that parents should get those passes rolled over to next year," he said.

"Daniel Andrews is making refunds really difficult to get.

"We just think the Premier should make the call and roll over those passes next year because that will save average families hundreds and thousands of dollars."

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

HEAT WAVE USED AS EXCUSE TO IGNORE SOCIAL DISTANCING, MASK MANDATE, TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS AND TIME QUOTAS
Premier Andrews condemns crowding at Melbourne beaches
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The warning was issued after dozens of people were spotted without masks, hanging out socialising and drinking in large groups for very long periods, and caught outside their 5km travel bubbles at St Kilda beach.

"Some of the scenes at beaches overnight are just unacceptable," he said.

Melburnians warned about sticking to rules
Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has told Victorians to enjoy the long weekend sunshine but take note of the current restrictions to prevent a third wave.

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

Authorities consider closing St Kilda beach
The move comes after a large groups were filmed breaching health restrictions there on Friday night, including endulging in violent clashes with the Vic Police when they moved in to move people on and arrest people who refused to comply with the regulations and to follow police instructions. Many people were fined and arrested ( some resisted arrest very violent even requiring being pepper sprayed, tasering and manhandling by the police ( Video on evening news on all stations ).

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

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

MELBOURNIAN AND VICTORIAN COVID-REFUGEES FLEEING TO DARWIN BY AIR
‘Mass exodus’ underway as disenchanted Victorians leave for greener pastures
Lucky Penny Café Owner Matt Lanigan says the “the COVID fatigue has really set in” following the long lockdown imposed on Victoria, flagging a mass migration of disenchanted residents leaving for greener pastures.

He said small businesses are “still unsure what is going to be the way out”.

“Hopefully we can hold Dan Andrews accountable to his statements that he will give back the streets to traders to make back some of the lost income".

Mr Lanigan went on to say the “the mass exodus is real and very concerning”.

“It’s a lot more dire than people understand”.

“We need something to really inject into the local economy” he said.

Mr Lanigan also spoke of his recent decision to run for local government, outlining various measures he believed would help the local community and business district to recover.
<< I GUESS TO SKYE NEWS A FEW DOZEN RESIDENTS IS A "MASS EXODUS", I'VE NOT SEEN REPORTED OF PEOPLE HEADING OFF MY THE PLAN LOAD ( HUNDREDS AT A TIME ) MENTIONED ELSEWHERE .

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


SOME ARE MAD KEEN AFL FANS WHO ARE TRAVELING TO DARWIN , TAKING 2 WEEKS IN THE DARWIN QUARANTINE FACILITY , THEN PLAN TO TRAVEL TO BRISBANE TO SEE THE AFL GRAND FINAL AT THE GABBA , OTHERS ARE GENUINE HOLIDAY / ADVENTURE SEEKERS AND FISHOS SEEKING SOME TROPICAL HOT BITES …. SORRY FOLKS NOTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY TO SEE HERE.

OUTBREAK HUBS
Andrews spruiks COVID outbreak hubs saying ‘Victoria shared the idea with NSW’
Premier Daniel Andrews has spruiked Victoria’s development and implementation of outbreak hubs ( flying squads of specialist infection teams and infectious desease expert terms (with ventilators , barrier bed hoods ) which function as specialised outbreak teams designed to contain clusters across the state.

It comes as Victorian health officials made a trip to NSW on a fact-finding mission on the state's tracking and tracing processes.

“I think that was one of the things we were able to share with New South Wales when the team went up there” the premier said.

Speaking of the outbreak hubs, he said “they're kind of specialised outbreak teams based on the learnings and the unique circumstances, of say, a meat works versus a butcher shop in a great big shopping centre”.


“It's about community engagement, a call to test, interview, tracking down and mapping out all those links."

Mr Andrews said the outbreak hub "supplements" the work of public health units.

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
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12567
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:26 am

4 OCT NSW

No community transmission of COVID-19 in NSW for 9th day in a row
There has been no community transmission of coronavirus in NSW for the ninth day in a row.

Two new cases have been reported in the past 24 hours, but both are returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

Dr Greg Stewart from NSW Health said there were 8,305 tests during the same time period.

https://twitter.com/NSWHealth/status/13 ... 4813845505
"NSW Health is treating 51 COVID-19 cases, including three in intensive care, none of whom are being ventilated," Dr Stewart said.

Trump's 'body man' Nick Luna becomes latest WH staffer to catch COVID
13 of the longest (and most salacious) divorces of the 21st century
AAP logoNSW goes over a week without local cases

NSW will be looking to extend its streak of days with no community transmission of COVID-19 to nine on Sunday.

There were 10,334 tests recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday with just one positive - a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.

NSW has now gone eight consecutive days of zero community transmission.

However the potential exposure of almost 50 people who shared a flight to Sydney with an infected Victorian traveller could soon bring an end to the streak.

The potentially infectious passenger travelled on Jetstar Flight JQ510, which left Melbourne at 11am last Sunday and tested positive on their second day in quarantine.

Despite NSW's streak of zero community transmission, the border between Queensland and NSW won't reopen until November 1.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the hard border will lift the day after Queenslanders head to the polls, provided NSW has no mystery cases of COVID-19 in the preceding 28 days.

The announcement follows months of tension between Ms Palaszczuk and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian over the issue.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp
NSW hits ninth day without any locally acquired COVID-19 cases
NSW is continuing its positive streak in the battle to contain coronavirus, reaching the ninth consecutive day without any locally acquired COVID-19 cases.

The state recorded two positive cases in returned travellers in hotel quarantine, but the success in halting any community spread carries on.

Test numbers decreased slightly to 8,305 in the 24 hours to 8:00pm last night, compared with 10,334 in the previous reporting period.

There have been a total of 4,045 cases in NSW, with 51 people currently being treated.

Three are in intensive care, but none are being ventilated.

The state has to date carried out 2,741,755 tests.

Authorities continued to warn people to remain vigilant over the long weekend and as the school holidays and warm weather continues.

Yesterday, Waverley Council praised beachgoers at Bondi Beach for maintaining social distancing.

Authorities at the Royal National Park continued on Sunday to close roads to stem heavy traffic.

Access to Wattamolla and Garie beaches have now been closed.

Elsewhere, Bogey Hole at the southern end of Bronte Beach remains closed after sewage contamination.

Yesterday, Redleaf Beach in Double Bay in Sydney's east was closed due a blockage in a nearby public toilet which caused contamination.

Meanwhile, the NSW Government has said it will phase in a return to offices for its public servants.

The move, which is aimed at encouraging companies to follow suit as well as support CBD businesses, will be brought in over the coming weeks.

The strategy will include staggered start and finish times to support COVID-safe standards across public transport.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it would boost the economy as well as allowing people to return to "normal" lives.

"We are now encouraging public servants to physically return to work in their offices in a COVID-safe way, which will help stimulate city-based businesses and create more jobs across the state," she said.

"The Government will continue to review health advice and aim to ensure we keep people safe and at the same time allow them to return to their normal lives as much as possible."

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

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



MORE 'DOLE BLUDGER BASHING'
NSW shopkeeper, baker and shipbuilder welcome JobSeeker cuts after struggling to find staff
Image
Harwood Marine boss Ross Roberts
As shopkeepers, a bakers and a shipbuilder in New South Wales say they cannot get enough staff and hope the cuts to JobSeeker payments will ease their staffing problems.

In March 2020 there were 40 jobs on offer at Harwood Marine, a shipbuilding and repair business in the Clarence Valley.

Six months later only 22 of them have been filled.

Co-owner Ross Roberts and his crew have been working long shifts to keep the business afloat.

"If we've got to work all day, every day, we work all day every day, everybody just does what's required", Mr Roberts said.

"That used to be what Aussies did everywhere."
<< I AGREE , MOSTLY BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE EMPLOYED FULL TIME AS WAGES OR STAFF EMPLOYEES WITH LONG CAREERS IN THE SAME COMPANY AND MOST OF US BECOME "COMPANYMEN" , ALSO OVERTIME WAS PAID OVERTIME , AND OVERTIME PAYMENTS HAD THE POTENTIAL TO BOOST THE FORTNIGHTLY PAY BY 100% OR MORE.
THIS IS LARGELY A THING OF THE PAST , AND MOST COMPANY'S FIND IT CONVENIENT TO TAKE ON EMPLOYEES ON SHORT TERM CONTRACTS ( CAN BE AS LITTLE AS A MONTH , NO LEAVE , NO SICK PAY, NO CAREER ADVANCEMENT PROSPECTS , NO COMPANY LOYALTY AND NO OVERTIME PENALTY RATES .


There is no doubt that many Australians would not have survived financially during COVID-19 lockdowns without the JobKeeper and JobSeeker initiatives.

However, one of the unintended consequences is that small businesses offering wages at the lower end of the spectrum have found it difficult to secure workers.

Mr Roberts is frustrated he cannot get the staff he needs in an area that has higher than average rates of unemployment.

In July 2020 the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported there was 7.7 per cent unemployment in the Clarence Valley, with 15.3 per cent youth unemployment.

"I think JobSeeker has become an alternative to working," Mr Roberts said.
<< HE NEEDS TO INCREASE WAGES OFFERED , AND OFFER THESE EMPLOYEES JOB SECURITY AND A CAREER PATH.

"I think they've had so much time off that it becomes a little bit of a problem to get started again and I suspect that we're in that transition period where some people take advantage of it."

Working 90 hours a week
A COVID-19 slowdown never happened for Joanne Robson's business, a supermarket in the small village of Coraki also on the New South Wales north coast.

When shelves in the supermarkets emptied in major towns, locals shopped closer to home.

Combined with a new takeaway and espresso coffee service, Ms Robson was desperate to increase her staffing levels.

She advertised for shop assistants with job agencies, on Facebook, and targeted websites with no success.

"You can't find anyone who wants to work, no-one has been made to look for work," she said.

"I think what the government's done with JobKeeper and JobSeeker has been fantastic for a lot of people because they've needed it, but there are a lot of people now who are just bludging on it."

For the past four months, Ms Robson and her business partner, Cheryl Painter, have been working up to 90 hours a week.

"Even my doctor said to me you need to slow down a bit, but what can you do?" Ms Robson said.

"You've got to keep your business going forward, and if you don't serve the customers what they want they're not going to come back."

The announcement that jobseekers will now have to actively look for work has given her hope that she can find the additional staff she needs.

"The people at the job agencies have said people can get reported now if they turn down jobs that they physically can do," Ms Robson said.

"So hopefully things will get better."

Bakery thrived during COVID restrictions
Up the road in Lismore, local baker Stephen Butcher said during the initial COVID lockdown he lost sales to cafes and schools, but this loss was outstripped by a sales gain at their shopfront and small supermarkets in neighbouring towns.

Many of the bakery's staff are casuals.

"We kept our staff on but there were people who didn't want to work", Mr Butcher said.

"When we rang the job agencies, they said no-one wants to work, they're getting the money from the government and they will not apply for the jobs.

"I'm hoping as of this week, when the money's cut back a bit, people will start looking for employment."

Growing up on a family farm near Nimbin, Mr Butcher is used to hard work.

"When I was going to primary school, I had five acres of potatoes I used to chip by hand," he said.

"No-one wants to bend their back anymore, they're all after the higher wages."

To keep the bakery running, current staff have picked up extra hours and the Butchers had been working long days.

On top of two natural disasters in the past three years, the workload is taking its toll.

"The floods in 2017 nearly wiped us out here," Mr Butcher said.

"We had a $400,000 debt and I could have easily closed the doors, but we rallied.

"Then last year we had the fires and we pulled out of our annual leave, so we haven't had a break for three years."

Vision for post-COVID-19
The jobs being offered at the Harwood Island ship building business are a mix of skilled trade jobs, apprenticeships, and labouring work.

Mr Roberts says, as a nation, we undervalue labouring jobs.

"Everybody thinks that a labourer is an unskilled job but in reality doing what you're told, doing it well and safe, and being able to keep the continuity of the work all day is a skill."

The key to securing a more resilient economy, Mr Roberts says, is re-investing in manufacturing rather than importing goods from overseas.

"I can't understand when people say it's cheaper to manufacture overseas when you have unemployment in your own country," he said.

"When you build in country, you employ in country and that person goes off welfare and becomes a taxpayer, so you get 30 per cent back straight away.

"Look what happened when we needed face masks, Australians are very creative."

Mr Butcher hopes his bakery's workforce future lies in a new generation of workers.

"I would like to see some keen, young energetic workers come into the business to bring on the new Australia."

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
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12567
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:53 am

4 OCT WA

MASS JOB LOSSES
Homeless and struggling families in Australia's unemployment capital Mandurah in Western Australia
WA'S VERSION OF QLD'S GOLD COAST.
Image

Residents in Mandurah in Western Australia are fighting to survive in the once thriving coastal city amid an escalating employment crisis.

Once touted as Perth's version of the Gold Coast for Brisbane, Mandurah was one of the fastest growing cities in Australia through the mid 2000s and enjoyed a housing industry boom.

The location has previously been described as an 'idyllic satellite city' with prosperous hospitality and tourism industries.

But the town has been plunged into poverty by dwindling job numbers and the streets are flooded with homeless people with many families struggling to survive.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics found Mandurah's jobless rate reached 18 per cent in July at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
Image
Residents from Mandurah in Western Australia (pictured) are struggling to keep afloat amid an unemployment crisis

By August the jobless rate had decreased, but at 11.3 per cent it was still 4.4 per cent above the national average.

Nicole Sowerby has been working in the fast food industry for the past two years and recently had her weekly hours dropped from 35 to just five.

The 18-year-old said employers wanted to hire young people for cheaper labour, but are reluctant to hire unskilled workers.

'It’s a classic catch 22. You can’t get the experience unless you have a job, but they won’t give you a job,' she told The Sunday Times.

Ms Sowerby feared many in the city would be forced to break the law in order to make ends meet.

Donna Griffen and her husband Steve Stack have been unemployed in the city for five years and have turned to busking to make money.
Image
Locals said employers are reluctant to hire unskilled staff, leaving many turning to welfare or crime. Pictured: queues at Centrelink on the Gold Coast in March, and unemployed over 40 yo face challenges when applying for jobs at interviews in front of recruiters who are millennials, and if over 45 - 50 the prospects of securing even an interview are very remote due to ageism.
LONG QUEUES WAITING TO SUBMIT JOBSEEKER COMPLIANCE FORMS OUT CENTRELINK , THESE MUST BE PRESENTED IN PERSON ELSE YOU ARE BREECHED .
The 50-year-old former lecturer at Curtin University said the social decay from rampant drug and alcohol issues was having a detrimental impact on the community.

'The drinking, the drugs, we’ve seen it all on the streets in the last five years,' she said.

The population in Manduah is predicted to continue to increase to almost double its current 80,000 population in the next 20 years.

Unemployment rates jumped after the mining boom collapsed, with large numbers of fly-in fly-out workers contributing to the tally.

Peel Chamber of Commerce and Industry general manager Andrew McKerrell said key foundations must be put in place in order to change the unemployment tune of the town into the future.

'We have to capitalise on the industries that we have, which centres around the water and tourism,' he said.

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

PUSHBACK AGAINST FEDERAL GOVT PRESSURE TO REOPEN WA BORDERS AT HASTE.
Comments by WA Premier trigger ‘strongest federal-state stoush’ over borders
SKYE's Andrew Clennell says comments made by Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan indicate “there might be more than health considerations” influencing decisions regarding hard border closures.

In a press conference earlier in the week the WA Premier said, “the other states want us to open the border so that West Australian tourists will flood east, not so that people from there will come here”.

“They’re only saying all this for very self-interested reasons, because we have higher incomes, we have people who are more used to travelling and therefore we’ll have more tourists go from Western Australia to the east”.

However, Mr Clennell said the Premier's words were "directly contradicted by the WA tourism on Friday who said the closures were costing the states hundreds of millions”.

“This also led to the strongest stoush with the feds over a state border issue … with Mathias Cormann describing Mark McGowan’s argument on Friday as an ‘economic protectionist’ one in clear breach of section 92 of the constitution”.

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

ELIMINATION OR ZERO COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION - SAME THING RIGHT ??
WA and Qld opt for virus elimination over tourism industry
States such as Queensland and Western Australia would have to take on the Commonwealth border hotspot definition, if they want to be involved in any international travel bubble arrangements says Sky News Political Editor Andrew Clennell.

A partial trans-Tasman bubble is two weeks away from being launched – but only for NSW and the Northern Territory – allowing New Zealanders to travel to Australia without having to go into quarantine.

“One interesting aspect to the announcement on Friday by the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, that New Zealanders can now fly to Australia, is that he has tied it to the Commonwealth hotspot definition”.

Mr Clennell said “the commonwealth hotspot definition drawn up by the acting Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly is that the trigger for a hotspot for a metropolitan centre is a rolling three-day average of 10 locally acquired cases a day or 30 locally acquired cases over three days”.

He pointed out Western Australia and Queensland “just want elimination” and are prioritising eradication measures at the expense of the tourism industry.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/wa ... d=msedgdhp
WE'VE ALL SEEN IN THE NEWS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN STATE AND NATIONAL GOVERMENTS ARE LEAD BY THE NOSE BY POWERFUL SELF INTEREST GROUPS AND INDUSTRY LOBBYISTS , COVID GETS THE CHANCE TO SPREAD AND BE IMPORTED YET AGAIN AND THE RESULT IS MORE HOSPITALISATIONS AND DEATHS.

4 OCT NT
NT becomes unlikely sanctuary for frustrated Victorians
The NT has become an unlikely sanctuary for many leaving Victoria, with the prospect of two weeks quarantine not as confronting as you might expect - as it's giving them the opportunity to travel to SA, NSW, and QLD freely once their NT quarantine is served.

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
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12567
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:25 am

4 OCT FEDERAL

Sun, sand and coronavirus: Australian state governments & police & Royal Volunteer Life Saving Service aims to enforce a Covid-safe summer
Image
Stock Bondi Beach image from a typical summer day.
As temperatures rise and state borders ease, Australians are looking forward to getting back to the beach for daily swimming and domestic holidays.

Warmer weather in the autumn was a pressure test of the public’s ability to adhere to Covid-19 restrictions early in the pandemic, and authorities are working hard to minimise scenes of crowding at beaches this summer.

Most states appear to have contained community transmission of Covid-19, but beachgoers will not be able to forget about the pandemic when going for a swim.

The risk of coronavirus spreading in mucus in the water, new life-saving protocols and crowd control measures are set to alter the beachgoing experience.

Surf lifesavers across all jurisdictions will continue to conduct water rescues without restrictions, but authorities in each state have brought in slightly different rules around administering first aid and CPR on beaches.

n June, the Australian Resuscitation Council considered how some elements of CPR posed a risk for Covid-19 transmission, advice which is reflected in several states’ surf lifesaving rules.

Mouth-to-mouth ‘out of the equation’
The director of lifesaving at Surf Life Saving NSW, Joel Wiseman, says that while “mouth-to-mouth is definitely out of the equation during Covid”, responders will still perform CPR.

He says lifesavers will use an oxygen therapy mask to release oxygen into the lungs, rather than suction (when a tube is used to clear a patient’s airways).

Chest compressions on the shore will be administered while the lifesaver wears a mask, but if a rescue boat is used to retrieve a patient and they require compressions while still in the water, it can be done without a mask.

For minor first aid, lifesavers will talk a patient through how to treat themselves. Details of all those treated will be recorded for contact tracing purposes.

In Queensland, beachgoers requiring CPR will be ventilated, and lifesavers will conduct chest compressions if they are willing to do so.

Ken Clark, Surf Life Saving Queensland’s commercial manager, says mouth-to-mouth is not regularly used, so most beachgoers will notice little difference in the way lifesavers work, provided they adhere to 1.5 metre social distancing rules.

Clark says there will be a heightened awareness of cross-infection among lifesavers this summer.

In Victoria, where patrolling of beaches begins in November, training for the summer season has carried on through the lockdown.

Liam Krige, Life Saving Victoria’s general manager of lifesaving services, says: “When it comes to administering first aid, all non-essential patient contact needs to be minimised.”

However, Western Australia, which has successfully contained Covid-19 over the past several months, has eased tighter lifesaving protocols that were introduced earlier in the pandemic.

Covid-19 in the water?
Prof Brett Mitchell, an infection prevention specialist at the University of Newcastle, says the Covid-19 virus can survive in seawater, but no studies have been conducted documenting this type of transmission.

“If you see someone cough up a big mucus plug, it would be important to avoid that wave,” Mitchell says.

<< MORE OF A RISK AT CHANGE & SHOWER TOILET BLOCKS, OCEAN POOLS, AND WADING POOLS ( THESE ARE STAND / STILL BODIES OF WATER , NO CURRENTS, NO SURF ) , AND AT OUTDOOR SHOWERS AND BUBBLERS >>

Activists try to stop autobahn being built through German forest
Two Australian mothers launch a business that makes them $210k a…
The Guardian logoSun, sand and coronavirus: Australia aims to enforce a Covid-safe summer

As temperatures rise and state borders ease, Australians are looking forward to getting back to the beach for daily swimming and domestic holidays.

a crowd of people at a beach: Photograph: Dean Lewins/EPA© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Dean Lewins/EPA
Warmer weather in the autumn was a pressure test of the public’s ability to adhere to Covid-19 restrictions early in the pandemic, and authorities are working hard to minimise scenes of crowding at beaches this summer.

Most states appear to have contained community transmission of Covid-19, but beachgoers will not be able to forget about the pandemic when going for a swim.

The risk of coronavirus spreading in mucus in the water, new life-saving protocols and crowd control measures are set to alter the beachgoing experience.

Surf lifesavers across all jurisdictions will continue to conduct water rescues without restrictions, but authorities in each state have brought in slightly different rules around administering first aid and CPR on beaches.

a crowd of people at a beach: Covid-safe crowd control measures will be brought in this summer to prevent overcrowding at beaches, including Bondi.© Photograph: Dean Lewins/EPA Covid-safe crowd control measures will be brought in this summer to prevent overcrowding at beaches, including Bondi.
In June, the Australian Resuscitation Council considered how some elements of CPR posed a risk for Covid-19 transmission, advice which is reflected in several states’ surf lifesaving rules.


Related: Picture imperfect: why photos of 'crowded' beaches may not be what they seem

Mouth-to-mouth ‘out of the equation’
The director of lifesaving at Surf Life Saving NSW, Joel Wiseman, says that while “mouth-to-mouth is definitely out of the equation during Covid”, responders will still perform CPR.

He says lifesavers will use an oxygen therapy mask to release oxygen into the lungs, rather than suction (when a tube is used to clear a patient’s airways).

Chest compressions on the shore will be administered while the lifesaver wears a mask, but if a rescue boat is used to retrieve a patient and they require compressions while still in the water, it can be done without a mask.

For minor first aid, lifesavers will talk a patient through how to treat themselves. Details of all those treated will be recorded for contact tracing purposes.

In Queensland, beachgoers requiring CPR will be ventilated, and lifesavers will conduct chest compressions if they are willing to do so.

Ken Clark, Surf Life Saving Queensland’s commercial manager, says mouth-to-mouth is not regularly used, so most beachgoers will notice little difference in the way lifesavers work, provided they adhere to 1.5 metre social distancing rules.

Clark says there will be a heightened awareness of cross-infection among lifesavers this summer.

In Victoria, where patrolling of beaches begins in November, training for the summer season has carried on through the lockdown.

Liam Krige, Life Saving Victoria’s general manager of lifesaving services, says: “When it comes to administering first aid, all non-essential patient contact needs to be minimised.”

However, Western Australia, which has successfully contained Covid-19 over the past several months, has eased tighter lifesaving protocols that were introduced earlier in the pandemic.

Covid-19 in the water?
Prof Brett Mitchell, an infection prevention specialist at the University of Newcastle, says the Covid-19 virus can survive in seawater, but no studies have been conducted documenting this type of transmission.

“If you see someone cough up a big mucus plug, it would be important to avoid that wave,” Mitchell says.

“The virus is likely to last a little bit of time in seawater because the virus can survive on hard surfaces for hours. But wet surfaces would be less than that because of dilution, and because it is likely to be inactivated when it gets caught up in waves.

“I would suspect Covid-19 could survive for a matter of minutes in water at the beach, but it’s theoretically possible,” he says, noting saliva spread could also be a concern at a crowded beach with many people in the water.

Mitchell stresses that the more significant risk of Covid-19 transmission at beaches will be crowding, when beachgoers fail to keep a distance from one another on the sand and in the water.

“And if you think you’re sick, it’s important you don’t go to the beach,” he says.

.Managing the crowds
Governments and beach authorities across Australia have formulated policies to maintain social distancing, with specific plans for hot days when demand for sand space surges and safe capacities are reached.

The New South Wales government recently announced its Covid Safe Summer Plan, which includes a slogan urging beachgoers to “keep a beach towel length between you and anyone not from the same household”.

Waverley council, which encompasses Bondi and other beaches in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, unveiled its plan on Tuesday for managing public spaces this summer.

The mayor, Paula Masselos, noted the importance of avoiding the scenes in March when images of crowds of beachgoers defying gathering limits of 500 people forced the council to close Bondi.
This summer “beach ambassadors” will prevent people entering Bondi beach when a capacity of about 6,000 is reached – this can change based on tides and how people are spread out.

No one on the sand will be told to leave, but those barred from entering will be diverted to local shops and cafes, until enough people leave to reopen the entrances.

If beachgoers defy the orders of beach ambassadors, police may be called. Police in NSW are also carrying out special operations monitoring crowds at beaches this long weekend.

The ambassadors will be in contact with colleagues at nearby beaches, and may tell some beachgoers to try moving to one with more capacity.

Drones may also be used to monitor crowds on beaches in NSW, but guards will be relied upon to gauge when a beach reaches its capacity. The council will coordinate capacity alerts with the public transport network, so that people travelling from the suburbs to the beach are notified if their destination has reached its limit.

Similar crowding rules apply in other states in line with social distancing restrictions, and gathering numbers can change depending on community transmission over the summer.

Outdoor gathering limits still apply at beaches, with groups exceeding 20 people in NSW and 30 people in Queensland liable for fines.

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

FEDERAL GOVT TO PAY APPRENTICE WAGES AS AN INCENTIVE TO EMPLOYERS.

Treasurer announces government will subsidise apprenticeships
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says his aim is to get people back to work faster than previous recessions as he announces the government will subsidise apprenticeships.

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

Treasurer's $1.2 billion plan in Federal Budget to help pay wages of new apprentices and trainees — here's what it means
The Federal Government has announced it will roll out a $1.2 billion wage subsidy scheme for trainees and apprentices.

It comes two days out from the delivery of the Federal Budget.

The plan is the Government's pitch to young people who are worried about finding a job, to older people needing to retrain and to employers who want to hire trainees and apprentices but are struggling to afford it amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Here is what we know about it so far.

What has the Government announced?
Trainees and apprentices who are put on the books from tomorrow will have half their wages paid by taxpayers for 12 months.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg estimates this will deliver 100,000 jobs.

The scheme will be in place for the next year and comes at a cost of $1.2 billion.

The announcement is designed to provide reassurance in particular to school leavers — whose education has been so disrupted by the pandemic — that they will have avenues for employment when they graduate this year.

Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers has told the Insiders program that Labor largely welcomes the announcement, and he holds fears about a "lost generation sacrificed to this recession".

It is the latest in a string of pre-budget announcements ahead of Tuesday and Mr Frydenberg says it will be on offer to all industries across the country.

"That's people who are working as bakers, hairdressers, those who are sparkies, those who are plumbers," he said.

The Government says manufacturing, construction, arts and mining sectors will all benefit.

Employment organisations say it also creates more hiring opportunities in information technology and business administration.

How does a wage subsidy work?
The subsidy would be paid direct to the employer when they hire a new apprentice or trainee. The money will be transferred quarterly, in arrears.

It's different to the existing JobKeeper wage subsidy, because it focuses on new jobs being created and specifically targets people entering the job market or retraining.

The existing JobKeeper payment is a flat wage subsidy that's being paid to millions of existing Australian employees whose workplaces have been put under pressure by the pandemic, to keep them connected to their job and out of the unemployment queue.

What help has the Government previously announced for apprentices?
In July, the Government unveiled a 50 per cent wage subsidy for existing apprentices, so they would not be laid off. That was worth $1.5 billion.

A scheme known as "JobTrainer" was also introduced to help young people bolster their training and skills.

Some industry insiders say that was always a bandaid measure and Sunday's announcement was inevitable to help generate new jobs, because many businesses would not be able to afford to otherwise.

What does it mean for women?
This scheme is for both apprenticeships and traineeships.

Many industries that offer apprenticeships are male-dominated, so questions have been raised about whether this scheme puts in place a gender-balanced approach to ensuring young people have job opportunities.

The Government says this is not an industry-specific announcement and the scheme is nationwide, and will capture lots of female trainees in different industries too.

Is there a catch?
Labor is concerned this subsidy is only in place for a year and capped at 100,000 places.

Mr Chalmers said Labor was generally backing the concept but remained worried it would not ensure long-term support was in place for younger workers.

Mr Chalmers told the ABC's Insiders program that the Government did not have a solid track record of entry-level jobs, claiming it had overseen a shrinking pool of apprenticeship and training positions overall since being elected.

"This is very important that we address some of the issues in training. Now, obviously it doesn't make up for the 140,000 fewer apprentices that we've seen over the life of this government."

Labor has been lobbying against the reduction to the existing JobKeeper wage subsidy that came into effect last week. The payment is still being relied upon by millions of Australians.

"There is already a subsidy in the system which has the capacity to do a lot of good but is being cut too soon, unemployment queues will be longer and more small businesses will hit the wall," Mr Chalmers said.

He said Labor was also seeking assurances wage subsidies would not end up paying for positions that would have been created in the economy anyway.

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

Chalmers welcomes extra funding for apprentices
The Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers spoke with Insiders host David Speers about the Federal Government's apprentice and trainee announcement.

<< THIS EXACT SCHEME WAS ROLLED OUT DURING THE 1970S , THEN AGAIN IN THE 1990S BY THE LIBS , NEVER TOOK APPRENTICES THROUGH THEIR ENTIRE TRAINING PERIOD AND COURSES TO BECOMING FULLY TRAINED AND LICENCED IN THEIR CHOSEN FIELDS. THEY WERE MOSTLY DUMPED LIKE HOT POTATOES THE INSTANT THEIR WAGE SUBSIDIES STOPPED AND MANY NEVER FINISHED TRAINING AND ENDED UP AS SEMI-SKILLED LABOR OR PLANT OPERATORS AND LEAVING THE INDUSTRIES THEY HOPED TO JOIN.
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... d=msedgdhp


2020-21 FEDERAL BUDGET ( BEEN DELAYED DUE TO COVID )
Jobs, health and climate: what Australians want the budget to pay for
Australians are hoping to see extended financial support for workers in industries crippled by Covid-19 restrictions, as well as policies to make renewable energy cheaper and more accessible.

While the government has indicated job creation will be at the centre of Tuesday’s federal budget, Guardian Australia spoke to Australians across several states, sectors and stages of life about where they want the government to spend money.

Kuda Mangoma, 28, artist, inner Melbourne, Victoria
After leaving his office job in September last year, Kuda had begun working at a cafe part-time so he could focus on a career as an artist.

Kuda had been planning to move to Zimbabwe in late March with his wife. He had family there, and the pair wanted to open an art gallery and cafe.

However, Covid-19 border closures saw their flight postponed indefinitely only days after his wife had finished working her notice period at her job. Shortly after, gathering restrictions saw the cafe Kuda was working at forced to shut.

Unable to find other employment, Kuda has been relying on jobseeker payments since the beginning of the pandemic, with demand for his work as a freelance artist shrinking.

“The higher rate of jobseeker has been very liveable,” he says. “For the first time in consecutive months I just knew all my bills would be fine. So the move to reduce jobseeker has brought up some anxieties.”

While he hopes the budget will address cost of living for jobseeker recipients, especially in Melbourne, he wants to see the budget sufficiently allocate funding to address the mental health implications of the recession.

He believes there are still financial and logistical hurdles to accessing mental health care.

“I’ve had a hit of depression, and so mental health is one of my biggest concerns.

“It’s a conversation that is tied to everything happening in society, especially where there’s so many people who are looking for jobs.”

Nicole Fidalgo, 31, academic, Croydon Park, NSW
Since Covid-19 shut universities off from international student revenue, casual academic Nicole Fidalgo has seen her four days of work at the University of Sydney reduced to teaching just two classes per week in the second half of 2020.

Despite teaching Spanish for more than two years, the single mother has not been rehired for those classes, while one of the two international and global studies tutorials she currently teaches has swelled to 34 students.

She delivers her classes via Zoom, but has to travel to the university library because her internet connection at her home is not strong enough.

“We’re not able to manage with the different learning styles of the students if there’s that many students,” she says.

In July, Nicole accessed her superannuation early to help pay bills, as employees of public universities were excluded from the jobkeeper wage subsidy. She has also unsuccessfully applied for retail jobs at Kmart, Target and Woolworths.

She relied on free childcare when the government offered it, especially as she earned no money on her non-teaching days spent on her PhD. Her four-year-old daughter’s father has resisted paying for childcare.

In the budget, she hopes to see greater support for the education sector and childcare, and wants requirements for accessing Centrelink and other government supports relaxed for applicants.

“You have to bare your soul in order to get help. It feels like you’re filling out all these applications and getting nothing done.”

Brenda Miley, 50s, small business owner, Bondi, NSW
As a result of Australia’s continued international border closure, Brenda Miley has seen a 70% reduction in customers at her surf school, Let’s Go Surfing.

Brenda has relied on jobkeeper to keep her 10 full-time staff and roughly 50 casuals employed throughout the pandemic. They teach across two beaches in Sydney – Bondi and Maroubra – as well as Byron Bay and Lennox Head on the New South Wales north coast.

“We haven’t let anyone go, but originally we had to fund their salaries through our mortgage,” she says. “You have a really big responsibility because you’re helping them to survive.”

She is bracing for the first summer in 25 years without international tourists, which coincides with the reduction of the jobkeeper payment.

Brenda understands the safety reasons behind shutting the international border, but hopes to see an acknowledgement of the impact of its continued closure in future government support.

“With business, everything is connected to each other. Tourists who come surfing, we then take them to a local restaurant.”

In the budget, Brenda hopes to see greater support for small businesses guaranteed for the coming months.

“The government has been doing a really good job with jobkeeper, but the more support that Canberra can give the better.

“We’ll know by the end of April if we’re still in business or not. We’re cautiously optimistic of hanging in there.”

David Browne, 42, school teacher, Castle Hill, NSW
School teacher David Browne believes the energy debate in Australia has become “so deeply politicised” that not enough is being done to reconcile concerns about the long-term impact of climate change with attempts to make renewable energy more affordable.

“You can see action being taken, with more solar on roofs, more electric cars and businesses making commitments to carbon neutrality, but the government is limping behind,” he says.

While David, who lives with his wife and two children in suburban Sydney, has environmentally conscious energy options, he has noticed higher costs. He believes more needs to be done to make renewable energy options cheaper.

“Our house is not viable for solar so we don’t have it on our roof. We’ve investigated the greener power options, but it’s more expensive than regular electricity, so while we think about the climate, household cost is also a major factor.”

In addition to energy, David hopes that if the budget brings about policies to create jobs, there would be greater clarity about what Australia’s future job market will look like.

“There’s a lot of concern in the minds of young people and parents of what does a career pathway look like now.

“It’s not comforting to hear the pronouncements today that young people will have several different careers.”

Regarding education, David also hopes to see policies that value teacher expertise. “We’ve spent a lot of 2020 saying we need to trust medical expertise. Can we apply that to education?”

Erin Rosenberg, 27, arts worker, Clifton Hill, Victoria
When Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings effectively shuttered the entertainment industry at the beginning of the pandemic, Erin, who works part time as a film festival manager, was prepared to rely on unemployment payments before jobkeeper was announced.

While much of the arts sector has been excluded from jobkeeper, Erin’s employer was able to access the wage subsidy. It has meant she has kept her job throughout the pandemic, including Melbourne’s second lockdown.

Since the jobkeeper rate was cut at the end of September to $1,200 per fortnight for Erin, her employer has been able to pay her the gap between the lower rate and the previous rate of $1,500.

However, Erin is concerned about the future of the arts industry and wants to see “the arts industry supported with generosity in the budget”.

“Lowering the jobkeeper rate was pretty unfair, especially in Melbourne when we’re still locked down. It should be at the higher rate for us until we can reopen and then for a few months to help the recovery,” she says.

“Most of the arts industry has just been stood down this year. It’s scary to consider the future because the Covid period has reminded people of the importance of the arts.”

Matthew Zammit, 42, nurse, Thornbury, Victoria
After a skydiving accident last year, Melbourne nurse Matthew Zammit has been temporarily working a desk job in medical compliance and thinks he’s lucky to have avoided being inside hospitals or aged care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Horror stories accompanying the high death toll in aged care facilities have come as no surprise to Matthew and he hopes the budget will include immediate and long-lasting funding to address serious issues in the sector.

“There have been problems for a long time,” he says. “I’d really like to see the federal government put their money where their mouth is with aged care.”

Matthew wants to see funding that supports higher ratios of nurses and carers to residents, as well as upskilling of care staff to better handle infection control.

He also wants to see funding to support more secure employment arrangements for healthcare workers more generally.

Related: Budget 2020: Frydenberg focuses on unemployment as drop in migration deepens Covid crisis

“The return on investment is there. Even if you just look purely at the economics, if the sector was better set up, the government would have saved on exorbitant costs in responding to some outbreaks in facilities – and that’s not to mention the lives of residents. They may have been old but they weren’t all just about to die.”

In addition to aged care, Matthew also hopes to see financial incentives for more Australians, and more males, to study nursing.

“The government is talking a lot about local manufacturing of sanitisers and masks, but the most crucial thing in healthcare is people,” he said.

Shenpaha Ganesan, 21, student, Braddon, ACT
When fourth-year arts and law student Shenpaha Ganesan considers her career after university, the impact of climate change is at the front of her mind.

Shenpaha’s part-time student admin job at the Australian National University has not been affected by the pandemic, but she hopes budget decisions will take into account the current and future cost of climate change.

“It’s sad because there’s also this feeling that it’s out of my control, because making change here is really in the hands of the government,” she says.

While she hopes for a career in public interest law, she has felt environmental issues increasingly impacting on her life, – featuring in her university classes and legal considerations, and the summer’s bushfires stopping her from visiting her family in Melbourne.

“I still don’t think the government has made enough headway on this. We’ve been lucky with minerals in Australia, but we’re also lucky to have lots of sun and wind. It’s about letting go and moving onto new sources of energy.”

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
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 12567
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:49 am

4 OCTOBER DATA

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CUMULATED TOTALS FOR EACH CLUSTER
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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: 12567
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:18 am

5 OCT VIC

Victoria records eight new coronavirus cases and no deaths, Melbourne average falls to 11.6
Four more coronavirus cases have been linked to the Chadstone Butcher Club outbreak in Melbourne's south-east, taking the total to 24 in the largest Victorian cluster outside of aged care.

The state originally recorded nine new cases of coronavirus overnight, but that dropped to eight after a positive case in Shepparton was reclassified as a false positive this afternoon.

No deaths were reported in the past 24 hours.
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Melbourne's 14-day rolling case average is now 11.6, down from 11.9 yesterday.
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Regional Victoria's average has risen slightly from 0.2 yesterday to 0.3 today, one day after a case linked to the Chadstone shopping centre outbreak was recorded in the Mitchell Shire, north of Melbourne.
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Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said there were now nine household and family members, seven staff members and three customers linked to the Butcher Club outbreak.

He said he did not know how exactly the virus spread to customers, but noted "there were infectious staff".

"The interactions probably would have been less than what we would call a close contact for customers," he said.

"But again, you can get individuals who are very infectious.

"And you can be unlucky with that interaction and that's why the callout has been to everyone who was there at that time."

The fact a case connected to the Chadstone cluster had been located in the Mitchell Shire, north of Melbourne, showed how transmission could occur despite restrictions.

"It really does relate to the fact that any worker has family members, they can transmit to those family members when symptomatic but also before they are symptomatic," he said.

"Those family members are in essential work industries as well and go to those worksites.

"Those workers, you would hope, are all wearing masks — but again to the degree that compliance isn't in place or that people drop their guard then there can be transmission within workplaces as well.

"Those workplace colleagues have household and family members as well and on it goes."

Meeting mystery case target could be a 'lineball', says Sutton
In Melbourne, the total number of mystery cases with an unknown source recorded in the latest 14-day period — September 19 to October 2 — remains at 13.

Public health officials will assess whether Melbourne can move to the next step of the Victoria's roadmap out restrictions on October 19, when the state records a 14-day average below five, and fewer than five mystery cases over two weeks.

When asked if he thought Victoria would meet those targets, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said: "My gut feeling is it will be a lineball. It's not certain one way or the other."

However, Professor Sutton said moving to the next step would not be ruled out if there were more than five mystery cases in the fortnight leading to October 19.

"We'd have to see exactly where we were at at that time, including the trend," he said.

New case in regional Victoria cleared as false positive
A new case recorded in the Shepparton local government area overnight has been confirmed by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as a false positive after the person was tested a second time.

It means the total number of active coronavirus cases in regional Victoria remains at three.

Professor Sutton said earlier today the Shepparton case was being re-tested, as it was a not a "definite positive".
Active cases in Victoria fall to 226.
"The result has a high CT value. A high CT value can sometimes mean like a weak positive," he said.

Supermarkets added to high-risk exposure sites
The DHHS has added two supermarkets and a tyre store to its list of high-risk exposure sites:

Aldi West Footscray on September 25, 12:00pm-12:15pm
Leo's Fine Food & Wine, Glen Iris on September 26, 12:00pm-2:30pm
White Line Tyres, Benalla on September 30, 12:00pm-3:00pm
Anyone who visited these locations during the dates indicated should watch for coronavirus symptoms over the next 14 days and immediately get tested if symptoms occur.

The full list of DHHS high-risk locations can be found here.
repair the brakes on their friends' car, more than 5km from their homes, were also fined.

“We do know and understand that there might be a need for us to go a little bit further in regional Victoria,” he said.

Mr Andrews spoke about the possibility of extending operating hours and changing the eligibility criteria to give more people access to testing.

The state recorded zero coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours and nine new infections.
'
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/an ... d=msedgdhp

Andrews government to expand COVID-19 testing in regional Victoria
Andrews government to expand COVID-19 testing in regional Victoria

Stressing the importance of maintaining high testing figures, Premier Daniel Andrews has flagged the expansion of the state’s COVID-19 testing program in regional areas.

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

Victorian coronavirus contact tracing concerns remain as optimism grows about falling cases
Key points:
Melbourne GP and former AMA president Mukesh Haikerwal says changes to contact tracing are the "last roll of the dice"
Three of five suburban contact tracing units are operational in Melbourne
Epidemiologist Catherine Bennett says Victorians should be confident the state is in a position to safely open up

As Melbourne looks set to further ease coronavirus restrictions in a fortnight, some concerns remain over the state's contact tracing capabilities and an "uptick" in mystery cases.

Authorities have remained hopeful Melbourne is on track to join regional Victoria in the third step of eased restrictions on October 18 or 19.

Victoria reported nine new coronavirus cases today, bringing the state's 14-day rolling average to 11.6.

Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday said he was "as confident as you can be" the city would hit the target of five or fewer mystery cases over a fortnight and a rolling 14-day average for new cases of under five.

"You can't be certain, that's not the nature of this virus," he said, adding progress relied on people following restrictions and getting tested.

Chair of epidemiology at Deakin University Catherine Bennett said Melbourne was "in a fantastic place, really, compared to where we have been".

"I think we should feel really confident … that it's under control, and that the numbers are looking good enough now to get us very close to the targets and presumably close enough for the Government to be able to take that next step," she said.

The October targets themselves have come under criticism from some epidemiologists for being too stringent, but health authorities have previously said they may not need to be hit exactly.

However, former Australian Medical Association president and Altona North GP Mukesh Haikerwal said he remained unconvinced changes to the contact tracing system would prevent further outbreaks once the restrictions were eased.

The doctor has been one of a number of voices to criticise the way contact tracing was handled during the state's second wave.

In early September, the Government announced five suburban response units would be used to bolster tracing efforts.

Three of the five have been set up to date, and on Sunday, Mr Andrews hinted he may announce more than two additional units in coming days and weeks.

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Local contact tracing teams have also been set up in regional cities like Geelong and Ballarat

Dr Haikerwal said the suburban response units were a "glimmer of hope we might see some change in the way business is done".

"I remain to be convinced that they will do the job, I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt, but in reality this to me is the last roll of the dice," he said.

He said changes to testing, a new software program set to be used by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and more engagement with community providers could strengthen the response to new cases.

But he said he was having regular consultations with people who he had diagnosed with COVID-19, and "reliving the problems that they had in July and August".

"What we're seeing now is fewer cases, but still there are issues with communication," he said.

Last weeks of restrictions could be used to strengthen response: doctor
There were 32 active cases in healthcare workers on Sunday, and 91 active cases linked to aged care.

Dr Haikerwal said infection levels had dropped dramatically after changes to PPE, but said he was still hearing reports of a small number of staff having difficulty accessing supplies.

He urged authorities to use the fortnight before restrictions were eased as an opportunity to ensure all the state's systems were up to the task of responding to cases in a more opened-up Melbourne.
"We've got to make sure that we've got the right relaxation of the guidance, but we've got to make sure that at the same time we've put in place measures to keep people safe," he said.

Professor Bennett said Victorians should have confidence that public health teams had refined their processes.

She said proactively contacting and testing the contacts of close contacts could be a way to contain clusters at the secondary case level.

"I think the messaging now should be very much one of confidence that we are now just trying to do the last bit of suppression," she said.

"But that the health department should certainly be in a position to stay on top of this as we continue to sharpen up the rules we have around protecting aged care, around our quarantine systems and even around our outbreak response.

"We can do better, probably, but we're certainly in a position now to safely start that process of opening up."

Victoria to boost testing on path to easing restrictions
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Victoria will look into ways to increase testing for the disease to control its spread in anticipation of easing of the state's stringent lockdown restrictions, officials said on Monday.

New daily coronavirus infections in Victoria, Australia's second most-populous state, fell to nine cases on Monday, down from 12 in the previous days. No deaths were reported.

Melbourne, which has remained in a strict lockdown for nearly three months, is expected to see the bulk of its restrictions eased when the average for new daily cases over two weeks falls below five.

According to the state's modelling, that could occur in late October. On Monday, the 14-day day rolling case average was 11.6, down from 11.9 the previous day.

"We want everybody who has symptoms, regardless of their circumstances, to be able to get tested, we get their results and that's how we can protect them and indeed, the entire community," Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said in a televised briefing. "There is some work going on in the next few days to see if we can increase the number of people who are eligible and increase the number of people who can get those tests."

Victoria accounts for 90% of the country's 894 COVID-19 deaths. Since the start of the year, the state has conducted some 2.7 million tests. It had a population of about 6 million at the last census, according to government data.

Australia has one of the world's highest ratios of tests per capita and, despite the outbreak in Victoria, one of the lowest numbers of coronavirus cases.

The country has had just over 27,000 infections, according to health ministry data - less than the average daily number of cases for the United States in the past several months.

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

More infections classed as mystery cases
Six of Sunday's cases were linked to known outbreaks: three at The Butcher Club at Chadstone Shopping Centre and three at Electra Park Medical Centre in Ashwood.

While the 14-day average has been steadily dropping in Melbourne, more "mystery" cases with an unknown source have been added to the state's tally.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said there was concern around the "uptick" in mystery cases, saying they could represent more cases in the community.

"Mystery cases … [are] bouncing around a bit, but they still only make up less than 10 per cent of our cases," Professor Bennett said.

"So if total cases go down and mystery cases go down with them, then we will also be getting close to that total number of five or close enough."

Three mystery cases across three postcodes were announced by Professor Sutton on Sunday but are expected to be added to the total on Monday.

Those cases were found in the south-east and west of Melbourne in postcodes 3145, 3023 and 3019.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-05/ ... s/12730560

Shepparton coronavirus case confirmed as false positive, Department of Health says
Key points:
The case was not linked to any other confirmed cases
The person was retested with the result sent to a laboratory in Melbourne
Close contacts of the person have so far returned negative results, but some tests remain outstanding

Victoria's Health Department has confirmed a person who tested positive for coronavirus in Shepparton does not have the virus.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said earlier today the result, which came from a rapid test, was being treated as a positive.

"That said, the result has a high CT value. A high CT value can sometimes mean like a weak positive," Professor Sutton said.

But further testing of the person has confirmed the first result was a false positive.

The false positive result means Victoria's record of new daily cases has dropped to eight.
Professor Sutton said the case had not been linked to any other confirmed cases.

A formal test was sent to the Department of Health and Human Services' reference laboratory in Melbourne.

Professor Sutton said the case had not been linked to any other confirmed cases.

A formal test was sent to the Department of Health and Human Services' reference laboratory in Melbourne.
Authorities were still awaiting the results of tests for some of the person's close contacts.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-05/ ... e/12731856

Chadstone COVID-19 cluster grows to 24 cases
There are now 24 cases linked to the coronavirus outbreak at a Chadstone Shopping Centre butcher, with one new case today and more connected to people already diagnosed.

Seven staff, nine of their family members and three customers are among those who have been diagnosed.

Victoria's Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton, said customers might have been "unlucky" in catching the virus while interacting with staff, even for a short time.

"If someone's very infectious, symptomatic, coughing or sneezing or shouting... that might be how it happened," he said.
The Butcher Club store at the centre of the outbreak was back in business yesterday, but the cluster spread to regional Victoria with a cafe in Kilmore added to the list of high-risk locations.

Cases linked to the cluster now stretch from Frankston to Melton and Kilmore, showing how superspreading events can breach the 5km travel boundaries.

Professor Sutton said one of the ways the cluster could have spread so far was through family members travelling as essential workers.

"Any worker has family members and they can transmit to those family members … before they are symptomatic," Professor Sutton told reporters today.

"Those family members are in essential work industries as well and go to those work sites.

"Those workers, you would hope, are all wearing masks but again to the degree that compliance isn't in place or that people drop their guard then there can be transmission within workplaces as well.

"Those workplace colleagues have household and family members as well and on it goes."

Victoria recorded nine new coronavirus cases overnight - but no more people have died from COVID-19.

The 14-day average is now down to just over 11 for Melbourne.

It's the first time for almost a month nobody has died in the state from the virus.

There are 30 patients in hospital in the state, three in intensive care, and two on ventilators

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews called the latest numbers "great news".

There are 29 healthcare workers with the virus.

There were just over 9000 tests done on Sunday.

Professor Sutton said the figures today were "encouraging", but it was a "lineball" as to whether Victoria would meet the tight rules needed to come out of the next stage of lockdown.

"We're still trending in the right direction," he said.

“We’d have to see exactly where we were at that time, including the trend,” he said. “Because if all five of the cases are in the first week of that fortnight and we have seven or eight or nine days prior to the 19th that has absolutely no mystery cases, that’s a positive, obviously.”

As the weather improves and Melburnians increasingly meet for outdoor social activities, the government is also being asked to justify the 5km restriction on movement.

Sutton defended the measure on Monday as vital to limiting movement. Sutton and the premier, Daniel Andrews, both said it was possible it could remain in place even if other restrictions were eased. Another option was extending it to 10km.

We will examine it at the point when we are there,” Sutton said. “We will see where the outbreaks transmission is coming from and reflect on the 5km rule with respect to that and the overall picture.”

Amid calls from the federal government for a fast-tracked return to classes, Victoria also announced all students would now return to school for term four.

Related: Long Covid: the evidence of lingering heart damage

Year 7 will return alongside primary students next week, while years 8, 9 and 10 – about 164,000 students – will attend face-to-face classes from 26 October. Year 11 and 12 students were already set to return to school when term four recommenced.

Sutton said it was for families to decide whether students should take public transport to school.

“There will be some lines where public transport gets pretty crowded but if you can be in those little four-seated areas, maybe with your group of friends from your class that you would normally be socially interacting with, it is probably not an issue,” he said.

“If it is a packed public transport setting and you can’t distance appropriately and you have the option to be driven, then I think that’s a reasonable one as well. Obviously walking and cycling and all of those things are absolutely fantastic.”

Of the nine new cases in Victoria, one was linked to an outbreak at Chadstone Shopping Centre that’s now reached 24 infections.

Also on Monday, the Northern Territory government lifted travel restrictions for all of regional Victoria, except Greater Geelong, Mitchell shire and East Gippsland shire.

It means regional Victorians will be able to enter the NT without quarantining or other restrictions from 2 November.

“We can confirm we are now happy enough with the progress made in regional Victoria to flag a future change in their hotspot status, provided things keep progressing the way they are,” the chief minister, Michael Gunner, said.

In NSW, the state recorded its 10th day without a locally transmitted Covid case, though authorities warned that testing rates had declined.

Only 4,789 people were tested on Sunday, compared with 8,305 the previous day.

Meanwhile, the NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said the government was now asking public servants to return their offices.

“We are now encouraging public servants to physically return to work in their offices in a Covid-safe way, which will help stimulate city-based businesses and create more jobs across the state,” she said on the weekend.

There were no new cases in Queensland, with a total of six active cases in the state.

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


Prof Sutton says it's 'line ball' whether Melbourne Covid restrictions will be eased in two weeks
Victoria’s top health official, Brett Sutton, has said it will be “line ball” whether authorities will be able to ease Covid restrictions in Melbourne in two weeks’ time.

Even if several rules are lifted on 19 October, Sutton said on Monday a 5km limit on household movement may remain in place.

The comments came as NSW recorded no new community cases for the 10th day in a row and one case in hotel quarantine. Queensland also went another day without any new infections.

In Victoria, there were nine cases and no deaths overnight, while authorities confirmed all school students would now return to face-to-face classes this month.

To reach the “third step” of the state’s roadmap, which would see the retail sector and some hospitality venues re-open, the government requires a 14-day average of five cases. This currently stands at 11.6.

It also requires only five so-called “mystery” cases over two weeks, with that figure currently at 13. The planned date to ease restrictions was moved forward from 26 October to 19 October late last month.

Asked whether Victoria was likely to meet the required case thresholds, Sutton said his “gut feeling is that it will be line ball”. “Look, it’s not certain one way or the other,” he said on Monday.

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

Victorian chief health officer backflips on mystery case threshold
Victorian Chief Health Minister Brett Sutton has backflipped on the state’s coronavirus threshold for moving to the next step out of lockdown on October 18.

Under the Andrews roadmap, Metropolitan Melbourne must record five or less new cases per day, while no more than five mystery cases can be recorded in the 14 days prior, in order to further ease restrictions.
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Sky News Australia logoVictorian chief health officer backflips on mystery case threshold

Victorian Chief Health Minister Brett Sutton has backflipped on the state’s coronavirus threshold for moving to the next step out of lockdown on October 18.

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Victorian chief health officer backflips on mystery case threshold

Under the Andrews roadmap, Metropolitan Melbourne must record five or less new cases per day, while no more than five mystery cases can be recorded in the 14 days prior, in order to further ease restrictions.

a man holding a sign© Provided by Sky News Australia
When asked what would happen if Melbourne failed to meet the five per day average, Mr Sutton said the state had to focus on getting the cases lower.

“We do have to meet the thresholds,” he said.

“The mystery cases in particular is a really important one to meet.

“The successful jurisdictions internationally and in Australia have gotten to five or fewer cases in a 14-day period when they've been able to maintain control into the long-term.

“Places that haven't met that threshold have not been able to do that. So that's an important one".

However, when probed further about the likelihood of completely ruling out moving to the next stage if Victoria reported more than five mystery cases, Mr Sutton said he would not rule it out completely.

“We can have more than five mystery cases,” he said.

“We'd have to see exactly where we were at at that time including the trend.”

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

CAREFULLY SENDING KIDS BACK TO FACE - FACE SCHOOLING IN VICTORIA
Year 7 students to return to face-to-face learning
The State Government has announced Year 7 students will be able to return to face-to-face learning from October 12.
Victorian Year seven students will join primary school and VCE students in returning to face-to-face learning from October 12.

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Sky News Australia logoVictorian Year seven students return to the classroom on October 12

Victorian Year seven students will join primary school and VCE students in returning to face-to-face learning from October 12.

Victorian Year seven students return to the classroom on October 12
Special schools and VCAL students will also return to in-class learning on the same day.

Victorian Deputy Premier James Merlino announced the changes today on the first day of term four.

“Year seven is also a milestone year. It's their foundation year in secondary schools, so I'm just so pleased that we've had the advice from public health that we can get year sevens back next week, alongside all primary, VCE, VCAL and special schools,” he said.

Mr Merlino said year eight, nine and ten students would also return to face-to-face learning from October 26.

“As we have always said, the advice has always been a gradual return to face-to-face teaching,” he said.

“We have this two-week period to monitor the impact both for the return of those students, the increased movement of people as well as all of the strategies in place at a school level."

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

Students in Years 8, 9 and 10 are due to return to face-to-face learning from October 26.

All primary school students, VCE and VCAL students, and children at special schools, were already due back next week.

Children will start returning to school in Victoria NEXT WEEK
Year 7 students will finally be able to return to school as the Victorian government continues to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

They will join primary school students, students studying VCE and VCAL and students attending specialist schools in returning to school next week.

Under initial plans by Premier Daniel Andrews' government, Year 7 students were to be excluded from the initial return to school.

Education Minister James Merlino said the move recognised the importance of getting new high school students into class.

'Today is a really, really great day,' he told a press conference on Monday.

Under the plan, all students returning to Victorian schools will be required to wear face masks to restrict the spread of COVID-19.

On Monday, Victoria recorded no coronavirus deaths and just nine new cases.

Once back at school, only students from years 8 to 10 will remain at home schooling.

They will not return to school until October 26.

Mr Merlino warned parents of a range of new rules and procedures facing them and their children on returning to the classroom.

'There will be the capacity at secondary schools to spread the students out across the campus. At the school level, there are a number of strategies in place. So at secondary schools, everyone is wearing a mask,' he said.

'There will be staggered pick-up and drop-off times where appropriate, particularly in our larger primary and secondary schools.

'There will be physical distancing at the school gate. There will be a very strong message to parents: this is pick-up and drop-off. It’s not dropping off the kids and having a chat at the school gate, as much as you would like to.'

Mr Merlino said there was a strategy behind the staggered return to school.
More school students to return to classroom in Victoria
More school students in Victoria will return to the classroom in the next few weeks, it has been announced.

Victorian Deputy Premier James Merlino announced that as well as primary school and VCE students returning on Monday, October 12, year sevens will also go back then.

Mr Merlino said it will mean 50,000 students will be back in front of teachers, which he said was "incredibly pleasing."

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9News.com.au logoMore school students to return to classroom in Victoria

More school students in Victoria will return to the classroom in the next few weeks, it has been announced.

Victorian Deputy Premier James Merlino announced that as well as primary school and VCE students returning on Monday, October 12, year sevens will also go back then.

Mr Merlino said it will mean 50,000 students will be back in front of teachers, which he said was "incredibly pleasing."

a man holding a sign posing for the camera: Victoria's Deputy Premier, James Merlino, announced plans for schools.© Nine Victoria's Deputy Premier, James Merlino, announced plans for schools.
A fortnight later, on October 26, years eight to ten will also return to the classroom.

Some senior students are already back at school ahead of exams.

"As we have always said the advice has always been a gradual return to face-to-face teaching," he said.

"We were never going to have a million students at the same day, same time, return to school.

"The two weeks gives us time to monitor the impact."

Everybody must wear a mask at secondary schools, and pick up times will be staggered, he said, with parents not allowed to hang around at the school gate.

"Today is a really, really great day. This is the light at the end of the tunnel," he said.

Victoria recorded nine new coronavirus cases overnight - but no more people have died from COVID-19.

The 14-day average is now down to just over 11 for Melbourne.

It's the first time for almost a month nobody has died in the state from the virus.

Three of the new cases are linked to known outbreaks and six are from unknown sources.

One of the new cases is in Shepperton, in regional Victoria, however, while it's being treated as a positive case, Prof Brett Sutton said it might turn out to be negative and the person was being retested.

There are 30 patients in hospital in the state, three in intensive care, and two on ventilators

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

'There are a number of other reasons why this two weeks works for us,' Mr Merlino said.

"We have this two-week period to monitor the impact both for the return of those [Year 7] students, the increased movement of people, as well as all of the strategies in place at a school level," Education Minister James Merlino said today.

'The two weeks gives us time to monitor the impact as we bring back 50,000 year 7 students alongside all the years 11 and 12.

'We have this two-week period to monitor the impact both for the return of those students, the increased movement of people as well as all of the strategies in place at a school level. It is also, obviously, a full incubation period.'

Any school at which a student or staff member becomes infected with COVID-19 will be closed for deep cleaning and contact tracing, and will not reopen until the Department of Health and Human Services has reviewed it.

Primary school and most senior high school students were already due to return to their classrooms on October 12.

Regional Victorian students, who unlike Melburnians have enjoyed relaxed restrictions, returned to their classrooms today.

It remains unclear when children may be able to return to activities such as sports played outside of schools.

Mr Merlino said he would make further announcements in the coming days and weeks.

At Mr Andrews' daily press conference in Melbourne on Monday, Victorians were left in the dark about when they might be able to travel more than 5km from their homes.

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton told reporters he did not yet know if the travel rule would still be in place in two weeks' time.

Under Mr Andrews' plans to release trapped Melburnians on October 19, the statewide 14-day COVID-19 average needs to be five or less.

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

Year 12 Victorian students to wear masks for VCE exams
Year 12 students across Victoria will be required to wear masks when they sit their VCE exams after returning to school for the first time in months due to the extended lockdown across the state.
Primary school students in Melbourne will continue to learn from home for one more week before returning to face-to-face learning.

Grades seven to 10 have not yet been given a start date.

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

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


BREACHES
CBD party and a trip to buy rice among reasons for fines
Victoria Police has issued 125 fines for breaching coronavirus restrictions in the past day, including 13 for failing to wear a face mask in public.

Ten men having a party at a short-term rental in the CBD were among those who were fined.

Police also fined a man who said he was heading into the city to buy rice when he was stopped on a train more than 5 kilometres from home.

Two men who told police they were helping repair the brakes on their friends' car, more than 5km from their homes, were also fined.

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