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

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:46 am


One new coronavirus case in Queensland linked to women who flouted quarantine after Melbourne trip
1 new case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Queensland and has been linked to three women who allegedly flouted quarantine rules after returning from Melbourne, Health Minister Steven Miles says. He said the woman who has tested positive is the wife of a 27-year-old man who tested positive yesterday, and that she was already in quarantine.The woman works at the Bolton Clarke aged care facility in Pinjarra Hills.
Aged care worker tests positive in Qld, linked to case yesterday
The new coronavirus case is wife of a man who tested positive yesterday. Qld Health has confirmed the woman was already in quarantine but may have been infectious while working in an aged care facility. ... d=msedgntp
The woman works at the Bolton Clark Fairview aged care facility in Pinjarra Hills. "We do think that it's possible she was infectious when she worked her last shift at that facility," Dr Young said.
Yesterday Dr Young praised the woman for self isolating as soon as she found out she had dined at a venue which was subject to a public health alert.
Dr Young said extra nurses would be brought in to the facility to assist with the health response.
All residents are in isolation in their rooms as a precautionary measure. ... hp#image=1
Mr Miles said the link to the 3 women who returned from Melbourne and the latest case had now put vulnerable people at risk."It does underline just how serious this is … other people's relatives could get sick and could die," he said.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the woman may unknowingly have worked at the centre while she was infectious."We do think that it's possible she was infectious when she worked her last shift at that facility," Dr Young said. She said extra nurses would be brought in to the facility to assist with the health response.
Dr Young described the aged care facility — which has 150 staff and 105 residents — as "superb" and said staff there were doing an excellent job.
She said all residents and staff would be tested and the residents were already separated. "It is a superb facility — it couldn't be better set up for a situation like this," Dr Young said."All of the residents have their own private bedroom with and ensuite bathroom. "This is the best possible place for those residents."
Dr Young said all of the residents would be monitored "much more closely" for symptoms. "If any of those residents do test positive though we will immediately move them to a hospital."

'Not through this yet'
Dr Young said the two latest cases had been "model citizens" for self-isolating when they determined they might have been at risk. "They really and truly have been unbelievably fantastic," she said. "They've been out there minimising their contact since they first realised there was an issue."
But she said she remained concerned more cases would be added to the cluster."We're not through it yet," she said.
'It's so easy for this virus to get out of control — we've seen it."
Mr Miles said more than 11,000 people were tested across the state yesterday. "Queenslanders did an amazing job … we cracked our record number of COVID-19 tests. We smashed passed it in fact," he said.
Overnight, Queensland Health released a list of places that the 27-year-old man might have visited while infectious.
Mr Miles told people who had been in those locations that there was "no need to panic". "It's designed to assist you with assessing what your level of risk is," he said. "If they have any concerns at all for their health, they should go and get tested."
Queensland suburbs hit with health alert
More than 10 suburbs in Queensland’s East have been issued with a health alert over COVID-19 fears
Health Alert for major shopping centre after latest Queensland case
Late yesterday Queensland Health authorities issued a Public Health Alert for locations in the West Moreton and Brisbane South area, after a 27-year-old man tested positive for coronavirus.
The source of the man's infection is believed to be the group of women who travelled to Melbourne and dined at a Korean restaurant, instead of being in quarantine.
The man is believed to have dined with his wife and sister at the Madtongsan IV restaurant in Sunnybank.
Both of those women are nurses at the Pinjarra Hills Bolton Clarke Fairview aged care facility, along with a third person who has been in contact with the new case.

That facility has been placed into lockdown, with all residents isolated to their rooms.

The trio worked at the facility for five days before learning of their exposure.

Further contact tracing has been conducted by Queensland Health authorities and anyone who has been in the below locations during the relevant times has been asked to monitor their health and immediately seek testing if they are experiencing any relevant symptoms.

11.30-11.35am — Caltex Goodna — Goodna
12.30-2.10pm — Sleeman Sports Complex* — Chandler
4-7pm — Garden City Shopping Centre — Mount Gravatt
4-5pm — Kmart at Garden City Shopping Centre — Mount Gravatt
4.30-5pm — JB Hi-Fi at Garden City Shopping Centre — Mount Gravatt
around 5pm — MOS Burger at Garden City Shopping Centre — Mount Gravatt
around 6pm — Chatime at Garden City — Mount Gravatt
10-10.30am — Café 63 — Redbank Plains
11am-1pm — Bunnings Springfield — Springfield
3.15-4pm — Bunnings Oxley — Oxley
6-8.30pm — Basketball Court Springfield Lakes* — Springfield Lakes
8.45-8.55pm — Nando's Kenmore — Kenmore
8.40-8.45am — Caltex Wacol — Wacol
around 10.45am — Richlands Medical Centre Richlands Plaza — Richlands
around 11.35am — SNP Collection Centre Forrest Lake — Forrest Lake ... d=msedgntp ... d=msedgntp

Border closure extended to include Sydney
Millions now locked out of Queensland to try to contain coronavirus clusters
Thousands of people have made a last-minute dash for entry into Queensland before the border was officially closed to Greater Sydney just after midnight.
Passengers packed dozens of extra flights arriving at Brisbane Airport and long traffic delays were experienced at the vehicle crossing checkpoint on the Gold Coast.
As of 1:00am, residents of the Greater Sydney area — or anyone travelling there in the future — are banned from entering the Sunshine State.

Queenslanders returning home after the deadline must now quarantine in a hotel for 14 days at their own expense.

Professional boxer Sam Ah-See was one of the few who made it into Queensland on a late flight yesterday, just in time for an important fight in Townsville next month.
"I'm just lucky that I got out in time — it would have been a big mess for me if I didn't," Mr Ah-See said.
The 29-year-old is on his way to fight in the Jeff Horn and Tim Tszyu event on August 26, a career highlight for the up-and-coming athlete. But he was worried his opponent had not made the cut-off.
"It would have been a bummer if I missed it, but I'm not sure I'll get to fight if he doesn't make it," Ah-See said.

Sydneysiders Zoe and Jennifer Elsworth also came through on one of the last flights out of Sydney.
The pair were meant to settle on their new home in Queensland next week and would have missed the milestone because of the restrictions."We had the flights booked for Sunday so we had to reschedule them before the border closes," Jennifer Elsworth said."We're both from a low-risk area, so we don't feel like we're endangering anyone, but we'd happily quarantine if we had to, just to get there."

Andrew Watson, also from Sydney, booked a holiday flight to Brisbane as soon as he heard the border was going into lockdown."I would have been devastated if I couldn't have gone, because I wanted to get away from these cold conditions," he said."I'll get in just in time, have a few days up in the warmth, and then return to Sydney.
"You can't go to Victoria, you can't go to South Australia, you can't go to Perth or Northern Territory — so this was the only place left to go if you wanted to travel."

The Greater Sydney hotspot declaration shuts out about 5 million potential visitors, on top of the 6 million people already banned in Victoria.

Major airline operators have announced severe cutbacks in flight routes because of the drop in demand.
Qantas and Jetstar will reduce their services from Sydney to Queensland, including temporarily suspending flights to Coolangatta and Cairns as of Monday.
Virgin also cancelled all direct flights between Sydney and Cairns.

Queensland locked out of other states
As Queensland locked out its southern neighbours, other state leaders were taking similar action against the Sunshine State.
The Tasmanian Government announced it would soon ban travel into the state from a number of yet to be announced "Queensland hotspots". The cautious approach was being taken after a cluster of Queensland cases emerged, linked with two women accused of bringing the virus into the state from Victoria.
The women were charged with lying on their border declaration forms and fraud, and tested positive for coronavirus eight days after returning to Queensland.
Speaking on Friday, Tasmania director of public health Mark Veitch said the "hotspots" would include places visited by the women.
"There are a number of … places we now know they spent several hours in, and it's possible those are the sorts of settings where infection can be transmitted," Dr Veitch said. "We will be adding those locations to a list of what we call 'affected premises'."

Other state leaders, including in South Australia, indicated they were also considering tightening restrictions for Queensland residents.
The Northern Territory Chief Medical Officer has declared Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan as coronavirus hotspots.
Since midnight on Friday, anyone arriving in the Northern Territory from these areas is required to quarantine, at their own cost.
NT declares Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan as coronavirus hotspots
The Northern Territory has declared Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan in south-east Queensland as coronavirus hotspots.
The NT government announced anyone arriving from the three regions would be sent into hotel quarantine at their own expense.

The health directions took effect at midnight.
A Northern Territory man tested positive to coronavirus after travelling to Melbourne with a child who needed emergency medical treatment. ... d=msedgntp ... d=msedgdhp

Charges laid over alleged border smuggle attempt
In the past 24 hours, more than 5,000 people have flown into Queensland, with 114 people diverted to hotel quarantine, while one person was refused entry.
At road border checkpoints, 6,745 cars have been intercepted and 80 turned around.
Mr Miles said people from 35 cars were sent to into hotel quarantine.

Police are also investigating an incident where 2 people tried to cross the border in the back of a truck. Mr Miles said the people would be charged for breaching the COVID-19 travel restrictions. "It should send a message to anyone … they will be caught," he said. ... d=msedgntp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12969
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:48 am

Remote Indigenous health centre opens in Newman
A new healthcare hub for Indigenous clients in Newman is the first primary healthcare facility of any type to be constructed in the town.
It has a focus on Martu and Nyiyaparli people, offering a culturally appropriate space for Indigenous clients to receive services such as dialysis and other allied health services.
The new hub will save Indigenous clients from travelling to Perth for treatment, which can cost upwards of $5,000 per visit per person.
GPs, child healthcare nurses, practice nurses, remote area nurses, and registered nurses will be employed along with a health systems officer.Chronic disease management, specialists, dentists, audiology, occupational therapy, speech therapy and other allied health specialists will make it a one-stop shop for Indigenous people in Newman.
Social and emotional wellbeing and sexual health advice is also on offer.
Culturally appropriate signs in language will be installed around the building, but the sense of ownership already exists among community members who designed the artworks in the centre.
CEO of Puntukurnu Aboriginal Health Service (PAMS) Robbie Chibawe said the federal grant for health services was split between the $8 million health hub and nine flats and five staff houses purchased for health care workers who will run the centre.Mr Chibawe said he felt good that all the hard work that his team had put in had come to fruition."I'm really feeling delighted," he said.
The centre's plans for dialysis had been a huge point of interest for many Martu people who felt sad to travel long distances.
Some had chosen to die at home rather than suffer the trauma of family separation for long periods.
Mr Chibawe said the disruption to family life and culture was huge.
PAMS clinical manager Krystle Lomas said there was a need to empower Aboriginal people to self-dialyse, but preventative measures were just as important."We do need to have dialysis in our remote settings, but also, let's stop people from getting diabetes, heart disease, let's stop that from happening," Ms Lomas said."Going to metropolitan areas for dialysis and serious medical needs is not a long-term solution."They don't want to travel to Perth, they want to stay on country and get treatment."
After flying to Perth for dialysis treatment with a small overnight suitcase, PAMS board member Naburu S Bung was told she could not go home and had to stay in Perth permanently.Her relief is that she can now come home to get treatment in Newman, 1,170 kilometres away."It's heaven sent," Ms Bung said."Being a stolen generation, I've come full circle, I've come back home to live and die."
Minister for Health Roger Cook said the centre would be a significant change for the delivery of great primary health care in Newman."The McGowan Government looks forward to continuing to work with PAMS to enhance services for people in the Pilbara," Mr Cook said.
After the federal announcement on Closing the Gap for Indigenous people in prison, out-of-home care, suicide, family violence, cultural preservation and tertiary education, Mr Cook said his government would work in partnership with the Aboriginal community and the Federal Government to achieve the new ambitious targets."The refresh is an opportunity to recommit ourselves as a nation in making sure we can achieve Closing the Gap targets right across the entire community," he said.
PAMS commissioned the new building at a cost of $8 million, designed by architect David Kaunitz who completed similar remote allied health facilities in Parnngurr and Punmu in 2018.
He worked to the PAMS ethos, creating an extraordinary rammed-earth building that created a human and intuitive connection to its place where the material itself was country.
The building hosts artworks from the communities of Kunawarritji, Punmu, Parnngurr, Jigalong and Newman by seven Martu and Nyiyaparli artists chosen by the board, incorporated into screens that provide window protections of filtered light and entry gates.
Mr Kaunitz said the Indigenous artworks humanise the building and the spaces within."Above all, the artworks are representations of cultural beliefs and dreaming," Mr Kaunitz said."It reflects the different light and absorbs the rain just like country, which is obvious and immediate to everyone but elevated and important for Aboriginal people."At night the screens lit from within become a beacon of culture into the community, a projection of ancient and complex cultures building a brighter future."
It is built from locally sourced rammed earth and boasts a 150kW rooftop photovoltaic system that is one of the largest systems north of Perth, providing 100 per cent of its own power needs when the sun is shining for more than 330 days per year. ... d=msedgntp

Regional businesses relying on backpackers fret closures
Regional businesses that have relied on backpackers in the past are desperate for staff. Some operators in Western Australia are worried they will have to shut their doors because they can't find enough workers. ... d=msedgntp

Flight from India carrying more than 100 Aussies arrives in Adelaide
Another new case of COVID-19 has been recorded in South Australia and is the state's third case in 3 days.The man is in his 20s and returned from Victoria on Jetstar flight JQ774 on Tuesday.

Earlier this morning, about 170 Australian travellers who disembarked a flight from India, which landed in Adelaide, went through mandatory testing on arrival.They were transported to hotels in the Adelaide CBD for their two-week mandatory quarantine.
Flight MH8461 arrived at Adelaide Airport from New Delhi this morning, bringing home about 170 Australian citizens and permanent residents.
They include Australian citizens and permanent residents who had travelled to see sick or dying family members, other people on holiday or visiting for events such as weddings, as well as students and workers who lived in Australia on temporary visa.
On June 30, three travellers from India to South Australia tested positive to COVID-19. Hundreds of Australians are still stuck in India where coronavirus cases continue to grow.
A record surge of 55,079 new cases in the past 24 hours took India's coronavirus caseload past 1.6 million, as the government decided lifted a night curfew that has been in force since late March. The Health Ministry on Friday also reported 779 additional deaths, taking total fatalities to 35,747.

Earlier this month it became the third country in the world to record more than 1 million new cases of coronavirus behind the United States and Brazil.

All of the state's three new cases are people who travelled from Victoria.
18 close contacts on the flight are in isolation and two of the man's family members have returned a negative test.
All of the state's three new cases are people who travelled from Victoria. The state has seen seven new cases in 11 days. ... d=msedgdhp

Small border towns impacted by hard border between SA and Victoria
The hard border closure between Vic. and SA is taking a toll on small border towns relying on interstate traffic to survive. Sean Wales reports from Kaniva, the last Vic. town on the highway between Melbourne and Adelaide. ... d=msedgdhp

Canberra's last remaining known active case of coronavirus from Victoria recovers
The last known active case of COVID-19 in Canberra, a person linked to the Victorian outbreak, has recovered.
ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said Canberrans needed to continue social distancing measures."Having zero active cases of COVID-19 in the ACT is, of course, good news." Dr Coleman said."But it doesn’t mean we can let our guard down."
It has been three weeks since a new case of COVID-19 has been identified in the ACT.
Two people tested positive in early July to the disease after returning from travel to Melbourne.
A further three housemates of the pair then tested positive.
'Not over': Stage 2.2 restrictions remain in place
The ACT Government has decided to , limiting venue patrons and the size of outdoor gatherings.That decision will be reviewed on Thursday.
Yesterday, Chief Minister Andrew Barr "strongly advised" against travel to greater Sydney, but stopped short of issuing a travel ban.He said travel to regional NSW should also be reconsidered.
Canberra has yet to identify a case of COVID-19 linked to any recent Sydney cases, or to an outbreak at the Soldiers Club in Batemans Bay.
Many of the 81 Canberrans who had contact with cases linked to the Soldiers Club and were required to self-isolate for a fortnight have begun to come out of isolation.
Self-isolation is still required for people returning to Canberra from Victoria or from Fairfield, Campbelltown or Liverpool in NSW."The pandemic is not over and we must remain vigilant. We only need to have a look at what is happening in Victoria and NSW to see how the situation can change quickly," Dr Coleman said."Our continued success in the fight against this virus relies on Canberrans maintaining this effort in the weeks and months ahead."

There has been a total of 113 cases and three deaths in the ACT since the beginning of the pandemic. ... d=msedgntp

COVIDSafe app helps identify two new coronavirus cases
o date the COVIDSafe app has appeared to be a white elephant, with millions of dollars invested in building the app and marketing it yet no proven cases of positive use.

Today, NSW Health announced the app had helped them trace new contacts, two of whom have tested positive to COVID-19."For one of the cases where NSW Health accessed the COVIDSafe App data, a previously unrecognised exposure date from a known venue, Mounties, was identified," it said."This resulted in the identification of an additional 544 contacts."Two people in this group presented for testing and were subsequently confirmed to have COVID-19."
t's assumed from this statement that contacts within the COVIDSafe app of a positive COVID-19 patient identified at least one additional unknown contact.
NSW Health likely manually traced that contact and determined the contact to have occurred at Mounties - a venue on the NSW Health advisory list, but on a date that was not previously listed as of concern.
The "additional 544 contacts" are not necessarily from the app.
It's more likely these were contacts listed at Mounties - where patrons are required to register for entry - and thus they were contact and asked to get tested.Of them, two were positive cases.
It's a big win for the process of contact tracing, and while it's just two cases, with community spread so rapid, that single use of the app may save many positive transmissions.

But it does beg the question - should it be doing more?
The simple answer is: yes, it should.
People with the app installed should be opening it on a daily basis to ensure it is operating effectively, and people who don't have it should install it.
Additionally, to ensure the app is most effective on iPhones, Apple need to open up their new Bluetooth interface to the Australian Government app, separate to the integration of contact tracing into the Google and Apple "exposure notification" framework.
This would enable iPhones to be more effective than they are, and would enhance the Australian process of contact tracing.
At this stage, Apple seem reluctant to move from their position which requires the government to utilise the entire Google/Apple framework - something that goes against our current methods of contact tracing which, it must be admitted, are world leading.
There is still no evidence of any successful uses of the app in Victoria, the state with our highest rate of community transmission. ... d=msedgntp

Fears over data security in state border management apps during the coronavirus crisis
Digital rights experts fear people's identification, health and work details could be on-sold by companies that have developed new phone apps to help state border management during the COVID-19 crisis.

In Western Australia and Tasmania, the state governments are urging the public to download a privately-developed application called the Good2Go Pass (G2G PASS) to track their applications for exemptions to quarantine or isolation restrictions.

Visitors can use the app to track their applications, and if approved, they are sent a unique code known as a QR code, which can help ease their entry at air and seaports.

It asks travellers to input identity documents such as a drivers licence, passport, Medicare card or Tasmanian Information card, as well as attach work and health documentation.

Lyndsey Jackson, the chair of digital rights group Electronic Frontiers Australia, said it appeared to request more data than other apps, such as the Commonwealth's CovidSafe contract tracing app."This really feels different," Ms Jackson said."This company, looking at the terms on its website, certainly reserves the right to build products based on the data and information that people put into it."They also have some facial recognition capabilities."

Trevor McKenna, vice-president of the Law Society of Tasmania, said there needed to be explicit laws preventing secondary use of the data."There should be legislation that makes very clear what the app's for, how the data is stored, how long it's stored for and how long it can be used," he said.

The Tasmanian Government told the ABC the only information collected by the app related to its performance and it did not collect personal data"The performance data will not be on-sold to third parties," a spokeswoman said.
The app was developed by a private company for the WA Police and the law enforcement agency is listed as the developer in app stores.Ms Jackson said it raised the question of whether the WA Police could access data for criminal cases and whether they needed a court's approval to do so.

The Law Society agreed it also raised jurisdictional issues."If I use the app to travel to Perth, I should have confidence it won't be disclosed to police if they're investigating a criminal offence," Mr McKenna said.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) said the WA and Tasmanian databases were segregated to ensure data collected by each state was inaccessible to the other.But it said information provided through the app "may form part of a prosecution regarding an offence under the Tasmanian Emergency Management Act".

Australian data caught up in cloud concerns
There are also additional legal concerns about where data is stored.Much like the CovidSafe app, the data is being stored by Amazon Web Services.
The US-based company is subject to the American Cloud Act, which means the US Government can potentially access data on cloud storage, even overseas."My understanding is that law is quite unclear," he said.
Electronic Frontiers Australia said there were also the usual risks of hacking."[What] isn't clear on the site for the app they talk about encryption but that doesn't mean an administrator can't get into the database," Ms Jackson said."These private companies can change their terms and condition at any time so once that happens and your information's in there you really don't have a lot of recourse."
A DPIPWE spokesman said the data was hosted in an Australian data centre and there were additional security measures in place to protect the confidentiality of the information."The Tasmanian Government considers that appropriate measures are in place to protect the information, which includes using industry-standard security practices, measures and data encryption," they said.

Are people forced to use the app?
Ms Jackson said there was also a question of informed consent and whether travellers felt they were forced to use the app and had no low-tech alternative."You don't have much choice because you need to get home or you need to get to work," she said.She urged the public to ask what happened to their data and if it could be deleted at a later date.

The WA Government referred the ABC to its G2G website, which indicated those travelling to the state who did not want to use the app could speak directly to WA Police.A DPIPWE spokesman said travellers who arrived in Tasmania without an approved G2G PASS QR code would be given paperwork to complete at the border.
"However in most cases, they will be required to quarantine in government accommodation at their own cost whilst the application is assessed," she said."Travellers who receive their G2G PASS QR code before arriving will be able to quickly pass through their port of arrival in Tasmania." ... hp#image=1

Australians withdraw more money from superannuation to repay debts
Suzanne Haddan is the Managing Director at BFG Financial Services and she gives the lowdown on what's been making headlines in finance and economic news this week. ... d=msedgntp

Assets tests reintroduced by Centrelink for JobSeeker = Some Australians who withdrew their super as an emergency measure could be booted off JobSeeker, according to the government
<< nasty financial hanky-panky will force jobless to spend down their savings before qualifying for JobSeeker – lepards never change their spots , lot of new unemployed very upset by this relevation >>
The Australian government will reintroduce the liquid asset test for JobSeeker applicants from 25 September.
If a recipient has over $11,500 in liquid assets their payments can be temporarily paused.
The Department of Social Services confirmed on Thursday that any early super withdrawals sitting in savings accounts will be included, potentially rendering some Australians ineligible for JobSeeker.

Some Australians are in for a shock as the Morrison government begins stripping back its economic support measures.
As the JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs get overhauled from September, eligible Australians can expect to receive less no matter their financial situation.

Those on JobSeeker, however, face being taken off altogether as the Department of Social Services reintroduces the liquid assets test in its second phase starting on 25 September.

Under the test, recipients will have payments halted if they are found to have above $5,500 in 'liquid assets' such as savings.

With the Department retaining discretion over what is exactly might contribute to that exclusion, officials revealed that another hardship measure might momentarily rule some Australians out of contention.

During a Senate Select Committee, they were questioned on how the government's early super withdrawal scheme would figure in the department's calculations.
"I think probably the easiest way to explain it is that, yes, if someone has drawn down on their super and that money is now sitting as a liquid asset in their savings account, that will count towards the total of their liquid assets which will be assessed for the liquid asset waiting period," Deputy Secretary of the Department's COVID-19 Taskforce Nathan Williamson confirmed.

In other words, hardship cases can be rejected from government support until they can spend enough of their buffer to qualify.

The conclusion comes with a catch, however."If it had been used to retire debt or pay down a mortgage — those types of mechanisms which we understand some people are using the drawdown of super for — then it wouldn't be counted," Department Secretary Kathryn Campbell said.

It's an interesting development. In effect, it compels Australians to spend or deploy a chunk of their retirement savings today rather than maintain a financial buffer for tomorrow.
"If you make people spend all of their hard-earned savings before receiving income support then they are left in a precarious position during the rest of this pandemic," Greens Senator Rachael Siewert wrote in an opinion piece for social policy publication ProBono. "For many people the only way they can survive on JobSeeker is by supplementing that income with what little savings they have."
"This could be the difference between hanging on with the mortgage until they find more work – or losing the family home. Taking that safety net away is not only unfair, but also irresponsible and it will have a chilling effect on the wider economy," she said.

Of course, with 1.6 million-odd Australians on the allowance, a Coalition government concerned with a budget blowout isn't going to tolerate any hangers-on – particularly as it doubles down on its claim that Australians would prefer welfare to a job.

With the super scheme awash with concerns over how some Australians will now self-fund their retirement, it may be tricker keeping them all off the pension when their time comes. ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12969
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:50 am

Camel tour operator wants borders shut rather than see people die of coronavirus
Key points:
An Alice Springs tourism operator holds dire concerns for the reopening of borders, even though it harms his business
The operator said he would rather close his business than have one person die from COVID-19
During the NT lockdown it was challenging to come up with funds to feed his 15 camels
A concerned tourism operator in central Australia says Northern Territory's borders should remain closed because having them open is putting lives at risk given recent COVID-19 spikes.
Marcus Williams owns and runs Pyndan Camel Tracks on the outskirts of Alice Springs."I don't want the virus to come to the Territory. And I certainly don't want to be going to funerals," he said."If the virus does come here and it gets out of control, then unfortunately, we will be going to funerals."
Mr Williams said it was a very scary time."I'd much rather the borders to stay closed than to have people's lives at risk," he said."I'd much rather have my business close, I'd much rather not make money, than to have one person die.
Diversifying in tough times
The coronavirus pandemic has not been easy on Mr Williams or his business."We've had to cut down our staff and we're not really making that much money at the moment," he said.

Mr Williams said that diversifying the business during lockdown was vital in keeping money coming in to feed his 15 camels.
"To feed my 15 camels, it costs me around $350-400 a week," he said.

Pre-pandemic, Mr Williams used to give away camel manure for people's gardens."Then my wife suggested we should start selling the stuff to start making a little bit of money to be able to feed the camels, which worked really well," he said."People have gathered around to support local businesses, such as my my business."I've also been very surprised and overwhelmed with the generosity of people that have donated the camel rides that they'd previously paid for."

Tourism vouchers
To help stimulate the economy, the NT Government provided tourism vouchers where the Government would match up to $200 when residents contributed $200 of their own funds."The vouchers did come at the right time for my business because of the school holidays," he said."We were able to open up our business and start operating as per usual because the the coronavirus wasn't here in the Territory."People were feeling quite safe and were going out and doing stuff. It was really good and really worked."
The flow-on effect was almost immediate."The amount of people that came out to ride during the school holidays, that were using those vouchers, has enabled my business to be able to afford to pay for feed for the next six months for my camels until the end of the year," Mr Williams said. ... e/12494582
'Disappointing': Northern Territory police officer quits after coronavirus border breach

A police officer has resigned after breaching COVID-19 border restrictions, as the Northern Territory reports one new case of coronavirus.The 27-year-old was among a group of 5 people who crossed the Queensland border into the Territory and he resigned on Saturday. They failed to complete the required border entry forms when they entered on Monday, police said.
"These actions could have seriously compromised the health and safety of all Territorians," Deputy Commissioner Murray Smalpage said in a statement."What is most disappointing is the action of the former police officer. "We do not discriminate when it comes to disciplining those who fail to abide rules."
The former officer was accompanied by a 28-year-old woman and men aged 26, 27 and 29. They were all quarantined along with two close contacts, women aged 19 and 24.
The ex-officer has since started self-isolation and has been slapped with an infringement for contravening an emergency declaration.
On Saturday the Territory reported a fresh COVID-19 diagnosis - that of a woman who arrived on a flight from Melbourne.
She is the partner of a Darwin man who tested positive on Friday, with the couple now under the care of the local health services.
The case takes the total number of COVID-19 infections reported in the NT to 34, all related to international or interstate travel.
The Northern Territory government has said it will employ an extra 100 frontline health workers to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The extra staff will allow for ongoing border screening of passengers arriving from interstate and will help manage people in supervised quarantine.
They will also be trained in contact tracing."We know there is no vaccine, there is no cure, and COVID-19 has no end date," Health Minister Natasha Fyles said."Our frontline health staff are integral to our response to COVID-19 and they have done an incredible job in trying times." ... der-breach ... s/12515020

Darwin's Hidden Valley Tavern breaches Banned Drinker Register law 192 times in just 6 days
The Hidden Valley Tavern breached BDR requirements because of systemic failures, the commission ruled.
A Darwin hotel has been ordered to suspend takeaway alcohol sales for two days after failing to enforce the Northern Territory's Banned Drinker Register (BDR) on close to 200 occasions.

The Northern Territory Liquor Commission found the Hidden Valley Tavern sold alcohol without scanning people's identification 192 times over a six day period between December 9 and December 15.

In the NT, anyone purchasing takeaway alcohol are required to have their identification scanned to ensure they're not on the BDR that forbids them buying liquor.

People are listed on the BDR register for a range of offences — including committing alcohol-related domestic violence and drink driving — and are barred from buying grog.

The commission said three employees had failed to scan customers' identification, because of a "complacent attitude".
"[The staff] said it was not a deliberate decision to provide liquor to a known banned drinker but rather due to a complacent attitude toward regular customers and a desire to provide prompt service," the commission said.
"[We] accept that each of these employees were genuinely remorseful. They each offered to tender their resignations but the licensee has decided to keep them on."

The commission said the issue seemed to be a "systemic failure" at the Tavern.
"It became clear that these breaches were not a one-off event over this particular week," the commission said.
"It may be that the pressure on staff was greater at this particular time in the lead-up to the festive season.
"It is impossible to ascertain the extent and for what prior period these breaches had been occurring."

The tavern's owners, JTR Investments, has been ordered to suspend takeaway sales over a weekend later this month. ... ue#image=1

PNG's coronavirus spike appears to have been triggered by a COVID-19 lab tester. Now a hospital is the epicentre
A series of beds are being set up in a makeshift hospital in Rita Flynn sports stadium.
Key points:
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape has demanded a full investigation into the outbreak there
The country's recent outbreak began at a lab at the nation's biggest hospital
There are fears transmission of COVID-19 may now be widespread in Port Moresby

For months, Papua New Guinea has avoided a large-scale coronavirus outbreak, but in the space of two weeks things have changed. Until mid-July, only 11 cases had been recorded in the country. Then on July 16, a new case was discovered.It was a lab technician — who had reported a fever, muscle aches, a cough and runny nose. They'd been working at a COVID-19 testing lab.
It prompted 37 staff at the lab to get tested. That was when three more cases were announced.

The acting Secretary of the Health Department said he was "saddened" to declare all the new cases were staff of the Central Public Health Laboratory. The lab sits in the country's biggest hospital, Port Moresby General.

In the days that followed, more cases were discovered at the hospital and in the health department. Staff and patients. Then family members. It has put health officials in a tough position, being at the epicentre of the country's most significant outbreak just as the significantly under-resourced system prepares to handle escalating coronavirus cases.
A ward in a Pt Moresby General Hospital.
PNG now has more than 70 cases and has recorded two deaths

But the fear is now over how much further that could rise, especially given the mystery of how that first lab technician contracted the virus.

For the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic read our coronavirus live blog.
The major hospital at the centre of the outbreak
As the initial cases were identified, "chaos" was reported at the Port Moresby General Hospital, with patients suffering other illnesses being turned away. "When we had the first case in the ward, there was fear and panic among the staff and then the second and third case after that," the hospital's chief executive Dr Paki Molumi told the ABC.
"The first 24 to 48 hours was a bit rough, but now we have everything back to normal."
Prime Minister James Marape said he has "demanded" a full inquiry into the cluster from the health department, but insisted lab staff had personal protective equipment (PPE).
"Those in the frontline say they did their absolute best in protecting themselves," he said."We will ensure that going into the future, stricter compliance to safety gear and protocol is adhered to and our own health workers, their health isn't compromised."

But in the aftermath of the outbreak, some nurses at the hospital have raised concerns about a shortage of PPE, with one telling the ABC that staff were being asked to reuse their masks.
Dr Molumi said the hospital had enough PPE in stock."We exactly know what type of PPE and how much we require every day, as per our roster," he said."It's just that staff sometime overlook their stock, they don't go and pick it up, but we make sure it's available all the time."

Dr Molumi also said the hospital has been preparing for COVID-19 for five months and does have processes in place, "but when people fear they forget all of the processes that have been set in place".

He said meetings with senior hospital staff had been held to review processes at the hospital "given the situation what has transpired in the last two weeks and we fixed up what has gone wrong."

The World Health Organisation will be involved in monitoring and evaluating infection control measures at the hospital to allow improvements.

Precautions have also been taken. The hospital went into "emergency mode," after the initial cases were identified having to scale down services while it cleaned.

Improving infection control and protecting other critical services, like emergency surgery, in the country's biggest referral hospital is vital."It will be mandatory PPE for all staff, it will be enforced," Dr Molumi said."Unlike, it has been left as a circular direction given, but we have not really enforced it in making sure that it has happened."

A large tent has been set up outside in the car park to triage patients, so that people with possible symptoms can be sent to an isolation facility that has been set up at a sports stadium called Rita Flynn.

But the spread among hospital workers and within the broader health sector has continued.

The ABC understands the COVID-19 National Control Centre had to be fumigated after two coronavirus cases were detected among staff, including one of the Health Minister's advisors.
Concerningly, a health worker flew from Port Moresby to the second biggest city of Lae, where he then showed symptoms and tested positive.

He had attended a workshop with 74 health workers in that city who all had to be isolated and tested. So far no-one else has tested positive.

Fears over unknown community transmission
What initially began as just a few cases has quickly turned into a dangerous outbreak.

PNG's COVID-19 emergency controller David Manning has said coronavirus is now "widespread" in Port Moresby. The question of how the original lab technician came into contact with the coronavirus remains."We clearly have a situation of local transmission in Port Moresby," Sean Casey, the then Incident Manager for the World Health Organisation in PNG told the ABC."At the moment we still don't have very large scale testing in the city, so we don't really know what the scale of transmission is."
he lab techs and health workers, who are well educated about coronavirus, were always going to be far more likely to identify possible symptoms and get tested than many other parts of the population.

It is apparent that coronavirus has been circulating in Papua New Guinea, undetected, for some time. The infection source of several isolated cases recorded before the recent cluster in Port Moresby were never identified.

While health data in the country can be unreliable, there is so far no evidence of a significant increase in respiratory cases or deaths.

But for a country that has about 5,000 hospital beds for a population of more than eight million people, the blatant community transmission now on display is deeply concerning.

Mr Marpae said "global modelling" suggested the case numbers could be in the thousands, but there were few details given of the modelling used."The high probability [is] that in Port Moresby alone, there could be a possibility of more than 5,000 to 10,000 people who already have COVID-19 in our city," he said.

So far about 10,200 tests have been conducted in the country, but that is ramping up with testing centres, including the first drive through facility, being established.

Yet as the cases begin to escalate, there are fears the hospital systems will not be able to cope.

From the outset, PNG has been honest about the fact its health system cannot handle a pandemic scale outbreak."If this goes out of control, then it's going to flatten our hospitals and clinics," Dr Molumi said."We don't have the capacity to take care of so many people at the same time and that is a very big fear of ours." ... m/12510788
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12969
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:07 am





Today's data


Melbourne Mitigation Measures :
> curfew 8pm to 5am applies
> restriction to 5km travel from home
> weddings are banned for 6 weeks
> 1 hr exercise / day ( no more than 2 people )
> automatic fines ( no more police warnings )
> 1 person to per shopping trolley at shops for essentials
> essentials will be rationed by supermarkets to reasonable amounts per trolley / person to curtail panic buying
> stay at home order for all but except essential workers
> very strict reasons to leave home for everyone else ( shop of essentials , work , seek medical assistance , give assistance to someone who needs it , exercise ).
> schools ordered to close for rest of term ( all Vic schools to resume e-learning , remote teaching from Wednesday ).
> Vic Police & ADF patrols no longer issuing warnings , very large on the spot fines to apply .
> Vic Police powers increased to allow forced entry to homes and premises.

Regional Vic is Lev 3 all kids to return to home schooling + mandatory masks outside home.

NSW masks are now STRONGLY ADVISED for all.

The Epidemiological curves for NSW & Vic & QLD , note changes in slope with introduction of Lockdowns , L2 --> L3 restrictions , and mandatory masks in Melbourne

Australia's pandemic so far ( daily confirmed cases )

Sources of infection

Australian covid cases' demographics

Daily cases ( last 2 weeks )

Australia's daily summary

Sources of infection

Hospital situation

Nationally, 208 people have died

123 in Victoria,
52 in NSW,
13 in Tasmania,
9 in WA,
4 in Queensland,
4 in SA and 3 in ACT.

Deaths demography

Aged Care Outcomes

Fast developing situations in SA, Victoria, NSW, and QLD , details will be laid out by PM, CMO, Premiers , Police Ministers , Health Ministers , Education Ministers and CHOs for each effected state tomorrow ( 3 August ).
A lot of news of NSW, Vic and QLD for 2 August to process - Pending .
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12969
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:06 am


Australia's coronavirus fatalities reach 201 as Victoria records highest monthly death toll
Key points:
Victoria experienced Australia's darkest month in July with 95 coronavirus fatalities
Australia recorded no deaths between May 23 and June 24 before outbreaks in Victoria
The Ruby Princess cluster remains Australia's deadliest, followed by the Newmarch House cluster
More than 200 people have died of coronavirus in Australia as the death toll continues to accelerate. ... 1/12512024

Victoria has enacted a state of disaster to enforce coronavirus restrictions. Here's what that means
Six months after Victoria declared a state of disaster to deal with the summer's fires, the dramatic legislation has again come into effect to deal with the "public health bushfire" of coronavirus.
If they go ahead they will be the harshest restrictions that Australia has seen and will be similar to the lockdown imposed by New Zealand. ... d=msedgntp
It came into effect at 6:00pm on Sunday and can be in place for at least a month. It gives police and emergency services much broader powers to enforce new coronavirus restrictions, including the Melbourne-wide curfew every night.
It also gives authorities the ability to suspend Acts of Parliament and take possession of properties.

Why is a state of disaster declared?
A state of disaster is enacted by the Premier, on the advice of the Emergency Management Commissioner, if there is an emergency which "constitutes or is likely to constitute a significant and widespread danger to life or property in Victoria".
The power to impose a state of disaster has been around since the Emergency Management Act came into effect in 1986, but it was used for the first time this year in early January during the bushfire crisis.
During a year of disasters, it's now being enacted to respond to the coronavirus crisis, which Premier Daniel Andrews said was "wildly infectious and absolutely dynamic".
"This is a public health bushfire, but you can't smell the smoke and you can't see the flames. This is very different, it is a wicked enemy," he said.

Why is Victoria introducing this now?
Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville said the decision to enforce the state of disaster was "not something we take lightly".
Victoria's high coronavirus case numbers and a rising death rate has led the Government to impose stage four restrictions across Melbourne, which include a curfew and restrictions on movement across the city.
The rest of regional Victoria will be under stage three restrictions — meaning there are only four main reasons to leave home — from Thursday.
Ms Neville said the Government needed the legislation to ensure it had clear power to impose and enforce the curfew and other parts of the new rules.
"For all those who want to test the police powers, this now puts out of doubt any of those police powers," she said.
Under the Act, the Emergency Services Minister can "control and restrict entry into, movement within and departure from the disaster area of any part of it".

In this case, that means all of Victoria.
The Minister can also delegate the Emergency Management Commissioner — who is currently Andrew Crisp — "or any other person" any of her powers or functions.
This means police and other emergency services will get the power to enforce the new restrictions.

What else can happen in a state of disaster?
Under the Act, there are some pretty broad powers given to the Emergency Services Minister.
The minister can "direct any government agency to do or refrain from doing any act, or to exercise or perform or refrain from exercising or performing any function, power, duty or responsibility".
It also gives the Government the power to suspend other Acts of Parliament if it appears it "would inhibit response to or recovery from the disaster".
As well as restricting movement, the legislation allows the minister or her delegates — so police or emergency services — to take possession of any property if it's necessary to respond to the disaster.
There's also the power to evacuate people from disaster areas, which is something we saw happen for the first time in January as bushfires closed in on East Gippsland.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms Neville suggested it would enable police to prevent all protests or move along crowds at settings like supermarkets if physical-distancing rules were not being followed.
Ms Neville said the legislation allowed her to appoint police as authorised officers, removing the current need for police to have a health department official with them on jobs like compliance checks.
But the Act doesn't allow the Minister to give the ADF additional enforcement powers.

How is this different to the state of emergency?
Victoria is already living under a state of emergency, which was implemented back in March.
While they both have very dramatic names, they operate under different legislation and different state mechanism

Mr Andrews said while states of disaster and emergency could operate independently, they worked best together, and he had advice that conditions had been met to trigger them.
The state of emergency was imposed on March 16 and legally has a six-month time limit before it needs to be revoked.
This means amendments may need to be made to the legislation if it needs to continue — something the Premier said he hoped would happen "without political games".
The state of disaster can only stay in place for a month, but another declaration can be made to extend it before it ends.
[/quote] ... d/12516570

Andrews warns COVID could get out-of-control
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters the number of COVID-19 cases remain too high and if nothing is done Victoria could see an out of control covid19 pandemic with thousands of new cases every day like what is happening overseas where the governments have failed to act effectively or even appropriately , which is why he chose to "go hard now."
“Metropolitan Melbourne is under the state of disaster provisions from 8:00pm tonight, a curfew will be implemented," Mr Andrews said."There will be a curfew across metropolitan Melbourne from 8:00pm this evening and run from 8:00pm to each and every day."And the only reason to be out of your home between the hours of 8:00pm and 5:00am is to get care, to give care, or to go to and from work or be at work."

Mr Andrews warned Victorians will not be able to leave their local area and only one person per household will be allowed to go to the shops for essential items. "You will no longer be able to leave home and go any further away from your home than a 5km radius," Mr Andrews said. "You will not be able to be at any point more than 5km away from your home for the purposes of shopping for what you need.

"Only one person will be able to go shopping once per day and they will need to secure the goods and services that are what you need within a 5km radius.”
“He strongly advised those who are not already on department store priority online contact free home delivery to arrange this NOW” and not to panic buy . ... d=msedgdhp

Victoria has introduced a curfew and stage 4 coronavirus restrictions for Melbourne, and stage 3 restrictions for regional Victoria. Here's what that means

Premier Daniel Andrews declared a state of disaster in Victoria on Sunday, and announced Melbourne would move into stage four restrictions from Sunday evening.
Mr Andrews said 671 new coronavirus cases had been detected since Saturday, with 6,322 infections now active in the state. even people have died from coronavirus in Victoria in the past 24 hours, taking the state's death toll to 123.
Life is about to look very different for all Victorians. Premier Daniel Andrews and Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton have introduced a stricter set of rules designed to rein in coronavirus infections, which have been spreading disastrously over the past month.
Key changes:
From 6:00pm on Sunday, metropolitan Melbourne will come under stage four restrictions.
Melburnians will only be allowed to shop for food and necessary supplies within 5 kilometres of their home.
Exercise will be limited to one hour once per day, within 5km of home.
A curfew will apply from 8:00pm to 5:00am each night.
From Thursday, regional Victoria will return to stage three "stay at home" restrictions, while Mitchell Shire will remain on stage three restrictions.

What are the new restrictions?
The stage four restrictions will apply to 31 metropolitan local government areas.
The rules around the reasons people can leave their homes are being tightened.
Shopping for food and necessary supplies will only be allowed within 5 kilometres of home, or at the nearest available supermarket, and it will be limited to one person per household, once per day.
You may only leave metropolitan Melbourne for shopping for food and essential supplies if those shops are within 5 kilometres of your home.
Exercise will also be limited to within 5 kilometres of a resident's home and will be limited to once per day for a maximum of one hour.
Residents will not be allowed to have visitors in their home, but couples will still be allowed to visit each other, even if they live more than 5 kilometres apart.
From Thursday, weddings will be banned except on compassionate grounds.
Organised sport, such as golf and fishing will not be allowed.

What is the new curfew?
A curfew on people leaving their homes will apply from 8:00pm to 5:00am each night, with exceptions for work or medical care and caregiving.
Exemptions include visiting a person who you are in an intimate personal relationship with, including outside metropolitan Melbourne.
The Premier said police would be out "in force" from Sunday night, stopping and questioning Victorians who were outside their houses during the curfew hours.

Where do the new restrictions apply?
The areas moving to stage four "stay at home" restrictions are 31 metropolitan Melbourne local government areas.
They are: Banyule, Hume, Moreland, Bayside, Kingston, Mornington Peninsula, Boroondara, Knox, Nillumbik, Brimbank, Manningham, Port Phillip, Cardinia, Maribyrnong, Stonnington, Casey, Maroondah, Whitehorse, Darebin, Melbourne, Whittlesea, Frankston, Melton, Wyndham, Glen Eira, Monash, Yarra, Greater Dandenong, Moonee Valley, Yarra Ranges, Hobsons Bay.
The restrictions that apply to the area where you live follow you if you leave that area, unless the area you are entering has tighter restrictions, in which case you must observe those.

Mitchell Shire remains on stage three restrictions. What time will they come into force?
The curfew for Melbourne came into force on Sunday night and continue for six weeks to 11:59pm on Sunday, 13 September.
Some additional restrictions will be implemented from Thursday.
More details are expected to be announced on Monday.

What's happening with exercise?
Melburnians can only exercise for one hour within 5 kilometres of their home, and cannot leave the metropolitan Melbourne zone for that purpose.
You can only exercise with one other person or a member of your household and recreational sports such as fishing, golf, boating, tennis, surfing and shooting are not allowed.
"The whole issue of one hour [for exercise] really puts beyond doubt some of those recreational activities anyway because you simply wouldn't be able to conduct some of those things within an hour," Mr Andrews said.
"Daily exercise is just that, it's an opportunity to get some exercise, it's not an opportunity to live our lives as if this pandemic was not real and was not here and was not literally the biggest challenge we have perhaps ever faced."

Which businesses will be affected?
Employees will not be allowed to work at their business location if it is reasonably practicable for them to work from home.
Restaurants and cafes will only be able to operate in a takeaway and delivery capacity.
Pubs, bars, clubs and nightclubs will be closed. Bottle shops will move to takeaway only.
Food courts will be closed, as well as beauty and personal care services, apart from hairdressers.
Saunas and bathhouses will be closed.
Markets stalls will be able to operate but only to provide takeaway food and drink.
Markets and shopping centres will be open, subject to density quotient, but people can only visit for necessary goods and services.

How will schools be impacted?
School students, including those in year 11 and 12 and those in specialist schools, will return to remote learning.
Mr Andrews says on-site supervision will only be offered to students who really need it, such as the children of essential workers and vulnerable children who can't learn from home.
From Thursday, the same rules will apply to childcare and kinder in Melbourne.
Higher education and TAFE will be remote learning and training only.
Restrictions will be brought in on transport
Night Network services will be suspended.
Public transport services will be reduced during curfew hours.
Passengers in taxi and rideshare services will have to wear masks and ride in the back seat, but more detail will be revealed on Monday.

Weddings will be cancelled, funerals unchanged
Funerals will be allowed and remain unchanged but weddings will not go ahead unless there's a compassionate reason such as someone not having long to live.
"We'll be as generous as we can be, but again, those matters need to wait," Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.
"There are so many different things that have to wait because they pose an unreasonable risk.

Regional Victoria to move to stage three restrictions
From Thursday, stage three restrictions will come into force in regional Victoria.
Mr Andrews said this was important to prevent a situation where the virus transmission was driven down in metropolitan Melbourne but continued to grow in regional parts of the state.
Supermarkets, butchers and grocers will continue to operate.
Beauty and personal services will need to close.
Restaurants and cafes will only be able to offer takeaway and delivery service.

Mr Andrews has flagged even harsher covid19 mitigation measures if the STAGE 4 LOCKDOWN doesn’t succeed in driving down the daily new covid19 cases to under 10 per day, STAGE 5 LOCKDOWNS have been flagged and are being planned for. ... d/12516182

Federal government supports Victoria moving to tougher restrictions
Education Minister Dan Tehan says it’s in the “national interest” to work with the Andrews government to “get on top of the second Victorian wave”.
Mr Tehan told Sky News the federal government “absolutely supports” Daniel Andrews moving to tougher restrictions, adding they are working “collaboratively and closely” as they seek to address the second wave.
“We’ve got to work and collaborate and be supportive of all their efforts and we’ve got to get on top of it,” he said.
“We’ve seen that this can have a devastating impact in terms of the health consequences, and it will have a devastating impact as a result of the economic consequences.
“So, we need to make sure we get on top of this virus in Victoria.”

The Education Minister also offered his support for year 11 and 12 students who are experiencing a difficult year of studies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's been incredible difficult times, especially for those Victorian VCE students who face this second Victorian wave, so we will work with the Victorian state government tot make sure there is an understanding of the circumstances that they've had to deal with throughout this year," Mr Tehan said. ... d=msedgntp

Fears not enough is being done to protect asylum seekers in Melbourne detention from coronavirus

Key points:
Detainees in an immigration centre in Melbourne's north are barred from using alcohol-based hand sanitiser and fear nothing is being done to make sure people can socially distance
Detainees are being provided masks and gloves but want more preventative measures to be put in place
Case worker Heidi Abdelraouf from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre says staff including guards and cleaners come and go from the detention centre
Asylum seekers in a Melbourne detention centre fear a lack of social distancing and a ban on alcohol-based hand sanitiser have left them vulnerable to coronavirus.
Photographs taken inside the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation centre in Broadmeadows in Melbourne's north-west appear to show a lack of social distancing — one of the most effective measures in the fight against coronavirus.
The images have alarmed asylum seeker advocates who fear it is only a matter of time before a virus outbreak like those that hit the aged care sector and the city's public housing towers.
Detainee Amira, who did not want her real name used, shares a unit including shower facilities with two other people and said she was worried about her health."We're really scared about this issue," she said."There is no social distancing."
Detainees are also barred from using alcohol-based hand sanitiser to protect against the virus due to concerns it may be used to make drinks or self-harm.
Former immigration detention centre inspector Steven Caruana said alcohol was "considered contraband". "There are property damage issues, self-harm issues for staff and detainees," he said.
Health experts have warned that alcohol-free hand sanitiser only offers a low level of protection and 60 to 80 per cent alcohol is necessary to kill the virus.
While masks and gloves have been made available to detainees, their advocates believe those measures will not be enough to stop the rapid spread of the virus if it is introduced to the centre.
The Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation centre is in the City of Hume, which has one of the highest coronavirus case tallies in the state.
Department of Home Affairs figures from May this year show more than 300 people were living at the detention centre.
Case worker Heidi Abdelraouf, from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, says staff including guards and cleaners come and go from the detention centre."Detention facilities have been recognised as high-risk places for coronavirus," she said.
The Department of Home Affairs said comprehensive measures had been put in place to protect detainees.

It said all staff were subject to daily temperature checks and wear personal protective equipment, and extra cleaning was being carried out."No detainee in any immigration detention facility anywhere in Australia has tested positive to COVID-19," a spokesperson said.
A Melbourne staff member tested positive to the virus earlier this month, but the department said they developed symptoms three days after working in a detention facility.
Amira said a detainee in her area was receiving hospital treatment and she was worried they would introduce the virus to the centre."Every few days he's going," she said.
The only way to ensure detainee safety was to free them from the centre to live separately, Ms Abdelraouf said."People should be released from immigration detention into the community, into safe accommodation," she said.
Mr Caruana said the outbreaks in aged care centres and public housing showed the danger to the wider community posed by shared facilities in detention centres."If there's an outbreak within there then you have got all those staff going out spreading it in the community."
He said the detainees must be released immediately. "Early release has been a call of numerous international and domestic bodies," he said."You can't deport people in these circumstances." ... d=msedgntp ... s/12503618

Coronavirus anxiety in kids leads to big surge in interest in mindfulness app
Making sense of the pandemic is challenging for everyone, but for children, it's especially hard.
Six-year-old Willow Beattie is in her second year of school and she has spent much of it learning from home.
Her dad Chris said not knowing when she will be going back to school has left her unsettled."She's worried about not seeing her friends and how long the lockdown is going to go for," he said.
She is just one of many kids experiencing heightened anxiety during the pandemic.

Change in routine can throw kids 'out of kilter'
The CEO of not-for-profit Smiling Mind, Addie Wootten, said remote learning and changes in routine can be particularly harmful for children."I think we underestimate the impact these big events can have on young children … those changes can throw kids out of kilter in terms of their mental health," she said.
Kids Helpline reported a surge in calls to its counselling hotline during last summer's bushfires — the number of calls has surged again during the pandemic.
Tracy Adams, CEO of Kids Helpline operator yourtown, said demand for their services was high."Even in this cohort of five to 12 year-olds, we've had a 30 per cent increase in counselling contacts," she said.
The year's disruptions have prompted many children and parents to look for new ways to cope.
Smiling Mind said its mindfulness app was downloaded more than 180,000 times in April — that's a 165 per cent increase on last year.
It has meditation programs designed for all ages, including many that can be used with children.

'Teddy bear breathing' helps kids think of positive things
Working mum Sarah Hamilton is juggling three kids aged seven, five and four who are all learning remotely from different institutions."I think it's really hard for the kids in that they're so used to the routine, so when that changes that's a little bit uncomfortable for them," she said.
She is one of many mums using the app to help ease the burden of remote learning on herself, and her kids."We did the teddy bear breathing this morning, and getting them to think about all the positive things in their life has been good," she said.
In teddy bear breathing, a child lies down in a comfortable place and puts a teddy bear on their tummy, watching it as they inhale and exhale.
Smiling Mind has also launched a new digital care pack as part of the Victorian Government's extra funding for mental health services announced in April."They're designed for kids aged five to 12, and they provide parents and carers with information and guidance in what to look out for, and how to support mental health practices at home," Dr Wootten said.
Sudden changes in behaviour and sleeplessness are just some of the signs children might be struggling to cope.
No matter what though, Dr Wootten said it was important to be open and honest about the pandemic with our kids."We have a natural tendency to want to protect our kids and they try to hide away anything that might worry them but kids are really perceptive, they will pick up on what's going on around them," she said.
Willow's dad Chris said he has also tried to explain to his daughter how he and his wife are feeling too."We talk about some of the anxieties mum and dad have too, so Willow understands that we're all a bit worried, I think she gets some comfort in that," he said.
Willow and her family are adopting a regular meditation routine to stave off the lockdown blues, making it a part of their routine. ... tp#image=1

Effect on business
Pandemic can't stop 9 billion bees on their way to Victoria's almond crops
Australia's largest mass migration of livestock — in the form of bees — is underway in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and the bulk of the work is happening at night when most of us are sleeping.

In a record-breaking year, an estimated 227,000 beehives or more than 9 billion bees are being trucked in for the critical job of pollinating Victoria's billion-dollar almond crop.

It has taken months of work behind the scenes to ensure apiarists can safely and efficiently cross the COVID-19 checkpoints on the borders.

Without them, the nuts would not set on trees and crops would fail. And yes, bees are classified as livestock by the Australian Taxation Office.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said it was vital that agricultural services such as the pollination services provided by bees were allowed to get to where they needed to go.

Tough year
Compared to last year, double the number of Queensland's professional beekeepers have booked in for this years' almond flowering season.

Hard hit by drought and bushfires, a quarter of the state's apiarists have their incomes pinned on the success of their pollination services.

Sunshine Coast beekeeper Rex Carruthers will be crossing into Victoria three times in the next week."We don't want to be leaving any loose bees behind to sting people, so to minimise that I think everyone understands that the stops (at the borders) will be fairly brief," Mr Carruthers said.

Some of his 1,450 hives have already been transported to New South Wales, to reduce travel time at the start of the six-week almond flowering period.

He praised Queensland Beekeepers Association State Secretary Jo Martin for her work in keeping apiarists updated on the requirements to get across the borders."The last four weeks have been very, very challenging trying to orchestrate this movement," Ms Martin said."With COVID we've had to look at new alternatives to how we may have done things in the past, so we're really limiting that social interaction that happens on the ground."

Ms Martin said authorities in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria had been working with the Almond Board of Australia to make it happen."What's really important to remember beekeeping is a socially distant occupation anyway."The trucks are going to be carting anywhere between a million and two million bees each, so it's really not something that you're going to have a lot of people interacting," Ms Martin stressed.

Rain delays
Victorian bee broker Trevor Monson has coordinated around 130,000 hives to be brought into the state's north-west, where they will be dropped off at local almond orchards.

But rain in New South Wales has prevented trucks accessing hives in paddocks."We started off well, then the good Lord that organises rain, put seven inches where most of our bees are — Gilgandra, Dubbo and in through to the coast," Mr Monson said."We're hoping that it dries out, although they're predicting another rain on Wednesday or Thursday."The beekeepers are fairly confident they'll overcome that problem."

We've had a few who've decided they don't want to come due to the virus [but] that's not a big number," Mr Monson said."The other issue we've got is that there have been some new biosecurity rules that had been introduced at the beginning of July."That's caused a few people to pull out as they haven't got around to doing the paperwork and they've received a letter saying they could be fined."That's probably stopped around 5,000 hives coming into Victoria."

Bees in good shape
Despite the coordination hurdles, Mr Monson said the calibre of the hives was good."We were initially extremely concerned about the drought and the fires, but I'm pleasantly surprised with the quality, " he said."In fact, some bees coming out of New South Wales are probably the best I've ever seen."

Mr Monson said the health of the insects reflected how well they were looked after."It's really a credit to the beekeepers learning how to manage bees in drought with supplementary feeding [of] sugar and protein," he said."It's cost money, but the bees look good." ... d=msedgntp

Private Health and Private Hospitals - Coronavirus restrictions on surgery leaves thousands on burgeoning wait lists — often living in agony
Luciano Ceciliot is crippled with osteoarthritis and has been waiting nine years to go under the knife.
The 66-year-old can barely hobble around his beautiful farm in the Cairns hinterland."I feel like I have been crash-tackled by a bloody 100-kilo football player," Mr Ceciliot said."At the moment, it feels like I have something inside my knees, chewing away — it's a gnawing sensation."
In 2011, Mr Ceciliot's condition got so bad he needed a right knee replacement.
That's when his interactions with Queensland's public hospital system began.
Referral after referral to the Cairns Base Hospital's orthopaedic clinic led to no results, he said."I was under the impression that I was to see a specialist," Mr Ceciliot said."But instead in 2013, I was finally sent to a physiotherapist and I did that for six months to try and manage the symptoms."Then in 2016, I received a phone call from the hospital saying, 'we have discovered your name on our waiting list'."
Mr Ceciliot said he was told that "in order to keep you in the system, we will send you to the physio again".
In 2018 his left knee gave out, leaving him in need of a double knee replacement."Somehow I've been lost in the system, it's like being in a mix master — you go to the bottom and that is where you stay," Mr Ceciliot said."It feels like it's going to go on forever, it's always just over that hill, unreachable."
Mr Ceciliot's wife Cheryl Tonkin said she watched her husband go from an active fitter, working in the mines, to an ailing "old man" in constant pain."They have allowed him to fall through the cracks," Ms Tonkin said."They have shuffled him off to other areas, like physio, which probably cleans up their definition of who is on the waiting list.
"It has been stuff-up, after stuff-up, after stuff-up."
The couple had private health cover for years but had to cancel their policy when money became tight, leaving them to rely on an over-burdened health system.
Mr Ceciliot finally paid to see a private orthopaedic surgeon in Cairns in March and has been "re-assessed" for surgery as a public patient sometime in 2021.
That would make it 10 years since his first diagnosis."I am just a number — I hope something does get done," he said"I don't want anyone else to go through this. It is wrong."
Mr Ceciliot is one of more than 52,000 Queenslanders on elective surgery waiting lists around the state.
Premium hikes force patients to cancel cover
Julie Couzens, 60, is a full-time carer and said she suffered from near daily splitting headaches that lasted hours, making her so dizzy it affected her sight and balance.
After having an MRI in March last year, she was told by an emergency department doctor at Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital that she needed a follow-up with a neurosurgeon for a condition called Chiari 1 Malformation — a structural defect in the base of the skull and brain.
The waiting list for treatment is 18 months to two years.
For pensioner Allen Ford, it took a year and a half to get on a list for cataract surgery. He could not see out of his right eye."It felt like it was never going to end as your sight deteriorates, it leaves you down in the dumps, anxious about what is going to happen next," Mr Ford said.
Like Mr Ceciliot, the 73-year-old also had been covered by private health insurance for most of his life, but was forced to cancel it due to premium hikes."It was just too expensive, and silly enough while I was in private health I hardly saw a doctor, hardly went to hospital, pulled out, and bingo things go wrong," he said.
Through a private public partnership called Surgery Connect, Mr Ford eventually had his operation at the Queensland Eye Hospital.
It took less than an hour."It is excellent. They told me, 'you will be able to play bowls, and watch the TV again', so there is hope on the horizon," he said."The feeling is one of relief, but I wish the wait had not been so long."
Pandemic makes matters worse
University of Queensland health economist Luke Connelly said Queenslanders were in "uncertain territory".
"If we do not get a vaccine soon we can't expect to return to the normal waiting lists we have seen in the past for elective surgery," Professor Connelly said.
Adding to the COVID-19 crisis is the massive number of people ditching private health care because of cost, job losses and the worsening recession.
Professor Connelly said the latest Australian Prudential Regulation Authority data was sobering — more than 10,000 people cancelled their policies in the first quarter of this year.
Basic hospital cover is at its lowest level in more than a decade.
"There are some fundamental problems with the way the insurance system works in Australia and until some of those are addressed it is unlikely we will see much improvement," he said."Clearly the COVID-19 pandemic is playing a role especially in relation to young people's incomes."The drop off is very large and the greater concern is that in the longer term, it's likely to mean increasing premiums."I think we could continue to see fairly large declines in private health membership."
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles conceded the current economic circumstances meant even more people were in crisis and unable to afford private care."They will seek care at our public hospitals," he said."It again goes to the fact the private hospital and insurance system is not serving Australians very well and if there was ever a time to reform it, now is the time."
Former AMA federal president and Australian Society of Ophthalmologists deputy director, Bill Glasson, performs eye surgery on both private and public patients."In terms of ophthalmology for instance, we have roughly 7,000 patients probably waiting at the moment," he said."There was a move that for all referrals during COVID, the Government asked GPs to re-refer them."It was obviously not a sensible approach."
He said because those patients never got to see a specialist as medically required, they were now "hiding" on a "secret" waiting list."I think there are thousands waiting on that list waiting to be seen and assessed and we have not got a clear handle on what the exact numbers are," he said."I understand some patients are being brought in, not being seen by doctors but by nurses and allied health and somehow that is being given the tick of being seen by a doctor."That is not appropriate. Let's just be honest with the figures and not try to hide them."
Mr Miles acknowledged Queensland Health could do better managing patients who were "bounced around" between specialists and allied health professionals."We need to improve those pathways so that does not happen, but it is important to realise that is a very small number," he said.
But he said the Queensland Government had no choice but to "prepare for the worst case scenario" during the pandemic and free up hospital beds.
Its modelling showed 4,000 category one "urgent" patients were still seen each month since the March shutdown.

Surgery blitz will help backlog
Mr Miles said he was "cautiously hopeful" the backlog would be cleared within a year, including 7,000 people who had waited longer than clinically recommended.
The elective surgery blitz was being paid for with money left over from a $1.2 billion COVID-19 rescue package from Queensland Treasury.
It will cost at least $250 million to whittle away the hospital waiting lists.
Dr Glasson said without that "coronavirus" money the Government would have struggled to get numbers down."If we had had a major COVID crisis and used all our resources on treating those patients in intensive care, then we would have been in a really sticky situation," he said."We would have lots of patients out there waiting for surgery, so without that extra money they would not have been treated — simple as that." ... d=msedgntp

Melbourne businesses buckle beneath second wave
Melbourne business owners are being forced to dip into savings or shut up shop as coronavirus restrictions have the city in lockdown for a second time. ... d=msedgntp

Victoria coronavirus restrictions should lead to reconsideration of JobKeeper changes, Labor says
With the tightest coronavirus restrictions in Australia looming for parts of Victoria, the Federal Government should reconsider a reduction in the rate of the JobKeeper payment, Labor says.
Less than two weeks ago the Government unveiled the future of the $86 billion scheme, with payments to reduce by $300 per fortnight at the end of September, with a further reduction pencilled in at the beginning of next year.
But since the announcement, Australia has recorded some of its worst coronavirus figures, with persistently high infection numbers in Victoria prompting talk of more stringent lockdown measures.
Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers told the ABC's Insiders program the Government should "take another look" at its announcement."The rate should be tapered at some point, but clearly the developments in the economy in the last couple of weeks since the budget was updated warrants a reconsideration of that," he said."When it comes to JobKeeper, we've always said that JobKeeper should be tailored to the economic conditions."Clearly JobKeeper won't be provided forever but nor should it be withdrawn too quickly."
On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison conceded the economic figures released in the July economic update, which pointed to a $184 billion deficit this financial year, had been rendered optimistic by the Victorian outbreak."These economic numbers quickly outdate based on the way that the pandemic impacts on the country," he said."The Victorian wave is certainly having that impact."
Mr Chalmers on Sunday stopped short of calling on the Government to maintain the current JobKeeper rate of $1,500 per fortnight, but said a reconsideration of the rate was worthwhile."In the first instance, let's see how the Government responds to the fact the decisions they took on JobKeeper were based on some pretty rosy assumptions about restrictions in Victoria actually easing rather than becoming more restrictive," he said."We'll have the opportunity to speak with Treasury officials during the course of this coming week to see what the implications of that withdrawal of support will be."We'll come up with a position once we know what the Government intends to do." ... d=msedgntp

Stage Four lockdown prompts panic buying in Melbourne
Stock piling and panic buying has prompted the reintroduction of supermarket buying limits after Stage Four restrictions were announced in Melbourne.
<< once again dunny paper and paper towels and bulk beef, chicken, lamb packs, and bread, and baking staples, and soup and stew making staples , rice and tinned goods , and slabs of booze , casks of wine, have been flying off the shelves and people have gone nuts again ( this time in Melbourne ).>> ... d=msedgdhp

Woolworths brings in Victorian product limits for state of disaster
Woolworths will reintroduce product purchase limits for Victorian customers.
Premier Daniel Andrews today announced Victoria will be placed in a state of disaster and Melbourne will enter Stage 4 restrictions.
The supermarket giant told in a statement the purchase limits have now started on a range of at least 50 products both in-store and online, with shoppers restricted to just two items each."We understand this is an anxious time for our Victorian customers, but we encourage everyone to continue shopping as they usually would and only buy what they need," Woolworths managing director Claire Peters said."Stock will continue to flow from our distribution centres and as an essential service, Woolworths supermarkets remain open to support customers' food and grocery needs."We ask that our customers continue to adhere to our social distancing and hygiene measures while in store and continue to treat our team and each other with respect while shopping.
Woolworths items being limited to two per customer
Toilet paper
Paper Towel
Baby Wipes
Anti-Bacterial Wipes
Liquid Hand Wash
Disposable Gloves
Sponges & Scourers
Frozen Vegetables
Frozen Potato
Frozen Fruit
Frozen Fish
Frozen Poultry
Long life Milk
Long life Milk (Specialty)
Noodles (Mainstream)
Cooking Oil
Pasta Sauce
Vinegar (White)
Packet Side Dish – Pasta & Sauce
Indian foods and sauces
Mexican Dinner kits
Canned Tomato
Canned Vegetables
Canned Legumes
Canned Fruit
Baked Beans & Spaghetti
Dairy Milk
Dairy Milk (Specialty)
Chilled Juice
Bacon Prepacked
Mince (fixed weight only)
Burgers, Rissoles and meatballs
Carrots Prepacked
Potatoes Prepacked
Onions Prepacked
Bread (loaves) including in-store
Frozen Seafood
Fresh pork 2x pack
Lamb 2x pack
Beef 2x pack
Chicken 2x pack
1kg limit on butcher meat, deli small goods and poultry
2kg limit on loose vegetables, carrots, onions and potatoes
One pack limit on face masks ... d=msedgdhp

Covid and sport
NBL confirms 12 Melbourne United players have coronavirus

Key points:
Melbourne United and South East Melbourne Phoenix players are in isolation
There will be no further group training sessions for United or Phoenix until further notice
Premier Daniel Andrews has declared a state of disaster in Victoria
Twelve NBL players from Melbourne United have now tested positive to COVID-19.
It comes after the club suspended training last week.

United and South East Melbourne Phoenix players and staff have been in isolation and will remain that way amid Victoria's coronavirus lockdown.
Phoenix players also undergoing testing.
The news follows the league last week confirming United players Mitch McCarron and Jo Lual-Acui had tested positive to COVID-19."Our primary concern is the health and welfare of our players, staff and their families," NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said in a statement.
"This is a challenging time for everyone concerned and we are working closely with the clubs and the Australian Basketball Players' Association to provide support for all those affected.
"We are also working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services to manage the outbreak and limit any risk to the wider community."
There will be no further group training sessions for United or Phoenix until further notice.

The 2020/21 NBL season is scheduled to tip off in December. ... s/12516546

Victoria Police 'fed up with appalling behaviour' from Victorians who aren't abiding by lockdown
Victoria Police has publicly shamed some of the reasons Victorians have breached the stage three lockdown restrictions, saying it is "fed up with the appalling behaviour".
Speaking alongside Premier Daniel Andrews, Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville said that, while the majority of people were doing the right thing, a small number of people had ventured out for seemingly bizarre reasons given the current climate."I want to say the overwhelming majority of Victorians every day are doing the right thing … however, we are still continuing to see appalling behaviour that I know Victorians themselves are fed up with and Victoria Police are fed up with," Ms Neville said."Can I be really clear, just in case there is any doubt at all, that there is absolutely no reason or need to drive from Melbourne to Wodonga to have a Big Mac. That is one of the fines that was issued yesterday."
A fine was also issued to a Victorian who was caught driving from Melbourne to Ballarat for "fresh air". Others travelled from Werribee out to Springvale to buy groceries, and a man was fined for driving from Thornbury to Werribee to get a haircut from his favourite barber."I think there is no question when Victoria Police pull people over they are aware of the rules but have made a decision to breach, blatantly breach the Chief Health Officer's directives," Ms Neville said.
Further fines were dished out to a group who hosted an AirBnB party, and patrons and staff of a brothel that had continued operations.
Of the more than 25,000 checks conducted in the past 24 hours, Victoria police handed out 168 fines, including 31 to people not wearing a face covering when leaving home — many of whom refused to accept a mask offered by police.
Premier Daniel Andrews conceded that the reinstated restrictions are frustrating for Victorians, but applauded the vast majority who were doing the right thing."I want to thank every single Victorian who while not enjoying this experience in any way, while being frustrated, you are still doing the right thing," Mr Andrews said."We are all in this together, anyone who doesn't think that is accurate, well, that is not only the wrong judgement to make, it is not a very smart judgement to make." ... d=msedgntp

Why are there are more COVID-19 cases in private aged care than the public sector?
Key points:
The bulk of aged care is provided by not-for-profits
The Victorian Government runs 10 per cent of aged care beds
Experts warn the sector needs reform to prevent outbreaks

The tragedy unfolding in Victoria's aged care homes, as coronavirus claims the lives of more older Australians, has prompted questions about the embattled sector.
There are currently 928 active cases linked to aged care in Victoria, including residents, staff and close contacts.

There have been a total of 61 deaths to date tied to aged care in Victoria, including four of eight deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

Yet the overwhelming majority of infections have been in private and not-for-profit aged care homes, not public facilities.

There are just five active cases in one publicly run facility — Bill Crawford Lodge in Ballarat.

The private-public divide was thrust into the spotlight after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews responded to a journalist who asked whether he would want his mother in a private aged care home."Some of the stories we've seen are unacceptable and I wouldn't want my mum in some of those places," he said.

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck described that as "a really unfortunate comment" and said the public versus private comparison was "a furphy".

So why are there more COVID-19 cases in non-government facilities, and is it a fair distinction to make?

One in 10 beds are state-run
One reason there are more coronavirus cases in private and non-profit aged care is that most residences in Victoria are not run by the state.

There are 800 aged care facilities in Victoria, comprising 56,000 beds.

Of those, 622 facilities are privately run and not-for-profits — regulated by the Commonwealth — and 178 are run by the Victorian Government.

About 10 per cent of all aged care beds in the state are publicly-owned.
Another key factor is geographical location.

The vast majority of aged care facilities in metropolitan Melbourne are run by the private and non-profit sector, whereas most of the state's aged care homes are in regional areas.

The majority of COVID-19 cases in Victoria are centred in the city — of the 10,577 cases recorded since the pandemic began, 595 are from regional Victoria.

Joseph Ibrahim, head of the Health Law and Ageing Research Unit at Monash University, told ABC Radio Melbourne that "a lot of public homes are in regional areas where the private providers will not go".

Professor Ibrahim said many government-run centres often had older infrastructure with more shared rooms, which could foster transmission if the virus got in.
So in a sense it doesn't make sense looking at just structure why those outbreaks would be greater in private, it makes sense when you look at the staffing and staffing qualifications," he said.

In Victoria, state-run facilities have mandated nurse-staffing ratios.
Victoria COVID-19 snapshot
Confirmed cases so far: 11,557
Confirmed active cases: 6,322
Deaths: 123
Suspected cases of community transmission: 1,962
Cases in hospital: 385
Intensive care patients: 38
Cases in healthcare workers: 1,115, (649 active cases)
Active cases linked to aged care outbreaks: 1,053
Tests since pandemic began: More than 1.65 million
Updated Sunday, August 2
In high-care residential aged care wards, there needs to be one nurse to seven residents and one nurse in charge for the morning shift, and one nurse to eight residents in the afternoons with one nurse in charge.

On night shift, it's one nurse to every 15 residents.

Privately run centres don't have to abide by the same ratios, but Ian Yates, chief executive of COTA Australia — a peak advocacy body for older Australians — pointed out some institutions had enterprise agreements with nurse-to-resident staffing requirements.
"You will find that larger providers, whether they're not-for-profit or for-profit, do have ratios in their industrial agreements with the unions," he said."So they're not law in that sense, but they are actually requirements in their agreements with the unions."

Mr Yates warned staffing levels didn't always guarantee better quality of care, and said there were good and bad providers across all systems.

There were also fewer casuals hired in government-run centres, he added.

'Not a useful comparison'
Mr Yates said the bulk of aged care was run by non-profits who would object to being called "private".

Many facilities were run by church organisations, he said, or Aboriginal health groups in remote areas.

He said distinguishing the sector along private and public lines was "just not a useful comparison"."I know some major for-profits where the owners are investing heavily in the business to grow it and are producing quality outcomes, and are more transparent about what they're doing than some non-profits," he said.

Tim Hicks, policy and advocacy general manager at Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), a national association of aged care providers, said comparing state-run aged care facilities with non-state facilities was "unnecessary"."It has been disappointing and hurtful for many aged care providers and their dedicated staff who are working tirelessly around the clock to protect residents," he said in a statement this week.

He pointed out the state-run facilities made up a fraction of aged care providers in the city."The Premier's comments about not wanting his own mother in some of the affected homes was unhelpful and will deepen fears, when local providers, state and federal authorities and the Australian Defence Force are working so hard to save lives," he said.

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said he didn't "take to this concept of 'private aged care'"."It is aged care across the board, there is no difference between any form of facility as to the infection rate in Victoria at the moment," he said.

'The failures are at the senior level'
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Australian Defence Force had been sent in assist aged care centres, particularly supporting Epping Gardens in Victoria.

More than 200 residents have been evacuated out of aged care centres and into hospitals.
'The failures are at the senior level'
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Australian Defence Force had been sent in assist aged care centres, particularly supporting Epping Gardens in Victoria.

More than 200 residents have been evacuated out of aged care centres and into hospitals.
"Aged care around the country has been immensely prepared," Mr Hunt said, saying the Victorian outbreak was affecting a range of workplaces, including meatworks and schools.

Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT) nurses, who are normally sent to disaster zones overseas, arrived in Victoria on Thursday to help with the coronavirus response.

Joe Buffone, the executive leader of the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre which has been set up at the State Control Centre, said they would support aged care facility owners to ensure residents were looked after."They will bolster our rapid intervention so that when we have these complex outbreaks that escalate quickly, we have the leadership team, the multidisciplinary team to help stabilise the situation," he said.

Professor Ibrahim said the aged care sector was not prepared to manage any crisis, and there were problems with operations that prioritised free-market principles and lacked accountability."So much has gone wrong it's difficult to put it in a sentence," he said.

"My fear is twofold — one, we forget how we got to this train wreck, and [two], once the train wreck is over, we don't investigate and look into it."The heart and soul of aged care sits with the workers and the nurses … the failures are at the senior level." ... r/12503212 ... d=msedgntp
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:09 am


NSW records 12 new coronavirus cases
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced the state has recorded 12 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours.
Ms Berejiklian said on Sunday of the 12 new cases recorded in NSW, one is from hotel quarantine.
The premier praised Australians who have been coming forward to be tested, adding more than 22,400 tests were conducted in the last 24 hour period.
On Saturday an 83-year-old man connected to the Crossroads Hotel cluster died, taking the state's death toll to 52.
At least 103 people are being treated in NSW hospitals for the virus with eight currently in intensive care.
App linked to identification of new cases
NSW Health reported 17 new cases in the 24 hours to 8:00pm on Friday.
2 cases attended the Apollo restaurant, bringing the Potts Point cluster to 24.
2 cases are linked to the Mounties Club in Mount Pritchard, bringing the total there to five.

NSW Health has again revised its alert for the Mounties Club.

It said data from the COVIDSafe app led to the identification of another 544 contacts linked to the club — resulting in the two new confirmed cases.

The new alert is for anyone who attended the venue on July 20 from 12:01am to 2:30am and July 21 from 12:15pm to 5:30pm and 8:00pm to 12:30am the following day.

All patrons during that time are being told to isolate for 14 days and get tested regardless of symptoms.
The other cases include a NSW resident who returned from Victoria, three travellers in hotel quarantine and seven contacts of known cases.

Two cases are under investigation and another is locally acquired with no known source, NSW Health said.

NSW has now recorded 3,567 confirmed cases.

There are 107 COVID-19 cases being treated by NSW Health.

Nine people are in intensive care and four are being ventilated as of 8:00pm on Friday night.

NSW Health said the remainder of cases are in non-acute, out-of-hospital care. ... d=msedgdhp

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian issues 'strong recommendation' for masks to fight coronavirus
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has issued a "strong recommendation" that people wear masks in four key circumstances, as she continues to warn that the state is in a "critical" stage.
NSW residents 'strongly encouraged' to wear masks in these four situations
Intensifying its fight to stem the pandemic, the NSW government declared there were four key situations when it strongly encouraged residents to wear masks."If you are in an enclosed space and you cannot guarantee social distancing, such as public transport, such as when you are buying groceries, you should be wearing a mask," Ms Berejiklian said.
Staff in customer facing roles, such as retail and hospitality, should also wear masks."Whenever they are facing customers, we strongly recommend that they wear masks," she said.
She said people attending places of worship should also wear masks or face coverings.
The fourth situation was people living in areas where there is a high level of community transmission or known COVID-19 hotspots."The next few weeks will make or break us, in terms of the way we get through this pandemic," Ms Berejiklian said.
Ms Berejiklian did not believe people would struggle to get hold of masks, claiming face masks were "readily available".
Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said mask wearing was "the fourth line of defence". ... d=msedgntp ... d=msedgdhp

Ms Berejiklian said it was a continuing part of the state's "risk mitigation strategy" particularly in the face of what was happening in Victoria, despite the borders being closed."While Victoria is in the situation it is in, it automatically puts us at risk, because we know no matter how strict you are at the borders, no border is complete, nobody is impenetrable, as Queensland themselves have found out this week as well," she said."We cannot pretend we are geographically separated from Victoria. We are not."

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said wearing masks was the "'fourth line of defence" after staying home if sick, social distancing and hand hygiene.

Two venues in the Hunter region are undergoing deep cleaning after a confirmed Sydney case with COVID-19 visited Newcastle over two days while infectious.

Hunter New England Local Health District is urging anyone who visited the
Hotel Jesmond on July 29 between 7:30pm and 9:30pm
as well as Wallsend Diggers on July 30 to strictly isolate at home for 14 days and be on the lookout for symptoms.

Those affected are advised to get tested regardless of symptoms and remain in isolation for the full 14 days even if the initial test is negative.

South Eastern Sydney Local Health District says there is no further risk from a person who attended a yoga studio in Bondi while infectious — the individual is associated with the Apollo Restaurant cluster at Potts Point.

NSW recorded 12 new cases in the 24 hours to 8:00pm Saturday night.
1 case is a childcare worker who worked at the Advanced Early Learning Centre Merrylands, in Western Sydney, while infectious from July 27 to 29.
The case is believed to be locally acquired and has no known source.

Another staff member tested positive on Sunday morning, but is not yet included in statistics."The centre is currently closed for cleaning, close contact tracing is underway and investigations as to the source of that infection in that person is underway," Dr Chant said.
3 confirmed COVID-19 cases are linked to the Apollo restaurant in Potts Point.
2 are linked to the Mounties Club at Mount Pritchard.
5 are close contacts of known cases.
1 is a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.
A case in Saturday's numbers attended Toronto Court House in Lake Macquarie on July 27 between 7:00am and 2:00pm.
"As a precaution, cleaning of the court house will take place today, but all close contacts have been identified and are being contacted this morning," Dr Chant said.
People who attended at the same time should monitor for symptoms.
The Department of Communities and Justice said it was "likely" the person got infected at the Apollo restaurant.
Another case from Saturday's numbers attended the Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL between 6:30pm and 8:00pm on July 27.
Patrons and staff who attended at the same time should monitor for symptoms.
Another confirmed case visited the Neeta Shopping Centre in Fairfield on number of times between July 23 and 30, including the Soul Pattinson Chemist, Woolworths and Fresco Juice Bar.
NSW Health said the risk to others was low, but people should monitor for symptoms.
Dr Chant said 22,427 tests were done in the last reporting period.
She said keeping testing numbers high over the next two to three weeks was essential.
"I am urging the community at this time to continue to come forward for testing, particularly those members of the community who live and reside in a greater Western Sydney and the Potts Point region," she said."We need to mop up any community transmission that has occurred in association with those clusters, and for that I need the community to continue to come forward for testing." ... d=msedgntp

Australia's coronavirus death toll passes 200
The national COVID-19 death toll has risen to 201 with three deaths in Victoria and one in NSW, as health officials weigh up whether stay-at-home orders in place across Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire are doing enough.

Victoria recorded 397 new cases on Saturday, significantly less than Thursday's peak of 723, as well as the deaths of a man and woman in their 80s, and a woman in her 90s.
The state's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton on Friday confirmed a New Zealand-style lockdown was being explored - restrictions which saw all businesses closed except for essential services.
Experts are working over the weekend to analyse infection data from the first half of Victoria's six-week lockdown. ... d=msedgntp ... d=msedgntp

Commonwealth withdraws from Clive Palmer border case, Prime Minister's letter to WA Premier reveals
The Commonwealth Government will withdraw from a legal challenge brought by Queensland businessman Clive Palmer against the closure of the Western Australian state border.

The action was launched after Mr Palmer was denied entry into WA, with the Commonwealth supporting his position on the basis that it believed the hard border was likely unconstitutional.

After repeated calls by the State Government opposing the Commonwealth's involvement in the case, Prime Minister Scott Morrison wrote to WA Premier Mark McGowan informing him that the Commonwealth will take no further part in proceedings.

In his letter, dated August 1, Mr Morrison stated that he had "taken into account the changed state of the pandemic", and noted the "high level of concern regarding public health in the Western Australian community"."I consider, on balance, that we must set aside the normal convention in these circumstances and not continue the Commonwealth's participation in this case," Mr Morrison wrote.

At a press conference, the Premier said he was yet to receive detailed legal advice as to how the case would be affected by the Commonwealth's withdrawal, although he suggested the Federal Court hearing may need to be reheard or abandoned.

Mr McGowan also renewed his call for Mr Palmer to withdraw his challenge, saying: "I just ask him, it's time to listen — withdraw your case."

In a statement released earlier, Mr McGowan welcomed the withdrawal, but expressed concern it had come too late."I thank the Prime Minister for listening to West Australians and taking on my advice, I just hope it's not too late in the legal process," he said.

Commonwealth maintains WA border is 'likely unconstitutional'
The Commonwealth participated in a hearing in the Federal Court this week, which aimed to determine the facts of the case before it goes to the High Court.

Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter said on Friday that it would be highly unusual if the Commonwealth did not intervene in a constitutional matter.

But the Premier renewed calls for the Federal Government to let Mr Palmer "fight his own fights".

In his letter notifying Mr McGowan of the Commonwealth's withdrawal, the Prime Minister maintained his view that the border was likely unconstitutional.

However, Mr Morrison said that he acknowledged the COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne was concerning to West Australians."While taking our constitutional responsibilities seriously in seeking to respect established conventions, I also accept that recent events in the Eastern States, especially Victoria, are creating real concerns to residents in other states less impacted," the Prime Minister wrote."I do not wish to see these concerns further exacerbated in Western Australia."

The Prime Minister stopped short of calling on Clive Palmer to withdraw his action and Mr McGowan said the State Government would have to carry on with the legal fight.

"Unfortunately, this doesn't stop the High Court challenge," Mr McGowan said."WA will continue to fight to keep our hard border in place and we will defend our position in the High Court."Our hard border is in place, and will stay in place, to protect the health and safety of all West Australians."

Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said Mr Morrison had "jumped ship" from Mr Palmer's challenge late in the legal process for political convenience.

"Mark McGowan is right and has been right from the beginning," Mr Albanese said."The Prime Minister needs to explain why it is that he joined with Clive Palmer in a legal challenge to the closure of those borders, because he said it was just a matter of course, but then has withdrawn that support today."

In a statement, Mr Palmer thanked the Federal Government for its participation in the legal challenge and called for a coordinated national response to COVID-19."In the coming weeks, the Federal Court will make their determination on the facts and all Australians will be better for that decision," he said."No-one wants to expose Western Australians to harm from the COVID-19 virus."A determination on all these issues can only benefit the community."

Expert says Commonwealth's decision won't make 'one iota of difference' ... d=msedgntp

Australia in a state of deflation after CPI plunged
Economist Saul Eslake says it was the Government's decision to make childcare free for the last sector that slipped the nation into deflation. ... d=msedgdhp

Exchange students caught up in coronavirus pandemic share their experiences
The coronavirus pandemic is testing the resilience of young people on student exchange in Australia and abroad.

Rotary's Youth Exchange Program (YEP) sends, on average, 150 teenagers overseas each year and hosts a similar number of foreign students.

The global health crisis has seen 80 of the current contingent return home to Australia or overseas.

Some say they are glad to be home, while others are resisting a premature end to their exchange.

'I feel like a Tasmanian'
Tajikistan is home for Yoqub Davlatov, who had been soaking up the Tasmanian way of life for the past 11 months.

Unlike other Rotary exchanges, the plan to have the 17-year-old visit Australia was hatched between Rotarian Felicity Gifford and Yoqub's family a few years ago when Ms Gifford volunteered in the Central Asian nation.

Yoqub said the support of Ms Gifford and her family, as well as his Tasmanian friends, helped him enjoy his first trip overseas.

"It felt very strange but I got used to it, and now I feel like I'm one of these people. They treat me like I'm living there," he said.
The biggest challenge for Yoqub and Ms Gifford was finding a way for him to return home, with few routes available to Tajikistan.

"[The exchange has been] worthwhile because the opportunities he's had have changed his life," she said.

'I'm safer here'
Fifteen-year-old Sofia Seneme is on a year's exchange in Wagga Wagga in south-western New South Wales.

She said it had been difficult to watch her country of Brazil become one of the world's coronavirus hotspots.
"I worry about my family. My city is the worst city [with coronavirus] in the region.

"My family were happy for me to stay. They feel I am safer here."

Sofia's choice to remain in Wagga Wagga was mostly because of her love for the region's natural beauty and the friendships she had forged.

"It will be hard when I go back to Brazil; I think I will cry at the airport."

Love of language a motivation to stay
In France, Launceston teenager Alice Lowe's drive to stay abroad was fuelled by a clear goal.

"I was really motivated by my French, because I didn't want to go home not being able to speak French," she said.

"I thought it would be such a shame to come all this way and then go back home."
While France's lockdown earlier this year put an end to Alice's plans to travel around, the 16-year-old said she was still glad she stayed.

"It wouldn't really be better if I came home; the situation wasn't much better in Tasmania at the time," she said.

Her father, Matt, said she wanted to finish the experience.

"She was pretty determined to stay. We were happy for her to do that."

Told to stay overseas
When Daniel Maxwell told his parents he wanted to come home early from Norway, his parents encouraged him to stay.

"I didn't want him to come home because I thought it was safer to stay in Norway," Jennie Maxwell said.
The 16-year-old wanted to return to Port Macquarie in NSW because he was bored in lockdown and struggled with the language barrier.

But Ms Maxwell said she and her husband held out.

"Had he been saying things like: 'I'm really worried about getting COVID, or I'm scared to be on the other side of the world in this situation' — I think we probably would have been more worried," she said.

"But because the reasons for him wanting to come home were trivial and fairly par for the course of exchange anyway, it made me feel better. It was the right thing to do."

"I'm actually very glad that [my parents] convinced me to stay because it is getting better now," Daniel said.
Positives despite being stuck inside
Despite his best efforts to "wait out" the pandemic, Joel Mangion's family decided to fly him back to Canberra.

Joel said being stuck inside his host families' homes for most of his seven months in Brazil had been disappointing.

"Since the pandemic, I haven't been able to go to school so I had a profound lack of friends," he said.
His father, Charles, said the experience had a positive effect for Joel despite the pandemic.

"I can see that his confidence levels have still grown," he said.

"His eyes are wider open to what happens outside of his bubble of friends he went to school with in Canberra."

Rotary International has urged students to strongly consider ending exchanges and fly home if possible and safe.

Rotary's long-term youth exchange program has been suspended for 12 months ... c/12504878

ACT eliminates all known cases of COVID-19
The Australian Capital Territory has eliminated all known cases of coronavirus as it remains on high alert as outbreaks across the border escalate.

Residents have been strongly cautioned against travelling to Greater Sydney and Victorians are banned from entering the territory amide COVID-19 outbreaks across the two states. ... d=msedgntp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12969
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:11 am

One new coronavirus case in Queensland from returned traveller as test results come back for Brisbane aged care facility
Key points:
A consular official who returned from overseas has tested positive to coronavirus and is in quarantine
He is the only positive COVID-19 case recorded in Queensland overnight
All 105 residents at an aged care facility in Brisbane returned negative results with some staff yet to be tested
Queensland has recorded one new coronavirus case overnight, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says.

The positive case was a returned traveller in quarantine who recently returned from overseas and flew to Maroochydore from Sydney on Friday with Jetstar.

The man in his 20s is a consular official and exempt from hotel quarantine.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the man was a consular staff member who was permitted to fly on from Sydney to Queensland after returning from overseas as there were a small number of nationally agreed exemptions.
"One of those exemptions is consulate staff so they are able to on-travel to their home and to quarantine in their home," she said.

She said the man took Jetstar flight JQ790 to Maroochydore from Sydney on Friday. ... d=msedgntp

Other passengers are now being contacted.

There were 13,703 COVID-19 tests done in Queensland over the past 24 hours.

"We are very comfortable with the figures overnight, but of course that next week is very, very crucial," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"Queenslanders are listening. We are doing the right thing.

"We are in a little bit of uncharted waters at the moment but we've got through things worse than this before.

"I'm quite confident if we all pitch in together and keep doing the right thing and making sure we do that good hand hygiene it will definitely make sure Queensland stands in good stead."

Aged care facility tested
104 tests done at a Brisbane aged care facility overnight came back negative.

A nurse at the Pinjarra Hills centre had tested positive yesterday. ... d=msedgntp

The Bolton Clarke facility went into precautionary lockdown earlier this week amid concerns the staff member may have worked one shift while unknowingly infection.

Dr Young said she was unconcerned by an outstanding test, for which a resident would be quarantined and monitored for symptoms over a fortnight.

Some staff are also yet to be tested.

Ms Palaszczuk said the testing results from the facility were encouraging but additional restrictions would be imposed on other facilities in south-east Queensland as a precaution.

"We don't want people to be alarmed but we do want to take these precautions now just in case," she said.

Visitors will no longer be allowed to enter aged care facilities in Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Redland, Gold Coast and Scenic Rim local government areas, with the exception of end-of-life visits.

Anyone who is allowed to enter must wear a surgical mask, staff can only work at one facility and residents can only leave for healthcare or on compassionate grounds. ... d=msedgdhp ... e/12507394

Aged care nurse tests positive to COVID-19 in Queensland
The woman is the latest case linked to three people who are accused of flouting the state's quarantine rules. ... d=msedgntp ... d=msedgntp

Millions now locked out of Queensland to try to contain coronavirus clusters
Key points:
Queensland's Greater Sydney hotspot declaration shuts out about 5 million potential visitors
As of 1:00am, residents of the Greater Sydney area are banned from entering the Sunshine State
Major airline operators have announced severe cutbacks in flight routes because of the drop in demand

Queensland COVID-19 snapshot:
Confirmed cases so far: 1,085
Deaths: 6
Tests conducted: 560,607
Thousands of people have made a last-minute dash for entry into Queensland before the border was officially closed to Greater Sydney just after midnight.
Passengers packed dozens of extra flights arriving at Brisbane Airport and long traffic delays were experienced at the vehicle crossing checkpoint on the Gold Coast.

As of 1:00am, residents of the Greater Sydney area — or anyone travelling there in the future — are banned from entering the Sunshine State.

Queenslanders returning home after the deadline must now quarantine in a hotel for 14 days at their own expense.
As of 1:00am, residents of the Greater Sydney area — or anyone travelling there in the future — are banned from entering the Sunshine State.

Queenslanders returning home after the deadline must now quarantine in a hotel for 14 days at their own expense.
Professional boxer Sam Ah-See was one of the few who made it into Queensland on a late flight yesterday, just in time for an important fight in Townsville next month.

"I'm just lucky that I got out in time — it would have been a big mess for me if I didn't," Mr Ah-See said.

The 29-year-old is on his way to fight in the Jeff Horn and Tim Tszyu event on August 26, a career highlight for the up-and-coming athlete.

But he was worried his opponent had not made the cut-off.

"It would have been a bummer if I missed it, but I'm not sure I'll get to fight if he doesn't make it," Ah-See said.
Sydneysiders Zoe and Jennifer Elsworth also came through on one of the last flights out of Sydney.

The pair were meant to settle on their new home in Queensland next week and would have missed the milestone because of the restrictions.
We had the flights booked for Sunday so we had to reschedule them before the border closes," Jennifer Elsworth said.

"We're both from a low-risk area, so we don't feel like we're endangering anyone, but we'd happily quarantine if we had to, just to get there."

Andrew Watson, also from Sydney, booked a holiday flight to Brisbane as soon as he heard the border was going into lockdown.

"I would have been devastated if I couldn't have gone, because I wanted to get away from these cold conditions," he said.

"I'll get in just in time, have a few days up in the warmth, and then return to Sydney.

"You can't go to Victoria, you can't go to South Australia, you can't go to Perth or Northern Territory — so this was the only place left to go if you wanted to travel."
The Greater Sydney hotspot declaration shuts out about 5 million potential visitors, on top of the 6 million people already banned in Victoria.

Major airline operators have announced severe cutbacks in flight routes because of the drop in demand.

Qantas and Jetstar will reduce their services from Sydney to Queensland, including temporarily suspending flights to Coolangatta and Cairns as of Monday.

Virgin also cancelled all direct flights between Sydney and Cairns.
Queensland locked out of other states
As Queensland locked out its southern neighbours, other state leaders were taking similar action against the Sunshine State.

The Tasmanian Government announced it would soon ban travel into the state from a number of yet to be announced "Queensland hotspots".

The cautious approach was being taken after a cluster of Queensland cases emerged, linked with two women accused of bringing the virus into the state from Victoria.

The women were charged with lying on their border declaration forms and fraud, and tested positive for coronavirus eight days after returning to Queensland.
Speaking on Friday, Tasmania director of public health Mark Veitch said the "hotspots" would include places visited by the women.

"There are a number of … places we now know they spent several hours in, and it's possible those are the sorts of settings where infection can be transmitted," Dr Veitch said.

"We will be adding those locations to a list of what we call 'affected premises'."

Other state leaders, including in South Australia, indicated they were also considering tightening restrictions for Queensland residents.

The Northern Territory Chief Medical Officer has declared Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan as coronavirus hotspots.

Since midnight on Friday, anyone arriving in the Northern Territory from these areas is required to quarantine, at their own cost. ... t/12512266

Struggling Qld universities to receive bailouts
The Queensland government will unveil a $150 million bailout package for struggling universities affected by the coronavirus crisis.
A decline in international student numbers has cost the tertiary education sector millions of dollars.

Under the program, universities can apply for loans, which will be recouped through a repayment program over the next five years. ... d=msedgntp

Qld woman lied about being in Victoria
A woman has allegedly been caught lying to police in Queensland, after travelling to the state from Victoria.

The 51-year-old told police she was returning from Victoria for essential work but was caught out when officers conducted a home check.

She has been placed in hotel quarantine and will appear in court in November. ... d=msedgdhp

South Australia records 2 new cases of coronavirus
South Australia has recorded 2 new cases of COVID-19, one of whom authorities say attended a school while she was likely infectious, and a teenager who returned from Victoria late last month.

The first case is a girl in her teens who arrived in Adelaide from Victoria on Sunday July 26, on Jetstar flight JQ 774.

She had developed respiratory symptoms, fever and loss of smell 11 days earlier ... d=msedgntp

The teenager was tested on July 31 and her positive result came in yesterday.

SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said SA Health had identified seven close contacts, but the chances the girl transmitted the coronavirus were low.

"The chances of her being infectious in South Australia are very, very low but we are going to continue to have her in isolation," she told reporters on Sunday afternoon.

People on the Jetstar flight are being contacted as a precaution.

Woman attended educational facility while infectious
The second case is a woman in her 20s.

She is a close contact of a known case and was tested also tested on July 31.

The woman attended an "educational facility" during the infectious period, Professor Spurrier said.

SA Health is contacting the school principal and will not make the name of the facility public until the school community has been notified.

Other close contacts of the woman are being identified.

She is now being isolated in hotel quarantine.

"That second wave I was asked about yesterday, we are seeing it trickle across the border," Professor Spurrier said.

"But we are doing absolutely everything we can from a public health perspective to ensure we don't have any chains of transmission in our state." ... d=msedgdhp

170 Australians arrive from coronavirus hot spot
A flight carrying 170 Australians from the world's third biggest coronavirus hot spot has landed in Adelaide.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH8461 arrived in South Australia from New Delhi on Saturday morning.

The flight had 170 Australians on board who were all subject to health tests and screening upon arrival.
All passengers will be forced into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14-days to ensure they don't have the deadly COVID-19 virus.

A Facebook group called Australians Stuck in India has done a survey and found that more than 2,000 people are trying to get back to Australia.

India has recorded 1.7million positive coronavirus tests since the pandemic began as the country struggles to combat the virus.

There are currently four active cases of coronavirus in South Australia. The state has suffered four deaths.

South Australia and Western Australia have offered to help with quarantining people returning from overseas as Victoria shuts is borders due to a surge in cases.

Premier Daniel Andrews hinted at further restrictions and an extension to the stay-at-home order after the state announced a shocking 694 cases on Thursday.

Mr Andrews said community transmission remained a top priority and cited 49 'mystery' cases.

'Those community transmission cases are of greatest concern to us.

'The challenge is that they are a mystery and this is all about trying to know as much as you possibly can, as much intelligence and evidence and data as you possibly can.' ... d=msedgntp

2 SA nursing homes locked down after man returned from Victoria tests positive
Two South Australian nursing homes are being closely monitored today after two workers became close contacts of the state's latest positive COVID-19 case.

Health authorities confirmed the man, aged in his 20s, had tested positive to the coronavirus yesterday.

He had flown from Melbourne into Adelaide on Tuesday, July 28 — just hours before a hard border with Victoria was strengthened to include the state's own residents.
The Ridleyton Greek Home for the Aged in Brompton and the Philip Kennedy Centre Residential Care facility in Largs Bay were immediately placed in lockdown amid fears residents could become infected.

Both workers have now returned negative results for COVID-19 but health authorities are still monitoring the situation.

The two women remain in self-isolation at the family home, while the positive coronavirus case is being quarantined at the Pullman Hotel in the Adelaide CBD.

No other close contacts at the aged care homes have been identified and they are expected to be released from lockdown today.

Eighteen people on board the JQ774 plane from Melbourne have also been placed in isolation, deemed "close contacts" because the man did not wear a fresh mask on the flight.

A South Australia paramedic who volunteered to help in Victoria is also in isolation at the Pullman after testing positive on her return.

The woman, aged in her 20s, travelled from South Australia to Victoria to assist with testing in virus-affected areas.

There had been one incidence of close contact, but that was with a member of the same team, all of whom are also currently in quarantine. ... hp#image=1

Regional businesses relying on backpackers fret closures
egional businesses that have relied on backpackers in the past are desperate for staff. Some operators in Western Australia are worried they will have to shut their doors because they can't find enough workers.
'We need workers now': Desperate regional employers scrambling to keep operating
Regional pubs and hotels in Western Australia say they are desperate for workers and are struggling to operate as normal.

Small country towns have historically relied on backpackers to staff hotels or pick fruit during the busy months but with the state's borders firmly shut employers say international workers are few.

When travel restrictions were introduced in Australia there were more than 140,000 backpackers in the country. That has dropped to about 85,000 after many travellers headed home.

Carnarvon Hotel owner Helen Newbey said the shortage of workers came amid a surge of tourists "wandering out yonder".

"The season has been amazing, to say the least," she said.

"We have gone from maybe 20 to 30 people, [now] we'll feed 250 at night time, every night of the week."

Job ads 'go unanswered'
The Carnarvon Hotel is one of the biggest hospitality employers in town, with 15 staff.

Mrs Newbey said the situation was worrying because she could not find enough staff to help run the bustling business.

"I'm advertising for chefs, I'm advertising for bar staff, housekeepers — you can't get them," she said.

Mrs Newbey said she had been searching for a chef since June and had not received an application.

"There are no new ones coming to town because either they can't fly into the country or they can't cross the border," she said.

Five hundred kilometres south, in Perenjori, the local hotel, open for more than a decade, has experienced similar problems.

He said if he couldn't find enough backpackers to work at the hotel he would consider closing the accommodation side of the business.

"My dad and myself work here, so we do the cooking, and we can run the bar," he said.

"We might have to drop accommodation if we're not able to have the staff to help service those rooms."

But with the usually busy wildflower season approaching, that would mean a cut to a third of Mr Kohl's earnings potential.

He said it would be "very handy" if overseas workers could qualify for a second-year visa to work at regional businesses "like country pubs and rural roadhouses and caravan parks", as well as agricultural jobs.

"These sorts of businesses … we're all in an isolated area so we face the same problems getting staff as farmers do," he said.

'Get Perth jobless to regions'
Western Australia's unemployment rate is 8.7 per cent.

North West Central MP Vince Catania said that, with hospitality, tourism, horticulture and general agriculture sectors in dire need, unemployed people from Perth should fill the jobs.

"We need to make sure we can grasp those people who are unemployed in metropolitan Perth and get them to come up to regional WA," he said.

"People are getting frustrated because they can't get a beer, they can't get a meal, or they're waiting to check into their room because there are no cleaners to clean that room."

Mr Kohl said, historically, it was difficult to get Australians to live and work in small towns.

He said JobKeeper and JobSeeker offered no incentive for West Australians to look for work in the regions.

Mrs Newbey said towns like Carnarvon needed West Australians to get back to work.

"The JobKeeper allowed people to keep their staff," she said.

"We need all those people who were working pre-COVID to go back to work because we desperately need them."

The Department of Home Affairs said travellers working in critical sectors were exempt from six-month limitations on working with one employer.

These sectors include health, aged and disability care, agriculture and food processing, and childcare.

A spokesperson for the State Government said the Government was investing $57 million in the training sector to upskill West Australians as part of the WA Recovery Plan.

"The State Government is working closely with peak industry bodies to ensure labour and skills needs are met in agriculture and horticulture while supporting Western Australians looking for work," he said. ... d=msedgntp ... d=msedgntp

NT records one new coronavirus infection
NT records one new coronavirus infection.
His partner is isolating in hospital after the family flew back to Darwin yesterday.

Contact tracing has been completed and there are no known cases of community transmission in the Top End. ... tp#image=1

Tasmanians back from Queensland scolded for breaking coronavirus quarantine
2 men who have recently returned to Tasmania from Queensland have been apprehended by police in two separate cases of coronavirus quarantine being ignored.

In a statement, Tasmania Police said they had responded to "two incidents of non-compliance at Hobart quarantine hotels this weekend".

Police said they were contacted by security personnel at a Hobart hotel on Saturday afternoon after a 48-year-old man, who had recently returned from Queensland and was required to complete 14 days' hotel quarantine, "attempted to leave the hotel premises contrary to his formal direction".

The man, from Hobart's northern suburb of Glenorchy, was "apprehended at the time by security at the hotel and received an infringement notice from police", they said.

Last night, police were called by security of another hotel and "advised a 37-year-old man, who had recently returned from Queensland, who was required to complete mandatory hotel quarantine, was found to have left the premises", police said.


Police arrested the man at his home in Claremont later in the evening. He was charged with coronavirus-related offences and bailed to complete the remainder of his quarantine at the hotel as required, police said.

There was "no indication that any members of the Tasmanian community were at risk during either incident", police said.

Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Higgins said it was "selfish and unacceptable that people think that they do not have to follow the rules that are in place".

"These rules are in place to keep our community safe," he said.

"I want to make it very clear to those required to quarantine at hotels or at home, that you are doing so to stop COVID-19 from being transferred to anyone here in Tasmania."

"If you have been interstate there is a chance you have been exposed to the virus.

"We need to make sure that anyone coming to our state is doing so safely, protecting our community and way of life."

"Two weeks of personal inconvenience pales in comparison to the benefit of protecting the lives of 500,000 plus Tasmanians."

Currently, all non-essential travellers to the state are required to quarantine for 14 days — either at home or in a government quarantine hotel.

Any Tasmanian residents returning home from Victoria are required to enter hotel quarantine if they do not have an exemption.

Tasmania's borders are due to open to travellers from South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia next Friday.

Tasmania has had 227 COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths. ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12969
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:24 am


in NZ style Lev 4
> curfew 8pm to 5am applies
> restriction to 5km
> weddings are banned for 6 weeks
> 1 hr exercise / day ( no more than 2 people )
> automatic fines ( no more police warnings )
> 1 person to shop for essentials ,
> stay at home except essential worker
> schools ordered to close for rest of term
Regional Vic is Lev 3 all kids to return to home schooling

NSW masks are now ADVISED for all.










Nationally, 221 people have died

136 in Victoria,
52 in NSW,
13 in Tasmania,
9 in WA,
4 in Queensland,
4 in SA
and 3 in ACT.





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

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:25 am


Victoria records 429 new COVID-19 cases, 13 deaths
Victoria has recorded 429 cases of coronavirus and another 13 deaths as the state enters its first day of stage four lockdown.
Premier Daniel Andrews is set to announce temporary shutdowns of 'non-essential' businesses for at least six weeks.
Victoria's coronavirus tally now sits at 11,937. Of the new cases, 36 were linked to outbreaks or complex cases and 393 were under investigation.
The new deaths include a man in 60s, two males and a female in their 70s, two males in their 80s and five females and two males in their 90s.
Eight of the deaths were linked to known outbreaks in aged care facilities. Victoria's COVID-19 death toll has climbed to 136 fatalities.
Does stage 4 'shock and awe' in Melbourne mean we should have gone for elimination of coronavirus after all?
Melbourne is now under stage four restrictions, while the rest of the state will return to stage three restrictions from Thursday

Melbourne is now in stage 4 lockdown and under a nighttime curfew in an effort to control the spread of ‘mystery’ coronavirus cases.

The vast majority of Victorians who accepted stage 3 restrictions as necessary, if depressing, would have been confronted by what premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday. They were the tightest coronavirus restrictions ever imposed in Australia and among the toughest in the world.
Melburnians had just got used to compulsory mask wearing and now are to be confined to their homes from 8pm to 5am except for medical reasons or for essential work, at the risk of a $1,652 fine if they break curfew. Had this ever happened outside war time? There was no such curfew in New Zealand even in their “go early and go hard” response earlier this year.
In Melbourne, one person in a household will be allowed to go to the supermarket, and only once a day, mask on. No travelling beyond 5km of your house unless visiting a partner or for essential work (and what is considered essential work will be redefined on Monday). More defence force personnel on the streets. More powers for police to enforce the rules.
All school students to be at home again unless they are the children of essential workers and, for the first time, childcare centres will close except for children considered vulnerable or whose parents have to work.
When CHO Prof Brett Sutton described it as a “shock and awe” announcement, he was not exaggerating. There has been much criticism of the handling of Victoria’s spectacular outbreak of coronavirus cases in recent weeks and some of that has been valid. There’s been the hotel quarantine debacle
, which will be subject to public hearings beginning on Thursday. The aged care tragedy, a shared responsibility of the federal and state governments. The acknowledged tardiness in aggressively getting the message out in multiple languages.
But at this point, whether Andrews is a strong leader doing his utmost against what he calls a “wicked enemy” or a premier whose political career is all but over, there is little point in arguing. “There is no alternative,” Andrews said at his now-daily press briefings, announcing the numbers and ever-tighter restrictions on Australia’s second-most populous state. Regional Victoria will also be impacted this time, going into stage three restrictions from Thursday. Andrews said that “today is by far the hardest day” of his almost six years as premier. It is “perhaps literally the biggest challenge we’ve ever faced”.

The daily new cases have jumped around but have not declined since the stage 3 lockdown began on 8 July. Another 671 new cases announced on Sunday, another seven deaths, taking the total to 123, more than half the nation’s total. An alarming 1,962 cases that “may indicate community transmission”.
There has been an element of the culture wars about Australia’s debate about how to suppress Covid-19, although nowhere near the absurdity and partisanship we have seen in the United States. But it was there again on Sunday, with the Australian newspaper’s economics editor, Adam Creighton, fulminating on Twitter that the “shameful” new measures meant an “effective dictatorship [was] declared”.
I doubt most Victorians will agree, although these are going to be a long six weeks. And it is true that the powers are extraordinary. The “state of disaster” gives police more authority to enforce restrictions and gives the minister for emergency services, Lisa Neville, powers to direct and coordinate the activities of all government agencies and allocate resources as she considers necessary or desirable.
Indeed, if it appears an agency is operating under legislation which would inhibit the response to the disaster, she can suspend part of all of that act. These powers were introduced after the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 and have been used only once before – in January when bushfires again threatened the state.
We don’t quite know why stage 3 restrictions failed to shift the numbers. Andrews said the strategy avoided hospitals being overwhelmed and Sutton said one estimate was that about 20,000 cases had been prevented.
But it wasn’t enough because, as Andrews pointed out, at current rates it would take up to six months for cases to significantly drop – that’s six months of stage 3 restrictions, keeping most people at home. “I’m not prepared to accept that or accept days and days and days of hundreds of cases and more and more deaths,” he said. Some people were breaking the rules. Some employers were insisting that ill workers turn up and some workers, without sick leave or steady employment, didn’t feel they could miss a day. Some people who tested positive were not staying at home. The only choice, Andrews said, was to go harder and for (hopefully) a shorter period of time. The reason it was so urgent is that more than 700 cases were “mysteries” – with little idea about where the person contracted the virus. If there are that many mystery cases turning up positive, how many more were out there? The idea is that if everyone stays at home, the opportunities for community transmission will diminish.
It’s a reasonable argument, but there’s a reasonable question to be asked, too. For weeks, some health experts have argued for stricter measures to forcefully drive case numbers down. It’s called a “New Zealand-style” lockdown, but only days ago Victoria was saying it wasn’t necessary and wouldn’t help.
“I certainly wouldn’t even assume that a New Zealand-style lockdown will address the issues that we have,” Sutton said on July 22, arguing that New Zealand at the time of its lockdown had little community transmission.
Andrews argued that limiting movement further wouldn’t help. “If we were to move to a further stage of restrictions where other movement was limited … will that stop people going to work that are going to work now? No,” he said.
Well, it’s now looking a lot like a New Zealand lockdown, which included shutting all but a small number of essential businesses, limiting outdoor activities to local areas, and closing schools, childhood centres and universities. It worked, with the country now at level one, which means “the disease is contained”.
This pandemic is so fast-moving, it’s hard to take a breath. And Victorians – or almost all of us – will do the right thing. But at some point, we’re going to have to ask whether suppression was the right strategy after all or left us open to what Victoria is going through, again and again. ... d=msedgntp

Around 1000 Victorian coronavirus cases linked to aged care ... d=msedgntp ... d=msedgntp

The Stage 4 Shutdown in Melbourne
Do I need to go to work? The Victorian businesses and industries that will close under Melbourne's stage 4 coronavirus restrictions
About a quarter of a million Victorians will be stood down from their jobs or told to stay home from work, as entire industries across Melbourne are ordered to close to stop the spread of COVID-19.

That's on top of the 500,000 people who are already working from home, and 250,000 others stood down earlier in the crisis.

Many other businesses will have to operate at reduced capacity and with fewer staff.

Businesses that are closing will need to do so by midnight on Wednesday. Those remaining open will need COVID safe plans in place by the weekend.

Here's how the changes announced by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will affect your workplace.
All retail stores will be required to close, except for:

Supermarkets and grocery stores
Bottle shops
Convenience stores and newsagencies
Petrol stations
Post offices
Hardware, building and garden suppliers retailing for trade
Specialist stationery suppliers for business use
Disability, health, mobility device and equipment retailers
Maternity supply retailers
Motor vehicle parts for emergency repairs, only agricultural retailers (drive through only)
Retailers will be able to run delivery services and contactless click-and-collect services for online businesses, with extra rules and regulations.

As an example, Mr Andrews said Bunnings hardware stores could sell to consumers who used contactless collection, but the public wouldn't be allowed inside.

Hardware, building and garden supply businesses will, however, be able to sell to tradespeople in store.

Mr Andrews on Sunday announced that businesses that supply food would be able to continue their work
Meat production
The Victorian Government said it considered the meat production and seafood processing industries to be essential, but high-risk.

They will be allowed to continue across the state, but with the following restrictions:

Businesses must reduce their production by a third of peak capacity
Workers can only work at a single site, and must wear PPE
Supermarkets will be required to reduce their distribution centre workforce by a third of its peak level
Mr Andrews said meatworks businesses would look very different under the new rules.
"Those workers will be essentially dressed as if they are a health worker — gloves and gowns, masks and shields," he said.
"They will be working in one workplace only, they will be temperature checked, they will be tested."

Melbourne shuts all shops and meat shortages expected in lockdown
Melbourne will suffer a shock shutdown of most shops and services for six weeks, with thousands of jobs to be lost.
Victorians lining up at supermarkets to panic buy meat and fish could actually be right with new restrictions set to cause shortages
Shoppers queue into the distance outside a Costco in Melbourne to stock up ahead of Stage Four restrictions and a curfew on Sunday

Panic buyers lining up at supermarkets for meat and fish could actually be right as new restrictions mean production will be slashed by a third.
The vegetable aisle at this Woolworths is cleaned out - but veggies will not be affected by the lockdown the same way meat is likely to be

Melbourne is gripped by Stage 4 lockdown with an 8pm curfew, schools shut down, weddings banned, and citizens restricted to a 5km radius from their home.
Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday announced thousands more businesses would also have to shut down from Thursday as 429 more cases were diagnosed.
13 more Victorians also lost their lives overnight, bringing the state's total to 136 and Australia's to 221.

Some shopping centres will stay open so customers can access supermarkets and other essential services but others will end up closing.
'Whether every single item you might normally buy will be on the shelves, I can't guarantee,' Mr Andrews admitted.
'But everything that is needed and there is no need for people to go and shop for things in bulk, that sense of panic is simply misplaced, we don't need to do that.
'Supermarkets as well as grocery stores, the local fruit and veg, the local butcher, the baker, all of those shops, they will remain open.
'I can't guarantee that every single product and exactly the volumes that you might like to buy will be there, that there will be enough for people to get what they need. Not necessarily what they want, but get what they need.'
Abattoirs and fish markets will stay open but new the workplace rules will severely curtail their production, leading to potential shortages. 'Meat works, we know that meat works are a really significant challenge for us. Whether it be lamb, poultry or beef, they will move to two thirds production, reduce their production by one third,' Mr Andrews said.
Stocks could run low at supermarkets, butchers, and even at fast food outlets that source their meat from within metropolitan Melbourne.
The harsher lockdown has prompted thousands to flock to shops across Melbourne in a new round of panic buying.
Long lines and full trolleys were seen outside supermarkets as early as 7am - even though they would stay open under Stage 4.
Cafes and restaurants will continue to provide takeaway services, but people will not be allowed to dine in.
'I want to assure all Victorians, supermarkets, the butcher, the baker, food, beverage, groceries, those types of settings, there will be no impact there,' Mr Andrews said on Sunday.
'I want to make the point there's no need to be queuing up at the Coles or Woolworths or queuing up at the local baker or butcher, they'll remain open.
'They'll remain able to provide you with the things that you need. Takeaway meals, home delivery meals, they'll remain as they are now.'

However, with meat stocks likely to be affected by the new restrictions, panic buyers snapping up meat to shove in their freezer could be on the money.
Woolworths on Sunday put two-item restrictions on more than 50 products as shoppers started to clean out shelves across Victoria yet again.
Melbourne's curfew is in effect between 8pm and 5am every day, the only reasons to leave home during these hours will be work, medical care and caregiving. Only 1 person in a household can go shopping per day and exercise is limited to 1 hour a day - both must be within 5km from home. ... tp#image=9
Mr Andrews said Victorians would still have access to the products they needed, even with producers running stripped-back operations.

"I can't guarantee that every single product at exactly the volumes you might like to buy will be there, but there will be enough for people to get what they need," he said.

"And there'll be more to go around if people buy what they need when they need it, rather than everyone going and buying four trolleys' worth of groceries and enough chicken or beef to last you until Christmas.

"That is simply not necessary."
Manufacturers of these products must close:

Metallic mineral products
Fabricated metal products
Wood products
Leather tanning, fur dressing and leather goods
Knitted products
Clothing and footwear
Domestic appliances
Manufacturing of these products can continue with a 'COVID safe' plan:

Food and beverages
Medical equipment and PPE
Petroleum and coal products
Basic chemicals
Coffins and caskets
Aluminium smelting
Cement and lime
Pharmaceutical goods
Sanitary products
Telecommunication infrastructure
Goods for defence or security industries
Residential building supplies
Pulp, paper and converted paper products
Cleaning products
Fertiliser and pesticides
Printing and support services
Glass and glass products, including lenses
Computer and electronic equipment
Critical infrastructure public works goods
Heavy trucks
Specialised machinery and equipment
Transport equipment
Polyethylene and resins
These operation can continue with skeleton staff, to ensure facilities and equipment are safely maintained and environmental requirements are met:

Polymer and rubber manufacturing
Other basic chemical production manufacturing
Primary metal and metal product manufacturing
Basic polymer manufacturing
Construction sites will have the following restrictions:

Any building project of more than three storeys can only have a maximum of 25 per cent of normal employees on site
Any building of three storeys or less must have a maximum of five workers, including supervisors, on site
Each site must have a COVID safe plan
Workers can only work at one site during stage four
There must not be blending of shifts
Mr Andrews described the construction sector as the "lifeblood" of Victoria's economy.

He said many construction projects would be switched to a "pilot light" stage, and major government projects would continue with reduced staff."They're not being turned off completely, they are dramatically reducing the number of people they have working for them and their output for the next six weeks," he said

Consumers won't be able to call tradespeople to do jobs at their homes unless it is for an emergency, and Mr Andrews warned it will take longer for homes to be built.
Victorian construction industry to be scaled back amid COVID restrictions
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced parts of the construction industry will operate in a reduced capacity as the state grapples to overcome the spread of COVID-19.
Mr Andrews announced new widescale stage four lockdowns that will come into effect in Metropolitan Melbourne from midnight Wednesday.
The Premier said while the construction industry is in many respects "the lifeblood of the Victorian economy," the sector will be impacted by the lockdowns.
"Large-scale major projects the government has been involved in, they been reduced in workforce in a global sense by about half," he said.
He said the government will be looking at a project-by-project basis at how the number of staff can be reduced safely.
"Very large commercial building, whether it be building apartments in the city or building factories or warehouses, or other sorts of non-residential building projects, if it is above three-stories then those builders will need to reduce their workforce down "to the practical minimum".
"They can have no more than 25% of their workforce working".
He said the building of domestic homes will continue however "it will be unlawful to have any more than five people on site at any one time".
"That means essentially for some of these industries, we are moving them to a pilot light phase, not being turned off completely but they are dramatically reducing the number of people they have working for them and their output over the next six weeks".
"That is a very difficult decision to make".

Construction under Stage 4 restrictions:
Open for on-site work with COVID-safe
Construction of critical and essential infrastructure and services to support these projects
• Critical repairs to residential premises, are allowed, where required for emergency or safety.

Restricted operations:
Large scale construction
o Any building construction project of more than three storeys (excluding basement)
o Maximum of 25 per cent of normal employees on site compared to normal operations.
o Must have High Risk COVID Safe Plan. Must demonstrate not blending shifts and workers can only work at one site during

Stage 4
• Small scale construction
o Any building construction project of three storeys or less (excluding basement)
o Maximum of five workers (including supervisors)
o Universal COVID Safe Plan
o Must demonstrate not blending shifts and workers can only work at one site during stage 4
• State and state civil construction (including time critical new school builds) are exempt from reduction ... d=msedgntp

Financial and insurance services
The following can continue to operate:

Bank branches
Critical banking services to support credit and payment facilities
The following can only operate outside the office:

Non-depository financing
Financial asset investing
Insurance and superannuation funds
Auxiliary finance and insurance services

Horse and greyhound racing
Horse and greyhound racing will be allowed, with limits on the people who can attend. "There'll be no owners, there'll be no media, there'll be only the broadcasters and the direct participants involved in that activity," Mr Andrews said.
"There are some significant animal welfare issues. If you were to try and turn that industry off and take those animals out of training there are some very significant animal welfare issues there."

Wholesale trade
The following sites will be closed:
Whole trade unrelated to food and medical supplies, except where it is critical to supply a permitted service
Motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts wholesaling
Furniture, floor coverings and other goods wholesaling
Commission-based wholesaling
The following will be allowed with a COVID safe plan:

Grocery, liquor, tobacco wholesaling
Retail services
The following will be closed on site:
Personal care, including hairdressers
Photographic film processing
Car washes
The following can continue with a COVID safe plan:

Laundry and dry cleaners
Information, media and telecommunications
These businesses will close onsite activities:

Book publishing
Directory and mailing list publishing
Other publishing
Software publishing
Motion picture and sound recording activities
Library and other information services
These workplaces can continue with a COVID safe plan:

Telecommunication services
Newspaper and magazine publishing
Radio and television broadcasting
Internet publishing and broadcasting
Internet service providers, web search portals and data processing services
Screen production
Production, broadcast and distribution of supporting services for critical functions such as law enforcement, public safety, medical or other critical industries
Rental hiring and real estate services
These businesses can not continue in the workplace:

Rental and hiring services
Property operators and real estate services
These businesses can continue with a COVID safe plan:

Rental and hiring services where supply is to a permitted service or industry
Farm animal and bloodstock leasing
Professional, scientific and technical services
These workplaces must close:

Architectural, engineering and technical services
Legal and accounting services
Market research and statistical services
Management and related consulting
Professional photography
Computer system design and related services
These workplaces can continue:

Those involved in COVID-19 scientific services
Hazard monitoring and resilience
Biosecurity and public health
Medical or other research where Australia has a competitive advantage and which cannot be shutdown
Critical scientific facilities

Administration and support services
These services cannot operate in the workplace:

Employment services
Travel agency and tour group services
Office administration services
Document preparation services
These businesses can continue:

Building and grounds maintenance, cleaning and pest control
Call centres providing critical services
Employment services that cannot be delivered online

Australia's Melbourne clamps down in frantic race to curb virus
Australia's second-biggest city, Melbourne, already under night curfew, announced fresh restrictions on industries including retail and construction on Monday in a bid to contain a resurgence of the coronavirus.

From Wednesday night, Melbourne, the capital of Victoria state, will close retail, some manufacturing and administrative businesses as part of a six-week lockdown.

The new measures are expected to double the number of jobs affected by coronavirus restrictions to around 500,000 and along with those working from home will keep 1 million people from moving around for work, Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews said.
Having already imposed the strictest restrictions on movement, Victoria declared a "state of disaster" on Sunday.
Australia has fared better than many countries, with 18,361 coronavirus cases and 221 deaths from a population of 25 million, but the surge in community transmissions in Victoria raised fears that the infection rate could blow out of control. "As heartbreaking as it is to close down places of employment ... that is what we have to do in order to stop the spread of this wildly infectious virus," Andrews told a news conference. "Otherwise, we are not in for six weeks of restrictions - we'll be in for a six-month stint."
The outbreak in Victoria, which makes up a quarter of the national economy, has scuppered hopes for a quick rebound from Australia's first recession in nearly three decades.

Andrews announced A$5,000 ($3,570) payments for affected businesses and flagged more announcements about penalties, enforcement and education on Tuesday.

The national government also announced pandemic leave disaster payments for people who have run out of sick leave and have to self-isolate for 14 days, paying A$1,500 to ensure those with COVID-19 symptoms stop going to work ."What we're dealing with here is a disaster," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at a media conference.
Restrictions announced on Sunday included a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for six weeks, barring the city's nearly five million people from leaving their homes except for work or to receive or give care.
"The idea that, in this country, we'd be living at a time where there would be a night curfew on an entire city of the size of Melbourne was unthinkable," Morrison said. ... d=msedgntp ... a/12518902 ... d=msedgntp ... d=msedgntp

'We haven't felt isolated': Community spirit lifts as restrictions come down in Yarraville
A trail of happy signs, a virtual holiday photo booth and a giant puzzle wall are among a series of activities taking away the coronavirus blues at a park in Melbourne's inner west.

As Victorians become more and more confined amid tougher restrictions, one silver lining is a resurgence of community spirit.

We have put teddy bears and drawings of rainbows in our windows for neighbourhood children to spot. We have filmed ourselves putting out our rubbish bins in costume to cheer up our Facebook friends. And stories of viral kindness are filling the internet to combat the increasingly sad news.
A sudden surge in the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases has been reported from Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney. In a bid to control the outbreak, authorities announced on July 7 that Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in the state of Victoria will return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions for six weeks, from 11:59 p.m. on July 8. Wearing of face masks has been made compulsory in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire starting 11:59 p.m. on July 22. A $200 fine will be charged from those who fail to do so. Starting Aug. 2, a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. was imposed in Melbourne. Several new cases have been reported from Sydney, the capital of New South Wales (NSW), leading to the reintroduction of stricter social distancing norms. Meanwhile, for the first time in a 100 years, the border between Victoria and NSW – two of the nation's most populous states – has been closed to curb the outbreak.

n international student is seen collecting food from a volunteer of a charity food organisation in Melbourne on July 28. Originally aimed at providing meals for healthcare workers, the charity, Alex Makes Meals, has now expanded to provide meals for anyone in need following the return of lockdown restrictions.

A man walks past a large face mask pinned to a tree in Melbourne on Aug. 3

All over the world, communities no longer allowed to leave their postcodes are finding new ways to help each other eat, connect and smile.
In Yarraville, Lee Smith-Moir has been delighting users of Cruickshank Park since creating her own version of the rainbow trail, with 20 flags to spot, in March.

From a fun facts educational trail to a Ministry of Silly Walks path, she has been setting up different activities to cheer up locals on their daily exercise.
"Every day, we get people saying it brightens their day ??? they say it gives them a laugh or 'I learnt something really interesting,' " Ms Smith-Moir said.
"It's become a little happy place at the edge of the park."

The retiree even built a giant puzzle wall, filled with optical illusions and quizzes, on the side of her home that sits on the edge of the park.

A virtual tropical holiday photo booth decorated with palms and flamingoes attracted hundreds of locals a day over a weekend in April.

And her front garden has a frog-spotting game for children.

Ms Smith-Moir watches from her living room that looks onto part of the park as locals enjoy her creations.
"In the morning, I often wake up to kids at the fence. You can hear them talking and laughing and trying to do the puzzle," she said.
"We don't even notice being locked down because we're having so much fun.
"We haven't felt alone, we haven't felt isolated at all. It makes us smile every day."

Ms Smith-Moir has more plans in store for Cruickshank Park users and has created a Facebook group where she plans to post signs Victorians can print out to put up in their own parks and neighbourhoods.
Public health specialist Charmaine Consul has come across many of Ms Smith-Moir's activities while walking her dog, including a trail of signs last week that made her laugh.

She said some personal issues on top of the uncertainty of the pandemic had been getting her down.
"I was trundling along quite OK, but then I started to think I'm sick of staying in this house," she said.
"[The activities] are very meaningful. It just takes your mind off it and you think about something else. It's good to have a laugh. It really is lifting spirits." ... BB16t5ig|5

ADF prepares to send 500 more personnel to Vic
Defence personnel are preparing to be deployed to Victoria as the state's crisis escalates with most expected to be sent into aged care homes.
There are about 1,500 Australian Defence Force members on the ground in Melbourne who are door-knocking homes and helping enforce the lockdown with police.
More support is expected to be deployed to the city and the rest of the state over the coming days.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds confirmed there are 500 more on standby. ... d=msedgntp

Federal Government considers changing JobKeeper eligibility
Industry groups have warned Victoria's new coronavirus restrictions will hit the state hard, and affected businesses will need more support than their interstate counterparts. ... d=msedgntp

Victorian coronavirus outbreak spreads to regional aged care with death at Opal South Valley in Geelong
ADF nurses have been sent to an aged care home in the regional Victorian city of Geelong in response to a coronavirus outbreak which has already claimed 1 life.
The Opal South Valley home, in the suburb of Highton, has seen 18 residents and 5 staff test positive to coronavirus.

1 resident, who had been receiving care at Barwon Health University Hospital since Tuesday, died on Friday as a result of COVID-19, Opal confirmed in a statement.
"They will be dearly missed. We would like to extend our sympathies to the family, and our thanks to the hospital team and our Opal team for their dedicated care," the statement said.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews made special mention of the need to keep coronavirus out of aged care homes in regional Victoria, during Sunday's lengthy press conference where he announced all of regional Victoria would be put under stage three restrictions.
"I'm not going to let this get into aged care in regional Victoria the way that it has into aged care in Melbourne," he said.

Many aged care homes in the more remote parts of the state are government-run facilities.

Today, 10 enrolled nurses and one registered nurse from the Australian Defence Force arrived at Opal South Valley, a private aged care home, to look after residents.

The home is also receiving support from the local public health provider, Barwon Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
"As a precaution, and to ensure that we have taken every possible measure to protect our residents and team, the majority of our Opal team at South Valley are self-isolating," the Opal statement said.
["Opal leadership continue to manage the home with a number of senior Opal team on site, including clinicians, carers and an Opal chef. We are working closely with the DHHS and with Barwon Health who is providing excellent clinical support."

The home said residents' relatives were being phoned daily to keep them informed about their loved one's care.

Opal said their team was "truly heartened" by the community's support.
"We thank the Geelong community for their ongoing support, it uplifts and energises our team every day."[

Victoria's aged care outbreak exceeds 1,000 active cases
There are more than 1,000 active coronavirus cases and dozens of deaths linked to aged care home outbreaks, which have so far been concentrated in Melbourne.

At least 2 homes — Menarock Life aged care home in Essendon and St Basil's in Fawkner — have had all residents evacuated as out-of-control outbreaks sent entire staffing teams into quarantine.

The largest outbreaks are:
139 cases linked to St Basil's Home for the Aged in Fawkner
130 cases linked to Epping Gardens aged care in Epping
106 cases linked to Estia Health's aged care home in Ardeer
101 cases linked to Kirkbrae Presbyterian Homes in Kilsyth
88 cases linked to Estia Health's aged care home in Heidelberg
65 cases linked to Glendale aged care in Werribee
63 cases linked to Menarock Life aged care in Essendon
61 cases linked to Aurrum aged care in Plenty
58 cases linked to Outlook Gardens aged care in Dandenong North
55 cases linked to BaptCare Wyndham Lodge in Werribee
The case numbers include residents, staff and close contacts.

ADF medics and AUSMAT teams, who are usually sent to overseas disasters, have been brought in to work alongside Victorian hospital nurses to contain outbreaks at several homes.

Some residents and their families have voiced concern about poor infection control procedures including inappropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) which could result in contamination.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission wrote to all aged care service providers on Friday reminding them of their responsibility to ensure all staff had been properly trained in how to use gloves, face masks, face shields and gowns.

The commission will begin unannounced checks of services to observe infection control practices, with a focus on aged care homes in Melbourne. ... d=msedgntp

Woolworths employee tests positive to COVID-19 in Melbourne
A Woolworths store in Melbourne's inner north-west was closed overnight for deep cleaning after a staff member tested positive to coronavirus.

The Woolworths Newmarket store in Kensington reopened today, with contact tracing now underway.

9News understands the infected employee last worked at the store on July 31.
"We're making contact with our Newmarket team members and will provide our full support to those required to self-isolate in line with advice from the health authorities," a Woolworths statement read.
As a food retailer, we already have very high standards of cleaning and hygiene in place. As an extra precautionary measure, the store closed overnight for an additional deep clean."

The risk of transmission to customers and staff is "low", the supermarket giant confirmed. People can continue to safely shop and work at the store.

But anyone who shopped at the Newmarket store on July 31 who develops COVID-19 symptoms in the next two weeks should contact the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
The positive virus case comes as four other Melbourne stores were deep cleaned on Saturday night due to COVID-19 infections among staff, including Bundoora, Millers Junction in Altona North, Cranbourne East and Karingal Hub in Frankston.

There have been dozens of COVID-19 cases linked to Woolworths stores across Victoria in the past month.
Woolworths and Coles supermarkets in Melbourne will close by 7.45pm in line with the city's new lockdown curfew of 8pm.

Woolworths workers walk off job amid virus safety fears
More than 240 Woolworths liquor warehouse workers have walked off the job in Melbourne's south-west amid safety fears after an employee tested positive to COVID-19 last week.

The workers at the Melbourne Liquor Distribution Centre (MLDC) undertook legal cease work action this morning after discussing safety standards, following the staff member's positive coronavirus diagnosis on Friday night. The Laverton site provides alcohol to Dan Murphy's and BWS stores across Victoria.

The United Workers Union (UWU) issued the supermarket giant with a list of demands from workers, urging for the site to shut for a 72-hour deep clean overseen by health representatives and for all workers – including new staff - to be tested for coronavirus.
"We have seen this a dozen times already - each time the company tries to downplay the virus and keep operating there's 50 or 60 COVID cases," UWU logistics industries director Matt Toner said.
"The best plan Woolies can make is to go hard now and send all workers home with pay so they can be tested and do a proper deep clean."
A Woolworths Group spokesperson confirmed to 9News they were made aware of the staff member's positive diagnosis on Friday and workers were informed later that evening. The employee last worked at the warehouse on Tuesday.
The spokesperson said a terminal clean, which was in line with the Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) guidelines, was conducted overnight on Friday until Saturday morning. The site is also deep cleaned every Sunday.
"The opening of our Melbourne Liquor DC (MLDC) has been delayed this morning after the site's health and safety representatives issued a cease work notice," the spokesperson said.
"The safety of our team is our priority and we're working through the notice with the UWU and WorkSafe Victoria as a matter of urgency.
"Since we learnt of a positive COVID-19 case on Friday, we have conducted contact tracing and cleaned the site in line with Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommendations.
"We've consulted the DHHS and will continue to follow its expert health advice."

DHHS has not ordered for the site to close or for staff members to isolate. Liquor supply to stores will not be affected at this stage. ... BB16t5ig|2 ... tp#image=1

PM announces pandemic leave disaster payments
PM Scott Morrison has announced that there will be $1500 fortnightly payments for those affected by the virus with no more sick-leave. ... d=msedgntp


Every FULL TIME employee is entitled to sick leave when they're ill, injured or need to care for a close family member. The same sick leave entitlements generally apply across all states in Australia and only full-time and part-time workers are eligible.
Unfortunately casual, and part time, and contract based (gig) employees have no leave entitlements WSE.

What are sick leave entitlements in Australia?
If you are unable to work due to illness or injury, your sick leave entitlements are the amount of time you are legally allowed to take off without repercussions. There are a few different types of sick leave entitlements in Australia; some are paid, others are not. Here's an overview of what you are entitled to:

Paid sick and carer's leave – 10 days
Sick and carer's leave fall under the same leave entitlement. Full-time employees are entitled to 10 days of leave each year. The balance of leave you acquire each year also carries over into the next year. Part-time employees get pro rata of 10 days each year based on how many hours they work.

Unpaid sick leave – 3 months
Once you've run out of paid sick leave, if you're still unable to work due to illness or injury you can take unpaid sick leave for up to three months. You can't be fired for taking unpaid sick leave provided you've been off work for less than three months and you can supply evidence of your illness or injury.

Unpaid carer's leave – 2 days
If you don't have any paid sick and carer's leave left, you get two days of unpaid carer's leave each time you need to provide care for a family or household member.

Compassionate and bereavement leave – 2 days
All employees are entitled to two days of compassionate and bereavement leave each time a member of their immediate family or household dies or suffers a life-threatening illness or injury.
Most industry awards allow employees to accumulate untaken sick leave much the same as untaken annual and long service leave can be accumulated in any year .

Treasurer rejects calls to extend JobKeeper subsidy
Josh Frydenberg says the scheme will already run for the duration of Victoria's expected six-week lockdown period. ... d=msedgntp
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EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:29 am


NSW reports 13 new coronavirus cases
NSW has recorded 13 fresh cases of coronavirus overnight, including a new infection from Victoria.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said 3 of the cases were overseas travellers and 1 person had returned from Victoria.
Teams of health officials are operating at Sydney Airport, screening arrivals from Melbourne, Ms Berejiklian said.
She said "many" passengers on the inbound planes from Melbourne were NSW residents returning home.

"There are various checks in place, and if we need to do more, we will."

The health advice given to NSW government was "evolving" and officials were closely monitoring the situation in Victoria, where a stage four lockdown was imposed last night.
"We are always on our toes about what we might need to do to keep things as tight as possible," Ms Berejiklian said.

She reminded NSW residents to be on "extra high alert" and to wear a mask in situations where social distancing is not possible.
Ms Berejiklian said while public transport across the state is not running at capacity, students should walk or get a lift if possible.
They should only catch public transport "as a last resort".

Yesterday the NSW government ramped up its advice on masks, and "strongly recommended" face covering be worn in public settings.
Ms Berejiklian said it would likely take a few days for more NSW people to start wearing masks while out.
"I always have a mask in my pocket.
"I recommend everyone have one in their pocket or their bag, and if they feel they are in a situation where they need to wear one, they should." ... d=msedgntp

COVID-19 alert for the Hunter
An alert has now been issued for the Lambton Park Hotel after a Sydney man visited it last week.
COVID-19 alert for third Newcastle venue
Health authorities in the Hunter have issued an alert for a third location, visited by a Sydney worker last week who had tested positive to COVID-19.

The Lambton Park Hotel is now closed — and any patrons who visited it between 7:00pm and 9:00pm on July 30 have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days, and be tested for the virus.

Hunter New England Health has also issued alerts for other locations visited by the 20-year-old construction worker.

They include another pub — Hotel Jesmond at the same time on July 29, and Wallsend Diggers Club on both nights between 9:00pm and 11:00pm.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned "no border is impenetrable" due to the number of cases in Victoria.

Of the day's new cases, eight were locally acquired and linked to known clusters, NSW Health confirmed.

1 case was linked to the Apollo restaurant in Sydney's Potts Point and one case had attended the Mounties hotel in Mount Pritchard.
1 case was traced back to the Advanced Early Learning childcare centre in Merrylands.
NSW Health said five of the day's cases were close contacts of known cases, but did not provide further information.

Health authorities were unable to trace the source of one new COVID-19 infection.
"While most cases in the past week have been associated with local clusters and close contact with known cases, seven have not been linked to known cases," NSW Health said.

Ms Berejiklian said the state remained on high alert about community transmission of the virus as Victoria's cases continued to increase.
"No border is impenetrable … no matter how tough we are, so long as the virus is in and around us in Australia, there is a risk in NSW," she said.

She said she applauded people who had taken to wearing masks, and said she kept a mask in her pocket at all times.
But Ms Berejiklian fell short of calling for it to be mandatory for NSW people to wear a mask, saying people "need to judge for yourselves".
"I recommend everyone have one in their pocket or their bag, and if they feel they are in a situation where they need to wear one, they should," she said.

NSW residents 'strongly encouraged' to wear masks in these four situations
New South Wales has rolled out strong new state-wide face mask recommendations as the coronavirus situation worsens in Victoria.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said NSW is now at an "absolutely critical stage" of the pandemic, and the new mask recommendations - which are not compulsory - should start today.
Despite rising coronavirus clusters throughout NSW, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said the state does not need to introduce lockdown measures similar to Victoria.
"We are following what is happening in New South Wales very, very closely," Professor Kidd told Today.
"At the moment over the last couple of weeks we haven't seen a continuing upward trend in NSW."

For several weeks case numbers in NSW have hovered in the teens and sometimes over 20, prompting concern it could be headed for a second wave.
"If we do start seeing that upward trend, then consideration is going to be need to be taken about further measures," Professor Kidd said.

Intensifying its fight to stem the pandemic, the NSW government declared there were four key situations when it strongly encouraged residents to wear masks.
"If you are in an enclosed space and you cannot guarantee social distancing, such as public transport, such as when you are buying groceries, you should be wearing a mask," Ms Berejiklian said.
Staff in customer facing roles, such as retail and hospitality, should also wear masks.
"Whenever they are facing customers, we strongly recommend that they wear masks," she said.

She said people attending places of worship should also wear masks or face coverings.

The fourth situation was people living in areas where there is a high level of community transmission or known COVID-19 hotspots.
"The next few weeks will make or break us, in terms of the way we get through this pandemic," Ms Berejiklian said.

Ms Berejiklian did not believe people would struggle to get hold of masks, claiming face masks were "readily available".

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said mask wearing was "the fourth line of defence".
The first three lines of defence are
to isolate at the first signs of flu-like symptoms and to immediately get tested for COVID-19,
to maintain social distancing
and have good hand hygiene at all times. ... d=msedgntp
Ms Berejiklian reiterated that masks are useful in times where maintaining a 1.5-metre distance was not possible and warned complacency could lead to another outbreak in NSW.
"We saw what happened at the Crossroads Hotel — an infectious person turned into 600 people having to be contacted, and their contacts under contacts of those contacts," she said.
Local health authorities in Wagga Wagga confirmed the infections but said the family had been self-isolating upon their return to NSW and had no known contacts.

The family consisted of a 52-year-old woman, who authorities say is in good health, along with her son and daughter-in-law, aged in their 20s, and their infant child.
Baby tests positive to coronavirus in NSW
A baby is among four new confirmed cases of coronavirus in regional NSW.

The baby's parents, a man and woman in their 20s, as well as the child's 52-year-old grandmother also tested positive to the virus.

Murrumbidgee Health Senior Environmental Health Officer Tony Burns said the group tested positive after arriving home in Wagga Wagga from Victoria.
"They have returned from Victoria and they have isolated since," Mr Burns said.

He said health officials are confident the virus has not been passed on to anyone outside the family.

"They have had as needed groceries delivered online and they've done the right thing," he added.

The family are believed to have been to Melbourne, and had a travel permit to cross the border back into NSW," he said.

Health officials said the child's grandmother has "very mild" coronavirus symptoms. The other family members are asymptomatic. ... d=msedgntp

The cases of 3 of the family members will be included in tomorrow's COVID-19 figures with 1 among the 13 cases announced today.

3 venues and a courthouse in Newcastle were closed overnight after 2 Sydneysiders who were infected with coronavirus visited the city.

Hunter New England Health (HNEH) said a construction worker in his 20s visited Hotel Jesmond, Wallsend Diggers Club and Lambton Park Hotel while infectious.

The man attended Hotel Jesmond on July 29 between 7:00pm and 9:00pm, Lambton Park Hotel on July 30 between 7:00pm and 9:00pm and Wallsend Diggers Club on both nights between 9:00pm and 11:00pm.

Patrons who visited the venues between those times are being urged to seek COVID-19 testing and remain isolated for the full two weeks.
"Remain in isolation for the full 14 days even if the test is negative [and] if COVID-19 symptoms develop, get retested," NSW Health said in a statement.

Hotel Jesmond and the Wallsend Diggers Club were closed for cleaning yesterday, while the Lambton Park Hotel is closed today.
"They were doing a specific piece of construction work while they were up here and only visited those venues," Hunter New England Health's David Durrheim confirmed.

Meanwhile, Toronto Court House at Lake Macquarie is closed today after a Sydney-based member of the court tested positive for coronavirus.

NSW Department of Communities and Justice said the person was at court last Monday and was likely linked to Sydney's Apollo restaurant cluster.

8 people were in intensive care and 5 were ventilated as of 8:00pm last night.
NSW Health said 86% of cases are in out-of-hospital care. ... d=msedgntp

NSW Covid-19 hotspots: list of regional and Sydney outbreak locations
List of outbreaks in NSW
If you were at the following venues on these dates you must get tested and self-isolate for 14 days, even if your test is negative.

Mounties, Mount Pritchard:
12:01am to 2:30am Monday 20 July;
12:15pm to 5:30pm Tuesday 21 July;
8pm to midnight on Tuesday 21 July;
Midnight to 12:30am on Wednesday 22 July;
7pm to midnight on Wednesday 22 July;
Midnight to 3am on Thursday 23 July;
7pm to midnight on Thursday 23 July;
Midnight to 3am on Friday 24 July;
11am to 3:30pm on Friday 24 July;
7pm to midnight on Friday 24 July;
Midnight to 3am on Saturday 25 July.
Thai Rock Restaurant, Potts Point:
Wednesday 15 July to Saturday 25 July inclusive if you attended this restaurant for two hours or more.
The Apollo in Potts Point: Wednesday 22 July to Sunday 26 July
Tan Viet in Cabramatta: 23 July from noon to 2pm
Harpoon and Hotel Harry in Surry Hills: 26 July, from 2.15pm to 11pm
Fitness First St Leonards:
Monday July 27, 9am to 10.30am.
People who were at the gym at this time but only attended a group fitness class are not required to isolate, but should monitor for symptoms and immediately self-isolate and seek testing if they develop symptoms.
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.

Potts Point area
Carnes Hill shops
Wetherill Park
Mt Pritchard
Bankstown City Plaza
If you were at any of the following locations on these dates, monitor yourself for symptoms and self-isolate and get tested if symptoms occur.

McDonald’s Albion Park, Wednesday 15 July, 2pm to 2.30pm.
An Restaurant, Bankstown: Thursday 23 July, 9am to 11am
Frank’s Pizza Bar Restaurant, Camperdown: Sunday 26 July, 6pm to 8pm
Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL, Canterbury: Monday 27 July, 6.30pm to 8pm
Woolworths, Crows Nest: Monday 27 July, 10.30am to 11am
Neeta Shopping Centre (including the Soul Pattinson Chemist, Woolworths and Fresco Juice Bar), Fairfield: Thursday 23 July to Thursday 30 July
Matinee Coffee, Marrickville:
Sunday 26 July, 8am to 9am, and Monday 27 July, 7am to 7.45am
Pritchard’s Hotel, Mount Pritchard: Friday 24 July, 5pm to 7pm
Cruising Yacht Club Australia (CYCA), Rushcutters Bay:
Thursday 23 July, 6pm to 7.30pm;
Friday 24 July, 3.30pm to 5pm;
Sunday 26 July, 4pm to 5.30pm
Salamander Bay Shopping Centre, Salamander Bay: Wednesday 15 July.
Salamander Bay Woolworths, Salamander Bay:
17 July between 2.30pm to closing time,
18 July between 4pm to closing time,
19 July between 12.45pm to closing time,
20 July between 3pm to closing time.
Salamander Bay Shopping Centre, Salamander Bay: Wednesday 15 July
Toronto Court House (Toronto Drug Court), Toronto: Monday 27 July, 7am to 2pm ... d=msedgntp

People following COVID guidelines will allow NSW to 'maintain our quality of life'
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance says the cooperation of NSW residents abiding by the COVID-19 health measures will allow the state to avoid going into a strict lockdown.
“Everything we’re doing right now is designed to avoid (a harsh lockdown),” Mr Constance told Sky News.

Mr Constance said it was important to remember all important elements of managing COVID-19 and warned against focusing “solely … on masks.”

The measures to combat the virus include appropriate contact tracing, recognizing the importance of community response, testing, and self-isolating, he said.

Mr Contance said if people follow the prevention measures then “we can maintain our quality of life as best we can as we live through the pandemic – and that’s the aim.”
He did not guarantee the NSW government would refrain from forcing the state into complete lockdown, but said it was working hard to ensure the state could live with the pandemic.
“There is no doubt that if you start to see - into the future - massive community transmission, (then) governments, on the basis of medical advice, will take action,” he said.
“We’re doing our best to work with the community to achieve the outcome we all want to see which is the ability to live with the pandemic as best we can.” ... d=msedgntp

Woman charged with coughing on police in NSW
A woman has been charged with deliberately coughing on police before allegedly letting two dogs off their leads when officers turned up at her house.
Police were responding to reports of a domestic violence incident in Wagga Wagga in regional NSW yesterday, when they arrested a man, 27.
Officers tried to talk to a woman at the house, when she allegedly told the man to cough on police as the pair were awaiting coronavirus test results.The woman, 24, then allegedly moved in front of a male constable and coughed deliberately in his face, twice, before letting two large dogs off their leads, NSW Police said.
The man was released, and the pair were allowed to attend a COVID-19 clinic for testing. Both officers were also tested and have since returned negative results.

The woman has since been charged with not comply noticed direction re spitting/coughing – COVID-19, stalk/intimidate intend fear physical etc harm and resist or hinder police officer in the execution of their duty.
She was granted bail and is due to appear in Wagga Wagga Local Court on September 16.

NSW Police issued 16 $1000 fines at the weekend to people breaching the public health orders.

These include:
9 people were fined after indoor gatherings at East Jindabyne and Maroubra exceeded the 20-person limit
A man, 47, was fined after an unauthorised public gathering in Hyde Park South on Friday morning after more than 20 people were grouped together
2 men, aged 34 and 38, were fined over a separate unauthorised gathering at Sydney University
A 44-year-old woman was fined at a hotel in Liverpool after police determined her reason for travelling from Victoria to NSW was false. She was sent home
A pub licensee, 50, was fined after failing to comply with coronavirus restrictions including maintaining social distancing and keeping an accurate register of visitors
A 53-year-old man was fined after hosting a house party at his home in Mullumbimby. He told police he was aware there were too many attendees but wasn't worried because he believes Coronavirus is just a flu.
A 24-year-old woman was fined after police pulled her over driving on a disqualified licence and breaching self-isolation regulations. She had returned from Victoria on July 20. ... d=msedgntp

Canberrans urged not to panic buy masks as ACT Government flags face coverings in response to coronavirus
The ACT branch of the Pharmacy Guild is urging Canberrans not to panic buy masks and says there are plenty available in the capital if the advice around wearing them changes.

Victorians are required to wear a mask anytime they are outside their homes and yesterday New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian "strongly recommended" people in the state wear masks to protect against coronavirus.

While the move is not enforceable, like the advice in NSW, the ACT Government said Canberrans should "prepare for a time where wearing face masks becomes another part of how we respond to the threat of COVID-19".
"Just like NSW, mask wearing would be the fourth line of defence in Canberra," ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said.
"It would be in addition to physical distancing, hand hygiene and staying home if you are unwell."

The move comes as supermarket chain Woolworths is urging customers to wear masks, and pharmacies in Canberra have already seen an impact from that direction.
"Since the directive from Woolies about masks came through we've noticed that a lot of people are coming in wearing masks," pharmacist Rebecca Richardson said.
"We have been selling a lot more masks."

No need to panic-buy masks: Pharmacy Guild
ACT Pharmacy Guild president Simon Blacker said pharmacies in Canberra were well prepared and well stocked if a public health direction came into effect.
"They are not having any trouble sourcing masks at the moment, so people don't need to worry," he said.
"We don't need stockpiling to happen. I think there are adequate supplies."

Mr Blacker also said pharmacies would not be urging people to wear masks in stores until the Government made it enforceable.
"For a pharmacy to say people must wear a mask is a little heavy handed," he said.
"I've observed that Woolworths strongly suggests it and pharmacies may go down that path, but at this stage we are still guided by the Government."

What would it take to get to that point?
ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said the Government was closely watching towns bordering the ACT for COVID-19 cases.
"Looking at what's happening in the ACT and in the NSW surrounding regions for a rapid increase in cases or the appearance of a cluster or an outbreak," she said.

Dr Coleman said signs of community transmission in Yass or Queanbeyan would trigger a Government response that could escalate to mandatory mask wearing.
"They are definitely locations we are looking at very closely," she said.

A COVID-19 survival plan might not be a bad idea
Dr Coleman is urging Canberrans to stay prepared, but insists there is no need to panic.
"We should start thinking about it the same way we plan for a bushfire," she said.
"We need to have our home kits in case we need to evacuate, so what are some of the things we need to keep ourselves safe if we start getting coronavirus cases in the ACT?"

Masks will be on that list, but Dr Coleman said there was more to consider than just face coverings.
"We also need to think about our soap and our hand hygiene measures as well as a box of tissues," she said.
The ACT has not recorded any new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, meaning the territory remains free of known coronavirus cases. ... tp#image=1

Canberra households offered interest-free loans for solar and storage if ACT Labor re-elected
ACT Labor will offer interest-free loans to make Canberra households more sustainable if re-elected at October's territory election.

Labor has announced a $150 million election commitment to provide the capital's households with interest-free loans between $2,000 and $15,000 to help cover the upfront costs of installing rooftop solar panels, household battery storage and hot water heat pumps.

If re-elected, Labor said it would offer the loans from mid-next year.

ACT Labor leader Andrew Barr said the policy could see average households cut more than $10,000 from their bills over the next decade.
"Each of these technologies will produce savings for a household in terms of their energy costs and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions," the Chief Minister said.
"A combination of all of them can deliver savings for households of approaching $2,000 a year, depending of course on how much energy is consumed and the size of the household.
"This is particularly targeted at a cohort of Canberra households that have indicated that if they had the available upfront cash to be able to install these sorts of technologies they would, and this program will allow that to happen."

Under the scheme, Labor plans to accredit a number of providers and allow Canberrans to choose the installer, according to the type of product they require.

The government would then provide the upfront capital, in the form of a zero interest loan, for the purchase and installation.

Customers would then repay the loan over a 10-year period.
"But they would be saving more in the lower energy costs than the cost of repaying the loan, so households are better off," Mr Barr said.
"The cost of the initiative is effectively the 10-year government bond rate, so to government it will cost around 1.6 per cent.
"So, when fully subscribed, just a little under $2.5 million a year in terms of the public cost to taxpayers broadly, and then they'll be the administration element to manage the loan book."

Loans would also be good for Canberra jobs: Labor
According to ACT Labor, the move is forecast to create and protect hundreds of local jobs over the next decade.
"The program will not only create new jobs, it will reduce household cost of living, and it supports the take up of a range of new technologies that will lead to lower emissions," Mr Barr said.

The ACT is already powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity, and Renew Economy founder and editor Giles Parkinson says the policy is the next step in de-carbonising Canberra.

Mr Parkinson said the shift away from gas and fuel for heating and transport meant the amount of electricity required to run the capital would increase.
"So you're going to need more wind and solar production and [one way of doing that] is to encourage homes and businesses to install it themselves," he said.

Mr Parkinson said an uptake of household batteries would also help the grid by storing power to be used during peak periods.
"One of the things we're going to see in the ACT and across Australia is that a huge amount of our future power needs are going to come from … distributed energy — things like rooftop solar, heat pumps, battery storage and electric vehicles." he said.
"It will be a really important part of the equation and something that's got to happen, not just in the households who care rich enough to go out and buy it now, it has got to happen in every part of the community.
"It's a really exciting transition."

The election commitment was also welcomed by the Climate Council.
"If introduced, this commitment would serve as a win-win-win for the ACT, by setting up new jobs for the future, lowering power bills, whilst also reducing pollution," Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie said.

Labor encouraging families to go into debt: Liberals
Energy policy expert Tony Wood from the Grattan Institute criticised ACT Labor's policy, saying it did not address the financial barriers keeping low-income home owners out of the market.
"I think they've got to be applying the financial support in a targeted way that actually addresses the barrier that exists today," he said.
"I don't think generally subsidising people out of government money is necessarily a good idea."

Canberra Liberals leader Alistair Coe said Labor's scheme could put many Canberra families into debt.
"It's a proposal that I think is potentially very irresponsible," Opposition Leader Alistair Coe said.
"It's a proposal that is designed to get people who would otherwise not be in the position to take up a loan to go into debt."

Mr Coe said the real issue in the ACT was the rising cost of living.
"When people are paying over $500 a week for rent, they're paying top dollar to register their car, they're paying top dollar for other fees and charges, the ACT Government's only solution is to put these families into debt," he said. ... d=msedgntp


Queensland records no new coronavirus cases overnight
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk congradulated Queenslanders and informed them no new covid19 cases since yesterday but has urged people to continue to come forward for testing if they have any symptoms. ... d=msedgntp

919 people turned back at Qld-NSW border checkpoints
Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler from Queensland Police says there was a range of reasons that people weren't let in. ... d=msedgntp

More issues with JetStar - Jetstar flight with COVID-19 case was nearly packed, but airline insists risk was low
Jetstar has revealed a Sydney-to-Maroochydore flight that had a passenger on board with COVID-19 was nearly full.
Queensland Health advised on Sunday that a passenger on Friday's Flight JQ790 had tested positive.

Jetstar, which said there were 149 passengers aboard the 186-seat aircraft, maintained risk of transmission of COVID-19 on a flight was "extremely low".
"The air inside the cabin is also refreshed every few minutes, ensuring the highest possible quality of cabin air," a spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the company's Fly Well program included a range of measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
This included the provision of a pack which contained a face masks and sanitising wipes ahead of boarding.
But the passengers on the flight from Sydney weren't required to wear masks, which were only mandatory for flights to and from Victoria.

Quarantine exemption
Queensland's Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young, confirmed the passenger was infectious during the 90-minute domestic flight.
The passenger had been on a flight from Afghanistan.
He was a consulate staffer — a role listed by Queensland Health as one of the few exempt from the mandatory 14 days' hotel quarantine.
Legally, consular employees who arrived in Queensland from overseas had to "travel directly to their residence and self-quarantine".

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was looking to have that legislation changed.
"I think now is the time for overseas travellers to definitely go into mandatory hotel quarantine," she said.
"There have been some exemptions.
"I don't think the time is right, now, for those exemptions.
"However, that is going to be a matter for the chief health officers around the country to look at."

Queensland records no new cases of coronavirus as Premier calls on exemption 'loopholes' to be closed off
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has called for exemption "loopholes" to be closed off after one of the state's positive cases was revealed to be a returning consular official who did not need to quarantine.

The call comes after the state recorded no new cases of coronavirus overnight leaving Queensland with 12 active cases.

Ms Palaszczuk said she would be raising the issue of exemptions being granted to overseas travellers after the returned official, who lives in Queensland, tested positive yesterday.
Ms Palaszczuk said it would be a "matter for the chief health officers" around the country to ultimately decide.
"I just don't think we need to have any elements of risk at the moment ... and if we can close off any of those loopholes it'll keep everyone safe."
Contact tracers have reached out to 14 people who were seated near the embassy worker on the domestic flight.

Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio said he got a fright when he was informed of the positive case.

He said he believed no one should be exempt from hotel quarantine measures.
"Anyone who is traveling to this nation from anywhere regardless of their status, they ought to have to do the same as anybody else," Councillor Antonio said.
"They should have gone into home isolation or isolation of some sort the moment they got to Sydney or the moment they got to Maroochydore."

But he said he was confident authorities in Toowoomba would manage the case properly.
"This is for real and we have to treat it that way," he said.
"But I'm absolutely confident the work the medical fraternity have done in Toowoomba and the overarching work that police have been doing, that we in Toowoomba are in a very good position.
"I'm fairly sure that in 14 days' time, hopefully Toowoomba will have a zero [cases]." ... d=msedgntp

The most common symptoms include of COVID-19 include a fever, cough, and a loss of smell and taste. ... d=msedgntp

Doing a roaring trade - Interstate demand for face masks overwhelming for Bundaberg fashion designer
The price of elastic is up by 400 per cent and fabric is scarce as demand for face masks hits record highs.

A little boutique clothing shop in Bundaberg has suddenly found it is playing an important role in keeping the rest of the country safe as some regions introduce compulsory face masks in the war on COVID-19.

Custom-made clothes maker Sue Hargreaves runs the store and has been overwhelmed in the last few weeks as orders for masks keep flowing in.
"When COVID-19 began the facemasks went nuts — and then nothing, until now," she said.
"It's crazy, our elastic is four times dearer and we've had to put the price of masks up by a few dollars, because we can't even buy black or navy cotton anywhere in Australia."

Ms Hargreaves and her team have been working into the night but are still struggling to fill orders locally and interstate.
"A lot of these masks are being sent to Victoria and people in New South Wales are also ordering masks as they prepare for what's next," she said.

Volunteer sewers get involved
It is not just the fashion houses of Bundaberg that have supported the mask-making cause.
Home sewers and charity groups have also been working hard to try and supply masks for the community.

Queenslanders with family and friends have been posting care packs of reusable face masks to the fashion capital Melbourne in a bid to keep them as protected as possible while still looking absolutely fabulous.

Impact of Strong recommendations to wear masks
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian issued a "strong recommendation" that people wear masks as she continues to warn that the state is in a "critical" stage.

Meanwhile in Queensland some Woolworths and Bunnings Warehouse Australia stores on Brisbane's south-side are "strongly recommending" that customers wear face masks when shopping.

The state's Chief Health Officer, Jeanette Young, said if people wish to wear masks, of course they can.
"But I don't think it's essential at this point in time. It's far more important to maintain that social distancing," Dr Young said.

Manufacturer working through the night
Face-mask-making is brand new to Bundaberg manufacturer of 40 years Linda Worthington.

The mask-maker has been working on her sewing machine throughout the night to keep up with demand.
"I came back from holidays early when everything fired up in Victoria and I've been sewing since," she said.

Ms Worthington makes fully cotton, sculpted and lined masks for children, men and women.
The trends are keeping it interesting for the experienced clothes maker.
"Plain is boring, so I've got skulls, and even a Tardis print for Doctor Who fans, I like to make them fun but also have the plain ones for those who prefer," she said.
"Everyone should be prepared because most of our fabrics come from China, and they're just not coming in.
"I'm buying what I can because I don't want to be left out in the cold if face mask-wearing becomes mandatory all over."

Masks for Aussies
The fabric masks direct from the manufacturers are fetching anywhere from $10 to $50 depending on brand and materials used.
Retailers are predicting demand and costs could continue to keep rising, especially as the materials used to make masks become more scarce.
Meanwhile, a group called 'Masks for Aussies' is offering free face masks.
Beth Crothers is the coordinator and has some available on the fence at the front of her home in the Moorooka suburb of Brisbane. ... d=msedgntp

Rescue Package for QLD Unis
The Queensland government is offering a $150 million 'rescue package' for universities affected by the coronavirus
[The Queensland government is offering a $150 million rescue package for universities in the state that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic as analysis estimates QLD universities will lose $16 billion by 2023 because of the coronavirus..

The loans will be available to universities from the Gold Coast to Cairns.
State Development Minister Kate Jones said while universities are a federal government responsibility, it has "dropped the ball" on supporting them.quote]
The Queensland government is offering a lifeline to universities in the state.

State premier Annastacia Palaszczuk unveiled a $150 million 'rescue package' for universities affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement comes as the universities sector predicts more than $1 billion in losses in 2020, with up to 4,000 jobs at risk.

Universities from the Gold Coast to Cairns will be able to apply for funding, which is designed to protect jobs and support cash flow.
"Funds will be recouped by the government through a repayment program over the next five years," Palaszczuk said in a statement. "Our universities can access the loan funds so they can continue to employ staff, maintain vital on-going research projects and to keep educating local students."

Last year nearly 60,000 international students enrolled in a Queensland university, which added nearly $3 billion to the local economy.

The support package was created in consultation with Queensland's vice-chancellors, but State Development Minister Kate Jones said universities are the responsibility of the federal government.

In a statement, Jones said the federal government has "dropped the ball" in terms of supporting universities.
"For months, our universities have been crying out for support. These cries have fallen on deaf ears," she said. "We’re doing everything we can to pick up some of the slack to safeguard the thousands of jobs that are at risk if our universities fail."

This announcement comes after the state government's $10 million support to the state's international education sector - a "rapidly growing" sector in Queensland prior to COVID, Jones added.

In June, modelling from Universities Australia estimated that Australian universities could lose $16 billion by 2023 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

At the time, Andrew Norton, Professor in the Practice of Higher Education Policy at Australian National University, told Business Insider Australia the major reason universities are in financial trouble is because of the decline in international student numbers.

However, he doesn't believe there should be a general bailout for universities.
"That would set a bad precedent by encouraging risky behaviour in the belief that governments would ultimately cover the losses,” he said. "However, I believe a more strategic investment in current research projects could be valuable, to ensure that they are not abandoned with consequent loss of the time and money already invested."
[/quote] ... d=msedgntp


Mass Social Distancing failure at NRL
Sunshine Coast Stadium to reduce crowds amid concerns over lack of social distancing at NRL game
The Sunshine Coast stadium was packed with fans at an NRL game between the Melbourne Storm and the Newcastle Knights
Crowd numbers will be further reduced at the Melbourne Storm's next home game on the Sunshine Coast amid concerns over a disregard for coronavirus social distancing rules.

Images of thousands of fans crowded on the eastern hill at yesterday's game sparked criticism online, prompting Melbourne Storm officials to request a review of crowd management practices and capacity at the venue.

Just under 5,500 people attended the Storm, Newcastle Knights clash on Sunday afternoon at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

Sunshine Coast Council said the stadium made significant changes ahead of the match including increased security, volunteers, police and staff.

However, up to 1,200 footy fans might now have their tickets refunded as the Sunshine Coast Stadium attempts to ensure social distancing before the Melbourne Storm take on the Bulldogs this weekend.

Sport and community venues manager Grantley Switzer said he expected the 3,000-person capacity of the stadium's eastern hill would likely be cut by about 40 per cent.

Mr Switzer said that meant some fans who bought some of the 5,000 tickets sold for this weekend's match might be forced to accept a refund.
"There is a likelihood that we'll look at refunding people who were looking to come, and have already bought tickets," he said.
"We're just working through that process now — that will also depend on where we land with Queensland Health and the COVID-Safe plan."

Mr Switzer said if the numbers were brought down on that eastern hill, he expected that would "satisfy all parties".

He said while the coronavirus situation in Queensland and on the Sunshine Coast remained very different from what Melbourne was enduring, the community could not be complacent.

Melbourne Storm still has three more home games this season, but is yet to confirm where those games would be played.
"We'd love to host those final three games on the Sunshine Coast," Mr Switzer said.
"But it might be premature to pre-empt the decision from Queensland Health but we certainly are looking to put a plan to them with the intention of hosting those last three games."

Mr Switzer said people were understandably concerned.
"I think what we've seen is a heightened awareness around social distancing with what has occurred in Victoria and few cases of community transmission within Queensland," he said.

Earlier today, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk thanked the NRL for taking swift action.
"We don't want to see large crowds gathering and not social distancing. The majority were seated, not moving around, but having said that I want to commend the NRL for taking that very swift action and letting my office know that they will be reducing the numbers by 1,000," she said.

Council said any future home games would need to be negotiated with the NRL and Queensland Health.

The Melbourne Storm would not comment further on the matter but confirmed in a statement it had asked the stadium to review its capacity. ... d=msedgntp

Cairns restaurants fined for breaching COVID-safe measures
Four businesses in Far North Queensland have been fined for breaching COVID-19 safety regulations, despite being warned multiple times.

The four eateries and licensed venues in Cairns have been ordered to pay a combined $21,000, for failing to address breaches and potentially putting staff and patrons at risk of contracting coronavirus.

Queensland Health says three of the businesses were fined $6,670 and one sole trader was fined $1,134.

Queensland Health said it would not be publicly naming those fined.

Cairns Hospital's Environmental Health Manager Brad Milligan said the businesses were given multiple warnings, before being fined for failing to record patron's contact details and failing to stick to social distancing requirements as well as hygiene issues.
"These plans are very important to protect the community in reducing outbreaks and infections within the community," Mr Milligan said.
"If we can't follow it we are at risk of significant outbreaks, similar to what we're seeing in other states."

A major public health alert remains in place in south-east Queensland, after two women tested positive to COVID-19, after travelling from Victoria and avoiding the state's quarantine rules.
A couple who dined at the same restaurant as one of the women a week ago, have tested positive for the virus.

Mr Milligan said it was disappointing that some businesses in Cairns were not doing the right thing.
"We have seen in Victoria that the virus can spread quickly if undetected," he said.

Queensland did not record any new coronavirus cases overnight. ... d=msedgntp


Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation blockade entry to Uluru amid coronavirus fears
The Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation (MCAC) is so worried about the potential spread of coronavirus through inter-state visitors that members of the group blockaded an entrance to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park on Monday.

It comes after the MCAC threatened to use "all its influence" to shut the park if people disembarked a plane from Brisbane and were transported into the tourist township of Yulara.

The flight has landed and people have already left to Yulara, with three directed to quarantine in Alice Springs.

MCAC's General Manager, Glenn Irvine, said the blockade started after Parks Australia initially declined requests to temporarily close the park.
"So we started this blockade", he told the ABC.
"No tourists are getting through."

The blockade ended after Parks Australia's announcement it would temporarily close the park.

Parks Australia temporarily close Uluru amid protest
Parks Australia said it did not have someone available for an interview, but in a statement a spokesperson said it was "committed" to being part of a collective response that "minimises the risk of COVID-19 to staff, visitors and residents".
"We are continuing to work with the Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation, Northern Territory Government and Voyages to reach agreement on additional health and visitor screening measures within the Yulara township, at Ayers Rock Airport and departure points, which complement the measures we have already put in place within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park," the spokesperson said.
"As these discussions continue and at the request of the Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park will be closed from 1.30 today until at least 12.00pm tomorrow as all parties continue to work towards a resolution on this matter," they said.

Aboriginal corporation concerned by existing hotspot rules
The NT opened its borders to interstate travellers on July 17, allowing most people to move freely through the Territory upon their arrival.

Anyone who has been to a declared COVID-19 hotspot — which includes Victoria, Sydney and Brisbane — must enter two weeks of mandatory supervised quarantine at a government-approved facility upon their arrival.

Brisbane was officially declared a COVID-19 hotspot on Friday evening, after a string of confirmed cases in the area.

Mutitjulu is an Aboriginal community about 30 kilometres from Yulara Airport, the closest airport for visitors wanting to see Uluru.

Residents of Mutitjulu have repeatedly called for the airport to remain closed amid fears the virus could spread to the remote community.

Mr Irvine wanted the entire passenger load on places from declared COVID-19 hotspots to go through quarantine.

As it stands, travellers transiting through hotspot areas do not have to quarantine upon arriving in the NT.

In a statement, Shaun Gill at the NT's COVID-19 Operations Centre said 42 passengers had come in to Yulara on the flight from Brisbane.
"[The passengers] were met by four police members, Yulara Resort management and three health representatives. All were processed within 30 minutes," he said.
"On arrival at Yulara, three passengers were directed to enter mandatory quarantine in Alice Springs and are being transferred by bus," he added.

MCAC thought plane was 'not coming'
Mr Irvine said a meeting among stakeholders, including Voyages, the corporation in charge of operating Yulara Airport, was held on Friday to discuss the issue.

He said he was left with the understanding flight JQ668 from Brisbane to Yulara would not be arriving in the Territory.
"We had some discussion with both NT Tourism and Voyages, which indicated that flight would not be coming," Mr Irvine said.

He said he only found out the flight was coming into the NT from a staff member whose friend was employed at the airport.
"At 7:20pm last night, I received a text from one of my staff members. Being a small community at Yulara, his next-door neighbour worked at the airport and they advised our manager that actually the flight was coming," Mr Irvine said.

But a spokesman from Chief Minister Michael Gunner's office said a decision had not been finalised on Saturday, and confirmed staff would be at the airport to greet all new arrivals.

He said all new arrivals from COVID-19 hotspots would be bussed to Alice Springs for quarantine.

Last month, Mr Gunner made clear he supported the Yulara Airport remaining closed, and said it would be a logistical nightmare to try and transport people over 440kms to Alice Springs for isolation.
"For us, we'd rather not have to try and manage or operate a quarantine entry point there, that would be great, so I've got complete support for the position of the Elders of Mutitjulu," he said.
'We'll be using that influence today'
Mutitjulu residents have said they have remained clear and consistent on their position for weeks.

A press release from the Corporation calls for all passengers on board the flight to be transported to Alice Springs to quarantine or be returned to Brisbane immediately.

Mr Irvine said he had spoken to Senior Executives from Parks Australia, who said they would close the National Park if passengers disembark the flight and head into Yulara.
"We have no control over the airport and we acknowledge that. But we do have some influence over the opening or otherwise of the National Park," he said.
"And we'll be using that influence today to try and have the National Park shut, if any people disembark from that plane and are transported into Yulara." ... d=msedgntp
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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 » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:34 am


SA reimposes restrictions on social gatherings as two new coronavirus cases found
Indoor gatherings will be cut from 50 to 10 people, while venues will only be able to serve alcohol to patrons who are seated, Premier Steven Marshall says.
South Australians will face tougher coronavirus restrictions at in-home gatherings and licensed venues from midnight tomorrow night.
Mr Marshall said the state's transition committee was "looking very closely" at density arrangements at venues, as well as crowd numbers at sporting events like football, and arrangements for fitness studios.
He said the Government would be "looking closely at density arrangements" but no announcement has been made.
"We are concerned about seeding. We are concerned about community transmission, and we are absolutely focused, 100 %, on keeping ahead of the game," he said.
"It's very important we act swiftly, listen to the expert advice and that we stay in front of the game here in South Australia," Mr Marshall said.
"Every single thing we do is to keep the people of South Australia safe during this coronavirus pandemic."
South Australia has today recorded 2 new coronavirus cases.
The first, a man in his 50s, is a close contact of a woman in her 20s who was identified as a positive case yesterday. He is displaying some respiratory symptoms, and has now been isolated in a medi-hotel.
The second new case is another man in his 50s who arrived in the state on a repatriation flight from New Delhi on Saturday, and has been isolated in a hotel.

The woman attended 2 schools,
Thebarton College in Adelaide
and Roma Mitchell Secondary College.
Both have been closed for deep cleaning.
Adelaide students in self-isolation following school cases as south-east border crosser arrested
About 40 Adelaide students are in self-isolation after a woman with coronavirus attended two Adelaide schools.

The adult student in her 20s attended Thebarton Senior College and Gepps Cross's Roma Mitchell Secondary College while in the infectious stage of coronavirus.
She was a close contact of a known coronavirus case. Her and a teenage girl are now in hotel quarantine.
The schools will be closed for deep cleaning today, and more contact tracing is underway.
Health Minister Stephen Wade said putting the students into isolation had already reduced the risk within the school community.
"We'll be working with the schools to see what assistance we can give to the schools to provide testing," he said.
"For example, we've got 11 mobile testing vans; it may well be that one or more of the vans will go to one or more of the schools to make it as easy as possible."
In the other case, Mr Wade said the girl was meant to get tested on July 27, but was only tested on July 31 following a police check.
"All the information provided to me through SA Health and provided to police is that she was self-isolating," he said.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said she was worried by the new cases.
"I've been concerned with now a case every day and now two cases," she said.
SA has 6 active cases and 70 close contacts being monitored.

Arrest near Mount Gambier
Meanwhile, a Victorian man has been arrested after he was found walking west of the South Australian border near Mount Gambier.

Police said the 39-year-old man was found by an Australian Defence Force member walking on Caroline Road in the state's south-east, about 100 metres west of the checkpoint at the Victorian border.

He has been charged with failing to comply with a direction and will face the Mt Gambier Magistrates Court today.

The Opposition wants mandatory testing at every Victorian border crossing, including for essential travellers like truck drivers.
"It only takes one person to get across the border and spread this disease before we end up in a situation like Victoria," Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas said.

He attended Thebarton Senior College last Thursday but only spoke to staff. He said SA Health had cleared him as a close contact. ... d=msedgntp ... d=msedgntp ... d=msedgntp ... d=msedgntp
Ann Marie Smith taskforce delivers recommendations to improve disability care
The South Australian Government will fast track the expansion of an adult safeguarding unit, after a report highlighted significant gaps in the disability care system that failed Ann Marie Smith.

Ms Smith , after being confined to a cane chair for more than a year.

The 54-year-old had funding from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for six hours of care a day.

Her death sparked a manslaughter investigation by SA Police, and the SA Government announced a taskforce to investigate gaps in the disability care system.

The taskforce handed down interim findings in June, but has now delivered its final report.

The interim report identified a dozen "safeguarding gaps" — but that number has now expanded to 14.
"If those gaps and failures are not rectified, similar tragedies could occur again," the report stated.

It also includes seven recommendations for improvements, at state and federal levels.

They include that the State Government address the need for "vulnerable NDIS participants to have regular health checks", and "reaffirm the value of a community visitor scheme as an additional safeguard … and work with the Commonwealth to establish a complementary scheme".

Another recommendation in the report urges the Government to "extend the scope of the Adult Safeguarding Unit" to include younger adults at risk of abuse, starting with people with disabilities.

The SA Health-run safeguarding unit was launched last year and aims to protect vulnerable adults at risk of abuse.

The Government on Monday said it had accepted all of the recommendations, which also include providing funding for "individual advocacy" to "assist individuals with accessing what they need from the NDIS".

SA Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink said the Government had been working with the Commonwealth and the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission to make the necessary changes.
"There are seven recommendations which the Government has already been actioning," Ms Lensink said.
"The other action we have undertaken is to provide $1.8 million in funding for disability advocacy."

'What nightmares are made of'
The report found Ms Smith's death had caused widespread anxiety within the community of people with disabilities.
"The sheer horror of what is alleged to have occurred in the last 12 months of her life and the manner of her death is what nightmares are made of," the report stated.
"For people with disabilities … there is an overwhelming fear that what happened to Ann Marie could happen to them.
"For parents of children with disabilities, it sets fire to a pervading anxiety about 'will my beloved son or daughter be looked after properly when I am gone?'"

The taskforce was co-chaired by Disability Advocate Dr David Caudrey and former Dignity MLC Kelly Vincent, who said they were happy with the Government's response so far.
"There will be an ongoing consultation and monitoring process out of this … so the community knows where the Government is up to in terms of implementation of the report," Ms Vincent said.

Asked what parts of the disability care system had failed Ms Smith, Ms Lensink said that she had not been identified as a "vulnerable person".
"People with lived experience are at pains to ensure that the general community doesn't see people with disability all as vulnerable," she said.
"But there are specific things which relate to social isolation or people who might have physical limitations or people who have communication difficulties [who] should be viewed by the NDIA as being considered vulnerable." ... d=msedgntp

Coronavirus border restriction flouters appear in South Australian courts, as prosecutor urges jail terms be served
Several people who flouted South Australia's coronavirus border restrictions over the past week have today appeared in court, as a police prosecutor urges prison terms be imposed upon those who break the rules.

4 people appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court this afternoon charged with breaching COVID-19 laws in three separate incidents over four days.
New South Wales couple Jade Seymour, 20, and Mohammad Hassaini, 25, escaped jail after admitting to breaching laws.
They were refused entry into the state at Pinnaroo on July 30, but came in via Broken Hill before being arrested in Kilburn, north of Adelaide, three days later.
The court heard the pair were collecting a dog they had adopted.

In a separate matter, 46-year-old Mount Gambier truck driver Robert Edward White appeared in court, accused of hiding a stowaway in his truck last week.
His case was adjourned until later in the week.

Another man, Greg Arthur Vigar, was granted bail for allegedly breaching self-quarantine rules.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Stuart Rees urged the court to impose jail terms in a bid to send a "strong message" to people interstate who may decide to try and breach South Australia's borders.
"The rules are out there for the safety of all concerned," he said.
"Clearly, people are quite nervous every time one of these incidents occurs, and they are on the increase.
"We're only going to get more of these as time progresses."

Mother convicted after breaking isolation direction
A Victorian woman was this afternoon convicted of two counts of failing to comply with police directions to self-isolate at Kingston, in the state's south-east, after travelling into SA last week.The 26-year-old, whose name is suppressed, pleaded guilty in the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court to twice failing to comply with directions last Friday at Kingston.
Police prosecution told the court last Tuesday the woman went through a border checkpoint after being granted permission to enter SA.
Police arrested her on Friday after receiving information she was not isolating at the nominated address in Kingston.
Magistrate Maria Panagiotidis found the woman had come to SA to commence proceedings with child protection authorities to allow her to have contact with one of her children.
Magistrate Panagiotidis found the person whose house the woman had nominated as a place to self-isolate did not want her staying there.
The woman made a trip to the local newsagency and a hotel in Kingston.
Her defence lawyer submitted those trips were to withdraw money from an ATM and to inquire about a room to rent for the fortnight.
A conviction was recorded on both counts, and the woman received a suspended sentence upon entering a good behaviour bond for nine months, with a condition that she isolates for 11 days from today.

Police arrest man following eight alleged breaches
SA Police today said that a 31-year-old Wingfield man has been arrested for failing to comply with COVID-19 directions after entering South Australia from Victoria.
Police will allege around 6:50pm on Sunday, August 2, a man attempted to enter South Australia at the Pinaroo border checkpoint but was refused entry due to not meeting essential traveller status.
He reattended the checkpoint around 30 minutes later but was again turned away.
Police officers later discovered the man did not return to Victoria as per directed, but filled up with fuel at a nearby service station before travelling into metropolitan Adelaide.
The man was arrested at a Wingfield address around 9:00am this morning following police investigations.
Police will further allege that since the start of April, the man has breached directions of the Emergency Management Act on seven other occasions.
The man was charged with eight counts of breaching directions. He was refused police bail and will appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court tomorrow. ... d=msedgntp

Tasmania delays border reopening due to coronavirus crisis in Victoria
Tasmania's state border, which was to reopen to visitors from selected states and territories this week, will remain closed in light of the ongoing Victorian coronavirus crisis, Premier Peter Gutwein has announced.

Mr Gutwein said the state would be closed to all until at least August 31.

Tasmania's borders were due to open to travellers from South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia this Friday.

Opening to New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT on August 14 is also off the table.

At a media conference in Hobart, Mr Gutwein said the Tasmania would "use our best asset … which is our moat" to protect against the disease.
"Tasmania remains coronavirus-free, [but] we can't become complacent, everybody is taking note of what's occurring [in Victoria]," Mr Gutwein said.
"We only have to look across Bass Strait, it is concerning and it is alarming and Tasmanians are thinking of them.
"All Tasmanians have been asked to make sacrifices, we do whatever we can to keep in front of this.
"The last thing that we want is to introduce restrictions, to go backwards. We are in a good place, [the public] needs to continue to work with us."

Mr Gutwein said the border decision would be reviewed "on a week-by-week basis".

Tasmania was the first state to close its borders, then the country's toughest measures on March 19, requiring non-essential travellers to self isolate for 14 days.

On June 12, Tasmanian health authorities declared the island had no active cases.

That run ended when the state recorded its first case in more than two months — a young woman in quarantine who had travelled from Victoria.

That case brought the state's total to 227 cases, with 13 deaths.

Mr Gutwein said on Tuesday the state had now conducted more than 70,000 tests, 800 in the past 24 hours and more than 2,000 in the past three days.

Mr Gutwein said despite new restrictions on Victorian businesses, he did not expect any disruptions to key freight lines but the state was "working on contingencies should that occur".
"There is no need for Tasmanians to consider any form of panic buying or queuing at supermarkets.
"Supply lines remain strong".

Qantas has shut down operations at its Melbourne freight terminals as a result of three coronavirus cases detected there, with a date for operations to resume unclear — or what the impact on Tasmania will be.
"I wasn't aware that they had done that, we will follow that up and get to the bottom of it," Mr Gutwein said today.
The decision not to reopen borders also means there will be no AFL matches at Tasmanian venues.

North Melbourne was scheduled to play Brisbane in a clash at Hobart's Bellerive Oval on August 15.
"As I have said, there will be no special deals, no AFL played in the month of August," Mr Gutwein said today.

Asked to comment on recent incidents of people breaking quarantine after re-entering Tasmania, Mr Gutwein said "the fact we're able to catch these people indicates the system works".
"I can't believe someone would risk fine or jail … I want to make a point to people who might try to get around the system, don't lie when you come to Tasmania.
"Do the right thing to ensure we keep Tasmanians safe." ... d=msedgntp

Hobart rent prices drop amid coronavirus border closures, job losses
Australia's island state has recorded the largest decrease in rental rates through July as tenants and landlords battle with the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, according to property research group for CoreLogic.

As restrictions began tightening around the country, it had flow on effects with Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney recording the weakest markets for rent.

Since March, rent for houses in capital cities dropped by 0.3 per cent, with unit rents down by 2.6 per cent.

Hobart recorded the largest decrease, with rental rates for houses down 2 per cent and units down 4.4 per cent since March.

CoreLogic's head of research Tim Lawless said weaker rental conditions can be found in markets where rental demand has been affected by border closures.
"There are a number of factors which are pushing rents lower in Hobart and we can look at the supply side, where at least anecdotally we have seen a lot of short-term rentals, like Airbnb, have transitioned into the permanent rental pool, simply because there's not many short-term renters at the moment due to travel restrictions," he said.
"Then on the demand side, we've also seen some disruption from rental demand from the weakness across those industries typically aligned with renters."

Those services include food, accommodation, recreation and the arts, all industries that have been heavily affected by the pandemic.

Real Estate Institute of Tasmania (REIT) president Mandy Welling said it was likely that landlords were talking openly with their tenants either directly, or via their agents, to negotiate a decrease in rent.
"We sort of assumed the impact of COVID-19 would be much more severe than it has been so far, so for that we've been very grateful," she said."People are starting to be very concerned about employment, longevity, whether or not we do have a second wave of COVID-19 in Tasmania, all those elements are creating a little bit of uncertainty in the marketplace."

However, as Hobart's rental market is among the most expensive in the country — relative to income — the issue of rental unaffordability remains.

Concerns remain for affordable rent
Shelter Tas chief executive officer Pattie Chugg said even before the pandemic, too many Tasmanians were facing homelessness.
"We know that people in Tasmania are on low incomes but we have the same rental levels as Melbourne," she said.
"The other concern we have now with coronavirus and expected rises in unemployment is people's ability to pay those rents.
"We know that with the rental freeze and the freeze on evictions, that's been really helpful for people that may have lost their jobs.
"We know a lot of people have lost part time jobs, and what we don't really want to see is anymore people in this state facing homelessness."

A typical household in Hobart is paying over 30 per cent of their gross income to their landlord for rent.

REIT figures for the June quarter show the median weekly rental for a three bedroom home in Hobart was $495, Launceston $330 and $300 on the north-west coast.
"[A] 2 % reduction doesn't equate to a huge reduction in money, I'm sure it's all relative, so for some renters that is a decent saving to be had," Mr Lawless said.

Despite many landlords in Hobart receiving less rent from their tenants, CoreLogic said they had not seen any evidence of urgent, or distress sales, coming on the market.
"Mortgage repayment holidays expire at the end of March next year and my guess is, leading up to that date, we probably will see a rise of those investors who have been impacted by their rental income, as well as their working income, looking to off-load their property simply because they can't make the repayments anymore," Mr Lawless said.
"But I think overall, considering interest rates are extremely low at the moment, a reduction in rental rates and rental income for investors is only just one element of the distress we are seeing across the economy at the moment."

'Still in a housing crisis'
There are concerns about rising unemployment levels in Tasmania and the impact income loss could have on homeowners, with about 8,000 households currently living in housing stress and 120,000 Tasmanians living below the poverty line.
"It would be a terribly sad situation if landlords were in a position where they could no longer afford their properties and have to sell them," Ms Willing said.
"I stress that point because we are in the middle of a housing crisis still and we need these rental properties on the market.
"If they were to disappear, I would not like to see what our next six to 12 months would look like on the rental landscape."

The decrease in Hobart's rents comes after a period of rapid rental increases in the past five years.

Mr Lawson said Hobart's rent weakness looked like a fairly established trend.
"I don't think we'll see a turn around in rising rents for the foreseeable future," he said.
"Until we start to see more rental demand which means travelling is starting to pick up more so than it has currently, we see some tourism coming back into the market, that's when we will probably start to see some of the permanent rentals reverting back into the short-term market." ... d=msedgdhp

Ageing WA public schools set for $500 million facelift as part of coronavirus recovery plan
More than 60 aging public schools across Western Australia will receive almost $500 million to upgrade facilities and cope with increased enrolments, the State Government has announced.

One in two schools across WA are more than 50 years old, Education Minister Sue Ellery said, and some required a lot of work to be done.

She said some schools would also be targeted to increase capacity as facilities had not kept up with rising student numbers.
"There's a lot of work to be done in some of those older schools, but we also know we've got schools where there are enrolment pressures and we're adding extra classroom blocks or science areas," she said.
"It's important to make sure that those kids are learning in authentic learning environments."

Ms Ellery said funding would also be allocated where necessary to meet demand in areas where the population was growing.

Details of the projects already announced include new classrooms, sport ovals and halls and performing arts spaces.

The investment is the latest in a series of funding announcements made by the WA Government as part of its COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

Bid to solve 'long-term problems': Premier
The money will be spent over the next four years on .

Premier Mark McGowan said the investment was expected to create 1,850 jobs, with work set to begin this financial year.

He said it was part of the Government's plan to create jobs while spending on long-term needs of the state.
"It's not just about creating jobs, but also about solving long-term problems and making sure that we are able to provide a first-class education, with outstanding buildings, to students in public schools all over Western Australia," he said.
"Older schools will be the big beneficiaries here. Those schools that might have been built in the 50s, 60s or 70s that need major refurbishments all over Western Australia are going to be the big beneficiaries."

List of targeted schools released
The Government released a list of some of the projects that would be undertaken:

Carine Senior High School — $32 million major upgrade to provide classrooms and facilities for up to 600 students
Albany Senior High School — $6.3 million for a new performing arts centre
Kalamunda Senior High School — $18.3 million rebuild of education support facilities and new classrooms
Lynwood Senior High School — $18.3 million for a new performing arts centre, sports hall and classroom building
Melville Senior High School — $925,000 for refurbishment of technical classrooms
Ocean Reef Senior High School — $5 million for a sports hall
Margaret River Senior High School — $6.27 million for a new full-sized sports oval
Bunbury Senior High School — $3.1 million for a major refurbishment of the sports hall and specialist areas
Karratha Senior High School — $22 million upgrade to provide new facilities to accommodate increasing enrolments
Joseph Banks Secondary College — $16 million new classroom building
Lesmurdie Primary School — $15.2 million to complete school rebuild
Australind Senior High School — $15 million upgrade to provide new double-storey classroom building, science and design and technology facilities
Eastern Hills Senior High School — $2 million for a major refurbishment to the cafeteria and specialist classrooms
Wanneroo Secondary College — $5 million for a new performing arts centre and cafeteria
Willetton Senior High School — $12.5 million for a Stage 3 — classroom block
Wickham Primary School — $3.5 million for a new early childhood education centre
Dianella Secondary College — $5.3 million for a new performing arts centre
Pinjarra Senior High School — $10.4 million for a new performing arts centre and sports hall
Westminster Primary School — $10 million for school rebuild
School upgrades designed to boost industry
Mr McGowan said the investment was one of a number of measures taken to try and avoid widespread bankruptcies it was feared the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to.
"We're trying to focus much of what we do on capital works which fix longstanding problems and provide an investment pipeline for industry and also ensure there's a longstanding benefit," he said.
"We've got to get people back to work now. We've got to get a pipeline of investment now. We can't wait till later.
"With these projects, sometimes, it takes months to get tenders out there and get things underway, sometimes it could take years."

Master Builders WA executive director John Gelavis said the work would bolster confidence in the industry.
"The school upgrade package promises work for 1,850 brickies, electricians, plumbers and other tradies and apprentices," he said.
"Building work creates an economic multiplier effect which flows on to local businesses and the entire community."

President of the State Schools Teachers Union of WA (SSTUWA) Pat Byrne said teachers would be very happy with the announcement.
"For some of the schools that have been listed it's long overdue, and we're delighted to see a range of different projects that have been provided for, including creative arts centres, sports facilities, industrial design facilities," she said.
"These are issues that needed to be addressed for a very long time, we're very, very pleased that the Government has finally recognised the importance of that."

But Ms Byrne said it was vital funding was allocated to also ensure adequate staffing levels at schools in areas with growing populations. ... 0aug%20tas

AFL virus breach fines a warning to clubs
Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge says heavy financial penalties for COVID-19 protocol breaches in recent days have served as a significant warning for all AFL clubs.

On Saturday, Collingwood were fined $50,000 - with half that amount suspended - for transgressions made by coach Nathan Buckley and assistant Brenton Sanderson.

The experienced pair played tennis with two people outside the club's "bubble" in Perth on Friday and later self-reported the incident.

They did not breach West Australian government regulations but did fall foul of AFL-imposed guidelines.

The Magpies' penalty came a day after Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Richmond and Carlton were issued similar heavy fines for protocol breaches.

Beveridge said the penalties had prompted the Bulldogs to remind their travelling party - based in a Gold Coast hub - about the severe implications of transgressions as the AFL attempts to complete the 2020 season.

Crucial broadcast revenue is at stake as the competition fights its way through the coronavirus-induced financial crisis.

Bulldogs director of football Chris Grant and COVID-19 compliance officer Sam Power this week addressed the club's travelling players, coaches, staff and families.
"It was a positive message because we've been doing everything to the best of our ability to the letter of the protocols," Beveridge told reporters on Sunday.
"Fortunately, we weren't one of the clubs who transgressed.
"It seems like a no-brainer that you should stay within the parameters, but at times it's quite easy to revert to what your life has been prior and it doesn't seem so black and white.
"But we've had some reminders and there's no doubt all of us really checked ourselves when the sanctions came out.
"Now it's our challenge to make sure that we remain compliant and keep our heads in what we're here to do."

Beveridge wasn't surprised by the severity of the sanctions handed down to rival clubs and said the Bulldogs' travelling party understands the far-reaching implications of any breaches.
"It's a significant financial warning that's been shot over the bow," Beveridge said.
"From the game's perspective and the financial and intangible benefits that we get out of the game, there's too much risk.
"We understand that and it wasn't a great surprise, but it just shows you that the AFL are going to come down extremely hard on anything." ... d=msedgntp

Jacinda Ardern cancels travel BUBBLE TALKS between New Zealand and Australia
Jacinda Ardern has called off plans for a trans-Tasman travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia.

The New Zealand Prime Minister said flights between the two nations was out of the question as Victoria struggles to contain a coronavirus outbreak.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced a stage four lockdown on Sunday as his state recorded 671 new COVID-19 cases and seven deaths.

The amount of community transmission has delayed the possibility of travel between New Zealand and Australia by several months.

New Zealand has not seen a single case of community transmission in 93 days compared to Melbourne's 760 active coronavirus cases with no known source.
Ms Ardern told Radio NZ the outbreak was a 'major step back for the trans-Tasman travel.
'Obviously this is going to be some time away now,' Ms Ardern said.

Ms Ardern said all of Australia would need to be free of community transmission for at least 28 days before the travel bubble goes ahead.
'Anywhere where we have COVID-free travel they have to be free of community transmission for a period of time - that will be some time for Australia,' she told The AM Show.
'It will be on the backburner for several months.'

For the next six weeks, Melburnians are banned from leaving their homes between 8pm and 5am unless for work or care-related reasons.

While the restrictions are the most intense in Australia so far, they are still not as harsh as New Zealand's level four lockdown.

There was a possibility of opening up the trans-Tasman bubble state-by-state as other locations in Australia are better off than Victoria.

Federal tourism minister Simon Birmingham announced last Thursday that there could be approval for a travel-bubble on a state-by-state basis.

The Morrison government previously said Australia would only enter into a travel agreement if state borders were open and all residents had access.

But Senator Birmingham said he hoped the plan could move forward 'at some point this year,' according to the Australian Financial Review.
'If New Zealand was ready to move and the rest of country in Australia was ready to move - but we had this quarantine still in place around Victoria - well that's an idea that's worth entertaining,' he said at a Tourism and Transport Forum summit.
'[The government would] see if we can manage to work it out with the Kiwis so they can travel safely to Sydney, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Perth.'

But comments made by Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran last week suggest the plan may not go ahead until 2021.
'[The travel bubble] felt a little bit closer eight weeks ago,' he said.
'Now it feels that possibly, that maybe, at best, [it could come at] the end of this year, and probably more likely next year.'

Australia and New Zealand have discussed the possibility of a 'trans-Tasman bubble'.

The bubble would allow residents from both countries to travel across the ditch without having to endure a mandatory 14-day isolation period.

The idea has been raised as both countries have been successful in controlling the outbreak of the coronavirus.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said the bubble would only be introduced if they could guarantee they would neither import or export cases. ... d=msedgntp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12969
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:37 am








POSITIVITY ( NOTE VICTORIA NOT UPDATING ATM , Vic Positivity likely higher than 0.7% )







CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 12969
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

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

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:56 am


Victoria records 439 coronavirus cases as Daniel Andrews announces tougher penalties for breaches
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced tough new penalties for people who fail to self-isolate when required, as the state records 439 new coronavirus cases.

The state has also recorded a further 11 deaths due to COVID-19, all of which are linked to aged care.

At his press conference on Tuesday, Mr Andrews also announced people who were instructed to self-isolate would no longer be allowed to leave their homes for exercise.

It comes after Australian Defence Force personnel and health officials conducted 3,000 doorknocks of people who were supposed to be self-isolating, and found more than 800 people were not at home.

Mr Andrews said Victorians who failed to self-isolate could receive an on-the-spot fine of $4,957 and those who repeatedly breached the rules faced court proceedings and fines of up to $20,000.
"If you are supposed to be at home and you are not then you face the prospect of a fine of up to $5,000," Mr Andrews said.
"If there were particularly selfish behaviour, like for instance going to work when you have the virus, then there is the alternative pathway and that is of course taking you to the Magistrates' Court where the maximum penalty that can be applied to you is $20,000."

Mr Andrews said the team of doorknockers would be boosted by an additional 500 ADF personnel and 300 Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) officers.

He said they would conduct "random and repeat doorknocks" on people who have tested positive to COVID-19 and any close contacts who have been instructed to self-isolate.
Victorians face $4957 on-the-spot fine for breaching isolation orders
Any Victorian who breaches isolation orders now faces a $4957 on-the-spot fine.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the fine - which is the largest on-the-spot fine to be announced - would come into effect immediately.

Premier Andrews also announced anyone self-isolating could no longer leave their house for exercise.
“From now on there’ll be no exercise. If you’re supposed to be isolating at home, you will be isolating. If you want fresh air you can go to the front door or open a window,” he said.
* A fine of $4957 for failing to self-isolate for a second or subsequent time - the highest on-the-spot penalty available to Victoria Police
* Police can also take offenders to court, where they face a fine of up to $20,000
* People who have tested positive or who are close contacts can no longer leave their homes for exercise
* An additional 250 sworn officers joining Operation Sentinel, which polices Victoria's coronavirus rules
* More than 500 ADF personnel and 300 authorised officers are joining Operation Vestige, which is the door-knocking of people who have tested positive or are close contacts to ensure they are self-isolating
* More than 4000 home visits every day from next week
* Of about 3000 door knocks so far, in more than 800 cases the person supposed to be isolating was not at home
* As part of the stage-four lockdown, from midnight Wednesday workers in permitted industries who cannot work from home must carry a signed permit when travelling to and from their jobs
* People already can be fined $1652 in Victoria for breaking coronavirus rules and $200 for not wearing a mask in public. ... d=msedgntp ... d=msedgntp

Police forced to smash car windows due to non-compliance
Police Minister Lisa Neville said Victoria Police would also have the power to detain people if they continued breaching self-isolation orders.
"We don't want to do that, but Victoria Police, under the new powers, will have that ability to not just fine — but ultimately for those who continue to blatantly and deliberately breach those self-isolation rules, they can do that [be detained]," she said.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said officers had noticed a trend in the past week of people calling themselves "sovereign citizens" refusing to give their names and addresses.
"On at least four occasions in the last week, we've had to smash the windows of cars and pull people out to provide details," he said.
"We don't want to be doing that, but people have to absolutely understand there are consequences for your actions, and if you're not doing the right thing, we will not hesitate to issue infringements, to arrest you, to detain you where it's appropriate."

Chief Commissioner Patton said a 38-year-old woman who was approached by police for not wearing a mask assaulted the officers and smashed the head of a 26-year-old female officer into the pavement several times.

Police issued 161 fines in the past 24 hours, including 60 for not wearing masks.

Ms Neville said dozens of people had already breached Melbourne's curfew, which is in place from 8:00pm to 5:00am every night.

That included someone who was "bored" and decided to go for a drive and another person who drove across Melbourne to buy a car after curfew, she said.

Permit system to be introduced for essential workers
Mr Andrews said paperwork would be available online for a permit system for essential workers who needed to be out after curfew.
"It's a piece of paper. Your employer fills it out. They sign it. You sign it. You carry it with you ... so there's not a sense of anxiety or a sense of having to tell your story 17 times," he said.
"If you're pulled up by police, you can simply provide that piece of paper and then you would be waved on to go about your business."
The state government will also introduce a permit system where people will be issued with a document detailing their job, with the aim of making the curfew enforcement of simpler for essential workers.

Under state of disaster provisions, an 8pm - 5am curfew has been enforced by police and soldiers across Melbourne, from Sunday night. It will continue daily for at least six weeks.
"Police will be out in force and you will be stopped and you will be asked and need to demonstrate that you are lawfully out and you are not breaching that curfew," Mr Andrews said yesterday.
"Going to a mate's place, visiting friends, being out and about for no good reason, all that will do is spread this virus." ... d=msedgntp
Mr Andrews said medical workers would be able to use their hospital ID and Victoria Police would be able to use their police ID, but the permits would benefit essential workers in the private sector who didn't have obvious identification.

Victoria now has 456 people in hospital with coronavirus, including 38 in intensive care.
Infectious diseases physician Allen Cheng, who was called in along with two other experts to help the DHHS respond to the crisis, said the hospitalisation numbers included aged care residents who had been moved into hospitals to stop the virus spreading in nursing homes.
"Some of those transfers are not because of clinical reasons, they're because of the arrangements with care homes to try and limit spread," Professor Cheng said.
"So hospitalisation numbers probably aren't that reliable as a marker of our severity, but certainly intensive care is."
But he said it was "not always appropriate" for every seriously ill patient to be admitted to intensive care.

The 11 deaths announced bring Victoria's total coronavirus death toll to 147, accounting for more than 60 % of COVID-19 deaths in Australia.
They were a man in his 70s, one man and three women in their 80s, two men and three women in their 90s and one woman in her 100s.

Approximately 21,000 tests were carried out on Monday.
Professor Cheng said he hoped that after six weeks of stage 4 restrictions and mandatory masks, new case numbers would be down to single digits each day.
"I would hope that it would be, yes, in single figures but we need to see how we go over the next couple of weeks," he said.
"We should be back into substantially smaller numbers than what we have now, that's for sure." ... d=msedgntp

Stage four will choke virus reproduction, deputy CMO hopes
Victoria's stage four restrictions and the Melbourne curfew will bring coronavirus case numbers down, Australia's deputy chief medical officer has said.

Dr Nick Coatsworth said the "hugely significant" measures would cut the reproductive number of the virus.
"What we know is with the movement rest
The reproductive number of the coronavirus should ideally be under 1, meaning one person is infecting no more than one other person. If greater, the virus begins to spread very rapidly.
"What we need to do now is over the next one to two weeks get some runs on the board for Victorians."

Dr Coatsworth said it was not time to shut down Australia's busiest travel corridor, the air route between Melbourne and Sydney, despite calls from some experts for the New South Wales premier to act.
The reproductive number of the coronavirus should ideally be under 1, meaning one person is infecting no more than one other person. If greater, the virus begins to spread very rapidly.
"What we need to do now is over the next one to two weeks get some runs on the board for Victorians."

Dr Coatsworth said it was not time to shut down Australia's busiest travel corridor, the air route between Melbourne and Sydney, despite calls from some experts for the New South Wales premier to act.
"Provided those people (coming from Melbourne flights) stay in home quarantine then that risk is mitigated," he said.
"There are reasons why people still need to travel."
Yesterday NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said many of the plane passengers were NSW residents returning from Melbourne.

Dr Coatsworth was optimistic about the situation in NSW, where around one mystery case was being reported each day.

He said NSW track and trace teams should be praised for their "phenomenal effort" in keeping mystery cases so low.

An outbreak in Batemans Bay in July was evidence of how NSW Health had brought a cluster under control, he said.

However, he said Queensland will need to remain on alert for several weeks after two young women infected with the virus were found last week to have crossed the border.

Queensland reported zero new cases for the second consecutive day.
"We need to wait for several week before we can come off alert," Dr Coatsworth said.
Police are investigating how the two women flew back into Queensland after allegedly falsifying travel documents to avoid quarantine. ... d=msedgntp

Working outside home during Melbourne's stage 4 coronavirus restrictions will require a permit. Here's what we know about them
Melbourne's stage 4 restrictions mean there are very few reasons for people to be outside of their homes.

Police will be pulling people over to conduct compliance checks, with big fines now in place for those outside without a permitted reason.

On Tuesday the Victorian Government announced a worker permit system is being introduced to stop people getting around the new lockdown rules.

What's a worker permit?
Workers from permitted industries are allowed outside their homes to travel to or from work, even during the 8:00pm to 5:00am curfew.

But Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says employees will be required to carry a worker permit when they travel to their workplace.

We still don't know exactly what the permits will look like yet, but Mr Andrews says the system will be "as simple and easy as possible".

Employers will be required to issue these signed permits to their employees to allow them to attend a workplace from 11:59pm on Wednesday.

How will it work?
"It's a piece of paper. Your employer fills it out," Mr Andrews says.
"They sign it. You sign it.
"You carry it with you.
"If you're pulled up by police, you can simply provide that piece of paper and then you would be waved on to go about your business."

Where can I get a permit?
They should be available online on Tuesday afternoon.

Who needs a worker permit?
They are only for people who can't work from home and are in industries still permitted to operate under the new stage 4 restrictions.
We list those industries here.

But Mr Andrews says some people will be able to show their workplace IDs to police to confirm why they're out, especially if they've got a uniform that connects them to their workplace.
"Nurses, for instance, will be able to use their hospital ID," he says.
"Victoria Police members will be able to use their ID."

Can Melbourne workers still travel to regional Victoria to work?

Mr Andrews has said workers can still travel outside Melbourne if they're working in a permitted industry.
But he has reminded people not to go to work if they have even the mildest of COVID-19 symptoms.
"I would appeal to anyone in Melbourne who is in one of these industries that's remained open or is scaled back who needs to go to work — and they're doing very important work — but the last thing you want to be doing is taking this virus to work with you into regional Victoria," he says.
"So, any symptoms whatsoever, the only thing to do is to get tested and then to wait until you get the results of those tests."

Does a worker permit mean I can send my kids to childcare or school?

Children of permitted workers will still be able to go to school or be looked after at kindergartens or childcare centres.
Do both parents need permits to send kids to childcare?
We don't know yet.

Mr Andrews has said the Government is still working through the details around childcare.
"We'll inform people and we'll try and make it as simple and as easy to understand as we possibly can," he says. ... d=msedgdhp

Permits needed to attend workplaces
New restrictions on business and industry will come into force from 11:59pm on Wednesday.

Employees in permitted industries will be required to carry a 'Worker Permit' when travelling to and from their workplace.

With Melbourne under curfew from 8:00pm to 5:00am each night, checks and enforcement will be carried out on public transport with the support of Protective Services Officers.
"[The Worker Permit] is a piece of paper … your employer fills it out, they sign it … you sign it," Mr Andrews said.
"You carry it with you, and then you're able to demonstrate, so there's not a sense of anxiety or a sense of having to tell your story DOZENS OF times."

Reduced travel from Melbourne to regional Victoria
Melbourne, with stage 4 restrictions, is facing more stringent measures than regional Victoria, where there are fewer active COVID-19 cases.

Victoria Police will continue to monitor the border of metropolitan Melbourne to ensure that travel to other parts of the state only happens for permitted reasons.

Booze buses are in place at road stops and checkpoints to monitor traffic flow, and police will continue to use Automatic Number Plate Recognition to scan registration details to identify the addresses of the car owners.

Announcing the tougher measures, Mr Andrews said he was "grateful to every single Victorian who is working with us".
"If we all do the right thing, we will get through this," he said.
"Those doing the wrong thing will cop a fine from Victoria Police, because the only way to beat this deadly virus is if we all follow the rules." ... d=msedgdhp

Victoria's contact-tracing effort buckles under the weight of Covid-19 cases
Victoria’s rise in Covid-19 case numbers is occurring so rapidly that contact tracing can no longer be relied upon to unearth all potential clusters in the state, according to epidemiologists who argue health detective work “won’t make much difference when you’ve got thousands of active cases potentially out there”.

On Tuesday morning, Brendan Murphy, secretary of the Department of Health, told the senate select committee on Covid-19 that delays had plagued Victoria’s contact tracing regime “certainly for a period of a couple of weeks”, and that the backlog “has to have been a factor” in community transmission. However he said the state had made substantial improvements to contact tracing recently.
His comments came after Victoria’s chief health officer, Brett Sutton, on Monday said there were “literally thousands on the phone who are chasing up close contacts and who are talking to them about what quarantine requires of them”, after reports that some close contacts of confirmed cases were waiting up to a week for contact from the state instructing them to self-isolate.
Contact tracing involves interviewing confirmed cases, calling their close contacts to let them know isolation requirements, as well as checking up on those in isolation and investigating links between individual cases and possible clusters.
In late July, Sutton warned that each new Covid-19 case required an average of seven to nine phone calls, each up to an hour in length, to trace close contacts, meaning the 3,556 cases under investigation in Victoria on Monday could require more than 32,000 phone calls.

The Guardian understands there are about 2,000 people supporting Victoria’s contact tracing scheme as of this week, and at least 1,000 of these Department of Health and Human Services staff members are undertaking non-clinical tracing work, primarily phone calls, as opposed to investigating links and potential clusters.

By contrast, in the seven days leading up to last Friday, NSW Health’s more than 300 contact tracing staff made calls to 4,985 close contacts of the 94 community transmitted cases in the state – more than 50 calls for each case – to inform them of their self-isolation requirement.

The DHHS declined to specify the number of clinical contact tracers working in Victoria each day, but it has increased significantly since before the pandemic. A leaked document suggested the DHHS had just 14 contact tracers in March.

The federal government has so far provided 30 staff to the effort since the resurgence of the virus in the state, with further help from the defence force to door-knock, as well as call staff from states including New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.

Peter Collignon, a professor of infectious diseases at the Australian National University, told the Guardian the situation in Victoria had deteriorated so much that contact tracers in the state could not work as extensively on each case as their counterparts in NSW.

Collignon said that after reports that one in four confirmed Covid-19 cases were not at their homes when tracers knocked on their front doors last week, authorities had to focus on preventing people engaging in behaviour that spread the virus, as opposed to following up with all close contacts of cases days after a diagnosis.
“The sheer numbers coming out of Victoria each day make contact tracing difficult. What’s important now is stopping people with known infections moving in the community, making sure they’re staying at home.
“Victoria has got so much community transmission, that finding one of those early clusters [like in NSW] won’t make much difference when you’ve got thousands of active cases potentially out there,” Collignon said.

Gerard Fitzgerald, emeritus professor of public health at Queensland University of Technology, said that as cases in Victoria continued to grow there would be more “overlap” in close contacts of cases, somewhat alleviating the number of phone interviews necessary.

But he said this was unlikely to make enough difference when more than 500 cases were diagnosed each day.
“Any additional stress is going to make the contact tracing work more difficult because they’ve got to go back three or four days already … If the numbers can’t be kept down, then at some point there’s probably going to be no chance of tracing every case.
“There’s no doubt that the principal strategy for breaking the pandemic in Victoria now can’t be on contact tracing, it has to fundamentally be on stopping the behaviour of individuals, getting them into isolation,” Fitzgerald said. ... d=msedgntp

Pandemic leave is just Victoria's hardship payments rebadged, Labor says
Labor has accused the federal government of merely changing funding arrangements for existing Victorian government hardship payments rather than creating a new “genuine” right to paid pandemic leave.

Scott Morrison announced the $1,500 pandemic leave disaster payments on Monday as a means to “supplement” the existing Victorian scheme, but unions warned that the flat rate of $1,500 a fortnight will mean many workers who ordinarily earn more will still pay a financial penalty for self-isolation.
Employer groups are split on the commonwealth’s plan, with some calling for it to be extended to other states and paid through employers while others praised the government for administering it.

Related: Stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne a hammer blow to Covid-weakened Australian economy

Under the policy, workers required to self-isolate by health authorities can access the $1,500 payment if they have no sick leave – with costs to be shared by the commonwealth and Victoria, depending on whether the claimant is a temporary visa holder or Australian citizen or resident.

The existing Victorian scheme similarly provides for $1,500 payments for those without sick leave but has been marred by poor take-up, which unions have blamed on “inadequate” mechanisms to administer payments.

Victorians can apply for the commonwealth payment by phone from Wednesday and, unlike the Victorian scheme, it can be claimed multiple times. It is not now available in other states and territories because they have not entered a “state of disaster”.

Labor’s industrial relations spokesman, Tony Burke, said the policy amounted to “new funding arrangements for a Victorian government payment that already existed in a state already experiencing a second wave of infections”.
“A Victorian disaster payment will not stop a worker in New South Wales or Queensland turning up to work sick,” he said. “Unless we get a universal scheme we will have more community transmission, leading to more outbreaks and economy-smashing lockdowns.”

Dominique Lamb, the chief executive of the National Retail Association, backed the view the payment should be available outside Victoria. “Obviously with what’s happening in NSW, there’s no doubt other states are impacted when it comes to the pandemic,” she told Guardian Australia.
“Where there are locations in other states that are impacted – certainly we would like to see the payment expanded.”

Lamb said the “easiest way” to provide payments would be “directly through the employer” but she did not back union calls to pay workers at their usual rate, arguing that the government could not afford a “limitless” cost.

The Business Council of Australia chief executive, Jennifer Westacott, told Radio National the council’s preference would have been for payments to be made through employers in the same way jobkeeper wage subsidies are administered.

She said the announcement “makes a huge difference in removing the disincentive to stay at home” and “takes the burden off small business”.

Westacott suggested that national cabinet could consider whether to extend the payment to states such as NSW.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive, James Pearson, welcomed the fact that the government will pay workers directly, arguing “even with reimbursement, small businesses couldn’t afford to keep writing cheques”.

The Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia chief executive, Peter Strong, said workers in other states that are “not in a disaster” should not be eligible and rejected suggestions that the payment should be based on workers’ self-assessment.
“You don’t want people saying ‘I think I’ve got it’ when they don’t but you also don’t want people going to work if they have got it,” he said.

Strong argued that “young people” and “malingering public servants” could take advantage of the scheme if it were “open slather”.

Related: Victoria's contact-tracing effort buckles under the weight of Covid-19 cases

The Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary, Sally McManus, told ABC’s 7.30 the payment of $1,500 a fortnight “is about the minimum wage” and the average wage is more than double that.
“So for some workers, you’re basically saying to them, if you’ve got to isolate, that you’re going to have a significant pay cut,” she said. “We’ve just got to take away that disincentive. It’s just a hole in our defences.”

Labor has backed union concerns about the rate of payment. Anthony Albanese told reporters in Canberra that pandemic leave should be paid at a “reasonable rate” and the government should “err on the side of generosity because we do not want there to be any incentive for people to go to work”. ... d=msedgntp

Question asked by most Victorians : Am I eligible for Victoria's $1,500 coronavirus pandemic leave payment?
If you are required to self-isolate in Victoria but don't have any sick leave to support yourself, you'll now be eligible for a $1,500 payment from the Federal Government, to encourage people not to break isolation.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the new 'disaster payment' on Monday for Victorian workers who need to self-isolate.
The new payment is meant to cover a fortnight of isolation, removing the financial pressure of staying home.

Here's how it works.

Who is the payment for?
The Prime Minister said the $1,500 payment was for those people who have been ordered into self-isolation and have no sick-leave entitlement.

The payment is currently only for workers in Victoria, but could be extended to other states and territories if they also enter a state of disaster due to the pandemic.

It's for those workers who are not on JobKeeper or JobSeeker payments, and either have used up or are not entitled to sick leave.

Victorians who are already accessing a similar payment from the Victorian Government will not be able to claim the disaster payment.
"Those payments will be principally made to those on short-term visas, so those who are not permanent residents or citizens of Australia who otherwise wouldn't have accessed Commonwealth payments," Mr Morrison said.
"The Victorian Government will continue to provide that support. We will make sure that everyone else who finds themselves in this situation and they don't have that leave available to them through their sick leave because it's been exhausted."

The Victorian Government also offers a $300 payment for people to isolate while awaiting a test result.

Mr Morrison said the $1,500 payment to isolate for two weeks was designed to "supplement and support" existing measures.

When can I apply for the funding?
From Wednesday, Victorian workers with no sick leave can apply for the disaster payment.

Mr Morrison said applications would be handled in the same way as disaster payments that were rolled out over the summer's bushfires.

The application can be done over the phone by calling 180-22-66 from 8:00am Wednesday.
"[Applications] should be turned around fairly quickly," Mr Morrison said.

According to Social Services Minister Anne Ruston, to be eligible you'll need to:

Be 17 yo or older
Live and work in Victoria
Be required to self isolate (or be the primary carer of someone under 16 who needs to self isolate)
Have been likely to work during the 14 day period
Have exhausted any sick leave or pandemic leave entitlements your employer provides
Senator Ruston said when you apply, you'll have to do a 100-point ID check.

Is this a one-off payment?
The payment is for a mandatory 14-day self-isolation, therefore you could be eligible multiple times.

If you are forced in self-isolation and receive the payment and then later are forced into another self-isolation, you will be able to apply for the disaster payment for a second time.
"People can actually access the payment multiple times if, unfortunately, they're in a position where they have to self-isolate as a direct requirement on multiple times and hopefully, that won't be too often," Mr Morrison said.
"Hopefully people will only have to go through that on the single occasion, but we know that isn't always the case."

Will it work?
That depends on who you ask.

Yesterday, Mr Morrison said the payment would remove any economic reason for people to turn up to work when they should be at home isolating, by ensuring a base payment for workers.
"That means that those who need to self-isolate as a result of an instruction by a public health officer, there is no economic reason for you to go to work," he said.

Both the Business Council of Australia (BCA) and the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) yesterday called on the Federal Government to institute a pandemic paid-leave scheme.

Unions say the Government's announcement doesn't tell the whole story, because $1,500 is less than the average wage, meaning many will effectively take a pay cut by accepting the payment.
"For some workers, you're basically saying to them, 'if you've got to isolate, that you're going to have a significant pay cut'," ACTU secretary Sally McManus said.
"We've just got to take away that disincentive; it's just a hole in our defences."

BCA chief executive Jennifer Westacott said she'd prefer to see payments administered through employers to improve ease of access, similar to JobKeeper.
"On balance, this is a really good scheme, I think it's the right start to this," she said.
"Our preference would have been to do it in the same way that JobKeeper is done.
"Let's monitor that, we'll continue to work with the ACTU."

Labor has also raised concerns the payment will not go far enough, with Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese arguing it would not pre-emptively help to stop outbreaks in other parts of the country.
"The Government has been slow to act, it's acted after transmission, whereas the whole point of paid pandemic leave was to stop community transmission occurring," he said. ... d=msedgntp

Shoppers urged to be patient as Victorian coronavirus restrictions impact food supply
Victorians are being urged not to buy more meat and vegetables than they need, as the rise of COVID-19 cases across the state forces food processors to reduce staff numbers.

There are warnings some food supply will be impacted in the coming weeks, as industries adapt to tough new restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus, but experts say the pain will be short-lived.

Werribee vegetable farmer Catherine Velisha said the first round of restrictions, which led to empty shelves, was intense for farmers but they managed to keep supermarkets well supplied.
"COVID is obviously causing havoc in everyone's lives but you know farmers are used to rain, drought, supply shortages, supply abundance. It's just another day in the office really," she said.

She urged shoppers to be patient and sensible.
"If there are any gaps, it's just a little bit of a supply chain issue with obviously people trying to buy a little bit more, but there is definitely food in that supply chain," Ms Velisha said.
"So if you can't get your tomato today you'll be able to get it tomorrow."

Meat shortages likely
The Australian Meat Industry Council warned a reduction in staff at abattoirs would lead to less meat being available for customers.
"Overall it would move towards a 30 per cent reduction, give or take, in supply chain production, which would in turn lead to a reduction of saleable meat within the Victorian community, as well as a reduction in the opportunity for product to also be exported around the world," meat industry council CEO Patrick Hutchinson said.

But Flavio Macau, an expert in supply chain management at Edith Cowan University, said any potential shortages would mainly be due to people buying excess products, rather than reduced processing capacity.
"People will rush to the supermarket and even if they don't need that meat right now people will go because they will be scared and afraid about the fear of missing out," Dr Macau said.
"Later on, things should get back to normal in the medium term.
"It will have an impact on peoples' everyday lives but it shouldn't be that big of an impact."

A Woolworths spokesperson said the supermarket chain was confident of maintaining a good supply to Victorians.
"We're working through the implications of the Victorian Government's announcements with our key suppliers," the spokesperson said.
"We're confident we'll be able to maintain a good supply of fresh food for our Victorian customers.
"We'll monitor the impact closely as the restrictions come into effect."

Short-lived pain
In announcing the changes to food supply industries yesterday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews warned there may be some gaps on shelves.
"I can't guarantee that everybody will get every product they want in the quantities they want, but everything you need will be there and there is no need to be doing anything else other than buying things that you need when you need them," he said.

But Dr Macau said he did not expect shortages or supply chain issues to last as long as they did in the first wave.
"The first time, we have to remember, it [the shortage] was nationwide, so everyone in every state was looking for more product at the same time. This time it is more localised," he said.
"Also, the first time it was pretty new for people. No-one was really expecting what would come.
"This time people, in a way, are all ready for the situation. They have inventory and some stocks in their homes."

Dr Macau encouraged meat processors who usually exported their product to consider selling it to the domestic market.
"Will they prioritise their export contracts and what they are sending overseas — and usually they make big bucks doing that — or will they prioritise the local market and keep the supermarkets and the local public supply?" he said.
"That is a management decision and a very important decision that shouldn't be taken lightly."

Cracks in the system
University of Melbourne food systems expert Rachel Carey said the coronavirus pandemic had highlighted vulnerabilities in the "just in time" food supply system.
"If you're seeing empty supermarket shelves, that doesn't mean that there isn't food in the system," Dr Carey said.
"It just means that there's a bit of a lag, that food needs to get through.
"I guess it's really also highlighting that we need to build the resilience of our food system."

Dr Carey said there was a bigger problem than what was on or not on supermarket shelves.
"I actually think the more significant issue here is people's ability to buy what's on the shelves because of the economic crisis that's accompanying the impacts," she said.
"There is a rising number of people who are just not going be able to afford access to a healthy diet — and that honestly is the bigger issue at the moment." ... d=msedgntp

Melbourne's stage 3 lockdown prevented thousands of coronavirus cases, research data shows
A graph shows the reduction in the COVID-19 reproduction number ( RoEFF OR Reff ) over during July in Victoria.
Lockdown restrictions in Melbourne during July prevented almost 19,000 people from contracting COVID-19, according to new data.

Researchers from the Burnet Institute predicted about 27,000 people would have been diagnosed with coronavirus in July had the growth rate in Victoria continued unchecked.

Instead, just over 8,000 people with locally-acquired infections were diagnosed in Victoria.

The researchers modelled scenarios and found in the worst case, there could have potentially been up to 45,000 cases — meaning up to 37,000 cases could have been avoided.

Burnet Institute CEO Brendan Crabb said overwhelmingly, community effort in adhering to stage 3 restrictions had a "major impact" in preventing cases and saving lives.
"We can assume we would have had three to four times the number of deaths, three to four times the number of serious illnesses, so a very major impact of stage 3 lockdown," Professor Crabb said.

Stage three restrictions in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire included closing pubs, bars, entertainment venues, places of worship, restricting restaurants and cafes to take-away only and limiting public gatherings to two people

There was also a complete quarantine and isolation imposed in several high-rise public housing estates.

The study found the reproduction rate of the virus before the lockdowns was 1.75 — meaning for every 10 people infected with the virus, more than 17 others caught it.

In the month of July, that reproduction rate was reduced to 1.16 — meaning just over 11 people were catching it from every 10 infected.

UNSW epidemiologist Marylouise McLaws said the restrictions were necessary once COVID-19 patient numbers started increasing.
"After June, the numbers in Melbourne were stubbornly high and once you get to more than 100 cases a day, then it can accelerate the next 14 days and increase five-fold," Professor McLaws said.

She said more than 40 per cent of people in Melbourne had jobs you couldn't do at home and were employed as part-time or casuals working multiple jobs.
"They probably went to work and had over 10 contacts every day, and the risk of them picking it up and transmitting the virus was high," she said.

Stage 4 restrictions needed
While the study's findings showed that stage 3 restrictions worked well, experts said Victoria still faced a "huge challenge to reduce transmissions to the level needed to get the COVID-19 epidemic under control".

The findings come as residents of Melbourne and Victoria face stricter lockdown measures to stem the rising tide of cases.

In Melbourne, where stage 4 restrictions have come into place, movement of people is curtailed and thousands of businesses have been shut down for the next six weeks.

Professor Crabb said the epidemic was still not in decline and community spread of the virus was still growing.
"We have the rate decreasing but not yet an epidemic going down to zero — to elimination — which is where we want to get to in the community," he said.

Melbourne tiring of restrictions
The challenge is now "community fatigue"' setting in, which might see more people not wanting to adhere to stage 4 restrictions.

To counter that, getting different communities on board with public health messaging is crucial.
"Most of the initial measures to control COVID-19 … have been top-down control, community cooperation is essential," the Burnet Institute study said.

The authors said local community leaders should be engaged, to encourage them to lead their own communities in the response to the virus.

Professor McLaws said the approach to public health messaging had been "very white, middle-class".
"The messages assume you speak English and access mainstream media and that's not necessarily the case for young people and multicultural groups," she said.
"They may not be hearing it."

Advertising specialist Dee Madigan agreed.
"What we are seeing is that Government messages are working on a particular cohort and not working on other people," she said.
"They are working particularly well on educated women, over the age of 35.
"Once you look at people with lower education and also in lower age, they're less likely to follow the Government's recommendations."

She said these people were also more likely to be in insecure work and not have savings.
"For them, it comes down to a question of health versus being able to pay your mortgage," she said.
"I think to change any behaviour, you need a carrot and a stick.
"I am not sure what the carrot would be but it doesn't feel like there is much beyond the fact that hopefully at the end of the next six weeks we might get to stop this." ... tp#image=1

Woolworths closes three stores in Melbourne

The head of Woolworths has moved to reassure Victorians they won't be left without food as the state shuts down hundreds of businesses under tougher stage four restrictions. ... d=msedgntp

'We are all breaking down': Melbourne towers residents feel abandoned for a second time
Residents of the nine Melbourne public housing towers formerly under strict, police-controlled lockdown have been left traumatised and at risk of self-harm, fearful of going outside and without support or proper sanitation, one says.

Mohamed, a resident of a tower at 33 Alfred Street in North Melbourne and a support coordinator for his building, said nothing had changed in the towers since they come out of hard lockdown.

Residents were terrified of becoming infected with Covid-19 after the buildings were described by Victoria’s chief health officer, Brett Sutton, as “vertical cruise ships”, Mohamed said, and many no longer felt safe, with lifts and communal areas still lacking basic sanitisation.

He said he had personally come to the aid of people attempting self-harm.
“A couple of coordinators like myself have had major breakdowns,” he said. “A good friend of mine lives in the towers and he is a youth worker who tested positive, and is now in hotel quarantine.
“The kids in the towers are calling him [in distress], even from quarantine he’s trying to help them. It’s crazy, it’s scary, and the Department of Health still can’t guarantee to us the buildings are safe.”
A spokeswoman for Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services said mental health support was always available for anyone in the community feeling isolated or vulnerable. “We made sure mental health clinicians and support workers were onsite at public housing estates to reach out to anyone at risk of mental health issues who needed support, make referrals for further treatment and prescribe medication, as well as providing support over the phone through the Inner North coronavirus response line,” she said.
“We’ve provided a $59.4m coronavirus mental health package with essential, tailored support for young public housing tenants, asylum seekers, refugees, temporary migrants and vulnerable culturally and linguistically diverse groups.”

Guardian Australia understands that the department will be making more announcements in coming days on mental health support as Victoria moves to tougher restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. The health department has been working with the coroners court of Victoria to closely monitor suspected suicides across the state during the coronavirus pandemic, and there has been no increase in the frequency of suspected suicides in Victoria to date.

I’ve been using triage here I was taught to use in war zones

Mohamed said mental health issues in the towers had been exacerbated by the announcement by the premier, Daniel Andrews, on Sunday that Melbourne would enter stage-four restrictions, with people under curfew between 8pm and 5am for six weeks. When a police-enforced lockdown of the nine public housing towers in North Melbourne and Flemington took effect in early July, the government was criticised for failing to communicate with residents in their languages beforehand, and for the police response.

The Victorian ombudsman has launched an inquiry into the lockdown, including examining the way it was communicated to residents and enforced, and whether human rights breaches occurred.

But Mohamed said nothing had been learned from that lockdown when it came to announcing the city-wide stage-four restrictions: “I woke up today to 50 missed calls and messages from residents asking about the stage four and what it means.”

Eva Hussain, a translator and interpreter and director of Polaron Language Services in Melbourne, said that once again residents of the towers had been left to translate the information from the premier’s press conference and disseminate it among themselves. This also occurred after the hard lockdown of the towers was announced in July.
“The announcement made by the premier yesterday was shocking to everyone but there are about 2 million Victorians who speak a language other than English at home,” she said. “And that is a very high percentage. A lot of people had no idea what was going on.”

She said while information was eventually made available in multiple languages on the health department website, she had asked the office of the chief health minister to add subtitles and translation to the key parts of press conferences, and to roll out those videos across social media and non-English news channels.
“People are taking things into their own hands,” she said. “There are volunteer translators and people communicating through WhatsApp, but it’s not their job and it shouldn’t be on them to do that. I’m an ex-refugee, I’m an immigrant, I know these people and they are real, they are isolated at home, and they are worried and wanting to do the right thing.”

She said she was concerned that volunteer translators, while trying to do the right thing, may not always translate the most important information or do so correctly.
“Everyone wants to be compliant,” Hussain said. “When we talk about ethnic and multicultural communities, people will do the right thing, but they need to know what the right thing is and what it all means. If you have poor info and it’s not coming through fast enough, they are taking matters into their own hands – and messaging can get confused in that process.”

Daniel Reeders, a health promotion expert with experience working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Melbourne, said Victoria was still not doing enough to prevent further infections.
“Cleaning companies with causal workers are working to targets and have to do a cursory job of the cleaning in the towers to meet those targets, and I’m aware of community members seeing this and raising it and not getting a response,” he said.
“And then a curfew coming into effect on the same day as the press conference, with no equivalent media outreach for residents in towers and other linguistically diverse communities, is concerning.”

Mohamed said all the hand-sanitiser dispensers in the towers needed to be replaced because the department had found them to be faulty. There were no infection control measures in laundry areas that had been reopened, he said.

He had asked the department several times for its infection risk management plans but had received no response.
“I spent a year and a bit working in aid overseas,” he said. “We did things overseas I never thought I’d do in Australia. But I’ve been using triage here I was taught to use in war zones. And I’m using those wartime strategies on residents in the middle of Melbourne.
“We are treated like we know nothing, like we need things done to us or we won’t comply. But we know about infection control. I’ve seen what infectious diseases like malaria can do. I have family overseas who have had it. But no one CARES about us. The rest of Victoria is experiencing a small fraction of what we have been facing.
“We are all breaking down in here. None of us sleep any more. I can no longer look at ceilings because I stared at the ceiling in lockdown so much. I was told I wasn’t allowed outside for fresh air. My window opened about six inches.
“And now we still have infected people in here but we don’t know if communal areas are safe, and those people who are infected are still locked down, some of them for more than a month while it spreads through their whole family, and they and their kids have not been outside. Some of those kids have autism or disability.
“I’ve seen journalists on Twitter say to us, ‘Thank god you have the Victorian government and you’re not in America’; thanking the Victorian government for their approach, when we have been treated like uncivilised animals without human rights.” ... d=msedgntp

DCMO says 'rapid response' to aged care COVID-19 outbreak underway
Australia's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth has said a "rapid response" is underway to contain COVID-19 outbreaks in Victorian aged care homes.
"Australian Medical Assistance Team personnel were on the ground last Thursday," he said.
"More landed yesterday ... to help the most affected facilities."
Australia has tallied 452 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.

The vast majority - 439 - were in Victoria, with 12 in NSW and one in South Australia, bringing the national total to 18,729.

There have now been 232 deaths, with 44 people remaining in the ICU.

Dr Coatsworth said the top health managers in the country were working together to teach aged care centres how to use personal protective equipment (PPE) and safe care for residents.

He praised nursing staff who had helped out at aged care facilities, where they provided extra care at the worst-hit centres.
"Time will always matter with COVID-19," he said.

Dr Coatsworth urged people to continue keeping the COVIDSafe app on their phone, saying it had clearly made a material difference in NSW, identifying 544 unknown contacts and an unknown "contact event" at a club.
"The data shows we have 6.81 million downloads, but it means nothing if it's not still on your phone and not activated," he said.

Dr Coatsworth emphasises the app was not a band-aid for the crisis, but an important element of a multi-pronged fight against the deadly pandemic. ... d=msedgdhp

Victoria was a 'wake-up call'. So is the aged care system ready for a coronavirus outbreak?
As COVID-19 tore through scores of aged care homes in Victoria, family members of people in facilities across the country could only look on in horror.
"Over east, I can't imagine what they're going through," said Paula McGibbon, as her 81-year-old mother remained in a Baptistcare residence in Perth.

Mrs McGibbon said when she was first told her mother would be going into lockdown earlier this year, she did not understand the dynamics of what was actually going to happen.
"When we realised how serious the pandemic was going to be, we were fully supportive of the measures they took," she said.
Mrs McGibbon's mother Elizabeth Quinn celebrated her 81st birthday in lockdown, with her family singing to her and sending presents from behind double glass doors.

Her husband of 60 years, Desmond, visits every day, and during the seven weeks of total lockdown he spent his time talking to Mrs Quinn through windows, via signs and phone calls.

Now he can visit again with mandatory temperature checks, health screenings and a flu vaccination.

Mrs McGibbon said she was grateful for her mother's centre and staff, and said there had been consistent communication of what was happening next.

It has been months since WA recorded a known case of community transmission, and the state's aged care sector has so far been spared anything like the distressing scenes in so many Victorian centres.

But the experience over east has served as a stark warning.
"I don't think we can be complacent," Mrs McGibbon said.
"It will only take one person and community transfer, and we're all back into a situation we don't want to be in."

'A small window of time to prepare'
Aged care providers in WA are taking the same attitude and are racing to learn everything they can from Victoria's outbreaks in an attempt to avoid the same disaster.
"If we get community transmission here, it's likely it will impact people in vulnerable situations, of which aged care is one," Baptistcare chief executive Russell Bricknell said.
"That's just reality."

Mr Bricknell said his organisation, which looks after around 800 West Australians in residential aged care, had been working with a number of other providers and the Health Department to coordinate their responses
"What we've now got is a small window of time to prepare so in the event [an outbreak] happens, we can respond much quicker," he said.

In a joint statement to the ABC, six of WA's aged care providers — Baptistcare, Juniper, Bethanie, Brightwater, Amana Living and Hall and Prior — said they had been developing a local outbreak plan with WA Health, with regular meetings to update what is being learned from overseas and interstate.

The group said there had been "significant investment" in training staff in infection control, creating PPE stockpiles, and developing a surge workforce.

If your state has a late outbreak, it might be harder to get federal help
Workers travelling between aged care residences has been a hot-button issue for organisations, following incidences of outbreaks in Victoria from people working across multiple facilities.

Australian Medical Association (AMA) WA president Andrew Miller said he thought there were a lot of "very good aged care operators" in the state, but there was no reason to think there would be a difference in how WA's aged care industry workforce operated compared to the rest of the country.
"The response in Victoria has not been adequate to prevent widespread infections in those operations, and I imagine that the people working in aged care here would be of a similar cohort in terms of their propensity to get infected," he said.
"I think that we need to look very carefully at how our system is set up and how to support it.
"Particularly if we were the third or fourth state in line to get an outbreak, we might find there's not as much national ability to come to our aid at that point."

Mr Bricknell said it was a "caught-between" situation, and his organisation had been checking in with workers to find out where and how they were working.
"We've got workers who need to work in multiple jobs to earn a full-time living, and we can't change that now," he said.
"But in the event of an outbreak we've obviously got to respond quickly and minimise risk."

The Victorian and Federal Governments have announced funding in that state aimed at keeping aged care staff in single facilities.

Four days of PPE until stocks run dry
The alliance of WA aged care providers has called for more State and Federal Government support for the sector, flagging the need for ongoing paid pandemic leave to keep sick staff away from work.

Pandemic leave has been made available in Victoria, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that would only be extended to other states if they had similar outbreaks.

Mr Bricknell said his organisation had been giving workers paid pandemic leave if they presented with symptoms, but it was not sustainable indefinitely.
"None of us have had the resources or the budget for this," he said.
"To have some support to enable this to happen makes sense … it minimises the risk longer term."

In terms of PPE, Mr Bricknell said local aged care provider stockpiles were designed for about four days of high-churn use, with support then needed from government to ensure ongoing supply.

A Federal Government Health Department spokesperson said more than 60 million P2 respirators, 295 million surgical masks and 8 million gowns had been added to the growing National Medical Stockpile since March, with aged care providers able to request PPE if they could not source it from their usual suppliers.

Calls to ensure infected residents moved out
Both Leading Age Services Australia and Aged and Community Services Australia have been pushing for hospitalisation, or transfer to other sites, for aged care residents who test positive to COVID-19, in an effort to avoid further transmission.

The group of local aged care providers said there had to be the capacity to immediately transfer a resident with COVID-19 to hospital.
"Aged care homes are people's homes not hospitals, and with COVID-19 a serious threat to this vulnerable population, high-level clinical care and support must be available," their statement read.
"There are options to transfer a resident with symptoms to hospital and we need to see these options confirmed."

The WA Health Department said like other Australian jurisdictions, treatment-in-place was preferred over admission to hospital to ensure better patient outcomes and maintain broader community access to services, with residents transferred if appropriate.

Its federal counterpart said the decision to transfer residents was made on a case-by-case basis.
"Decisions are made in consultation with the resident and their family or representative and taking account of any advanced care directives," a federal Health Department spokesperson said in a statement.
"Many aged care homes across Australia have successfully managed outbreaks of COVID-19 while continuing to care for residents within the facility."

Families urged to maintain contact
Council of the Ageing [COTA] WA chief executive Christine Allen said communication with families was essential, with hopes a new visitors code for aged care homes would ensure relatives were kept in the loop.

Ms Allen said, despite WA's success in containing the virus, it was crucial the whole community remained on alert.
"We're very fortunate but we also need to be vigilant, and I know that we're learning from what's gone before," she said.
"We would hope that Western Australia is ready for an outbreak – and maybe it's a matter of when and not if." ... d=msedgntp

Mental health impact of lockdown needs urgent attention, psychiatrist says
According to Patrick McGorry, Melbourne's shutdown will be stressful for many and has concerns about a lack of mental health resources. ... d=msedgntp

Victorian builders could lose $450m daily under Melbourne stage 4 Covid-19 lockdown
Victorian builders say they will take a hit to revenue totalling up to $456m a day from sweeping new restrictions on construction in the state, forcing some companies to close their doors entirely.

Under tough restrictions announced on Monday that are designed to slow the spread of the state’s coronavirus outbreak, the number of workers on large building sites such as apartment complexes and office towers is to be reduced to a quarter of the normal number.
Construction employs 300,000 people – about 8.5% of the Victorian workforce – and represents 13% of the state’s economy.

But some builders are concerned that under the new rules they will not be able to safely perform some labour-intensive tasks, such as pouring concrete slabs.

There are also concerns that another rule that restricts people to working on one site for the six-week duration of the clampdown will make it impossible for tradespeople to carry on their businesses.
“Many businesses will have to consider whether it’s feasible to work under the conditions as they are written,” the chief executive of Master Builders Victoria, Rebecca Casson, said.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions, though – for example, we’re trying to get clarity on the movement of people between building sites, how the 25% rule will be applied for large commercial projects, how liquidated damages will be treated and a definition of what is critical infrastructure, especially for industrial builders building distribution centres for food and pharmaceuticals.
“Earlier today, the premier acknowledged the need to make these clarifications and clear up the anomalies, and we have been working tirelessly with DHHS [Department of Health and Human Services] to ultimately determine how much of our industry can continue even in a scaled-down form.”

KPMG estimates the new restrictions will cut 2.5%, or $830m, from the output of the Victorian economy as a whole this month.

The lockdown is due to ease in the middle of next month, but KPMG’s chief economist, Brendan Rynne, said September could be worse than August as construction winds down.

Rynne said that, based on New Zealand’s experience in a harsh stage-four lockdown, about 130,000 additional workers, including 75,000 in manufacturing and 50,000 in construction, might be forced out of work by the end of the shutdown.
“All in all it’s not a good outcome,” he said. “We’re talking the re-emergence of a decline in the Victorian economy where there had been some recovery.
“Unfortunately this stage four is going to knock the wind out of us.”

Rynne said some large construction sites might have to shut down because they could not do work safely.
“Those decision points are probably going to be reflective of where those major projects are in their construction.
“Those that are being fitted out might be able to go on but it might be a different question if you are doing a concrete pour.”

He said the state government’s pipeline of large infrastructure projects would be delayed but would continue and could provide economic stimulus after the restrictions were lifted.

The state government has billions of dollars of transport projects on foot, including a metropolitan rail tunnel, level-crossing removal and road building.
“The buyer of that product is the public, and the public still wants them,” Rynne said. “The government can put those projects up to 11.” ... d=msedgdhp

Jackie 'O' Henderson 'feels really stupid' for forgetting to wear mask
Radio presenter Jackie 'O' Henderson has apologised for not wearing a mask in Melbourne, where face coverings are now mandatory in public to limit the spread of coronavirus.

She had been pictured without a mask while arriving on set of The Masked Singer in Docklands on Saturday afternoon, and the photos were splashed across a Sydney tabloid on Tuesday morning.

Victoria has been struggling with a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, and the mask ban - which had originally been limited to metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire - was extended to all regional areas on Monday.

Meanwhile, the state is preparing to enter a draconian stage-four lockdown.

Addressing the front-page story on her KIIS FM breakfast show, the 45-year-old admitted she had made a mistake and felt 'really stupid' for forgetting her mask.
Her co-host Kyle Sandilands started the broadcast at 6am by rattling off the negative headlines about Jackie, who was clearly mortified.

She said she found it particularly embarrassing because she had previously spoken of the importance of wearing masks and social distancing during the pandemic.
'It's my fault, I feel really stupid,' Jackie confessed.

The mother of one explained that she had been rushing from her hotel to the set, and only realised on the drive over that she'd forgotten her mask.
She said: 'I was coming from my hotel room... and we're always running late with hair and makeup, and then we quickly packed everything up and we got in the car.
'It's only a two-minute drive, and on my way I thought, "Oh my gosh, I've forgotten my mask." No excuse [but] I got out of my car and they gave me a mask.'

Jackie explained that the photo of her without a mask had been taken in the split second when she was dashing from her car to the set.

She concluded: 'It's stupid. I was in a rush. I forgot it, and I'm sorry.' ... d=msedgntp

Vic Police forced to smash car windows over non-compliance
Police have been forced into the extraordinary measure of smashing car windows to get Victorians to comply with second wave COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria.
“On at least three or four occasions in the past week we’ve had to smash the windows of people in cars and pull them out of there so they could provide us their details because they weren’t telling us where they were going, they weren’t adhering to the chief health officer guidelines, they weren’t providing their name and their address,” Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said.
Mr Patton said the discretion period for COVID-19 rules in Victoria had “virtually closed” and more than 1500 patrolling officers and PSOs would enforce the restrictions every day.
“It will only be in an exceptional circumstance – in an exceptional circumstance – that Victoria Police will be using discretion because we just have to stop this movement,” he said.
“In the last week we’ve seen a trend, an emergence if you like, of groups of people, small groups, but nonetheless concerning groups who classify themselves as sovereign citizens – whatever that might mean – people who don’t think the law applies to them.
“We’ve seen them at checkpoints baiting police, not providing their name and address.
“There are consequences for your actions, and if you’re not doing the right thing we will not hesitate to issue infringements, to arrest you, to detail you where it’s appropriate.” ... d=msedgntp

More than 160 fines issued on Monday as Victorians flout lockdown
Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville says dozens of Victorians have refused to adhere to Melbourne’s curfew, and has warned officers have the power to do “whatever that takes” to enforce lockdown rules.
“There are a number of people who have knowingly breached the curfew, including somebody who decided they were bored and they were going to go out for a drive,” Ms Neville said on Tuesday.
“Somebody who decided that they needed to buy a car after 8pm last night drove across the city of Melbourne.
“And we’ve seen people who have picked up people from other households, again breaching the direction, and the then also breaching the curfew.
The move - expected to be announced today - comes after 172 fines for breaching restrictions were issued in the 24-hour period to yesterday morning, totalling $250,000. It is the largest amount since stage three restrictions were introduced last month.

The fines included one Sunshine Coast man who drove 14kms into the CBD claiming he was there to play Pokemon Go.
Police also carried out 4355 spot checks on people at homes, businesses and public places across Victoria. ... d=msedgntp
“All of those people were infringed last night.”

Ms Neville said there was a “continual minority” knowingly contravening lockdown rules and reminded Victorians police had the power to enforce the rules.
“It’s ridiculous, it’s unacceptable and it is dangerous,” she said.
“This is serious for all of us, that’s why we have provided extraordinary powers to Victoria Police, it’s why yesterday they issued another 161 fines to the community.
“Victoria Police will be out there enforcing the curfew, they’ll be out there enforcing whether you can go to work, they’ll be out there enforcing the stage four restrictions and the stage three restrictions in regional Victoria as well as continuing the work that they’re doing on the borders to stop people moving from Melbourne into regional Victoria, and of course they’re enforcing the masks.
“Thank you to everyone who’s doing the right thing, but be in no doubt if you’re not, Victoria Police has the powers and the ability to enforce these directives, whatever that takes.”
Andrews said 11 people had died from the virus since Monday, bringing the state's death toll to 136. The virus has spread significantly throughout Victoria's aged care facilities, with many of the deaths among the elderly.

Victoria state officials said the latest wave of COVID-19 infections has been driven by residents refusing to adhere to restrictions on their movements.
"There are a number of people who have knowingly breached the curfew -- so somebody who decided they were bored and they were going to go out for a drive, somebody who decided that they needed to buy a car after 8:00pm last night," Victoria Minister for Police Lisa Neville told reporters in Melbourne.

With concerns that many people feel they have no choice but to continue working after a COVID-19 diagnosis, Australia said on Monday it would pay people in the state A$1,500 to stay home if they were ordered to and they do not have leave entitlements.

Many internal state borders have been closed which has so far seen the new wave of infections predominately limited to Victoria, with neighbouring New South Wales (NSW) state reporting the next highest number of cases.

NSW on Tuesday reported 12 new cases, though all the cases can be traced back to known outbreaks, some of which were sgtarted by infected people travelling from Victoria. ... d=msedgntp ... d=msedgntp

Victorian coronavirus rulebreakers warned as Melbourne woman charged with attacking police officer over mask
A growing group of anti-maskers have been "baiting" and antagonising Victorian police, and in one instance smashed the head of a female officer into concrete until she was concussed, authorities say.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said a 26-year-old police officer and her partner approached the 38-year-old woman, who was not wearing a face covering, in the Frankston area last night.
"After a confrontation and being assaulted by that woman, those police officers went to ground and there was a scuffle," he said.
"During that scuffle, this 38-year-old woman smashed the head of the policewoman several times into a concrete area on the ground."

Police said the constable was taken to Frankston Hospital with "significant head injuries".

The woman's alleged assault left the young police officer with a concussion and a missing clump of hair, Police Association of Victoria secretary Wayne Gatt said.
"Frontline police and emergency service workers shouldn't have to go through this," he said.
"We should be holding them in the highest of regards and supporting them as they keep us safe — not dragging them to the ground and smashing their head into the concrete."

Police have charged the alleged attacker with nine offences, including two counts of assaulting an emergency worker and one count of recklessly causing injury.

She had no previous criminal history and was granted bail to appear before the Frankston Magistrates' Court on March 31, 2021.

Details of the alleged attack were revealed as Victoria announced there would be more police and Army resources and new fines targeting people who did not self-isolate when directed.

A new $4,659 on-the-spot fine will apply for people who breach self-isolation orders, but "particularly selfish behaviour" and repeated breaches can now attract a $20,000 penalty, Premier Daniel Andrews said.

An additional 250 police officers will also join the roughly 1,500 personnel who are already working on enforcing restrictions around Victoria.
[QIOTE] Victorians who work while they have COVID-19 will be fined $20,000
Mr Andrews said he was forced to bring in the extreme penalty because a number of Victorians were failing to self-isolate when required.
Ultimately a $5,000 on-the-spot fine and that will be particularly for those who breach their isolation orders,' Mr Andrews said.
'If you are supposed to be at home and you are not, then you face the prospect of a fine of up to $5,000.'

Mr Andrews said Victorians who continue to break the rules could be taken to court and fined up to $20,000.
'If there were repeat breaches, if there were particularly selfish behaviour like, for instance, going to work when you had the virus, then there is the alternative pathway and that is, of course, taking you to the Magistrates Court,' he said.
'The maximum penalty that can be applied to you is $20,000.

Victorians already face $1,652 fines for refusing or failing to comply with the public health order.

Wearing a face mask is also mandatory in Victoria and failure to comply is punishable with a $200 on-the-spot fine.

The Department of Health and Human Services conducted more than 3,000 door knocks of people who had been instructed to isolate at home on Monday, and in 800 of those cases, the person was not at home.

In response, Mr Andrews announced changes, now banning people instructed to stay at home to leave their houses for any reason - even for daily exercise.
Up to 1,500 police officers will be brought in to enforce the quarantine and visit Victorians who are required to be at home.
'You will be doorknocked. You will be visited. If you're not at home you will be fined,' Mr Andrews said.
'The fine is $1,652 but there's an opportunity for police to fine you on the spot $5,000 and for particularly selfish behaviour, the opportunity to take you to court where the maximum penalty is, in fact, $20,000.'

Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said the 'window for discretion' has now closed and warnings will no longer be issued. ... d=msedgntp
Rise of 'sovereign citizens' baiting police and refusing orders
Chief Commissioner Patton said in the past week police had seen a trend of people calling themselves "sovereign citizens" who "don't think the law applies to them".
"We've seen them at checkpoints baiting police, not providing a name and address," he said.
"On at least four occasions in the last week, we've had to smash the windows of cars and pull people out to provide details because they weren't adhering to the Chief Health Officer's guidelines, they weren't providing their name and address."

Commissioner Patton said the groups were small "but nonetheless concerning".
"People have to absolutely understand there are consequences for your actions and if you're not doing the right thing, we will not hesitate to issue infringements, to arrest you, to detain you where it's appropriate," he said.
"It's not something we want to be doing, but it is what we will do and it has been occurring in the past week."

The Premier said the 26-year-old police officer had been concussed in the alleged assault.
"That behaviour is nothing short of fundamentally disgusting," Mr Andrews said.
"Police are out there, putting themselves in harm's way, they run towards the danger when the rest of us wouldn't."
The 26-year-old officer was allegedly attacked just after 5pm yesterday while on patrol with another officer in the Frankston area, near the Bayside Shopping Centre, in Melbourne's south-east.
"During that time they approached a 38-year-old woman who wasn't wearing a mask," Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said. ... 6729441280
"After a confrontation and being assaulted by that woman, those police officers went to ground and there was a scuffle.
"During that scuffle, this 38-year-old woman hit the head, smashed the head of the policewoman several times into a concrete area on the ground."
The Police Association of Victoria posted a photo of the female officer involved and said she was the victim of a "disgusting" assault.

"This 26-year-old Constable returned to the station concussed and missing a clump of hair. Because she asked someone to wear a mask. She and many others are sacrificing their safety for our safety," the post on Twitter read.

Mr Patton said the Frankston woman, who had no previous criminal history, was charged with 9 offences after being restrained and arrested at the scene, including:
- Assaulting police (indictable)
- Recklessly causing injury
- Two counts of assaulting an emergency worker
- Two counts of resisting an emergency worker on duty
- Two counts of unlawful assault
- Refusing/failing to state name and address
"That's someone who thinks they're above the law," he alleged.
The police officer that received significant head injuries was taken to the Frankston Hospital for assessment and medical treatment.
The Frankston woman was released on bail and will face court at a later date. She was also fined $200 for breaching the Chief Health Officer's directions.

ACT clubs hold out hope coronavirus restrictions will ease next week amid reports of roaring trade in Queanbeyan]
The organisation representing ACT clubs has called on the Government to allow gaming to restart, amid reports Canberrans are travelling into Queanbeyan to use the pokies.

While New South Wales opted to ease restrictions on gaming, the ACT has held firm in not permitting the activity, despite allowing venues to cater to up to 100 people at a time.

The ACT has decided to , with gaming and casinos not able to reopen until stage three.

In the months since coronavirus forced shutdowns across the country, some clubs have suffered, with the Kaleen Eastlake Club announcing last week it would permanently close.

And as businesses across the border benefit from the lighter restrictions, ACT Clubs says gaming venues need a reprieve, to keep people in jobs and ensure trade stays in the territory.

Canberrans turning to NSW for 'relaxed' service: publican
Since restrictions on venues eased in NSW following the state-wide lockdown, trade on the average gaming machine saw an 89 per cent increase in turnover.

But Queanbeyan saw a 453 per cent jump.

One reason could be its proximity to the ACT, where the restrictions are tighter.

Anthony McDonald runs the Royal Hotel in Queanbeyan and said he had seen a lot more Canberrans at his venue in recent weeks.

He said it could be due to the access to pokies, as well as the lighter restrictions on how long a person could stay.

"We're seeing strong food and beverage numbers, and people are definitely coming across from the ACT," Mr McDonald said.

"I know in the ACT they have time restrictions and you have to leave after your sitting, but I don't think any of the operations in Queanbeyan are putting time restrictions on it.

"You can sit and graze on your meal, so I think a few Canberrans have realised it's a more relaxed environment over here, and trade is brisk."

[ACT - coronavirus cases special]
The ACT Government said gaming venues were restricted due to the higher risk of infection posed by some activities over others.
"One of the things that the Chief Health Officer has been really clear about is that we need to assess cumulative risk when we're determining the easing of restrictions," Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said.
"It is about managing the cumulative risk to our community of people coming together, intermingling in situations particularly where there may be alcohol involved, where they may lose some of their inhibitions or may stay in a venue for a length of time."

But Mr McDonald said the same social distancing rules applied to every area of his venue, whether it was for gaming, drinking or dining.
"We're working on the one in four capacity, so subject to social distancing, we can turn our machines on," he said.
"It means some places have put only every second machine on.
"But most importantly, it means for the pubs and clubs, we have access to the gaming machines as well"

He said while the pokies were not a huge part of their business, they had seen an uptick in revenue nonetheless.

"I can't understand why they're not lockstep with NSW, to be honest," he said.
"I thought that was the commitment from the Chief Minister, and you have to consider that Queanbeyan is basically an outer suburb of Canberra."

'We just want our chance'
ACT Clubs chief executive Gwyn Rees said they were suffering for lack of trade.
"The clubs over there [Queanbeyan] are telling us there's about 40 per cent visitation from the ACT and they're seeing machine numbers that they haven't seen since the 90s," he said.
"Lots of people are going over to enjoy the services that are over in Queanbeyan and again we just want our chance to reopen our clubs and offer those same services.
"Any Canberran can go over and look at a car park in Queanbeyan and see the ACT plates. That itself tells the story."

He said it was not just about trade, but also employment, and the loss of the Kaleen club was a blow to the industry.
"There's no doubt it's devastating [to see clubs closing down] and simply, if this is about jobs, we need to get clubs back open," Mr Rees said.

He said gaming was now open in every state and territory except Victoria.
"We just want our chance. We want to get our people back to work," he said.
"We've been off for four months now, so that's got to have an impact on the ACT budget of some $10 million in terms of gaming taxes, in addition to an impact on the community contributions which we think are around $3 million to $4 million at this stage."

Clubs wait to see if restrictions eased this week
While the ACT Government is considering whether to go ahead and ease restrictions on businesses this coming week, in line with its original plan, it is not clear what that could mean for gaming.

Ms Stephen-Smith said it was unlikely they would allow larger gatherings at venues.
"What we are very unlikely to see from next weekend is a bigger number of people being able to gather," she said.
"So, our stage three did previously have 250 people gathering plus the reopening of a number of activities, including gaming venues.
"What we are very likely to see in terms of any further easing of restrictions is that some of those activities are likely to reopen but we will not start to see those bigger numbers of people being able to gather."

Mr Rees said he was perplexed by the argument that gaming was more of a safety risk with relation to coronavirus than other activities.
"We've asked for that advice and it hasn't been provided," he said.
"It seems a closed shop. We can't have a conversation. We've asked for the advice.
"We don't understand the decision — but if this is about jobs, we need to get clubs open."

Ms Stephen-Smith said she was aware that some Canberrans might choose to leave the territory to access certain things they could not get closer to home.
"We know that people are potentially going to travel interstate for particular activities and that is their choice," she said.
"We did, of course, open up some activities more quickly than NSW and we've maintained the easing of restrictions around things like community sport that we were quicker to do than NSW. It's a balancing act.
"It's pretty hard to assess what the cumulative impact of that is going to be and we're continuing to keep an eye on the wellbeing of our clubs here in the ACT and there have been a number of measures taken to support community clubs in the ACT." ... d=msedgntp

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr asks tourists to stay away from Canberra to prevent coronavirus spread
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr says he does not want to see visitors in Canberra — including from hotspots like Sydney — for at least a week.

ACT authorities are keeping a close eye on New South Wales for any untraceable COVID-19 infections, after the state confirmed 12 new coronavirus infections overnight.

This, and the declining situation in Victoria, prompted Mr Barr to announce that interstate visitors were not welcome.
"Not this week," he said on ABC Radio Canberra this morning.
"I think in light of the travel advice that's been provided by NSW and by the ACT that it really should only be essential travel this week."

Sittings at Federal Parliament have also been cancelled for the next two weeks due to concerns over COVID-19.

'There's no point opening ourselves up to unnecessary risk'
Despite acknowledging that "about 90 per cent" of Canberra's hotel industry revenue comes from interstate travellers — including federal politicians — the ACT Australian Hotels Association said the Government's travel advice was "appropriate at this time".
"Our industry doesn't want anything to send us backwards at this point in time," general manager Anthony Brierley said.
"People should not be encouraging their family and friends to undertake a leisure trip to Canberra at the moment.
"This does have to be a delicately balanced situation."

Mr Brierly said the past few months had been "really tough" for hoteliers in Canberra, and would continue to be difficult moving forward.
"We're still down about 20 per cent of the people who used to work in our industry and are now unemployed, and the occupancy rates and the revenue rates have fallen through the floor," he said.
"Obviously if people need to travel for essential reasons such as work, and can do so safely, they can still continue to come.
"But the numbers in hotels at the moment bear that out; they really are the only people coming."

Mr Brierly said that hotels were undergoing their own contact tracing methods to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including calling people who had made bookings from Sydney, and asking whether they have been in hotspots or feeling unwell.
"Shackling up an entire industry again is not necessarily a balanced solution, but neither is opening up the floodgates to people from greater Sydney," Mr Brierly said.
"We need to build back, but realistically, we can only build back slowly.
"There's no point opening ourselves up to unnecessary risk that could cripple the industry further."

Is a staycation the solution?
"There are very little staycations that go on in the ACT … we're a small city and a small population, there is simply not the demand," Mr Brierly said.
"But they might be something that we might have to try to pivot towards for a couple of months.
"If people would like to take a staycation I'd encourage them to do so. But it's not a panacea to the demand that hotels have seen fall off a cliff here."

Mr Barr, who is also the ACT's Tourism Minister, said that the tourism industry would have to "completely reimagine" how it operated in the future.
"We have to completely reimagine how we would undertake any form of movement of people — it clearly needs to be smaller groups, physical distancing being absolutely paramount, hygiene is paramount as well," he said.
"These things will become part of the tourism industry for the foreseeable future."

What does this mean for the State of Origin?
This morning Mr Barr also poured cold water on idea that the ACT would play host to the first State of Origin game.
"At the moment, you'd have a maximum crowd of 1,500 people at Canberra Stadium," he said.
"I don't think it's likely at this point that Canberra would be hosting State of Origin if the game was rescheduled from Adelaide Oval."

Also off the cards is the prospect of a trans-Tasman travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia, in which direct flights between Canberra Wellington were a possibility.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Australia's community transmission levels were too high to contemplate opening her nation to its citizens.
"One of the things we said as part of our criteria was that anywhere we have , they have to be free of community transmission for a period of time, 28 days," she said.
"That is going to take a long time for Australia to get back to that place."


While alcohol at hospitality venues can be served without food, all indoor and outdoor gatherings are restricted to the one-person-per-four-square-metre rule.

Mask wearing is not mandated in the ACT, but the Government said yesterday that Canberrans should "prepare for a time where wearing face masks becomes another part of how we respond to the threat of COVID-19".

There are no active cases of COVID-19 in the ACT, and over 53,000 negative tests have been returned. ... d=msedgdhp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:16 am

NSW records 12 new cases of COVID-19
NSW authorities have announced 12 new COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed in the state.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the cases, picked up in the 24 hours to 8pm on August 3, were a “positive” sign given the enormous outbreak taking place across the border in Victoria.
“3 of those were household cases that were actually acquired in Victoria,
8 were locally acquired cases, one case was linked to the Thai Rock at Wetherill Park,
2 cases attended the Apollo restaurant in Potts Point
and 2 cases attended the Mounties at Mount Pritchard,
and 3 are linked to people who attended Mounties.”

2 Sydney schools have been closed for on-site learning, after three cases of COVID-19 were confirmed.
1 student at Bonnyrigg High School and 2 students at Greenway Park Public School, both in Sydney's west, have tested positive to the virus.
All staff and students have been asked to self-isolate while authorities conduct contact tracing.
The schools will be thoroughly cleaned and will be told on Tuesday when normal classes are to resume.
2 out of the three school cases will be included in Wednesday's numbers — but all of them are linked to cases who went to Mounties at Mount Pritchard, NSW Health confirmed.

NSW chief health officer, Kerry Chant, said some cases were not currently traceable to known cases.
"While most cases in the past week have been associated with local clusters and close contact with known cases, some have not been linked to known cases, representing unknown chains of transmission in the community," she said.
"This is why we need your help to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Dr Chant urged people to wear masks in enclosed spaces where social distancing of 1.5 metres was not always possible.
"If you know that your bus is going to be crowded, if you know you're going into a shopping site that is very crowded, we ask you to wear a mask in those settings," she said.

Yesterday Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state remained on high alert about community transmission of the virus as Victoria's cases continued to increase.
"No border is impenetrable … no matter how tough we are, so long as the virus is in and around us in Australia, there is a risk in NSW," she said.

Ms Berejiklian also encouraged people to wear masks if social distancing was not possible in any situation.
Dr Chant urged people to wear masks in enclosed spaces where social distancing of 1.5 metres was not always possible.
"If you know that your bus is going to be crowded, if you know you're going into a shopping site that is very crowded, we ask you to wear a mask in those settings," she said.

Yesterday Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state remained on high alert about community transmission of the virus as Victoria's cases continued to increase.
"No border is impenetrable … no matter how tough we are, so long as the virus is in and around us in Australia, there is a risk in NSW," she said. ... d=msedgntp

Of the known clusters across Sydney, 103 of the cases are associated with Thai Rock Wetherill Park, 58 with the Crossroads Hotel and 40 cases with the funeral events in Bankstown and surrounding suburbs.

There are 16 associated with Mounties in Mount Pritchard, and 28 with the Potts Point cluster.
The state has been recording steady daily increases in virus cases in the low double digits to reach a total of 3,809 cases on Tuesday. The concerning new trend prompted Premier Gladys Berejiklian to backtrack on previous advice that masks were not necessary.

On Sunday, Ms Berejiklian said authorities would not make mask usage mandatory in NSW, but revised current recommendations to address four specific circumstances.

Masks should be worn by public-facing employees such as hospitality or grocery workers, worshippers and residents of suburbs near COVID-19 clusters, as well as in situations where social distancing is impossible.
'We have been talking about masks for several weeks but obviously the persistent situation in Victoria gives us cause for alarm in terms of the potential for further seeding in NSW, and it is about risk mitigation strategy,' Ms Berejiklian said. 'We're going to the next stage of assessing what else and how else we can decrease the risk and break the current chain coming through NSW.' Ms Berejiklian said she will be heeding the advice of health authorities in her daily life, calling wearing a mask 'the fourth line of defence'.
'I want to stress it isnot compulsory, but it is a strong recommendation from NSW Health, given where we are in the pandemic, given the risk posed from Victoria and given the rate of community transmission in New South Wales,' she said.
'I myself, when I next go grocery shopping, will be wearing a mask.' In Victoria there have been 439 new cases recorded and a further 11 people in aged care facilities have died from COVID-19. There are still 1,186 active cases of COVID-19 in aged care facilities across the state.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Sunday the four situations she strongly recommends NSW residents should wear face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state.
Residents who live in or near coronavirus clusters are recommended to wear face masks in public, as well as churchgoers in places of worship. Workers who interact directly with the general public such as hospitality and supermarket workers should also wear masks, along with anyone in a situation where social distancing is impossible.
'Firstly, if you are in an enclosed space and you cannot guarantee social distancing, such as public transport, such as when you are buying groceries, you should be wearing a mask,' Ms Berejiklian said.
'We would also like to see more staff to a customer facing wearing masks, whether they are in hospitality venues or whether they are in retail. Whenever they are facing customers, we strongly recommend that they wear masks. 'If you are attending a place of worship, we want you to wear a mask.

If you are attending a church, synagogue or mosque, we would like you to wear a mask. 'And finally, if you are in an area where there is high community transmission or a number of cases, we want you to wear a mask.' ... d=msedgntp ... d=msedgntp ... d=msedgntp

Three pupils test positive for COVID-19 at two Sydney school
housands of staff and students in Sydney have been forced into isolation after three students tested positive for COVID-19.

Greenway Park Public School in Carnes Hill, west of Casula, has been closed for deep cleaning after two students tested positive for the illness.

Bonnyrigg High School, in Sydney's west, has also closed after a student returned a positive test.

NSW Education said the contact tracing process is underway for both schools, with before and after school care programs been cancelled.
'All staff and students are asked to self-isolate while contact tracing occurs,' the department said.

Students will be advised on when the school will reopen on Tuesday afternoon. ... d=msedgntp

Virus school fears unwarranted: NSW study
he decision to resume face-to-face school learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been vindicated by fresh research showing children transmitted the disease at minimal rates during the "first wave".

The report was released as two Sydney schools were forced to close for deep cleaning after three students were diagnosed with coronavirus.

The study, published in The Lancet Journal of Child and Adolescent Health on Tuesday, analysed the spread of COVID-19 in 15 NSW schools and 10 childcare centres between January and April 2020.

It found that no COVID-19 transmissions occurred in 90 % of those schools and childcare centres in the term one period, and just 5 secondary transmissions at schools were recorded.

There were some 1448 close contacts of 27 confirmed COVID-19 cases in schools and childcare centres over this period.

Study lead author, the University of Sydney's Professor Kristine Macartney, said the data confirmed COVID-19 was milder and less infectious in children.

There were very few transmissions between children, or from children to adults.
"COVID-19 transmission in schools appears to be considerably less than that seen for other respiratory viruses, such as influenza," Prof Macartney said in a statement.
"This supports the previous findings << IN A VERY SMALL STUDY , THAT WAS NOT STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT IN SAMPLE SIZE >> that COVID-19 transmission in educational settings can be kept low and manageable in the context of an effective pandemic response that includes contact tracing and quarantine, and temporary school closures for cleaning if someone is found to be infected."

The NSW government gradually resumed face-to-face school learning from May 11, having recommended in late March that students learn from home.

Researchers also released additional data for terms two and three in NSW. In term two, no secondary transmissions were recorded in schools or childcare centres after COVID-19 cases were confirmed in six sites.

In term three, two secondary transmissions have occurred to date in 11 virus-affected sites.
"Understanding how the virus spreads in our context will assist modellers, policymakers, healthcare providers and the public to understand the risk of COVID-19 in educational settings and help in decision-making around school closures and reopenings," Prof Macartney said. ... d=msedgntp

NSW Kmart DEPARTMENT stores introduce 'click and collect' service
Kmart stores across NSW have introduced a "click and collect" service to help control social distancing in store.

The retailer is also encouraging customers and staff members across the state to wear masks when working or shopping.

The click and collect service means customers will be able to make an order online and then collect their purchase at the front of the store when it is ready.
"Our number one priority has been and will remain to be the health and wellbeing of our customers and team members," Kmart Retail Director John Gualtieri said in a statement.

He said a number of safety measures have already been implemented in store to help meet social distancing requirements.

Store capacity limits remain in place and customers are counted on entry and exit, and hygiene stations are provided at the front of the store.

Signage and floor markings are in place to help guide customers with keeping a 1.5 metre distance.
"This week, to help keep our teams, customers and community safe, we are strongly encouraging team members and customers to wear face coverings when working with or visiting us in store," Mr Gualtieri said.

Kmart stores in Melbourne, along with Target, Big W, Myer and David Jones, have all moved to online and pick up services, after being forced to close under the Stage Four restrictions in the city.
Bunnings said its drive and collect services will allow customers to select a convenient pick-up time online for themselves and will need to park in a designated parking bay before calling the store with their order number.

A team member will then bring the order out of the warehouse store and load it onto that person's vehicle without the customer needing to exit it. ... d=msedgntp

Fury over move to allow 400 at mosque for Eid during COVID-19 pandemic
The decision to give special permission for 400 worshippers to gather at a mosque to celebrate Eid despite COVID-19 restrictions has been slammed by local officials, who claim they were not even told about the exemption.

Social distancing restrictions in New South Wales prevent more than 100 people from gathering in places of worship.

But NSW Health gave permission for four times that number to attend the Auburn Gallipoli Mosque in western Sydney on Friday for Eid al-Adha prayers - a major religious event in the Islamic calendar.

Worshippers had to wear masks, but Cumberland City Council Mayor Steve Christou said he was 'absolutely livid' the state government would risk the health of residents during a pandemic.
'This kind of behaviour from the state is inexcusable and I am absolutely livid that they would potentially jeopardise the health and wellbeing of our residents and the health of greater Sydney residents,' he told The Daily Telegraph.
'We either have a pandemic, which we acknowledge and adhere to the relevant health directives for one and all, or we don’t.'

Attendees had to sign in and were split into four zones, which included two levels of the mosque, a function hall and the car park.

Up to 100 people were allowed inside at any one time, with up to 400 people allowed on the premises - far less than the several thousand who usually attend.

Worshippers also wore stickers to designate the zone to which they were assigned.

Mayor Christou - who claimed he only found out about the decision through the media - said though he would have opposed the exemption if he had known about it.
'I don’t understand how NSW Health can pick and choose who is at risk and who warrants an exemption,' he said.
NSW Health said in a statement the mosque developed a 'comprehensive safety plan' and the government body were on site on the day to ensure the agreed procedures were being followed.
The mosque's one-off exemption comes after two cases of coronavirus were linked to a church and four more were tied to a funeral service in Sydney.

Coronavirus cases have also been confirmed in the same area of western Sydney as the mosque, with Merrylands’ Advanced Early Learning Centre being forced to close last weekend when two workers there tested positive for COVID-19.

The mosque's president Abdurrahman Asaroglu had said previously the venue had implemented appropriate measures to reduce the risk of a coronavirus outbreak.
'Our community is really understanding and they are OK to follow these measures — no shaking hands, no hugging — making sure that they just pray,' Dr Asaroglu told ABC.
'If everyone does the right thing I don't think there will be any issues.'
In 2019, nearly 3,000 worshippers attended Eid al-Adha prayers at the mosque and thousands more spilled onto the streets nearby.

Dr Asargolu said the large attendance last year could not be replicated in 2020.

He said if more than 400 people arrive at the mosque, they would be turned away.
'If anybody is not abiding by the regulations, we have security to make sure that they are excluded,' he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison had said he was concerned with large gatherings at places of worship.

Mr Morrison, who is a devout Christian, said he and wife Jenny had not been to church in months.
'I know faith is very important to people, but even at times like this, it's even more important that we don't gather in those large groups,' he told 2GB radio on Friday.
'As important as faith is, that we really do think of the health issues here.
'I just want to encourage everyone to make positive decisions when it comes to how they choose to celebrate their faith over this important time for that (Islamic) community.' ... d=msedgntp
 ETC >>

Wodonga Mayor calls for NSW-VIC border to reopen as COVID-19 restrictions are tightened in Victoria
The Mayor of Wodonga Council, Anna Speedie, is calling for the Victoria-NSW border to be re-opened as tougher coronavirus restrictions come into effect across Victoria.

Metropolitan Melbourne has now entered stage 4 restrictions which means residents must stay within a 5-kilometre radius from home for shopping and exercise and a curfew is in place between 8pm–5am every day.

From midnight tonight, regional Victoria will move to stage 3 restrictions which will mean there will now only be four reasons to leave home including food shopping, provide care, exercise or for work or study.

Mayor Anna Speedie said the new restrictions meant the border closure seemed irrelevant.

"People can't leave their homes unless it is for those four reasons, and so it adds another layer of complication right here on the border.
"Whether we see that happen or not is another question," she said.

Border should reopen
Councillor Speedie said she believed the border should be open again.
"As yet we've had no conversations with the New South Wales Government, but I would certainly like to have one," she said.

Member for Albury Justin Clancy said he hoped the new restrictions would see a decrease in the number of cases.
"I acknowledge the impact that tighter restrictions are having on all Victorians," he said.
"This is an important step though in terms of trying to reduce the COVID spread through Victoria."

He said he was hopeful that if numbers could be decreased pressure would be reduced on the need for border closure but said the NSW Government was still concerned about the level of transmission in regional Victoria.

Businesses to suffer further
Cr Speedie said businesses were severely impacted during the last shutdown and this new set of restrictions along with the border closure would mean many might not open again.
"We saw so many of them just pick themselves up and just managed to get across the line to reopen their doors and now they have to shut them again," she said.

She said while it was a "tough call" by the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to reintroduce stage 3 restrictions into regional Victoria, many communities in the regions had low, or no cases, of coronavirus.
"It's a pretty tough pill to swallow when we've done everything right and yet we're still being severely impacted," Cr Speedie said

Mr Clancy said he was campaigning on ensuring the border was not closed for any longer than necessary.
"There is that continued concern about mystery cases and concern about transmission that may not have been identified.
"The reality is we need to see an improvement in numbers in Victoria," he said. ... hp#image=1

Coronavirus: NSW border crackdown on Victorian arrivals
With 17 flights from Melbourne due to land in Sydney today, there are calls for travellers to face quarantine similar to returning passengers from overseas. ... d=msedgntp


Queensland records no new COVID-19 cases overnight
No new covid19 cases in Queensland overnight.
It comes as the state government is calling on the Commonwealth to end a quarantine exemption that saw a consular official arrive in Queensland and then test positive to coronavirus. ... d=msedgntp

Sunshine Coast COVID-19 test waiting times increasing as anxiety continues to rise
The waiting time for COVID-19 testing on Queensland's Sunshine Coast is growing longer, with people regularly waiting more than an hour to get to the front of the line.

Queensland Health has three COVID-19 clinics operating in the region, as well as another 20 locations where patients can receive a nasopharangeal swab.

At the Caloundra drive-through clinic on Monday people were waiting for as long as two hours to get tested.

The State Emergency Service was on hand to direct traffic.

Staff advised people to head to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital or go to Nambour in an effort to reduce the waiting time.

A spokeswoman for Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service said there was "increased demand" for the tests, and asked for understanding.
"We thank everyone who takes the time to get tested," she said.
"By doing so, you are helping us control the spread of this disease and protecting our community."

Cases low, but fear on the rise
As of Monday afternoon, the Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Gympie – all covered by the same health service – shared a single active case of coronavirus.

Another 21 people are in "self-quarantine".

The Gold Coast has just one active case, but more than 560 people are in self-quarantine.

Under the Chief Health Officer's guidelines, anyone crossing the border from New South Wales must be tested for COVID-19 and go into quarantine if they have symptoms, have been overseas or in a designated hotspot, or have had contact with a confirmed case.

Queensland reported one new case on Monday and no new cases on Tuesday.

Gold Coast Public Health chairman Roger Halliwell said concern across south-east Queensland was growing as residents watched the number of cases grow in other states.
"There's anxiety — it's increasing as we see what's happening in Victoria and to a lesser extent in NSW," he said.
"We do appreciate that some people will find this quite challenging."

Longer wait for results likely
Dr Halliwell said most COVID-19 test results came back within 48 hours, with patients being informed of a negative result via SMS.

But he said it could take longer for the results to come back as testing increased.
"I'm sure [the wait for results] is increasing it because the advice to people with respiratory symptoms is go home, stay at home until you get your result," he said.
"Incidentally, we're seeing the delay in those being processed starting to creep in.
"It's not as bad as five to seven days they had in Victoria, of course."

The Queensland Health spokeswoman said regardless of the wait times, those needing tests had done a great job.
"Queenslanders in the main have been outstanding throughout this pandemic," she said. ... d=msedgdhp

Queensland panic buying
Queenslander’s fear of a second coronavirus outbreak has sparked a fresh round of panic buying. ... d=msedgdhp

Second Logan trio charged over alleged Melbourne visit
3 Logan men have been charged by police and taken into hotel quarantine after allegedly providing misleading information about their movements at the Queensland border.

Police allege the men had been travelling in Victoria and visited the hotspot of Melbourne, which is now in stage four lockdown due to soaring coronavirus cases.

The men – a 29-year-old from Slacks Creek, a 23-year-old from Waterford and a 25-year-old from Loganlea – arrived in the state on August 2 after passing through the Victoria-NSW border.
"They came into Queensland and they are currently in quarantine and they're in the process of getting tested," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
"We don't want people to do this. It's not right. People are obviously lying on their declaration forms, and it is undermining all of the great work that Queenslanders have done."

The men had a G-Pass stating they had not been in a hotspot but they later admitted they had visited Melbourne, Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said.
"It's really, really disappointing that given where Victoria is at the moment and we all know what's happening there - that people in our community are still telling lies and deliberately trying to mislead the system so they can get back into our state," Mr Gollschewski said.
"The fact that they have been in Victoria is something of grave concern to all of our community.
"What we really need people to do is to disclose that. The worst that can happen is they have to go into quarantine for 14 days. They don't get imprisoned. They don't get fined with anything.
"But what they're doing, by telling lies deliberately, is having themselves charged with criminal offences, having to front court down the track and answer for their actions in a court of law. That, to me, seems unacceptable behaviour."

Another man was able to escape mandatory quarantine after allegedly pretending to be a diplomat using documents written on a Department of Foreign Affairs letterhead, the premier said.

The man – who was a private security contractor who arrived back in Australia from Afghanistan – was able to fly from Sydney to Maroochydore without going into the 14-day quarantine.
"There is a loophole here, and it needs to be closed," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"I will be raising this at National Cabinet on Friday."

The documents have since been sent to the Queensland police commissioner to investigate, Ms Palaszczuk said.

"Our understanding is that a letter was provided on DFAT letterhead and an exemption was also granted. This will be fully investigated, but there is still a loophole that needs to be closed."

It came as Ms Palaszczuk announced Queensland recorded no new cases of coronavirus overnight.

The number of active cases stands at 12, seven of those remain in hospital.

Just under 10,000 tests were carried out in the past 24 hours.

In Victoria, 439 new coronavirus cases were recorded. Another 11 people also lost their lives in the state overnight. ... d=msedgntp

Deputy Commissioner lashes Qlders 'lying' and 'deliberately misleading the system'
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski has lashed Queenslanders for "telling lies" and attempting to "deliberately mislead the system" to get back into the state.

Mr Gollschewski revealed 10 people were issued with infringements in the past week, with four more under investigation.
"It's really, really disappointing, given where Victoria is at the moment that people in our community are still telling lies and deliberately trying to mislead the system so they can get back in our state," he said.
"The fact that they have been in Victoria is something of grave concern in our community. People must disclose that.
"The worst that can happen is they have to go into quarantine for 14 days.
"What they're doing by telling lies, deliberately, is having themselves charged with criminal offences and now having to front court down the track and having to answer for their actions in a court of law."

The Southern Queensland Deputy said state authorities would continue to take a hard line stance against people who deliberately falsified information in an attempt to enter the state. ... d=msedgntp

Queensland Premier asks police to investigate how 'security contractor' was granted coronavirus quarantine exemption
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has asked Queensland police to investigate how a man, who tested positive for coronavirus, was given a federal exemption to bypass hotel quarantine.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said the man was not a consular official, but was still granted an exemption to skip mandatory quarantine when re-entering Australia last week.

The man, in his 20s, arrived in Sydney from Afghanistan, then flew to the Sunshine Coast last Friday, before driving to his home in Toowoomba.
Trio under investigation to face court
Queensland police are also investigating three men from Logan, south of Brisbane, who allegedly lied about being in a coronavirus hotspot when they attempted to re-enter the state.

A 29-year-old Slacks Creek man, a 23-year-old Waterford man and a 25-year-old man from Loganlea have all been issued with notices to appear in court for failing to comply with the COVID-19 Queensland Border Direction.

The men crossed the border into Queensland at the weekend and allegedly denied being in a coronavirus danger zone.

But Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski claimed the story unravelled after one of the trio became sick and had to be tested.

The trio have since been urgently tested for coronavirus.
"One of those persons has been tested, I understand yesterday, and in that testing process has disclosed that they have been exposed to people from Melbourne," he said.
"Upon our investigation we discovered that the three of them, who all live in the Logan area, had been into Melbourne."

Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said the trio have been placed in hotel quarantine in Brisbane and await their coronavirus test results, which are expected to be returned later today.

All three have been charged with making a false declaration and were ordered to appear in court.

'It's really disappointing'
Communities south of Brisbane are already on high alert after three Logan women allegedly lied on their border declarations last month, after returning from Victoria.

Dr Young said authorities were poised to begin contact tracing for any new cases that might come about from the three men.
"I need to know if they're positive or not," Dr Young said of the men.
"Already we've got people aware in Logan that this is a high-risk situation because of the other three who went down to Melbourne.
"People just need to, if they're unwell, come forward and get tested."

Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski urged all travellers and returning residents who are arriving into Queensland to tell the truth.
"It's really, really disappointing that given where Victoria is at the moment and we all know what's happening there, that people in our community are still telling lies," he said.
"[They're] deliberately trying to mislead the system so they can get back into our state.
"The fact that they have been in Victoria is something of grave concern to all of our community.
"What we really need [for] people to do is to disclose that. The worst that can happen is they have to go into quarantine for 14 days." ... d=msedgntp

Ms Palaszczuk said Queensland authorities were given federal documents on a DFAT letterhead, along with an exemption provided by New South Wales authorities.

She said she had asked Queensland police to examine whether the documents were false.
"If there is any suggestion that it is not an authentic letter, then that needs to be investigated by the police," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"We need it to be investigated.
"My understanding is the gentlemen came into Sydney. He had a DFAT letter but the exemption was from New South Wales."

Under a nationally-agreed protocol, anyone arriving from overseas is required to enter hotel quarantine for 14 days at their port of arrival.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said she agreed to the exemption after sighting the documents provided by the man and authorities in New South Wales.

Ms Palaszczuk said she wanted exemptions for international travellers to be tightened.
"Exemptions need to be closed as much as possible, because we need to keep our communities safe," she said.
"This blame game has been going on for too long.
"How about everyone just work together and stop picking fights and work together in the best interests of our citizens?"

The man tested positive after landing in Maroochydore and health officials believed he was infectious whilst travelling, sparking a rush to contact trace other passengers.

Dr Young said they were "struggling" to reach two passengers who travelled on the same flight as the man.
"We've got 14 people we are trying to contact who were on that plane — two of those people have got no contact details," she said.
"The airline cannot tell me how I can get hold of those two people because there is no requirement for domestic planes to keep contact details."
Dr Young said this was why she would be pushing for all returning overseas travellers to be forced to quarantine in the city where they arrive.
"I don't think we should allow people to get onto a domestic flight and fly interstate," she said.

Concerns over number of exemptions handed out
Over the weekend, Dr Young said the man was a "consulate staffer" but overnight DFAT said in a statement that was false.
"Reports that a 'consular' officer has tested positive for COVID-19 in Queensland are not correct," the statement said.
"The individual concerned is a private security contractor, not a diplomatic or consular staff member."

In response, Queensland Health confirmed the man was a "security worker" but was still given the green light to skip hotel quarantine under national exemptions.
"The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade wrote to confirm the man was 'travelling on essential Australian Government business'," Queensland Health said.
"He confirmed he held a diplomatic passport and provided his passport number."

Queensland Health said "irrespective of this person's circumstances," it was concerned with the number of exemptions being granted overall.

"The AHPPC (Australian Health Protection Principal Committee) is reviewing criteria and will provide advice to national cabinet," the department said. ... d=msedgntp

Premier to close coronavirus loopholes at the Queensland border
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is calling for COVID-19 loopholes to be closed for returning Queenslanders.

The Premier wants 14 day hotel quarantine mandatory for everyone and exemptions to the system scrapped after a Queensland man managed to avoid the quarantine system altogether.
A Queenslander returning from Afghanistan avoided entering hotel quarantine when he claimed to be a consulate official on a border declaration pass.

DFAT found the declaration USED WAS false, saying the man was instead a private security contractor.

The man, aged in his 20s, tested positive to coronavirus on his return to Australia and is now serving the remainder of his quarantine period at home in Toowoomba.

Health authorities are now racing to contact trace as they believe he was infected with the virus on board his flight home.
DFAT denies granting exemption
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) issued a brief statement on Tuesday night disputing the suggestion it had granted the man an exemption from quarantine.

"The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade did not support an exemption application from this individual, and was unaware that it had been sought or granted," the statement said.

"DFAT expects all contracted companies and their staff to meet Australian Government requirements and we have reiterated that again to the company involved."

At the same time, Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young was suggesting the man had done nothing wrong, but that she now wanted all overseas travellers go into mandatory hotel quarantine.
"This exemption is a problem. We've seen that in Queensland this week," Dr Young said.
"A person was able to arrive in Queensland from overseas on a consular exemption, and he had COVID-19.
"I am very grateful to this person — he did all the right things — but was granted an exemption from hotel quarantine.

"We can no longer allow this. With the high cases overseas, the risk is simply too high."

The State Government said it was New South Wales authorities who approved the man's cross-border flight into Queensland and, once here, Dr Young approved his quarantine exemption in line with national guidelines for diplomatic staff. ... d=msedgntp
Palaszczuk to ban diplomatic exemptions from coronavirus hotel quarantine in Queensland
Diplomatic and consular staff returning to Queensland from overseas will be banned from skipping hotel quarantine, after a Government contractor tested positive for coronavirus.
She said the practice will be banned from Wednesday.
"Once again, Queensland will go it alone to protect Queenslanders," she said.
Tuesday evening's announcement by the Premier was in contrast to her statement earlier this week suggesting Queensland was unable to place restrictions on diplomatic staff.
"I'm not in charge of the embassies, that's the Federal Government," Ms Palaszczuk said on Monday.
"Because they're coming back from overseas, they would have a Commonwealth exemption."

Ms Palaszczuk also said she would raise the issue at national cabinet on Friday.

The new Queensland rules mean exemptions to hotel quarantine would only be granted in extenuating circumstances, in line with current restrictions for anyone entering Queensland from a COVID-19 hotspot. ... d=msedgdhp

Superannuation rorters face eye-watering $25,000 fines
People who lied about their financial stress during the pandemic to access their superannuation early could be hit with $25,000 fines by the tax office.

Early access to superannuation was allowed by the federal government in April to help Australians who found themselves unemployed or earning less money.

The scheme allowed fund members to apply to withdraw of up to $10,000 per year in the 2020 and 2021 financial years.
The Australian Taxation Office has revealed that fund members who lied on an application could receive a maximum penalty of $12,600 - which could be applied twice if they lodged a false application for both years.

A task force was specifically established by the ATO to find coronavirus fraudsters making false claims for assistance such as early super and JobKeeper payments.
'Only in serious cases where an applicant has deliberately applied knowing that they were not eligible will we apply penalties,' an ATO spokesman told News Corp.
'In these circumstances, amounts paid under COVID-19 early release of superannuation will become assessable income and need to be included in the individual's tax return and tax paid on the released amount.'

The tax office said penalties are variable and range from $4,000 to the $12,600 amount for each false statement.
'Access to this scheme was deliberately made simple to speed up the process, and it's possible some people withdrew their super when they weren't actually eligible,' RateCity research director Sally Tindall said.
'The ATO is reviewing applications they suspect don't meet the criteria, so now is the time to own up if you think you made a mistake.'

She also added that a 30-year-old accessing $20,000 of superannuation in 2020 and 2021 would lose on average $43,032 in retirement income.

According to official figures about four million requests, amounting to more than $30billion, have been made by Australians to access their superannuation early.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the ATO for comment. ... d=msedgntp
Mandatory job applications return for JobSeeker recipients
But Victorians won't be required to meet the requirement for now given its second lockdown, as Norman Hermant reports. ... d=msedgntp

Calls for ALL Australians to be eligible for $1,500 pandemic payment
Australian unions are calling for Scott Morrison's $1,500 pandemic payment to be rolled out across the rest of Australia, not just in Victoria where a state of disaster has been declared.

The fortnightly Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment was brought in by the federal government for casual staff and full time workers who are forced to self isolate for 14 days under coronavirus protocols.

But the Australian Council of Trade Unions said the allowance, which comes into effect on Wednesday and applies to those with no sick leave, does not go far enough.
'We want it to work like sick leave so there's no disincentive,' ACTU President Michele O'Neil explained on Sunrise.
'If you need to stop work, get tested and isolate, you should get your normal pay and the government should reimburse the business. Because we have one in three workers in Australia that don't have access to paid leave including sick leave, and others who have used up all of their leave, it's a huge risk.'

One of the major contributors to Melbourne's second wave of coronavirus infections has been some workers failing to abide by stay-at-home orders, the Victorian government said.

On Thursday, COVID-cops went to check on 500 properties where residents were supposed to be in self-isolation.

The Joint Australian Defence Force and Department of Health and Human Services teams found about one in four cases were not home. Many close contacts of COVID-19 patients and even some patients who tested positive themselves had gone to work as normal.

With case numbers surging, Premier Daniel Andrews ordered a six-week stage four lockdown, which came into effect in Melbourne on Sunday.

The rest of the state will enter stage three restrictions, which start at 11.59pm on Wednesday.

The federal government hopes for the new support payment for Victorians will persuade employees to stay at home.
'People who stop work and get tested are actually protecting all of us,' Ms O'Neil said. 'They're actually saving lives and saving jobs, so we want to make it as easy as possible and to encourage people to stop, get tested and isolate.'

* Victorian workers who are told to self-isolate for 14 days and have exhausted all their sick leave can get the payment
* The payment is to make up the short fall when sick leave is exhausted
* It is for Victorian residents only
* Australian citizens and permanent residents living in Victoria are eligible
* Foreign workers on short-term visas are also eligible
* You can apply by calling Services Australia's Disaster Recovery Payment hotline after Wednesday on 180 22 66
* Payment means there is no excuse for people to keep working when told to self-isolate
* You can get the payment multiple times if you are directed to self-isolate multiple times and thus cannot work
* Federal Government will pay for citizens and permanent residents
* Victorian Government will pay for foreign workers on short term visas
* Those on JobSeeker do not qualify as they are already receiving income support
* Those on JobKeeper also will not qualify as they are already receiving income support

Saul Eslake, one of Australia's leading economists, told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday it's unlikely the federal government will increase the $1,500 payment to a full wage replacement scheme.

But he added the Morrison government 'is in a good position' and does have the capacity to expand the pandemic payments to other state's if needed.
'I think it's fair enough for the unions to make the point because Australia does have a very high percentage of casual employees by international standards,' Mr Eslake said.
'People in that position who are often not well paid do have a real fear of losing their income if they do not turn up for work.'
'If other states were to find themselves in the same position there is a good argument to extend the payments to that state and by a matter of process it could end up being rolled out nationwide.
'But I think there is time to cross that bridge when we come to it.' ... d=msedgntp
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Life under social isolation or mandatory "stay home orde

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:18 am

Two new coronavirus cases confirmed in SA including possible community transmission
Another 2 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in South Australia, prompting authorities to issue a health alert for 3 Adelaide businesses where 1 of the individuals spent time in recent days.

SA Health said the two new cases are both women in their 20s, with one of them a possible result of community transmission.
"It wasn't clear that this was a person who's returned from Victoria, so my team at the moment are getting information," Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said.

The other is linked to the cluster identified yesterday linked to two Adelaide schools — Roma Mitchell College and Thebarton Senior College.
SA issues health alert following two new cases of COVID-19
1 of the new cases has been identified as a close contact of another confirmed case linked to Roma Mitchell Secondary College and Thebarton Senior College in Adelaide. The total number of cases linked to the cluster now stands at 4. ... 0991874049
Authorities are working to determine if the other person is a case of community transmission. ... d=msedgntp
It is believed the woman had been to several places while infectious.
"It's very, very concerning for us in South Australia, adding to the increasing numbers we've seen over the last week," Dr Spurrier said.
"There were nine cases in 10 days yesterday and, of course, these two further cases."

SA Health said anyone who attended the Najafi Carpet Gallery in Kilburn last Wednesday between 5:00pm and 8:00pm should immediately self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19.
SA issues health alert following two new cases of COVID-19
Two new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in South Australia, with health authorities issuing an emergency health alert.
One of the new cases has been identified as a close contact of another confirmed case linked to Roma Mitchell Secondary College and Thebarton Senior College in Adelaide. The total number of cases linked to the cluster now stands at four. ... 0991874049
Authorities are working to determine if the other person is a case of community transmission.
n emergency health alert has been issued as a result of the new cases requiring anyone who visited three location in Adelaide's north to self-isolate immediately. ... 8450865153
The 3 locations include
a Fernwood Fitness gym in Salisbury Downs on Saturday August 1 between 6.00pm and 8.30pm,
the Agha Juice House in Balir Athol on Friday July 31 between 5.00pm and 7.30pm
and Najafi Carpet Gallery in Kilburn on Wednesday July 29 between 5.00pm and 8.00pm.

Anyone present at the listed locations is required to quarantine for 14 days and get tested for the virus even if they are not experiencing any symptoms.

Tough restrictions will be reintroduced for South Australians from tomorrow as the state attempts to squash any possibility of second wave.

In the state's fight against rising case numbers, the number of visitors allowed in households will be reduced from 50to ten. ... edgntpPubs, bars and restaurants will only be able to serve those who are seated. ... d=msedgntp

The advice extends to people who do not have symptoms.

People who attended the Walkers Arm Hotel at Walkerville on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of last week, or either of the schools, are also being told that, if they develop symptoms, they should immediately self-isolate and get tested.

New control centre, medi-hotel and testing facility
Premier Steven Marshall today said the Government was setting up a number of facilities to bolster the state's COVID-19 response.

Speaking at a checkpoint near the Victorian border this morning, he said a new disease control centre and a medi-hotel were being set up in nearby Mount Gambier.

A new drive-through COVID-19 testing facility is being established at Adelaide's Victoria Park.
"These are really important improvements we are making to strengthen that frontline for the men and women who are working here and to keep South Australia safe and strong," Premier Marshall said.
"We continue to be extraordinarily concerned about the unfolding situation in Victoria."

He foreshadowed possible additional restrictions on top of the new limits on in-home gatherings and licensed venues that begin at midnight tonight.

The number of people permitted at home gatherings will reduce from 50 to 10, while pubs, bars and restaurants will only be able to serve alcohol to patrons who are seated. ... tp#image=1

Mayor calls on SA residents to dob in border dodgers, people flouting quarantine, as numbers soar across border
A Limestone Coast mayor has called on residents to report people dodging border restrictions and flouting mandatory coronavirus quarantine protocols amid an imminent health risk to the regional community.

Grant District Mayor Richard Sage, whose council governs the area straddling the western Victoria-SA south-east border, described the behaviour of some people as "reckless".

His comments came as the number of active COVID-19 cases in Victoria's Glenelg Shire, adjacent the border, climbed to 13, and Premier Steven Marshall arrived in Mount Gambier to announce new health measures.

The measures include plans for a medi-hotel and COVID-19 satellite control centre at Mount Gambier.

Figures show more than 6,000 people have been tested for the virus on the Limestone Coast.
Standing at the Princes Highway border checkpoint near Mount Gambier, Mr Sage expressed concern over people allegedly trying to sneak across the state partition.
"This type of behaviour is irresponsible and ridiculous. We must protect the health of our community," the council leader said.
"Some people need to have a good look at themselves."

Cross-border traveller plea
While most cross-border travellers were adhering to the rules, Mr Sage said there were recent alleged cases of border breaches.
"We don't want this stupidity in our region. We don't want this virus in the community," he said.

Mr Sage said the regional community was at great risk of fresh cases given its proximity with the border and clusters emerging in western Victoria.
"I am hoping we can keep it out, but it is probably only a matter of time if you look at Portland, which has had another two cases," he said.

He also warned against people visiting COVID-19 hotspots in Victoria and then travelling into the Limestone Coast.
"If people are taking a risk and are going to Portland, to go fishing or visiting friends, it is really not on," he said.
"If Victorians have no real reason to be over here, then do not come. The border is closed."

The rural mayor said anyone ignoring COVID-19 testing and quarantine rules were putting regional lives at risk.
"If you look at the demographics we have an ageing population who are really scared about catching the virus," Mr Sage said.

The mayor also called on the community to not direct negativity towards cross-border residents flowing into South Australia.

He warned these actions could have lingering impacts on the cross-border community.
"After all of this is put to bed, we are going to have to do a fair bit of work to repair the damage that has been done," Mr Sage said.
"We have to remember those communities support Mount Gambier and they are part of us. They just have different coloured number plates to us on their cars."

Mr Sage said the trucks drivers flowing through the Mount Gambier border checkpoints were doing the right thing and were being tested at mobile testing vans. ... d=msedgdhp

Clive Palmer' trying to enter WA so he can promote coronavirus 'cure'
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan has accused Clive Palmer of seeking to enter WA so he can promote hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus cure.

The billionaire mining magnate, who was denied an exemption to WA's hard border closures, is challenging the restrictions on the basis they are unconstitutional.

A ruling is expected in the High Court in October after a four-day hearing wrapped up in the Federal Court last week. Mr Palmer has claimed he wanted to enter WA to attend to business interests and meet WA senator and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.

But WA's premier claims Mr Palmer had other intentions when he initially submitted his application.
'He wanted to come to Western Australia to promote hydroxychloroquine to the people of the state as some sort of cure for COVID,' Mr McGowan told reporters on Monday.
'All the evidence is not only is it not a cure, it's actually dangerous.
'Him coming to Western Australia to promote a dangerous drug, I don't think was a good thing for our state and I'm pleased that (WA Police) rejected him.'

Mr Palmer in April announced he had purchased almost 33 million doses of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug touted by US President Donald Trump which has since been found to be ineffective at treating COVID-19.
It also emerged on Monday that Mr Palmer's pilot had completed some of the exemption application forms on his behalf and they contained errors.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison wrote to Mr McGowan at the weekend saying the Commonwealth would no longer support the High Court case after taking into account the evolving state of the pandemic in recent months.

Having labelled Mr Palmer 'Australia's greatest egomaniac', Mr McGowan said he was prepared to reconcile with the Morrison government.
'I want to get on with the prime minister, I want to work together with Senator Cormann ... this has been a pretty big road bump but we're past it now and I think relations between the state and Commonwealth should get back onto an even keel,' he said.

Mr Palmer said it was 'astounding' the premier and his ministers continued to publicly comment on a matter that was before the court.
'They need to respect the court's independence and as officers of the court, they need to take these responsibilities seriously,'' he said in a statement.

WA recorded no new virus cases on Monday, leaving the state with six active cases.

The premier announced $319 million in new funding for upgrades at 63 public schools across the state, the latest in a series of stimulus measures.
'These are extraordinary times and we have to use our financial capacity to get people back to work,' Mr McGowan said.
'We've got to get a pipeline of investment now. We can't wait till later.' ... d=msedgntp

Survey finds WA tourism business activity down by up to 73 per cent amid coronavirus pandemic
Despite a busy July school holidays, a Tourism Council survey has painted a bleak picture of Western Australia's tourism sector.

According to the survey, tourism business activity in the state's North West in June and July was down 73 per cent on last year.

Close behind was the Perth region, recording a drop of 62 per cent.

But the South West, where accommodation has been hard to come by recently, bucked the trend, recording a six per cent bump in tourism business activity.

Tourism Council of WA chief executive Evan Hall said the survey showed West Australians were favouring self-drive destinations and low-cost, self-contained accommodation.
"While there has clearly been some pent-up demand for intrastate travel, those visitors are not travelling and spending in the same way as out-of-state visitors," he said.
"We encourage Western Australians to consider travelling to parts of WA they've never visited before and to book local tours and experiences, as well as accommodation."

Huge declines for some businesses
Kununurra-based tour operator Rosie Sandover said bookings for her Kingfisher Tours business were down 95 per cent on last year.

The company usually takes visitors to attractions such as the Bungle Bungles by air, but having to cater solely for West Australians because of bans on interstate and international travel had meant offering cheaper options targeting people vacationing in their own state.
"We've brought a lot of our tours back onto the ground and we've made a lot more of our walking tours with our guides," Ms Sandover said.

She said her business was also trying to work with customers wanting to see the Gibb River Road and its gorges but who were unable to stay at the popular El Questro Station because it was closed for the season.
"Even though Emma Gorge isn't open or El Questro isn't open, this is their first time to the Kimberley and they really want to get out on the Gibb River Road and they want to cross the Pentecost [River] and they want to go across Ivanhoe Crossing," she said.
"So we've got our guides out, a couple of them in four-wheel drives."

'Be a bit more positive,' Premier replies
Premier Mark McGowan was unimpressed with the Tourism Council's comments.
"We're going through a pandemic," he said.
"We can't have people from the east come in, we can't have international tourists come in.
"We're advertising massively in intrastate advertising campaigns and all the feedback we're getting is there's been huge take up around Western Australia.
"I just urge that body [the Tourism Council] to be a bit more positive."

But Mr Hall said, while some businesses were "doing well", others were "doing very poorly".
"We are reporting only what businesses are telling us, which is it's a mixed bag across the state," he said.

Rush for cheap flights to WA's north
In news celebrated by both parties, cheap flights recently announced from Perth to the Kimberley sold out in seven days.

Mr McGowan said it was a great result.
"I was in the Kimberley last week for a day. [I] was overwhelmed with West Australians having a holiday," he said.
"So many people said to me, 'I haven't been here for 10 or 20 years, this is the first time we've been back because we always go to Bali or we always go to Thailand.'"

The Premier said the State Government was working on more regional flight deals to come.
"We've also done affordable fares to Exmouth and to Esperance and to other parts of the state and we'll continue to work on that with the industry," he said. ... tp#image=1

WA Aboriginal communities reopen, with travellers warned to be aware of rules
Tourists to Western Australia are being warned to make themselves fully aware of complex rules and regulations still in place, as remote communities in the state's north begin the slow process of opening up to the public for the first time in months.

While most of the state was reopened to intrastate travel from June 5, restrictions on entry to remote Aboriginal communities remain in place to protect the health and wellbeing of residents, who have a higher risk of getting sick from coronavirus.

Fines of up to $50,000 can be issued for those who breach the restrictions.

It has been over four months since the communities were closed to the public, with wide support for their closures as a protective measure.

But many communities are now opting to create stringent health plans so they can be exempt from the restrictions.

14 communities in the state's north have now been granted "exclusions" from the WA Government, but tourists are being warned not to just "drive in and see", with each community allowing various levels of access.

Getting back into business
On the Dampier Peninsula, 200km north of Broome, the community of Goombaragin is gearing up to host guests again.

As an "outstation", with just one place to stay when visiting the community, Goombaragin has been given a whole-of-community exclusion.

Kathleen Cox, who runs Goombaragin Eco Retreat with her husband John McLennan, said for them it was about being able to see friends and family and making some income while there was still two months left of the dry season.
"It's been a really hard year for a lot of us so by opening the doors for business we will be able to start getting back, paying some bills and getting a sense of normality," she said.

Partial opening for some
Not all communities with exclusions will open to the general public, however.

Further north on the Dampier Peninsula, Lombadina residents have applied for a whole-of-community exclusion but plan to only let in friends, family and service providers.

Tourism operator Darryl Sibosado said getting workers in for services and jobs around the town had been challenging.
"We're not necessarily going to open fully because we are doing work there anyway and we are right next to another community, Djarindjin, so we have to consider the waters and the areas that are shared around there," he said.
"But we did need to open because we need to permit access to all our different partners that we need to speak with and meet with to get work done."

Other communities like Imintji, positioned at the foot of the Wunaamin Miliwundi Ranges on the Gibb River Road, have only opened select businesses like the community store, caravan park and arts centre.

Imintji Aboriginal Corporation chief executive John Bennett said it was a hard decision, but one that was needed to keep businesses alive.
"You're talking about people's lives being at risk," he said.
"So it was being able to discuss with the community what their concerns were in coming into this plan and then coming up with ideas to follow through to keep that distance, keep it safe, keep it clean, and it was a process that took weeks up to months."

Second-wave fears
A level of caution still remains in place for communities, however, even for those have chosen to be excluded from restrictions.

Ms Cox said they had been told they would be able to restrict communities again should the situation change and a second wave of coronavirus cases come to Western Australia.

The caution has been echoed by the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services chief executive, Vicki O'Donnell, who said the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Queensland was concerning.
"It is a real concern for us because the Northern Territory have got their border open to Queensland, and there are a lot of tourists travelling through," she said.
"So I think there is a real concern especially for the Pilbara and the Kimberley, and right along the WA border, about what that situation looks like,
"It's going to be interesting to see how it unfolds over the next week."

Closed for months to come
Some communities, like Ardyaloon, could still be closed for months to come.

Also known as One Arm Point, the community of 400 has chosen to remain under State Government restrictions for "at least this year".

Chief executive Colin Woodman said the community council was erring on the side of caution.
"We have 300-400 people living in the community, we have a lot of elders, others with underlying health issues, so at this stage we thought we would put lives ahead of the little bit of income that we can make out of tourism," he said.

Mr Woodman said they had been provided State and Federal Government support that had provided some replacement income for tourism operations. ... d=msedgntp

WA business Safespear to fight the pandemic with portable anterooms
A West Australian business has switched from supplying safety gear to the resources sector to much needed medical equipment for hospitals.

Director of Safespear, Francois Witbooi, said after taking a hit at the start of the pandemic, they were determined to pivot and use the technology they already had to fight against COVID-19.

Together with local manufacturers they have created portable anterooms for regional hospitals.
"We've all lost hair and gained weight but it's been really interesting," he said.

Mr Witbooi said the company wanted to "provide support to vulnerable regional and remote Aboriginal communities who are generally at high risk because of co-morbidities".
"We actually want to ensure regional Western Australia, as the first port of call, had access to this technology."

The State Government has purchased 10 of the anterooms as part of its plan to support local businesses making protective equipment.
"Creating more opportunities for local business is an important component of WA's recovery from COVID-19," said Health Minster Roger Cook.

What is an anteroom?
A portable anteroom is an airlock entry system with inbuilt ventilation that helps prevent the spread of infectious disease, including COVID-19.

The doorway attachment, intended for use in a medical setting, turns any space into a negative or positive pressure isolation room.

They allow hospitals and clinics to separate patients carrying infectious disease from people who are visiting the ER for non-infectious ailments.
'We can't get complacent'
6 of the portable isolation anterooms have been sent to Geraldton, Collie, Carnarvon, Katanning, Derby and Esperance.
"We are working together with the facilities and the clinical teams to ensure we can actually meet the requirements of each of the individual hospitals," Mr Witbooi said.

A further four units are being held in a central location to be sent to WA metropolitan hospitals if needed.

While there are few active cases in Western Australia, Health Minister Roger Cook said people could not afford to become complacent.
"Residents in regional WA can be confident that we have comprehensive preparedness plans in place to provide a blueprint for the ongoing management of COVID-19," he said

WA Country Health Service COVID-19 lead Margaret Denton said the portability of the equipment meant it could be quickly moved to other sites if needed.

"By securing the portable anterooms, we are even better prepared to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in regional and remote communities where hospital isolation room facilities are limited or unavailable," she said. ... d=msedgntp

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park closure extended after traditional owners express coronavirus concerns
Parks Australia says a temporary closure of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park will be extended after traditional owners expressed concerns that visitors were transiting through coronavirus hotspot zones on their flight from Brisbane into Yulara on Monday.

Parks Australia on Monday decided to temporarily close the park until midday today after members of the Mutitjulu Aboriginal Community Corporation (MCAC) blockaded an entry point to the park, sparked by the group's worry that visitors had transited through coronavirus hotspots.

In a statement, Parks Australia said extending that closure was taking into account the organisation's "utmost respect" for Uluru-Kata Tjuta's traditional owners.
"At the request of Mutitjulu Aboriginal Community Corporation (MCAC) and following further discussions with MCAC, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, the Central Land Council, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress and the Northern Territory Government, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park will remain closed while re-opening protocols proposed by MCAC are considered," Parks Australia said in a statement on social media.
"We have the utmost respect for Uluru-Kata Tjuta's traditional owners and are continuing to work in good faith with them and all other parties to keep Mutitjulu residents safe," the statement said.

Mutijulu is an Aboriginal community about 30 kilometres from Yulara Airport.

Traditional Owners from the area, the Anangu, have ownership of the land contained in the National Park, but have leased it to Parks Australia to manage under a joint agreement.

Glenn Irvine from the MCAC said the organisation wanted all future flights to Uluru from any COVID-19 hotspots to be cancelled.

This would mean travellers from NT declared hotspots would not be able to fly into Yulara Airport.

At the moment those hotspots include: Victoria, Greater Sydney, Port Stephens and Eurobodalla Shire in NSW and Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan in Queensland.

As for the tourists who arrived yesterday, they will all be tested for COVID-19.

Mr Irvine said if there were no positive results returned from that cohort, the park would be reopened.

Why was there a blockade yesterday?
Yesterday, the Mutitjulu community blockaded the entry to Uluru after a flight from the declared coronavirus hotspot of Brisbane arrived at the nearby Yulara airport.

The blockade ended in the afternoon after Parks Australia announced it would temporarily close the park.

A press release from MCAC called for all passengers be transported to Alice Springs for quarantine or return to Brisbane immediately.

As it stands, travellers transiting through COVID-19 hotspot areas do not have to quarantine upon arriving in the NT.

MCAC had remained consistent on their position for months in regards to interstate tourists.

A meeting to discuss the corporation's concerns was held on Friday and involved MCAC, Parks Australia, Chief Minister Michael Gunner, and Voyagers, the company who operate the airport and accommodation facilities at Yulara.

MCAC chief executive Thalia Bohl-Van Dem Boogaard said the meeting left the corporation with the understanding that no flights would arrive in Yulara from declared COVID-19 hotspots.
"It was agreed upon that no flights would go to the airport direct from any capital city hotspots as declared by the [Northern Territory Government], yet one landed on Monday," she said.

What about the economy?
The CEO of Voyages, Grant Hunt, said the airport had followed all NT health guidelines to the letter and was the only operator in the country using independent contractors to perform contract screening from departure airports.

Mr Hunt said they had introduced temperature checking upon arrival at Yulara Airport as an additional safety measure.

He said he did not understand the singular focus on this airport, when there were more than 400 drive-in travellers in the area from all over the country.

From an economic perspective, Mr Hunt said if the airport was forced to close again, it would stay shut until international arrivals return, meaning 700 jobs would be lost.
"Let me be clear. Without planes, we don't have a business," Mr Hunt said.

Who makes the decision to close the park?
The decision of whether the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park remains open or stays closed will rest with Parks Australia.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park was closed for three months during the coronavirus pandemic and reopened on June 19.

Mr Gunner said his preference was for all interstate flights into the Northern Territory to arrive in Alice Springs or Darwin.

The Chief Minister said transporting people over 440kms from Yulara Airport to Alice Springs for mandatory quarantine was an additional pressure on staff.
"I want all those planes to come into the Northern Territory to land at once of those places like an Alice Springs or a Darwin, that would be what I want, rather than Yulara, it creates a logistical difficulty for us in taking those people from the Yulara airport to Alice Springs. If we have to do it, we will," Mr Gunner said.
"For us, we don't have and don't want a quarantine facility at the rock."

Yulara Airport is privately run by Voyages and regulated by the Federal Government. ... d=msedgdhp

Darwin Cup the biggest test yet for NT COVID-safety
With 12 races yesterday, it was a jam packed form and for most race-goers, coronavirus was the last thing on their mind. ... d=msedgntp

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