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28 new cases recorded, eight more deaths


Victoria has recorded 28 new coronavirus infections as daily cases continue to trend downwards.

It’s the lowest number of daily cases in Victoria since 20 infections were recorded on June 24.

It means the average daily case number for metropolitan Melbourne continues to fall and now sits at 44.4, meaning Melbourne is on track for a much-anticipated easing of restrictions.

Metropolitan Melbourne must reach an average daily case rate of between 30 and 50 cases over the preceding fortnight to trigger an easing of lockdown measures from September 28.

The daily average in regional Victoria is 2.9.

The daily average case number is calculated by averaging out the number of new cases over the past 14 days.

There are 83 cases from an unknown source in metropolitan Melbourne, up two from Wednesday, and one case in regional Victoria.

Restrictions eased to stage 2 in regional Victoria overnight, meaning there are now no restrictions on reasons for travel and restaurants and pubs and cafes can reopen for onsite service with safety measures in place.

Melburnians caught trying to flee the city into regional Victoria have been warned they could be fined almost $5000 for leaving the restricted area without a valid reason.

A new offence of failing to comply with the requirement to remain in a restricted area will come into force from 11.59pm on Wednesday.

Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent said police would be highly visible and active to prevent Melburnians from entering country Victoria, particularly during school holidays.

“We do not want regional and rural communities to be put at risk by Melbourne metropolitan people,” Mr Nugent said on Wednesday.

The figures were released by the Department of Health and Human Services over Twitter on Thursday morning, with more detail expected later at the Premier’s media conference.

Eight more people have died from the virus, taking the state’s death toll since the start of the pandemic to 745.

The total number of coronavirus cases recorded in Victoria since the start of the pandemic is about 19,960.

jack.paynter@news.com.au



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Coronavirus NSW: 7 new cases recorded


NSW Health has issued a firm request for passengers on public transport to wear a mask at all times after two cases of COVID-19 were linked to a popular bus route.

A public health alert issued on August 30 stated that 11 passengers travelling on the X39 bus on August 20 at approximately 6:08pm to 6:40pm are now considered close contacts of a case. One passenger was linked to the CBD cluster and NSW Health are investigating the source of the second person’s infection. All passengers on the bus have been asked to immediately self-isolate until September 3 and get tested for COVID-19.

“A previously reported case associated with the August CBD cluster took this bus,” read a statement, issued by the health body. “The person reported wearing a mask on the bus. A second passenger was confirmed as having COVID on Friday.”

While wearing face masks is not compulsorary for NSW residents, as it is in Victoria, NSW Health has recommended people to wear a mask when they’re unable to maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres. Examples of this include high-risk indoor areas like public transport, supermarkets, shops, places of worship and entertainment venues.

“NSW Health strongly advises everyone travelling by public transport to wear a mask at all times,” continued the statement.

This comes as NSW has recorded seven new cases of coronavirus as a cluster linked to a gym in the CBD grows to 28.

One is a returned traveller who is in hotel quarantine, five are linked to a known case or cluster and one is locally acquired with their source still under investigation.

The state’s head of health protection Dr Jeremy McAnulty said five of the new cases were linked to the City Tattersalls Fitness Centre.

Two of the new cases attended the gym, while one was a household contact of a previous case.

“The total number of cases linked to this cluster is now 28,” Dr McAnulty said.

A student of St Pauls Catholic College in Greystanes in Sydney’s west has also been confirmed as a fresh case after being diagnosed on Saturday.

The school will be closed for deep cleaning on Monday.

Meanwhile a staff member of Surry Hills Police Cells Complex has tested positive.

The staff member is isolating and contract tracing is underway.

Justice Health is taking “appropriate health and safety measures” following the diagnosis, Dr McAnulty said.

Confirmed cases have been identified as travelling on several public transport routes, and visiting gyms and venues, across Sydney’s inner city, west and inner west.

Anyone who attended these venues or caught the same public transport service is considered a casual contact and should monitor for symptoms, and get tested if they develop.

Buses from August 19 to 27

Bus 442 on August 25: Gladstone Park, Darling St (9:18am) to Gladstone Park, Darling St (9:31am)

Bus 442 on August 25: QVB, York St, Stand B to Darling St (2:39pm) to Phillip St, Balmain (2:52pm)

Bus Merrylands Park to Parramatta station on August 27: approximately 7:10pm

Bus 339 on August 19: Clovelly Rd at Carrington (5:57am) to Martin Place Station (6:16am)

Bus X39 on August 19: Pitt St opp Australia Square (5.57pm) to Clovelly Rd at Carrington (6.27pm)

Bus 339 on August 20: Clovelly Rd at Carrington (6.30am) to Martin Place Station (6.58am)

Bus 339 on August 20: Pitt St opp Australia Square (9.47am) to Clovelly Rd at Carrington (10.17am)

Bus 339 on August 20: Clovelly Rd at Carrington (2.34pm) to Martin Place Station (3pm)

Bus 339 on August 21: Clovelly Rd at Carrington (5.26am) to Martin Place Station (5.49am)

Bus 339 on August 21: Clovelly Rd at Carrington (6.29am) to Martin Place Station (6.54am)

Bus 339 on August 21: Clovelly Rd opp Searle Ave (2.42pm) to Sheraton on the Park (3.06pm)

Bus 339 on August 21: Pitt St opp Australia Square (6.35pm) to Clovelly Rd at Carrington (6.56pm)

Bus 339 on August 22: Clovelly Rd opp Searle Ave (7.27am) to Martin Place Station (7.50am)

Bus 339 on August 24: Clovelly Rd at Carrington (5.30am) to Martin Place Station (5.53am)

Bus X39 on August 24: Clovelly Rd at Carrington (7.20am) to Oxford St at Brisbane St (7.39am)

Bus 339 on August 24: Clovelly Rd opp Searle Ave (2.21pm) to Martin Place Station (2.21pm)

Bus 339 on August 24: Museum Station (3.15pm) to Clovelly Rd at Carrington (3.46pm)

Bus X39 on August 24: Pitt St opp Australia Square (6.33pm) to Clovelly Rd at Carrington (7.03pm)

Bus 39 on August 25: Clovelly Rd at Carrington (7.21am) to Oxford St at Brisbane St (7.39am)

Bus 339 on August 25: Museum Station (1.55pm) to Clovelly Rd at Carrington (2.20pm)

Bus X39 on August 26: Clovelly Rd at Carrington (7.21am) to Oxford St at Brisbane St (7.39am)

Bus 339 on August 26: Museum Station (12.59pm) to Clovelly Rd at Carrington (1.21pm)

Bus X39 on August 27: Clovelly Rd at Carrington (7.21am) to Oxford St at Brisbane St (7.40am)

Bus 442 on August 25: Gladstone Park, Darling Street (9.18am) to Gladstone Park, Darling Street (9.31am)

Bus 442 on August 25: QVB York St, Stand B (2.39pm) to Darling St at Phillip St (2.52pm)

Bus 333 on August 25: Bondi Rd at Dudley St (8.19am) to Bondi Junction Station, Grafton St, Stand Q (8.31am)

Bus 333 on August 25: Bondi Junction Station, Stand A (6.07pm) to Bondi Rd opp Dudley St (6.16pm)

Bus 333 on August 26: Bondi Rd at Dudley St (7.39am) to Bondi Junction Station, Grafto St, Stand Q (7.55am)

Trains from August 24 to 27

Parramatta station to Lidcombe station, on August 27, approximately 7:10pm

Lidcombe station to Merrylands station, on August 27, approximately 7:20pm

Merrylands station to Parramatta station, August 24, 25 and 26, approximately 3:40pm

Parramatta station to Mount Druitt, August 24, 25 and 26, approximately 3:45pm to 4pm

Bondi Junction to Martin Place, on August 25, approximately 8:32am to 8:42am and August 26, approximately 7:56am to 8:07am.

Train: Martin Place to Bondi Junction, on August 25, approximately 5:51pm to 6:05pm.

The venues are:

Mater Clinic Wollstonecraft – August 28 from 8:30am to 9am

Virgin Active Pitt St Gym, Sydney, – August 25 from 5pm to 6:30pm*

Virgin Active Margaret St Gym, Sydney – August 26 from 5:10pm to 6:40pm*

House, Broadway, – August 24 2pm to 2:10pm

St Ives Shopping Centre – August 26 from 5:30pm to 6pm

Highfield Caringbah August 22 from 6:00pm to 8:30pm*

Caringbah Hotel August 22 from 8:30pm to 11pm*

There were 19,626 tests reported in the 24-hour reporting period, compared with 24,632 in the previous 24 hours.

NSW Health is treating 66 people, with six in intensive care and three requiring ventilators.



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4 new cases recorded as cluster grows


Queensland has recorded four new cases of coronavirus as a cluster linked to Queensland Corrective Services Academy grows.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new cases were known contacts of positive cases linked to the cluster.

It brings the total of active cases in the state to 28 and the total number of positive cases in the Sunshine State to 1121 since the pandemic began.

Ms Palaszczuk said they had tested more than 10,500 people in 24 hours.

“Remember it’s absolutely critical if you have any symptoms please go and get tested,” she said.

Three of the new cases live together with two other positive cases, she said. The government is working to quickly track down where they work, go to school or child care.

The Premier said the new cases were located in the suburbs of Forest Lake and Collingwood Park.

Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, confirmed the new cases were linked to “known contacts” and had affected a school which had been closed.

She also stated that of the confirmed cases had travelled out to Toowoomba and as a result “a decision was made yesterday that we need to protect the vulnerable people who live in the Darling Downs hospital and health service region”.

This means new restrictions will be introduced for people who live in Cherbourg, Goondiwindi, south of Burnett, southern Downs, Toowoomba and Western Downs, restricting gatherings to a maximum of 10 people.

Residential aged care and disability accommodation facilities have restrictions on visitors and residents leaving the facility.

Dr Young said one of the cases attended a school in Redbank Plains.

“Now, we do know they attend the Staines Memorial College, they attend that school and that school has alerted other students and families about the case and indeed it is associated with a church, so that people were told not to attend,” she said.

“But that school has a very good system in place and they have already contacted all of the families.”

Dr Young said there had now been 101 days worth of infectious people as the state’s list of places visited by confirmed cases also grows.

“We have now had over 101 days of infectious people out in our community in the last 14 days. So that means there has been those 101 opportunities for people to get infected, so we know that we will see more cases,” she said.

She said that would likely have increased due to the fresh cases diagnosed over the weekend.

Dr Young urged people to wear masks to contain the spread in places like shopping centres, public transports and rideshare services.

“Over the last few days, I have been saying to people that this is the time to get out those flat surgical masks that you can now buy anywhere,” she said.

“Those masks, or, if you have made masks, with three layers of thickness, they are effective as well.

“Not quite as effective, but they are pretty good. It is really time to start using them. If you can’t socially distance when you go to the shopping centre, use a mask.

“Try to always socially distance. That is far, far more effective. But if you can’t do it, use a mask. If you are in a taxi or a rideshare or on public transport, that is a time to wear a mask, because you can imagine we have all got our windows close it is a bit cold at the moment for Queensland, so we are sitting in a confined space, in a taxi or a rideshare or our own car, and if there is anyone who is not part of the household, who is in that car, really, think about using a mask to protect yourself and protect others.

“Because you can’t socially distance in a car. And public transport, if you can’t socially distance there, where a mask.”

New additions to the contract-tracing list include:

August 26: Coomera Westfield 9:30am 10:25am, Woolworths Pimpama Junction 10:40am-10:50am, Kmart Oxenford 11:00am-11:10am, Bunnings Oxenford 11:20am-11:50am, Woolworths Pimpama Junction 12:00pm-12:15pm, Zazar’s Kebabs Pimpama 12:15pm-12:25pm, Logan Motorway BP Service Centre and McDonald’s Larapinta 5:45pm-5:50pm, Gold Coast University Hospital Fever Clinic, Southport 7:00pm-7:20pm, Pub Lane Tavern, Greenbank Shopping Centre 7:30pm-9:30pm

August 27: Princess Alexandra Hospital Fever Clinic, Woolloongabba 12:40pm-12:55pm, Priceline Pharmacy Forest Lake 9:00am-9:10am, Coles Forest Lake Shopping Centre 9.15am-9.30am.

Dr Young said it was now time for Queenslanders to be “ultra cautious” as just one case could lead to multiple clusters.

She urged people to wear a mask if they can’t socially distance to “get us out” of the current cluster.

“It’s really time to start using them. If you can’t socially distance when you go to the shopping centre, use a mask,” she said.

“If you’re in a rideshare or taxi or public transport, use a mask.”

“This cluster is growing, four cases today, four cases yesterday.

“But we can keep that under control and not have to impact on the rest of our lives.”



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4 new cases recorded as cluster grows


Queensland has recorded four new cases of coronavirus as a cluster linked to Queensland Corrective Services Academy grows.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new cases were known contacts of positive cases linked to the cluster.

It brings the total of active cases in the state to 28 and the total number of positive cases in the Sunshine State to 1121 since the pandemic began.

Ms Palaszczuk said they had tested more than 10,500 people in 24 hours.

“Remember it’s absolutely critical if you have any symptoms please go and get tested,” she said.

Three of the new cases live together with two other positive cases, she said.

The Premier said the new cases were located in the suburbs of Forest Lake and Collingwood Park.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said there were now more than 100 places on the state’s list of places visited by confirmed cases.

She said that would likely have increased due to the fresh cases diagnosed over the weekend.

New additions to the contract-tracing list include:

August 26: Coomera Westfield 9:30am 10:25am, Woolworths Pimpama Junction 10:40am-10:50am, Kmart Oxenford 11:00am-11:10am, Bunnings Oxenford 11:20am-11:50am, Woolworths Pimpama Junction 12:00pm-12:15pm, Zazar’s Kebabs Pimpama 12:15pm-12:25pm, Logan Motorway BP Service Centre and McDonald’s Larapinta 5:45pm-5:50pm, Gold Coast University Hospital Fever Clinic, Southport 7:00pm-7:20pm, Pub Lane Tavern, Greenbank Shopping Centre 7:30pm-9:30pm

August 27: Princess Alexandra Hospital Fever Clinic, Woolloongabba 12:40pm-12:55pm, Priceline Pharmacy Forest Lake 9:00am-9:10am, Coles Forest Lake Shopping Centre 9.15am-9.30am.

More to come.



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No influenza deaths recorded in Australia so far this winter


There have been no deaths associated with influenza across Australia so far this winter with authorities noting social distancing, increased testing, hand hygiene and people staying home if they are unwell have all contributed to the dramatic change in figures.

According to the Australian Influenza Surveillance Reports, issued every fortnight by the Department of Health, there were 36 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated deaths for 2020 as of May 17, out of 20,323 cases.

In the latest report, to August 9, this figure remained at 36 out of 21,005 cases reported to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System.

There have been no deaths reported across June, July or so far for August.

“The flu is easily spread from person to person. Most infections happen in winter,” the health department states.

“Each year, the influenza virus changes and different strains can circulate in the population.”

The NNDSS was notified of 486 influenza-associated deaths out of 214,377 cases by August 11, 2019 – considered a particularly severe year.

RELATED: Follow our live coronavirus coverage for NSW

RELATED: Follow our live coronavirus coverage for Victoria

The health department said any interpretation of the latest data should take into account the impact of social distancing measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, focused testing and “likely changes in health-seeking behaviour of the community including access to alternative streams of acute respiratory infection specific health services”.

Dozens of GP respiratory clinics have been funded by the federal government for people with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms while fever clinics have also opened across the country.

“Following a high start to the 2020 interseasonal period, currently, influenza and influenza-like illness activity are lower than average across all systems for this time of year,” the Department of Health’s latest influenza surveillance report states.

“At the national level, notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza have substantially decreased since mid-March and remain low.

“Current COVID-19 related public health measures and the community’s adherence to public health messages are also likely having an effect on transmission of acute respiratory infections, including influenza.”

But it also noted “data reported from the various influenza surveillance systems may not represent an accurate reflection of influenza activity”.

“Results should be interpreted with caution, especially where comparisons are made to previous influenza seasons,” the department said.

RELATED: Low flu numbers a positive side effect of lockdown

STATES WELCOME ‘MASSIVE DROP’ IN FLU CASES

New South Wales chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant on Monday said the state has “very low rates of influenza circulating”.

“Some of the information that we have received recently is that people are tending to think their illness is influenza,” she told reporters.

“They’re saying: ‘It’s OK I’ve got flu-like symptoms. I must have influenza. I don’t need a COVID test’.”

Dr Chant said if you have respiratory symptoms, “it is most likely that you have COVID, not flu”.

“And so it is essential that people don’t just think, ‘It’s influenza’ or it’s another respiratory virus and come forward for testing,” she said.

RELATED: Coronavirus ‘flu’ conspiracy theory trashed by medical experts

Data in the latest report from NSW Health indicates “limited influenza transmission in the community”.

As of August 2, there had been 12 deaths in NSW this year from influenza and none recorded since April, compared to 127 deaths in 2019.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Saturday said the state had recorded 36,874 cases of flu by the same time period in 2019.

“As of August 10 this year, we’ve only recorded 5918 – a massive 84 per cent drop,” she said on Twitter.

“It’s the result of our social distancing, hand hygiene, and staying home when we’re sick. Keep it up, Queensland.”

Victoria has experienced a 70 per cent drop in the number of flu cases with residents of metropolitan Melbourne currently in stage four lockdown.

More than 150 Victorians died from the flu in 2019, but in the five months to May 31 this year there were no flu-related deaths, the Herald Sun reports.

In that time there were just 4500 confirmed flu cases, compared with 15,358 in the same period last year.

“After a horror flu season last year this is good news and we hope these numbers continue to stay low as Victorians follow the current restrictions in place and stay home,” Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos told the newspaper.

A spokesman for the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services said: “With more awareness than ever before around hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette, we hope these numbers stay low.”

In South Australia, there were 1556 cases of influenza reported to August 8 compared to 22,406 cases reported for the same period last year.

From January to July 2020, Western Australia reported 1171 cases and two others so far in August compared to 21,147 for January to July 2019.

Of note in the figures from WA, there were 10,530 cases reported in June 2019 alone compared to 23 in June 2020.

There were only 190 cases recorded between January 1 and August 2, 2020 in the ACT this year compared to 2757 in the same period last year.

In its latest report, ACT Health said “there continues to be minimal influenza activity” with only five cases notified in the last 15 weeks.

The Department of Health in Tasmania, where there have been four cases of the flu all winter, states: “Current COVID-19 related public health measures and the community’s adhere to public health messages are also likely having an effect on transmission of acute respiratory infections, including influenza.”

Victoria recorded an additional 25 COVID-19 deaths on Monday, bringing the national coronavirus death toll to 421.



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400 new cases recorded in biggest spike yet


Victoria is expected to announce more than 400 cases of coronavirus today, a record for the state.

Premier Daniel Andrews is set to face the media at 11am and announce 428 COVID-19 cases and reportedly more deaths.

There have been 4750 cases recorded in Victoria so far.

READ MORE: Follow our live coronavirus coverage

Victoria’s previous biggest daily increase came yesterday with 317 new cases.

It was the largest increase in any Australian state or territory since the pandemic began.

Of yesterday’s cases, 28 were linked to known outbreaks and 289 are under investigation.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos labelled it a “very concerning number”.

More to come



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Victoria COVID-19 testing refused by more than 10,000 as 66 new cases recorded


Ms Mikakos did not confirm how many new cases had been recorded in the 3031 postcode in the past week.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Annaliese van Diemen pointed to a three-step process used by health authorities to explain why postcode 3031 is not yet in lockdown, despite recording a high number of active cases. Postcodes placed in lockdown each have at least five COVID-19 cases and an infection rate greater than 20 per 100,000 residents.

Seventeen of the new cases recorded on Friday are connected to known outbreaks, 20 were detected through community testing, one case is a traveller in hotel quarantine and 28 remain under investigation.

Premier Daniel Andrews said further areas could be locked down.

“Many hours of the weekend will be spent analysing, considering, discussing back and forth what the status of other postcodes are, and then we will have further announcements to make if indeed we need to based on what that data tells us,” he said.

Postcodes with highest number of new cases in the past week

3064 (in lockdown): Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickleham, Roxburgh Park, Kalkallo

3047 (in lockdown): Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana

3060 (in lockdown): Fawkner

3031 (not in lockdown): Flemington, Kensington

“You don’t have to live in a hotspot postcode to follow the rules, and if people don’t follow the rules then you will be living in a hotspot postcode because I will have no choice but to shut down more and more parts of our city and potentially our state. We don’t want to get to that.

“One person can be the difference. Your poor behaviour, your bad decision can be the difference between an entire suburb being locked down, and entire postcode being locked down.”

It comes after 77 new cases were reported on Thursday, with most recorded in the Melbourne hotspot areas already in lockdown.

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“While it may be too early for us to be talking about trends, a day with 66 is obviously far preferable to seeing a doubling and then a doubling again,” Mr Andrews said.

“We can’t predict what tomorrow’s numbers will be, we do need more time in order to get a firmer hold on whether there is a positive trend there, but certainly, to see these numbers relatively consistent is a very pleasing.”

Earlier this week, Mr Andrews said genomic testing had revealed an “unacceptable” number of coronavirus cases were linked to staff members at hotel quarantine sites who had breached well-known infection control protocols.

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The conduct of security guards and breach of strict quarantine measures is now the subject of a judicial inquiry.

Mr Andrews would not be drawn on whether government staff should lose their jobs over the botched quarantine program.

“We have a judicial inquiry, that is the appropriate way to go,” he said.

The Premier also defended the government’s decision not to involve the Australian Defence Force in the quarantine program.

“We had conversations with the ADF … and it was deemed, I think, by agreement between the government and the Australian Defence Force that they would simply be replicating the work that SkyBus is doing now and doing well.

“The notion that the ADF is running this everywhere except Victoria is just not accurate.”

More than 164,000 people have been tested across Victoria in the past week, but many residents are still refusing tests, Ms Mikakos said.

“We have had more than 10,000 people who have refused to be tested,” she said.

“That might be for a range of reasons, including that they may have already been tested in a different location. We are analysing that data to see exactly why people are refusing, but it is concerning that some people believe that coronavirus is a conspiracy, or that it won’t impact on them.”

Ms Mikakos also said residents in lockdown suburbs will have access to emergency relief packages containing two weeks’ worth of groceries and other essential items like toiletries and baby formula if required.

Police at a road block enforce lockdowns in one of the 36 hotspot suburbs.

Police at a road block enforce lockdowns in one of the 36 hotspot suburbs.Credit:Chris Hopkins

Across the state, there are now 442 active cases, with about half in the hotspot suburbs.

Among those cases is a student from Mount Ridley College in Craigieburn. Local MP Ros Spence confirmed the case on her Facebook page on Friday morning.

Mount Ridley College is now among more than 20 schools that have been closed for deep cleaning since last Friday due to positive cases in students or staff.

The prospect of reopening schools after the school holidays is being reviewed “day-by-day”, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, RMIT University’s Point Cook Flight School was closed earlier this week after a student contracted the virus. The infected student attended a flight class on Sunday with one instructor, who began self-isolating on Wednesday.

The university said the instructor was the only person the student came into contact with at the flight school.

Meanwhile, contact tracing is under way to determine how a Werribee police officer became infected.

The officer had not been at work since June 21 and became unwell while on leave. The station was closed for deep cleaning as a precaution and reopened on Thursday.

Two Victorian men became bogged as they tried to sneak into South Australia.

Two Victorian men became bogged as they tried to sneak into South Australia.Credit:SA Police Facebook

On the state’s border, two Melbourne men bogged their van while trying to sneak into South Australia and have been slapped with $1060 fines and sent home.

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Zero new locally acquired cases recorded


Australia has recorded zero new locally acquired cases of coronavirus today, for the first time since the peak of the pandemic.

The country recorded just two new cases in NSW, both of which were acquired overseas.

Both individuals are in hotel quarantine in Sydney, Health Minister Greg Hunt said earlier today.

The tally milestone was reached after all states and territories recorded their final statistics for the day.

The ABC reports more than 80 per cent of new cases in Australia this week were acquired overseas. This week has seen only seven cases of local transmission in the country: six in Victoria, and one in Queensland.

The high proportion of overseas-acquired cases is likely to deter the Federal Government from reopening the nation’s borders anytime soon.

Travellers returning to Australia are still required to self-isolate for two weeks on arrival.

NSW, which has been the country’s worst-affected state, is looking to further ease restrictions after having recorded only 62 new cases in the past week.

“Given New South Wales is doing better than we’d expected at this stage, that we are looking to further ease restrictions,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Tuesday.

“And there will be announcements about that in the next little while.”

Ms Berejiklian has put pressure other states and territories to ease border lockdowns so interstate travel and business can resume.

However, health authorities have warned they will be on extra alert for a spike in infections after tens of thousands of Australians gathered at Black Lives Matter rallies across the country last weekend.

“We don’t know if anyone in those mass gatherings were infected or infectious, and so it is a wait-and-see approach,” Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said on Sunday.

Australia’s milestone comes as New Zealand declares itself virus-free, having gone 17 days without a single new case.

“We are confident we have eliminated transmission of the virus in New Zealand,” the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.

New Zealand introduced some of the world’s most strict lockdown rules, aiming for total elimination of the virus.

All restrictions were lifted in the country overnight but its international borders will remain closed.

However, Australia’s increasingly pleasing results may give rise to more talk of a trans-Tasman bubble between the two nations.

But it comes as the number of new daily cases of COVID-19 globally hit a record high.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said overnight the pandemic appeared to be worsening, with South America emerging as the new global epicentre.

“More than 100,000 cases have been reported on nine of the past 10 days,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing overnight.

“Yesterday, more than 136,000 cases were reported – the most in a single day so far.”

Brazil currently has the world’s second-highest number of cases after the United States, with over 670,000 people infected since the pandemic began.



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Zero new COVID-19 cases recorded in Victoria as thousands set to rally


“The public health advice is that the risk is not over yet so it’s up to all of us to keep it up.”

Seven people remain in hospital, with one in intensive care. So far, 1586 people have recovered and 19 people have died in Victoria.

On Friday, a primary school in Melbourne’s north was closed after a prep student tested positive to COVID-19.

In a Facebook post on Saturday morning, Labor MP Ros Spence said that Newbury Primary School in Craigieburn would reopen on Tuesday after the site had been cleaned.

This week health authorities reiterated their concerns about mass gatherings ahead of a planned protest in Melbourne’s CBD.

“Unfortunately, now is not the time for thousands of people to gather together, putting your and others’ health at risk,” Professor Sutton said on Thursday afternoon.

“We are still in the middle of a pandemic and this protest carries real risks for all Victorians, particularly those in vulnerable groups. The restrictions are there to save lives – I urge everyone to consider other ways to show support.”

Police have warned organisers of the Black Lives Matter rally they could each face individual fines of more than $1600 for breaching coronavirus restrictions on gatherings if they go ahead with the protest.

But the organisers, Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, remain determined to show solidarity for the US Black Lives Matter movement, and are calling for an end to Aboriginal deaths in custody.

They have urged participants to wear face masks, to use hand sanitiser and to stand in groups of 20 and 1.5m apart.

Melbourne lord mayor Sally Capp next to a sign urging social distancing.

Melbourne lord mayor Sally Capp next to a sign urging social distancing.Credit:Jason South

Melbourne lord mayor Sally Capp said on Saturday that while she supported the Black Lives Matter movement, she did not support people gathering en masse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I wish we could find an innovative way to bring a loud voice and solidarity to these issues that the organisers of Black Lives Matter want to amplify today that doesn’t involve people gathering en masse,” Cr Capp told radio station JOY FM.

“From a government perspective and right across the community, the health response right now is the absolute priority.”

“I support the ideals and the outcomes that the protest organisers are looking for, but I’m not supporting attendance at the protest.”

She also said the timing was unfortunate.

“Sometimes timing can be very negative for the cause when we are forcing people to choose between the COVID health issue and the Black Lives Matter issue and that seems unfortunate to me because we want to be able to support both,” Cr Capp said.

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No new coronavirus cases recorded in NSW – Sky News Australia


  1. No new coronavirus cases recorded in NSW  Sky News Australia
  2. Coronavirus-hit Ruby Princess passengers contacted about crew member with tuberculosis  ABC News
  3. Coronavirus: No new NSW cases for second time | Nine News Australia  9 News Australia
  4. Ruby Princess crew member has tuberculosis  NEWS.com.au
  5. Ruby Princess crew member diagnosed with tuberculosis  9News
  6. View Full coverage on Google News



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