Anyone who visited the IKEA in Tempe in Sydney’s inner west on October 7 between 1.30pm and 5.30pm must monitor for symptoms, as shoppers there during that time are now considered casual contacts of a confirmed coronavirus case.
As contact tracing into the latest locally acquired cases of COVID-19 continues in NSW, more venues have been added to the public health alert list.
Besides IKEA, anyone who attended these NSW venues is also now considered a casual contact:
- Woolworths Oran Park on Wednesday September 30 between 5.30pm and 6.30pm, Thursday October 8 between 5.15pm and 6pm, and Friday October 9 between 6pm and 6.30pm
- Prasadi Nepali Emerald Hills in Raby on Friday October 2 from 3.30pm to 4pm
- Emerald Hills McDonalds in Leppington on Friday October 2 from 5pm to 5.15pm
- Aldi Emerald Hills in Leppington on Friday October 2 from 5.30pm to 6.15pm
- Fantastic Furniture Campbelltown on Friday October 2 from 3.30pm to 5.20pm
- Bunnings Gregory Hills on Tuesday October 6 from 7pm to 8pm.
The heath department says casual contacts should monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if even the mildest symptoms develop.
After testing, NSW Health says people must remain in isolation until they receive a negative result.
Two new pop-up clinics have been opened in south-western Sydney: one at Lakemba Uniting Church, and another at Julia Reserve Community Centre in Oran Park.
The Victorian Parliament’s lower house is taking a short adjournment from its debate on the state opposition’s motion of no-confidence in Premier Daniel Andrews and his Labor government.
Liberal Party leader Michael O’Brien spent an hour on his feet earlier this afternoon detailing a lengthy charge sheet against Mr Andrews and his colleagues – and some former colleagues – over their handling of COVID-19, the second wave, the controversial curfew, problems with contact tracing and the hotels quarantine debacle.
Oppositions only get to put forward one of these motions in each parliamentary term, once every four years in other words, so Mr O’Brien wants to get his money’s worth this afternoon.
With Labor’s thumping majority on the floor of the house, the motion won’t pass, unless something very unexpected happens and some Labor MPs, about nine of them, cross the floor.
But Mr O’Brien has some word of encouragement, nonetheless. “Find your voice, find your conscience, find your heart for Victoria,” the Liberal Party leader told his opponents.
The Department of Health has reported seven new cases of COVID-19 in Western Australia overnight, bringing the state’s total to 703.
One case is a returned overseas traveller, while the other six cases are from the Vega Dream bulk iron ore carrier anchored off Port Hedland.
These cases were reported on Monday, but were not included in the state’s total that day.
There are 18 active cases currently being monitored and 676 people have recovered from the virus in WA.
Australia will become a “hermit nation” unless it accepts the additional COVID-19 risks with setting up travel bubbles with Singapore, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand, a leading infectious disease experts warns.
The Japanese government on Tuesday welcomed a mooted opening of the borders with Australia, expressing hope that travel will resume soon as both countries were in a “relatively good position” in suppressing COVID-19.
The Australian National University’s Professor Peter Collignon said the travel bubbles should start with New Zealand followed by Asia-Pacific countries that have managed to contain the spread of COVID-19.
No suburb is immune to the virus in Melbourne, with cases popping up across the city today. Cases are spread from Melbourne’s far eastern suburbs all the way to the other side of the bay in Geelong, DHHS reveals.
- Seven of today’s 12 new cases are being investigated for links to a case from the Box Hill Hospital outbreak, including four cases from the same household.
- One is linked to the Chadstone outbreak – they are a household contact of an existing case.
- One is linked to the Estia aged care facility in Keilor.
- One is being investigated for links to a case from the Chadstone Shopping Centre outbreak.
- One is being investigated for links to the Uniting Age Well nursing home outbreak in Preston.
- One case remains under investigation.
Of the 12 new cases, four are in the Banyule council area, while two are in the Hume council area. The remaining cases emerged in Casey, Darebin, Greater Dandenong, Manningham, Melbourne and Greater Geelong council areas.
It’s worth noting that the Geelong case may turn out to be false positive as the person has contracted the virus previously and recovered.
Victoria has recorded almost twice as many mystery cases in the past week than Melbourne’s step three reopening target would have permitted over a two week reference window, new health department figures show.
One of the original requirements for Melbourne to move to step three of its reopening was for there to have been no more than five mystery cases among people who tested positive for the virus between October 3 and October 16.
The city is now halfway into this reference period, and a total of nine mystery cases (coronavirus infections that cannot be traced to a known outbreak) have been confirmed in that time, four more than the limit of five.
Professor Sutton tweeted this afternoon that 79 people had tested positive between October 3 and October 10, for 49 of them the infection could be linked with a known case or outbreak.
There are nine infections that have been ruled as mystery cases, however it is worth noting that this figure may be revised down if more information emerges about individual cases that allows them to be linked to existing clusters.
For example, a couple of days ago there had been two mystery cases on October 5, and now there is just the one, which means the health department were subsequently able to work out the source of infection for one case.
The sources of the remaining 20 infections are still being investigated, and some of these may end up being classed as mystery cases.
Here is the full breakdown:
Today’s 12 new cases do not show up in this data just yet, but at this morning’s coronavirus update Premier Daniel Andrews said all but one of these cases appeared to have a connection to a known cluster.
Deakin University epidemiology chair Catherine Bennett said yesterday that there had been five days in a row of zero mystery cases in Victoria late last month and that the new mystery cases confirmed in recent days coincided with the Chadstone outbreak.
Professor Bennett said it was often the case that mystery diagnoses sparked outbreaks, and these outbreaks in turn sparked further mystery cases, causing a cycle of infections unless outbreaks were controlled quickly.
It’s that time of the afternoon when Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services releases its daily COVID-19 update.
Today it reveals the postcodes where the latest mystery cases are – those cases without a known source of infection.
The total number of cases from an unknown source in the last 14 days (27 Sep 2020 – 10 Oct 2020) is 13 for metropolitan Melbourne. The 14-day period for the source of acquisition data ends 48 hours earlier than the 14-day period used to calculate the new case average due to the time required to fully investigate a case and assign its mode of acquisition.
Two mystery cases emerged in postcode 3025, which takes in Altona North.
The remaining mystery cases are in the following postcodes:
- 3024 (Wyndham Vale)
- 3184 (Elwood)
- 3015 (Newport, South Kingsville and Spotswood)
- 3037 (Calder Park, Delahey, Hillside, Sydenham, Taylors Hill)
- 3175 (Dandenong, Dandenong North, East, South)
- 3130 (Blackburn, Blackburn North, South)
- 3027 (Williams Landing)
- 3147 (Ashburton, Ashwood)
- 3046 (Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park)
- 3019 (Braybrook, Robinson)
Melbourne has failed to meet its two original step three reopening targets, but Premier Daniel Andrews has hinted some freedoms will still be granted next Monday.
The city had two targets. The first was to drive the 14-day average for new cases under five by October 19, but seven days into this reference period the number of new cases made this goal impossible.
Today’s 12 new cases mean there have been 91 cases recorded over the past eight days. In order to record a 14-day average under five on October, the state could rack up no more than 70 cases in the fortnight leading up to October 19.
This graph, which has been appearing on the blog daily since last week, will still be updated. But instead of showing how Melbourne is tracking against its target, it will now be used to gauge the extent to which the target has been overshot:
The second target was to record five or fewer mystery cases (infections that cannot be traced to a known source) over the two weeks leading up to October 19. This threshold was crossed on Sunday when that tally rose to six.
Three additional mystery cases have been confirmed since then, which likely fall within this two-week reference period.
Epidemiologists have offered suggestions about which rules it might still be safe to relax, which you can read more about here.
Fremantle Docker Jesse Hogan has been fined $8000 after breaching WA’s quarantine rules upon returning to Perth at the end of the AFL home and away season.
His lawyer Terry Dobson said Hogan “hadn’t been with any females in months”, due to being in the Queensland AFL hub, when he invited a woman to stay the night at his Attadale home one day into his 14-day quarantine period.
“He fell into a trap because of the attraction to the young lady … it was just a lapse in judgement from a fella who’s fairly youthful,” he said.
The 25-year-old returned to Perth from Cairns on September 22 and under special directions arranged by the Fremantle Dockers and the state government, was required to self isolate at home for 14 days.
The directions banned unapproved visitors, however a day after arriving home, Hogan invited a woman to stay the night.
He was subsequently charged with failing to comply with a direction. During his sentencing at Fremantle Magistrates Court, the police prosecutor said Hogan texted the woman and invited her over, asking her to avoid parking on the driveway.
Read more on this here.
It’s been a busy day – thanks for following the blog this morning.
I’m now handing the blog over to my colleague Erin Pearson who will keep you updated till the early evening.
Here are the main stories from this morning:
- Victoria has recorded 12 new cases of coronavirus and one death in the past day. The state’s 14-day rolling average is now 10.4, up from 10.3 on Monday. Melbourne cannot reach its target to take the next step out of lockdown, but the Premier says some restrictions will be eased next Monday.
- NSW recorded a total of 13 new cases on Tuesday. Seven are local cases and six were acquired overseas. From Friday, NSW venues will be allowed to double the number of patrons sitting outside as the government relaxes some restrictions. Outdoor concerts and performances of up to 500 can now go ahead.
- Queensland has just two active cases of COVID-19, marking its lowest number of active cases in the state since July 21. It again recorded no new cases in the past day.
- Tasmania will open its border to all Australian states and territories, except Victoria and NSW, on October 26. Premier Peter Gutwein said they will review the situation in NSW over the next week and make another announcement on October 19.
- Johnson & Johnson has paused its COVID-19 vaccine study because one of its participants has fallen ill.
- A week after his release from hospital, US President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail for the first time since contracting COVID-19, saying he felt “powerful”. The White House physician says Trump has tested negative and is not infectious to others.
- England will keep its restaurants, schools, universities and shops open under new lockdown measures announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as part of an overhaul of the nation’s coronavirus response measures.