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Home / Latest News / Coronavirus updates LIVE: Victoria and NSW records six new COVID-19 case; Daniel Andrews faces pressure to end Melbourne lockdown; Australian death toll stands at 904

Coronavirus updates LIVE: Victoria and NSW records six new COVID-19 case; Daniel Andrews faces pressure to end Melbourne lockdown; Australian death toll stands at 904

As has been pointed out by many a Liberal politician in a talkback slot and perhaps a couple of you in the comments section of this blog, NSW and Victoria are living under very different coronavirus restrictions for states which are recording rather comparable coronavirus case numbers.

On the face of it, it seems true. Today, NSW recorded 11 cases and Victoria six. Yesterday, it was 14 and seven. But those figures don’t tell the whole story.

The key thing is: NSW is also still processing returned travellers in hotel quarantine. If a returned traveller tests positive to coronavirus, they are not at risk of spreading the virus, and will usually remain in quarantine until they test negative.

So, although NSW has recorded 44 cases since Monday (compared to 40 cases in Victoria), 19 of those were not in the community at all.

In the past couple of days, as the graph above shows, things have started to even up: both states recorded six local cases today and, yesterday, NSW actually recorded four more local cases than Victoria (although Victoria recorded four more than NSW the day before that, and 13 more the day before that).

It is also worth considering the mystery case total for the past fortnight, which is supposed to drop below five before restrictions are eased in Victoria (although some flexibility on this has been expressed in recent days).

Victoria’s 14-day mystery case total is at 15, whereas NSW has only recorded seven during that time period.

A bit of an update on what’s happened today up at Shepparton in northern Victoria, where the government predicted up to 2000 people would be tested today after three positive cases were reported yesterday.

One newspaper reporter waited for over six hours in line at the GV Health testing site where people started being turned away at 9am, only an hour after the site opened.

“It was a long slog,” local reporter Madi Chwatsa told ABC Radio Melbourne host Raf Epstein a short time ago.

“I didn’t think that standing around, not doing much would make me tired but it sure does.”

The Victorian government scaled up their testing response in the regional city today, but Ms Chwasta said as far as she was aware “every testing site is overwhelmed.”

The government hopes 2000 tests will be taken today after more than 1300 tests were received yesterday – as well as over 500 tests in Kyabram, Numurkah and Cobram.

Nine News reports an additional testing centre that was scheduled to open at 3pm today had not done so by 4pm.

Ms Chwasta said the mood felt much less anxious in the line today than yesterday.

“There was a lot more anxiety yesterday I think because basically people woke up to the news, that they were cases and all these places were listed as hotspots [and] they’re not just like small haunts, we’ve got the Bunnings and the Maccas, these places so many people frequent.”

That being said, people were still dealing with feelings of “disappointment and resentment”, over the whole ordeal in which a truck driver from Melbourne who was infectious with coronavirus visted Shepparton but didn’t tell contact tracers until nearly two weeks later.

Testing in Shepparton and the region is available at:

  • Acute Respiratory Clinic at Graham Street, Shepparton which is open seven days per week from 8:00am to 5:30pm. People who have symptoms are encouraged to attend this location.
  • The McIntosh Centre at Shepparton Showgrounds on the corner of Thompson Street and High Street from 8:00am to 5:30pm. People who do not have symptoms are encouraged to attend this location.
  • Two separate drive through clinics at the Shepparton Sports Precinct, corner of Numurkah Road and Brauman Street, Shepparton.

Location 1 – Soccer Fields car park from 12 noon.
Location 2 – Netball Courts car park from 10:00am to 5:30pm.

People who do and do not have symptoms of COVID-19 can also attend these sites:

  • Shepparton Respiratory Clinic – 172 Welsford Street Shepparton by appointment.
  • Central Park Recreation Reserve, Central Avenue, Shepparton East. A new drive-through site opens from 3pm.
  • Kyabram District Health Hospital drive through hours for today and tomorrow will be 9:00am – 3:00pm and it will operate on Sat & Sun 9:00am – 11:00am.
  • Kyabram District Health will operate a second drive through at the Northern Oval, Tisdall Road, Kyabram 15 & 16 October 10:00am – 3:00pm
  • Tongala Health, 96 Mangan Street, Tongala, 15 October, 10:00am – 2:00pm.
  • Stanhope Health, 35 Birdwood Avenue, Stanhope, 16 October, 10:00am – 2:00pm

There has been one new ‘mystery case’ with no known source registered since yesterday in Melbourne in the northern suburb of Reservoir, bringing the total number of ‘mystery’ cases over the period between September 29 and October 12 to 15 in total.

Today’s new case in Reservoir means there are now two cases with no known source in the suburb.

Here’s the full list of the 15 mystery case locations, just released by the Victorian Health Department:

  • 3025 (Altona North) (two cases)
  • 3027 (Williams Landing)
  • 3019 (Braybrook, Robinson)
  • 3147 (Ashburton, Ashwood)
  • 3184 (Elwood)
  • 3015 (Newport, South Kingsville and Spotswood)
  • 3073 (Reservoir) (two cases)
  • 3173 (Keysborough)
  • 3024 (Wyndham Vale)
  • 3130 (Blackburn, Blackburn North, South)
  • 3046 (Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park)
  • 3175 (Dandenong, Dandenong North, East, South)
  • 3037 (Calder Park, Delahey, Hillside, Sydenham, Taylors Hill)

Today Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said his biggest concern about easing restrictions was still the number of mystery cases circulating in the community.

One of the original requirements for Melbourne to move to step three of its road map out of lockdown was for there to have been no more than five mystery cases statewide among people who tested positive for the virus between October 3 and October 16. The state has already overshot that threshold.

Queensland’s Health Minister says he remains concerned but not “panicked” over the case of a Townsville woman who tested COVID-19 positive in Melbourne.

The woman travelled for health reasons to stay with family in Victoria, and travelled from

Townsville to Cairns and Brisbane before testing positive three days after her arrival in the Victorian capital.

Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles says authorities are still doing urgent contact tracing in Townsville but they are still working on the assumption the woman contracted the disease in Victoria.

“Now that we are concerned – not panicked, cautious and concerned – I’d just urge people to heed all of those [health] messages – wash your hands regularly, if you’re sick stay home, if you have a symptom of COVID go get tested,” Mr Miles said.

Mr Miles said he was happy with the level of testing in Townsville, despite the city seeing just 242 tests in the previous day, following the news of the case being made public and health alerts being sent out.

The Deputy Premier also gave some praise to NSW and Victoria, despite ongoing community transmission in those states.

“Europe has today overtaken the United States with more than 100,000 new cases a day,” he said.

“So while we continue to focus on NSW and Victoria, because relative to the rest of Australia they have more cases, relative to the rest of the world they’re also in just about the best position.”

G’day it’s Rachael Dexter here, taking over from my colleague David to see you through to the end of our live coronavirus coverage today. Always happy to hear from readers with news tips etc – you can reach me on rachael.dexter@theage.com.au or on Twitter.

The Victorian Department of Health has just highlighted two new high-risk locations added to their list today:

  • Coles Tooronga Village in Glen Iris between 12.30pm and 1.10pm on October 10,
  • and David Jones at Malvern Central on three separate days (1 October 4.00pm – 4.30pm, 2 October 1.30pm – 2.00pm, 5 October 2.00pm – 2.30pm).

If you visited these places, or any listed in the table above at the times listed and have any cold or flu symptoms whatsoever you should get tested immediately.

Need to find a somewhere to get tested? Check out our constantly updating locator map.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition leader Michael O’Brien have exchanged fiery barbs in the Victorian lower house chamber this afternoon, with the Premier accusing Mr O’Brien of playing “cheap low-rent politics” with the coronavirus pandemic.

“Everyday politics, politics, politics,” Mr Andrews said, in response to a question about easing restrictions with current case numbers.

Victorian Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien.

Victorian Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien.Credit:Darrian Traynor

“The [Opposition] might be from Victoria, but they’re not for Victoria.”

The Premier said Mr O’Brien was playing “cheap low-rent politics [he’s] not even good at,” and that the Chief Health Officer advice was clear that opening up the Victorian economy now would risk a third wave.

The Opposition leader asked why the Andrews government was resisting easing restrictions when the curve had been flattened.

Mr Andrews also took a swipe at Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who has also publicly called on the Victorian government to reopen the Victorian economy.

Melbourne MP Ellen Sandell, centre.

Melbourne MP Ellen Sandell, centre.Credit:Eddie Jim

Greens MP Ellen Sandell has also asked Treasurer Tim Pallas whether the government would invest more in social housing in the budget.

“You’ll have to wait for the budget to find out what’s in the budget,” Mr Pallas says.

“[Investing in social housing] is unfinished business, we recognise that and the government will continue to work diligently in order to address this.”

Ms Sandell asked for “assurances” the government’s investment in social housing would make a significant dent in the long wait list.

The Treasurer said the government was looking beyond the stock of public housing, and working on ways to address homelessness.

As has been pointed out by many a Liberal politician in a talkback slot and perhaps a couple of you in the comments section of this blog, NSW and Victoria are living under very different coronavirus restrictions for states which are recording rather comparable coronavirus case numbers.

On the face of it, it seems true. Today, NSW recorded 11 cases and Victoria six. Yesterday, it was 14 and seven. But those figures don’t tell the whole story.

The key thing is: NSW is also still processing returned travellers in hotel quarantine. If a returned traveller tests positive to coronavirus, they are not at risk of spreading the virus, and will usually remain in quarantine until they test negative.

So, although NSW has recorded 44 cases since Monday (compared to 40 cases in Victoria), 19 of those were not in the community at all.

In the past couple of days, as the graph above shows, things have started to even up: both states recorded six local cases today and, yesterday, NSW actually recorded four more local cases than Victoria (although Victoria recorded four more than NSW the day before that, and 13 more the day before that).

It is also worth considering the mystery case total for the past fortnight, which is supposed to drop below five before restrictions are eased in Victoria (although some flexibility on this has been expressed in recent days).

Victoria’s 14-day mystery case total is at 15, whereas NSW has only recorded seven during that time period.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says about 400 residents of the regional city of Shepparton have been deemed either close contacts or contacts of those close contacts.

“I would again just make it clear that we have got about 400 people in the Shepparton community that are either cases, contacts or their contacts … three separate groups of people who are all linked through potential chains of transmission,” he said.

People faced long waits at COVID-19 testing sites in Shepparton on Wednesday.

People faced long waits at COVID-19 testing sites in Shepparton on Wednesday.Credit:Nine News

“They are isolated at home and they are isolated at home because of one person.”

WA Opposition Leader Liza Harvey has attacked Premier Mark McGowan’s integrity after his claims the state’s hard border remained in place by health advice was contradicted by the Chief Health Officer at a parliamentary inquiry.

In an attempt to censure the Premier in Parliament on Thursday morning, Ms Harvey said he had breached the trust of West Australians by maintaining strict border restrictions, despite advice from Chief Health Officer Dr Andy Robertson that the state could safely open to five of the other seven Australian jurisdictions.

WA Opposition Leader Liza Harvey has criticised the state government.

WA Opposition Leader Liza Harvey has criticised the state government.Credit:

“This issue is not about whether you support or not support hard borders,” she said.

“This issue is about the integrity and character of the Premier. It is about the Premier telling the public of Western Australia the truth.

“For six months the Premier has been telling this House and the public that he is following health advice.”

Ms Harvey accused Mr McGowan of “wallowing in self-adulation” during a fiery debate in Parliament. She called on the Premier to apologise to families who had missed births, weddings and funerals due to the border policy.

“Your lack of transparency and accountability has finally caught up with you,” she said.

“Your foolishness in creating a climate of fear amongst West Australians and in particular the seniors population fed into your dangerous overconfidence and arrogance.”

Mr McGowan told Parliament the public health outcomes and economic results had been outstanding in WA because of the hard border.

Read the full article here.

Roll up, roll up, ladies and gentlemen, open up your wallets and come and see the biggest show in town. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Grab a ringside seat while they last.

See the amazing Dan Andrews high wire act. Hold your breath as The Intrepid Dan tries to keep his balance even as his co-stars fall off the wire and perish before your eyes. Or were they pushed? The Intrepid Dan defies gravity, somehow keeps his grip. How many days can he stay up on the wire? Will he fall and tumble to the ground? There is no safety net. Children – do not try this at home.

Gladys Berejiklian Scott Morrison, and Daniel Andrews

Gladys Berejiklian Scott Morrison, and Daniel AndrewsCredit:The Age

And look! Astonishing! Now he is doing his balance act on barbed wire – this has never been done anywhere in the world. If he falters – certain [political] death awaits.

And here now is the Incredible Barely Visible Michael O’Brien, making double back flips look easy. One day he claims lockdowns are not harsh enough, then after an upright standing tumble turn – Shazaam – lockdowns are too harsh, all in the blink of an eye. Younger flashier acrobats are threatening to steal his routine but in a futile theatrical stunt he has perfected the “No Confidence” trick of red-faced confected outrage.

Next, wander along to the freaks on sideshow alley. Each tent will give you a different thrill. We have scoured the surface of the earth to bring you the very best acts anywhere.

Visit the Amazing Two Headed Gladys. One head thinks her body lives a life that is selfless, devoted to public service and scrupulously, meticulously, thoroughly decent. The other head has a completely different view of its life, and a secret lover with a soiled and grubby reputation. Can both heads live on the same torso at the same time? Ask one head a question and see if the other one answers!

Read John’s full article here.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is in the “final stages” of a deal to bring thousands of Australians stranded overseas into quarantine at Howard Springs, near Darwin.

DFAT, Home Affairs and Defence have been working on the plan for months.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison.Credit:Sydney Morning Herald.

“There have been extensive preparations undertaken on that matter and we’re in the final stages of concluding those arrangements,” Mr Morrison said from Cairns.

The ABC is reporting the deal will involve commercial flights, including Qantas routes flying from London and India, and could start as soon as next week. It could involve 500 Australians returning each fortnight.

More than 29,000 Australians overseas have registered with DFAT to say they want to return home.

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