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Home / Latest News / Australia news LIVE: Canberra lockdown to begin as ACT records one local COVID-19 case; NSW records 345 new local cases; Victoria records 21 new cases

Australia news LIVE: Canberra lockdown to begin as ACT records one local COVID-19 case; NSW records 345 new local cases; Victoria records 21 new cases

Here is a summary of some of today’s headlines:

  • NSW recorded 345 local COVID-19 cases as tougher restrictions were announced in the Bayside, Strathfield and Burwood local government areas south and west of Sydney’s CBD. Only authorised workers will be allowed to leave those areas for work. The Hunter region’s lockdown will be extended by another week. Deputy Premier John Barilaro flagged the possibility of a statewide lockdown and said “tougher” public health orders were being drafted.
  • Victoria recorded 21 local cases including a handful of mystery ones which authorities are yet to link. Two travellers who flew from Sydney without a permit have tested positive to COVID in hotel quarantine.
  • The ACT is in lockdown for a week after recording a single local case. Authorities are still investigating the source of the man’s infection but suspect it’s linked to the Sydney outbreak. Late this afternoon three of the man’s contacts tested positive.
  • Queensland recorded 10 local cases, all in home quarantine while infectious, as the government considers tightening restrictions at the NSW border.
  • The High Court rejected an application from the Biloela Tamil asylum seeker family’s lawyers to put a case on behalf of the youngest daughter.
  • And billionaire James Packer is fighting against a push to limit Crown’s ownership and force a share sale.

The Victorian Health Department has flagged unexpected detections of COVID-19 fragments in wastewater in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

Authorities said traces of the virus had been found in the Camberwell-Balwyn area.

Health officials are urging anyone who resided or worked in the suburbs of Balwyn, Camberwell, Canterbury, Mont Albert or Surrey Hills between August 8 and August 11 to get tested if they had the slightest symptoms.

A similar plea went out to residents of Tarneit, Truganina and Williams Landing after wastewater detections were recorded in two western suburbs catchments.

Authorities also said there had been more wastewater detections in the Glenroy-Broadmeadows catchment, noting three people in that area tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

The catchment takes in the suburbs of Attwood, Broadmeadows, Coolaroo, Essendon Fields, Gladstone Park, Glenroy, Gowanbrae, Greenvale, Jacana, Meadows Heights, Oak Park, Pascoe Vale, Roxburgh Park, Strathmore, Strathmore Heights and Westmeadows.

The Chief Health Officer update also said that repeated wastewater detections in the Keysborough area indicated there might be undetected positive cases of COVID-19 in that catchment.

More details on test results are available here.

Throughout Thursday, Victorian health authorities identified a dozen train and tram routes as COVID-19 exposure sites.

Three of them are “tier 1” (close contact) sites, meaning anyone on them during the specified timeframes has to immediately get tested for COVID-19, and quarantine for 14 days regardless of the result.

Popular inner-city tram routes are among Thursday’s COVID-19 exposure sites in Victoria.

Popular inner-city tram routes are among Thursday’s COVID-19 exposure sites in Victoria. Credit:Chris Hopkins

The tier 1 tram and train routes are:

  • Tram Route 35 City Circle (anti-clockwise) from Stop 5, Elizabeth Street/La Trobe Street to Stop 1, Spencer Street/La Trobe Street – Monday, August 9 between 3.04pm and 3.10pm
  • Tram Route 59 (towards Flinders Street Station) (City) from Stop 16, Harker Street/Flemington Road to Stop 7, Queen Victoria Market/Elizabeth Street – Friday, August 6 between 1.35pm and 1.43pm
  • Tram Route 58 (towards West Coburg) from Stop 8, Franklin Street/William Street to Stop 19, Royal Children’s Hospital/Flemington Road – Monday, August 9 between 7.47am and 7.57am

The remainder of the tram and train routes are “tier 2” (casual contact) exposure sites, meaning anyone on them during the specified timeframes has to urgently get tested, and isolate until they receive a negative result. The tier 2 tram and train routes are:

  • Metro Trains (Williamstown/Werribee/Sunbury Lines) from Flinders Street Station to Footscray Station – Tuesday, August 3 between 7.30pm and 8.30pm
  • Metro Trains (Craigieburn Line) from Craigieburn Station to Flinders Street Station – Tuesday, August 3 between 7pm and 8.15pm
  • Metro Trains (Craigieburn Line) from Flinders Street Station to Craigieburn Station – Tuesday, August 3 between 5.15pm and 6.30pm
  • Metro Trains (Williamstown/Werribee/Sunbury Lines) from Footscray Station to Flinders Street Station – Tuesday, August 3 between 5pm and 5.40pm
  • Tram Route 30 (towards Central Pier Docklands) from Stop 5, Elizabeth Street/La Trobe Street to Stop 1, Spencer Street/La Trobe Street – Friday, August 6 between 5.29pm and 5.36pm
  • Metro Trains Pakenham Line (Parliament Station to Melbourne Central Station) – Friday, August 6 between 5.17pm and 5.20pm
  • Metro Trains Mernda Line (Melbourne Central Station to Parliament Station) – Friday, August 6 between 1.55pm and 1.58pm
  • Tram Route 59 (towards Flinders Street Station) (City) from Stop 5, Royal Children’s Hospital/Flemington Road to Stop 19, Melbourne Central Station/Elizabeth Street – Friday, August 6 between 1.33pm and 1.44pm
  • Tram Route 58 (towards West Coburg) from Stop 8, Franklin Street/William street to Stop 19, Royal Children’s Hospital/Flemington Road – Friday, August 6 between 8.38am and 8.48am

A full list of Victorian exposure sites can be found here.

Here is a summary of some of today’s headlines:

  • NSW recorded 345 local COVID-19 cases as tougher restrictions were announced in the Bayside, Strathfield and Burwood local government areas south and west of Sydney’s CBD. Only authorised workers will be allowed to leave those areas for work. The Hunter region’s lockdown will be extended by another week. Deputy Premier John Barilaro flagged the possibility of a statewide lockdown and said “tougher” public health orders were being drafted.
  • Victoria recorded 21 local cases including a handful of mystery ones which authorities are yet to link. Two travellers who flew from Sydney without a permit have tested positive to COVID in hotel quarantine.
  • The ACT is in lockdown for a week after recording a single local case. Authorities are still investigating the source of the man’s infection but suspect it’s linked to the Sydney outbreak. Late this afternoon three of the man’s contacts tested positive.
  • Queensland recorded 10 local cases, all in home quarantine while infectious, as the government considers tightening restrictions at the NSW border.
  • The High Court rejected an application from the Biloela Tamil asylum seeker family’s lawyers to put a case on behalf of the youngest daughter.
  • And billionaire James Packer is fighting against a push to limit Crown’s ownership and force a share sale.

The inner-Melbourne suburbs of Brunswick and Moonee Ponds have managed to escape COVID exposures in recent weeks.

But this afternoon, exposure sites in both were among many identified by Victorian health authorities.

A few of the new sites are “tier 1” (close contact), meaning anyone who visited them during the specified timeframes has to get tested and isolate until 14 days since they were there, regardless of the test result. The new tier 1 sites are:

  • Coles, Woodgrove Shopping Centre, Melton West – Monday, August 9 between 12pm and 1pm
  • ATO building basement and level 1, Moonee Ponds – Tuesday, August 10 between 6.10am and 2.30pm and Wednesday, August 11 between 6.10am and 12pm
  • Bourke Place, level 15, Bourke Street, Melbourne – Monday, August 9 between 6.20am and 2.20pm
  • United West Gate (inbound), Port Melbourne – Wednesday, August 11 between 5.50pm and 6.40pm

The other exposure sites are all “tier 2” (casual contact) meaning anyone who visited them during the specified timeframes has must get tested for COVID-19 and isolate until receiving a negative result. The new tier 2 sites are:

  • Amcal Pharmacy, Glenroy – Sunday, August 8 between 5.05pm and 5.50pm
  • Coles, Glenroy – Sunday, August 8 between 5.05pm and 5.50pm
  • Beans on Pratt, Moonee Ponds – Tuesday, August 10 between 6am and 6.35am and Wednesday, August 11 between 6am and 6.35am
  • Coles Express Petrol Station, Glenroy – Monday, August 9 between 5.30am and 6.10am
  • Petbarn, Brunswick – Thursday, August 6 between 3.50pm and 4.10pm
  • Butchers Club, Woodgrove Shopping Centre, Melton West – Monday, August 9 between 12.20pm and 1.05pm
  • Woodgrove Deli, Woodgrove Shopping Centre, Melton West – Monday, August 9 between 12.20pm and 1.02pm
  • Public playground, corner Orchid Avenue and Moor Park Avenue, Melton West – Monday, August 9 between 10am and 11.30am
  • Bakers Delight, Woodgrove Shopping Centre, Melton West – Monday, August 9 between 12.20pm and 1.06pm
  • ATO building (areas except for basement and level 1), Moonee Ponds – Tuesday, August 10 between 6.10am and 2.30pm and Wednesday, August 11 between 6.10am and 12pm
  • KFC, Werribee – Sunday, August 8 between 7pm and 7.35pm
  • Curry Guru, Werribee – Sunday, August 8 between 6.55pm and 7.10pm
  • 7-Eleven, Wyndham Vale – Tuesday, August 10 between 7pm and 8.05pm
  • Shell Coles Express Vermont, Ringwood – Tuesday, August 10 between 6.20am and 7.05am
  • United Petroleum, Clayton – Wednesday, August 11 between 10.10am and 10.55am
  • Dr Joseph Crameri Paediatric and Neonatal Consulting Rooms, Parkville – Monday, August 9 between 7.45am and 1.50pm
  • Melton Bakery Cafe and Takeway, Melton – Friday, August 6 between 8.45am and 9.30am
  • The Good Guys, Taylors Lakes – Thursday, August 5 between 6.30pm and 8pm
  • Bourke Place (lift lobby and security service centre), Bourke Street, Melton – Monday, August 9 between 6.20am and 7am and 2.05pm and 2.20pm
  • Woolworths, Brunswick – Friday, August 6 between 2pm and 3pm
  • La Manna Fresh, Brunswick – Friday, August 6 between 2pm and 3pm
  • McDonald’s Tullamarine, drive-through, Westmeadows – Wednesday, August 11 between 5.50pm and 6.40pm
  • Pascoe Vale Road Market, Glenroy – Monday, August 9 between 12.31pm and 1.20pm

A full list of Victorian exposure sites can be found here.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has warned of a statewide lockdown if Canberra’s COVID-19 cases spread into the surrounding regions.

The ACT is in a seven-day lockdown after the territory recorded a mystery case, a man in his 20s, on Thursday morning. Three of his close contacts have since tested positive.

“That could become problematic for southern NSW. If that was to breach there then I would absolutely be saying then maybe it is time for a statewide lockdown,” Mr Barilaro told Sydney radio station 2GB this afternoon.

He also flagged the strengthened public health orders being drafted would go “harder than anyone’s gone before”.

“We’ve got to get tougher,” he said. “Now’s the time to go harder and tighter.”

The Deputy Premier said measures being considered include a permit system to leave Sydney, increasing fines, a “ring of steel” around Sydney and using truck stops to pull up all cars.

For NSW readers, here’s a map of everywhere COVID-19 vaccinations are available to those who want one (noting access to Pfizer is restricted for some age groups).

The federal Department of Health lists more than 2250 places dispensing the vaccines in NSW, including 1839 GPs and 321 pharmacies.

We’ve mapped them all below:

As Sydney faces the reality of a protracted lockdown and Melbourne’s sixth lockdown is extended at least one more week, various levels of government have mooted that only vaccinations will end the cycle of opening and closing the country.

Last week fruit and vegetable manufacturer SPC announced unvaccinated people would not be welcome at their workplace, sparking debate over whether employers would be able to make vaccines compulsory.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said vaccinations will be optional with no legislation put in place to make mandate them, leaving it to employers to set their own rules within the bounds of the Fair Work Act.

Already, the Fair Work Commission has had to grapple with the rules around employees who have been dismissed for refusing to have mandatory flu vaccinations and the coronavirus pandemic is only going to make these rulings more complicated.

Today on Please Explain, industrial relations reporter Nick Bonyhady joins Nathanael Cooper to discuss the latest news in the mandatory vaccination debate.

Three close contacts of a Canberra man have tested positive to COVID-19 as the territory enters its first lockdown in more than a year.

ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman confirmed on ABC radio the cluster had grown to four, after the first case was reported earlier today.

The source of the initial case, in a man aged in his 20s, remains unknown. In the press conference earlier this afternoon, Dr Coleman said she suspected that first case was the Delta variant and linked to the greater Sydney outbreak.

The territory entered a seven-day lockdown at 5pm, after it was revealed the man had spent “extensive time in the community” while infectious.

“This is the most serious public health risk that we are faced in the territory this year,” Chief Minister Andrew Barr said earlier.

Read more here.

There have been more reported cases of a rare blood clotting side effect linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine, the country’s medical regulator says, as use of the vaccine has increased around the country.

Two cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) in a 22-year-old woman and an 82-year-old man were confirmed in the last week. Nine other cases in NSW and Victoria have been deemed “probable” while further investigation continues.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration reports five of the new probable cases may be related to the second vaccine dose. All those cases were in older people, who had relatively mild symptoms. The regulator noted the blood clots were more common as people aged.

“These cases remain under investigation and will be considered by an external panel of experts in the coming week to determine whether they are related to vaccination or not,” the regulator said.

“People who have already received their first AstraZeneca dose who have not experienced TTS should complete the two-dose schedule.”

To date there have been 59 confirmed and 45 probable cases of the clotting syndrome from about 7.4 million doses of AstraZeneca. No new deaths were recorded in the last week.

The medical regulator receives more than 2000 reports of potential side effects each week.

They include reports of inflammation of the heart (myocarditis) or the lining of the heart (pericarditis) following the Pfizer vaccination.

To August 8, the TGA received 149 reports of suspected myocarditis or pericarditis linked to the vaccine.

The regulator said the rare effects usually occur within 10 days of vaccination, more often after the second dose and are more common in younger men.

The regulator said people should seek medical attention if they develop symptoms including chest pain or shortness of breath.

“We know that myocarditis and pericarditis are much more common with COVID-19 infection and damage to the heart is frequently severe after infection,” the TGA said. “The benefits of protection against COVID-19 far outweigh the risks from these rare and transient side effects.”

Billionaire Clive Palmer has railed against the COVID-19 vaccine rollout but declined to reveal whether he has had the jab himself, or intends to get it.

“Well, I won’t say what my position is because everyone’s medical records should be kept as a private thing,” he told Perth’s 6PR radio station. “It shouldn’t be an issue for public debate about individual health.”

Mr Palmer said vaccines should be a personal choice for those who want protection, since vaccines do not prevent COVID (vaccinated people can still get infected and pass on the virus, but hospitalisation and death rates are lower among vaccinated people).

“The whole concept of public health is to make sure that something that you do doesn’t affect your neighbour,” Mr Palmer said. “Whether or not you personally want to have the vaccine for your own protection or for a treatment, that should really be an individual decision – it doesn’t affect your neighbour.”

Clive Palmer says vaccines should be up to each individual.

Clive Palmer says vaccines should be up to each individual. Credit:Jono Searle/Getty Images

He cited a recent United States’ Centre for Disease Control study of a Delta variant outbreak in Massachusetts that found 346 of 469 identified cases were fully vaccinated.

Mr Palmer incorrectly claimed Australians had a “99.98 per cent” chance of surviving the virus.

Among people aged under 50, the survival rate is 99.9 per cent (seven deaths from 23,845 cases). However the mortality rate among older people – particularly those aged over 80 – is higher, which lifts the overall rate to 2.5 per cent.

Mr Palmer also pointed to discredited COVID-19 treatments such as hydroxychloroquine to deal with the virus without vaccines.

Asked whether he would get the jab if a vaccine passport was required for business travel, Mr Palmer said he wouldn’t change his views “for any amount of money”.

“All you need is a good place to sleep at night, someone that loves you and a good meal, and you can be pretty happy,” the mining billionaire said.

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