Thanks so much for joining us as we followed the evolving coronavirus situation across Australia today.
Here’s a recap of the main stories from today:
- NSW has again broken the daily case numbers record, reporting 830 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. Sadly three more people have died.
- Victoria reported 65 new locally-acquired cases of COVID-19, with the entire state now in lockdown after a snap decision to expand restrictions from 1pm yesterday.
- There were also 19 new locally acquired cases in the ACT, six of which were infectious in the community.
- The number of COVID-positive patients in Victorian hospitals on Sunday grew to 27, with one child aged under five currently receiving care. None of them are vaccinated.
- The Victorian Premier’s office has confirmed children can access childcare if just one of their parents is an authorised worker.
- Police have issued 54 infringement notices after anti-lockdown protesters crossed the border between Coolangatta in Queensland and Tweed Heads in NSW.
- The Chief Medical Officer says the modelling being used to lead Australia out of constant lockdowns is still relevant despite increasing COVID-19 cases, after a record 196,000 vaccine doses were administered across the country on Saturday.
- Victorian Police are considering shutting down public transport in and out of Melbourne CBD before future anti-lockdown rallies after nine officers were injured on Saturday in what the force’s chief says was the most violent protest he had seen in more than 20 years.
Our national blog will back bright and early tomorrow morning, with coverage of the important news of the day. For now, have a wonderful night.
The much-loved Kinfolk cafe has closed its doors after more than 10 years, the latest casualty among Melbourne’s charitable businesses as the pandemic cuts a swath through the city’s social enterprises.
Other social enterprises – charities that support good causes through commercial activities or who train and employ marginalised people – say they are struggling to stay afloat despite having access to the same level of state and federal government support available to their for-profit counterparts.
The sector’s peak body says the pain of the closure of a social enterprise is felt acutely, with many workers employed in the not-for-profit sector struggling to get into the mainstream job market.
Several impounded dogs due to be rescued by a shelter have instead been shot dead by a rural council in NSW under its interpretation of COVID-19 restrictions, alarming animal activists and prompting a government probe.
Bourke Shire Council, in the state’s north-west, killed the dogs to prevent volunteers at a Cobar-based animal shelter from travelling to pick up the animals last week, according to council’s watchdog, the Office of Local Government.
“OLG has been informed that the council decided to take this course of action to protect its employees and community, including vulnerable Aboriginal populations, from the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” a spokesman from the government agency said.
The number of COVID-positive patients in Victorian hospitals on Sunday grew to 27, with one child aged under five currently receiving care.
The full breakdown of people currently hospitalised with COVID-19 includes four people aged in their 20s and 30s, 12 aged in their 40s, three aged in their 50s, one aged in their 60s, and two aged over 70.
Of those, nine were not vaccinated and ineligible for the vaccine; 18 were not vaccinated but eligible. None of the cases in hospital had been either partially or fully vaccinated.
Police have issued 54 infringement notices after anti-lockdown protesters crossed the border between Coolangatta in Queensland and Tweed Heads in NSW.
At least 2000 people gathered to protest the current COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, despite Queensland’s Deputy Premier Steven Miles voicing his “disgust” at another lockdown protest in Brisbane just hours earlier.
Eight people were arrested in the demonstration and have since been taken to Tweed Heads Police Station ahead of being charged.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Eliot said the protests at the border were “abhorrent” and counter-productive.
“We have seen this sort of behaviour result in further lockdowns, the very thing these individuals are protesting against,” he said.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we risk seeing lockdowns extended, affecting the entirety of New South Wales, because of actions such as what we’ve seen this afternoon.
One protester was filmed encouraging others to swarm the border while riding a horse. He could be heard yelling “cross the border, they can’t hold all of us”.
A chemist, a fruit store and a university campus in the northern Victorian town of Shepparton have been listed as tier-1 exposure sites as cases continue to rise.
There were more than 32 additional exposure sites added to the Department of Health’s website on Sunday afternoon, with potential COVID-19 exposures in Bonnie Doon, Shepparton, Melbourne’s CBD, Truganina, Brunswick East and Clayton.
Ryan’s Fruit and Vegetables in Shepparton has been listed as a tier-1 exposure site for Monday August 16 between 12.30pm to 1pm.
Chemist Warehouse has been listed as a tier-1 site on Monday between 12pm and 1pm, Tuesday between 11am and 11.30am and Wednesday between 7pm and 9pm.
University of Melbourne’s Shepparton Campus has also been listed as a tier-1 site between 6pm and 8pm on Tuesday.
Anyone who visited the two stores or the university campus in Shepparton at the same time as the potentially infected cases will need to get tested immediately and isolate for two weeks.
There are now 23 cases connected to the Shepparton cluster, according to Goulburn Valley Health.
The apartment building at 32-34 Lygon Street in Brunswick East has been listed as a tier-2 exposure site between 12am on August 15 to August 19 at 12.30pm.
While most residents of the apartment building will just need to isolate until they receive a negative test, some residents will be considered tier-1 primary contacts and will have to quarantine for 14 days.
The Bonnie Doon Shell Roadhouse has also been listed as a tier-2 exposure site for various times across 11 days, starting from August 9. The full list of exposure sites can be accessed on the Department of Health’s website.
There has been mass confusion in Victoria about who can access childcare. The Premier’s office has now confirmed children can access childcare if just one of their parents is an authorised worker.
Premier Daniel Andrews on Saturday announced tightened access to childcare and said the settings would reflect the restrictions in place in 2020.
However, last year there were two settings: the government initially announced both parents would need to be authorised workers, and then swiftly changed the settings to allow children to attend childcare if one parent was an authorised worker.
The Chief Health Officer’s directions states both parents must be authorised workers.
Early Sunday afternoon, Health Minister Martin Foley’s office clarified only one parent needed to be an authorised worker. Four hours later, the Department of Health pointed to the Chief Health Officer’s directions in that both parents must be authorised workers.
Less than an hour later, the Premier’s office clarified – again – that it was one parent. The directions are being redrafted, they said.
New York: While some infections among those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are inevitable, they are unlikely to result in hospitalisation or death. But one important question about breakthrough infection that remains unanswered is: Can the vaccinated develop so-called long COVID?
Long COVID refers to a set of symptoms – such as severe fatigue, brain fog, headache, muscle pain and sleep problems – that can persist for weeks or months after the active infection has ended. The syndrome is poorly understood, but studies suggest that between 10 per cent and 30 per cent of adults who catch the virus may experience long COVID, including those who experienced only mild illness or no symptoms at all.
But the vast majority of data collected about long COVID has been in the unvaccinated population. The risk of developing long COVID for the fully vaccinated who get infected after vaccination has not been studied.
The New York Times
The Victorian Department of Health has confirmed that children will only be able to access childcare or kindergarten if both of their parents are authorised workers, or are vulnerable.
Under Victoria’s latest COVID-19 restrictions, childcare access has been tightened to curb the spread of coronavirus that health authorities have this week said was on the precipice of “spiralling out of control”.
When asked whether children were able to access childcare if only one of their parents were authorised workers, Health Minister Martin Foley on Sunday said he believed that was the case but would provide more information later.
His office shortly after said parents can send their children if only one is an authorised worker. Four hours later, the Department of Health confirmed both parents would need to be authorised workers to access childcare.
UPDATE: Later on Sunday afternoon, the Premier’s office confirmed children can access childcare if just one of their parents is an authorised worker.
A Bexley primary school in Sydney’s south is the latest of a string of NSW schools to be closed this weekend after a community member tested positive to COVID-19.
Carlton Public School has now shut to staff and students to allow for contact tracing and cleaning. All staff and students are asked to self-isolate until they receive further advice.
NSW Health has requested anyone who has been unwell or developed any symptoms such as a fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of smell/taste, muscle/joint pains, diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting and/or extreme tiredness be tested at a COVID-19 testing clinic.
Lane Cove West Public School, Leichhardt Public School and St Mary’s in Sydney’s south-west were closed on Saturday for deep cleaning after they were visited by a potentially infectious COVID-19 case.