COVID-19

Vic COVID case ‘has UK strain’, alerts upgraded

Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed that the woman, who was based at the Melbourne Airport Holiday Inn quarantine site, had been diagnosed with the B.1.1.7 mutant strain of COVID-19.The Premier also revealed a confirmed case in a returned traveller in hotel quarantine had been transferred to hospital and was in intensive care.Victoria recorded no new local coronavirus cases today, after thousands of people turned out to get tested.

The health department said 12,816 Victorians were swabbed at testing stations across the state on Monday, with no locally acquired cases reported in the past 24 hours.The health department also confirmed no new cases were recorded in hotel quarantine in the past 24 hours on Tuesday morning.There are 15 active cases in Victoria, down from 20 on Monday, with 13 active infections in hotel quarantine and two locally acquired cases.The rush to get tested came after the hotel quarantine worker – a woman based at the Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport – returned a positive result on Sunday.At least 136 hotel quarantine workers at the Holiday Inn have been identified as primary close contacts and have been told to isolate and get tested.

A number of potential public exposure sites have also been identified in Melbourne’s northwest suburbs with anyone who has visited the “tier 1” sites during the times listed is required to immediately isolate, get tested and remain isolated for 14 days from the time they were at the site.Mr Andrews said eight people who had direct contact with the woman have been identified as social and household primary close contacts.He said all had been tested and were isolating, with no positive results recorded yet.Health authorities warned the number was likely to increase as investigations continued.

QUARANTINE WORKER TESTS Victorian hotel quarantine workers will be paid to undergo coronavirus tests on their days off in a further bid to stop community transmission.The state’s Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville said workers would be tested on their days off on a voluntary basis until officials worked out the legal arrangements to make it mandatory.“People on their days off, once you ask them to get a test, that becomes a work day,” Ms Neville told the Herald Sun.“Inside their contracts they are required to do their on-duty testing. We are now working through those issues.”

It comes after a second hotel quarantine worker tested positive for coronavirus in Victoria.The female authorised officer was working at the Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport and tested positive for COVID-19 late Sunday.It came after she had tested negative on Thursday before leaving work.She returned on Sunday for her morning shift and later developed symptoms and was tested again.
Three potential exposure sites have been revealed:

* Marciano’s Cakes in Maidstone on Friday, February 5 from 9.45am – 10.25am;

* Dan Murphy’s in Sunshine on Friday, February 5 from 5.50pm – 6.30pm;

* Off Ya Tree Watergardens, Taylors Lakes, on Saturday, February 6 from 1.17pm – 1.52pm.
The new case comes four days after a 26-year-old Noble Park man who was working at the Grand Hyatt for the Australian Open quarantine program tested positive.SYDNEY PUB, CAFE PATRONS ORDERED TO ISOLATEPatrons at two venues south of Sydney have been ordered into 14-day quarantine after a returned overseas traveller tested positive to COVID-19 two days after leaving their mandatory hotel quarantine stay.People who visited the Headlands Hotel’s beer garden in Austinmer on February 2 between 1-3pm or the Bulli Beach Cafe on February 6 between 1.30-4pm are now close contacts, according to a statement from NSW Health, The Daily Telegraph reports.“Anyone who was in the beer garden of the Headlands Hotel or who dined in at the Bulli Beach Café at the times listed below is now considered a close contact and should immediately get tested and self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result,” a NSW Health statement read.“Anyone who was at the Headlands Hotel (in all areas other than the beer garden) and anyone who got takeaway from the Bulli Beach Café at the times listed below is now considered a casual contact who should monitor for symptoms.”“If any symptoms develop, get tested immediately and self-isolate until you receive a negative result.”All up, NSW Health has issued a fresh warning for 11 venues across Wollongong and southeast Sydney.Health officials said the returned traveller was not showing any symptoms and had low levels of infection, but had been tested on day 16 as part of a beefed up follow-up protocol for people returning from overseas.The person recorded two negative tests during their 14 days in hotel quarantine.

The statement said the person’s household contacts have so far returned negative results and that their close contacts had already been identified and were in self-isolation.The statement said investigations so far suggested the person was infected overseas, and there was no indication at this stage of transmission in hotel quarantine.People who attended the following venues at the times listed are considered casual contacts, and NSW Health says they must get tested immediately and self-isolate until they get a negative result.
* Mootch & Me, 313 Bay St, Brighton Le Sands — Tuesday, February 2, 10:54am-12pm

* Optus, 17 Flinders St, North Wollongong — Thursday, February 4, 1pm-1.15pm

* Officeworks, 145 Princes Highway, Fairy Meadow — Thursday, February 4, 3.45pm-4.05pm; Friday, February 6, 3pm-3.25pm
Anyone who attended the following venues at the times listed is urged to monitor for symptoms and get tested if any appear.* Woolworths
, 5-9 Molloy St, Bulli — Wednesday, February 3, 9.15am-10am

* Corrimal Memorial Park, Wilga St, Corrimal — Wednesday, February 3, 12pm-1pm

* Thirroul Beach — Wednesday, February 3, 3pm-4.30pm

* Sublime Point Walking Track, 661 Princes Highway, Madden Plains — Thursday, February 4, 8.30am-10am

* Figtree Grove Shopping Centre, in particular Australia Post, Kmart, Blooms The Chemist, Subway; 19 Princes Highway, Figtree — Thursday, February 4, 2pm-3.30pm

* Fedora Pasta Factory, 10 Daisy St, Fairy Meadow — Friday, February 5, 3.30pm-3.35pm
COVID TRAINING TO BEGINStaff who will administer the COVID-19 vaccination in Australia will begin training.Chief Midwifery and Nursing Officer Professor Alison McMillan said an online training program is ready to be undertaken by a broad range of health professionals.“The training is focused on staff who will be administering the vaccine,” she said on Monday.“It is a set of module learning that people can process through over time and it will produce a certificate at the end. The training is quite broad because it needs to meet the needs of quite a broad range of health professionals.”She said the training will focus particularly on multidose phials which need special technique in order to ensure patient safety and learning and understanding about the management and handling of the new vaccines.”“How to manage any adverse environments and how to record all of this information so it can be uploaded and provided to the public,” she added.HOW AUSSIES WILL PROVE THEY GOT COVID JABDigital “proof of vaccination” certificates will be stored and displayed on phone apps as part of the federal government’s plans for the national coronavirus vaccine rollout.The Express Plus Medicare app and MyGov accounts will both store digital proof-of-vaccination certificates, while those who require a hard copy will be able to access a printout from vaccine providers and Services Australia offices.Cabinet approval for the scheme is due in the next two weeks, Nine Newspapers reported on Sunday.An update to the Medicare app will also be developed as part of the plan, which aims to make proof of vaccine quick and easy to access.It is expected the certificates will simplify visits to nursing homes and hospitals, and could even be required for interstate travel if future lockdowns are needed.They will also play a role in the reopening of international borders, which is expected to begin from later this year.The Pfizer vaccine is due to be rolled out nationally from the end of this month, while the distribution of AstraZeneca is due in March.The federal parliament last week passed laws that require vaccine providers to record all the vaccines they administer, including the COVID-19 vaccine, on the national register.Previously, the reporting of vaccinations had been voluntary.
When will I be able to get the vaccine?
PM ACCUSED OF ‘GOING MISSING’Scott Morrison has been accused of “going missing” during the coronavirus pandemic, as the federal opposition continues to question his leadership on issues including state borders and national quarantine.Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles said the Prime Minister has failed to unite the states during the crisis.“When the states have disagreed, the ability of this prime minister to get consistency at a national level, across the states, has been essentially zero,” he told the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.“He has gone missing when the going has got tough.”

Mr Morrison has no legal powers to override state leaders closing their borders for health reasons.But Mr Marles said the federal government had “relegated itself to the sidelines” and should be part of the decision-making process around closures.“I think we would have had much greater consistency” he said.“In crises before, what you’ve actually seen is national governments which have led within our federation.”The deputy Labor leader also called on the government to show greater leadership around possible reform to the federal quarantine system.He said it needed to “dust off” a report written former senior public servant Jane Halton last year, which recommended facilities including the Learmonth RAAF base be used for “surge” capacity.“I think one of the really marked aspects of the COVID-19 crisis, which we’ll look back on, is the degree to which the government has been prepared to abrogate itself of responsibility when there have been moments of greatest crisis,” he said.“That’s particularly the case in relation to quarantine.”
NED-1859 State of our borders
NSWThere are no restrictions around travelling to or from regional or rural NSW, or other areas of NSW.However, NSW Health currently recommends practising COVID safe behaviours such as physical distancing and hand hygiene when travelling within NSW, especially between Greater Sydney and regional and rural areas.

SOUTH AUSTRALIAAll travellers coming to South Australia must complete a Cross Border Travel Registration.From February 4, any person who was at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne between midnight on January 21 and midnight on January 31 must notify SA Health to be subjected to supervised quarantine for 14 days and submit to testing. The same rule applies to close contacts. From midnight on January 31, travel is permitted from Greater Sydney, Wollongong and the Central Coast to South Australia.Upon arrival, travellers must immediately self-quarantine and must remain in that place until a negative COVID-19 test result is received.The regions of Peel, Perth and South West are now considered a restricted zone.Travellers arriving from Peel, Perth and South West, must self-quarantine at a suitable place and submit to COVID-19 testing on day 1, 5 and 12. They can be released from self-quarantine upon written advice of a negative COVID-19 test result.VICTORIAPeople from anywhere in Australia entering Victoria must apply for a permit to enter the state.Victoria has also reopened its border to the majority of NSW.The Perth metropolitan area, the Peel region and the South West region of WA has now changes to an orange zone. People in orange zones can apply for a permit to enter Victoria provided they had not been in close contact with a coronavirus case and do not have any symptoms.On arrival in Victoria, orange zone permit holders must isolate at their home or accommodation, get a coronavirus test, and continue isolating until they have received a negative result.

NORTHERN TERRITORYAll arrivals to the Northern Territory must: fill in a Border Entry Form, complete 14 days of mandatory supervised quarantine at your own expense, if you have recently been in an active declared COVID-19 hot spot. This includes children returning from a hotspot.

QUEENSLANDIf you have been in Greater Melbourne since January 29 and arrived into Queensland you should get tested – even if you do not have symptoms – and isolate until you receive a result.Specific areas of Western Australia have been declared COVID-19 hot spots.

WESTERN AUSTRALIAInterstate travellers are now permitted to enter WA, subject to meeting strict conditions. All people arriving into WA from overseas are subject to the Commonwealth Government’s mandatory quarantine period of 14 days in a State Quarantine Facility (hotel quarantine) at their own expense.TASMANIATravellers who have spent time in a high-risk domestic region or premises (including in Western Australia, Victoria and New Zealand) in the 14 days before arriving in Tasmania are not permitted to enter Tasmania, unless approved as an Essential Traveller.If entry is approved, there may be a quarantine requirement in government-designated accommodation (fees can apply).AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORYAs of 6pm February 5, all local government areas in WA are no longer considered COVID-19 affected areas.Anyone who has been in a potential high-risk exposure site in Victoria needs to quarantine and get tested.

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