Qld records one new case as NSW on alert

One new local case has been detected in the state overnight, the husband of the 44-year-old Melbourne woman who tested positive on the Sunshine Coast on Thursday, almost a week after she first developed symptoms on June 3. They are both in quarantine at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said 17 close contacts had been identified, two of which were the family members they were staying with at Caloundra. The other 15 were at venues at the same time as the couple as they travelled into the state. “Of the 17 immediate close contacts, three have tested negative already, we’ve got those results,” Dr Young said. “But we need to continue all of that testing.”Dr Young said it appeared as though the couple were at the end of their illness, which means the risk was lower than initially feared. “Because I believe this risk is a little bit lower, I haven’t asked all of our vulnerable facilities to go into lockdown at this stage,” she said. “Anyone who’s been to any of the venues, or anyone who’s unwell shouldn’t visit any of those facilities for 14 days since they were at the venue at the same time that the individuals from Melbourne attended.”Queensland Police are investigating how the couple came to enter the state as the border was closed to Victorians unless they had an exemption. The pair left Victoria on June 1, four days into Victoria’s lockdown, and travelled through regional NSW before crossing into Queensland at the Goondiwindi border. All three states have scrambled to track the pair’s movements and test anyone who came into contact with them. There were six new cases of Covid-19 detected in hotel quarantine as of Thursday morning. VICTORIA RECORDS FOUR NEW CASESVictoria has recorded four new local cases of coronavirus on Thursday as Melburnians prepare to come out of a two-week lockdown. “The four new locally acquired cases are from the same household and investigations into acquisition source are underway,” the Department of Health said.There are now 78 active cases and 180 exposure sites across the state. Melburnians will be released from a two-week lockdown at 11.59pm on Thursday, but harsh Covid-19 measures will remain in a bid to keep the community virus-free.Acting Premier James Merlino confirmed the new changes on Wednesday.It comes after thousands of regional Victorians were being urged to monitor for Covid-19 symptoms after viral fragments were found in sewage in Bendigo.Residents and recent visitors to the suburbs of California Gully, Eaglehawk, Epsom, Huntly, Jackass Flat, Maiden Gully, Marong, North Bendigo and Sailors Gully between June 3 and 7 should get tested if any Covid-19 symptoms develop.The Victorian Department of Health said the detection of fragments of coronavirus was of “interest” as there were no confirmed cases in the area.Despite the good news that Melbourne will ease out of lockdown, Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton was still cautious.“We have to recognise it remains a reasonably volatile situation,” he said.“The idea of a snap back to absolutely no restrictions whatsoever, no one has done that after significant community transmission.“We have to move by increments, safely, but with the minimum restrictions that we know will continue to control this.”NED-3986-Qld-covid-mapWOMAN TESTS POSITIVE AFTER FLEEING MELBOURNE LOCKDOWN A Melbourne couple have sparked a Covid scare in Queensland after leaving lockdown and travelling to the Sunshine Coast.The pair are reported to have spent several days in regional NSW before moving north to Queensland on June 5, where a 44-year-old woman tested positive in Caloundra on June 8.Queensland still regards Melbourne to be a Covid hotspot, with travellers required to complete hotel quarantine on arrival.NSW Health has released a preliminary list of exposure sites following confirmation that the Victorian woman travelled through country NSW.The woman and her husband left Victoria on June 1, after a hard lockdown was announced.Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the woman entered Queensland on June 5, passing through Goondiwindi and Toowoomba.She is staying with family at Caloundra, including her husband, who has so far tested negative.“The woman was tested yesterday and, it was confirmed today, that it was a positive case,” Ms D’Ath said.Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young said: “She could well have been infectious while she was travelling through New South Wales and that is something I’ve been working my colleagues in New South Wales.Dr Young said there were more than half a dozen exposure sites, including a McDonald’s in Goondiwindi, a service station in Toowoomba and the women’s section at Kmart in Caloundra, over three days.She said contact tracers had so far identified six close contacts and while her husband has not tested positive, he is being monitored in Sunshine Coast University Hospital.“She has been out and about since she arrived – since June 5,” she said.“Any case of Covid is frustrating.“The community has had to put up with so much now for 18 months and to do this again, it doesn‘t matter the cause, any community case of Covid is going to be frustrating for a lot of people.”Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the couple’s movements would be examined and they would be questioned on their reasons for travelling into Queensland while Victoria was declared a hotspot.JACINDA ARDERN’S TRAVEL BUBBLE WARNINGAustralians who break the trans-Tasman travel bubble rules will face consequences, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has warned.It comes as three Melbourne residents were caught trying to get into New Zealand to attend a funeral during Victoria’s coronavirus lockdown.All three have returned negative COVID-19 tests, but they will still be required to undertake 14 days of quarantine of which they will have to pay for.Travel from Victoria to New Zealand was halted after the latest Melbourne coronavirus cluster emerged. New Zealand director general of health Ashley Bloomfield told a press conference on Wednesday that the three drove from Melbourne to Sydney and then flew to Auckland last week. The family appear to have broken the trans-Tasman bubble rules – which could lead to a $4000 fine or six months in jail – as well as the Victoria lockdown rules.Ms Ardern said that their mandatory stay in quarantine was a punishment, regardless of whether police pressed charges against them.“Ultimately they were stopped at the border, and they were put into managed isolation,” Ms Ardern said“That demonstrates that even when we have people who are making a deliberate attempt to get through, that will be picked up.“There’s multiple points in the system where we can pick people up, and in this case, we have.”Asked why they shouldn’t be charged, she said “there are consequences”.“To anyone considering breaching the rules that we have in place – in this case, the family has been picked up, and they’ve been put into a managed isolation facility.“As for fines, those decisions do sit elsewhere.NED-3619-AstraZeneca blood clots-What we knowMELBOURNE’S 25KM RULE AFTER LOCKDOWN ENDS Melbourne’s lockdown will end 11.59pm Thursday, but residents will be restricted from travelling more than 25km from their homes in a move to stop any city exodus over the Queen’s Birthday weekend to regional Victoria.It comes as one new local case of Covid-19 was detected after 28,484 tests on Tuesday. The case has been linked to an existing outbreak and has been in quarantine.“On the advice of the chief health officer, we can announce some significant steps,” Acting Premier James Merlino said at a daily briefing on Wednesday.A new range of measures will include students returning to school as early as Friday morning.Masks will remain compulsory indoors, with definite density limits for offices. Restaurants and cafes will be limited to 50 people, with gyms to stay closed.However, visitors to the homes will remain off limits, and outdoor gatherings will be capped at 10 people.Mr Merlino said it was “a good day” for Melbourne but warned “know this isn’t over yet”.“Until we have widespread vaccination across Victoria and across our country, the virus will still be with us. So we can’t let complacency creep in, and I am asking everyone to keep doing the right thing. Follow the rules, check-in, get tested if you are feeling unwell,” he said.“Any symptoms, any symptoms, please go and get tested. That is the most important thing you can do, and if you are eligible, please get vaccinated.Melburnians have been able to leave home for five reasons under the lockdown announced on May 27, while regional Victorians were granted some freedoms last week. From Friday morning these are the other changes which apply to Melburnians:The five reasons to leave home will no longer apply.The only reasons to go further than 25km will be for work, education, caregiving or getting a vaccination. Still no visitors in homes.Masks will no longer be required outdoors unless you cannot maintain a 1.5 metre distance.Masks must still be worn in all indoor settings.Funerals are limited to 50 people, weddings are limited to 10. Religious ceremonies will be capped at 50 people inside. Office workers will be able to return with 25 per cent or a cap of 10, whichever is greater.Restaurants and cafes can reopen for seated service with up to 100 people per venue and a maximum of 50 inside.Retail can reopen in line with density limits of one person per four square metres. Beauty therapy can also resume for treatments where masks can be worn. Community sport can return to training.Auctions can happen outdoors, with a maximum of 50 people. Some entertainment venues and community facilities will also open in line with density limits and additional caps.NED-3979-Melbourne-restrictions-easeMOVE TO ALLOW COVID REWARDSAustralians could begin to see more Covid-19 vaccine rewards on offer after the nation’s medicine’s watchdog introduced a raft of new measures to improve the information and promotion of jabs.In a statement on Monday, the Therapeutic Goods Administration said the new arrangements — to be in place until the end of 2022 — will give health professionals and businesses more flexibility to contribute to the national conversation about vaccines.“Health professionals can enhance vaccine uptake by publicly supporting vaccination and countering misinformation. Logistical information about when and where to be vaccinated can continue to be communicated,” the TGA said.“Businesses can supplement government public health campaigns through offers of practical support (including rewards) that encourage Australians to be vaccinated.“Organisations can also generate their own “informational materials to support Covid-19 vaccination, provided the content is consistent with Government messaging and does not contain:– References to specific brands of vaccines, or compare different COVID-19 vaccines– Statements that Covid-19 vaccines cannot cause harm or have no side effects– Any statement that is false or misleading– Promotion of any vaccine that has not been approved by the TGANED-3964-Victorias-delta-outbreak“Such rewards can be monetary or for example, include store vouchers, discounts or frequent flyer points, but cannot include alcohol, tobacco or medicines (other than listed medicines),” the statement read.“It is up to the business or organisation providing the rewards to determine whether they are to be exclusively made available to their employees, or alternatively only members of a scheme (such as an automobile association or frequent flyer scheme) or to all Australians.”But the TGA warned that any offer of a reward cannot be made exclusive to those who have a vaccination after the reward has been announced.“Any rewards offered must be made available to those who have already commenced their vaccination schedule.”– with Andrew Koubaridis, Sue Dunlevy, David Aidone, Emily Cosenza, Jack PaynterNED-3679-Indias-Mutant-Covid-19

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