Virus spreading after record spike

 

Infections have spread across the NSW-Victoria border and a tenth public housing tower has been exposed in Melbourne after a record spike in cases yesterday.

It's understood an infected resident, who lives in a locked-down North Melbourne tower, also worked in the apartment building in Richmond as a subcontractor for the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

Meanwhile, Albury-Wodonga, a town that sits on the NSW-Victoria border, has recorded three new cases of COVID-19. The infections came within hours of state and federal governments announcing plans to close the border.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has amended the COVID-19 interstate hot spot order to include residents from Greater Melbourne's 36 local government areas. The order is in force from 12.01am on Tuesday, July 7.

The health department said: "This means they will only be able to enter NSW for very limited reasons, such as obtaining medical care, or fulfilling a legal obligation."

The NSW-Victoria border will close from 12.01am on Wednesday, July 8. 

Australia has recorded a total 8397 cases of COVID-19, with 3240 in New South Wales, 2660 in Victoria, 1067 in Queensland, 443 in South Australia, 621 in Western Australia, 228 in Tasmania, 108 in the Australian Capital Territory and 30 in the Northern Territory.

Australia's coronavirus death toll is 106. 

Confusion and anger' over border

Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie says she is concerned regional communities will be hit the hardest by the recent decision to close the NSW-Victoria border tonight.

NSW has closed its border to anyone from metro Melbourne as of midnight last night, and after 11.59pm tonight that travel ban will be extended to all Victorians.

Senator Mackenzie told Sky News there was considerable "anger and confusion" over the announcement.

'Nobody is being punished': Health Minister

Some Aussies in regional areas feel like they are being punished for a massive surge in cases in Melbourne as border restrictions come into place.

However, federal Health Minister Greg Hunt told ABC Breakfast "nobody is being punished".

"Everybody is being protected," he said. "And this is a difficult and unique circumstance, a global pandemic.

He said he spoke to NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard last night.

"They are making arrangements for regional communities," he said. "We would ask everybody to exercise patience. And I know it's difficult. And I know it's challenging.

"We have been through this already. In March, what we saw was that - and in April - Australians had difficult restrictions put in place.

"We were able to deal with it, we were able to rise to it, and we were able to flatten that curve.

"Around the country, there is effectively zero community transmission in seven out of eight states and territories.

"We want to keep it that way, and we want to concentrate our resources on making sure that in Melbourne we are able to contain that spread, to support the Victorian Government, and to support the people who are doing the most difficult but fundamentally lifesaving things to protect themselves and to protect Victorians and to protect Australians."

Last Melbourne train arrives in Sydney

The final train from Melbourne to Sydney has arrived at Central station before the NSW-Victoria border closes from 12.01am on Wednesday.

There were 75 people on board the XPT, which is the maximum number of people that allowed to maintain social distancing.

They will not be allowed to walk onto the streets and will go into isolation.

It's going to be at least a month before the service runs again from Victoria into NSW.


Shorten hits back at Hanson on Today

Bill Shorten has refused to mention Pauline Hanson by name on the Today show, but he has hit back at her comments about residents in Melbourne's public housing towers yesterday.

"People who live in these towers they are not something different or special," he said.

"They are battlers, they are trying to go to work. There are nurses and teachers there.

"There's a whole lot of people trying to make ends meet. It is a difficult situation.

"I just think that we need to, as best possibly can be done by the State Government, who are acting for the public health advice, we just need to treat these people as decently as we can."


Virus spreading after record spike

After a record spike in coronavirus infections yesterday, a tenth public housing tower has been exposed in Melbourne and a border town is beginning to see infections.

It's understood an infected resident, who lives in a locked-down North Melbourne tower, also worked in the apartment building in Richmond as a subcontractor for the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

He patrolled the fifth, sixth and seventh floors of the 108 Elizabeth Street building.

The Department was made aware of the man's infection and his line of work last week, and seven levels of the building have since been sanitised.

Meanwhile, Albury-Wodonga, a town that sits on the NSW-Victoria border, has recorded three new cases of COVID-19.

The infections came within hours of state and federal governments announcing plans to close the border.

The closure is due to take effect at midnight on Tuesday.

One additional Wodonga case has been recorded, and over the border in Albury two positive cases have been discovered by the NSW health department.

One suspected case had recently travelled to Melbourne, returning before harsher restrictions were introduced in hotspot suburbs.

New revelations about hotel security

Security guards working at a Melbourne hotel when it was housing travellers in quarantine were allegedly paid in cash despite asking for their wage to be linked to their tax-file number, The Herald Sun reports.

The allegations, involving security guards that worked at the Crown Promenade Hotel in March and April, are outlined in three written statements seen by the publication.

One guard claimed he was given $8000 to distribute between nine colleagues without pay slips or superannuation contributions.

Victorian healthcare workers infected

Ten healthcare workers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past week in Victoria.

This includes three new cases in staff from separate hospitals, among the 127 infections announced on Monday, The Age reports.

The Department of Health and Human Services said one case was a healthcare worker at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, considered "a close contact of a known case".

The hospital said the case is a nurse in the acute medical unit.

A healthcare worker at the Royal Melbourne Hospital tested positive. Picture: David Caird

The DHHS said another was a healthcare worker at the Alfred Hospital.

"It's believed the worker attended the site while infectious," it said in a statement.

"Contact tracing is under way and the department is working closely with the hospital to ensure all appropriate public health actions are taken."

A healthcare worker at the Joan Kirner Women's and Children's Hospital at Sunshine Hospital has also reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, along with seven in the Northern Hospital emergency department.

Current case situation in Australia

There were 140 new cases of COVID-19 recorded across Australia in the 24 hours to 9pm on Monday, according to federal health department figures.

Of these, 127 were in Victoria - the largest daily increase in the state since the pandemic began.

There were 10 cases recorded in New South Wales and three in Western Australia but all 13 diagnosed are travellers in hotel quarantine.

"The new cases are all returned overseas travellers who flew into Perth on July 2," WA Health said.

Later on Monday, NSW Health said it was investigating after two suspected cases of COVID-19 returned positive results on preliminary testing in Albury.

The Hume Highway in Albury near the NSW-Victoria border. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Simon Dallinger

"Further testing is underway while, as a precaution, close contacts have been identified and placed in isolation," the health department said.

"One suspected case had recently travelled to Melbourne and had returned prior to hot spot travel restrictions coming into force.

"NSW Health urges residents in the Albury area who develop even the mildest symptoms to come forward for testing."

A pop-up clinic will be open at the Mirambeena Community Centre, 19 Martha Mews in Lavington from 9.30am on Tuesday "to ensure additional testing capacity is available".

There were no new cases of the coronavirus recorded in Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory or the Australian Capital Territory on Monday.

The country's death toll rose to 106 after two men, one aged in his 60s and the other aged in his 90s, died in Victoria during the reporting period.

List of blocked Melbourne hot spots

The Tuesday morning order from the NSW government affects residents in any of these 36 Local Government Areas in Greater Melbourne:

Banyule City
Bayside City
Boroondara City
Brimbank City
Cardinia Shire
Casey City
Darebin City
Frankston City
Glen Eira City
Greater Dandenong City
Greater Geelong City
Hobsons Bay City
Hume City
Kingston City
Knox City
Macedon Ranges Shire
Manningham City
Maribyrnong City
Maroondah City
Melbourne City
Melton City
Mitchell Shire
Monash City
Moonee Valley City
Moorabool Shire
Moreland City
Mornington Peninsula Shire
Murrindindi Shire
Nillumbik Shire
Port Phillip City
Stonnington City
Whitehorse City
Whittlesea City
Wyndham City
Yarra City
Yarra Ranges Shire
Source: NSW Government

Immediate ban on virus hot spot residents

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard amended the COVID-19 interstate hot spot order on Monday to include residents from Greater Melbourne's 36 local government areas.

The order is in force from 12.01am on Tuesday, July 7.

The health department said: "This means they will only be able to enter NSW for very limited reasons, such as obtaining medical care, or fulfilling a legal obligation."

"Come midnight tonight, for the next 24 hours, the hot spots will extend to all of Melbourne so nobody from Melbourne will be able to cross the border in the next 24 hours," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Monday.

"But come midnight tomorrow night, it will be all Victorians."

Victorian cases by local government area on Monday. Pictures: DHHS

The border between NSW and Victoria will shut from 12.01am on Wednesday, July 8.

"The requirement for NSW residents returning from Melbourne hotspots to self-isolate for 14 days will then be extended to anyone returning from Victoria. Heavy penalties and fines apply," the health minister's office said.

"Provisions will be in place for residents of border regions, such as Albury-Wodonga."

There have been 2660 cases of COVID-19 recorded in Victoria included 127 new cases announced on Monday.

 

Originally published as Virus spreading after record spike


‘More Qld jobs will go’ if JobSeeker pain not addressed

premium_icon ‘More Qld jobs will go’ if JobSeeker pain not addressed

‘More Qld jobs will go’ if flexible industrial relations arrangements not extended...

Second 'border hopper' hides out in Gympie region

premium_icon Second 'border hopper' hides out in Gympie region

The man has been remanded in custody by a Gympie court after allegedly breaching...

Coast Ninja mum of three proves age is no obstacle

premium_icon Coast Ninja mum of three proves age is no obstacle

Mum of three takes on Australian Ninja Warrior