Coronavirus Australia: NSW records 863 new local COVID-19 cases
NSW has reported 863 new local cases of COVID-19 — dipping below Victoria’s number of daily infections - and seven deaths.
Most of NSW is locked down and police are cracking down on compliance measures as authorities battle to contain the spread of the virulent Delta strain.
Of the seven people who died in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, one person was in their 40s, one in their 50s, two in their 70s, two in their 80s and one in their 90s.
It takes the toll for the current outbreak to 316.
There are 1155 COVID-19 patients in hospital in NSW, with 213 in intensive care and 113 on ventilators.
Victoria, meanwhile, on Tuesday recorded 867 new local COVID-19 cases - the first time the southern state’s daily infections total has exceeded that of NSW since the commencement of the Bondi outbreak.
NSW will emerge from its lockdown in a fortnight after almost four months of stay-at-home orders for large swathes of the state.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday declared the beginning of the “COVID- normal” era from December, with the phasing out of statewide or region-wide lockdowns to begin within two weeks.
Socially distanced reintroductions to hospitality venues and hairdressers will likely begin from October 11, at 70 per cent full vaccination coverage.
About two weeks later, the state is expected to reach 80 per cent coverage and travel between Greater Sydney and regional NSW will resume.
From October 25, gathering caps will increase, entertainment venues can operate at 75 per cent capacity, libraries and museums can reopen and community sport will resume.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller says police won’t be routinely stopping people asking to see their vaccination passports but will be available to help business owners who refuse service to anyone.
“We will not be walking through restaurants and cafes and pubs checking if people are double vaccinated,” he told 2GB radio on Tuesday.
“We will certainly be assisting restaurant owners and shop owners if they are refusing entry to someone, we will certainly respond to assist those people ... it’s important that we keep calm out there.”
From December 1, life will return to near normal for all NSW residents.
The “four square metre” social distancing rule reverts to two square metres and those who aren’t vaccinated can reintegrate with society.
Almost all remaining restrictions will ease at this point for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated.
Ms Berejiklian said she’d also like Sydney Airport to serve as a funnel for stranded Australians overseas to return home. NSW intends to increase arrival caps at 80 per cent and remove caps by December.
“Every state needs to do their bit for the country (and) our contribution in NSW will be to welcome home Australians if other state premiers aren’t inclined to do that,” Ms Berejiklian told ABC TV on Tuesday.
“We’ll make sure they get safely on a flight back to their home state and what happens after that
VIC RECORDS 867 COVID-19 CASES, 4 DEATHS
Victoria has recorded 867 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and four deaths, as well as an additional 149 infections from previous days.
It is the state’s highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic, surpassing the previous record of 847 cases on Saturday.
The state’s health department said more information would be provided on the deaths later on Tuesday. They bring the toll from the current outbreak to 29.
The department also said an additional 140 cases have been added to Monday’s tally and nine cases to Sunday’s tally due to test results “incorrectly recorded by a third-party software vendor”.
This means there are now 9261 active infections across Victoria.
There were 49,450 coronavirus tests processed and 35,160 vaccine doses administered at state-run hubs on Monday.
It comes as general practitioners and pharmacies in Melbourne suburbs hardest hit by COVID-19 are eligible for grants to help speed up the vaccination rollout.
Premier Daniel Andrews has announced grants of up to $10,000 for clinics and pharmacies in 11 local government areas with high COVID-19 infections and low vaccination rates.
Mr Andrews said the grants would allow GPs and pharmacies to operate additional hours, hire more staff or rent out space to run vaccination hubs.
More than 78 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and over have now had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 47.7 per cent have had two doses.
Melbourne’s lockdown will remain in place until 70 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 are double-vaccinated, which is forecast for October 26.
A more significant easing of restrictions will occur when the 80 per cent double-dose target is met, forecast for November 5.
However, some modest changes will be made to restrictions on Wednesday, when the state pass 80 per cent single-dose vaccination coverage.
This includes extending the travel limit to 15 kilometres, as well as the resumption of golf, tennis and cricket and group personal training for up to five fully vaccinated adults.
QUEENSLAND RECORDS FOUR NEW LOCAL CASES AFTER COVID SCARE
Queensland has four new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 including a truck driver who was infectious in the community for a week.
All of the cases are in the southeast corner. So far there’s been no order for a new lockdown.
The first case was reported late on Monday, an Eatons Hill man who works at an aviation training facility who was infectious in the community for three days. His wife is the second case.
The man was double vaccinated but only had his second jab a week ago.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there were significant concerns about the third case - the truck driver who was active in the community for a week while infectious, and who was staying in share accommodation.
“The police are speaking to this truck driver to get some more information from him,” the premier told reporters on Tuesday.
The fourth case, which authorities are not too concerned about, was a person who tested positive after being released from two weeks of hotel quarantine.
The premier said masks have again been made mandatory in public settings in the Brisbane and Morton Bay areas.
“There’s no need to panic because Queenslanders have been doing the right thing, especially in the southeast,” she said.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young is due to address reporters shortly and will announce new restrictions on visits to aged care and disability care settings, and jails.
The aviation worker visited a McDonald’s in Albany Creek, a childcare centre in Eatons Hill and stores in Rocklea and Aspley while infectious.
He has no recent history of overseas of interstate travel and authorities are probing the source of his infection.
It’s understood the truck driver is the case linked to the Adalong Student Guesthouse in South Brisbane, a shared accommodation facility that’s now under police guard.
CANBERRA RECORDS 13 NEW LOCAL COVID-19 CASES
Canberra has recorded 13 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, bringing the national capital’s total outbreak to 782.
Of the 13 new cases, only one was in isolation for their entire infectious period, while at least seven were contagious out in the community.
Eleven of the transmissions have been linked to existing cases and two remain under investigation.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr confirmed eight Canberrans were now in hospital with COVID-19, including three people in intensive care.
Mr Barr said a sizeable portion of the COVID-19 patients in Canberra hospitals were people from NSW.
“This reflects the fact that Canberra Hospital is the major tertiary hospital in the ACT and southern New South Wales,” he said.
“It could be that up to 50 per cent of the patients in intensive care in Canberra Hospital over the coming weeks and months will in fact be regional New South Wales residents.”
On Monday, the Chief Minister announced Canberrans would receive a number of new freedoms from this Friday.
WA RECORDS NO NEW LOCAL CASES OF COVID
WA appears to have escaped its latest COVID scares, with the contacts of two positive cases who had been in the community all returning negative test results.
Panic erupted last week when Health Minister Roger Cook announced a truck driver from NSW had returned a positive PCR test.
It cast a shadow of doubt over the AFL grand final, however the Melbourne and Western Bulldogs clash was free to go ahead. At the time, authorities described the situation as low risk.
The Health Department today announced all 56 of the truck driver’s close and casual contacts had tested negative to the virus. It was still waiting on eight results yesterday.
All contacts are still in quarantine, where they are expected to remain for 14 days.
Meanwhile, the 18 contacts of a woman in her 20s, who returned from travel on Friday, have also returned negative test results. No new COVID cases have been detected overnight.
The Health Department has also urged people to take advantage of the walk-in jab clinics operating at the Perth Royal Show.
No appointments are required, however appointments take-ups have not been as high as expected.
WA residents aged 12-15 are also now eligible for a Pfizer jab.
However, those getting the Pfizer vaccine will likely be required to receive a booster shot.
Australian Medical Association WA president Mark Duncan-Smith today said the AstraZeneca vaccine provided better immunity and a third Pfizer shot would be needed for WA residents early next year or 12 months after the second dose.
STATE-BY-STATE CASE BREAKDOWN
VIC - 867 NEW LOCAL CASES, FOUR DEATHS
NSW - 863 NEW LOCAL CASES, SEVEN DEATHS
QLD - FOUR NEW LOCAL CASES
WA - NO NEW LOCAL CASES
ACT - 13 NEW LOCAL CASES
SA - NO NEW LOCAL CASES
TAS - NO NEW LOCAL CASES
NT - NO NEW LOCAL CASES
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