I missed this earlier this morning, but a Victorian man was arrested on Friday afternoon in Renmark, South Australia.
The 39-year-old man was found sleeping in his car near a cemetery at Renmark West after being refused entry to South Australia at 2.30am that morning.
He was arrested and charged with failing to comply with Covid-19 directions. He’s been refused bail and will appear in court on Monday.
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Queensland records no new cases
There were no new cases of coronavirus reported in Queensland on Saturday, but the state has reimposed a ban on pub-goers standing at bars or high tables, AAP reports.
The state health minister, Steven Miles, says the coronavirus social distancing rule, which means patrons must be seated when eating and drinking, will help venues remain open.
“We do not want to get to the point where we have to close down businesses again,” he told reporters on Saturday.
“While I understand these new restrictions make doing business and having a drink a little bit harder it is not too much to sacrifice to keep the doors open and keep all those workers employed.”
Queensland’s chief health officer, Jeannette Young, reinstated the health restriction late on Friday, causing vocal frustration among some venue operators, many of whom have only recently fully reopened due to Covid-19 rules.
The ruling means patrons must be seated when eating and drinking but can still order from the bar. The number of people allowed in venues will remain the same.
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Here is some more on that party in Thredbo in New South Wales, via AAP.
NSW police about 11pm on Friday attended an area of bushland near Jindabyne where they discovered a large bonfire and lighting, as well as an amplified music set up and DJ.
The majority of attendees fled into the bushland as authorities shut down the event, but the NSW police assistant commissioner, Scott Whyte, said a “significant number” of people were detained.
“Every single person that’s been identified will be fined,” Whyte told reporters on Saturday.
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Germany records 781 new cases
Germany has recorded an increase in coronavirus cases of 781 to 204,964 in total. The death toll has risen by 7 to 9,118.
Greg Hunt says there are 28 ADF teams on the ground in Melbourne assisting with contact tracing following up where health officials have not been able to contact someone who has tested positive.
The Australian health minister, Greg Hunt, held a press conference around the same time as the Victorian press conference (because that is what usually ends up happening).
In Australia, there are now 13,950 confirmed cases and 145 deaths.
He says there is a “global acceleration” in the pandemic.
He said in Victoria it is stable, but there are significant numbers.
He says there needs to be a week of sustained lowering of numbers before success can be declared.
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Brett Sutton says even though the mask requirements allow for people to not wear a mask when they’re running, he says if you can manage it you should.
He says he does know people who can run marathons wearing a mask, but the exemption is there for people who can’t manage it.
That’s the end of the presser.
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Daniel Andrews says he is confident that authorities will put a stop to scams where people are calling up claiming to be contact tracers and demanding payment for tests.
“I think that anytime people behave in that sort of completely immoral, unconscionable way, that is a challenge. I am confident that between health department, Consumer Affairs Victoria and potentially Victoria police, if that is appropriate, we can deal with that.
“No member of the contact tracing team is going to be asking for your credit card or your bank details.”
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Andrews says those refusing to wear masks are making selfish choices.
“They are not even in the interests of the people themselves, because it will just mean these rules and this sort of conflict, which is completely unnecessary, by the way, but these rules will be in place longer if people continue to behave that way.”
There was a well-publicised case yesterday of a coronavirus conspiracy theorist getting past a roadblock to get out of Melbourne to regional Victoria. She posted the video online, and Andrews said she could be fined if the police find her.
“Victoria police have that matter in hand … They are working hard to find that person. And that person will either have a lawful reason to be in regional Victoria or that person won’t, and if they don’t, then Victoria police, I am confident, will fine them.”
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Daniel Andrews is asked whether, given the ADF infection, people can be confident the ADF won’t be spreading coronavirus as they go door to door.
Andrews says the main reason ADF officers will be knocking on your door is if you test positive for the virus and you haven’t answered a call from health officials, but says the healthcare worker infection rate shows just how infectious coronavirus is and all precautions were being taken.
“Even with the full PPE, layer upon layer, no PPE can reduce the risk to zero. But ADF are playing a really important part, and we are very grateful to them.”
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Brett Sutton says health authorities are continuing to watch the situation in regional Victoria carefully, where the lockdown is not currently applied, but there isn’t the kind of community transmission that has been seen in Melbourne. Most of the transmission has been within families.
Brett Sutton says the current numbers are “pretty stubborn to shift” but we need to see the impact of universal mask usage in the next few weeks.
He says a harder lockdown wouldn’t necessarily reduce numbers because the cases where outbreaks are occurring are the places that would remain open in a stage-four scenario – aged care, food distribution and production facilities and healthcare facilities.
He says it’s unlikely we will be opening up in the next two weeks, and cases won’t go to zero because the outbreaks are really difficult to manage.
“This will have quite a tail, even if we see numbers start to drop in the next week or two.”
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Victorian chief health officer Brett Sutton has outlined the known clusters and outbreaks:
183 cases linked to Al Taqwa College.
74 cases linked to St Basil’s home for the aged in Fawkner
71 cases linked to Estia Health in Ardeer
60 cases linked to Menarock life aged care in Essendon
40 cases linked to SDR health in Heidelberg
49 cases linked to Glendale aged care in Werribee
23 cases linked to Baptcare Wyndham Lodge in Werribee
22 cases linked to Regis Aged Care in Brighton
80 cases linked to Somerville retail services in Tottenham
45 cases now linked to the Australian lamb company in Colac.
21 cases linked to the Woolworth distribution centre in Mulgrave
10 cases linked to Star Track parcel distribution in Laverton
Seven cases linked to Bingo Recycling in West Melbourne
Five cases linked to staff at a KFC in Truganina
Five cases have been linked to Probe Group in Melbourne’s CBD
Two cases linked to D’orsonga Meats in Mechelen.
Two cases that are associated with Alfred Health Grand Chancellor hotel in Melbourne
One ADF officer who has tested positive who was supporting the Craigieburn testing
Daniel Andrews says he is proud to see how many Victorians are wearing masks, now that it is mandatory.
He said the mask edict was essentially stage-four restrictions.
“I cannot tell you how proud I was to travel in here this morning and see literally every single person on my journey into the office from the middle-ring suburbs in the south-east, wearing a mask,” he said. “It is just a fantastic thing.”
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As foreshadowed yesterday, the Commonwealth government, with the Victorian government is acting to ensure casual staff in Aged care facilities aren’t working at more than one facility, Daniel Andrews announces.
We are working very closely with the Commonwealth government, with aged care providers and with unions to consolidate shifts into single sites, do not have workers that are more often than not casual in the nature of their employment. Not moving between multiple sites but instead concentrating them on one site, that obviously doesn’t eliminate but significantly reduces the risk of the virus being transmitted by staff from one setting to another.
The federal government is going to provide support for those workers who will be disadvantaged by the new policy.
Andrews says all workers are now required to wear personal protective equipment, too.