The Victorian department of health has updated details on the new cases, locations, and clusters. Check the website here to see if you have visited a particular location and need to take action.
The following numbers are as of Saturday:
Among the non-aged care outbreaks, there are 26 cases in the Casey community cluster, 13 in the Footscray hospital cluster, seven within the one at Vawdrey Australia Truck Manufacturer, six connected to Dandenong police station, and six in the Alfred hospital cluster.
There are 89 people in hospital.
There are six cases in the Alfred hospital cluster. Photograph: James Ross/AAP
So far 757 people have died. Most deaths (596) have been in Victoria’s elderly community, aged 80 or over.
There have been 4,527 confirmed cases in aged care homes, including residents and staff.
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British billionaire Lord Alan Sugar is quarantining privately in Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald reports this morning.
Anyone arriving in Australia must go through hotel quarantine for 14 days at their own cost – about $3,000. There are “no exceptions” but some celebrities have been able to quarantine elsewhere as long as the authorities find that place suitable and if they cover the costs of security. They have to follow the same restrictions as everyone else.
The SMH reports NSW police have confirmed Sugar and his wife “submitted a proposal to acquire appropriate, independent locations to be nominated as ‘Quarantine Facilities’ as allowed under the Public Health Order”.
Sugar riled up more than a few Australians when he tweeted about his arrival into the country (flying on a commercial airline instead of a private jet for the first time in 25 years, because this is a time of great sacrifice) to host Celebrity Apprentice Australia.
There are tens of thousands of Australian citizens and residents currently stranded overseas because of the impact of border closures and caps on international arrivals, unable to get a flight home.
Covid test to be allowed on plane with mask all the way and strict 14 days quarantine and 2 covid tests after 3 days and 10 days. Same rules for me and a tosser like you https://t.co/eHGC0nl7nK
September 17, 2020
What’s it like to be part of a Covid-19 vaccine trial? Alex Spring spoke to Australian Josh McGrane, an associate professor and educational researcher living in Oxford. McGrane is taking part in the vaccine trials conducted by the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute.
I probably shouldn’t say it as a researcher, but from a psychological point of view, you do feel “all right, I’m immunised now, let me out of the house” – even though I’m not certain I had the vaccine. It might have been the placebo. There was definitely a psychological impact of feeling a bit like yeah, I’m OK.
Read the full interview here:
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$305m for families and childcare providers in Australia
Still in Australia, the government is providing an additional $305m for families and childcare providers, largely targeted at Victoria in light of the second wave lockdown, AAP reports.
The package includes a childcare fee freeze for Victorian families until 31 January and a continuation of the employment guarantee to ensure Victorian providers receiving the recovery payment pass support payments on to educators and employees through wages and payments.
The relaxation of the activity test for Australian families whose activity level has been affected by Covid will also be extended to 4 April.
The education minister, Dan Tehan, said the government had already invested $2.6bn to support families using childcare and the early childhood education and care sector, helping workers and vulnerable families who rely on these services.
The Australian government is providing an additional $305m for families and childcare providers. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP
“Victorian families and providers will continue to be supported by the federal government so they can get back on their feet following the second wave,” Tehan said on Sunday.
The package includes:
A recovery payment of 25% of pre-Covid revenue to childcare services in Victoria, until 31 January.
The recovery payment will start for centre-based day care, family day care and in-home care on 28 September in Victoria. The 40% recovery payment for outside school hours care will also start in Victoria when in-school teaching returns (anticipated to be mid to late October).
An extra payment of 15% of pre-Covid revenue for Victorian outside school hours care services, increasing their total support payments to 40% of revenue.
A childcare fee freeze for Victorian families until 31 January.
Continuing the employment guarantee to ensure Victorian providers receiving the recovery payment pass support payments on to educators and employees through wages and payments.
The relaxation of the activity test for Australian families whose activity level has been affected by Covid-19 will be extended to 4 April.
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NSW 14-day average down to four
The New South Wales 14-day average of locally acquired cases is down to four, the lowest since July, says Casey Briggs on the ABC. Testing numbers have dropped from a daily average of about 20,000 to about 15,000.
Victoria is testing fewer people too but case numbers are dramatically dropping as we reported earlier. Briggs says Victoria’s rate of reduction in cases is following the trajectory of NSW earlier in the year when it got its first wave outbreak under control.
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Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, is being interviewed on the ABC’s Insiders program.
He’s asked about what Treasury modelling says will be the impact of cutting back jobseeker and jobkeeper (government payments for those who have lost work or jobs). Morrison isn’t giving any specific answer despite being pushed. He says more than 400,000 jobs have come back and there will be more by Christmas, with Victoria bouncing back too.
The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison. Photograph: Dean Lewins/EPA
“We’re moving forward with the budget … and there are a range of measures in the budget,” he says when asked again about Treasury modelling.
Asked again: “Treasury says we need to boost aggregate in demand in our economy and the full suite of measures to do that job and that’s what the budget will [do]… You don’t have to hold on to every measure forever.”
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Welcome to our new live blog. Helen Davidson here to take you through the next few hours
Here the latest key developments at a glance:
France reported 13,498 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday, setting another record in daily additional infections since the disease started to spread.
The UK reported 4,422 new daily cases on Saturday, 100 more new cases than on Friday and the highest daily total since 8 May.
The taskforce backing a huge gas expansion to help drive Australia’s Covid-19 recovery was receiving “pro bono” advice from a lobbyist firm with links to the Saudi government and gas companies.
Brazil recorded 33,057 additional confirmed cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 739 deaths.
The World Health Organization has endorsed a protocol for testing African herbal medicines as potential treatments for coronavirus and other epidemics.
The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, has warned that the English capital needs fresh Covid restrictions by Monday if it is to avoid a big rise in infections, while doctors are urging the government to introduce stronger coronavirus measures in England to drive down case numbers and avoid another national lockdown.
The Philippines reported 3,962 new infections and 100 additional deaths, with both numbers the highest in five days.
Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, is cracking down on private social gatherings as cases surge.
After Poland reported record daily new coronavirus cases on Saturday, neighbouring Lithuania and Slovakia also logged their largest daily tallies since the pandemic began.
A partial lockdown is set to begin in some of Madrid’s poorer districts next week, but residents of one of the worst-hit neighbourhood’s said today they doubted the new measures would work.
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