NSW Health has expanded its warning over a supermarket and bottle shop in western Sydney. As of last night, anyone who attended the BWS or Woolworths supermarket at Berala at any time from 20 December to 31 December has been asked to get tested immediately and self-isolate until they return a negative result.
The order is expected to include thousands of people. People who attended at specific days and times, listed here, have already been asked to get tested and self-isolate for 14 days regardless of the result.
Shoppers leave Woolworths Berala, one of many Covid exposure sites in Sydney. Anyone who shopped at the supermarket at any time between 20 December and 31 December is considered at risk of coronavirus. Photograph: Jenny Evans/Getty Images
The Earlwood Bardwell Park RSL on 28 December has also been put on the exposure list.
People in western Sydney have been urged to get a test if they feel any symptoms, even if they have already been tested recently. NSW chief health officer, Dr Kerry Chant, says the number of tests done over the past few days has been too low – she says they should see at least 30,000 tests per day, preferably around 50,000, to ensure they have a good surveillance of virus levels in the population.
In Victoria, health authorities say they are confident the Black Rock coronavirus cluster is on a “very positive trajectory”. All 24 active locally acquired cases in the state have been directly linked to the Thai restaurant outbreak. More than 1,106 primary and secondary contacts of those positive cases are in isolation.
But Victorian authorities have been criticised for not successfully contacting the owners of some businesses listed as Covid-19 exposure sites before they were publicly named. The Australian has reported that a Melbourne cafe was not contacted by DHHS until 16 hours after their business was listed as an exposure site, but that DHHS had earlier attempted to contact the business by calling the business line after-hours and sending an email to an incorrect address. This is, of course, not a problem that is exclusive to Victoria.
Drive-through Covid testing at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds. Photograph: James Ross/EPA
South Australian authorities will meet today to discuss border restrictions with NSW and Victoria, but they are not expected to announce any changes. At the moment SA has a hard border with NSW and an open border with Victoria, but anyone who has been to a virus hotspot in Melbourne is asked to get tested.
Western Australia bushfires
In Western Australia, an emergency warning has been issued for communities in the shires of Gingin and Dandaragan, north of Perth, which are under threat from an out-of-control bushfire. The WA department of fire and emergency services says residents must leave now to avoid a threat to their lives. I’ll bring you more details on that soon.
Julian Assange cannot be extradited to the US
And you probably saw overnight that a British judge has ruled that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange cannot be extradited to the United States, not on free speech grounds but because of concerns about his mental health. Assange’s lawyers are now preparing to make a fresh appeal to have him released from prison.
Let’s crack on. You can reach me on twitter @callapilla. If I miss something, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org