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'Too high': Victoria's restrictions will not ease

3 weeks ago 21

Daniel Andrews says it's still too early to consider reopening Victoria after virus numbers spiked today after days of steady decline.

Staff writers

news.com.au August 29, 2020 1:54PM

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Last updated August 30, 2020 11:39AM AEST

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has said the virus cases are still "too high" for residents to come out of lockdown.

Mr Andrews dashed hopes after Victoria recorded a fresh spike in coronavirus cases, recording 114 new cases today – up from 94 yesterday.

There were also 11 deaths, taking the toll to 525.

“These case numbers are too high for us to open up, and they are still too high for us to put forward a definitive plan,” he said.

“Now, there will be a plan. It will come soon. But it will be one that we can be confident of, not something that potentially gets a few of people being happier, but then ultimately has to be revised because it didn’t mean much when you first announced it.”

Earlier today Queensland introduced a raft of new restrictions after recording four new virus cases.

The state’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, confirmed the new cases were linked to “known contacts” and had affected a school which had been closed.

She also stated that of the confirmed cases had travelled out to Toowoomba and as a result “a decision was made yesterday that we need to protect the vulnerable people who live in the Darling Downs hospital and health service region”.

This means new restrictions will be introduced for people who live in Cherbourg, Goondiwindi, south of Burnett, southern Downs, Toowoomba and Western Downs, restricting gatherings to a maximum of 10 people.

Residential aged care and disability accommodation facilities have restrictions on visitors and residents leaving the facility.

Dr Young also advised Queenslanders it “is time” for them to start wearing face masks in confined areas.

“Over the last few days, I have been saying to people that this is the time to get out those flat surgical masks that you can now buy anywhere,” she said during a media address this morning.

“Those masks, or, if you have made masks, with three layers of thickness, they are effective as well.

“It is really time to start using them. If you can’t socially distance when you go to the shopping centre, use a mask.”

For more details, scroll below.

Live Updates

Rebekah Scanlan

Daniel Andrews has said the virus cases are still "too high" for residents to come out of lockdown.

"At 100, 94, at 114, whatever the number, we simply could not open up," he said.

"Those numbers would explode, we would finish up and perhaps an even worse situation than we have been in recent months. We cannot fritter away all that good work and sacrifice."

He added that the "pain endured" was too great to undo all the hard work that had been done fighting the virus across the state, pleading with Victorians to "stay the course".

"These case numbers are too high for us to open up, and they are still too high for us to put forward a definitive plan," he said.

"Now, there will be a plan. It will come soon. But it will be one that we can be confident of, not something that potentially gets a few of people being happier, but then ultimately has to be revised because it didn't mean much when you first announced it."

He went on to say he knew the situation was "challenging" and added that "nobody wants this to be over more than me".

But fears that the virus would "take off again and potentially burns more intensely than it ever has" means the state simply cannot consider opening yet.

Rebekah Scanlan

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has praised the 406 healthcare workers across the state who have contracted coronavirus during Sunday's media address on virus figures.

The state has recorded 114 new virus new cases today and 11 deaths.

"We thank them for their care and compassion and their commitment to providing only the best care to their patients," Mr Andrews said.

"We send our best wishes to them and we thank them and their colleagues, those who are at work right now, and every hour of every shift, in every part of the state, they are heroes and they are doing an amazing job and we are deeply grateful to all of them."

Rebekah Scanlan

Queensland's Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, has instructed the state's residents to wear masks in confined areas.

"Over the last few days, I have been saying to people that this is the time to get out those flat surgical masks that you can now buy anywhere," she said during a media address this morning.

"Those masks, or, if you have made masks, with three layers of thickness, they are effective as well.

"It is really time to start using them. If you can't socially distance when you go to the shopping centre, use a mask. Try to always socially distance. That is far, far more effective. But if you can't do it, use a mask."

She added that the mask advice was "not because I think there's any increased risk ", stressing it was about managing risk moving forward.

"Really this is just being ultra cautious and thinking about everything we can do so we can maintain our society as much as possible."

Rebekah Scanlan

Dr Jeannette Young admitted she'd heard "a very sad discussion" about whether or not you can comfort someone at a funeral, prompting her to offer some clarification.

"People who are living in a household feel that they can't comfort each other at the graveside. Of course they can," she said.

"If people in the same household, so, they are comforting each other in their own home, they can comfort each other at the graveside."

However she stressed that you cannot physically comfort someone who lives in a different household.

"Different households, no, you can't, because then there is a real risk you will spread it, and the work that the funeral industry has been doing two funerals to make funerals COVID-safe has been exceptional."

Rebekah Scanlan

Queensland has recorded four new cases of coronavirus today as the cluster linked to Queensland Corrective Services Academy grows.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new cases were located in the suburbs of Forest Lake and Collingwood Park.

Three of the new cases live together with two other positive cases, she said.

The state's Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, said a school had been linked to the new cases and had been closed.

She also stated that of the confirmed cases had travelled out to Toowoomba and as a result "a decision was made yesterday that we need to protect the vulnerable people who live in the Darling Downs hospital and health service region".

This means new restrictions will be bought in for people who live in Cherbourg, Goondiwindi, south of Burnett, southern Downs, Toowoomba and Western Downs, restricting gatherings to a maximum of 10 people.

Residential aged care and disability accommodation facilities will also have restrictions on visitors and residents leaving the facility.

You can read more on this here.

Rebekah Scanlan

New research has suggested that women fare better than men when it comes to contracting coronavirus.

Data acquired by New York City’s health department shows that throughout the city’s large scale outbreak, considerably more men have died of the disease than women.

Back in April when the city was the epicenter of the outbreak, the COVID-19 death rate per 100,000 people in New York City stood at 55 for men and less than 30 for women.

Months later, on August 27, the health department reported a rate of 11,389 men who've died of COVID-19 compared with 7,646 women.

"It is true that men seem to be suffering more seriously," NBC News medical correspondent Dr. John Torres told Today.

Rebekah Scanlan

Queensland Health has issued residents a fresh warning over washing hands and its importance in the fight against coronavirus.

“Been a while since you last washed your hands? Go and wash them right now,” the message on Twitter reads.

It comes after the state recorded 4 new cases yesterday.

Rebekah Scanlan

Mirabai Nicholson-McKellar contracted coronavirus in March after returning to Australia on a flight from Germany.

But five months after first testing positive for COVID-19 – the Byron Bay woman has revealed she is still struggling.

“It’s completely rendered me useless, I cannot function like a normal person,” she told Yahoo News Australia.

“The simplest things, I can’t do anymore – it’s incredibly frustrating.”

Mirabai hit the headlines back in May after testing positive for the third time.

After nearly 60 days in isolation, she’s recently been deemed not contagious, but is still living with bouts of “intense fatigue” and moments when she says it feels as if her “skin is on fire”.

The 35-year-old’s struggle comes after Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young warned of the long-term consequences from the disease, revealing COVID can become ‘chronic condition’.

Rebekah Scanlan

Infectious diseases expert Sharon Lewin has issued a grim warning about Melbourne’s latest death figures.

The director of the Doherty Institute in Melbourne said that despite confirmed COVID-19 figures heading in the right direction, it would be a mistake to expect death figures to do the same.

"First of all, deaths come later than infection. So even though we're seeing infections decline, we may not see deaths decline for a few weeks," Professor Lewin told ABC.

"That's because between the time you get infected and get very sick and die, is on average about two to three weeks.”

She pointed out that most of those who had died in Australia from the virus had been those over 80 in which coronavirus was “deadly”.

Rebekah Scanlan

Victoria has seen a fresh spike in coronavirus cases, recording 114 new cases today – up from 94 yesterday.

There were also 11 deaths, taking the toll to 525.

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