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Hazzard grilled over bubble boy mishap

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A teenage boy in home isolation has been living in a plastic bubble fashioned by his family for three weeks, with no word from health officials. NSW health minister Brad Hazzard has been pressed over how health authorities have seemingly forgotten an 18-year-old boy with coronavirus.

The apprentice, who lives in Lidcombe — in one of the state’s 12 “hotspot” councils — has been living in a “bubble” separated from his family to avoid spreading the infection, the Daily Telegraph reports. When asked about his reportedly not receiving any contact from a health worker for the go-ahead to leave his room, Mr. Hazzard said officials were exploring ways to support people managing Covid at home.

“I think it’s fair to say there has been a lot of pressure on the 10,000 cases which have been managed at home,” he said, adding that the ministry was looking into working with the private sector. He said he had been told the 18-year-old, who contracted Covid from a colleague in mid-August, had received “six phone calls”.

Mr. Hazzard concluded by telling people to “be patient” while commending the NSW health system. “The world is under massive stress, the entire world, the New South Wales system is still doing far better than almost anywhere else, and we have a rising number of cases.”

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Meanwhile, police officers, firefighters, and paramedic graduates are being trained to drive ambulances to cope with the pressure, as Premier Gladys Berejiklian warns the worst is yet to come.

In the ACT, case numbers jumped to 32 overnight. And in Queensland, an infectious diseases expert has warned another hard snap lockdown to combat the delta variant could be looming, with chief health officer Dr. Jeanette Young confirming it is “unfortunately still a possibility” today. While the live blog has now ended, here are the top coronavirus updates from today:

New exposure sites listed for NSW

A Westfield shopping center, Big W, supermarkets, and chemists have all been flagged as new Covid exposure sites in NSW. NSW Health has released a list of places a casual contact attended in the last ten days in Bateau Bay, Lisarow, Terrigal, Shoal Bay, Tuggerah, West Gosford, and Wyong.

The venues include Westfield Tuggerah, 31 Fish Terrigal, 7-Eleven Lisarow, Aldi Wyong, Ampol Foodary West Gosford, Big W Tuggerah, Newspower Tuggerah, Officeworks Tuggerah, TerryWhite Chemmart Bateau Bay Square, and Shoal Bay Pharmacy.

Anyone who attended the venues and dates listed on the NSW Health website must get tested immediately and isolated until they receive a negative result. If the date of exposure at a venue occurred in the last four days, a person must get another test on day five from the date of disclosure.

$2.3b more worth of support for Victorian businesses

A $2.3 billion support package for businesses, jointly funded by the federal and Victorian governments, has been announced. The four-week business support payment program is aimed at 175,000 small and medium Victorian companies and will run until September 30as. The state works towards a 70 percent one-dose vaccination rate.

Most payments will be deposited automatically into businesses’ bank accounts. In contrast, a new tiered payments system for the Business Costs Assistance Program will allow higher prices for companies with more workers. The Business Costs Assistance Program payments will be automatically made at $2800, $5600, and $8400 weekly over September, depending on payroll size.

Eligible cafes, restaurants, and bars will receive Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payments of between $5000 and $20,000 weekly. The Small Business Covid Hardship Fund will also be increased to $20,000 for around 35,000 businesses, and the application deadline will be extended.

An Alpine Support Package will also help sustain ski resorts through the remainder of the season and September school holidays with automatic top-up payments of between $10,000 and $40,000, depending on business location and whether they employ staff.

“Already, the Commonwealth has provided $1.3 billion in Covid-19 disaster payments to Victorians, supporting the incomes of around 500,000 individuals and, in partnership with the State Government, committed more than $4 billion to small and medium-sized businesses throughout this lockdown,” Mr. Frydenberg said.

“But there is light at the end of the tunnel. By sticking to the National Plan, which state and territory leaders agreed to, we can safely ease restrictions and open up our economy.” Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said businesses of all colors and shades have shown remarkable resilience, and the government will continue to back them.

“We are responding to changing circumstances with a package bigger than anything we’ve announced before, and it’s the right thing to do. It’s right for the dedicated business owners across the state, and it’s right for their workers,” he said. “This package will support our hardest-hit sectors and businesses and ensure they can keep paying the expenses that don’t go away just because the doors are shut.”

Tradies cop $220k in fines

NSW Police and SafeWork inspectors have handed out $220,000 in fines in the past three weeks to tradies on construction sites that have broken public health orders, reports The Daily Telegraph. Fines were issued for failures to wear masks and being on-site unvaccinated, among other things.

“On the weekend in the local government areas of concern, we saw sites which had no QR code check-ins, no Covid safety plans, and no records of worker vaccinations,” NSW Better Regulation Minister Kevin Anderson told the newspaper.

“We received considerable pushback from several sites which refused to provide any information or fled from the site to avoid identification.” Inspectors also visited 756 sites in 243 suburbs across the state last month.

No new cases in WA overnight

WA Health said in a statement:

“WA Health is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 overnight. The state’s total remains at 1086. To date, 1068 people have recovered from the virus in WA. WA Health monitors nine active COVID-19 cases: two in hotel quarantine and seven MV Ken Hou vessel crew members.

Two NSW truck drivers reported as positive cases on Friday, August 2, 27, remain in hotel quarantine. They are included in NSW statistics because they tested positive in that state. The 25 contacts of the two truck drivers have returned negative test results and remain in-home quarantine.”

Restrictions outside metropolitan Melbourne could ease next week. Mr. Sutton said a lowering of conditions outside of metropolitan Melbourne could come as soon as next week. “The regions are on track for some level of easing,” he told reporters.

“I hope no one drops their guard in the regions. “A big part of it is everything regional Victorians can do to check who’s coming for their food and services and visitors and to ensure they’re other regional Victorians.”

SA Health lists new exposure sites.

South Australian health officials have identified new tier-one Covid-19 exposure sites at Cavan and Dry Creek in Adelaide. Anyone who visited the Cavan Hotel at Dry Creek on Monday between 6:00-7:00 pm must get tested and isolated with their household for 14 days.

People who went to the Cross Keys Hotel at Cavan on Monday, 6:15 am to 2:00 am, must do the same. It comes after five Covid-positive truck drivers visited SA from New South Wales in recent weeks. The state has not recorded a case of community transmission due to the exposure, with around 500 people linked to exposure sites in isolation.

Improper mask use may be because of the spread.

Mr. Sutton said wearing masks incorrectly may contribute to Covid transmission within the community. “A mask on a chin does bugger all. If you’re wearing your mask over your mouth and below your nose but breathing through your nose, that is an issue. You will transmit to others if you are Covid-positive,” he said. “We can all do better, but this is an invisible virus.”

Professor Sutton refuses to comment on the Nadia Bartel scandal. When asked about high-profile influencers flouting lockdown rules in light of yesterday’s viral footage of Nadia Bartel appearing to snort a white powder in a gathering of people, Professor Sutton said he “wouldn’t comment”. He echoed the sentiment of all Victorians – that the state is “fed up” with being stuck at home.

“I won’t comment on the incident in particular,” he began. “We are all fed up. We are all fed up with being stuck at home, not seeing friends and family. My message to anyone, social influencer or otherwise, is the letter to all Victorians: There is only one way to protect yourself: following the rules.

“There is no question that it’s hard. The alternative is too awful to contemplate. Tens of thousands of cases could be our reality if we don’t maintain those tricky constraints on our lives. That is just the appalling dilemma that we’ve had right through.

“We’ve got maybe the biggest challenge that we’ve ever faced, but we’ve also got a proper pathway out of here with vaccination, so hold the line in these last weeks and months until we get the high vaccination coverage.” Minister Pakula later said of the incident that the “person involved” should be embarrassed, adding that situations like this lead to lockdown extending.

‘Don’t wait for a vaccine.’

When asked when the state will receive more doses of the Pfizer vaccine, Professor Sutton said he wasn’t aware of an exact date, urging public members to book appointments for AstraZeneca if available.

“We want it to accelerate our vaccination uptake as much as possible. I would remind every Victorian there is AstraZeneca available in terms of supply. AstraZeneca places are available in our state hubs, and there are GP appointments that can still be made, of course, for AstraZeneca and Pfizer, so people should bear that in mind.”

He added that those with chronic health conditions should be more worried about contracting Covid than experiencing a side effect of a vaccine and should be lining up for a vaccine as soon as possible.

“Do not wait for other vaccines.

“People are concerned about a pre-existing illness; they say, ‘I’ve got a respiratory infection. I’ve had a deep vein thrombosis. I’ve had high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

“They are the same conditions that mean they should be coming forward now for the AstraZeneca vaccine and not waiting. The vaccination is not riskier if you’ve had chronic conditions. Covid is much riskier if you’ve had chronic conditions. It is more of a reason to come forward and get your vaccine now, not less of a reason.”

Victoria Health is providing an update now.

Of the 190 cases recorded today, 103 are linked to known outbreaks, Minister Martin Pakula said at today’s press conference. In total, 87 are under investigation, taking the state to 1301 active cases, with 1297 being local.

“In terms of age brackets, 205 are between zero and nine years of age, 213 are between 10 and 19, 316 are in their 20s, and 224 are in their 30s. There are 76 people in the hospital, 23 in ICU and 14 on a ventilator,” Mr. Pakula said.

“None of the people in the hospital are fully vaccinated.” Regarding vaccination rates, health authorities say things look positive: “There were 35,464 vaccines administered in state-run clinics yesterday.

“That is our second most significant day on record. There have been 2,000,550 doses administered in total through state-run centers, and we are now almost two-thirds of the way through our target in five weeks.

“We have 373,576 doses to go, and on the current trajectory, we will get there a little early, so that is good news.” Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton later reminded Victorians to leave their homes to shop for essentials, listing new exposure sites, including shopping centers.

“Supermarkets are essential. Everyone will go there at one point in time. They are not inherently high risk, but they have a high volume of our contacts. They have a lot of human movement there. That means many thousands of Victorians will shop alongside those not yet diagnosed with COVID-19, a reminder that it is one member for each household once a day.

“Think about minimizing your exposure, keeping your distance. Don’t be caught up in an exposure site. If you can click and collect for your shopping, please do so. Go less frequently,” he urged.

Sydney’s ‘forgotten bubble boy’ down to ‘pressure’ on the system. When asked about reports of a teenager left in isolation for three weeks in a cordoned-off area of his home, Mr. Hazzard said officials were exploring ways to support people managing Covid at home. “I think it’s fair to say there has been a lot of pressure on the 10,000 cases which have been managed at home,” he said of the teen who reportedly hadn’t heard from any health officials about when he could leave isolation.

“The health ministry is working with the Western Sydney local health district and the south-western local health district to try and put in place some new partnerships, and I know with the private sector, they are moving to try and ensure that people are not missing out on this phone call to discuss when you can leave yourself isolation.”

He added that he had been told the 18-year-old apprentice, who contracted Covid from a colleague in mid-August, had received “six phone calls”. “I was advised by health that in that particular case highlighted to me this morning had been six phone calls to that young person’s home.

“I do think it’s a sign of the stressed health system we are currently in. The world is under massive stress, the world as a whole, the New South Wales system is still doing far better than almost anywhere else in the world, and we have a rising number of cases, so I would encourage people to be patient.

“If you are having some difficulties in the sense you think you should have been out of self-isolation, call your GP, ask your GP to give the necessary advice on how to deal with it.”

‘Rare condition’ associated with Moderna vaccine

Professor John Skerritt of the Therapeutic Goods Administration has discussed evidence of a “scarce set of conditions” associated with the Moderna vaccine, provisionally approved today for young people 12 and over.

He said the conditions, myocarditis, and pericarditis, are associated with the messenger mRNA vaccines, which Pfizer is too. “Based on the experience of hundreds of thousands, hundreds of millions, I should say, of doses given overseas, this condition is rare and tends to occur more often in younger men.

“It’s generally transient; most of it resolves through rest, in some patients require observation and treatment in hospital. “When you look at the overall benefits versus the risks, the benefits significantly exceed yet another step in Australia’s campaign to vaccinate the nation,” he added.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, “myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis is inflammation of the heart’s outer lining. “In both cases, the body’s immune system causes inflammation in response to an infection or some other trigger.”

Canberra records 32 new cases overnight.

Chief Health Minister Andrew Barr is speaking now. “We’ve got 32 new cases overnight. Twenty-four of them linked to current exposure sites or identified close contacts,” he said. “However, only eight were in quarantine through their full infectious period. Nineteen spent part of their infectious period in the community, and we have five cases under investigation. Ten people are hospitalized across the ACT, two in intensive care, one requiring ventilation.” It comes after 18 new cases were recorded in the capital on Friday.

Mr. Hazzard said he has spoken to ambulance commissioner Dr. Dominic Morgan about using police officers to cope with the expected influx of Covid patients and the pressure on emergency health services. Police officers are being trained to drive ambulances. The map shows all NSW case locations from the last 14 days.

Asked about reports of plans to surge the health workforce with firefighters and police officers, he said: “I did speak to the Commissioner this morning about that. He indicated they are doing some work on that.”

He clarified that the government is not involved in the scheme, explaining that the ambulance services were preparing for case numbers to peak in the coming weeks. “What (Dr. Morgan) has advised me is that they have, as you would expect, been doing the preparatory work for this particular event.

“Once a week, he sends out an email to all of his staff, brings them up-to-date on what he is thinking about what the issues are, a pretty standard event, and he indicated that if there is going to be, and we believe there will be, an increase in patient numbers, over the next few weeks, then what he has suggested is that they may call in some other emergency staff to help drive ambulances if they need it.

“I don’t think that has been finalized yet, but that is certainly his plan, and I support that plan.” He added that ambulances experienced Friday’s second busiest day on Friday, urging people to avoid calling emergency services for minor issues.

“I would just say to everybody; if you are sick, of course, and you need emergency assistance, then you should dial triple-0. But we had the Commissioner for ambulance here last week of the week before, and he was highlighting cases where people were using ambulances to get Band-Aids and other things. There has to be an understanding that we are in the middle of a pandemic. There is no room for people to make calls that are not emergencies.”

‘Significant increase’ in mental health issues

John Brogden from Lifeline addressed the press conference to discuss fears surrounding a “shadow pandemic” in mental health. Correcting the discourse, he said: “I think it’s important to realize it’s not in the shadows, it is real, and it is a crisis,” adding that issues presenting particularly in young people were a “matter of enormous concern”.

“The crisis extends to all parts of Australia, New South Wales, and many people. “We have seen a significant increase in children and adolescents’ mental health illness, suicidality, stress, depression, and anxiety. “That is a matter of enormous concern; however, at the same time, we at Lifeline are very pleased that people are reaching out in the sort of numbers we have never seen before,” he added.

We went on to say that the service had seen no increase in suicide on average across all age groups, candidly revealing his struggles in a plea for others to get help.

“There is good news that people are reaching out and getting the help they need. I have depression; I have suicidal ideation, and I know what it is like to live with mental illness and what it is like to live with mental illness during Covid.

“It is tough, and people are doing it tough. But there is hope. We are coming, we all hope, towards the end of the lockdown. One of the best things we can do for people’s mental health is getting out of lockdown as quickly as possible,” he said.

Positive cases are still in LGAs of concern, and regional issues continue. “Unfortunately and sadly, most of our positive cases continue to be in the southwest and Western Sydney,” Mr. Hazzard said. “We still have cases across regional areas, particularly across the far west of New South Wales and western New South Wales (and) the far west towards Broken Hill.”

He continued: “In western New South Wales Health districts, 38 new cases of Covid-19 were reported to 8 pm last night. Unfortunately, that does bring the total cases in that local health district to 759. “Of the 38 points I just referred to, the majority are in Dubbo, 22 cases. Nine were in Burke, three in Bathurst; three were in Orange and one in Logan.

“To 8 pm last night in the far west local health district, there were nine new cases. All of those nine cases are in Wilcannia. This means that to this point, we have a total in that far western local health district of 107 patients, 97 in Wilcannia and 19 in Broken Hill, and I think there is also one case I referred to earlier in the week now in Queensland.

“There are 15 new cases across the Hunter New England local health district to 8 pm last night, and that brings the total in that district to 218 since August 5 5 10 of the new cases are in the Port Stephens local government area, one is in the Lake Macquarie local government area, one is in the Newcastle local government area, and three are in the Maitland local government area.

“There are 17 new cases reported to 8 pm in the Illawarra, bringing their local health district to 140 cases. Of those 17 cases, there were 12 actually in the Wollongong area, three in the Shellharbour local government area, and two in Shoalhaven. “There were also, in the Central Coast area, there were 15 new cases, and that takes the total number in that district to 93.”

‘Good news on grim numbers day

“New South Wales residents are still getting out there and getting vaccinated at a great rate of speed. There were almost 130,000 vaccines administered yesterday in New South Wales. Nearly 40 percent of people over 16 are fully vaccinated, Mr. Hazzard has revealed.

“72% of people over 16 have received one dose in New South Wales. Only 40% are fully vaccinated, and 39% are fully vaccinated.” He thanked the NSW community for coming out for their jabs, announcing a “super vaccination blitz” for police, fire, and emergency services personnel who live in the 12 LGA “hot spots”.

“We are very concerned as a government and as New South Wales Health to ensure that we have all of our frontline workers vaccinated, and so, tomorrow is an extraordinary day.” He said the focus on vaccinations was a “positive way forward”, pleading with residents to continue rolling up their sleeves.

“I want to say to those still hesitating; there is no reason to hesitate. “There are perfect vaccines available here in New South Wales, their abundance of venues where you can get vaccinated, and it is crucial that for us to get back our freedoms as quickly as possible, for us to get back to our normal way of life, or as close as possible in a Covid environment. “You need to get vaccinated, so please, please do that; please take up the opportunities offered in many places.”

Brad Hazzard provides NSW Covid update.

NSW has recorded 1533 cases and four more deaths: a man in his 60s, a woman in her 80s, a man in his 50s, and another man in his 70s, none of whom were vaccinated. “To 8 pm last night, there were 131,000 174 tests, and from those tests, there were 1533 locally acquired cases of COVID-19,” Mr. Hazzard said.

“Very sadly, to 8 pm last night, we have had four more people pass away. “We had a gentleman in his 60s who died at his home, and he was from Western Sydney. We had a lady in her 80s from southwest Sydney; she died at Fairfield Hospital. We had a man in his 50s from Western Sydney, who died at Westmead Hospital, and a gentleman in his 70s from southwest Sydney who died at Liverpool Hospital.”

Mr. Hazzard added of the deaths: “I want to express my condolences to each of those people’s families and friends; the passing of a family member or friend is always unfortunate, and I want to express the strong wishes to each of the community members who knew those people and just to say we’re thinking of you. “Sadly, none of the four people who passed away were vaccinated.”

Moderna vaccine is provisionally approved for children 12 and older. The Therapeutic Goods Administration has provisionally approved the use of the Moderna vaccine in Australians aged between 12 and 17 years of age. On August 9, the TGA approved the vaccine for individuals aged 18.

The recommended dose in children is the same as that of the adult population for Moderna, which is two total doses given 28 days apart. It is expected to be made available primarily through pharmacies from late September and will be allocated on a per capita basis across the states and territories of Australia.

Health officials ‘not considering lockdown’ yet.

While a lockdown “is still a possibility,” Dr. Jeanette Young is confident that the four-year-old child was infectious in the community is “in hand”. “We have been working very, very closely with the owner of the nail salon, and we have been looking at CCTV footage. We have been trying every way we can to find those people who attended that nail salon. That’s critical,” Dr. Young said of the new exposure site.

“I am not as worried about this child because it’s in hand,” she explained. “We have got it under control. It depends. If we find cases that went to the Beenleigh marketplace and have been out of infection in the community in an uncontrolled situation, I think we need to consider a lockdown. “Four-year-old children don’t go out in the community by themselves. They go to child care, where this child has been.”

Ms. D’Ath added: “We are not changing the level of restrictions in Queensland other than in the Logan LGA area. We restrict visitors around hospitals, aged care, and disability facilities.”

‘Critical’: Urgent plea for vaccinations

Chief health officer Dr. Jeanette Young calls for Queenslanders to get serious about vaccination to protect the community against a potential outbreak.

“Please, anyone 60 years or older, could you please immediately, if you haven’t had your first dose, immediately go and see your GP or go to a pharmacy and get vaccinated with AstraZeneca,” she said.

“We have plenty of supplies. There is no shortage. So could you do that immediately? If you have had one dose, 12 weeks since your first dose of AstraZeneca, get your second dose.

“We know you need two doses to be protected with the delta variant. So that’s critical. If you are 16 or older, please either see your GP if your GP is offering Pfizer or talk to your GP if you want to have AstraZeneca.”

New testing sites opened.

Ms. D’Ath said the outbreak fears had prompted several new testing sites to open, urging people to get tested should they present any virus symptoms.

“We do have several sites opening for testing over the weekend. In addition to the ones we posted yesterday, please check the website for exposure sites and testing clinics.

“O’Sullivan is setting up a drive-through clinic at Logan River parklands in Beenleigh, operational from 9 to 4. There are many, many sites open this weekend on the side. So please check the Queensland website for your closest testing clinics.” A list of testing sites can be found here.

‘We cannot afford to get complacent.’

Queenslanders have been slammed for not checking in via QR codes at venues, making it difficult for health officials to contact trace. It comes amid two infectious cases in the community over the past week. “Sadly, we have seen that people were not checking in,” Ms. D’Ath said.

“There was one person during that time who checked in with the check in-app at the nail salon. But we know there were at least eight customers besides this gentleman and the child. And of course four staff. So we need people to come forward because we can’t rely simply on the check-in app data. After all, people haven’t been checking in.”

She continued: “This is a good reminder for everyone. Businesses and individuals are all responsible for ensuring that people are checking in. Companies should not let people into their premises and sit down, participate in activities, or shop around without ensuring they have checked in first.

“As individuals, you have a responsibility to check in. Because you are putting yourself at risk by not doing so, it’s harder for us to identify you, contact you, and give you the right advice about what action you need to take. We cannot afford to get complacent.”

Qld health Minister gives Covid update.

More information about the four-year-old girl who tested positive for Covid-19 this week has been provided. “We have now identified that this young child was infectious in the community from August 3 31 up to September 2, 2when she got tested,” Yvette D’Ath said.

“But we believe she was infectious for the two days as she was out in the community for two days. She had been at daycare at The Boulevard Early Learning Centre, and there are children at that learning center that also go to Windaroo State Physical but use the early learning center for before and after school care. Consequently, both of those two sites have been put into quarantine.”

She revealed more places of concern attended by the truck driver, with whom the girl was close. “We also are concerned that this driver, with the child, went to the Beenleigh marketplace on August 3, 30and to the Stylish Nails salon inside the Beenleigh marketplace.

“So we are calling on anyone who has been at the Beenleigh marketplace between 10:30 and 11:45 to go and get tested and await your results. If you have been to the nail salon, you must quarantine for 14 days.”

Firefighters, paramedic graduates are on standby to bolster Covid support. As NSW braces for a surge in coronavirus cases, the state’s health officials are plucking workers from different areas to ensure the system is appropriately armed for the influx of patients.

Firefighters and paramedic graduates are on standby to meet the demand, the Sydney Morning Herald reports, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian declaring that the healthcare system will see a change-up shortly.

The state recorded 1431 cases on Friday and 12 deaths, the highest in 24 hours since the pandemic began. But the worst is yet to come, with Ms. Berejiklian expecting a peak in the next fortnight.

Father of Covid-infected’ public enemy number one dies from the virus. The father of a Covid-infected man who is currently on the run from police for refusing to isolate has passed from the virus. Fugitive Anthony Karam, 27, was arrested last month and charged with 13 offenses after allegedly breaching public health orders during NSW’s Covid lockdown.

During that time, his father was taken to Liverpool Hospital after rapidly deteriorating conditions. He is understood to have died on Wednesday. Karam tested positive for the virus on August 14, according to police, but allegedly would not follow orders to self-isolate in hotel quarantine, evading police efforts to track him down. Dr. Kerry Chant has even appealed to the public to help track him down. His family, who were also all infected, were allegedly aware of his whereabouts but refused to disclose it to police.

Maskless man charged for allegedly assaulting police in Sydney. A man questioned by police for not wearing a mask in Regents Park has been arrested after allegedly throwing punches at officers, with explosive footage of the incident published by the Daily Mail.

The video shows the 41-year-old man yelling at officers before charging at them. He allegedly refused to answer questions from police officers carrying out Covid-19 compliance checks on Thursday night, locking himself inside his car and forcing officers to break the window to arrest him.

Dozens of new exposure sites in Canberra

Canberra has listed 25 new exposure sites overnight. It comes after 18 new cases were recorded in the capital on Friday. On Wednesday, there were 23, and on Thursday, there were just 12. Health officials will provide an update on case numbers later this morning. The list of new exposure sites can be found here.

Victoria records 190 new cases.

Victoria has recorded 190 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours. One hundred three points have been linked to the current outbreak. More than 35,000 vaccine doses were administered in the latest reporting period.

New potential case in QLD sparks concern

A Twitter user has pointed out a potential third coronavirus case in Queensland in two days that are yet to be announced by health officials. Posting a screenshot of the exposure sites from the Queensland Health website, @MartySilk wrote: “Seems like a student at Windaroo State School, near Beenleigh, in Queensland has COVID-19.

“Doesn’t appear to be the four-year-old girl who tested positive on Friday because she was in daycare simultaneously. “This is a possible third case in two days.” One commenter pointed out the exposure site could still be regarding the same positive case. “Hopefully, still the one issue.

I believe the daycare kids may have visited the school on Wed; This could account for the exposure site.” Another posted a letter from the school outlining that several children had been exposed to someone diagnosed with Covid, who could have been the young girl.

Neighbors actress asks date NRL player to cross Qld border. Actress Charlotte Chimes has found a loophole to cross the Queensland border — calling out a bizarre double standard by the state government.

Slamming the decision to allow NRL stars through its strict border lockdown but not residents desperate to see sick family members, the 27-year-old asked if there were any single NRL players she could date so she could visit her mother battling breast cancer.

Posting a video to Instagram on Friday, Chimes asked: “Who are all the single NRL players in my area?” before promising to cook them breakfast and go fishing with them if they strike up a romance, meaning they can get hotel quarantine together in her home state.

Joking that she’s “freshly vaxxed and freshly waxed”, she told followers: “Because even though I’m a Queensland resident and my mother is going through cancer treatment right now, I can’t get an exemption.” The actress also tagged the Queensland Premier in the caption, asking: “@annastaciamp, why won’t you let me come home to QLD to take care of my mother?”

Bubble Boy: Teen ‘forgotten’ by NSW Health left inside a sealed room for weeks. The Daily Telegraph reports that an 18-year-old boy who tested positive for coronavirus spent three weeks isolated in a makeshift bubble in his bedroom because health officials “forgot” to let him out.

The teenage apprentice is from Lidcombe in Sydney’s Cumberland local government area, one of the state’s 12 “hotspot” councils. He caught the virus from a co-worker. His family has managed to avoid contracting the virus, with the boy living in an area of the house walled off by a tarp his parents taped up to separate his living quarters.

The teen has not been outdoors since August 13 and has had no contact from a health official since Thursday. While NSW Health guidelines declare a patient must remain in self-isolation for the number of days determined by the designated health practitioner — “usually 14 days” —

Queensland’s best plan of attack amid worrying outbreak

Speaking on ABC News Breakfast, Dr. Paul Griffin said if the state hopes to keep the objective at zero cases in the community, locking down hard and fast must be considered. He said the state was “certainly in a precarious position”, but it all depends on today’s numbers.

Dr. Griffin said Queensland had done a “fantastic job” controlling Covid but added that the focus must shift to vaccinations. “Because we have had such few cases and been relatively spared from Covid, I think there is an element of complacency in Queensland.

“The vaccine uptake being second last reflects that. We must focus on vaccinating more people and creating a plan to coexist with this virus more. So while the strategy has been effective, I don’t think we can keep this up forever.”

Queensland Health announced the new case late yesterday afternoon and is expected to release more information today. It comes as a four-year-old girl tested positive for COVID-19 in Queensland’s south-east on Friday. It is understood that the child is close to a 46-year-old Logan truck driver who tested positive for coronavirus this week.

Meanwhile, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has withdrawn support for opening her state’s borders when Covid-19 vaccination targets are met. Earlier this week, she demanded more research be done into the potential effects of the virus on children, particularly those under 12 who cannot be vaccinated. Read related topics: BrisbaneVaccine.