Virus kills 17 Victorians, state to spend extra $60m on mental health

Original article by Stephen Lunn, Tessa Akerman
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 10-Aug-20

Victoria reported 394 new coronavirus cases on 9 August, which is the state’s lowest daily total since 29 July. This followed 466 new cases on the previous day. However, Victoria’s death toll from the respiratory illness has risen by 17 and now stands at 210, while the national death toll is 295. Meanwhile, the state government will allocate an additional $60m for mental health funding. New figures show that there has been a sharp increase in use of mental health services in the state over the last six weeks, particularly among those under the age of 18.

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VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET

Victoria in grip of death and dismay

Original article by John Ferguson, Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 27-Jul-20

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has not ruled out extending the stage-three lockdown after the state recorded 459 new coronavirus cases and 10 deaths from the respiratory illness on 26 July; this followed 357 new cases and five deaths on the previous day. Andrews has urged Melbourne residents to comply with social distancing rules and wear face masks in public. There are now 4,233 active cases in Victoria; 228 are receiving treatment in hospital, including 42 in intensive care. The state’s death toll has risen to 71, and 155 people have died nationwide. New South Wales has recorded 14 new coronavirus cases.

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VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET

Melbourne set for harder lockdown

Original article by Patrick Durkin
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-Jul-20

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has warned that further coronavirus lockdown restrictions may be necessary in response to the rising number of infections in the state. Stage-four restrictions have yet to be imposed in any Australian jurisdiction, with metropolitan Melbourne land the Mitchell Shire currently subject to state-three restrictions. Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton has also flagged the possibility of increased restrictions. Meanwhile, the Australian Defence Force will deploy an additional 1,000 personnel across the state to assist in containing the virus’s spread.

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VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET, VICTORIA. DEPT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE

Black Lives Matter protest linked to tower cluster

Original article by Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 15-Jul-20

Victoria recorded 270 new coronavirus cases on 14 July, and there are now 1,803 active cases in the state. The national death toll has risen to 110 after two elderly persons in Victoria succumbed to the respiratory illness. Meanwhile, health authorities have confirmed a link between two COVID-19 cases associated with the Black Lives Matter rally on 6 June and the cluster at public housing towers in North Melbourne and Flemington, which now comprises 242 people. However, a Department of Health & Human Services spokesman says it is unlikely that the exact origin of many large clusters in the state will ever be determined.

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VICTORIA. DEPT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Victoria coronavirus cases climb by 177 as Daniel Andrews warns lockdown will last as long as it needs to

Original article by
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 14-Jul-20

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has not ruled out reinstating stage-four coronavirus lockdown restrictions if necessary. He has stressed that people should comply with the lockdown rules if they want the current restrictions to be lifted. Victoria recorded 177 new coronavirus cases on 13 July; a total of 72 people are being treated in hospital, with 17 in intensive care, and there are 1,612 active cases in the state. Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has welcomed the fall in the number of new cases, but he cautions that the state’s second wave of infections may not have peaked.

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VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET, VICTORIA. DEPT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Coronavirus restrictions force ski resorts to shut

Original article by Lisa Allen
The Australian – Page: 15 : 10-Jul-20

Vail Resorts will suspend its ski lifting operations at the Victorian resorts of Falls Creek and Mt Hotham until at least 19 August in response to the state’s new COVID-19 restrictions. Vail Resorts’ third Australian ski resort, Perisher in New South Wales, will remain open. Meanwhile, the Mt Buller ski resort’s website indicates that it is reviewing Victoria’s stage-three lockdown restrictions, but it will continue to operate until at least 12 July. However, it will not accept bookings from residents of metropolitan Melbourne or the Mitchell Shire.

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VAIL RESORTS INCORPORATED, FALLS CREEK ALPINE RESORT, MOUNT HOTHAM SKIING COMPANY PTY LTD, MT BULLER SKI LIFT LIMITED

Victorian health officials took tracing rules short-cut

Original article by Yoni Bashan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 10-Jul-20

Victoria recorded 165 new coronavirus cases on 9 July, amid a surge in community transmission. The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee has indicated that the state’s health officials failed to follow the national guidelines for contact tracing. These require the close contacts of virus patients to be monitored on a daily basis for 14 days after their last contact with the infected person. Teams of specialists from interstate are travelling to Victoria to assist with contact tracing, in the wake of revelations that the state has a shortage of personnel who are trained to undertake this work.

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AUSTRALIAN HEALTH PROTECTION PRINCIPAL COMMITTEE

Premier should go, struggling businesses say

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 10-Jul-20

Chapel Street Precinct Association general manager Chrissie Maus says Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews should resign over the hotel quarantine fiasco that has seen Victoria placed in lockdown again. Chris Lutz, owner of Design a Space, says he cannot understand why the Victorian government did not use the military to manage the hotel quarantining. Kurt Falkenstein, the owner of shared workspace Revolver Lane, says he does not think "it would inappropriate for Daniel Andrews to resign".

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CHAPEL STREET PRECINCT ASSOCIATION, DESIGN A SPACE

Restrictions to ease in eight of Melbourne’s locked-down public housing towers

Original article by
SBS News – Page: Online : 10-Jul-20

Eight of the nine Melbourne public housing towers that were put in ‘hard lockdown’ on 4 July will move to stage- three restrictions, after 2,515 residents were tested for the coronavirus and a total of 158 tested positive. The 33 Alfred Street estate in North Melbourne, where 53 cases of COVID-19 have been detected, will remain under a hard lockdown for another nine days, although residents will be allowed outside for supervised exercise. The 105 residents in six towers who tested positive will be given the option of hotel quarantine. No coronavirus cases have been detected at two of the high-rise towers.

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Community transmission makes Victoria coronavirus outbreak more precarious and challenging

Original article by Tegan Taylor
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 9-Jul-20

Federal MP Katie Allen notes that people returning from overseas accounted for 90 per cent of coronavirus cases in Australia’s first wave. However, the former medical researcher says the majority of cases now being recorded in Victoria are due to community transmission. La Trobe University epidemiologist Hassan Vally says the state government has taken appropriate action to curb the virus’s spread via community transmission, but he stresses that individuals must accept responsibility and comply with lockdown rules. Vally has also cautioned against complacency, warning that a similar coronavirus surge could occur elsewhere in Australia.

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LA TROBE UNIVERSITY