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Coronavirus Australia live news: Victoria records one new COVID case, Melbourne’s rolling average down to 5.5

Victoria has recorded one new COVID case, bringing the rolling 14-day average metropolitan Melbourne down to 5.5.

It comes days before Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to announce further easing of COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday.

Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak

Follow today’s events as they unfold.

Live updates

3mminutes ago

By Lucy Sweeney

Getting kids COVID tested 

  

I just want to give reassurance to any parents needing to get their children tested. I took my 7 yo for a test this week. She was very anxious, but the health care staff were absolutely terrific with her. They explained everything in kid friendly language and calmed her down. Afterwards she said the test felt like ‘having her nose tickled’. We had a negative result back by 5am the next morning too.

-Mum

 

Your seven-year-old sounds like a trouper.  

12mminutes ago

By Lucy Sweeney

Your questions about/ hopes for National Cabinet

  NASHY CAAAAAAAAAB

-Finally

  Yep, this is the first National Cabinet meeting in five weeks!

Is Nashy Cab similar to Cab Sav? Are we able to get on the sauce to celebrate states talking to each other? It IS Friday.

-Susan

Fill ‘er up, Suse. But to clarify for anyone else who’s wondering, Nashy Cab is a silly little nickname for National Cabinet. Personally I attribute it to the erudite Dannielle Maguire. As far as I know people don’t actually use it outside this blog.

Will they be discussing State borders at National Cabinet today? It would be nice if they were clear about whether we will be able to see family at Christmas.

-Borders borders borders

   

We know the PM and state leaders are likely to be discussing the cap on international arrivals when they meet today, but as for what other matters are on the agenda we’re not sure. 

  

Good morning lovely people! Thanks for holding our hands and keeping us informed during this tumultuous time. I have all my fingers and toes crossed today for the national cabinet to come together and agree on the criteria that labels a LOCAL AREA as a hotspot, rather than throw an entire state under one itchy blanket. I am hopeful that our states can stop being disgruntled pelicans and work together as this will allow borders to open, improve the mental health of us all, boost the economy and let us join as Australians again. To quote the legendary Moira Rose… “When one of us shines, all of us shine”….maybe she can be our new mayor of the Central Coast Council?gph.is

-Herb Ertlinger

  

  

21mminutes ago

By Lucy Sweeney

Happy birthday to Hayley and birthday boy

  

We’ve got some time for a few more comments before we Dan Andrews is due to step up. So I wanted to say a big ol’ happy birthday to a couple of blog readers this morning.

  

It my birthday today- praying for a birthday miracle that somehow we dodge a bullet with this new cluster like we did with Shepparton. Fingers crossed for low numbers.

-Hayley

 

This came through earlier, so Hayley, I hope today’s numbers have cheered you. Happy birthday!

 

It’s my birthday today! But it’s going to be very different while in lock down. My birthday wish is that this pesky virus disappears and that life in Melbourne can return to normal.

-Birthday boy

 

 

An excellent birthday wish.  

27mminutes ago

By Lucy Sweeney

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.WatchDuration: 1 minute 15 seconds1m 15sThese are some of the passengers onboard that specially chartered flight arriving in Darwin today.29mminutes ago

By Lucy Sweeney

Shout-out to health care workers everywhere

  

I am a nurse in a busy Melbourne metro ED and I am spending my day at work today. In the spirit of Thank You Day, I wanted to give a shoutout to my amazing healthcare colleagues all over Melbourne who have had a really hard few months but who have kept working and pushing through to make sure that everyone who needs care can get care. I have been nursing for almost 18 years and this has by far been the most difficult year of my career and I am sure many others feel the same.Thanks also to the blog team here at ABC News, you have been so wonderful keeping us informed and amused all these months – I will miss you when the blog goes away again!

-Thank You

 

Thank you to you and your colleagues for all that you do!  I feel confident in sharing that message on behalf of all the blog readers, commenters, bloggers and behind-the-scenes peeps here at the ABC. 

34mminutes ago

By Lucy Sweeney

Testing in Melbourne’s northern suburbs

We know that testing has ramped up in Roxburgh Park, Dallas, Broadmeadows, Preston, East Preston and West Heidelberg to try to get on top of this cluster.

  

Good morning Lucy!They’re really onto the testing in the northern suburbs. I got tested at Northland just before 3pm yesterday and had my negative result before I woke this morning, 6am! A bit of a wait in the car but amazingly efficient and everyone was absolutely lovely!

-Emily

 

That’s great to hear, Emily! If you’re looking for a place to get tested, here are the pop-up clinics:

 

37mminutes ago

By Lucy Sweeney

Daniel Andrews will be speaking at 10am

  

That’s AEDT, so just under an hour away. Line up your snacks, pop the kettle on. 

39mminutes ago

By Lucy Sweeney

What does this tell us about the northern Melbourne cluster? 

  

Good morning Lucy. With one new case today would this indicate the northern cluster is under control? Or could we still expect more cases in the coming days? Feeling nervous….

-VW

 

Fair enough, VW.  Our reporter Stephanie Ferrier has just been talking to Joe O’Brien on ABC News (you can watch in the live stream above this blog), and while we could still see more cases connected to this cluster, she says today’s numbers are still a good sign. Here’s more from Stephanie:

  

“It’s clear there’s been no extra mystery cases either, they still sit at 10, still double what the health authorities did want that benchmark to be, but given they’re really getting on top of a lot of these outbreaks — and we saw yesterday, all the five cases there, they were all household contacts of this outbreak that’s here in the northern suburbs of Melbourne — that’s a really good sign as well.”

  

So what does this mean for Sunday’s announcement about easing some restrictions?

 

“Well, you have to say that we’re definitely on track for being able to do some real significant easing of the restrictions.

 

“Premier Daniel Andrews has said that this will include things like small businesses being able to reopen, having the hospitality sector, importantly, and also retail allowed to come back on stream.

 

“Now, he does say it’s not as if as soon as he makes that announcement on Sunday that those stores and everything will be able to open up. But they will probably have a dark opening, he calls it, which is probably just to get the workers back online and also be able to get them back up and running before they actually open their doors for business.

 

“So probably something mid-next week, hopefully, we’ll be feeling a little bit more normal in Melbourne.”

48mminutes ago

By Lucy Sweeney

Thank You Day

So because I’m a big GOOSE, I somehow neglected to mention that the grand final public holiday has been renamed Thank You Day to say thanks to those who have made sacrifices to contain the spread of coronavirus. So here are some thank you messages. 

  

Happy Thank You Day, Melbourne!

-Sydneysider

  

A huge shout out to the hundreds of people who are going into iso due to the latest concerns. You guys are doing the super hard yards this close to restrictions easing, you’re keeping us safe, you’re absolutely awesome!

-Mass Iso Cheer Squad (MICS)

   

On thank you day here, I’d like to thank all the bloggers and contributors from interstate for their kind and empathetic words to us here in Melbs. For a long time, I thought interstaters saw us as lepers. You’ve shown me that I was wrong. So THANK YOU

-Real Single Guy of Melbourne

Thank YOU, SGOM, for doing your bit.

  

Oh my, these stories of babies and their grandparents have got me crying into my morning cuppa. Charlie and those cheeks (delicious) and Nanna having a picnic in the park with her grandson, people have had such a tough year and it’s so heartwarming to hear some of these lovely stories. Thank you Lucy, you’re doing a great job. Love Mum

-I’m wellin ‘oop

 

Thanks for reading Mum! Now I’m crying into MY cuppa.  

55mminutes ago

By Lucy Sweeney

Can you go fishing, take puppy to preschool in Melbourne?

I’ll do my best to get to as many questions as possible today, here are a few early ones about what activities are allowed under current restrictions in metro Melbourne.

Has there been any clarification on fishing in the 25km radius or is it still only 5kms?

-Wanna go fishing

  

  

This activity is required to be undertaken within 25km of your home. You must maintain at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others. You can only go fishing with up to 10 people (including you) from a maximum of two households. 

  

Morning Lucy! I’m just wondering what step puppy school/obedience training can resume in Melbourne please?

-New pupper mama

SHOW US THE PUPPY. (Actually you can’t really do that through the comments. SIGH.) So, I can’t find any specific mention of puppy school or obedience training on the second step restrictions FAQ pages.

HOWEVER, those pages do state that “children’s playgroups” are out until the third step and “lessons, classes or practices for dance, singing, acting, or music” are also not back on until the third step, and then only allowed outdoors.

So, you might need to seek further clarification from your puppy’s school, but sounds like there’s a bit of waiting still to do. 

  

56mminutes ago

By Lucy Sweeney

DHHS has more details on today’s new case

  

If you tap through to the link in this tweet, you’ll find tables on the rolling averages and total daily confirmed cases.

  

This tweet also shows DHHS describing the number of cases with an unknown source as stable.

 

1hhour ago

By Lucy Sweeney

Few more happies for you

I can’t help myself. 

  

Hi there. I’m L’s Mum and I can’t wait to see my grandson today! Family picnic here I come!

-Very Happy Nanna

  

Awww, hi Nanna! Enjoy your picnic.

  

Yaaaahhhh, I was in a anxious panic after last night’s and reading about the school, but this given me room to breath!!! Thank you blog team x

-Finally some good news

 

Hooray hooray for everyone involved. Three heartfelt cheers. And I’m going to see my son, his wife and our little granddaughter today. It’s been a long wait.

-Marcia

 Hi LucyIt is definitely time for the Snoopy happy dance! Enormous relief seeing no deaths and only one case. Go you good things!

-Kerry

Your wish is my command, Kerry. 

  1hhour ago

By Lucy Sweeney

Bit of relief about those Victorian numbers!

Lots of people were feeling quite nervous this morning.  We’re not out of the woods yet, but these numbers are certainly encouraging.  

Just saw the single case number for today! YIPPEEEEEE!We are so close to freedom you can taste it ;-)GOOD JOB MELBOURNE!!!!!

-It’s Fri-YAY!

 

1 and 0. It’s a Thank You Day miracle!

-Vic

  

Woohoo! Go Victoria!

-All smiles

 

 Cried with relief when I saw that number. Felt like I hadn’t been breathing since hearing about the North Melb school cluster yesterday morning. Keeping fingers crossed for good numbers tomorrow and Sunday too.

-I’m a mess

1hhour ago

By Lucy Sweeney

Key Event

One new COVID case in Victoria, zero deaths

  

In breaking news, Victoria has recorded one new coronavirus case and zero deaths in the past 24 hours.

  

Melbourne’s 14-day average of new cases is 5.5, while in regional Victoria it is 0.3.

The number of cases in Melbourne with an unknown source (mystery cases) is 10.

  

1hhour ago

By Lucy Sweeney

Restrictions easing in New South Wales

Let’s hop over to NSW, where coronavirus restrictions in restaurants, gyms and places of worship are easing slightly today.  

From today, restaurants can now accept bookings for up to 30 people at the one table, up to 30 people can now gather outdoors in public and corporate functions and religious gatherings can have up to 300 people, as long as they stick to a COVID-safe plan.

 

Gyms will only be required to have a COVID-safe marshal if there are more than 20 people in the gym at any one time.

 

Despite the relaxation of the rules, health officials are still urging people to maintain personal hygiene and wear a mask in settings where they can’t physically distance.

  

NSW health authorities also say they are confident they will be able to keep on top of any potential COVID-19 outbreak in the central west after traces of the coronavirus was found in a sewage sample taken in Bathurst on Monday.

 

Residents and visitors to last weekend’s Bathurst 1000 have been urged to get tested, and hundreds have done so, but no positive cases have yet been linked to the event.

1hhour ago

By Lucy Sweeney

What time is [insert Dan’s presser/Nashy Cab/lunch here]?

  

What time is National Cabinet meeting today so we can organise our day around Dan’s presser.

-Steven & Teresa H

We don’t have exact timings for you, Steven and Teresa, but I can tell you that in previous weeks the PM, Premiers and Chief Ministers tended to emerge from their meeting some time in the early afternoon. Last time they met it was about 1:30pm. So we can expect something similar today.

  

We don’t have a time for Daniel Andrews‘ presser today, but I’ll let you know as soon as I know more. 

1hhour ago

By Lucy Sweeney

Changes in Little River

  

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has fixed an issue with the state’s coronavirus lockdown measures that had literally left a town, west of Melbourne, divided. Here’s more from one of my Victorian colleagues, Tim Callanan.

  

Little River, which sits between Melbourne and Geelong, straddled the border between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, leaving half of the town subject to stricter lockdown measures.

  

A change to the Chief Health Officer’s directions came into effect at midnight, so the whole town has now been reclassified, meaning all residents are now subject to regional Victoria’s stage three restrictions.

  

The member for Lara, John Eren, says the change means some people in the town will now need to apply for a permit to travel in Melbourne for work.

  

“Changing the border will make life a little easier for people in Little River, but residents will still need to make sure they are following the restrictions that apply to regional Victoria,” he said.

1hhour ago

By Lucy Sweeney

Checking in with you all

  

Good morning Lucy! Today in Melbourne I will be taking my son to see his grandparents in a park that fits in both our radiuses (radii?) because yesterday was his first birthday and due to Covid, they have seen him more on video calls than in person! It’s not the big first birthday bash we had hoped for him, but he still gets to see some family!

-L

 

Happy birthday, little fella! And congratulations to you, L, on making it through baby’s first year. From what I hear it’s no mean feat! And in a global pandemic, to boot. A celebratory picnic sounds lovely.

  

Today I’m going to go for a bike ride with my amazing brother for the first time in four months, now that our radius overlaps. Rain or shine!

-Celebrating life’s little wins

 

Pump those pedals! Enjoy. 

 

Good morning Lucy, A big thank you to the wonderful blog and the people who sent their messages of positivity yesterday after I wrote in feeling quite low.Hopefully today will be a better day for us all.

-Thank you

  

 

Pretty Low, is that you? Always a pleasure to share messages of support and love from other readers. Hope you’re feeling a bit better today. But if you’re not, that’s OK too. It’s a very tough time. 

  

1hhour ago

By Lucy Sweeney

What’s the latest on the northern Melbourne cluster?

All eyes will be on Victoria’s numbers today, and many of you have already written in to let me know you’re understandably quite nervous. Let’s recap the latest. 

  

 

There are currently 16 active COVID-19 cases across six different households in suburbs in Melbourne’s north, and health authorities are bracing for more.

 

More than 500 people have been told to isolate for two weeks and testing has been ramped up Preston, West Heidelberg, Dallas, Roxburgh Park and Broadmeadows.

 

The Health Department says extensive contact tracing is underway and it expects additional cases will be detected.

1hhour ago

By Lucy Sweeney

Looking for yesterday’s blog? 

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