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  • coronavirus update

    Border reopening to SA after Adelaide scare

    Tasmania's border will reopen to South Australia at 12:01am Thursday. It'll be classified as a low-risk jurisdiction, meaning arrivals won't have to quarantine - unless they've been in a specific hotspot identified by South Australian Health as connected to…
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    SA drops quarantine for Vic travellers

    South Australia has opened its border to Victoria, clearing the way for people to cross the state line without needing to quarantine. The change comes as SA also reduces some local coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday that were imposed because of the latest…
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    Two vaccines available in US 'in weeks' -sharenews

    People in the US could have access to their first two vaccines against the coronavirus before Christmas, Health Secretary Alex Azar says. The Food and Drug Administration's outside advisers will meet on December 10 to consider authorising Pfizer Inc's…
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    SA looks to step back virus restrictions

    South Australia has revised a range of COVID-19 restrictions, including opening the border with Victoria, after reporting no new cases linked to the worrying Parafield cluster. The requirements for Victorians to quarantine when they come to SA will be…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    No virus cases in Victoria for four weeks

    Once overrun with almost 8000 active cases, Victoria has officially eliminated COVID-19. Friday marks four weeks without a new case of coronavirus. Some 9828 Victorians were tested in the past 24 hours. Health authorities say 28 days with no new cases means…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    New SA COVID case part of existing cluster

    A COVID-19 infection which has closed an Adelaide high school is thought linked to a cluster which prompted a shortlived lockdown in South Australia. The Woodville High School will remain closed until further notice as deep cleaning is conducted and while…
  • Humpback whale with her calf

    Tangled whale warning

    Those on the state's east coast are being urged to keep an eye out for an entangled whale calf. The baby humpback and its mother were spotted near Schouten Island on Tuesday heading south, the juvenile apparently trailing ropes and buoys. An extensive aerial…
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    WHO experts keen to visit Wuhan in China -sharenews

    Researchers led by the World Health Organisation would like to go back to a wholesale food market in Wuhan in China to follow up initial cases of COVID-19 which emerged in the city and investigate how the virus likely first spread from bats. Peter Ben…
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    Sweeping reforms to SA hotel quarantine system

    South Australia will make sweeping reforms to its hotel quarantine system after a cluster of COVID-19 cases was linked to one facility in Adelaide. Premier Steven Marshall says anyone who tests positive while in a medi-hotel will now be moved to a dedicated…
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    Queensland to open border to Vic on Dec 1

    Queensland is looking forward to welcoming Victorians back into the state on December 1, the same day NSW residents will be able to visit again without quarantining, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says. The premier announced the change on Wednesday after the…
  • HAfire

    Fish frenzy over escapees

    A fish farming campaigner wants a full EPA probe into yesterday morning's mass Huon Acquaculture salmon escape due to an electrical fire in one of its D'Entrecasteux Channel pens. Huon has spun the incident as good news for local fishers with minimal…
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    'Key' week for curbing SA virus cluster

    South Australia remains on track to ease coronavirus restrictions before Christmas but health officials say this week is crucial in combating a cluster of COVID-19 infections. One more case was added to the so-called Parafield cluster on Monday, taking the…
  • airport covid pexels anna shvets 3943882

    COVID-19 passports likely for travellers -sharenews

    Qantas is part of a push by world airlines to require international travellers to prove they've had the coronavirus vaccination before entering or leaving a country on a flight. A vaccination against COVID-19 could become available earlier in the new year,…
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    Victoria reaches no active cases milestone

    Victoria has hit another coronavirus milestone, with no active cases for the first time in nearly nine months. The state's last active case, a man in his 90s, was discharged from hospital on Monday. After its second wave ballooned to 7880 cases on August 11,…
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    NSW-Victoria border opens, flights resume

    The NSW-Victoria border is fully open for the first time in more than four months with flights between the states resuming. The border opened a minute after midnight, allowing Victorians to freely visit NSW for the first time since July 8 without having to go…
  • coronavirus update

    COVID-19 victims maintain immunity -sharenews

    Australian researchers have discovered that patients who've been infected with COVID-19 retain immunity against the virus and the disease for at least eight months. The research is the strongest evidence yet that vaccines against the virus will work for long…
  • Daniel Andrews 20200803001483241220 600x400

    Victoria dumps mandatory outdoor masks

    Victorians can breathe a sigh of relief, with months of compulsory face mask-wearing coming to an end as part of a further lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday announced the changes to take effect from midnight. "Masks will be…
  • Steven Marshall 20201117001503789252 600x400

    SA COVID-19 close contact 'lied'

    A person closely linked to Adelaide's COVID-19 cluster lied to contact tracers in "completely and utterly unacceptable" conduct, Premier Steven Marshall says. But SA will ease the statewide lockdown immediately to allow family groups to exercise with…
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    Most Australians plan to get virus vaccine -sharenews

    Most Australians plan to get vaccinated against the coronavirus once it's available, but new surveys also show hesitancy in the community. Australian National University analysis released on Friday shows close to three-in-five people would get the jab, while…
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    Vic shuts border with SA

    Victoria will close its border with South Australia for 48 hours, after fragments of COVID-19 were detected in wastewater along freight corridors. Premier Daniel Andrews on Thursday announced a "hard border" will be in place from 11:59pm for 48 hours, before…

Vic set to open up earlier than planned

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Premier Daniel Andrews says Victoria will open up earlier than planned after the state recorded a single case of coronavirus, which may be removed from the tally.

Authorities are investigating whether the case recorded on Tuesday is active or if the person is "shedding" non-infectious fragments of the virus after earlier testing positive.

If the case is removed, Tuesday would mark the first day since June 9 that the state has reported no new cases of COVID-19.

"This could potentially be a day of zero and it's been a long time since we had a day of zero," Mr Andrews told reporters.

"It's a testament to the hard work of every single Victorian in the city, in the suburbs, in regional communities, large and small."

Another case recorded on Tuesday involving a Victorian who is quarantining interstate having returned from overseas isn't included in the figures.

Mr Andrews said the state was "well placed" to bring forward the further easing of restrictions slated for November 2, which includes the reopening of retail and hospitality industries in Melbourne.

"It's very important that we see this thing off properly, so Sunday will be a day where we can have more to say," he said, ruling out the possibility of pubs reopening for the AFL grand final on Saturday.

Mr Andrews said he hoped to remove the "ring of steel" dividing metropolitan and regional Victoria in November.

Melbourne's 14-day rolling average of new cases dropped below seven to 6.4 and the number of mystery cases in the city in the fortnight to Saturday also fell by two to 13.

No deaths were recorded on Tuesday, with the state's death toll remaining at 817, while the national figure is 905.

Eleven Victorians are in hospital fighting the virus, although none are in intensive care.

It comes as the state government is looking at scaling back its trouble-plagued hotel quarantine program and using electronic monitoring devices for some returned travellers.

The premier said it was one of several options being explored by the Justice Department.

"I simply said that's worth having a look at, let's have a look at that," Mr Andrews said.

"If we can get people safely into their own home but have a high degree of confidence that they're not spreading the virus - and we can actually monitor their health status at the same time - that seems to me a fairly common sense thing to do."

Mr Andrews conceded he had "no idea" how much it would cost or whether it could be done.

Prominent lawyer and human rights advocate Julian Burnside, the president of Liberty Victoria, said he backed electronic monitoring as an alternative.

"I don't like the idea of electronic monitoring, but if it's an infringement of individual liberties for the purpose of making the country safer, which is the case, then I think it's justifiable," he told ABC radio.

Liberal Democrats MP David Limbrick said forcing people to wear such devices was "draconian".

"A better way to manage this would be to get people in quarantine to sign a contract and reward them for complying," he said.

Meanwhile, almost 250 people will undergo testing for Hepatitis B and C and HIV, after it was revealed blood glucose-testing kits not designed to be shared were used on multiple returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

Health Minister Martin Foley said the needles involved in the tests were not re-used and there was a "very, very low risk of cross-contamination".

"Out of an abundance of caution, Safer Care Victoria and the Alfred are doing precisely the right thing in a very risk-averse way of seeking to contact all of the people involved," he said.

Mr Foley said the issue was first identified in late August.

© AAP 2020

Photo: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. (AAP Image/James Ross)

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