agfest page header 2019


    National cabinet meets to discuss vaccine -sharenews

    The meeting of the national cabinet will aim to get the nation's vaccine program back on track and discuss ways to ease international border restrictions, perhaps later in the year. One route in and out of the country has already eased, after restrictions on…
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    PM, premier urge calm after NSW clot death -sharenews

    Scott Morrison and Gladys Berejiklian have warned against rushing to conclusions after the death of a NSW woman who developed blood clots a day after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. The NSW premier also reiterated her enthusiasm to receive her second…
  • PA Hospital

    COVID-19 found in Brisbane hospital ward -sharenews

    Engineering consultants are inspecting a Brisbane hospital's infectious diseases ward after traces of coronavirus turned up in testing there, one week after it was deep cleaned. The Princess Alexandra Hospital's Ward 5D was shut from March 30 and deep cleaned…

    Qld man aged in his 80s dies from COVID-19 -sharenews

    Australia has recorded its first COVID-19 death for 2021 after a man in his 80s died in a Brisbane hospital. Health minister Yvette D'Ath said the Australian man succumbed to the disease on Monday night after returning from the Philippines. It follows the…
  • coronavirus update

    Second case of rare blood clots identified -sharenews

    Australia's medicine regulator has identified a second case of rare blood clots believed to be linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Therapeutic Goods Administration released a safety alert announcing the possible link on Tuesday. The blood clots affected a…

    US breaks daily vaccine record with 4.6m -sharenews

    The US continues to make rapid strides with its vaccination programme, announcing that health care workers have carried out more than 4.6 million vaccinations in one day. "A new record," Cyrus Shahpar, the person responsible for vaccination data at the White…

    Under-50s AstraZeneca jabs on hold in Tas -sharenews

    Tasmania has halted first-dose injections of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people aged under 50 years, following federal health advice. The decision comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison late on Thursday received recommendations from the Australian…
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    Australia's vaccine rollout plans in chaos -sharenews

    Australia is facing a major delay in its coronavirus vaccine rollout after new bombshell advice plunged the program into chaos. Health supremos have recommended not administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people under 50 because of an extremely rare but…
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    Aus monitoring AstraZeneca concerns

    The Morrison Government is now considering next steps in regard to the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine rollout, after the UK began offering people aged under 30 an alternative formula. It comes after the European Medicines Agency confirmed the jab can cause…
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    SA moves to ease some virus measures -sharenews

    South Australia has eased some COVID-19 restrictions despite the growing virus outbreak in Queensland. SA has declared the greater Brisbane area a coronavirus hotspot, preventing people travelling from the region unless they are a returning resident or…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    Brisbane locations deemed high risk

    Queensland has recorded one new locally acquired case of coronavirus. A man from the Moreton Bay region is a close contact of a 26-year-old Brisbane man, who has also tested positive. Results from genomic sequencing have confirmed ties to a hospital doctor…
  • covid vaccine

    Vaccine rollout hits GP clinics

    Dozens of Tasmanian GP clinics are among more than 1100 around the country set to deliver coronavirus vaccines in five days' time. The Morrison Government has announced six million Australians are able book appointments for phase 1b of the vaccine rollout…

    SA to get first AstraZeneca virus vaccines -sharenews

    South Australians will be the first in the nation to get the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine option. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the batches that arrived from overseas recently have been tested and given the tick of approval. They are being…
  • tassie coronavirus response

    1 year on from Tassie's first COVID case

    Tuesday marks a year since Tasmania's first coronavirus case was identified, and we're being assured the vaccine rollout is proceeding as planned. 1159 Tasmanian front line workers have received their first dose of the Pfizer jab. Health Minister Sarah…

    Slow rollout for Victoria COVID vaccines -sharenews

    Victoria's COVID-19 vaccinations are rolling out slowly, with less than a third of the supplied doses being administered. According to federal figures, only 30 per cent of Victoria's doses were injected in the first week of the vaccination program. It comes…

    More than 10,000 NSW residents vaccinated -sharenews

    In just a week more than 10,000 people in NSW have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. Phase 1a of the nation-wide vaccination program began last Monday, with healthcare and border workers the first to be jabbed with the Pfizer vaccine. "NSW…
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    Mask, gathering rules relaxed in Victoria -sharenews

    Victoria's mask rules and social gathering restrictions will be eased and workers can return to the office, as the Holiday Inn outbreak is declared under control. Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed that from 11.59pm on Friday, up to 30 visitors will be…
  • coronavirus update

    Vic high risk declaration removed despite new cases

    Victoria has broken its six-day run of no cases of coronavirus with two new locally acquired infections. The people are primary close contacts of pre-existing cases, and are already in quarantine. About 16,500 test results have been received in the past 24…

    Vic records fifth day with no COVID cases -sharenews

    The Health Department confirmed there were no new local or overseas acquired cases recorded on Wednesday, following 20,201 tests. There remain 20 active cases of COVID-19 in the state, a decrease in five since Tuesday. Thousands, however, remain in…

    Bells toll as US reaches 500k COVID deaths -sharenews

    The United States has crossed the staggering milestone of 500,000 COVID-19 deaths just more than a year since the coronavirus pandemic claimed its first known victim in Santa Clara County, California. In a proclamation honouring the dead, President Joe Biden…

Mask, gathering rules relaxed in Victoria -sharenews

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Victoria's mask rules and social gathering restrictions will be eased and workers can return to the office, as the Holiday Inn outbreak is declared under control.

Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed that from 11.59pm on Friday, up to 30 visitors will be allowed to gather at homes per day, while outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people will be permitted in public places.

Masks must be carried at all times but will only need to be worn on public transport, in taxis and ride-share vehicles, in aged care facilities and at indoor shopping centres and other crowded places.

A density limit of one person per two square metres will remain in place in pubs, restaurants and nightclubs and at beauty services, funerals, weddings and community facilities as long as a QR code system is in place.

Retail businesses will have the same density cap, with electronic record-keeping recommended.

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, 75 per cent of both public and private sector workers will be allowed to return to the office.

Crowds will also return to the MCG and Marvel Stadium at 50 per cent capacity for round one of the AFL.

The settings largely reflect those that were in place across the state at Christmas.

Restrictions were then tightened over the New Year period following the Black Rock cluster, before they were relaxed in late January.

In early February they were tightened again after a hotel quarantine worker from the Grand Hyatt contracted COVID-19.

A week later, the state entered a five-day "circuit-breaker" lockdown, due to an outbreak at the Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport.

Some restrictions, including mask-wearing and strict gathering limits, have remained in place since the lockdown ended last Thursday.

The state recorded two new COVID-19 cases on Friday, both linked to the Holiday Inn outbreak, ending the state's six-day run of no infections.

Mr Andrews confirmed the cases are close contacts of pre-existing cases and have been in hotel quarantine during their infectious period.

"They pose no risk to public health," he said.

The outbreak, which now totals 24 cases, can be traced back to a family of three staying at the quarantine hotel in early February, who contracted the highly infectious UK virus strain overseas.

More than 3500 close contacts of positive cases have been self-isolating for two weeks.

The state's testing chief Jeroen Weimar confirmed most will end quarantine on Friday.

"This is an example of how we deal with this really complex, higher-risk UK variant outbreak," he said.

"It's obviously a huge reward to Victorians that we've managed to contain this one, bring it back to zero and get us into a better place."

Mr Weimar encouraged anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to continue to get tested.

Some 16,594 testes were processed in the 24 hours to Friday morning.

Meanwhile, federal health authorities are looking at whether 150 doses of Pfizer vaccine have been left at the wrong temperature and are now spoiled.

It's understood aged care residents at St Vincent's Care Services Werribee were vaccinated this week, with 25 vials of vaccine leftover.

The Pfizer vaccine has six doses per vial and is stored at -70C, with logistics company DHL transporting them across the country in portable freezers.

Once removed from the freezer, the unopened vaccine can be stored for up to five days at 2C to 8C and for two hours at up to 30C. It should not be refrozen after thawing.

It's the second possible bungle to Australia's coronavirus rollout, which is in its first week.

Mr Andrews said could not confirm the reports and referred reporters to the federal government, which is in charge of distributing the vaccine in aged care.

He said 2900 shots have been administered to frontline health workers and hotel quarantine staff in Victoria.

© AAP 2021

Photo: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (AAP Image/Erik Anderson)

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