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  • DEC

    Returned Tassie traveller from Vic dodges quarantine

    A construction worker at Hobart's Derwent Entertainment Centre who skipped home quarantine having been in Victoria, has escaped with just a caution. His Tas e-Travel application stated he had simply transitted through the COVID "high-risk" state, when in fact…
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    Vic scramble to find Delta virus link

    A man who was infected with the Delta COVID-19 strain mistakenly opened his room door soon after entering hotel quarantine in Melbourne. But Emma Cassar, the head of COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria, says this incident is unlikely to be the reason for the Delta…
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    NSW locations declared "high-risk" by Tas Health

    Victoria's coronavirus cluster is now threatening to impact New South Wales, after confirmation an infected person with the highly infectious Indian variant visited several sites in the state's south. It's prompted a swift high-risk declaration of five…
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    Ardern, Morrison writing COVID rules in NZ

    The Australian and New Zealand leaders say they'll write new pages in the COVID-19 rulebook when they meet for formal talks on Monday. Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern are in Queenstown for the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders Forum. Mr Morrison is…
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    Victoria to enter 7 day circuit breaker lockdown from midnight

    Victoria will begin a seven-day lockdown from midnight, in an effort to contain a COVID-19 outbreak in the northern suburbs that has grown to 26 cases. One of those infected people is in intensive care and Acting Premier James Merlino said they are "not in a…
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    Melbourne set to learn COVID lockdown fate

    Melbourne residents are about to find out if a growing coronavirus cluster in the city's north will trigger another lockdown in the Victorian capital. Acting Premier James Merlino raised the prospect of a shutdown on Wednesday after the so-called Whittlesea…
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    Victorian outbreak sparks vaccine calls

    All eligible Australians are being urged to get vaccinated against coronavirus as a fresh outbreak threatens to spread across Melbourne. Victoria's cluster of cases has climbed to 15, with authorities naming dozens of exposure sites including the MCG where an…
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    Pfizer vaccine coming for 40-49s in NSW

    Around a million people in NSW aged between 40 and 49 could get a Pfizer COVID-19 jab at the new purpose-built vaccination hub at Sydney Olympic Park within weeks. Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the "exciting" development at the opening of the…
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    Vic plane passengers wait for test results

    About 15,000 people are isolating in Victoria, including 38 in hotel quarantine, as the state continues to deal with the fallout from Western Australia's coronavirus outbreak. Victoria's testing commander Jeroen Weimar has revealed it took more than half a…
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    Bubble not burst yet

    Tasmanian and New Zealand Health officials will meet on Wednesday to discuss any possible implications of a new coronavirus case at Auckland airport. It comes only a day before the first direct flights between Hobart and Auckland begin again after 20 years.…
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    US reviews J&J COVID-19 vaccine

    The United States is reviewing reports of a handful of potential cases of severe side effects among people who received Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, as well as those that led to a pause in its use, a top US public health official says. US health…
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    National cabinet meets to discuss vaccine

    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

    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

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

    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

    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…
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    US breaks daily vaccine record with 4.6m

    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…
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    Under-50s AstraZeneca jabs on hold in Tas

    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

    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…

Vic scramble to find Delta virus link

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A man who was infected with the Delta COVID-19 strain mistakenly opened his room door soon after entering hotel quarantine in Melbourne.

But Emma Cassar, the head of COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria, says this incident is unlikely to be the reason for the Delta variant spreading.

Health authorities have linked an outbreak of the more infectious strain in Melbourne to the hotel quarantine case, a man in his 40s who returned from Sri Lanka on May 8.

They are now scrambling to work out the connection.

Genomic sequencing shows his infection is identical to one of two families linked to the North Melbourne Primary School, which has emerged as the epicentre of the West Melbourne outbreak.

But it remains unclear how the virus was transmitted from the returned traveller - who lives in the suburban Glen Eira area in Melbourne's southeast - to the infected family.

"The last 24 hours have been a flurry of activity ... to make sure we cover off all bases," Ms Cassar told ABC radio.

The man initially stayed at the Novotel Ibis Hotel before testing positive and transferring within 24 hours to the Holiday Inn "health hotel".

During his stay at the Ibis, the man opened his door while a staff member was in the corridor.

"The only IPC (infection prevention control) breach is when this resident opened (his) door for less than a minute - he thought there was a knock on the door (but) it was a room further up," Ms Cassar said.

"He even acknowledged the staff member on the floor was more than six metres, so it's not enough for a transmission event.

"He would have had very low levels of infectiousness at that point."

She added the worker in the corridor was wearing an N95 mask and a face shield.

The City of Whittlesea cluster, which triggered Melbourne's current lockdown and is separate to the Delta cluster, is linked to a Wollert man who contracted the virus while in Adelaide hotel quarantine.

A report said the Wollert man probably caught the virus because of the opening and closing of doors in the hotel corridor.

Ms Cassar said two fellow hotel quarantine residents of the man infected with the Delta strain were also being followed up for testing.

She revealed the two residents did not have day 17 and day 20 tests, adding these were not mandatory.

Asked why there weren't, she told ABC radio that was a question for public health.

"They are being followed up now, just to run that one to ground," she said of the two residents.

All 12 residents on the same floor are also being asked to submit to further testing.

Ms Cassar said health authorities were also tracking down the people who cleaned and restocked the plane that brought the infected man to Melbourne.

She said 265 of 268 hotel staff at the Ibis had tested negative.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said there were four main theories for how the Delta strain spread, with the most likely being the man transmitted the virus to a staff member while in transit or to a fellow guest.

Victoria's deadly second wave of COVID-19 last year was sparked from leaks in hotel quarantine, leading to a major overhaul of the system.

Meanwhile, acting Premier James Merlino says Melbourne and regional Victoria remain "on track" for eased restrictions at 11.59pm on Thursday.

Victoria had two new cases on Tuesday and they are linked to existing infections.

© AAP 2021

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