Australia news LIVE: COVID cases grow in NSW, Queensland as lockdowns continue in both states

Australia news LIVE: COVID cases grow in NSW, Queensland as lockdowns continue in both states

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Key posts

  • Supermarkets, hotel among NSW’s latest exposure sites
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
  • 1 of 1

Supermarkets, hotel among NSW’s latest exposure sites

In case you missed it, NSW health authorities identified several new COVID-19 exposure sites late last night, including a hotel south-west of Sydney and supermarkets in Lane Cove.

Three of the new venues are close contact exposure sites, meaning anyone who visited them during the specified timeframes must get tested for COVID and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result.

The new close contact sites are:

  • The Repco in Rockdale, in southern Sydney, on Wednesday, July 28 between 10.15am and 5pm and again on Thursday, July 29 between 10am and 1pm;
  • The Oaks Hotel in Wollondilly, south-west of Sydney, on Friday, July 30 between 12.20pm and 3pm; and
  • Hai Ha Money Transfer in Cabramatta, in Sydney’s south-west, on Sunday, July 25 between 7am and 8.20am.

The four new remaining sites are casual contact sites, meaning anyone who visited them during the specified timeframes has to get tested for COVID-19 and isolate until they receive a negative test result. They include a pharmacy and liquor store in St Marys and an Aldi and Coles in Lane Cove.

For a full list of exposure sites and times, visit the NSW Health website.

Vulnerable 12- to 15-year-olds eligible for Pfizer vaccine from next week

Vulnerable 12- to 15-year-olds will be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine from next week and residents in Queensland’s COVID-19 hotspot are being urged to get any available vaccine as outbreaks worsen around the country.

Fast coronavirus testing could also become more widely available as trials of the rapid antigen tests continue in aged care facilities around NSW.

Vulnerable children aged 12 to 15 will be eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from Monday, August 9.Credit:AP

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation highlighted the “increasing risk” of outbreaks outside Sydney and reiterated its updated advice on the risks and benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine, as 11 south-east Queensland local government areas were included in the Commonwealth hotspot definition and the state recorded 13 new cases.

Read the full story here.

Cash for jabs: Labor calls for $300 payment for those who get vaccinated

Every Australian would receive $300 if they are fully vaccinated by December 1 in a Labor call for urgent federal spending to achieve a vaccination target that reduces the need for sweeping lockdowns.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese proposed the new payment on Monday night with a claim the cash incentive would help prevent restrictions that are costing the country hundreds of millions of dollars each day.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese receives a COVID-19 vaccination.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The policy would cost $6 billion to convince almost 20 million adult Australians to sign up for the COVID-19 inoculations on the assumption the government can deliver the AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna doses it has promised.

More on this story here.

NSW’s recovery road map has schools and hospitality first to return

Outdoor dining at pubs and clubs will be allowed, gyms can reopen with strict rules and students will be back in classrooms once a majority of NSW adults are vaccinated under the state government’s plan for how Sydney emerges from lockdown.

The long-awaited road map is yet to be publicly released, although Premier Gladys Berejiklian has begun citing targets of between 50 and 60 per cent of inoculated adults as a trigger for easing Sydney’s restrictions.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has again cited targets of between 50 and 60 per cent vaccination rates as triggers to easing restrictions. Credit:James Brickwood.

Ms Berejiklian has shifted her focus from reducing the COVID-19 case numbers to increasing the vaccination rate as the way out of Sydney’s lockdown on August 28 but has not yet identified which restrictions would be eased.

Read the full story here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Tuesday, August 3. I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll be anchoring our rolling coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s everything you need to know before we kick-off.

  • NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian hopes vaccination will be her state’s ticket out of lockdown. Yesterday, there were 207 new cases of coronavirus in her state. At least 51 were infectious in community. There are more than 200 COVID-19 patients in NSW hospitals, 54 people are in intensive care and so far 15 people have died due to the current outbreak.
  • Queensland’s lockdown has been extended after 13 new cases of coronavirus were recorded yesterday. The Brisbane cluster now sits at 31 cases (the majority of those are children). All eyes will be on today’s case numbers to see if they continue to rise.
  • Victoria is continues to chase zero daily cases of COVID-19. Yesterday, there were just two locally acquired cases (both linked to existing outbreaks and in isolation for their infectious period). Meanwhile, AFL crowds are expected to return next weekend. However, there are some concerns given the MCG was an exposure site prior to the most recent lockdown.
  • Vulnerable children will be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine from next week. It comes as residents in Queensland’s COVID-19 hotspots are being urged to get any available vaccine.
  • And in sporting news, the Matilda’s have been denied gold after a 1-0 defeat against Sweden following a controversial call by the referee. The team will now fight the US for a bronze medal.
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