NSW has recorded just two new cases of COVID-19 from 4400 tests and neither were contracted in the community, taking the state total to 3004 with 36 deaths.
SW has recorded its lowest daily rise in COVID-19 cases in more than seven weeks, with authorities begging residents to not become complacent in their social behaviour. The total number of NSW coronavirus cases on Monday increased by two to 3004, with no new deaths recorded since a sixth resident of a western Sydney aged care home died on Saturday. It’s the lowest daily rise in cases since two new cases were recorded on March 8.
NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant on Monday said the two new cases – from 4400 tests – stemmed from overseas travel and a close contact, rather than community transmission. Almost 20 people in NSW are in intensive care with the virus.
With NSW schools set to resume some face-to-face learning from May 11, Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday said the state was in a strong position and suppressing the virus but did not announce any additional easing of restrictions.
She said any attempts to reopen society would inevitably spur new COVID-19 cases – and NSW residents would then have to make their own assessments about their actions.
Social distancing measures to stay in Victoria
Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Monday Victoria will not follow in the footsteps of other states in easing some social distancing measures, despite a falling infection count. With more than 104,000 tests conducted in the state since January, Mr Andrews said they aimed to test another 100,000 Victorians in the next two weeks. “This is the biggest public health testing program that our state has ever seen,” Mr Andrews said.
“With that data, with those test results, we will have options to ease some of the restrictions that I know are frustrating and challenging and difficult, but restrictions that are working.” The state’s coronavirus death toll rose to 17 at the weekend after a man in his 90s died in hospital.
Queensland easing restrictions
Queensland will from midnight on Friday ease some restrictions in the state, permitting weekend drives, family picnics and more retail activity. Premier Annastacia Palaszcuk says the easing of restrictions would start at midnight on Friday and people would be limited to travel about 50km from their residence. Outings are “limited to members of your own household,” she said.
“We will be able to lift some of the stay-at-home restrictions and can I say, this is a small step and one that we really need the public to 100 per cent co-operate,” she told reporters on Sunday. “If we do see mass gatherings, I will not hesitate to clamp back down.”
Queensland has recorded 1030 positive tests but has just 98 active cases.
‘Cautious relaxation’ of WA’s restriction
Western Australia will relax its coronavirus restrictions to allow up to 10 people to gather for non-work activities, as the state recorded another day of no new COVID-19 cases. Premier Mark McGowan said it was a “cautious relaxation” of restrictions, acknowledging it had been difficult for everyone, but especially the elderly, to not see family and friends during the pandemic. “We need to remember we remain in a state of emergency,” he told reporters on Sunday.
“I strongly encourage that everyone must continue to practice appropriate social distancing.”
Retail shops in NSW were never compelled to shut, but Ms Berejiklian added that some retail outlets which chose to close amid the pandemic had reopened their doors since the government announced its back-to-school plan. “Every time there’s more activity, every time you go to the supermarket, your risk of getting the virus or giving it to someone else goes up substantially,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters. “We have to accept that … Yes, we definitely want to ease restrictions. Yes, we definitely want people to have a greater sense of normality in their lives. “But we also have to be aware that comes with an obvious consequence, more cases and more people getting sick – we appreciate that will happen until we have a cure or a vaccine.”
The 82-year-old resident of Newmarch House in Caddens – where almost 50 people have been infected with the coronavirus – died on Saturday, operator Anglicare Sydney said. The man’s death brought the NSW COVID-19 death toll to 36. The Anglicare aged care facility is the state’s largest ongoing cluster, with some 31 of the almost 100 residents having been infected as well as 17 staff members. Among new cases on Sunday was a medical worker at Nepean Hospital who had not been in contact with patients for 48 hours before symptom onset.
On Saturday, an aged care worker at Catholic Healthcare Bodington in the Blue Mountains also tested positive for coronavirus but had not contacted residents within 48 hours of showing symptoms. Some 20 residents have tested negative to the virus.
The NSW government on Monday also announced it would tip an additional $30 million into the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance scheme, which provides energy bill support to struggling NSW households. The funding was part of a $100 million package including $34 million for homelessness, $10 million for charity programs and $6 million for Lifeline.
People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others and gatherings are limited to two people unless you are with your family or household.
If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor (don’t visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.
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