As it happened: Victoria records six COVID-19 cases as Trump compares virus to seasonal flu; 2020 Australian federal budget revealed as Australian death toll rises to 897
- Victoria has recorded six new cases of coronavirus and two more deaths in the past day as the Chadstone cluster grew to 31 people and hundreds of Kilmore residents came forward for testing.
- Three Sydney cases are under ‘urgent investigation’ as NSW’s streak of no cases ended. None of the cases are currently connected to previous outbreaks and they are not related to each other.
- Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the new NSW cases reset the clock, and the southern state will still need to clear two incubation periods with no mystery cases before it is safe to reopen the border.
- The merits of tax cuts and youth wage subsidies, as well as the role of assumptions about the passage of the coronavirus, have dominated public discussion following the release of the federal budget.
That's a wrap for the blog. Here are some of today's developments:
- Melbourne's Butcher Club-Chadstone outbreak, which is believed to have been sparked when a Frankston cleaner failed to self-isolate after her family members contracted the virus, has grown to 31 cases. The manager of the Chadstone store is in intensive care at Dandenong Hospital after testing positive.
- Six COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Victoria today, along with two more deaths. It brings Melbourne's rolling 14-day average to 9.9, with 12 cases of unknown source.
- Three new local cases were reported in NSW, all in western Sydney. They are not connected to previous cases, nor related to each other.
- A decision on whether to reopen the border between Queensland and NSW on November 1 will rest on whether those three cases are linked to existing clusters, Queensland deputy premier Steven Miles said.
- Reaction to the Morrison government's COVID-19 budget was mixed. Healthcare fund HESTA and interest group Chief Executive Women both criticised it for a lack of support for women in industry. Big retail executives including billionaire Solomon Lew said Woolworths chief Brad Banducci said it would help drag Australia out of recession.
See you again tomorrow. Fingers crossed for another day of lower case numbers in Melbourne.
Emergency Management Commissioner admits he misled committee on hotels
Victoria's opposition has demanded that Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp return to a parliamentary committee and be re-examined by the state's hotel quarantine inquiry after he amended the evidence he gave about the ill-fated quarantine program.
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp addressing the media about coronavirus on March 11.Credit:Getty Images
In a letter written this week and released late on Tuesday, Mr Crisp said the evidence he gave on August 26 to the public accounts and estimates committee that he regularly briefed Police and Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville was incorrect.
Read the full story.
Butcher Club manager in intensive care with COVID-19
The manager of The Butcher Club in Chadstone is in intensive care after falling seriously ill with COVID-19.
The man, in his early 50s, was taken to Dandenong Hospital in an ambulance after his health deteriorated yesterday, Butcher Club co-owner Peter Robinson said.
"He collapsed initially and went to hospital … he rang me yesterday and he was distressed," Mr Robinson said. "He said I'm back in hospital and I'm no good."
The man is receiving oxygen and is expected to be in ICU for the next two days, Mr Robinson said.
Five staff at the business' Chadstone shopping centre store have tested positive to the virus, although two of the infected staff are asymptomatic, he said.
The store is at the centre of Victoria's largest active cluster, with 31 cases as of Wednesday.
The cluster was started by an infected contract cleaner who visited the shop while working. The owners of the Melbourne chain of butchers did not know the cleaner had tested positive.
"Before our manager rang on that Monday night I literally did not know anybody that had COVID, so it certainly brings it home very quickly," Mr Robinson said. "Everybody's head has been spinning."
NSW/Queensland border still on track to open next month: Qld deputy
Queensland deputy premier Steven Miles says he still has limited information on the three NSW community transmission cases, but he has excellent faith in the NSW contact tracers to determine whether or not the cases are linked.
If the cases can all be confirmed as linked to existing clusters, Mr Miles said it would mean Queensland's border would be on track to reopen on November 1, but warned that situation could still change at any time.
"The contact tracers in NSW will have 48 hours to see if they can scientifically link these cases to existing clusters, I really hope that they can," he said.
"If they can that won't have any effect on our timeline. As far as we know, for now, we are still on track for that review toward the end of the month."
Queensland Deputy Premier speaks live
Sorry about the delay on the livestream. We had some technical issues getting this one set up.
Alert for Kmart, Fitness First and Westfield shopping centre after Sydney's new cases emerge
Contact tracing has commenced in south-west Sydney after three new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed earlier today.
People who attended the Fitness First Carlingford Pilates Class on Saturday October 3 from 8.15am to 9.15 am are considered close contacts and must immediately get tested and self-isolate, even if a negative test is returned.
The health department is also assessing potential exposure at several other venues. Anyone who attended the following venues at these times is considered a casual contact and should immediately isolate and get tested even if any symptoms develop.
- Friday 2 October: Kmart, Narellan Town Centre, Narellan – 6pm to 7pm
- Saturday 3 October: Fitness First, Carlingford (all attendees other than those in the pilates class): 8am to 9.15am
- Sunday 4 October: Penrith Homemaker Centre, Penrith – 11am to 1pm
- Sunday 4 October: Guzman y Gomez, Penrith – 1.30pm to 2pm
- Sunday 4 October: Home Co, Penrith – 2pm to 2.30pm
- Monday 5 October: Westfield Parramatta – 9.30 am to 11am
- Monday 5 October: Castle Towers Shopping Centre, Castle Hill – 12pm to 1pm
“Testing numbers have dropped recently, which is a concern,” a NSW Health statement read.
“NSW Health renews its call for increased testing across Sydney, even if you have the mildest of symptoms like a runny nose or scratchy throat, cough, fever or other symptoms that could be COVID-19.”
Where are Victoria's new cases?
Chadstone shopping centre, used as a COVID-19 testing hub previously, is the source of the state’s largest current outbreak.Credit:Getty Images
The daily update from Victoria's Chief Health Officer has arrived and confirms that two of today's new cases are linked to the Butcher Club-Chadstone outbreak.
Four of today’s six new cases are linked to known outbreaks – two are linked to the Chadstone Shopping Centre outbreak, one is linked to a Dandenong household outbreak and one is linked to aged care. The other two cases remain under investigation.
Two cases are in the Glen Eira and Whitehorse council areas, while Banyule and Greater Dandenong have recorded one new case each.
Active aged care outbreaks with the highest active case numbers are as follows:
- 24 active cases are currently linked to Estia Aged Care Facility Keilor (total cases: 51)
- 10 active cases are currently linked to Edenvale Manor Aged Care Facility Keilor East (total cases: 23)
- 8 active cases are currently linked to Opal Hobsons Bay Aged Care Facility (total cases: 46)
- 5 active cases are currently linked to Embracia Moonee Valley Aged Care Facility (total cases: 81)
Non-aged care outbreaks with the highest number of active cases include:
- 31 active cases are currently linked to the Chadstone Shopping Centre (The Butcher Club) outbreak (total cases: 31).
- 6 active cases are currently linked to Electra Park Medical Centre Ashwood (total cases: 6)
- 5 active cases are currently linked to the Springvale shared accommodation outbreak (total cases: 8)
Hey it's Adam Carey here. Normally I cover education news but today I'll be in charge of the blog until stumps some time this evening. I've always liked the idea of hosting my own radio show. I guess live blogging is similar enough, right?
If nothing else it'll distract me from the pain of Joe Daniher and Adam Saad walking out on the Bombers …
Healthcare fund chief says budget a 'missed opportunity'
Debby Blakey, the chief executive of healthcare fund Hesta, has criticised the budget for a lack of policies directed at supporting women and low-income Australians.
"While the announcement of significant spending to stimulate jobs growth and economic recovery is
welcome, we’re concerned this budget is a missed opportunity to address systemic weaknesses in our
national economy exposed by the COVID-19 crisis," Ms Blakey said.
"Instead of recognising the gendered nature of the economic slowdown, the budget directs many stimulus measures towards male-dominated industries and will do little to address entrenched social and gender inequality holding back our economy."
Hesta manages $52 billion in super fund assets on behalf of 870,000 members, 80 per cent of whom are women. Ms Blakey said it was "particularly disappointing" that there had been no change to childcare policy, including funding for early education.
"Get this right and Australia could land a ‘triple dividend’ – a more efficient acceleration of economic growth, higher long-term productivity and greater resilience to meet future challenges like our ageing population and pandemic shocks," she said.
Who has COVID-19 in the White House
A growing number of White House staff and senior Republicans have tested positive for COVID-19 since President Donald Trump revealed he had contracted the virus.
Four more White House officials tested positive on Tuesday, including Stephen Miller, a top adviser to Trump, bringing to 14 the number of people carrying the virus at the White House or in the President's close circle.
Aides said that Trump made calls from the White House on Tuesday (local time) and roamed the areas of the presidential residence that had been set up for him. Although he was described as itching to get back into the Oval Office and show that he was in charge, a potential live address to the nation was discussed but scrapped in favour of a planned taped one.
Prominent supporters of the administration said Trump should have stayed at the hospital until he was no longer infectious or should remain confined to his residence.
"When a boss comes down with COVID, whether that boss is the president, a CEO, a principal at a school, a union foreman on a shop floor, and the boss shows up for work, it sends a very worrisome message to all of those around the boss," said Ari Fleischer, a former press secretary to President George W. Bush.
"There is a community of people who work in the White House, not just political appointees. A good boss always takes care of his or her employees."
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