COVID live updates: Schools, essential workers on National Cabinet agenda – ABC News

Cases, hospitalisations and deaths

If you don’t see your state or territory yet, don’t worry — these figures will be updated throughout the day as they become available.

Can’t get enough of the data? Check out the ABC’s Charting the Spread

Victoria: 37,169 new cases (16,843 from rapid antigen tests and 20,326 from PCR tests) 25 deaths; 952 in hospital, 111 in ICU including 29 ventilated

New South Wales: 92,264 new cases (61,387 from rapid antigen tests and 30,877 from PCR tests), 22 deaths, 2,383 in hospital, 182 in ICU

Tasmania: 1,100 new cases (847 from rapid antigen tests and 253from PCR tests), no deaths, 23 in hospital, no patients in ICU

Queensland: 14,914 new cases, six deaths, 556 people in hospital with COVID, 26 in ICU, 10 ventilated

Northern Territory: 550 new cases, 24 people in hospital, 18 patients considered acute

ACT: 1,020 new cases, 24 in hospital three people in ICU and two ventilated

South Australia: Authorities are yet to release COVID data

Western Australia: Authorities are yet to release COVID data

By Nicholas McElroy

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Palm Island Mayor trying to evacuate residents as COVID cases climb

By Zilla Gordon

The mayor of the north Queensland Aboriginal community of Palm Island says he’s trying to evacuate residents as local COVID cases continue to climb.

There are currently 67 active Covid-19 cases on Palm Island and Mayor Mislam Sam says he’s concerned about aged care residents with health care workers starting to test positive.

He’s asked for the Federal Government to temporary relocate residents, but says things are moving too slowly

“We’ve been in meetings since New Year’s Eve and to say I’m confident is not the case,” he said. 

Palm Island’s vaccination rate is at 47-point-seven per cent fully vaccinated.

By Nicholas McElroy

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What is the best face mask to wear to stop the spread of COVID-19?

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Reuters: Loren Elliott

Face masks have been an essential tool throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in stopping the spread of the virus.

But as the Omicron variant continues to infect millions of people at an unprecedented rate, there are calls to reconsider what type of mask is suitable.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reported to be considering updating its mask advice to recommend people wear N95 masks.

While official Australian health advice hasn’t changed, a growing number of medical experts say people should be proactive in upgrading their protection.

Read the full story.

By Nicholas McElroy

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Foodbank Australia calls for more support on rapid antigen tests

The head of Foodbank Australia is calling for national policies to help the one million Australian’s relying on food charities.

The isolation of supermarket distribution workers and empty supermarket shelves means organisations aren’t receiving their usual supply of food. 

CEO Brianna Casey says it’s vital Foodbank receives free rapid tests to distribute to volunteers and workers to keep the food service going.

“We are distributing 241,000 meals a day, not distributing that food is not an option, we need to keep our doors open and we’re going to need rapid antigent tests and lots of them to make sure we can do that,” Ms Casey said.

By Nicholas McElroy

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We’re keeping an eye on this and will let you know when/if we hear about a press conference 

Is Scott Morrison going to have a press conference after nashy cab?

-Liv

By Nicholas McElroy

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Shout out from a grateful mum to the WNSWLHD legends

Shout out from a grateful mum to the WNSWLHD legends at the Orange Vax clinic. Got my 6yo, VERY needle phobic daughter vaxxed today and they were nothing short of patient, kind, understanding and accomodating throughout the entire experience. She gleefully announced it didn’t hurt at all, so next time should be a breeze! (All fingers and toes crossed…) High fives to ALL health staff at the moment – it’s a jungle out there and you guys are amazing xx

-Grateful mum

By Nicholas McElroy

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NT authorities focused on ensuring health system can cope with increase in cases

The Northern Territory community of Amoonguna has entered a lock out after 16 new cases were detected. 

Meanwhile, COVID-19 hospitalisations in the NT have fallen slightly from yesterday, with 24 people receiving care. That figure is down from 28 and there is one person in ICU. There were 550 new cases were recorded in total.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner says the priority now is ensuring daily growth in numbers remain stable. 

“Making sure our health system can handle the increase in cases, getting lots of tests done as quickly as possible,” he said. 

“At the moment, all things considered, the growth in numbers is fairly controlled, though it is highly unlikely we have reached our peak. “

The NT government has also announced it will now mandate the reporting of rapid antigen tests.

By Nicholas McElroy

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Metallica thinks COVID-sniffing dogs are a great idea. The founder of the Big Day Out festival disagrees

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High-profile music acts Metallica and the Black Keys have had an insurance policy for their recent tours — canines trained to sniff out COVID-19 in their crew, entourage, and anyone else with backstage access.

Rolling Stone reported the bands employed the dogs to make sure the virus did not prematurely shut down their shows.

And while rock outfit Tool and country music singer Eric Church have followed suit for their tours getting underway in the United States, event producer and creator of the Big Day Out festival, Ken West, has warned against doing the same in Australia.

Read the full story.

By Nicholas McElroy

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Are rapid antigen tests still required to enter Queensland?

Does this mean border passes no longer required? Rapid test to enter qld no longer required?

-Rach

Border passes will not be required. No domestic restrictions for entry into Queensland also presumably means that no rapid antigen tests will be required to enter Queensland.

Also, Ms Palaszczuk said mandates requiring people to be fully vaccinated to enter events and venues will remain.

By Nicholas McElroy

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No fixed date for Queensland restrictions easing for vaccinated international travellers

hi Nicholas.

can someone at the QLD presser if the date for international arrivals (90%) can be fixed as they did with the 17th of Dec for the 80% ?

Thx

-Sigi

The Queensland Premier said the restrictions will ease once the state has reached 90 per cent double dose vaccination for those aged over 16. 

The state is expected to reach this milestone some time next week.

By Nicholas McElroy

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By Nicholas McElroy

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By Nicholas McElroy

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Federal opposition says changes to isolation rules won’t work without a better supply of rapid antigen tests

The federal opposition says proposed changes to isolation rules for close contacts in essential industries won’t mean anything, without a better supply of rapid tests.

National cabinet is today considering extending isolation exemptions into industries like education, construction and childcare.

But the rules require some asymptomatic close contacts to test negative on a rapid test, before they can return to work.

Shadow Health Minister Mark Butler says without more tests, the changes won’t have any impact.

“These changes to isolation arrangements wont amount to a hill of beans, if Scott Morrison doesn’t fix the mess he’s created around rapid tests. Business, trade unions have made that clear,” Mr Butler said.

By Nicholas McElroy

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By Nicholas McElroy

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By Nicholas McElroy

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Queensland’s CHO: ‘The job has been done and these borders are no longer required’

Queensland are continuing to relax borders using vaccination rates as the reason. Surely by now anyone can see that vaccinations alone will not keep Covid at bay. Queensland had today the same number of deaths as we have had for the entire pandemic, testing is out of control, supply chains are broken down, we cannot get everyday goods in the supermarket, essential workers are asked to come to work with Covid and the response is to relax borders even further!

-Steen

Hi Steen,

Thanks for the comment. It’s a really complex issue, but I think it might be worth repeating what Queensland CHO Dr John Gerrard explained at the very end of the Queensland press conference.

He gave an explanation about why Queensland originally installed the hard border and why it was now being taken down.

He said the border restrictions have served their purpose “which is to allow every Queenslander to have access to a (COVID) vaccine”. 

“That was the purpose of the border restrictions, and they have achieved that,” Dr Gerrard said. 

“Now the virus, as expected, is spreading through Queensland but with a vaccinated population.

“So the job has been done and these borders are no longer required and that was my recommendation to the Premier earlier today.”

By Nicholas McElroy

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‘Both of us ultimately want to protect the kids’: Family law experts see a rise in vaccination disagreements

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ABC News: Herlyn Kaur

A Gold Coast woman says she has reached “a stalemate” with her ex-husband who will not agree to allow their two boys, aged six and nine, to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Anna (not her real name) and her children have now contracted COVID on the same week they could have been lining up with other children to get the jab.

While they are over the worst of it, Anna remains worried if another variant comes along.

She is one of many parents family law experts say are having difficulties coming to an agreement with the other parent.

Children as young as five can now receive a COVID vaccination, and the Queensland Health Minister says more than 39,000 young people are booked in at state clinics.

Gold Coast family lawyer Julann Tiernan said she had seen an increase in separated parents, who could not agree on the issue, seeking legal advice.

Ms Tiernan urged parents to shelter their kids from disputes, and said children rarely had a legal say in what happened under “parental responsibility”. 

By Nicholas McElroy

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Key Event

The ACT records 1,020 new cases through PCR tests

There are 24 in hospital as a result of COVID-19 in Canberra, including three people in intensive care, two of whom require ventilation.

Through PCR tests, the territory recorded 1,020 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm yesterday.

So far 26.8 per cent of Canberrans aged 18 and older have received their booster and 98.6 per cent of Canberrans aged 12 and older have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

By Nicholas McElroy

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The Queensland premier says COVID deaths reported today are a ‘big shock’

Ms Palaszczuk:

“When you think about during the whole two years of the pandemic, we lost seven people, to lose six in one day is a big shock, our thoughts are with them. It’s quite upsetting.”

By Nicholas McElroy

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Key Event

Queensland records 14,914 new cases of COVID-19, Premier says

The state has 556 people in hospital with COVID, 26 in ICU, 10 ventilated.