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Friday, August 14, 2020

Coronavirus Australia News: Victoria enters day three of hotspot test blitz in Melbourne, live blog

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Victoria has entered its third day of a test blitz which aims to capture 100,000 tests in 10 days in the suburbs of coronavirus hotspot in the north and south-east of Melbourne.

Follow our blog live.

Live updates

By Joseph Dunstan

Meanwhile, in WA …

While there remains a hard border, a bunch of new freedoms has opened up for Western Australians at midnight this morning.

By Joseph Dunstan

We could find out more about quarantine tests in hotels today

Some comments on the latest news around hotel quarantine:

I just learned from the news this morning that 30% of returning travelers refuse to be tested. Was i half asleep? I assumed that the tests would be mandatory. No test, no return home.

-A bit confused

Hello, What percentage of travelers returned to quarantine in a hotel are tested in Sydney? Completely unaware that it was not a mandatory requirement.

-Checked

So far, Victorian authorities have offered two tests for returning travelers, spaced out over the 14-day quarantine period, but this has not been mandatory.

After deputy chief medical officer of health Annaliese van Diemen revealed the proportion of travelers who had rejected the tests in his condition on Friday, outgoing medical consultant Brendan Murphy suggested that stricter rules may be in progress.

“States have the power … to tell someone well, we will not leave you in quarantine until you have been tested and passed a clear test,” he said.

By Joseph Dunstan

Victorians encouraged to enjoy careful school holidays

As Victorian schools stop for vacations, the state has struggled with the highest number of cases for more than two months.

Victoria’s chief medical officer of health, Brett Sutton, wrote an open letter to the families, warning that “the only thing between us and a second wave is what we will do next.”

“The current evidence suggests that the increase in the number of cases in Victoria is caused by families coming together and not following advice on physical distance and hygiene,” wrote Professor Sutton.

“Unfortunately, we are still in a pandemic and people’s lives are always in danger. As we have seen around the world, this virus has the capacity to turn a small number of cases into hundreds in a matter of days.”

By Joseph Dunstan

Quick review of the Melbourne hotspot suburb

These are the suburbs where health authorities are stepping up tests to try to contain the latest epidemics in Victoria:

  • Keilor Downs
  • Broadmeadows
  • Maidstone
  • Albanvale
  • Sunshine west
  • Hallam
  • Brunswick West
  • Fawkner
  • Tank
  • Pakenham

By Joseph Dunstan

How useful is the COVIDSafe app in Victoria recently?

Fail to read the blog, thank you for coming back. . How successful is the Covid app in tracking Vic cases?

-Morning

Excellent question, morning. The most recent response I found on this was on Wednesday when the Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, said that the COVIDSafe app had not helped identify recent close contacts, but would play a more important role as restrictions were relaxed.

“There have been no new contacts identified by the COVID application, but there have been more than 30 cases where the application has been downloaded,” he said.

But I will listen to today’s bail for a more recent answer to this question.

By Joseph Dunstan

Will Melbourne’s coronavirus outbreaks be exported to Sydney?

The border between New South Wales and Victoria remained open throughout the pandemic, in part due to the difficulties this would pose for its many twin cities along the Murray River such as Albury-Wodonga and trade links between Melbourne and Sydney.

But it caused some anxiety this week as Victoria saw an increase in double-digit cases day after day.

By Joseph Dunstan

Some work to take saliva tests

Infectious disease experts from the Doherty Institute in Melbourne say they are in discussions with the Victorian government on how a new saliva test for COVID-19 could be used.

Andrews said the saliva tests would be rolled out for the first time in Victoria starting Monday and would involve placing a saliva sample in a cup for testing.

But Doherty Institute director Sharon Lewin told ABC Radio Melbourne that more work was needed before the saliva tests could be stepped up.

Professor Lewin says that while the coronavirus can be detected in saliva, it is not as reliable as nasal and throat tests.

“Unfortunately, it’s not as good as a nose test,” she says.

“The benefits are that it is easier to collect, it is not painful, but you have less virus in your saliva than in your nose.”

She says the institute’s clinical microbiology team led by Deborah Williamson collected saliva samples from 600 people and the researchers found that the saliva tests had missed several cases.

“It therefore missed a few cases and must be validated a little more before it can be used on a very large scale,” explains Professor Lewin.

By Joseph Dunstan

What are the results of false positive tests?

We have seen some test results that seem to come back positive, then negative for some Australians – most recently, Essendon player Conor McKenna.

PAA: Michael Dodge

So why is this happening?

By Joseph Dunstan

Hello!

Welcome to the live blog, where I will keep an eye on the news of coronaviruses across the country.

Victoria enters the third day of a test blitz in 10 hotspot suburbs, while state schools separate for the holidays.

But WA’s hard border will remain for the foreseeable future, particularly as Victoria struggles to contain its latest epidemics.

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