That’s where I will leave you for today. Thanks for reading, as always. Amy Remeikis will be back tomorrow morning and I’ll be back for the afternoon shift.
Here’s what we learned today:
- Australia recorded its deadliest day of the Covid-19 pandemic after 19 people died in Victoria. The state also recorded 322 new cases. The deputy chief medical officer, Michael Kidd, said the state was seeing the “first promising signs of a significant reduction in the daily numbers of cases” amid its devastating second-wave outbreak.
- The 19 deaths included a man in his 50s, a woman in her 60s, two men in their 70s, one man and six women in their 80s and one man and seven women in their 90s. Fourteen have been linked to aged care outbreaks. It took Australia’s death toll from the virus to 313. Kidd called it an “agonising” day.
- The aged care regulator was accused of a “catastrophic communications failure” causing a “potentially deadly delay” amid revelations at the aged care royal commission that it took four days for the body to inform the government about an outbreak at Melbourne’s St Basil’s aged care home.
- The royal commission also heard Australia’s health department and aged care regulator both failed to develop a Covid-19 plan for the “underprepared” sector.
- The Victorian government announced at-home testing for vulnerable people. The free service will aim to be available to 200 people a day.
- NSW recorded 14 new cases of Covid-19. Twelve were from known clusters, one was from a person returning from overseas and another is being investigated. Three Sydney schools were closed after positive cases.
- The prime minister, Scott Morrison, said calls to risk further deaths through an early end to measures put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19 an “absolutely amoral, hideous thought”.