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Key posts

  • Medical centre, KFC added as close contact venues in Sydney
  • Virgin flights, airport among Victoria’s latest exposure sites
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Medical centre, KFC added as close contact venues in Sydney

A medical centre and KFC have been added as close contact COVID-19 venues in Sydney’s west and south-west, while a new testing clinic will open on the weekend for freight drivers to be tested for COVID-19.

NSW Health last night issued alerts for:

  • Auburn Family Medical Centre, 22/1 Civic Road, Auburn, on Saturday, July 31 between 8.45am and 2.15pm; and
  • KFC Punchbowl, 1323/1325 Canterbury Road, Punchbowl, for all seven days from Tuesday, July 27 to Monday, August 2.

Anyone who attended the above venues within the relevant times is considered a close contact and must get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result.

New casual contact case locations have been added across Greater Sydney and can be checked on the NSW Government website by suburb here.

Of the 262 new local cases announced yesterday, 104 were from South Western Sydney Local Health District and 84 from Western Sydney LHD.

NSW Regional Transport and Roads Minister Paul Toole.Credit:Rhett Wyman

Regional Transport and Roads Minister Paul Toole has announced a 24-hour COVID-19 testing site will open from 7am on Saturday at 250 Victoria Street, Wetherill Park for heavy vehicle drivers.

“We know that heavy vehicles are not able to easily access the large majority of the current community testing locations, and these pop-up sites make it easier for our truckies to get tested and get back on the road,” Mr Toole said in a statement.

“With increased mandatory testing requirements in place for freight workers across multiple jurisdictions, we have seen unprecedented demand on our freight testing sites, so opening Sydney’s first site tomorrow will be very welcome news.”

The new location adds to five freight-friendly testing sites across NSW in Taree, Narrabarba, Forbes, Narrandera and Tarcutta.

Virgin flights, airport among Victoria’s latest exposure sites

In case you missed it, Victorian health authorities listed three new exposure sites late last night: two Virgin Australia flights as well as one of the terminals at Melbourne Airport.

Anyone who travelled as a passenger on the following Virgin flights is must immediately get tested and quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure, regardless of the result:

  • Flight VA808 from Sydney to Melbourne on Monday, August 2 between 7am and 8.35am; and
  • Flight VA1364 from Melbourne to Launceston on Monday, August 2 between 10.35am and 11.42am.

Melbourne Airport’s Terminal 3 is also listed as a tier-3 exposure site for Monday, August 2 between 8.35am and 11.05am.

This means people who spent time in the terminal during the relevant exposure window must monitor for symptoms and, if symptoms develop, immediately isolate and get tested until a negative result is returned.

For the full list of Victorian exposure sites, visit the Department of Health website.

Almost 70 per cent of new cases under 40s as virus spills to regions

More than two-thirds of new COVID-19 cases in Sydney in 24 hours were in people aged under 40, increasing concerns about the long-term health impact of the Delta strain as it spilled into the regions, forcing more lockdowns.

NSW recorded its highest number of cases so far in the pandemic yesterday, with 262 new infections – 67 per cent of those in under 40s – as well as five deaths. The NSW government is bracing for more fatalities.

Gladys Berejiklian says the vaccine rollout is critical to how any society lives with the delta strain. Credit:James Brickwood

A beach party in Lake Macquarie attended by a teenager from western Sydney was responsible for the virus making its way into Newcastle, resulting in the lower and upper Hunter going into a snap week-long lockdown.

More on NSW’s current situation here.

‘Really starting to get to people’: Lockdowns familiar in Victoria but don’t get easier

Every time Victoria snaps back into lockdown, public health physician Nathan Grills notices the same trend when he works his Saturday shift in a Melbourne emergency department.

“There’ll be a whole lot less sporting injuries, then you get a rebound in mental health disorders, domestic violence incidences and eating disorders. They trend up after a few days of lockdown,” he says.

“I think it shows there’s an underlying baseline of stress and exhaustion over the last 18 months. As soon as you turn the tap on and provide more stress and uncertainty, it pushes more people over the edge.”

Read the full story here.

‘Barbaric’: Returning citizens who live abroad will need permission to leave Australia

The federal government has banned Australians who normally live in other countries from returning home without needing government permission in a move branded as “barbaric.”

Until now, residents of other countries who are Australian are allowed to leave the country without applying for an exemption, but are regularly questioned at the border and required to prove that they live abroad as part of the international border bans brought in at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Minister Greg Hunt tabled the amendment, which cannot be disallowed.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

But yesterday the government quietly changed the rule, effective from August 11, claiming it was a loophole.

Now, according to the government’s explanatory statement tabled in Parliament, a person will have to demonstrate to the Australian Border Force Commissioner a “compelling reason for needing to leave Australian territory”.

More on this story here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Friday, August 6. I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day. If you’re waking up in lockdown this morning, I hope you’re doing OK.

Here’s everything you need to know before we get started:

  • NSW has recorded the deadliest day of its outbreak so far. Yesterday, the state recorded five deaths (in total, 22 people have died due to the current outbreak). The state recorded 262 new infections yesterday. The majority of those new cases are people under the age of 40.
  • Victoria went from recorded no new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday morning to entering a statewide lockdown last night. There were eight new cases in Victoria yesterday (five announced in the morning and three more later in the day). Schools are closed and there is a 5km limit on shopping and travel for at least seven days. It’s Victoria’s sixth lockdown since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Queensland is expected to extend its lockdown beyond Sunday. Yesterday, the Sunshine State recorded 16 new cases of COVID-19. There are now 79 cases linked to the Indooroopilly cluster. The majority of those are children.
  • And in Olympics news, Australia is on the verge of its best-ever gold medal tally. Be sure to check out our separate Olympics blog later in the day.
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