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Australian Reports of the Virus Spread

Lynda2475

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For some states that option involves keeping borders closed. Shitty for those businesses who lose out. Equally shitty for the other businesses that lose out if the decision is otherwise
Really struggle to see how this is relevant to state border closures now (given international would remain closed)? Letting australian travel intersate is no more risky then letting them travel intrastate which is allowed.

Unless you are working with recently returned international travellers (so at international airport or quaratine hotels ) or testing centre / hospital you are very unlikley to come into contact with Covid-19 and if you practice good hygene and reasonable physical distance you are unlikley to contract it just by being out and about.

Keeping facilities and state borders closed against medical advice isnt protecting any industry - our hopistals are more than coping. The less businesses doing business, means less people earning money and therefore less money being spent across all industries (except maybe supermarkets which ahve benefited by less dining out).
 

Gremlin

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Really struggle to see how this is relevant to state border closures now (given international would remain closed)? Letting australian travel intersate is no more risky then letting them travel intrastate which is allowed.
McGowan made that link directly when he announced WA was moving from 1 person per 4 sqm to 1 person per 2 sqm. He stated that he could only do that because they were keeping borders closed to jurisdictions that still had active community transmission such as Victoria. As we've been told by CMOs, 1 person per 2 sqm is not considered an appropriate social distance to protect against community transmission.
 

lovetravellingoz

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If social distancing is long-term here in Australia, then businesses need to understand the implications for this and be supported to change their business models to adapt to it. I know of a couple of business owners trying to decide whether to reconfigure their office fitouts to allow for 1 per 4sqm. I've heard the frustration when they say that they don't need to do this for their Perth or Auckland offices, only Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. They just want certainty.

I note you bolding.

I may be wrong but before too long I believe that Australia will be at zero cases after ignoring international travellers in quarantine.

(ie of today's cases so far reported Headline will say 8 cases, but 7 are international travellers in quarantine. So only one real case nationally)

After a period of sustained zero cases I would believe that the 1/4m2 rule will go for everywhere in Australia including public transport. At this time Australia will then rely on hotspot management if required. So yes an awkward period of managing offices and public transport in the transition period in some states for a little bit yet.

On the plus side this will keep flu cases low.




PS: Where are the NZ Covid positive returning travellers? Their cases seem to have vanished and surely must have some as Kiwis are overseas just as much if not moreso than Aussies and I cannot believe that they would have infected rates much different than returning Aussie travellers/residents. You would expect to see pro-rata about the same number of cases, but it seems to be zero. Or is it because most are going through hotel quarantines in Australia before hitting NZ shores? ie The recent repatriation flight from South America to Melbourne had a dozen Kiwis on board.
 
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Gremlin

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I may be wrong but before too long I believe that Australia will be at zero cases after ignoring international travellers in quarantine. ... After a period of sustained zero cases I would believe that the 1/4m2 rule will go for everywhere in Australia including public transport.
I agree with you here. I think this is the right approach and the avenue out. If that's meant to be the plan, then let's have it articulated nationally. But even as recently as last Friday ScoMo said that, "Eradication and elimination are not National Cabinet policy and so we should not abandon the three stage process". The three stage process has Australia retaining the 1 per 4 sqm rule until the availability of a vaccine.
 

drron

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McGowan made that link directly when he announced WA was moving from 1 person per 4 sqm to 1 person per 2 sqm. He stated that he could only do that because they were keeping borders closed to jurisdictions that still had active community transmission such as Victoria. As we've been told by CMOs, 1 person per 2 sqm is not considered an appropriate social distance to protect against community transmission.
Though that is not a number set in stone.The WHO for instance doesn't suggest a distance of 1.5 metres between people but 1 metre as sufficient for social distancing.
Then when outside for example factors such as wind will make a big difference to how far droplets can spread.
Droplet transmission is also not the only way the infection is spread.We really don't know how much is spread by touching surfaces harbouring the viruses.For instance in the SARS epidemic the Metropole Hotel in Hong Kong had 13 cases.The original case had no known close contact with the other cases though all of them had stayed on the same floor.It found all surfaces outside the rooms had detectable virus but the only room where the virus was found was that of the original case.
 

p--and--t

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Though that is not a number set in stone.The WHO for instance doesn't suggest a distance of 1.5 metres between people but 1 metre as sufficient for social distancing.
Then when outside for example factors such as wind will make a big difference to how far droplets can spread.
Droplet transmission is also not the only way the infection is spread.We really don't know how much is spread by touching surfaces harbouring the viruses.For instance in the SARS epidemic the Metropole Hotel in Hong Kong had 13 cases.The original case had no known close contact with the other cases though all of them had stayed on the same floor.It found all surfaces outside the rooms had detectable virus but the only room where the virus was found was that of the original case.
Will be interesting to see the outcome of the investigation in Melbourne into the outbreak among workers at the quarantine hotel. If the workers didn't come into physical contact with infected persons, then formites?
 

lovetravellingoz

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I agree with you here. I think this is the right approach and the avenue out. If that's meant to be the plan, then let's have it articulated nationally. But even as recently as last Friday ScoMo said that, "Eradication and elimination are not National Cabinet policy and so we should not abandon the three stage process". The three stage process has Australia retaining the 1 per 4 sqm rule until the availability of a vaccine.
We are of like mind.

I agree that what ScoMo and others say is somewhat confusing on this. I think too that they did not want eradication as part of the plan in case it did not happen.

I think their 3 steps is an interim measure and that they wanted Step 3 by July: The third steps are where we start to fully embrace long-term COVIDSafe ways of living and working — the arrangements that will be our ‘new normal’ while the virus remains a threat

What constitutes a threat is of course open to interpretation. My guess is that once Australia has had say zero cases for 2-4 weeks that the virus will not be considered a high risk within Australia, ie we will still need international border protocols, and that we will then get further steps.

Without further relaxation things like live theatre, concerts, festivals, crowds at sporting events etc will all not happen in viable numbers. Aquatic Centres, museums, galleries will all continue to flounder as will religious services.

As well as yes pubs, clubs and cafes/restaurants.

And there are things like fun runs etc. And yes night clubs and even strip clubs and brothels!

If there is no Step 4, 5 etc.....a number of businesses cannot operate, and many public events and pastimes also cannot happen either at all, or anywhere at the scale that they once did.
 
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lovetravellingoz

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Will be interesting to see the outcome of the investigation in Melbourne into the outbreak among workers at the quarantine hotel. If the workers didn't come into physical contact with infected persons, then formites?
Fomites are possible, who knows? Perhaps they were handling the baggage of people entering quarantine, and then also not washing hands.

Given that they were mainly security guards I would tend to speculate that they were doing things that they were not meant to have been, and if so they may not admit to this and so we may never know. However they may also have been infected from outside including from an asymptomatic spreader and then just did not practice physical distancing in the workplace to form a cluster.


On the positive side the recent clusters have been controlled quite quickly. You will often have some spread after a first case as they will often have had contact with some people who may not shows as a positive case for some days.
This includes in the aged care facilities which early on seemed to escalate and spread., but which more recently seemed to have all be quite contained.
 

drron

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To me the major thing needed going forward is not necessarily social distancing as now done here in Australia.What we need is the ability to have a rapid response to step up testing and contact tracing so as to limit any cluster.

It may be necessary to lockdown an area around a cluster but there should not be a need for a general lockdown or closed State borders unless there is a major widespread outbreak.For example if there is an outbreak like the NW Tassie cluster shut down the area of NW Tasmania around that cluster but not the rest of Tasmania.This is what has been done in Taiwan,South Korea and Japan.

One thing I would like to happen is that if you test positive it should be mandatory to download the Covid safe app and have the positive Covid activated.I know some people consider this an invasion of privacy but just like the Constitution allows Section 92 to be breached during a public health emergency this really is to prevent that emergency and should be allowed.
 

N860CR

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Are you suggesting that the National Cabinet's "Three Step Plan" is equivalent to "sitting around waiting for a vaccine"?
The NSW premier made a public statement to the effect that everything remains the same until we find a vaccine. Obviously has backtracked since, but the school of thought obviously exists somewhere in government.
 

moa999

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What we need is the ability to have a rapid response to step up testing and contact tracing so as to limit any cluster.

download the Covid safe app and have the positive Covid activated.
We already have big contact tracing teams (mostly underutilised).

But having more people with the App (and having it working properly on Apple) will help.
Pointless after you test positive - you are then in mandatory quarantine until you go negative.

Victoria is the only worry at present.
Everywhere else is 6+ days without community transmission (yes NSW is at 6 days of zero other than those in quarantine after returning from overseas)
 

woodborer

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Are you suggesting that the National Cabinet's "Three Step Plan" is equivalent to "sitting around waiting for a vaccine"?
No. "wait for a vaccine" seems the be the answer to the question of "then what?" that comes at the end of the plan.

A better plan seems to be "assume no vaccine" and learn to live with it. Respond to outbreaks as they happen.
 

lovetravellingoz

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We already have big contact tracing teams (mostly underutilised).

Victoria is the only worry at present.
While 7 new cases today in Victoria, it is only really 1 as the other 6 were international travellers in quarantine.


As to new clusters. All new cases get jumped on now. ie Look at what happened in Blackwater Qld when they thought they had a positive case.

The various recent cases at aged care in Victoria all did not spread, whereas earlier on in the pandemic cases in aged care facilities spread.

Note that if a case has already had close contacts then you still get cases for a short while as infection will already have occurred. ie the two intertwined Keilor families. But spread was limited outside of them, or as another example the hotel quarantine security guards where it was only co-workers and family contacts who were infected.
 

Gremlin

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No. "wait for a vaccine" seems the be the answer to the question of "then what?" that comes at the end of the plan.

A better plan seems to be "assume no vaccine" and learn to live with it. Respond to outbreaks as they happen.
Okay. I actually agree with what you're saying there. I simply believe the "learn to live with it" needs to look a lot more like NZ and WA than the NSW and Federal Govt mantra. In order to do that, you need to find a way past social distancing as a control measure otherwise far too many businesses go under. NZ are there (well, as of next week). WA is well on the way. Those in the rest of the states (and the Federal Govt) are not.
 

Pushka

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While 7 new cases today in Victoria, it is only really 1 as the other 6 were international travellers in quarantine.


As to new clusters. All new cases get jumped on now. ie Look at what happened in Blackwater Qld when they thought they had a positive case.

The various recent cases at aged care in Victoria all did not spread, whereas earlier on in the pandemic cases in aged care facilities spread.

Note that if a case has already had close contacts then you still get cases for a short while as infection will already have occurred. ie the two intertwined Keilor families. But spread was limited outside of them, or as another example the hotel quarantine security guards where it was only co-workers and family contacts who were infected.
And yet the headline here blares "7 new cases in Victoria" and thus feeding the doona brigade whose mantra is keep the borders closed.
 

suze2000

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Would love state borders to open, but international arrivals need to be required to hotel quarantine (AT THEIR OWN COST) until the global situation is under control (if that ever happens). Aussies returning home could be allowed to quarantine in their own homes as long as they wear a lo-jack or whatever their proper name is, and they live alone (or with someone else who also quarantines). This would allow a cautious return to travel while protecting the vulnerable community.
 

Flashback

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Would love state borders to open, but international arrivals need to be required to hotel quarantine (AT THEIR OWN COST) until the global situation is under control (if that ever happens). Aussies returning home could be allowed to quarantine in their own homes as long as they wear a lo-jack or whatever their proper name is, and they live alone (or with someone else who also quarantines). This would allow a cautious return to travel while protecting the vulnerable community.
Why should international arrivals be forced to pay for a hotel while residents should be allowed to use their own home? Why can't international arrivals also use their own home and/or families home?
 

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