TUESDAY, JULY 8
Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire north of the city will re-enter lockdown for six weeks in a bid to slow a rapid spread of coronavirus.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced the stay-at-home orders would be reimposed from midnight tomorrow night with drones and roadblocks used to enforce the edict.
There were 191 new confirmed cases announced today, with 37 linked to known outbreaks and the remaining 154 under investigation.
Mr Andrews said the new restrictions were the result of the “unacceptably” high number of new cases.
The Mitchell Shire, north of Melbourne, includes the towns of Broadford, Kilmore, Seymour, Tallarook, Pyalong and Wallan.
Under the stage three restrictions, people are only allowed to leave their homes for four main reasons: work or study, exercise, shopping for supplies and medical care and caregiving.
VCE students — those in years 11 and 12 — in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire will return to school as normal next week.
Other students will have the school holiday period extended by one week.
Mr Andrews said further announcements about term three for those in prep to year 10 would be made soon.
The NSW-Victoria border will close tonight with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian unable to give a timeline for the “frustrating” blockade.
Infections have spread across the NSW-Victoria border and a tenth public housing tower has been exposed in Melbourne after a record spike in cases yesterday, news.com reports.
It’s understood an infected resident, who lives in a locked-down North Melbourne tower, also worked in the apartment building in Richmond as a subcontractor for the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
Meanwhile, Albury-Wodonga, a town that sits on the NSW-Victoria border, has recorded three new cases of COVID-19. The infections came within hours of state and federal governments announcing plans to close the border.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has amended the COVID-19 interstate hot spot order to include residents from Greater Melbourne’s 36 local government areas. The order is in force from 12.01am on Tuesday, July 7.
The health department said: “This means they will only be able to enter NSW for very limited reasons, such as obtaining medical care, or fulfilling a legal obligation.”
Australia has recorded a total 8397 cases of COVID-19, with 3240 in New South Wales, 2660 in Victoria, 1067 in Queensland, 443 in South Australia, 621 in Western Australia, 228 in Tasmania, 108 in the Australian Capital Territory and 30 in the Northern Territory.
Australia’s coronavirus death toll is 106.
Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime confidante Ghislaine Maxwell has been transferred to a New York jail to face charges that she allegedly recruited women and girls, one as young as 14, for Epstein to sexually abuse.
Prosecutors have asked a judge to schedule a Friday court appearance in Manhattan Federal Court for Maxwell, 58, who was arrested last week at a $1 million ($1.4 million) estate she had purchased in New Hampshire.
Ms Maxwell, the daughter of British publishing magnate Robert Maxwell, was the former girlfriend and longtime close associate of Epstein, who killed himself in a Manhattan jail last August while he awaited trial on federal sex trafficking charges.
Ms Maxwell has been indicted on multiple charges, including that she conspired to entice girls to engage in illegal sex acts with Epstein from 1994 through 1997.
She is expected to make her first appearance in Federal Court in Manhattan on Friday (local time) on four criminal counts related to procuring and transporting minors for illegal sex acts, as well as two counts of perjury.
Several of Epstein’s victims have described Ms Maxwell as his chief enabler, recruiting and grooming young girls for abuse.
She has denied any wrongdoing and called claims against her “absolute rubbish.”
Prosecutors have said Ms Maxwell “poses an extreme risk of flight.”
As Native American leaders and organisations renewed calls for the National Football League to force the Washington Redskins to change the team name, President Donald Trump weighed in, criticising the Redskins and Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians for considering name changes.
The Native American leaders’ demands were made in a letter, obtained by The Associated Press.
Signed by 15 Native American advocates it demanded the team and the NFL cease the use of Native American names, imagery and logos — with specific importance put on Washington, which last week launched a “thorough review” of its name.
“[The groups] expect the NFL to engage in a robust, meaningful reconciliation process with Native American movement leaders, tribes, and organizations to repair the decades of emotional violence and other serious harms this racist team name has caused to Native Peoples,” the letter read.
The NFL did not immediately respond to a message confirming receipt of the letter, although NFL commissioner Goodell last week expressed support for Washington boss Dan Snyder’s review of the name.
President Donald Trump criticised the Redskins and Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians for considering name changes.
“They name teams out of STRENGTH, not weakness, but now the Washington Redskins & Cleveland Indians, two fabled sports franchises, look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct,” Mr Trump tweeted.
“This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field,” Snyder said.
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