WEDNESDAY, JULY 7
While Queensland recorded just one new locally acquired case of COVID 19, NSW had 27 in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday, leading to NSW having its lockdown extended for a week.
Commenting on the Queensland numbers, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said: “I think Queenslanders should be extremely happy with that news,”
Ms Palaszczuk said she would need updated information from NSW before making decisions about border closures.
The source of nine of the new NSW cases remain under investigation.
Greater Sydney’s lockdown has been extended until 12:01am on July 17.
The social distancing restrictions in regional areas have also been extended.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the decision to extend lockdown was a difficult one.
“We appreciate and understand the stress this means for individuals, for families and, of course, for businesses. But what would be far worse is being in a situation where you have to live in and out of lockdown until that period of time when we have the vaccine available to us,” she said.
“That is not a way to live and we want to give our citizens the best chance of staying safe and healthy.”
Queensland’s one new locally acquired case of Covid-19, is linked to an existing cluster and was detected while in quarantine.
Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said the case was in isolation for their entire infectious period and lives with known cases in Tarragindi.
But she said it was “too early to relax” with mandatory mask wearing and restrictions of social gatherings to remain in place.
“The other thing is this is the Alpha variant that’s spreading, which is far more infectious than the initial variants, but not as infectious as the Delta variant,” Dr Young told reporters on Wednesday morning.
“So we do just need to — for the next week — maintain some of those restrictions and, of course, come forward immediately if there’s any symptoms, just in case there are still some cases out there.”
Thousands of residents remain in quarantine as health authorities sweat on the spread of infection among the multiple clusters in Brisbane.
The long list of exposure sites and dozens of community cases has led to more than 6000 Queenslanders locked in isolation since late June.
Meanwhile, masks will no longer be mandatory in Victorian private workplaces and schools from Friday, as the state continues to gradually ease out of its recent lockdown.
Health Minister Martin Foley has confirmed the changes will take effect from 11:59pm Thursday.
Masks will continue to be required in “indoor, public-facing settings” unless an exemption applies.
A range of venues across Melbourne will also be able to apply the same density limits as those in regional Victoria, which is one person per 2 square metres with no overall cap.
That relaxed density limit is only allowed if a COVID check-in marshal is on site to make sure people are checking in.
Venues affected by that change include hospitality, gyms and physical recreation venues, community facilities, creative studios and places of worship.
Crowd numbers for the AFL will increase, with stadiums able to fill to up to 75 per cent of their capacity, with a cap of 40,000 people.
New York has become the first of the United States to declare gun violence a disaster emergency.
Announcing the move on Tuesday local time, Governor Andrew Cuomo hailed the order as the first step in a comprehensive plan that aims to tackle the surge in gun violence throughout the state.
Mr Cuomo said gun violence would be treated as a “public health emergency”, hotspots would be targeted and “positive engagement” made with at-risk youth.
“People are dying every day out there,” he said.
“Time is not on our side, [but we can] begin by acknowledging the problem.
“It is a state-wide problem and it is an emergency, and I want the people of the state to understand that and I want them to respond to the emergency for the way it is.”
He said the declaration would help people understand the seriousness and extent of the problem.
The disaster emergency status will also allow the state to address the gun violence crisis by expediting money and resources to communities, the governor said.
Mr Cuomo’s announcement comes as New York City and the country struggles to curb a rise in gun violence.
Jessica Springsteen, the daughter of Bruce Springsteen, has been selected for the Tokyo Olympics show jumping team, the US equestrian team announced on Monday.
Springsteen and her 12-year-old stallion, Don Juan van de Donkhoeve, will be part of a four-member squad that also includes McLain Ward, Kent Farrington and Laura Kraut.
Ward has helped the US to gold in the team jumping event at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics and was a silver medal winner along with Farrington at the 2016 Rio Games. Kraut was also part of the 2008 Beijing gold-medal squad.Tokyo Olympicse
The 29-year-old Springsteen was an alternate at the 2012 London Games but failed in her bid to make the 2016 Olympics.
Overseas spectators are banned from this summer’s Olympics due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so her parents will not be able to watch in person. However Springsteen, who is ranked No 27 in the world, says her parents are avid followers of her career.
“They make it to the shows as often as they can,” Springsteen told People last year. “When they’re not here, they’re watching online. I love having them with me.
“I think it’s important to have your family support you. It’s definitely fun to have them around. They’re the best supporters. They’re always happy no matter how I do, which is nice.”
Springsteen is the second oldest child of Bruce and his wife, Patti Scialfa.
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