Covid Australia live update: Melbourne exposure sites multiply as Sydney braces for surge in cases | Australia news

Good morning everyone, please believe me when I say TGIF.

It’s Matilda Boseley here, writing to you from the first morning of Melbourne’s fifth lockdown. I’m one of the 6 million Victorians now under stay-at-home orders and I’m feeling very sorry for myself right about now.

The total case number for the Victorian outbreak now sits at 18 but, on the upside, the commonwealth has confirmed that it will allow Victorians to start accessing income support immediately, despite the lockdown being slated to last five days not seven.

In a joint statement Scott Morrison and federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg said:

Payments of $600 will be made to individuals that lose 20 hours or more of work during the period of the lockdown.

Payments of $375 will be made to individuals that lose between eight and up to 20 hours of work during the period of the lockdown. No liquid assets test will be applied to the payment at any time.

This is actually slightly better than expected – the Victorian premier had flagged that the commonwealth was leaning towards a pro-rata version of the support – that is five-sevenths of the $600 or $375 payments.

A number of significant exposure sites have been added across the state overnight, including the Wallabies v France match at AAMI Park on Tuesday.

There are now more than 100 sites on the exposure list, and we will learn today’s case number for Victoria sometime between 8am and 9am when the health department tweets them out.

This is all concerning but if you look north the news only gets worse.

NSW is bracing for a surge in Covid-19 cases today as the virus spreads to Sydney’s healthcare system, with at least 70 paramedics isolating and cases linked to two major hospitals and an aged care home.

The state recorded 65 new local Covid-19 cases yesterday but premier Gladys Berejiklian warned there could be a spike today, in part due to the number of people infected in the community remaining high, despite stay-at-home orders.

Of the new cases, at least 35 people were out in the community for part or all of their infectious period. Berejiklian has said repeatedly that this number needs to be close to zero before the lockdown can be lifted.

With that, why don’t we jump into the day? There is certainly enough to get through!

If there is something you reckon I’ve missed or think should be in the blog but isn’t, shoot me a message on Twitter @MatildaBoseley.

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