Refresh this page for updates – scroll down for links to official health information.
- SA registers its third death
- One more positive case confirmed in SA
- Fines handed out in regional SA town for social gathering
- National cabinet to consider Year 12
- NSW Premier defends beach-going minister
- New York infection rate leaps
SA coronavirus cases rise to 421
SA Health says that one person has been diagnosed with the virus on Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 421.
The person is aged in their 20s and contracted the virus through a link to a known positive case.
Fifteen people are currently in hospital, including six who are in intensive care, with four of those in a critical condition.
Of the 421 confirmed cases in SA, four were caused by community transmission.
There are 167 people who have recovered from the coronavirus in South Australia.
Another South Australian death
For the third day running, a South Australian has died from COVID-19.
SA Health announced this morning that a 76-year-old man from regional South Australia had died at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, after acquiring COVID-19 in the Barossa Valley.
Health authorities in the state have been concerned about a cluster of more than 30 virus infections in the Barossa – a region visited by tourists who were found to be carrying COVID-19.
Premier Steven Marshall said today the death was the first from an infection acquired locally.
He said it was a “fair assumption” that the man had acquired the virus from the visiting tourists.
“This is the first example in South Australia where it’s not overseas acquired or interstate acquired – it’s been acquired here in South Australia,” Marshall told ABC Radio Adelaide.
“As sad as this is, it really does massively underscore why we are putting these restrictions in place. This is a terrible, deadly, insidious disease.
“We’ve seen what it’s doing overseas. I think the death toll in the last few weeks around the world has climbed up over 80,000, so it’s an absolute disaster, and this is why this Easter we’re just saying to people: ‘Do what you can to stay home, social distance, physical distance, stay safe, look after each other and make sure we can get through this’.”
Yesterday, a 62-year-old woman from metropolitan Adelaide died from the virus at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
“The woman acquired COVID-19 from the Ruby Princess cruise ship,” the department said.
Earlier in the week SA Health revealed that 75-year-old Adelaide man Francesco Ferraro, known as Frank, had died in the Royal Adelaide Hospital on Monday night – the first South Australian death from the coronavirus.
Marshall said yesterday there was no doubt the virus would take more lives.
“That’s why we have to put restrictions in place,” he said.
“They will unequivocably save lives.”
Social gathering leads to fines
Eleven people have been fined $1060 for failing to comply with coronavirus-related directions at a social gathering at a regional South Australian home.
Noise complaints made about the Port Augusta home, in the Upper Spencer Gulf, resulted in police visiting the property four times over Tuesday and Wednesday.
During all four visits, a group of 13 people was found in the backyard or inside the property and, on the first three occasions, were provided social distancing and prohibited gathering advice by police.
SA Police issued the $1060 fines to people aged between 32 and 57 years, with the remaining two being followed up by police.
Virus leaders meeting to look at year 12
Federal and state leaders will thrash out a unified approach to year 12 students as schools prepare to shift to online learning due to coronavirus.
National cabinet will meet on Thursday afternoon to discuss the way forward for students in their final year of school.
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan earlier in the week promised year 12 students wouldn’t face an extra year of study to complete school and rejected suggestions of mass repeating.
Medical experts insist schools are still safe, but parents are being urged to keep their kids home if they can.
For the majority of students, term two will be through online learning.
Australia’s coronavirus death toll has reached 50 amid warnings for people to stay at home over the Easter weekend, which looms as a critical juncture for infections.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has strongly warned that people must not break social distancing rules during the long weekend.
“We are only a few days away from Easter, a time that should give us great hope, and the message is clear, though: stay home, don’t travel, don’t go away. We can’t let up now,” he told parliament.
There are encouraging signs the strict measures might be working after the average increase in daily cases fell to two per cent nationally.
Australia has recorded more than 6000 confirmed cases, but there are concerns about 550 people infected by someone who didn’t know they had the disease.
Cash grants for local business
The State Government is offering one-off “emergency” cash grants to small businesses and not-for-profits.
The Government said the $10,000 grants would be available for businesses that had suffered a significant loss of income or been forced to close as a result of coronavirus-related restrictions.
The Government estimates the grant would help about 19,000 businesses and not-for-profits, at a cost of about $190 million.
“The cash grants will be available to help cover a business’ ongoing or outstanding operating costs, such as rent, power bills, supplier and raw materials costs and other fees,” the government said.
The eligible enterprises must have a payroll of less than $1.5 million and must not be entitled to a payroll tax waiver under support measures already introduced by the State Government.
The grants come as new analysis shows South Australia is heading towards double-digit unemployment.
Premier stands by beachside NSW frontbencher
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is resisting pressure to reprimand Arts Minister Don Harwin but the frontbencher could still face a $1000 fine for staying at his Central Coast holiday home amid coronavirus restrictions.
Harwin was at his Pearl Beach house on Wednesday afternoon, more than an hour’s drive from his east Sydney residence.
It comes as the state government says all non-essential travel to regional NSW towns must be cancelled including Easter holiday trips.
But Berejiklian said Harwin hadn’t broken the rules as he had relocated three weeks ago, before COVID-19 regulations came into effect.
Harwin made the premier aware of the change of his principal place of residence a few days ago, according to Berejiklian.
She nevertheless ordered the MP to return to Sydney as the “perception is horrible”.
“I regret and apologise to everybody that someone from my team undertook this activity,” the premier told reporters on Thursday.
“It’s not just about sticking to the rules, it’s about making sure there’s a perception that everybody is sticking to the rules including members of parliament.”
Berejiklian suggested “personal health reasons” had prompted Harwin’s move to the Central Coast. NSW Police have been tasked with determining if Harwin’s actions constituted a breach to public health orders.
New York records big leap in infections
The number of coronavirus cases in New York state alone approached 150,000 on Wednesday, surpassing Spain for the most infections anywhere in the world, even as authorities warned the US state’s official death tally may understate the true toll.
New York and neighbouring New Jersey again reported new single-day highs for coronavirus deaths.
New York state has 149,316 reported cases compared to Spain’s 146,690, according to a Reuters tally. In total, the United States has recorded more than 417,000 coronavirus cases and 14,100 deaths.
New York officials said a recent surge in the number of people dying at home suggests that the most populous US city may be under-counting how many people have died of COVID-19.
“I think that’s a very real possibility,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in his daily news briefing.
Cuomo said 779 people died from the coronavirus in the past day in his state and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said another 275 had died there. Both totals exceeded one-day records reported just a day earlier.
Despite the grim tally, Cuomo said overall trends still appear positive, with the rate of hospitalisations down in the state at the epicentre of the American. epidemic.
OFFICIAL SOURCES OF ADVICE AND INFORMATION
Local updates and resources
State Government central information: https://www.sa.gov.au/
SA Health: www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVID2019
Mental health support line (8am to 8pm): 1800 632 753.
National advice and information
Australian Government Coronavirus information hotline: 1800 020 080
Government information via WhatsApp: click here
Australian Government travel advice: smartraveller.gov.au
Check your symptoms
Free, government-funded, health advice: healthdirect.gov.au
– Reporting by InDaily staff, AAP and Reuters
Local News Matters
Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to help InDaily continue to uncover the facts.