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Coronavirus: What we know today, July 15

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South Australia has a “possible” new COVID-19 case, Health Minister Stephen Wade has revealed – the first in the state for over a fortnight. Follow this post for rolling updates on the impact of the coronavirus in South Australia, the nation and the world.

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Refresh this page for updates – scroll down for links to official health information.

KEY POINTS

“Possible” new COVID-19 case in SA

South Australia may have a “possible” new COVID-19 case, Health Minister Stephen Wade said on Wednesday afternoon.

If confirmed, the case would be the first in 15 days for the state, after almost a week of no active or infectious patients.

Wade said a further test has been ordered and SA Health would make an announcement once results were confirmed.

The Minister refused to comment on the location or circumstances of the patient, despite receiving a briefing.

He said he was not aware of any public health risk linked to the person, who is currently in quarantine.

“I’m not going to go into clinical details with any case and this one’s only a possible case,” Wade said.

“As soon as there’s confirmation of a case, SA Health advises in a well-established pattern.”

Another 238 Victorian cases and one death

Victoria has recorded 238 new cases of coronavirus, with a woman in her 90s dying overnight to bring the number of Victorians killed by the virus to 27.

The national toll is now 111.

There are 1931 active cases across Victoria, with 105 people in hospital, an increase of 20 since Tuesday. Of those, 27 are in intensive care.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton warned there will be more deaths from the current wave of coronavirus hitting the state.

“When we have 238 cases every day, we are looking at two to three deaths in a week’s time, so we have to have these numbers decrease,” he said.

More masks as national cases pass 10,000

An extra five million face masks will be given to health workers, aged care staff and pharmacists as the number of coronavirus cases in Australia tops 10,000.

Health authorities are concerned that more than a quarter of people who have been hospitalised with the virus are in intensive care, with 21 needing ventilation in Victoria.

“Clearly if we continue to see community transmission we will see more older people, more people who are at serious risk if they contract COVID-19, being hospitalised,” Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd told reporters.

He said all aged and home care workers in Victoria should wear surgical masks while at work.

Melburnians have previously been advised they should wear face masks outside of their homes if they are in situations where social distancing is not possible, such as on public transport or busy supermarkets.

Vic police bust lockdown party

A group of 11 partying at the border of the locked-down area of Melbourne are some of the latest Victorians fined for breaching coronavirus restrictions.

The partygoers had gathered at a short-term rental apartment in Point Cook and were fined for breaching the Victorian chief health officer guidelines to stay at home.

Another nine people gathered at a private home in the CBD were also fined.

Victoria Police on Tuesday said they had issued 88 fines in the past 24 hours and checked almost 25,000 vehicles at main roads checkpoints.

More than 5000 spot checks were also conducted at homes, business and public places across the state.

NSW toughens pub rules after outbreak

The NSW Government has announced a tightening of restrictions in response to an outbreak at the Crossroads Hotel at Casula, imposing a limit of 300 people at pubs and hotels, and group bookings to be capped at 10 people.

It will be mandatory for pubs and hotels to download and register the COVID-19 safe plan and take down contact details of all patrons.

Venues with a capacity of more than 250 people will also be required to have a full-time marshal on site to enforce COVID-19 safety guidelines.

It comes after a licensed premises in regional southeast NSW became the first in the state to be shut down after breaching pandemic public health orders.

Over more than two months between May and July NSW Police say officers issued three formal and several informal warnings to the Jindabyne premises.

The warnings related to intoxication levels and public health and safety issues including large groups of people failing to social distance.

Officers visited the venue about 7.30pm on Saturday and forced it to close, NSW Police said in a statement on Tuesday.

The venue was shut for 72 hours. Police have since spoken to the premises about their COVID-19 safety plan.

The business was on Tuesday slapped with a $5000 fine.

Queensland to boost fines for border rule-breakers

Outbreaks in Victoria and a cluster around The Crossroads Hotels in southwestern Sydney have authorities wary of a similar surge in Queensland now that borders have been reopened.

The state government will move to increase the penalty for anyone caught breaking the rules, with Deputy Premier Steven Miles saying fines between $1300 and $4003 are not enough of a deterrent.

“I hope that will demonstrate to the public just how serious we are about enforcing these measures,” he said on Tuesday.

Legislation will be amended this week to introduce a sanction of up to six months in prison for people who flout the public health directions.

UK, France mandate masks while shopping

Britain and France have announced they will require people to wear masks in public indoor spaces, while Florida has surpassed its previous one-day record for coronavirus deaths.

In Britain, officials announced they will require people to wear face masks starting on July 24, after weeks of dismissing their value.

“We are not out of the woods yet, so let us all do our utmost to keep this virus cornered and enjoy summer safely,” British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

French President Emmanuel Macron said masks will be required by August 1, after recent rave parties and widespread backsliding on social distancing raised concerns the virus may be starting to rebound.

Meanwhile Florida reported 132 additional deaths on Tuesday, topping the previous record for the state set just last week.

OFFICIAL SOURCES OF ADVICE AND INFORMATION

Local updates and resources

State Government central information

SA Health

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

Travel

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

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