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Coronavirus: What we know today, July 22

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Victoria has recorded 484 new cases overnight – it’s highest tally since the start of the pandemic. 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

SA records two new cases of coronavirus

South Australia has recorded two new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 446.

Chief public health officer professor Nicola Spurrier said both cases were women who had recently travelled overseas or interstate – but only one of the cases was considered active.

She said a woman in her 50s had recently returned to South Australia from Melbourne where she had tested negative to the virus twice.

“People coming in from Victoria are required to have additional tests done, and this person was very compliant with this,” Spurrier said.

While in quarantine in South Australia the woman tested positive.

Spurrier said the woman would remain in isolation but she had no symptoms and posed no risk.

The second case was a woman in her 30s who had returned to the state from Mumbai on a repatriation flight on June 27.

Spurrier said the case was considered an old infection but would count towards the state’s total.

Victoria records highest daily cases since start of pandemic

Victoria has recorded 484 new COVID-19 cases – its highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic.

Premier Daniel Andrews also confirmed the death of two men in their 90s, bringing the state’s death toll from the virus to 44 and the national toll to 128.

The state’s previous record was 428 cases on Friday, though daily case numbers have consistently been in triple-digits for three weeks.

Victoria recorded 374 new cases on Tuesday.

SA border controls to stay as long as necessary

South Australia will leave its COVID-19 border restrictions in place as it moves to increase penalties for those who flout the rules.

The state’s transition committee has ruled both the hard border closure with Victoria, which allows only essential travellers to cross, will stay and so will quarantine requirements for people from NSW and the ACT.

Premier Steven Marshall says the border measures will stay for as long as necessary amid the surge in coronavirus cases in Melbourne and as Sydney grapples with virus clusters.

“There are many people who would benefit from this being lifted, but we cannot do it too early if it’s going to be putting us backwards in SA,” Marshall said.

On Tuesday, the state government also introduced new laws to parliament to add jail time as possible penalties for those who breach the border rules.

Currently, the maximum penalty a court can hand out is a $20,000 fine but under the proposed changes, a jail sentence of up to two years will be an option.

The law changes follow the arrest of nine people trying to enter SA from Victoria over recent days.

Vic prisons, David Jones in lockdown

Six prisons across the state are confirmed to be in lockdown after an officer tested positive for COVID-19.

The guard worked at Ravenhall Correctional Facility, which was placed into lockdown along with Hopkins Correctional Centre, Langi Kal Kal, Barwon Prison, Fulham and Loddon.

A Department of Justice and Community Safety spokesperson says the officer had been self-isolating since July 16 after being notified they were a close contact of a positive case.

And a David Jones store at Chadstone was forced to close on Tuesday after a staff member tested positive for the virus.

The team member last worked in the store on July 13 and is currently isolating, a David Jones spokesperson said.

NSW court move to block Black Lives Matter protest

A Black Lives Matter demonstration is planned for next Tuesday, despite NSW coronavirus health orders banning large groups of people.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has urged the public not to join the rally ahead of legal action to block it in the NSW Supreme Court.

The hearing will take place on Thursday afternoon.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said people should listen to state government advice warning against protests, given their potential to spark a coronavirus outbreak.

“There’s no special rule for people to not obey the law. What gives people a ticket to not obey the law?” he said on Wednesday morning.

No NSW mandatory masks yet

The NSW government won’t mandate the wearing of masks in public despite the growing COVID-19 caseload, with the premier noting indoor hospitality venues pose the biggest risk for potential outbreaks.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she won’t yet follow Victoria’s lead by enforcing mask use in public but urges people to wear masks when social distancing is impossible.

She says social distancing remains vital while NSW Health encourages people to avoid non-essential travel.

“What NSW Health and myself are worried about most at this moment in time is what people are doing when they’re entering hospitality venues…. You can’t wear a mask when you’re having a meal,” Berejiklian said.

“That’s where the biggest risk is at the moment, indoor events.

Queensland nervous about NSW cases

Growing concern over an emerging second wave of COVID-19 in NSW could result in Queensland declaring more hotspots and denying entry to more people from the state.

Tight border controls have resulted in hundreds of people being sent packing, including a man who hid in a car boot.

The vehicle was stopped just after dark on Sunday at Wallangarra, in the Southern Downs, and police found the 41-year-old man hiding in the rear.

He was fined $4003 for attempting to enter Queensland without a Border Declaration Pass and denied entry while two women, aged 28 and 29, were also refused entry.

Whistle blowing on community sports club finances

About a quarter of the nation’s 70,000 community sports clubs say they will be forced to call time if the pandemic state of play continues for another six months.

According to the Australian Sports Foundation survey, local groups have lost about $1.6 billion so far and fear costs will mount the longer it lasts.

The cost per club is less overwhelming, with small clubs with fewer than 1000 members and $250,000 in annual revenue losing about $10,394 each.

Large clubs, which represent about 33 per cent of all sporting groups, have lost an average of $13,367.

US deaths pass 140,000

US deaths from the novel coronavirus have risen by more than 1000, the biggest single-day increase since early June, according to a Reuters tally.

After weeks of declining fatalities, there were more than 5200 US COVID-19 deaths in the week ended July 19, up 5 per cent from the previous seven days, a Reuters analysis found. That was the second successive week of rising deaths.

Nearly 142,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, a toll that experts warn will likely surge following recent record spikes in case numbers and an alarming rise in hospitalisations in many states.

Iran virus deaths surge

Iran has seen a record 229 deaths in the past 24 hours, health ministry figures show.

Iran, the Middle East country hardest hit by the pandemic, began relaxing its lockdown in mid-April, at least partly to boost an economy battered by US sanctions.

The Islamic Republic has recorded a total of 14,634 deaths from the coronavirus, health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on state TV, adding that the country has seen 278,827 infections and 242,351 recoveries.

The previous record of deaths from the new coronavirus in a 24 hour period was on July 9, when health ministry figures showed 221 people had died.

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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