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COVID-19 latest updates from CME

Last updated – 8.40 AM, Friday 3rd December

WA Update

Following the evolving situation in South Australia, the WA Chief Health Officer has determined the need to further elevate border controls.

Based on the latest health advice, South Australia will transition to ‘medium risk’ 12:01am Friday 3 December.

This will return WA to hard border arrangements with South Australia.

Travel from South Australia will no longer be permitted unless you are an approved traveller.

Approved travellers arriving in WA after 12.01 am Friday, December 3 must:

  • provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test in the 72 hours prior to departure,
  • provide proof of double dose vaccination, if eligible;
  • self-quarantine in a suitable premise for 14 days;
  • present for an initial COVID-19 test within 48 hours;
  • present for a COVID-19 test if any symptoms develop during quarantine; and
  • present for a COVID-19 test on day 12 after arrival in WA (if still in WA).

The exemption list is limited to certain senior Government officials, certain active military personnel, a member of the Commonwealth Parliament, a person carrying out functions under a law of the Commonwealth, a person carrying out a limited range of specialist functions, and a person given approval by the State Emergency Coordinator or an authorised officer.

Any Western Australians who have recently travelled to South Australia are eligible to return under compassionate grounds, and must apply through the G2G Pass System.

Recent travellers from South Australia should continue to familiarise themselves with the latest exposure sites reported by SA Health.


There were no new local COVID cases in Western Australia and no new cases detected in hotel quarantine in the past 24 hours.

The State’s total now stands at 1121. To date, 1111 people have recovered from the virus in WA. WA is monitoring one active case who is in hotel quarantine.

  • First doses administered: 1,929,517 (87.6% of Western Australians aged 12 and over)
    People fully vaccinated: 1,691,404 (77% of Western Australians aged 12 and over)

COVID Vaccine Resource sector mandate – useful links & FAQs

The Resources Industry Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions (No 2) require relevant workers to have a first COVID vaccination dose by, this Wednesday 1 December. Below is a summary of relevant links and FAQs.

  • Temporary Exemptions: Temporary exemption applications can be made to the CHO by workers or employers on behalf of the induvial or a group of individuals. Links to guidance and the temporary exemption form can be found below.
  1. Resources Industry Worker Restrictions on Access Directions – Exemption Guidelines
  2. Resources Industry Worker Restrictions on Access Directions (No 2) – Exemption Application Form – Paragraph 20(d)
  3. Resources Industry Worker Restrictions on Access Directions (No 2) – Temporary Exemption Application Form – Paragraph 20(a)(ii)
  • How to guide – how to show evidence of an immunisation certificate: Should individuals have issues being able to link accounts and therefore share evidence of their vaccination, below are how to guides that may be useful to forward to staff experiencing any challenges.
  1. WAPHA – Create myGOv 
  2. WAPHA Linking you myHealth record
  3. WAPHA – Viewing Immunisation History
  • Employer collecting and maintaining records: while not defined in the Directions, the term employer in the directions refers to the direct employer of a worker (e.g. contracting company for contracting employees). The Directions require the employer or the “owner occupier, operator or person apparently in charge of a site” to collect and maintain a record of the vaccination status. Therefore, contracting companies (as employers) could be responsible for collecting and maintaining records and the “owner occupier, operator or person apparently in charge of a site” could simply ask the contractor to confirm all their workers travelling to site had been vaccinated. However, also noting the owner/occupier could also request the contracting employees records if they wish.
  • Evidence of record: 13(a)(i) requires employers to collect and maintain record of the vaccination status and ensure only vaccinated or exempt workers enter or remain on site. And 12 requires resource industry workers to provide evidence in the form approved by the CHO if requested by the employer or ‘owner occupier, operator or person apparently in charge of a site’. Collecting and maintaining records for visitors (e.g. family member or short term truck driver delivering freight) can be challenging for privacy reasons. Health have confirmed that simply sighting visitors evidence (in line with that approved by CHO) and recording that it had been sighted would meet the requirements of the Direction. To that effect, sighting evidence and recording that sighting for any worker under the directions be sufficient.
  • Retaining records and storing IHI numbers as evidence: 13 (c)(ii) prohibits use or disclosure of any record except as permitted by law. The approved evidence per the CHO advice includes the COVID-19 Digital Certificates and Immunisation History Statements. Both of these include the Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) number. Employers are able to retain a copy of the record of vaccination status for the purposes of complying with this Direction, including any of the approved forms of evidence. The directions require employers to take all reasonable steps to protect the records it holds from misuse and loss and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
  • Traditional Owners conducting heritage surveys: Traditional owners undertaking heritage surveys on site are exempt because they are at the site carrying out their functions as a traditional owner (i.e. not as a worker at a location as defined by the Directions). For clarity, if a traditional owner attends site as a worker – by way of example as a truck operator – they would not be exempt.  Reference 20(b).
  • Mandatory vaccinations FAQ’s – Department of Health Frequently asked questions on mandatory vaccinations can be found here

Australian Update

Omicron

  • The Omicron variant appears to be reinfecting people at three times the rate of previous strains, experts in South Africa have said.
  • According to new evidence collected by the country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the latest epidemiological evidence suggests that Omicron can evade immunity from infection with earlier variants and is causing reinfections at three times previous rates.
  • Nine Omicron cases in Australia have been confirmed. Eight of those are in New South Wales.Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly says there are some cases now that have been in the community.
  • The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (Atagi) has not changed its recommendations on the booster shot timeline. As it stands, Australians can get a booster shot six months after their second dose of the Covid vaccine.
  • Australians have received 39.5 million doses of a COVID vaccine. We have reached 92.7 per cent coverage for first doses, and 87.7 per cent for second doses. South Australia has now reached 90 per cent.

Victoria records 1188 new cases of COVID-19, 11 deaths

The state has recorded 1188 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 deaths. Today’s tally is down on yesterday’s 1419 cases.

There are now 12,913 active cases of coronavirus across the state.

Today’s numbers are off the back of yesterday’s 63,214 tests.

There are currently 289 people in Victorian hospitals due to COVID-19. Of those, 43 active cases are in intensive care. Twenty-two are on a ventilator.

In terms of vaccines, the Victorian government says 91 per cent of residents aged 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

NSW records 337 new cases, zero deaths

The state has reported 337 new cases of COVID-19 and zero deaths.

Today’s numbers come after yesterday’s 80,930 coronavirus tests.

There are 140 coronavirus patients in hospital with the virus. Of those, 25 are in intensive care.

In terms of vaccines, 92.6 per cent of NSW residents aged 16 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

South Australia reports four new cases

South Australia has recorded four new cases of COVID-19, including a case with an unknown source of infection.

That case is a woman who received a positive test result while on a flight to the Northern Territory after spending time in the Port Noarlunga region in Adelaide’s south.

Her infection has prompted the Northern Territory to put in place quarantine requirements for South Australian travellers from tonight.

Two of the new SA cases are believed to have acquired their infections interstate.

The final new case is an interstate traveller who attended a school reunion in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs on Saturday night – an event which has led to the development of what SA Health has branded the “Norwood Cluster”.

If it is confirmed the man caught the virus at the event, he will be the 19th case linked to that cluster.

ACT records four new cases of COVID-19

The ACT has recorded four new cases of COVID-19.

Four people are in hospital with the virus in Canberra, three of whom are on ventilators.

The national capital continues to lead the nation in vaccination rates, with 97.9 per cent of Canberrans aged 12 and up fully vaccinated against the virus.

NT police to investigate how woman was infected with COVID

Northern Territory Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker has confirmed an investigation is under way after an Indigenous woman in her 70s died overnight after contracting COVID-19.

It is the first COVID-related death in the territory.

NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker said a criminal investigation would be launched into the woman’s death, which he said, “apparently [has] links to a breach of Chief Health Officer directions”.

Authorities have previously blamed a Cairns woman, who they say lied on a border entry form, for the outbreak that began in Darwin in early November and then spread to Katherine.

To date, the Katherine cluster stands at 60 cases.

The Northern Territory has changed travel conditions with South Australia due to a coronavirus outbreak in the state.

Arrivals from SA to the territory will need to quarantine for seven days upon arrival, effective from 8pm this evening.

No new local cases in Queensland today

There are six new interstate cases – all detected in quarantine.

86.84 per cent of Queenslanders have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, 77.21 per cent have received two doses.

New rules for entering Tasmania after December 15

From December 15, fully-vaccinated people wanting to enter Tasmania will have to complete an upgraded version of Tasmania’s travel pass.

“This will go live on the 12th of December and on completing the requirements of Tassie travel, a QR code for entry to Tasmania will be generated,” Premier Peter Gutwein said.

Anyone over the age of 12 will need to be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical exemption to enter the state. A negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to travel is required from those coming from a high-risk area or from overseas. Those not abiding by the rules will face a fine of up to $1,557 and can be summonsed and charged.

In addition, Tasmanians will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 if they want to enter a pub or nightclub from next week. Mr Gutwein said the rule would apply to venues with more than 250 people inside and more than 500 outside. It will also be enforced at festivals and events where people are standing up and drinking. The new measure will not apply to restaurants or cafes. Mr Gutwein also said staff who worked in licensed venues under the new public health measure would need to be fully vaccinated from December 15.

The premier says there is one new COVID case in the state — a traveller from the US.

There are six close contacts who have so far tested negative.

The infection is the Delta strain. About 94 per cent of Tasmanians above the age of 16 have received one jab of the Covid-19 vaccine, and 87.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.

International Update

  • Today marked the first day of eased Covid restrictions in New Zealand’s largest city of Auckland, after a gruelling 107 days in lockdown. The traffic light system, announced by prime minister Jacinda Ardern in late November, ends lockdowns in favour of restrictions on the unvaccinated. For the vaccinated, much of life opened up at midnight on Thursday: they could once again invite family and friends into their homes, plan a trip to the gym, drink in a bar, sit in a cafe and drink an espresso.
     
  • Thailand has reported another 4,912 cases of Covid-19 and 33 deaths over the past 24 hours.
     
  • South Korea reported another 4,944 cases of Covid-19 and 34 deaths. The figures are a drop on Thursday’s record of more than 5,200 daily infections as concern grows over the sharp rise in patients with severe symptoms.
     
  • Israel will halt the use of a controversial phone tracking technology to trace the phones of people who contracted the Omicron coronavirus variant. The move comes just days after ministers approved a package of emergency measures to contain the variant that included authorising the country’s internal security agency to use invasive phone monitoring technology for contact tracing.
    But following intense public criticism, the PM’s office said the “cellular monitoring” would expire at midnight Thursday and not be extended.
     
  • Ten more cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been detected in the UK, bringing the total to 42. The UK recorded 53,945 new Covid cases on Thursday, the highest daily figure since 17 July, and a further 141 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.
     
  • Norway is reimposing some restrictions in order to cope with the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant, the government said, including testing for all travellers arriving in Norway within 24 hours of arrival, whether vaccinated or not.
     
  • Vaccination could become mandatory in Germany from February, with tough extra restrictions also applying to people who are unvaccinated, the country’s outgoing chancellor, Angela Merkel, announced. Germany is reporting a further 74,352 new daily Covid cases and 390 deaths.
     
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo is struggling to vaccinate its population, ranking among the least immunised nations in the world. In a population of 90 million, a mere 0.16% have received one dose – and this falls to just 0.06% for those who have been fully vaccinated. In early March, 1.7 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, dispatched via the Covax mechanism for poorer countries, arrived in the DRC. But authorities postponed the start of vaccinations after several European countries suspended vaccination campaigns with AstraZeneca over fears that it caused rare but serious blood clotting.
    Rumours flooded social media, claiming that vaccination made people sterile or that Africans were to be used as “guinea pigs” or even killed. The coronavirus was presented as a “white man’s disease” brought into the DRC by travellers. President Felix Tshisekedi made his suspicions of the AstraZeneca jab widely known.
     
  • South Africa reported another 11,535 new cases and 44 deaths – a significant jump from Wednesday’s 8,561 new cases, up from 4,373 the day before and 2,273 on Monday.

COVID WA Helpline: 1800 020 080

For the latest official updates on COVID-19 please visit https://www.australia.gov.au/ and https://www.health.gov.au

For information on mental health support please visit https://www.lifeline.org.au/ or call 13 43 57