Contact tracing to be stress tested
- Experts have also called for Victoria's approach of back tracing to the source infection case to be extended to all states to help contain virus spread by super spreaders.
- This includes embracing new point of care and rapid testing, the development of digital case management platforms and the use of advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence to identify trends and outliers.
- A key part of upgrading national contact tracing is the end-to-end digitisation and integration of the testing, tracing and isolation systems around a common case management system, similar to that now being deployed by cloud software giant Salesforce.
- The Australia and New Zealand project has created a network of waste water testing looking for COVID-19 remnants, to give health authorities an early warning signal of infection, especially in regions where the virus is considered eliminated.
Premier Dan Andrews divides Victorians down the middle
- Maybe a majority of Victorians once supported Premier Daniel Andrews and his management of COVID-19 – not any more.
- When asked to respond to the statement "Daniel Andrews has mismanaged the government's response to COVID-19 and should resign", 41 per cent agreed, 41 per cent disagreed, and the rest were undecided.
- Responding to the statement "Daniel Andrews does not understand the impact of his restrictions on ordinary Victorians", 42 per cent agreed, 42 per cent disagreed, with the rest undecided.
- The response of Victorians to the statement "The lockdowns were necessary and justified early on, but now they have gone too far" reveals a deep generational divide: 48 per cent of respondents agreed, 35 per cent disagreed, and 17 per cent didn't have a view.
Melbourne set for 'dark opening' from Monday
- Melbourne retailers and hospitality operators have had their hopes of an earlier reopening raised after another day of low COVID-19 cases saw Victorian Premier Dan Andrews float the prospect of a "dark opening" next Monday.
- Retail and hospitality had been slated for reopening 1 November, but Mr Andrews raised the prospect of an earlier lift of trading restrictions after Victoria recorded only one new case – a reinfection case officials are examining to determine if it should be added to the case tally.
- Mr Andrews also raised the prospect of opening Tullamarine airport to inbound New Zealand flights following an ugly clash between some Labor State Premiers and the federal government, after the state leaders said they had been ambushed by the arrival of New Zealand travellers.
- Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said Melbourne shop and cafe owners could bring staff back next Monday, but office workers should plan to work from home until next year.
Cleanaway workers handed potentially 'unenforceable, illegal' deeds
- Cleanaway Waste Management asked senior employees at its ToxFree acquisition to agree to "onerous" secret legal agreements that sought to prevent them from working for any competing waste firm in Australia and which required they agree the documents were "fair" even if certain parts of the deals were "unenforceable, illegal or void".
- Current and former Cleanaway employees have said Mr Bansal's behaviour is the chief cause of a high rate of turnover in senior and lower-level employees, including the departure of a half-dozen employees who filled the group's head of health and safety role over the past four years and a recent instance where six out of eight general managers resigned within a six month period.
The wedding venue on the wrong side of the Murray
- The Kotzurs run a wedding venue called the Wool Press, a charming old shearing shed set on 22 acres nestled among the rolling hills of Granya overlooking Lake Hume on the Murray River.
- While NSW announced on Monday weddings for up to 300 people would be allowed from December 1, Victoria still has a maximum of 10, meaning the Kotzurs' venue will effectively remain shut until next year.
- Regional Victoria has a population of nearly 1.5 million – larger than Adelaide – but has not had any local transmitted cases for weeks, with the only recent cases coming from a single truck driver from Melbourne who infected seven people in Kilmore and Shepparton.
- On sunday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews held out hope of a regional Victoria bubble, with both NSW and South Australia suggesting the "ring of steel" that ring-fences Melbourne from the rest of the state could allow for a regional bubble with both NSW and South Australia.