Australia COVID news LIVE: NSW braces for more cases, more weeks of lockdown as Delta strain outpaces contact tracers

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What to do if you’re living alone in lockdown

People living alone during Sydney’s lockdown have been urged to maintain a reasonable sleep routine, avoid blurring the lines between work-life and home-life, and reach out to friends and family in a way that works for them.

Dr James Collett, a lecturer in psychology at RMIT University, delivered workshops during Melbourne’s lockdown on how to cope with isolation from a mental health perspective.

People living alone in lockdown should maintain a regular sleep schedule, consistent diet and keep an eye on their mood. Credit:Sam Mooy

He said lockdown is challenging for everyone, and previous lockdowns showed evidence of elevated rates of anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. Dr Collett said people living alone, in particular, should keep an eye on their mood, keep a regular sleep schedule, and keep a consistent diet.

They should also reach out to friends in a way that works for them.

For example, if someone is on Zoom calls at work all day, it might be better to call over the phone instead of using another video call.

Read the full story here.

Vaccination targets to move to phase two of reopening plan

Australia’s plan to end COVID-19 lockdowns and begin reopening state and international borders will rely on at least 75 per cent of over-70s getting vaccinated but a lower proportion of younger Australians will need to have had the jab.

The Sunday Age and The Sun-Herald have learnt there will be no move from phase one to phase two of the plan – which the government hopes to achieve by the end of 2021 – before the number of over-70s who are fully vaccinated has passed at least 75 per cent and probably higher. Currently, 72.9 per cent of people over 70 have had at least one jab.

The number of people who will have to be fully vaccinated in younger cohorts is expected to be broken down into three age groups – potentially 50-70-year-olds, 40-50-year-olds and 18-40 -year-olds – which broadly reflects the current age groups of the rollout.

Vaccination thresholds for younger Australians will be lower than for the over-70s before the move to phase two but will still be high.

Under the four-phase plan to reopen Australia agreed by the state and federal governments, phase two – dubbed the “post-vaccination stage” – would ease restrictions on vaccinated residents, mean lockdowns were imposed only in extreme circumstances, restore inbound traveller caps for unvaccinated people and allow more vaccinated travellers to return.

The federal government has asked the Doherty Institute to provide modelling on vaccination targets and that work is expected back at the end of July.

Read the full story here.

Latest COVID-19 exposure sites in NSW

The following venues are the latest to be identified by NSW Health as COVID-19 exposure sites, after they were visited by a confirmed case.

The list was issued shortly before 10pm on Saturday.

Advice has been updated for two venues. If you were at the following places at the set times you are now considered a close contact and must strictly isolate for 14 days:

  • Coles Kareela on Friday, July 2, between 5pm and 10pm, and on Tuesday, July 6, between 5pm and 10pm
  • KFC Rockdale on Tuesday, July 6, between 10am and 4pm, and Wednesday, July 7, between 10.30am and 4pm

These close contact venues were also added to the list. Close contacts must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result, and call 1800 943 553 unless already contacted by NSW Health.

  • Mrs Fields, Roselands Shopping Centre on Wednesday, June 30, between 10.30am and 10.45am
  • Greenacre Medical Practice on Monday, July 5, between 11.40am and 1.50pm, and on Tuesday, July 6, between 12.40pm and 1.45pm
  • St Peter’s Cafe on Wentworth in Greenacre on Monday, July 5, between 6am and 6.30am
  • Belmore Medical Centre on Monday, July 5, between 6.30pm and 7.15pm
  • Commonwealth Bank, Kogarah on Monday, July 5 between 3.05pm and 3.35pm
  • Barbeques Galore, Penrith on Tuesday, July 6 between 2.30pm and 3.45pm

Eight more venues across Roselands, Kensington, Sylvania, Maroubra, Hoxton Park, Greenacre and Hurstville were identified as casual contact venues. Anyone who attended three other listed locations, including Broadway Shopping Centre in Ultimo on Thursday, July 8, between 11.30am and 1.30pm, should monitor for symptoms.

You can check the full list of venues here.

Good morning

Good morning and welcome to today’s coronavirus news live blog. My name is Sarah McPhee and I’ll be bringing you the latest developments on the COVID-19 situation until I pass the baton this afternoon.

The federal government will today launch a $41 million revamped vaccination campaign, urging Australians to “Arm Yourself” against COVID-19.

Here are the key headlines from yesterday:

  • NSW recorded 50 local cases – the highest daily number in 15 months, with 37 of Saturday’s cases out in the community for all or part of their infectious period, as talk turns to further extensions of lockdown.
  • The ARL Commission held an emergency meeting and decided to move State of Origin III from McDonald James Stadium in Newcastle to the Gold Coast, after the NSW government banned crowds. More than 27,000 fans can now attend Wednesday’s finale between NSW and Queensland in the Sunshine State.
  • Victorians were given their final warning to return home from NSW as health officials on Saturday said they could shut the border between the two states “in the coming hours or days”. The state’s COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar said there is a chance they will be “forced to upgrade” all of NSW to a red zone.
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