Coronavirus Australia news: AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson resume US trials of COVID-19 vaccine

AstraZeneca has resumed the US trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine after approval by American regulators.

An oversight panel has recommended that Johnson & Johnson resume its trial as well.

AstraZeneca’s US trial was paused on September 6 after a report of a serious neurological illness in a participant in the company’s UK trial.

Follow today’s events below.

Live updates

Audience comment by Lockdown birthdays

Happy 18th birthday Mary-Jane. My daughter had her 21st at home here in Melbourne last Saturday. Not the party she hd envisaged but a quiet dinner with 4 of us. But after lockdown she is planning to celebrate with friends and she brought herself lots of presents online to make up for it. Enjoy your day 😊

By Alicia Nally

What is going on with the [alleged] four new Victorian cases?



Alicia your post below says there are four new cases in Preston but dhhs and the blog haven’t released any vic numbers for the day so what’s going on there?



Yeah, confusing.


We are trying to clarify. 


Stand by! 

By Alicia Nally

Life after lockdown outside the ring of steel


ABC News


Regional Victoria has become a land of its own – locked in by state borders and Melbourne’s quarantine zone, different rules apply here. And people are making the most of it.


Audience comment by The rains are here

Did Dan make it rain on GF day to stop people gathering??? Does he have such powers??? That’s awesome!!

Audience comment by Birthday shoutout

Can we get a shouting for Mary-Jane who is spending her 18th birthday in lockdown in mel.

Audience comment by Abs

Happy Grand Final Day<br>Go the Cats!!

By Alicia Nally

Key Event

Here is yesterday’s coronavirus live blog

By Alicia Nally

Dear Ireland, a second coronavirus lockdown will be tough but be brave and go on





ABC Radio Melbourne’s fabulous Virginia Trioli has penned some words of advice for Ireland.


Among many nuggets of wisdom is this:


“I’m sorry Ireland, but just like your mum might have told you when you came down with the measles – this is going to get worse before it gets better.”


Read the whole letter here.

By Alicia Nally

The dilemma of being asked to return to the office… or warehouse/worksite, etc. 

Good morning Alicia. My husband has been working from home since the start of April. His boss recently said he will be expected to work from the office when restrictions ease on November 2nd. The third and last steps in the roadmap state if you can work from home you must. His boss says that it is a recommendation to work from home, not compulsory. Can you please advise whether it is compulsory or a recommendation. Thanks.

-Concerned wife

Hi there Concerned wife,

I can definitely understand your anxiety.

The Victorian Government has clear guidelines online that state an employer must support you to work from home, if you can work from home. 

The website states:


“If your place of work is permitted to operate and if you cannot do your work from home, then you can go to work. You will need to have a Permitted Worker Permit.


“However, you should consider flexible working arrangements with your employer, including off-peak travel.


“If you are unwell, you must stay at home.

“If you have any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, you should get tested.”


“You and your employer should work together to identify if you can work from home.


“Workers can raise concerns about being asked to return to work through the Police Assistance Line (PAL) on 131 444.


“If a complaint is made, the employer would need to show why the employee cannot work from home.”


It’s a tricky situation but there are avenues for your husband to be supported to stay at home.


Best of luck!

By Alicia Nally

Key Event

Four new Preston cases: COVID-19 update for northern metropolitan Melbourne


ABC News


The Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging all East Preston Islamic College and Croxton School families and staff to get tested at any testing centre in Melbourne, immediately even if they do not have symptoms, and stay home until they receive their results.


There have been an additional four cases in the Preston area. One case is a student at East Preston Islamic College


There will be a drive through testing centre operating at the East Preston Islamic College from today. Both schools will remain closed for the next two weeks. 


The community can access testing sites at the following locations: 

  • Broadmeadows Central Shopping Centre at north carpark 1099 – 1169 Pascoe Vale Rd, Broadmeadows from 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Coolaroo Respiratory Centre at 512 Barry St, Coolaroo from 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Melbourne airport, Terminal 4 Level 2 (Mercer Dv exit off Tullamarine Fwy) from 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Craigieburn Health Service, 274 – 304 Craigieburn road from 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Highlands Hotel at 301 Grand Boulevard, Craigieburn from 9:30am – 4:30pm
  • Austin Hospital at 145 Studley Rd, Heidelberg from 8:00am – 8:00pm
  • Banyule Community Health at 21 Alamein Rd, Heidelberg West from 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Banyule Community Health at 14 – 32 Civic Drive, Greensborough from 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Northland Shopping Centre at Target carpark via Murray Rd, Preston from 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • CB Smith Reserve at 79 Jukes Rd, Fawkner from 9:00am – 4:00pm


Additional pop-up testing sites will also be announced in Hume, Banyule and Darebin in the coming days.


In addition, we are testing a number of secondary close contacts at Sirius College and Ilim College. They are connected to separate close contacts who will be tested again over this weekend. 


The Department is working closely with community and faith leaders from across Melbourne to ensure everyone is aware of the importance of getting tested as the best way to fight this virus.


By Alicia Nally

Victorian family ‘devastated’ after boy unknowingly took coronavirus to Melbourne school, principal says


ABC News


The family at the centre of a COVID-19 cluster in Melbourne’s north are so devastated and shaken by the situation, they have considered leaving the area, the principal of East Preston Islamic College says.


The college and Dallas Brooks Community Primary School have temporarily closed, and hundreds of potential contacts are in isolation, after a year five boy tested positive for the virus.


A mix-up led to the child attending the Islamic College on Monday and Tuesday, prompting doctors and community leaders to question whether health authorities were providing clear communication to coronavirus cases from multicultural communities.


Jessica Longbottom has the whole story here.

By Alicia Nally

Rainbow lorikeets to brighten a rainy Melbourne day

Good morning Alicia, rainy day here in Melbourne. Could you please post a GIF of a rainbow lorikeet?

-Rainbow lorikeet

By Alicia Nally

Sending positive vibes to Victoria


Spotted this tweet and thought it was pretty good.


We miss you Victoria/ns and we can’t wait to traipse around Bourke St Mall, hop on a tram, dip a toe in the surf at Torquay, sip on a crisp Yarra Valley pinot…


You get the drift.


Professor Devi Sridhar is the chairwoman of Global Public Health at Edinburgh University Medical School and tweeted: “One of these places used July to October to ramp up testing & tracing & enforce strict border measures (& will return soon to largely normal daily life & join a Pacific/East Asian travel bubble).”


Hint…it’s not France or the UK.


By Alicia Nally

Key Event

US trials of COVID-19 vaccines resume





AstraZeneca has resumed the US trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine after approval by US regulators.


An oversight panel has recommended that Johnson & Johnson resume its trial as well.


AstraZeneca’s US trial was paused on September 6 after a report of a serious neurological illness, believed to be transverse myelitis, in a participant in the company’s UK trial.


US Health and Human Services Deputy Chief of Staff Paul Mango also told reporters he was optimistic a US trial by J&J would resume.


J&J paused its large, late-stage trial last week after a study participant became ill and the company said an independent safety panel was investigating.


AstraZeneca trials in the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa resumed last month even as the US Food and Drug Administration continued its investigation into the case.


AstraZeneca’s vaccine is being developed along with researchers at Oxford University.



By Alicia Nally

Welcome to the ABC News Australia coronavirus live blog for Saturday, October 24


Alicia Nally here with you this morning.


Nic McElroy will join us a bit later.


We’ll have all the national and world news about coronavirus coming through right here.


Do send through questions, gif requests, recipe ideas…I’m all ears!


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Cricket Australia 2020, India tour, schedule, Virat Kohli, dates, Sydney, ODI, T20, Test matches, latest

NSW and Canberra are set launch the international men’s summer with six white ball matches against India, saving the tourists from the prospect of facing a Queensland boarding school.

Cricket Australia is still awaiting final approval from the BCCI but reports in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Daily Telegraph claim the NSW government had given their approval for India to quarantine and train in Sydney in what is the first step in getting the $300m summer schedule off the ground.

Virat Kohli and co. were originally set to quarantine in Queensland but those north of the border reportedly pulled the plug on that on Sunday evening, unless the team was willing to potentially serve quarantine at a boarding school.

Watch every match of the 2020 IPL Season LIVE on Fox Sports with Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >

Head slams unbeaten century


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Wild weather lashes South Australia, cuts power to Eyre Peninsula properties

Wild weather and fierce lightning storms have moved across parts of South Australia including Eyre Peninsula, cutting power to thousands of homes and businesses.

SA Power Networks spokesperson Paul Roberts said more than 10,000 properties were without electricity at the peak of the outages, with Whyalla among the worst-affected spots.

“There’s been about 20,000 ground lightning strikes on the Eyre Peninsula since early yesterday,” he said.

“We have several crews patrolling lines at the moment.”

The Whyalla steelworks was among businesses impacted, after “a lightning strike on the incoming feeder”.

“We were able to return to our regular power supply within minutes. There were no injuries,” a spokesperson for operator GFG said.


SA Power Networks said power has since been restored to many of the affected homes, but hundreds are still without supply.

Ceduna on the state’s west coast this morning recorded more than 30 millimetres of rain in less than three hours.

Further north, outback publican Trevor Wright was called in to help outback tourists stranded in the wild weather.

Mr Wright yesterday drove nearly two hours to rescue a family, including two children under the age of two, who were stuck in a broken-down van south of his home town of William Creek.

“The wheel was shredded, it needed mechanical repair and was unserviceable,” he said.

Thousands of lightning strikes have caused mass power outages.(Supplied: Tam Schwedt)

He said he was concerned that the combined impact of COVID-19 border restrictions easing, a wet summer, and fewer hospitality workers in remote areas could result in less support for travellers who may get stuck.

“People want to be extremely cautious, take the right precautions, because I don’t think there’s going to be the backup in the timespan we’ve seen in the past,” he said.

“Over the summer this year I think there’s going to be less people working in the outback, purely because there were less tourists coming through.

“If roads become impassable for long periods of time, people need to be aware they could be stuck out there for hours to days.”


Mr Wright said remote phones were often unreliable.

“There’s going to be a few more people who’ve never done travel in the remote areas, going out there and doing it without actually looking at what’s required with the planning side of it.

“You could have a catastrophic situation occur.”

That family was not the only the group to run into trouble during the storms — the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) at Marree was called out to rescue travellers who got stranded on the Birdsville Track after puncturing a tyre.

RFDS spokeswoman Natalie Szabo said travellers needed to be properly prepared for outback travel.

“Always check your vehicle, take adequate food and water and tell someone your travel plans,” she said.

“When travelling in very remote areas, always carry a satellite phone as regular mobile phones will not work.”

The Bureau of Meteorology said the rain was set to continue across northern districts this afternoon, with localised falls expected to peak at up to 100 millimetres.

It has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for damaging winds, heavy rainfall, and localised flooding for large swathes of the state.

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Cricket Australia, Sheffield Shield, Cameron Green, stats, Western Australia vs NSW

It will not have felt like it to the man himself as he trudged off the field just three runs short of a maiden first-class double-century, but Cameron Green has carried on a golden 18 months.

Green went into the third day of his marathon innings — the fourth day of the match — against NSW unbeaten on 185 and looked set to reach 200 in his own time, only to be given out lbw for 197 against Sean Abbott.

The 21-year-old looked crushed on his way off the field, seemingly unhappy with the umpire’s call, but while the missed milestone will have hurt him at a personal level, the innings did nothing but bolster his case for a Test call-up.

Watch the 2020/21 Marsh Sheffield Shield LIVE on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >

WA prodigy does it again


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Victoria records one COVID-19 case, case average falls, Gladys Berejiklian under fire from Qld, WA over hotel quarantine comments, US COVID-19 cases skyrocket, Australia death toll at 905

The PM said there was similar arrangements already in place for seasonal workers to complete their quarantine on farms.

A committee of national cabinet will investigate how big companies could operate their own quarantine facilities “under strict guidelines and standards obviously overseen and accredited by state health authorities”, Mr Morrison said.

“The more of these options we can identify, the more of the other capacity it frees up,” he said.

Mr Morrison said decisions on alternative quarantine options would not be rushed through.

“There is no undue haste here. There are risks here. So what we agreed to today is, before we make any of those decisions, we want to know what the options are, we want to know whether they work and we want to know whether they’re safe,” he said.

“You don’t want to build that aeroplane in the sky, you don’t want to build it before it takes off and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

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Wallabies coach Dave Rennie says Australia won’t take a knee

On Thursday, former Wallabies captain Nick Farr-Jones warned the national side that it wasn’t a good idea to do so because they risked alienating supporters and was too controversial a move.

“No, we won’t [be taking a knee] ,” Rennie said on Friday. “Our focus is around our First Nations people and the Indigenous jersey. We’re not looking to make a political statement.

Nick Farr-Jones came under fire for his statements saying Australia did not have a significant issue with race.

Nick Farr-Jones came under fire for his statements saying Australia did not have a significant issue with race.Credit:Getty Images

“The key thing is that this is about honouring our Indigenous people and we want the focus to be on that. I guess everyone has got their own opinions around the other situation but we want the focus to be around reflecting on our history and our past.

“We met with the leaders and the leaders met with the team. It’s an unanimous decision.”

Rennie then said there was a push for more regular recognition in every gold jersey.

“We’ve certainly talked about the Indigenous jersey and as a group we’d like to see that represented every week in our Test jersey, not just as a one-off,” Rennie said. “I think this is the first step in regard to embracing that part of our history.

“What we’re trying to highlight is First Nations is part of our DNA. It needs to be reflected in what we do every day, not just one or two times a year. We think having that reflected on our Test jersey every week is really important.”

Rugby Australia released a statement shortly after Rennie’s teleconference, with interim chief executive Rob Clarke saying the organisation condemned racism in the wake of Farr Jones’ controversial comments.

“Rugby Australia and the Wallabies condemn any form of racism or discrimination and also acknowledge that we are still on the path to reconciliation,” Clarke said. “I’m really pleased the players and management have come together to speak about this, as they would with other important social issues. It was measured, appropriate and mature and I congratulate the team as they explore more opportunities to recognise issues facing First Nations people and all Australians.”

It is the fourth time Australia will wear a First Nations jersey, having done so against New Zealand in 2017 in Brisbane, against England at Twickenham in 2018, as well as at the World Cup against Uruguay.

“I love it,” Rennie said. “I know the players love it and I’ll wear it with pride next week.

Next Saturday will mark the fourth time the Wallabies have worn the special jersey since 2017.

Next Saturday will mark the fourth time the Wallabies have worn the special jersey since 2017. Credit:Getty

“I coached the Chiefs for six years where there is a really strong multi-flavour to that jersey and reflected the history of our region.”

As for a potential jersey clash with New Zealand, given the First Nations jersey is a little darker in colour than the traditional Wallaby gold, Rennie didn’t think there would be a issue.


“I don’t think it will clash unless [referee] Ben O’Keeffe is colour-blind,” Rennie said. “There’s certainly enough white and I don’t think it’s an issue. It might have been an issue if we were playing South Africa.”

The Wallabies are back in camp in the Hunter Valley and will continue training there throughout the early stages of next week before Saturday’s third Bledisloe Test in Sydney.

Australia drew with New Zealand 16-16 in Wellington before falling 27-7 to the Kiwis at Eden Park.

Rennie’s men will need to win both Tests against New Zealand on home soil to regain the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002.

“I think the first Test showed there is a lot of character in this group,” Rennie said. “I reckon we’ve got a massive upside and we’re going to get better over time and that’s why we’re very excited about having a lot of Tests in quick succession.”

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Coronavirus Australia live updates: PM announces reopening plan as protesters in Melbourne pepper-sprayed | Australia news




Wallabies legend Pocock announces his retirement




Victoria police pepper spray anti-lockdown protesters in Melbourne





Morrison press conference summary




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AFL Grand Final 2020 start time, Richmond v Geelong, Australia, AEDT, running sheet, half time entertainment, anthem, press conferences

This season has been the most unique in footy history and that trend continues right up until Grand Final day.

Richmond plays Geelong in the decider on Saturday October 24 in the first ever AFL Grand Final held at night.

It’s also the first time the last match of the season has been taken away from Melbourne, and will instead be played at the Gabba in Brisbane.

The opening bounce is scheduled for 6.30pm local time. The start time for everyone around Australia is as follows: WA (4.30pm), NT (6pm), QLD (6.30pm), SA (7pm), VIC, NSW, TAS, ACT (7.30pm)


6.40pm – Welcome to Country

6.42pm – Electric Fields / Thelma Plum / Busby Marou / Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO)

6.47pm – Past Players Video Tribute with Mike Brady, QSO Orchestra & Choir

6.52pm – Pre-Game Entertainment Performance including Cub Sport: These Days, DMA’S, Andrew Stockdale + Band & QSO Orchestra: Joker and The Thief

7.08pm – Pre-Game Entertainment Concludes

7.11pm – Umpires enter arena, delivery of match footballs to umpires

7.13pm – Geelong enters arena, team photo

7.15pm – Richmond enters arena, team photo

7.25pm – Premiership Cup Arrival – Simon Black delivers premiership cup to presenters Ash Barty (Richmond) and Ian Nankervis (Geelong), teams line up

7.26pm – National Anthem, Tim McCallum + QSO

7.28pm – Two Sirens, coin toss

7.30pm – 2020 AFL Grand Final commences

Following timings are approximate

7.55pm – Quarter time

7.59pm – Grand Final Sprint

8.03pm – Second quarter commences

8.28pm – Half time

8.33pm – Half time entertainment performance – Sheppard

8.55pm – Third quarter commences

9.20pm – Three quarter time

9.28pm – Fourth quarter commences

9.53pm – Final siren

10.04pm – Post-match presentation, team photo

Media conference (Runners up) – This post-match media conference will commence 15 minutes after the winning club exits the field of play.

Media Conference (Premiers) – To be conducted following the Runners Up media conference.

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Victoria case average falls, NSW clusters grow, COVID-19 third wave hits US, Australia death toll at 905

“[We asked about] entertainment for a seated diner to try and improve the outdoor experience,” Mr Canny said. “[The] original advice was a definite no.”

Many publicans, including Dean Belle, owner of the The Delatite Hotel in Mansfield, had already cancelled their weekend gigs as a result of the advice.

But late on Thursday night, the regulator clarified the position stating live music was allowed for venues with seated diners, in what Mr Canny described as a “backflip”.

“Under stage three restrictions in regional Victoria, pubs are generally not permitted to operate unless they are operating for the purpose of either a bottleshop, providing food/drinks or providing accommodation,” a spokeswoman for the regulator told The Age.

“When a pub is operating for the purpose of providing food and drinks, music can be played, but the pub must be operating for the purpose of providing food and drinks to seated diners.

“For example, a pub cannot operate solely as a live music venue – it must operate for seated dining. All other requirements of the restrictions must be also complied with (for example, maintaining distances between tables, density requirements, records requirements etc).”

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