Coronavirus Australia live news: NSW Cabinet talks to decide duration of Sydney’s lockdown, Victorian contact tracing underway to investigate cross-border case

Can anyone please confirm what the options are for Victorians still stuck in Sydney and need to return home? Conflicting information of whether you need to hotel quarantine or whether you can even return to the state at all.



Morning, Help — I’m sorry you’ve found yourself a bit stranded.


I’m updating this one to clarify my previous answer, because it seems the guidelines have changed — again.


While the Victorian Government’s website states….


If you are a Victorian who is currently in Greater Sydney or the Central Coast and you don’t return to Victoria by 11:59pm Monday 21 December, you will be subject to 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine when you return to Victoria. Victorians should also be aware the situation is changing rapidly, and you may not be able to return.”


Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar said anyone arriving at a Victorian land border after visiting Greater Sydney or the Central Coast would simply be “turned back” with no option of entering hotel quarantine.


“We are not running a hotel quarantine service for tens of thousands of people. So, if you did not come back as a returning Victorian last night, you cannot, respectfully, come back until this crisis is over,” he said.





Morning Bridget. Aaww Homer… Feeling very nervous this morning. Wondering what the very near future will look like.



Morning, Natty — I think a lot of people are in a similar boat this morning. 


The NSW Government’s crisis meeting is scheduled to start at 8:00am, when Dr Kerry Chant will provide the health advice to the group.

They’ll discuss Dr Chant’s advice, make a decision and an announcement is expected to be made shortly afterwards.


So, stay tuned…

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T-cell study adds to debate over duration of COVID-19 immunity

The study found that while some of the patients’ antibody levels had dropped, their T-cell response—another key part of the immune system—remained robust.

LONDON — A small but key UK study has found that “cellular immunity” to the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 virus is present after six months in people who had mild or asymptomatic COVID-19—suggesting they might have some level of protection for at least that time.

Scientists presenting the findings, from 100 non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Britain, said they were “reassuring” but did not mean people cannot in rare cases be infected twice with the disease.

“While our findings cause us to be cautiously optimistic about the strength and length of immunity generated after SARS-CoV-2 infection, this is just one piece of the puzzle,” said Paul Moss, a professor of hematology at Britain’s Birmingham University who co-led the study.

“There is still a lot for us to learn before we have a full understanding of how immunity to COVID-19 works.”

Experts not directly involved with the study said its findings were important and would add to a growing body of knowledge about potential protective immunity to COVID-19.

The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed by other experts but was published online on bioRxiv, analyzed the blood of 100 patients six months after they had had either mild or asymptomatic COVID-19. It found that while some of the patients’ antibody levels had dropped, their T-cell response—another key part of the immune system—remained robust.

“(Our) early results show that T-cell responses may outlast the initial antibody response,” said Shame Ladhani, a consultant epidemiologist at Public Health England who co-led the work.

The study also found the size of T-cell response differed, and was considerably higher in people who had had symptomatic COVID-19 than those who had no symptoms when infected.

The researchers said this could be interpreted in two ways: It is possible that higher cellular immunity might give better protection against re-infection in people who had symptoms, or equally, that asymptomatic patients are better able to fight off the virus without the need to generate a large immune response.

“These results provide reassurance that, although the titer of antibody to SARS-CoV-2 can fall below detectable levels within a few months of infection, a degree of immunity to the virus may be maintained,” said Charles Bangham, chair of immunology at Imperial College London.

“This … bodes well for the long term, in terms of both vaccine development and the possibility of long-term protection against re-infection,” said Eleanor Riley, an immunology and infectious disease professor at Edinburgh University. She stressed, however, that “we don’t yet know whether the people in this study are protected from re-infection.”

While more than 46 million people worldwide have been infected with COVID-19, confirmed cases of re-infection are so far very rare. — Kate Kelland/Reuters

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