10 votes

Coronavirus rules to be relaxed to bring big crowds back to stadiums, concerts, pubs, restaurants, and other venues around Australia

8 comments

  1. [8]
    cfabbro
    Link
    Does Australia have low enough numbers of infected to safely allow this already, even with the 25% capacity rule? Everywhere else in the world, even those loosening restrictions, seems to be...

    Does Australia have low enough numbers of infected to safely allow this already, even with the 25% capacity rule? Everywhere else in the world, even those loosening restrictions, seems to be holding off on allowing large gatherings like this for fear they will become epicenters of outbreak.

    5 votes
    1. [7]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      That depends on your definition of "low enough". For some people, only zero is low enough to be opening up stadiums. For other people (not looking at anyone in particular, Donald!), even two...

      That depends on your definition of "low enough". For some people, only zero is low enough to be opening up stadiums. For other people (not looking at anyone in particular, Donald!), even two million is low enough.

      Australia currently has 143 active coronavirus infections across the whole country. Just to clarify: that's not the number of new cases per day. That's the total number of people who are currently infected. We've averaged about 9 new cases per day for the past month. (That doesn't reflect a low number of tests - our two most populous states are consistently performing some of the highest per-capita rates of testing in the world.)

      More than half of those infected people are returned international travellers who are sitting out their enforced 14-day quarantine in hotel rooms. (Every person arriving in Australia gets "escorted" to the nearest 5-star hotel where they are locked up for 14 days at taxpayers' expense. Every quarantined traveller then undergoes testing before they're let out into the community. If they're found to be infected, that 14-day period gets extended.)

      So there are only about 70 infected people in the community across the country. A lot of those will be in self-isolation - and police still have the power to conduct spot checks on these people, to make sure they're staying home when they're told to.

      Is 70 current cases low enough? The national cabinet thinks so.

      And that doesn't tell the whole story.

      Noone has died of COVID-19 in Australia for more than 3 weeks.

      Most states and territories have eliminated the coronavirus within their borders - and have closed their borders to other states. Most of those 70 infected people are in the two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria (over 50% of the country's population between them). And New South Wales hasn't had a confirmed case of community transmission of the coronavirus in over 2 weeks.

      Victoria is the only worrisome state. Random coronavirus cases keep popping up all over the state. There's only 1 or 2 cases per day, but they're very spread out and most have no connection to known infections.

      In all other states and territories, the coronavirus is suppressed, if not eliminated.

      And the fine print of this plan is that every state gets to implement the eased restrictions at their own pace. So, the states which have suppressed or eliminated the coronavirus can open up their stadiums on 1st July, while a state like Victoria will continue its practice of being slower to open up than the rest of the country. (It's strange: Victoria had the strictest and longest lockdown in Australia, but they still have community transmission where other states have basically stopped this.)

      Sources:

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-17/coronavirus-cases-data-reveals-how-covid-19-spreads-in-australia/12060704

      https://covidlive.com.au/

      9 votes
      1. [2]
        cfabbro
        Link Parent
        The protest news made covid news take a bit of a backseat for me lately, so I had no idea Australia's numbers were that low. That's awesome to hear! And thanks for the informative comment.

        The protest news made covid news take a bit of a backseat for me lately, so I had no idea Australia's numbers were that low. That's awesome to hear! And thanks for the informative comment.

        5 votes
        1. Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          Put it this way: Australia's coronavirus numbers are so low these days that each and every new case is reported in the news, and tracked in the /r/CoronavirusDownunder subreddit (whose moderator...

          Put it this way: Australia's coronavirus numbers are so low these days that each and every new case is reported in the news, and tracked in the /r/CoronavirusDownunder subreddit (whose moderator is doing an amazing job of reporting the cases). We know that this case was a security guard working in a quarantine hotel in Melbourne, and that case was a primary school student in eastern Sydney, and so on. The numbers are so low that each case is an individual, rather than a statistic.

          That's mind-blowing, when I compare it what other countries are dealing with.

          5 votes
      2. [4]
        emdash
        Link Parent
        Am I missing something nuanced, or is health.gov.au reporting 405 active cases around Australia at the moment? The posted infographic shows 7290 total cases - 102 deaths - 6783 recoveries = 405...

        Australia currently has 143 active coronavirus infections across the whole country.

        Am I missing something nuanced, or is health.gov.au reporting 405 active cases around Australia at the moment? The posted infographic shows 7290 total cases - 102 deaths - 6783 recoveries = 405 active.

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          There has been some confusion about the reporting of recovered and active cases. In the /r/CoronavirusDownunder subreddit (where people are analysing every datum under a microscope), people have...

          There has been some confusion about the reporting of recovered and active cases. In the /r/CoronavirusDownunder subreddit (where people are analysing every datum under a microscope), people have realised that, until recently, the active cases reported for New South Wales exceeded the total number of new cases in that state for the previous 60 days. In effect, that meant noone infected in the past 2 months had recovered from the coronavirus, or people were still not recovered from the coronavirus infection they got months ago - either of which is patently ridiculous.

          The New South Wales health authorities must have finally noticed this discrepancy. A few days ago, they changed their reporting of recovered cases. Previously, to be defined as "recovered", a person had to have been listed as infected more than 6 weeks ago and have recorded two negative tests since then. But a lot of people obviously weren't going back for the follow-up second negative test (or even the first test), and therefore weren't being recorded as "recovered", so were wrongly reported as still active. A few days ago, NSW Health stopped recording cases more than 6 weeks old as still active. In the course of two or three days, the number of active cases reported in NSW has dropped by a few hundred.

          https://www.reddit.com/r/CoronavirusDownunder/comments/h7xlpm/nsw_records_2_new_overseas_cases_1_new_local_case/

          The federal health department probably hasn't changed its reporting in line with NSW.

          I personally also believe the active cases for Victoria are slightly over-reported, although not to the same degree that New South Wales's numbers were.

          5 votes
          1. [2]
            emdash
            Link Parent
            And there's the nuance! Thanks for the explanation. That's an interesting recovery definition. Here in NZ all someone has to do is self-report to an officer of public health they've been 2 days...

            And there's the nuance! Thanks for the explanation. That's an interesting recovery definition. Here in NZ all someone has to do is self-report to an officer of public health they've been 2 days symptom-free ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, which strikes me as kind of laissez-faire...

            5 votes
            1. Algernon_Asimov
              Link Parent
              That is a very slap-dash approach! No wonder you guys think you're free of the coronavirus, if all that requires is everyone saying "I don't have sumptums any more". :P

              That is a very slap-dash approach! No wonder you guys think you're free of the coronavirus, if all that requires is everyone saying "I don't have sumptums any more". :P

              3 votes