The numbers are heading in the right direction in Victoria as the results of the latest lockdown come into effect. And the news is even better for regional areas of the state.
The number of active cases in Victoria today dropped by 139to 1483 today. There were 51 new cases in the last 24 hours, and seven lives lost. The national death toll stands at 788 and more than 22,850 have recovered.
The number that may provide the most optimism is that just a tick over half those active cases are linked to aged care - including staff and residents. Pleasingly, that's 66 fewer aged care cases today than yesterday.
In regional Victoria, the numbers dropped by 10 overnight, leaving 72 active cases being handled. But importantly, that makes it four consecutive days without a new case. That leaves the rolling 14-day average for new cases standing at 4.5 - below the level required for areas outside metropolitan Melbourne to move to reduced restrictions.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said there will be "an opportunity quite soon" for an easing of restrictions in country Victoria.
"Regional Victoria is quite close to being able to take not just one step, but two," he said. "We are very close to being able to take substantial steps towards that 'COVID normal'."
In NSW it wasn't so much COVID but koalas that held the spotlight today.
Late this afternoon Premier Gladys Berejiklian told her coalition partner - the NSW Nationals - they have until the morning to sort themselves out or she will swear in a new ministry (sans Nats).
The confrontation has come after the Nationals revealed they would not support government legislation and sit on the crossbench until the Liberal Party amended planning regulations linked to koala management.
But wait - there's more! The Nats have called an emergency party room meeting for 5.15pm. Stay with us - we'll be on top of it as soon as an official line is released.
On the COVID-19 front in NSW, a cluster linked to Sydney's Concord and Liverpool hospitals, which has now ballooned to 14 cases after five more people connected to the outbreak were diagnosed with the virus.One hundred healthcare workers remain in isolation awaiting COVID-19 test results.
The angst wasn't just restricted to NSW today as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the prime minister and the state opposition are using people's personal tragedies involving border restrictions to subject her to the worst bullying she's seen in her lifetime.
"It is absolutely not acceptable for the leader of the opposition to do what she is doing today: a co-ordinated campaign with the prime minister's office is disgusting and it is demeaning," Ms Palaszczuk told state parliament.
Phew. Anyone looking forward to Friday?
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