Three new cases, hospital ED closes after COVID case
Mount Druitt Hospital in Sydney's west is on high alert after a patient who tested positive for COVID-19 attended the emergency department over the weekend.
The ED is currently closed for deep cleaning with patients being diverted to nearby hospitals, including Blacktown.
"A person with COVID-19 symptoms presented to Mount Druitt Emergency Department on Saturday January 9," a spokeswoman for Western Sydney Local Health District said.
"A positive COVID-19 result was received on the evening of Sunday January 10 and the patient was transferred to Westmead Hospital for treatment.
"The Mount Druitt Emergency Department is undergoing deep cleaning and it is expected to be completed by 9am this morning."
GPs who contact Mount Druitt Hospital are currently being advised to send patients to Blacktown Hospital.
There are doctors, nurses and security personnel available in an ambulatory care space for any patients who present directly to the hospital's emergency department.
Investigations are underway to assess potential close contacts.
BRISBANE LOCKDOWN ENDS TONIGHT
Greater Brisbane will be released from lockdown on Monday night after the state recorded no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she wanted to thank Queenslanders for their "truly remarkable" response.
The city's 2.5 million people spent the weekend in lockdown while authorities raced to test and isolate anyone who came in contact with a hotel quarantine cleaner who contracted the highly contagious UK variant of COVID-19.
At least 147 close contacts were identified, with Ms Palaszczuk confirming on Monday morning all had tested negative.
MAN SOUGHT AFTER MACCAS QR CODE RAGE
Security footage has emerged of a man flying into a QR code rage after he was asked to comply with COVID-19 regulations and sign in at a fast food restaurant.
Police have asked for public assistance to help track down the man who abused staff at a McDonalds in Sydney's west after he was asked to sign in using a QR code.
Security footage shows the man pushing a cash register to the ground and yelling and abusing staff members after refusing to sign in.
The incident took place at the McDonalds store at Kellyville shortly before 8pm on Saturday.
The man wearing a white polo shirt and black shorts became agitated and began yelling at staff before lashing out and pushing a cash register off the store counter to the ground.
The cash register narrowly missed hitting one female staff member.
The man then picked up his phone and left the store.
He is being sought by police.
VIRUS SLIPPED THE NET
A couple who tested positive for COVID visited several venues while infectious before they were identified as a "close contact" of a previously confirmed COVID case.
The man and woman - in their 30s - were two of the state's three new local cases reported on Sunday.
The infections were connected to the Berala cluster, but NSW Health only linked the couple to a positive case after a second interview.
"People do their best in giving us a history of who attended their house or who they had contact with, but there are always times where that fails," chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said.
"We do occasionally find people have been missed because people forget to tell us."
The new cases sparked health alerts for a range of venues in Campsie, Casula and Bankstown between January 2 and 8. A number of public transport routes were also identified.
A third case was recorded on Sunday in a young man in the southern end of the northern beaches who was a close contact of a previous case linked to the Avalon outbreak.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said authorities were "mopping up" the "remnants" of COVID-19 still in the community following outbreaks in the northern beaches and Berala, with high testing rates over the next two weeks seen as crucial.
Sunday's cases were detected in 23,763 tests.
- James O'Doherty
ONE IN 16 AMERICANS INFECTED
The US reported more than 4,000 COVID-19 deaths in a single day for the first time during the pandemic, Johns Hopkins University data reported on Friday.
The US leads the world with number of cases, approaching 22 million.
That equates to one in 16 Americans infected.
On Saturday, local time, the New York Post reported that more cases of the UK strain had turned up in New York.
In California, cases continue to surge with Los Angeles County reeling from a crisis which has seen one in 10 residents testing positive for coronavirus.
As of Saturday, the US had recorded 369,278 deaths.
Meanwhile, the UK has introduced mandatory coronavirus testing for all international arrivals and extended a southern Africa travel ban to curb the spread of a new COVID-19 variant.
So far, the UK has recorded more than 80,000 COVID-19 deaths and three million recorded cases.
Official figures show the UK has recorded 59,937 new cases of the virus and another 1035 deaths in the latest 24-hour period.
And yet anti-lockdown protests continue.
All staff working for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK will be offered a coronavirus vaccine from mid-January, according to a press statement from NHS England.
The announcement comes after the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan declared a "major incident" in London due to the rapid spread of the virus, which is putting the NHS at risk of becoming overwhelmed.
The mutant strain, also knows as B.1.1.7, has spread to 45 countries, according to scientific data.
UK FRAUDSTER SELLS FAKE VACCINATIONS TO ELDERLY
A "disgusting" fake coronavirus vaccine fraudster has been targeting the elderly, as Britain recorded its highest ever death toll, with up to 150,000 people being infected each day.
In parts of London, one in 30 people have coronavirus, with Mayor Sadiq Khan declaring a "major incident" saying hospitals were "at risk of being overwhelmed".
Patients needing oxygen have waited up to eight hours for paramedics, while a man with a broken leg waited six hours outside in the freezing temperatures for an ambulance, according to reports.
Paramedics in London, of which 20 per cent are Australian, have been dealing with 8000 calls a day, and many have been ramped outside hospitals waiting hours for patients to be admitted.
Hospitals in Britain were now so packed with almost 30,000 coronavirus patients, surgeons have been chipping in as nursing assistants in intensive care wards to plug desperate staff shortages.
The mutant B117 strain of the coronavirus, which has caused Brisbane to lock down for three days, has been cutting a swath across the UK as it is up to 70 per cent more infectious.
There was some hope, however, with Britain approving a third coronavirus vaccine, the US Moderna jab, and increasing its order to 17 million doses, which will arrive later this year.
Two new drugs were also being rolled out that cut the risk of death in the sickest patients by 25 per cent.
However, a heartless fraudster has angered police after he has been going door-to-door claiming to be a government authorised health care worker distributing coronavirus jabs.
The alleged conman charged a 92-year-old woman in Surbiton, south London, almost $300 for a jab, injecting her with an unknown substance.
The coronavirus injections are free in Britain, and tightly controlled by the National Health Service.
Detective Inspector Kevin Ives, of the City of London Police, was outraged at the attack on a vulnerable pensioner and the conman's attempts at other nearby homes.
"This is a disgusting and totally unacceptable assault on a member of the public which won't be tolerated," he said.
"It is crucial we catch him as soon as possible as not only is he defrauding individuals of money, he may endanger people's lives."
More than 1.5 million people have been vaccinated so far in Britain, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson demanding more than 13 million of the most vulnerable are covered with at least one dose by February 15.
The UK was relying on the Pfizer vaccine, which must be stored at -70 degrees, and the Oxford vaccine, which was rolled out earlier this week but has still been having problems getting batch approval from regulators.
There are fears that up to 150,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been wasted, because doctors were not told they could get six doses, instead of just five, out of each vial.
Romania reported its first case of the UK strain on Friday, and Israel was forced to tighten its lockdown with cases hitting almost 9000 a day, and a shortage of vaccine doses halting its world leading program that has covered almost 20 per cent of the population so far.
Originally published as Hospital ED closes after COVID case; QR code rage; Brisbane lockdown ends