States on Alert as COVID-19 Cases Wane in Australia

September 30, 2020 Updated: October 1, 2020

Australians must not drop their guard as the COVID-19 pandemic drags into October.

That’s the message state leaders are desperately trying to impress on the public with case numbers on the wane.

Victoria recorded just 13 new cases on Sept. 30, pushing down Melbourne’s 14-day rolling infection average to 16.4.

A further four deaths took the state toll to 798, closer to another grim milestone after global fatalities passed one million this week.

Exactly eight months on from Australia recording its first COVID-19 death on March 1, the national figure stands at 886.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sept. 30 that workers in high-risk industries will be randomly tested for coronavirus as the state slowly eases restrictions.

“This thing can simmer, it can be out there and not necessarily be obvious to you,” he said.

NSW recorded four new cases on Sept. 30, all returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine, extending its streak without a locally acquired infection to five days.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian is worried people enjoying the school holidays are becoming less cautious about social distancing.

Queensland expanded its border bubble to include 150,000 extra NSW residents in 41 postcodes on Oct. 1 as it recorded no new cases.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is carefully watching NSW and Victoria as she considers when to lift more state border restrictions, but stopped short of committing to any time frame.

South Australian authorities will meet on Oct. 1 to consider easing more restrictions after also reporting no new infections a day earlier.

Meanwhile, WA has raised concerns about potential outbreaks triggered by ship crews granted onshore changeovers as it works to contain a 17-case cluster linked to a vessel off the Port Hedland coast.

Australian Defence Force personnel will arrive in WA on Oct. 1 to help police and security guards oversee the state’s hotel quarantine.