Coronavirus updates LIVE: New alerts for Sydney venues, arrests at Melbourne anti-lockdown protest


  • Victoria recorded 114 new cases and 11 deaths on Sunday, after its daily case total dropped to double digits for the first time in weeks on Saturday. Three people were arrested at a Melbourne anti-lockdown protest on Sunday as the city enters its fifth week of stage four restrictions.
  • There are growing concerns about the impact of the year on Victorian children, with a drive-through vaccination program launched amid revelations one in five have missed their shots during the pandemic. There have been calls to allow prep students to repeat next year.
  • NSW recorded seven new cases on Sunday, as health alerts were issued for a number of suburban venues due to links with a growing CBD cluster. Evidence of transmission between two bus passengers will likely put pressure on the state’s government to mandate face masks on public transport.
  • ABS data to be released today will show the pandemic recession is disproportionately hurting Sydney and Melbourne. The business sector is demanding the Morrison government bring forward personal and company tax cuts as Treasurer Josh Frydenberg signals an increase in the superannuation guarantee may be abandoned.

Calls mount for coronavirus to be deemed workplace injury for workers

Pressure is growing from unions and lawyers for the Victorian government to declare coronavirus a workplace injury for employees across all frontline industries who contract the deadly disease at work.

Leading plaintiff lawyers have asked Victoria's Workplace Safety Minister, Jill Hennessy, to include the coronavirus under the definition of workplace injury for employees at schools, childcare centres and abattoirs, as well as for security guards at quarantine hotels and staff at public housing towers under quarantine.

A COVID-19 testing clinic.Credit:Janie Barrett

Their call comes amid a concerted push by medical groups for healthcare workers who contract the virus at work to be covered by Victoria's WorkCover scheme.

Shine Lawyers special counsel Tom Bradley said there was a strong moral imperative to provide front-line staff with the security that comes with a workplace injury designation.

  • Read more: Calls mount for coronavirus to be deemed workplace injury for front-line workers

Today's front pages

Here's what is making news on the front pages of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald today, August 31.

  • The business sector is demanding the Morrison government bring forward personal and company tax cuts no matter the cost to the budget bottom line, as Treasurer Josh Frydenberg signals an increase in the superannuation guarantee may be abandoned.
  • One of Victoria's most experienced primary school principals says many prep students would be better off repeating their foundation year next year to avoid falling behind permanently from months of lost classroom learning.
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics data to be released today shows the coronavirus pandemic recession is disproportionately hurting the nation’s economic powerhouses, Sydney and Melbourne, in a way that could leave a lasting impact on the country for years and force the cities to reinvent themselves.
  • Fresh from helping New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern explain the COVID-19 pandemic to that nation's children, leading scientist Michelle Dickinson answers questions from Australian kids.
  • The Berejiklian government is set to face mounting pressure to make face masks on public transport mandatory after it emerged two positive COVID-19 cases travelled on a peak hour bus.
  • Sydneysiders flocked to the city’s popular beaches amid NSW’s first taste of spring, with temperatures climbing into the high 20s in some parts of the state.

US death toll passes 180,000

The coronavirus death toll in the US has passed 180,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.

The country has reported at least 1000 deaths per day for most of the past six weeks.

After college students returned to classes this month, universities are fast becoming hotspots. Coronavirus infections are rising sharply at the University of Alabama, where school officials have reported more than 1000 cases since classes began August 19.

The rolling average for new daily cases has declined slightly over the past week, with 46,473 new cases reported Saturday. The total number of cases reported in the United States is on track to exceed 6 million by early this week.

  • Read more in our wrap of coronavirus world news from overnight

Western Sydney school, north shore preschool closed today

A Catholic high school in western Sydney and an early learning centre on the city's north shore have both closed today after being connected with cases.

St Paul's Catholic College in Greystanes will be closed for deep cleaning after a student attended school while infectious. Close contacts are being notified.

Ryde Secondary College has reopened on Monday.Credit:Edwina Pickles

Reddam Early Learning Centre at Lindfield has also been closed for cleaning after a staff member tested positive. The staff member is a household contact of a previously reported case linked to the CBD cluster and will be counted in Monday's figures.

Meanwhile, Double Bay Public School, in the city's east, Homebush Public School, in the west, and northern suburbs high school Ryde Secondary College have all reopened on Monday after being closed on Friday due to links to cases.

Welcome to today's blog

Good morning and welcome to today's live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in Australia and beyond. This is Mary Ward on the blog for the last day of winter.

It has been quite a big weekend of news, with Victoria recording a double-digit case increase for the first time since early July and health alerts issued in a number of Sydney suburbs as a cluster originating in the CBD grows.

There were also four new cases in Queensland, all linked to the corrective services outbreak. From 8am today, the restrictions put in place in parts of south-east Queensland will be extended to a number of other locations.

We will be bringing you live updates throughout the day, as well as highlighting some of the coronavirus stories in our papers today. If there's something you think we have missed – such as a venue or school closing in your local area – please send me a tweet or use the form below to get in touch.

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