* Victoria recorded 28 new virus cases, the first time its been in the 20s since June 24.
* Eight further deaths in Victoria took the state’s toll to 745 and the national figure to 832.
* Five new cases were linked to a community outbreak in Casey, on Melbourne’s outskirts, with authorities setting up three pop-up testing clinics in the area.
* Regional Victorians came under easier COVID-19 rules from Thursday, while locked-down Melburnians adjust to a so-called “ring of steel” around the city.
* A spike in young child deaths in Victoria has been linked to families spending more time at home during the COVID-19 lockdown.
* It has been revealed a 100-year-old aged-care resident walked out of a Melbourne hospital early this week after recovering from the virus.
* At Victoria’s hotel quarantine inquiry, the state’s former top cop Graham Ashton claimed he was told private security would be used in the scheme as part of a “deal set up” by Premier Daniel Andrews’ office.
* Prime Minister Scott Morrison is adamant thousands more stranded Australians will re-enter the country each week, pressuring the states to boost capacities in hotel quarantine ahead of Friday’s national cabinet meeting.
* He also insists coronavirus welfare payments must be wound down, despite multiple warnings the looming cuts will wipe billions of dollars from the economy.
* Some Sydney stadiums will soon be able to operate at 50 per cent capacity for major events, but patrons will have to wear masks when not seated. It came as NSW recorded five new cases, including one under investigation that could be a false-positive.
* NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian again took aim at Queensland’s decision to keep its border closed, while thanking South Australia for indicating it is considering opening up to NSW residents.
* Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk tested negative for COVID-19 after losing her voice earlier this week, while police charged a man with making death threats against her and the state’s chief health officer. The state had just one new case.
* Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan said the federal government is treating the states like children in its returned travellers push. A returned traveller in hotel quarantine was the state’s only new case.
* September 14 to September 27 – stage four lockdown for Melbourne with some changes, including curfew moving back an hour to 9pm.
* From September 28 – if average daily cases are 30-50 in metro Melbourne over the previous 14 days the city will move to the ‘second step’, including increased limits for public gatherings and a staged return to school for some students.
* October 26 – Tasmania’s state of emergency due to expire. In Melbourne, the overnight curfew will be dropped if over the previous fortnight the average number of new cases falls below five and there are fewer than five cases from an unknown source.
* November – Victoria’s hotel quarantine inquiry report due.
* From November 23 – If there are no new cases for 14 days in Melbourne the city will move to the ‘last step’. That includes all retail shops opening, public gatherings of up to 50 people allowed outdoors, and up to 20 visitors at a time allowed into a home.
* December 1 – Tasmania’s borders will remain shut until at least the last month of 2020.
AUSTRALIAN CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS
* There were 35 new cases in Australia – 28 in Victoria, five in NSW, and one each in Queensland and WA. Victoria announced an additional eight deaths.
* The national death toll is 832: Victoria 745, NSW 54, Tasmania 13, WA 9, Queensland 6, SA 4, ACT 3. (Two Queensland residents who died in NSW have been included in the official tolls of both states).
GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS
* Cases: at least 29,880,000
* Deaths: at least 940,000
* Recovered: at least 20,327,000
Data current as of 1915 AEST September 17, taking in federal government and state/territory government updates, Worldometer and Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.
Australian Associated Press