(Image: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire)

The Queen has called Prime Minister Scott Morrison to send good wishes, and a poll shows Australians support strict aged-care visitor restrictions as the death toll in Newmarch aged-care home rises to 16. 

Royal wishes

Last night the Queen called Morrison to wish Australia well in dealing not only with coronavirus and the bushfires but also drought recovery. 

She was pleased to hear the horse races were still on — albeit with strict social distancing protocols for jockeys and trainers, and with no spectators.  

New Zealand was one of the first in the queue for the Queen’s calls — its prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, had a chat with her majesty last week. 

Public supports aged-care lockdown

An Essential poll has found two-thirds of Australians back the right of aged-care homes to ban visitors but with limited exceptions for compassionate reasons. On Friday the national cabinet released a draft voluntary code of conduct to allow visitors into aged-care homes under strict rules. 

Yesterday the death toll at Newmarch House in Kingswood, in Sydney’s west, climbed to 16 as NSW Health suggested staff had breached safety protocols.  

Two private medical staff who worked on the Ruby Princess cruise ship were also sent into Newmarch House days before the coronavirus outbreak, but they had been tested and cleared of COVID-19 before they entered the home and there is no indication they took the virus there. 

Abattoir cluster

A cluster of coronavirus cases at a Melbourne abattoir, Cedar Meats, has been traced to a case found more than a month ago, with second and third cases diagnosed more than three weeks later. 

There are 45 positive cases associated with the meat processing plant: 42 workers and three of their close contacts. 

The abattoir was not considered an exposure site at the time because the infected person said they had not been at work. 

Sydney Opera House could save Carriageworks

The contemporary performance space Carriageworks, in Sydney’s inner city, has entered voluntary administration and the New South Wales government is considering a proposal to hand it to the Opera House Trust. 

Carriageworks was the first of Sydney’s major cultural institutions to collapse after major events — including Sydney Writers’ Festival, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia and Vivid — were cancelled. 

Kawasaki disease

A hospital in New York has recorded cases of a potentially serious inflammatory condition in children which may be linked to COVID-19. Fifteen kids between the ages of two and 15 experienced persistent fever and elevated inflammatory markers, similar to a rare syndrome known as Kawasaki disease. 

The UK national health service issued a warning about the condition late last month. 

Get more Crikey, for less

It’s more than a newsletter. It’s where readers expect more – fearless journalism from a truly independent perspective. We don’t pander to anyone’s party biases. We question everything, explore the uncomfortable and dig deeper.

Join us this week for 50% off a year of Crikey.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
50% off