COVID live updates: All the coronavirus news you need in the one place – ABC News

February 8, 2022
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Get up to speed on all the coronavirus news from across Australia.
Look back on all of Tuesday's news and updates on our live blog. 
By Dannielle Maguire
If you don't see your state or territory yet, don't worry – these numbers are updated throughout the day.
For a detailed breakdown of cases across the country, check out Charting the Spread.
NSW: 18 deaths and 9,690 new cases; 2,068 people in hospital, including 132 in ICU
VIC: 20 deaths and 9,785 new cases; 575 people in hospital, including 72 in ICU. Watch the press conference
TAS: No deaths and 601 new cases; 15 people in hospital, including one in ICU
QLD: 12 deaths and 5,178 new cases; 705 people in hospital, including 45 in ICU. Watch the press conference
SA: Four deaths and 1,296 new cases; 204 people in hospital, including 15 in ICU
WA: 13 new cases. Watch the press conference
ACT: One death, 495 new cases, 55 people in hospital, one in ICU
NT: 1,120 new cases, 178 people in hospital, five in ICU
By Jessica Riga
Time to fly away! Thank you for reading along with us today. 
As always, we'll be back tomorrow. Until then, you can stay up to date here on the ABC News website

By Jessica Riga
Multicultural organisations across New South Wales have welcomed the streamlined delivery of rapid antigen tests (RATs) to vulnerable culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
A new partnership between the state government and Ethnic Communities Councils of NSW is seeing free RATs delivered to people of migrant and refugee backgrounds.
The Hunter, Illawarra and Wagga Wagga are among the first locations involved in the rollout.
Belinda Crain, chief executive of the Multicultural Council of Wagga Wagga, said they had started handing out tests to people in need.
She said many of her clients had previously struggled to access RATs.
"There are a lot of different apps and there are a lot of different websites saying we've got them available," Mr Crain said.
"But if you don't read English and don't know how to navigate the interview then you're at a disadvantage because you don't know how to access."
You can read the full story here.
By Jessica Riga
China will invite more spectators to attend the Winter Olympics as the COVID-19 situation is under control within the "closed-loop" bubble, which separates all event personnel from the public.
"In the next step, we will bring in more spectators based on demand, because the current COVID-19 situation within the 'closed loop' is under control," Huang Chun, a director from the Beijing organisers' pandemic prevention and control office, said on Tuesday.
China did not sell tickets to the public amid concerns over the spread of the pandemic but selected a number of spectators from targeted groups of people who are required to undertake strict COVID-19 prevention measures.
Before the Winter Olympics organisers hoped for capacities of at least 30 per cent at venues with some events, such as the opening ceremony and some outdoor sports, having larger numbers.
The spectators will be separated from athletes and other people in the closed-loop by going in and out through specific gates and sitting in the designated area at Games venues.
They must also have taken multiple COVID-19 tests and weeks-long health checks before and after the events.
No quarantine is required after watching the events, but the spectators are not advised to go to crowded places, said Yan Jiarong, a spokeswoman for the Beijing organisers.
Reporting via Reuters
By Jessica Riga
Police in Canada's national capital have seized thousands of litres of fuel and removed an oil tanker as part of a crackdown to end weeks-long protests against the government's COVID-19 health measures.
A "Freedom Convoy" has disrupted life in downtown Ottawa for 11 days now, with honking disturbing the normally quiet life of the city's residents.
A day after the city declared a state of emergency, Ottawa's Mayor pleaded for almost 2,000 extra police officers to help quell raucous nightly demonstrations staged by the convoy, which has used hundreds of parked trucks to paralyse the business district.
So, what's behind the protests? And why are American politicians getting involved? Here's everything you need to know. 
By Jessica Riga
Police were called to Mark McGowan's electorate office in Rockingham, south of Perth, on Tuesday afternoon.
The ABC understands officers were responding to an incident involving threats made against the Premier.
It follows a series of threats and alleged threats made against the Premier following the introduction of COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Opposition Health Spokeswoman, Libby Mettam, condemned the incident.
"It's distressing to hear about this security scare," she said.
"These sorts of threats should be condemned and there is no place for such threats in our society."
You can read more on this story here.
By Jessica Riga
The NT recorded 1,092 new cases in the latest reporting period, and added 28 to the previous day's total.
There are now 178 people with COVID-19 in hospital, up from 156 on Monday, with five people in intensive care.
Thirty-three patients require oxygen, up from 29 on Monday.
The new COVID hospitalisation numbers represent a 12.5 per cent rise on the Northern Territory's previous high of 158, recorded on Sunday.
Before the latest figures the Northern Territory already had Australia's highest rate of COVID-related hospitalisations per capita.
To cope with an anticipated demand for extra critical care beds, the NT government paused elective surgeries last Friday.
You can read more on the NT's COVID situation here.
By Jessica Riga

Ms Ardern's warning came as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the parliament building in the capital Wellington, demanding an end to COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates.
"Mr Speaker, advice from experts is that Omicron will not be the last variant we will face this year," Ms Ardern said. 
"It's not over. But that doesn't mean we cannot move forward. And keep making progress. And so we are."
Ms Ardern's government has enforced some of the toughest pandemic restriction in New Zealand for the last two years, as the government tried to keep the coronavirus out.
A country of five million people, New Zealand has had about 18,000 confirmed COVID cases so far and 53 deaths.
But it also angered many who faced endless home isolation, and tens of thousands of expatriate New Zealanders who were cut off from families back home as the borders remained sealed.
The government said last week that the country will reopen its borders to the rest of the world in phases only by October.
By Jessica Riga
WA Health is reporting a total of 13 new local COVID-19 cases and 52 travel-related cases to 8pm last night.
Of the new local cases, 10 are linked to close contacts.
You can read more on the COVID-19 situation in WA here.
By Jessica Riga
A man in his 70s has died with COVID-19, and the ACT has recorded 495 new cases of the virus in the 24 hours to 8pm yesterday.
Of the new cases, 264 were from PCR tests and 231 from rapid antigen tests.
Health authorities did not reveal the vaccination status of the man who died or specify if he had underlying health conditions.
There are 55 people in hospital with the virus in Canberra. One of those patients is in intensive care, requiring ventilation.
56.3 per cent of Canberrans aged 18 and older have received their booster and 74.4 per cent of children aged five to 11 have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
By Jessica Riga
Western Australia has recorded 11 new local cases of COVID-19, with one not linked to any known cases.

Another 41 cases arrived from interstate, and 11 from overseas.
With COVID-19 cases in Western Australia anticipated to rise sharply at the end of the month, health authorities have moved to restrict elective surgeries in a bid to ease pressure on the hospital system.
No new bookings will be taken for non-urgent elective surgeries in categories two and three after February 28.
By Jessica Riga

It's now streaming live on the ABC Perth Facebook page.
By Jessica Riga
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced the state has just ticked over to reach the milestone. 
By Jessica Riga
So my advice is to go and get that roll! 
By Jessica Riga
Hello! I'm taking over from the wonderful Dannielle and will be keeping you up to date for the rest of the afternoon. 

By Dannielle Maguire
But the magical Jessica Riga will be with you for the rest of the day. 

By Dannielle Maguire
New bookings for non-urgent elective surgeries will be suspended in WA from February 28 in anticipation of rising COVID cases.
The Director General of the Health Department, David Russell-Weisz, says the suspension will apply to bookings for category Two and Three surgeries.
"In discussions with the Chief Health Officer [February 28] is where we think we will have an uptick and then the peak will come a little bit later, now we are planning that this is a potentially six to eight-week period." he said. 
So those surgeries are likely to be paused from the end of the month until about the end of April. 
However, Dr Russell-Weisz says already booked surgeries will go ahead.
By Dannielle Maguire
Until December, Tammy Milne had navigated the pandemic in Devonport, Tasmania with some level of confidence: she was swimming laps in the pool, going to restaurants and socialising with friends.
But as case numbers have grown, and exposure sites have left the national consciousness, Tammy's "whole life has collapsed into a little shell of what it used to be".
She has Arthrogrophosis Multiplex Congenita, which affects her legs, and requires her to use calipers or a mobility scooter to get around.
Her lung capacity is also limited, and she knows that, should she contract COVID-19, the likelihood of developing pneumonia is high.
Unsure of where COVID may be circulating in the community, Tammy now limits her movements in order to protect herself.
But it's an isolating experience, she says, and one that has left her feeling "expendable".
Read the full story here
By Dannielle Maguire
Of those deaths, one is a man in his 30s, woman in her 60s, a woman in her 70s and a man in his 80s.
There are 204 in hospital, with 15 in intensive care and two on ventilators.
There were 1,296 new cases today, taking the state's total number of active cases to 14,159.
By Dannielle Maguire
US politicians have held a minute of silence to commemorate Americans who have died from COVID-19.
They gathered on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington DC, holding candles and listening to the US Army Chorus. 
The US recorded 100,000 new COVID deaths in the past month, coinciding with a surge of infections due to the Omicron strain. 
The latest data from John Hopkins shows the US death toll for the entire pandemic is sitting at more than 905,000. 
See our full coverage of coronavirus
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