COVID-19 coverage

Victoria’s spike in Covid-19 cases

A cluster at a Brimbank meatworks, a teacher at an Albanvale primary school, outbreaks at two Melbourne hotels where travellers were quarantined, a Coburg family, staff at a McDonald’s and an H&M, a toddler at a Prahran childcare centre, a Coles worker at a Laverton distribution centre, an Essendon AFL player who returned a positive and then a negative test. Then, on Wednesday, the first death from coronavirus in Australia in a month.

Temporary visa holders at risk

“I think of it as a Choose Your Own Adventure book where every door is locked,” says Diana Sayed, chief executive of the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights. She describes the path offered to women in Australia on temporary visas who are seeking to leave a violent relationship. It’s a stark reality that was brought into focus last week when Kamaljeet Sidhu, a 27-year-old international student living in Sydney’s north-west, was fatally stabbed in her home. Her husband, Baltej Lai

The Coronavirus Is Showing Up Gaps In Australia’s Abortion Access

Fiona had just survived a brutal bushfire season and moved into a small tin shed with her two toddlers and partner while they built their family home when the coronavirus outbreak hit. “Then I found out I was pregnant,” Fiona — a pseudonym to protect her privacy — told BuzzFeed News. “That was a surprise.” The last thing the 26-year-old Adelaide Hills mother needed was an unplanned pregnancy in the only Australian state where you can’t legally access medical abortion drugs over the phone. T

Australia And New Zealand Are Talking About Creating A Travel Bubble

Australia and New Zealand are considering creating a travel bubble by opening up borders just to each other before allowing broader international travel, as COVID-19 case numbers in the two countries continue to plateau. Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday afternoon that he "swapped notes" with New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern when she dialled in via video link to a meeting of Australia's national cabinet — comprised of the prime minister and state and territory le

South Australia Is Waiting On One Man To Decide If Women Have To Travel For Medical Abortions In A Pandemic

In every Australian jurisdiction bar one, women can access medical abortions over telehealth. In South Australia, the law dictates a woman must physically see two different doctors at an approved hospital to get medical abortion pills. Only a handful of hospitals in the state provide the pills, meaning the vast majority of rural and regional women have to travel to the capital Adelaide.

Victims Of Violence Will Now Have To Gather Evidence Themselves To Get Compensation In NSW

Victims of crime in the Australian state of New South Wales will have to gather their own evidence to support claims of violence under a controversial change that has taken community services by surprise in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. If you have been the victim of a crime and are seeking counselling or compensation in New South Wales, the long-standing process has been that you submit a form outlining when you think the crime occurred and what the injury was, whether that is physical

These Women Are The Faces Of Australia’s Essential Workforce

Jocelyn Hoffman has stopped seeing her loved ones and spends her time reassuring patient’s families that their loved ones are okay. Hoffman is a registered nurse working at a NSW aged care facility, where she says patients are anxious about contracting COVID-19 and staff are anxious about infecting them. “After work we have to make sure we don’t compromise the health of our families by taking it home and at work we have to make sure we don’t compromise the health of our patients,” she said.

Is The Coronavirus Making A Comrade Of Conservative Leaders Or Are They Just “Saving Capitalism”?

The coronavirus pandemic has Australians joking that prime minister Scott Morrison is an unlikely new comrade in the march toward socialism. In a matter of weeks, the once surplus obsessed “ScoMo” has doubled the rate of welfare payments, scrapped childcare fees for essential workers, announced a nationwide moratorium on rental evictions and handed $150 million extra dollars to domestic violence services.

A Supplier Refused To Fill A Face Mask Order For An Australian Abortion Provider Because They're For "Health Professionals"

Australia's largest abortion provider says its supply of face masks and hand sanitiser for carrying out surgical abortions will only last two more weeks after a number of orders from private personal protective equipment (PPE) providers were cancelled or refused in the coronavirus pandemic. In one instance, a private company cancelled an order from Marie Stopes Australia (MSA) on the basis it was reserving supplies for "health professionals". The Australian government has also refused to suppl

Lots Of New Parents Are Seeking Mental Health Help As They Deal With Social Isolation And A Baby

There has been a 20% surge in callers to national Australian support group Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) as families grapple with social isolation in the new coronavirus pandemic. The helpline, which is now sourcing retired volunteers to meet current demand, is a “live thermometer” for how parents across Australia are coping, according to its chief executive Julie Borninkhof. "We have seen a significant increase in the number of new and expecting mums and dads across Aus

The Coronavirus Has Pushed Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings Online, And Regulars Are Worried About Newcomers

"I would not want to be in early recovery right now," Matthew told BuzzFeed News. The three Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings he chairs each week in Sydney's inner west have all moved online as Australians stop social gatherings to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. "When people are in early recovery the only thing they can do when they get home is to go straight to a meeting. I was pretty much at a meeting every day for the first few months," Matthew — a pseudonym to protect his privacy

Another Liberal Staffer Shared A Meme About The Coronavirus Saving Lives If It Takes Out Planned Parenthood

The journalists at BuzzFeed News are proud to bring you trustworthy and relevant reporting about the coronavirus. To help keep this news free, become a member and sign up for our newsletter, Outbreak Today . An advisor to New South Wales police minister David Elliott who shared an anti-abortion meme on Facebook trivialising deaths from the new coronavirus has kept his job, while a second Liberal staffer who shared the same meme last week resigned.

Abortion Providers Will Be Treated As Essential Health Workers During This Pandemic

Multiple state health departments have confirmed that abortion doctors will be exempt from travel restrictions if travelling interstate to carry out surgical abortions, as the procedure is essential, not elective. BuzzFeed News this week revealed up to 80 women on surgical abortion lists around Australia could be left in limbo as doctors fought to be exempt from new coronavirus travel restrictions requiring self-isolation.

This Landlord Told Foreign Tenants Who Lost Their Jobs Due To The Coronavirus To "Go Back Home"

"It is un-Australian what they’ve said. This is not what this country is about." "It was incredibly racist and incredibly hurtful to not only foreigners but anyone else who might be struggling. When Mark — a pseudonym to protect his privacy, as he remains a tenant of Sweet Potato Living — read the first two paragraphs of the email he said he made a cup of green tea because he knew the rest of it would make him angry, and he was right: “The email just got worse and worse”.