Auslan Update - 20 December, 2021

From yesterday Victoria has recorded 1 302 new community cases of COVID-19, there have been no additional deaths.

  • Health authorities have also identified 13 new Omicron cases, taking the total number of that variant to 37.
  • There are 406 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 81 active cases in intensive care, and 43 patients are on a ventilator.
  • This is the highest number of people in hospital from COVID-19 since November 12th, when Victoria was starting to come out of its third major wave of infections.

After 11.59pm tonight, Tasmanians will have to wear masks indoors.

  • This announcement came yesterday, after 3 new COVID-19 cases were found.
  • Today another 3 cases have been detected, bringing the total new cases found since Tasmania opened its borders to 10.
  • All cases are either quarantining at home or in a case management facility, no one has been hospitalised.

The 6th victim of the Hillcrest Primary School jumping castle tragedy has passed away in hospital.

  • On Sunday afternoon 11-year-old Chace Harrison's life support was turned off.
  • 2 children are still in critical conditions in hospital, and one is recovering at home.
  • Expert police officers from NSW have been called in to help with the investigation in how the tragedy occurred.

Yesterday at about 3:30pm, Sydney’s Northern Beaches was hit with a sudden powerful storm that ripped up roofs, trees and power poles, causing significant damage.

  • The RFS described the wild winds that struck the area as a "mini-cyclone" which only lasted 5-10 seconds.
  • Three women were crushed by a tree when it fell, one woman died and 2 are fighting for their lives in hospital.

Rangers on Queensland’s Raine Island have rescued 74 endangered green sea turtles after they were too exhausted to get back to the ocean.

  • The island 600km north of Cairns is the world's largest nesting site for green sea turtles, with 12, 000 coming to lay eggs in 2021.
  • Each turtle can make up to 10 nests and lay around 100 eggs in each nest.
  • 74 of the turtles, exhausted from making nests, struggled to make it to the shore.
  • Rangers worked to help these turtles, each weighing roughly 100kg, to make it back to the water. If the turtles didn’t make it back to the water in time, the heat of the day would have killed them.
  • Saving these turtles means they can come back and lay roughly another 1000 eggs at the next season, boosting numbers of the endangered species.