* Victoria recorded 278 new cases and eight deaths on Thursday, bringing the state's death toll from the virus to 275 and the national figure to 361.
* Thursday marks the lowest number of new cases in the state since July 20, when the state recorded 275 cases.
* Four of the deaths were connected to outbreaks at aged care facilities. There are now 2018 active cases across 125 facilities in the sector.
* It came as the Victorian government assumed control of three aged care facilities in Melbourne's west to stem growing outbreaks.
* The facilities, Glenlyn Aged Care, Florence Aged Care and Klyna Aged Care, are a mixture of private and not-for-profit operators.
* Prime Minister Scott Morrison insists aged care failures will be addressed, with those residents making up almost 70 per cent of Australia's 361 deaths.
* At the aged care royal commission, counsel assisting Peter Rozen QC delivered a brutal assessment of the lack of pandemic planning for nursing homes.
* "The federal government, which has sole responsibility for aged care, was firmly on notice early in 2020 about the many challenges the sector would face if there were outbreaks of COVID-19," Mr Rozen said.
* In the latest development to Victoria's hotel quarantine scheme, Health Minister Jenny Mikakos has been removed from some responsibilities and replaced by Attorney-General Jill Hennessy.
* Victoria's major regional cities of Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo are experiencing "significant growth" in cases, prompting three new testing sites to open from Friday.
* The state's deputy chief health officer Allen Cheng said officials were considering moving the regional centres to stage four restrictions, although it's a "day-by-day proposition".
* Meanwhile, NSW recorded its first COVID-19 death in more than 10 days after a Sydney woman in her 80s linked to the Our Lady of Lebanon Church cluster died. Another 12 cases were also reported in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday.
* Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned NSW might need tougher measures to halt the spread of the virus and could make wearing masks mandatory on public transport, at religious services and in supermarkets.
* In Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she would not put safety at risk and the borders would remain closed for as long there was transmission in southern states. No new cases were reported in the Sunshine State overnight and just 11 remain active.
* South Australia will impose tighter restrictions across the aged care sector from August 27 to prevent outbreaks among vulnerable residents. Carers won't be allowed to work at more than one facility and all staff must wear masks when coming into close contact with residents.
* Western Australia confirmed two new cases, taking the state's total number of active infections to three. Both are returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine.
* The Brisbane players who enjoyed a pub lunch in a possible biosecurity breach have been cleared to train and play, but sanctions could still be enforced as the NRL investigation continues.
* August 2 to September 13 - stage four lockdown for Melbourne, including a nightly curfew, and stage three lockdown for regional Victoria.
* August 8 - Queensland border closed with NSW, with road access blocked to everyone except essential workers and border residents.
* August 29 - The last remaining restrictions on gatherings to be removed in WA.
* August 31 - Tasmania's borders will remain shut until at least the end of the month.
* September 11 - NSW government to waive the hotel quarantine fee for NSW residents returning from Victoria for the next month.
AUSTRALIAN CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS
* There were 292 new cases recorded in Australia - 278 in Victoria, 12 in NSW and two in WA. Nine more deaths came from Victoria (eight) and NSW (one).
* The national death toll as of Wednesday is 361: Victoria 275, NSW 53, 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 20,624,000
* Deaths: at least 749,000
* Recovered: at least 12,831,000
Data current as of 1800 AEST August 13, taking in federal government and state/territory government updates, Worldometer and Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.
Australian Associated Press