Almost half of all Australians are again in lockdown and today national cabinet will discuss when and how disaster support payments kick in.
The Victorian government announced its fifth pandemic lockdown, concerns grow as COVID exposures sites top 100 and thousands of close contacts to trace. Most of NSW's population is still in lockdown.
In announcing the southern state's lockdown, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said he expects the federal government will provide support for workers and businesses in his state on par with what is currently available for those in NSW hotspots.
Despite describing it as a "short, sharp" lockdown, the premier could not rule out extending stay at home orders beyond 11.59pm on Tuesday.
In Victoria a positive case attended the international rugby clash between the Wallabies and France at AAMI Park on Tuesday night, with stadium management working with health officials to identify close contacts.
There are more than 110 exposure sites dotted across Melbourne and regional Victoria, including the MCG and several stores at Chadstone shopping centre.
In NSW another surge in cases is expected today as the virus outbreak in Sydney infiltrates the city's health care system, with at least 70 paramedics isolating and cases linked to two major hospitals and an aged care home.
Two of Sydney's major hospitals are on alert after a nurse and a patient were diagnosed with COVID-19.
A paramedic in southwest Sydney has also tested positive for the virus, a NSW Ambulance spokesman confirmed overnight.
At least another two have been diagnosed, according to media reports, forcing at least 70 paramedics identified as close contacts into isolation.
Expats have branded a tongue-in-cheek Facebook joke about coronavirus vaccines by Australia's Thai embassy as "insulting" and "ridiculous".
Australia's embassy in Thailand has published a Facebook post saying mRNA vaccines stand for "M - Meat Pie, R - Rocky Road, N - Neenish Tart" and "A - Avocado Toast".
"While acronym could mean different things for different people, here's what our page see what mRNA stands for and that's the Australian much-loved food and snacks," the post on Wednesday read.
Meanwhile a venom that can kill you in hours could soon be used to save lives.
Australian scientists have developed a drug candidate from a molecule in the venom of the Fraser Island funnel-web spider to prevent damage caused by heart attacks.