Resources for Journalists

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new virus strain, SARS-CoV-2, that has not been previously identified in humans. See below for a collection of resources to help you cover the coronavirus story as it unfolds (Please note: additional resources are available to journalists who are logged in).

The AusSMC has also created a daily COVID-19 update for registered journalists (click here to view an example). If you would like to receive this email, please go to your profile on MyScimex and select yes beside "Receive COVID-19 Updates?". The email update and this resources page are supported by the Google News Initiative.

Latest COVID-19 news, research, expert reactions and briefings

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  1. Risk of COVID-19 spreading in schools and childcare is very low

    Publicly released: Tue 4 Aug 2020 at 1000 AEST | 1200 NZST

    The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health

    Real world data from the first wave of COVID-19 infections in NSW has shown that the risk of children and staff transmitting the virus in schools and early childhood education ... 2 per cent). A second Read more about Risk of COVID-19 spreading in schools and childcare is very low

    Australia; International; NSWThe University of Sydney|NSW Government|The University of Newcastle...
  2. Melbourne's stage 3 lockdowns have prevented thousands of infections

    Publicly released: Tue 4 Aug 2020 at 1000 AEST | 1200 NZST

    MJA

    Victoria's COVID-19 control measures have reduced the reproduction ratio of the virus from 1. ... 75 to 1. 16 and averted between 9000 and 37 000 infections between 2 and 30 July, according to new research Read more about Melbourne's stage 3 lockdowns have prevented thousands of infections

    Australia; VICBurnet Institute|Monash University|Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
  3. Used COVID-19 PPE could be turned into biofuels instead of landing in landfill

    Publicly released: Tue 4 Aug 2020 at 0901 AEST | 1101 NZST

    Biofuels

    As COVID-19 sweeps the world, PPE is being disposed of at unprecedented levels, which could become a significant threat to the environment. ... And, unlike the plastics used in PPE, the resulting fuel is Read more about Used COVID-19 PPE could be turned into biofuels instead of landing in landfill

    InternationalUniversity of Petroleum and Energy Studies, India
  4. The scoop on 5G: University of Sydney experts available to comment

    Publicly released: Mon 3 Aug 2020 at 1730 AEST | 1930 NZST

    On Monday night ABC Four Corners will explore 5G technology, investigating conspiracy theories that say it causes COVID-19, as well as how it is set to revolutionise the Internet. ... University of Read more about The scoop on 5G: University of Sydney experts available to comment

    Australia; NSWThe University of Sydney
  5. Food menu fit for pandemic times

    Publicly released: Mon 3 Aug 2020 at 1230 AEST | 1430 NZST

    Health Promotion Journal of Australia

    On the heels of devastating bushfires, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic, eating well in a sustainable way is more important now than ever, Flinders University experts say. ... Eating local’ and growing Read more about Food menu fit for pandemic times

    Australia; SAFlinders University
  6. More Australians travelling for social reasons since initial COVID-19 restrictions

    Publicly released: Mon 3 Aug 2020 at 0934 AEST | 1134 NZST

    A rising number of Australians are travelling for social and recreational reasons since the initial coronavirus travel restrictions were set up, according to initial findings of a survey by the Read more about More Australians travelling for social reasons since initial COVID-19 restrictions

    Australia; NSWThe University of Sydney
  7. Disability workers face illness risk and uncertainty due to COVID-19

    Publicly released: Mon 3 Aug 2020 at 0922 AEST | 1122 NZST

    Disability Support Workers (DSWs) are risking illness with minimal training during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, a new survey has found. Read more about Disability workers face illness risk and uncertainty due to COVID-19

    Australia; VICThe University of Melbourne
  8. EXPERT REACTION: South Australian COVID-19 vaccine trial clears phase 1

    Publicly released: Fri 31 Jul 2020 at 1400 AEST | 1600 NZST

    It is being reported today that South Australian company Vaxine is to begin phase two trials of its COVID-19 vaccine after the vaccine was found to be safe and generate ... Led by Professor Nikolai Read more about EXPERT REACTION: South Australian COVID-19 vaccine trial clears phase 1

    Australia; QLD; SAAustralian Science Media Centre|Mater Research|The University of Queensland
  9. Two candidate vaccines show promise in protecting monkeys against COVID-19

    Publicly released: Fri 31 Jul 2020 at 1130 AEST | 1330 NZST

    Nature

    Two candidate COVID vaccines have shown they can help protect monkeys exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. ... It was able to offer partial or full protection against SARS-CoV-2 Read more about Two candidate vaccines show promise in protecting monkeys against COVID-19

    InternationalHarvard Medical School, USA, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, USA
  10. Antiviral drug "probably" helps with severe COVID-19, but more evidence still needed

    Publicly released: Fri 31 Jul 2020 at 0901 AEST | 1101 NZST

    The BMJ

    An expert panel has made a “weak recommendation” for using the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat severe cases of COVID-19. ... The review shows that remdesivir "probably reduces length of hospital Read more about Antiviral drug "probably" helps with severe COVID-19, but more evidence still needed

    InternationalMcMaster University, Canada
  11. Younger kids may help COVID-19 spread as restrictions ease

    Publicly released: Fri 31 Jul 2020 at 0100 AEST | 0300 NZST

    JAMA Pediatrics

    Kids under five may be important drivers of the COVID-19 virus spreading, according to US researchers who found young children with COVID-19 had more of the virus' genetic material ... The authors say the Read more about Younger kids may help COVID-19 spread as restrictions ease

    InternationalLurie Children’s Hospital, USA
  12. COVID-19 dogs could be sniffing out cases in months

    Publicly released: Thu 30 Jul 2020 at 1630 AEST | 1830 NZST

    University of Adelaide researchers are working with international partners to train sniffer dogs to detect COVID-19 infection. ... It is hoped the first COVID-19 detection dogs could be working within Read more about COVID-19 dogs could be sniffing out cases in months

    Australia; International; SAThe University of Adelaide
  13. EXPERT REACTION: Victoria records 723 new COVID-19 cases

    Publicly released: Thu 30 Jul 2020 at 1300 AEST | 1500 NZST

    Victoria has today recorded 723 new COVID-19 cases - the country's highest daily total to date. ... There are now 4,516 active cases in metropolitan Melbourne and 255 in regional Victoria. Read more about EXPERT REACTION: Victoria records 723 new COVID-19 cases

    Australia; NSW; VIC; QLD; SAAustralian Science Media Centre|The University of Queensland...
  14. Convalescent plasma treatment added to Australian COVID-19 trials

    Publicly released: Thu 30 Jul 2020 at 1030 AEST | 1230 NZST

    Convalescent plasma has been introduced to the AustralaSian COVID-19 Trial (ASCOT) and Randomised, Embedded, Multi-factorial, Adaptive Platform Trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia (REMAP-CAP) Read more about Convalescent plasma treatment added to Australian COVID-19 trials

    Australia; VICDoherty Institute for Infection and Immunity|The University of Melbourne...
  15. People with COVID-19 could test positive for up to 35 days

    Publicly released: Thu 30 Jul 2020 at 0500 AEST | 0700 NZST

    Clinical & Translational Immunology

    A study of around 200 people with COVID-19 has found that the viruses genetic material, known as RNA, is shed for 14 days on average, but may still be detectable ... Like the COVID-19 tests being used in Read more about People with COVID-19 could test positive for up to 35 days

    InternationalNational Centre for Infectious Diseases, Singapore
  16. Why does COVID-19 hit some nursing homes but not others?

    Publicly released: Thu 30 Jul 2020 at 0100 AEST | 0300 NZST

    JAMA Network Open

    A study of nursing homes in the US has found that facilities with COVID-19 cases were more likely to be for-profit facilities, have higher rates of deficiencies and complaints, ... and be in areas with Read more about Why does COVID-19 hit some nursing homes but not others?

    InternationalPerelman School of Medicine, USA
  17. SARS-CoV-2 may have diverged from bat viruses approximately 40–70 years ago

    Publicly released: Wed 29 Jul 2020 at 1015 AEST | 1215 NZST

    Nature Microbiology

    SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19, is likely to have diverged from the most closely related bat viruses approximately 40–70 years ago, reports international research. ... The authors suggest Read more about SARS-CoV-2 may have diverged from bat viruses approximately 40–70 years ago

    InternationalPennsylvania State University, USA
  18. Boosting the immune system with other vaccines could mitigate COVID-19

    Publicly released: Wed 29 Jul 2020 at 0901 AEST | 1101 NZST

    Royal Society Open Biology

    Researchers are proposing a new way to mitigate the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection by giving the body’s immune system a “head start” with another, unrelated vaccine (e. ... The study authors say Read more about Boosting the immune system with other vaccines could mitigate COVID-19

    InternationalStanford University, USA
  19. Depression, stress and anxiety climb for Aussies during COVID-19 pandemic

    Publicly released: Wed 29 Jul 2020 at 0400 AEST | 0600 NZST

    PLOS ONE

    More than three-quarters of Aussies claim their mental health has worsened since the outbreak of COVID-19, a NSW study has found. ... 7 per cent) were very concerned about their loved ones contracting Read more about Depression, stress and anxiety climb for Aussies during COVID-19 pandemic

    Australia; NSWThe University of New South Wales|Black Dog Institute
  20. Paramedics also need care

    Publicly released: Tue 28 Jul 2020 at 1630 AEST | 1830 NZST

    BMC Psychiatry

    As COVID-19 dominates the health system, paramedics and other health workers’ own health and wellbeing is in the spotlight. ... A new Flinders University publication highlights the interaction between Read more about Paramedics also need care

    Australia; SAFlinders University
  21. COVID-19 may cause high rates of heart damage

    Publicly released: Tue 28 Jul 2020 at 0100 AEST | 0300 NZST

    JAMA Cardiology

    The first study found that in 100 German patents who had recently recovered from COVID-19, 78 had abnormal heart readings on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and 60 patients had signs ... A second Read more about COVID-19 may cause high rates of heart damage

    InternationalUniversity Hospital Frankfurt, Germany, University Heart and Vascular Centre Hamburg, Germany
  22. If a COVID-19 patient breathes and coughs in a room, how much virus do they shed?

    Publicly released: Tue 28 Jul 2020 at 0100 AEST | 0300 NZST

    JAMA Network Open

    Just one person with COVID-19 breathing and coughing in a poorly-ventilated room could be enough to generate large numbers of viruses within that space, according to Swiss research. ... The study used Read more about If a COVID-19 patient breathes and coughs in a room, how much virus do they shed?

    InternationalSwiss Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health
  23. A dog a day keeps COVID loneliness at bay

    Publicly released: Mon 27 Jul 2020 at 1704 AEST | 1904 NZST

    International Journal of Social Psychiatry

    Owning a dog during COVID-19 lockdowns can help those who live alone feel less lonely, say Australian researchers. ... The study surveyed 384 participants and asked them about their loneliness, Read more about A dog a day keeps COVID loneliness at bay

    Australia; VICMonash University
  24. Common anti-inflammatory drugs ok to use for COVID-19 symptom relief

    Publicly released: Mon 27 Jul 2020 at 0500 AEST | 0700 NZST

    Clinical & Translational Immunology

    There was no increase in adverse outcomes in COVID-19 patients who were given a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, known as a COX-2 inhibitor, according to research ... They also found some Read more about Common anti-inflammatory drugs ok to use for COVID-19 symptom relief

    InternationalNational Centre for Infectious Diseases, Singapore
  25. Social distancing, the weather and fewer people may explain why COVID spread less in some places

    Publicly released: Fri 24 Jul 2020 at 1030 AEST | 1230 NZST

    JAMA Network Open

    The researchers were looking at the spread of COVID-19 across 211 counties in 46 states and found that while social distancing, temperate weather, and lower population density were all linked Read more about Social distancing, the weather and fewer people may explain why COVID spread less in some places

    InternationalChildren’s Hospital of Philadelphia, USA
  26. Two layers better but three layers best when it comes to home-made face masks

    Publicly released: Fri 24 Jul 2020 at 0830 AEST | 1030 NZST

    Thorax

    of COVID-19, Australian researchers say. ... The study found a 3-ply mask was the most effective and while a 1-ply mask reduced the spread of droplets while speaking, a 2-ply mask was better than Read more about Two layers better but three layers best when it comes to home-made face masks

    Australia; NSWThe University of New South Wales
  27. 'Anthropause': The sound of seismic silence during lockdown

    Publicly released: Fri 24 Jul 2020 at 0400 AEST | 0600 NZST

    Science

    Whole chunks of the globe have come to a stop for COVID-19 lockdowns, causing the longest and most prominent reduction in man-made noise on record. ... The researchers suggest the strong correlation Read more about 'Anthropause': The sound of seismic silence during lockdown

    Australia; New Zealand; International; ACTUniversity of Auckland|Victoria University of Wellington...
  28. Prominent Australians call for a plan to ensure the human future

    Publicly released: Fri 24 Jul 2020 at 0001 AEST | 0201 NZST

    The letter was written by the Commission for the Human Future, chaired by former Liberal party leader, John Hewson and points to ten major threats to human survival with pandemics such ... as COVID-19 Read more about Prominent Australians call for a plan to ensure the human future

    AustraliaThe Australian National University|Commission for the Human Future
  29. 'Surrogate' viruses could help us test for COVID-19 antibodies

    Publicly released: Thu 23 Jul 2020 at 1700 AEST | 1900 NZST

    Journal of Experimental Medicine

    The body produces antibodies to try and prevent the COVID-19 virus from infecting cells, but the strength of the antibodies varies between patients, and we don't yet know how ... Testing antibodies Read more about 'Surrogate' viruses could help us test for COVID-19 antibodies

    InternationalThe Rockefeller University, USA
  30. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine shown ineffective against COVID-19 virus

    Publicly released: Thu 23 Jul 2020 at 1429 AEST | 1629 NZST

    Nature

    Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, the antivirals described as a ‘miracle’ by President Trump, don’t seem to be effective against the virus that causes COVID-19 in macaques or human lung cells, Read more about Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine shown ineffective against COVID-19 virus

    InternationalLeibniz Institute for Primate Research, Germany
  31. We still don't know if cold weather makes COVID more likely

    Publicly released: Thu 23 Jul 2020 at 1300 AEST | 1500 NZST

    Environmental and Resource Economics

    It is still too early to know if warmer weather helps stop the spread of COVID-19 and if it is worse in winter, say UK experts who warn the data ... For example, in winter people tend to experience more Read more about We still don't know if cold weather makes COVID more likely

    InternationalThe University of Oxford, UK
  32. Had both your heart and wallet broken online? Take a survey to help others

    Publicly released: Thu 23 Jul 2020 at 1200 AEST | 1400 NZST

    Who knew Words With Friends could lead to romance fraud? It's a technique used by online fraudsters and COVID-19 makes us more vulnerable. ... 5 million in 2018, a global QUT survey seeks to better Read more about Had both your heart and wallet broken online? Take a survey to help others

    Australia; QLDQueensland University of Technology (QUT)
  33. New drug targets the clots that can kill: a potential treatment for heart attack and stroke prevention

    Publicly released: Thu 23 Jul 2020 at 0400 AEST | 0600 NZST

    Science Translational Medicine

    The drug – which has been studied in human cells and animal models – literally blocks the minute changes in blood flow that preempts a heart attack and acts on the platelets preventing Read more about New drug targets the clots that can kill: a potential treatment for heart attack and stroke prevention

    Australia; VICMonash University
  34. Leading organisations unite to discuss COVID-19 impact on hepatitis C elimination in Australia on World Hepatitis Day

    Publicly released: Wed 22 Jul 2020 at 1000 AEST | 1200 NZST

    Australia’s leading drug and infectious disease organisations will join forces to call for a re-engagement in elimination of hepatitis C in an online event on World Hepatitis Day, Tuesday, Read more about Leading organisations unite to discuss COVID-19 impact on hepatitis C elimination in Australia on World Hepatitis Day

    Australia; NSWThe University of New South Wales|The Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity in Society...
  35. Both government and indivduals working together are our best bet in the COVID-19 fight

    Publicly released: Wed 22 Jul 2020 at 0400 AEST | 0600 NZST

    PLOS Medicine

    Combining self-imposed prevention measures such as hand-washing, mask-wearing and social distancing, with government-imposed social distancing is our best bet in delaying a peak in COVID-19 cases Read more about Both government and indivduals working together are our best bet in the COVID-19 fight

    Australia; International; VICMonash University|Utrecht University, the Netherlands, Xi’an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, China
  36. Women’s burden increases in COVID-19 era

    Publicly released: Tue 21 Jul 2020 at 1500 AEST | 1700 NZST

    Social Sciences

    The triple burden endured by women – in productive, reproductive and community roles – has been exposed and intensified due to COVID-19-enforced lockdown and quarantine restrictions. ... Researchers Read more about Women’s burden increases in COVID-19 era

    Australia; International; SAFlinders University
  37. How to help with problem gambling

    Publicly released: Tue 21 Jul 2020 at 1500 AEST | 1700 NZST

    Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

    With the lure of online gambling high during COVID-19 lockdowns – and SA gambling venues now reopening – partners and families of problem gamblers may be the first to see a problem ... emerging. Many Read more about How to help with problem gambling

    Australia; VIC; SAFlinders University
  38. SARS-CoV-2 detected in donor's blood 40 days after COVID-19 symptoms cleared

    Publicly released: Tue 21 Jul 2020 at 1100 AEST | 1300 NZST

    Annals of Internal Medicine

    The researchers reported the case of a volunteer blood donor who was healthy on the day of donation, but had detectable levels of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material in their blood, ... Researchers say the Read more about SARS-CoV-2 detected in donor's blood 40 days after COVID-19 symptoms cleared

    InternationalStanford University, USA
  39. Land-based industries stayed the course during NZ's lockdown

    Publicly released: Tue 21 Jul 2020 at 1027 AEST | 1227 NZST

    year. The report says these fields survived and are coping with a number of uniquely New Zealand-based strengths, along with other factors beyond the country’s control. ... Zealand’s strong trading Read more about Land-based industries stayed the course during NZ's lockdown

    New ZealandNew Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER)
  40. More cancer deaths in England predicted due to COVID-19-related healthcare delays

    Publicly released: Tue 21 Jul 2020 at 0920 AEST | 1120 NZST

    The Lancet Oncology

    people avoiding healthcare because of the COVID-19 pandemic. ... During the UK-wide lockdown, cancer screening and routine outpatient referral pathways were effectively suspended. Read more about More cancer deaths in England predicted due to COVID-19-related healthcare delays

    InternationalStudy 1: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK; Study 2: Institute of Cancer Research, UK
  41. EXPERT REACTION: Two COVID-19 vaccine trials show promise

    Publicly released: Tue 21 Jul 2020 at 0833 AEST | 1033 NZST

    The Lancet

    In both cases, participants were given a genetically modified common cold virus, aimed at inducing an immune response to "prepare" the body for COVID-19. ... Compared to the control group (given a Read more about EXPERT REACTION: Two COVID-19 vaccine trials show promise

    InternationalUniversity of Oxford, UK; Jiangsu Provincial Center of Disease Control and Prevention, China
  42. Italy may have understated COVID-19 deaths

    Publicly released: Tue 21 Jul 2020 at 0100 AEST | 0300 NZST

    JAMA Internal Medicine

    Italian and Colombian researchers suggest that the reported deaths from COVID-19 in Italy have been understated, after comparing average death rates over the past five years. ... by the virus, and Read more about Italy may have understated COVID-19 deaths

    InternationalUniversity of Milan, Italy
  43. NEWS BRIEFING: How is COVID-19 impacting Australia's flu season?

    Publicly released: Mon 20 Jul 2020 at 1100 AEST | 1300 NZST

    Listen back as two infectious disease experts from the Immunisation Coalition run us through the numbers of the flu season so far and forecast what might be in store - for both ... the flu and COVID-19 - Read more about NEWS BRIEFING: How is COVID-19 impacting Australia's flu season?

    Australia; NSW; SAAustralian Science Media Centre|Immunisation Coalition...
  44. Steroid cuts deaths by one-third among patients critically ill with COVID-19

    Publicly released: Sat 18 Jul 2020 at 0200 AEST | 0400 NZST

    New England Journal of Medicine

    The steroid dexamethasone reduced the death rate among patients hospitalised with COVID-19 who were on oxygen or ventilators, but not among those who were not receiving these interventions to help Read more about Steroid cuts deaths by one-third among patients critically ill with COVID-19

    InternationalOxford University, UK
  45. Victoria should aim to eliminate not suppress COVID-19

    Publicly released: Fri 17 Jul 2020 at 1530 AEST | 1730 NZST

    MJA

    Epidemiologists have presented a 10-point plan to help Melbourne and Victoria achieve the elimination of COVID-19 within the 6-week lockdown period. ... They say that under the “Standard” policy Read more about Victoria should aim to eliminate not suppress COVID-19

    Australia; New Zealand; VICThe University of Melbourne|University of Otago
  46. Lessons to be learned from a COVID-19 outbreak in a NSW aged-care facility

    Publicly released: Fri 17 Jul 2020 at 1300 AEST | 1500 NZST

    MJA

    The COVID-19 outbreak in the Dorothy Henderson Lodge nursing home in Sydney showed that optimal infection prevention and control practice among trained staff in aged care facilities cannot be assumed Read more about Lessons to be learned from a COVID-19 outbreak in a NSW aged-care facility

    Australia; NSWThe University of Sydney
  47. Three-day testing deadline to limit COVID-19 spread

    Publicly released: Fri 17 Jul 2020 at 1030 AEST | 1230 NZST

    The Lancet Public Health

    Modelling shows that even the most efficient contact tracing strategy will fail to reduce COVID-19 spread, if it takes three or more days to get a test after developing symptoms. ... Researchers find that Read more about Three-day testing deadline to limit COVID-19 spread

    InternationalUtrecht University, Netherlands
  48. Up to 87% of COVID cases in Wuhan may have gone undetected

    Publicly released: Fri 17 Jul 2020 at 1000 AEST | 1200 NZST

    Nature

    Undetected cases of COVID-19 probably had a major role in the rapid spread of the disease and could lead to a resurgence of infections upon lifting of restrictions too early, ... according to research out Read more about Up to 87% of COVID cases in Wuhan may have gone undetected

    InternationalHarvard University, USA, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China
  49. Coronavirus is messing with the weather forecast too

    Publicly released: Fri 17 Jul 2020 at 0930 AEST | 1130 NZST

    Geophysical Research Letters

    Research shows the world lost 50 to 75 per cent of its aircraft weather observations between March and May of this year, when many flights were grounded due to COVID-19 ... The researchers say forecasts Read more about Coronavirus is messing with the weather forecast too

    InternationalLancaster University, UK
  50. Blood test detects positive COVID-19 result in 20 minutes

    Publicly released: Fri 17 Jul 2020 at 0900 AEST | 1100 NZST

    ACS Sensors

    Research by Monash University in Australia has been able to detect positive COVID-19 cases using blood samples in about 20 minutes, and identify whether someone has contracted the virus. ... Positive Read more about Blood test detects positive COVID-19 result in 20 minutes

    Australia; VICMonash University

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