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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media in Australia's capital, Canberra, on Thursday. Photo: Sean Davey/Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters Thursday the pandemic will be around "for some time" as he noted Victoria's strict measures hadn't had the desired effect. The state reported 723 new cases and 13 more deaths — a national daily record.

The big picture: In May, Australia looked set to suppress COVID-19. Victorian officials found sick people not getting tested quickly enough or leaving isolation led to the spike. State Premier Dan Andrews said at a briefing if anyone has symptoms, "you just can't go to work, because all you'll be doing is spreading the virus." Victoria will make wearing face coverings outside mandatory statewide from late Sunday. The states of New South Wales and Queensland reported Thursday 18 and three new cases, respectively.

Go deeper

Nov 7, 2020 - Health

Defense Department sends medical teams to El Paso as COVID-19 cases surge

An attendant talks to a person waiting in their car at a coronavirus testing site at Ascarate Park in El Paso. Photo:Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)

The Department of Defense has deployed three U.S Air force Medical Specialty Teams to El Paso to help officials cope with a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday.

Why it matters: El Paso currently has 23,702 active COVID-19 cases, including 1,300 new cases reported on Friday, per the city's health department. At least 1,049 coronavirus patients have been hospitalized, including 311 who are in the ICU.

Local news moves to the inbox

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A slew of new companies are launching platforms for local newsletters, a shift that could help finally bring the local news industry into the digital era.

Driving the news: Substack, the email publishing platform for independent journalists, on Thursday announced a new local news platform.

J&J vaccine pause hurts its reputation

Reproduced from Economist/YouGov poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans' confidence in the safety of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine took a big dip this week after the pause in its use, per new YouGov polling, even though the risk of blood clots following the shot is extremely low, if it exists at all.

Why it matters: For the majority of people, particularly high-risk Americans, getting the J&J shot is almost certainly less dangerous than remaining vulnerable to the coronavirus.