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A bridge over the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images

Victoria, Australia's second-most populous state, will enter a five-day lockdown just before midnight to combat a growing COVID-19 outbreak, officials announced on Thursday.

Why it matters: It will be the fifth time such restrictions have been imposed on residents in Victoria's state capital, Melbourne — who last year endured one of the world's longest lockdowns (112 days), when the city was Australia's pandemic epicenter.

The big picture: Australia had largely suppressed coronavirus outbreaks, but it's now for the first time in months dealing with outbreaks in multiple regions simultaneously.

  • This is driven largely by the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant — which led to Sydney, New South Wales, entering a full lockdown on June 26. These restrictions in Australia's largest city have been extended until July 30.
  • Melbourne last exited a lockdown on June 10, though some restrictions remained in place — such as wearing masks outside.

By the numbers: NSW has a total of 929 active cases after 65 more infections were confirmed Thursday; Victoria confirmed seven new cases, taking the total to 18 active cases and the state of Queensland recorded three new infections.

What they're saying: "This will be a hard lockdown similar to or identical to what we did a couple of weeks ago," Victoria's Premier Dan Andrews said at a news conference.

  • "It is essentially a repeat of the successful strategy from couple of weeks ago. That was successful then and this will be successful now."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the latest case numbers.

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

FDA authorizes mix-and-match for COVID booster shots

Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday gave its approval for Americans to get booster shots that are different from the COVID vaccine they initially received.

Why it matters: The recommendation from the FDA, which also authorized booster shots for people who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Wednesday, paves the way for an expansion of booster shots.

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

In-N-Out refuses to follow San Francisco's vaccine mandate

Photo: James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images

The California burger chain In-N-Out is refusing to follow San Francisco's vaccination mandate, which requires restaurants to check for customers' proof of vaccination to dine indoors, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: The San Francisco Public Health Department has had to remind employees multiple times to check for proof of vaccination since September, ultimately resulting in the city's only In-N-Out location getting shut down on Oct. 14. It is the only time the agency has ordered a restaurant's closure over a mandate violation, officials told the Post.

Report: Climate change is an "emerging threat" to U.S. economic stability

A firefighter watches an airplane drop fire retardant ahead of the Alisal fire near Goleta on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. Photo: Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A top U.S. financial coordinating organization took several steps on Thursday to manage the growing risks that climate change poses to the U.S. financial system.

Why it matters: While the Biden administration has been taking an all-of-government approach to climate change, like factoring climate risk into planning at the Treasury Department, today's moves by the politically independent Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) carry significant weight.

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