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Economy in focus with new virus cases low

Health authorities are continuing to hunt the causes of coronavirus outbreaks across Australia as the federal government considers more economic stimulus.

A 30-year-old Queensland man previously thought to be the country’s youngest victim of the disease was shown by the coroner to have tested negative.

The death toll has been revised down to 102 after Nathan Turner was removed from the tally, while infection rates remain low.

In Victoria, an aged care home is in lockdown after a worker tested positive, while a kindergarten has been shut for cleaning after a teacher contracted the disease.

The state has detected 10 new cases with four tied to a cluster of 12 at a hotel that had been housing quarantined returned travellers.

NSW authorities are warning the virus is still likely circulating in the community in people with mild or no symptoms.

The state’s six new cases are all from hotel quarantine but health officials are urging people to get tested amid fears of further outbreaks.

The number of tests conducted nationally is expected to pass 1.5 million on Tuesday.

Twenty patients are in hospital, with three in intensive care and one on a ventilator.

The Morrison government is considering a plan for cash grants to build new homes or for major renovation projects, along with a targeted arts package.

An announcement on the construction plan is expected this week, with the coalition looking to stimulate domestic building jobs.

Construction employers are also calling for temporary changes to awards, warning of major job losses without the power to scrap Saturday penalty rates until the end of the year.

The government is set to end weeks of opposition to helping arts workers specifically as it shifts from economy-wide measures to industry-specific support.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced an extra $36 million for vaccines and treatments, bringing the total investment to $66 million.

“Australia hasn’t just been at the global forefront in containment and flattening the curve,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Tuesday.

“We are also blessed with leading researchers and institutions that have allowed us to play our part in helping to lead the world in global research.”

More than 7200 Australians have tested positive to coronavirus with about 480 cases remaining active across the country.

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