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Australia's death toll rises to 13, and everything else you need to know about COVID-19 today, Thursday March 26.

Australia’s death toll at 13 after a WA man dies.

A WA man in his 70s has died in Joondalup Hospital in Perth, bringing Australia’s death toll to 13.

He was taken to hospital after fainting in his home. It’s believed he was recently on a cruise.

According to WA Today, 25 per cent of WA’s 231 confirmed cases are linked to cruise ships.

The state’s first coronavirus death, an unnamed 78-year-old man, died on March 1 after he and his wife were evacuated from the Diamond Princess ship in Japan.

A third man has died in Victoria.

A third man has died from COVID-19 in Victoria, bringing the national death toll to 12.

This comes as Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed that two men from the state also died overnight – the first fatalities from coronavirus in the state.

All three men were in their 70s and are understood to have pre-existing medical conditions.

“We’re now up to 520 cases, so two deaths amongst 500 is relatively small looking at the global figures,” Sutton told 3AW this morning.

The ninth fatality was announced yesterday – a 68-year-old man in Queensland from the state’s Darling Downs.

The man had a “serious underlying medical condition before contracting the virus,” the Queensland Health department said in a statement.

“Queensland Health offers its sincere condolences to his family. The man’s family remains in isolation as close contacts,” the statement added.

Seven people have died in NSW, and one person has died in WA.

The current COVID-19 figures.

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As the global number of coronavirus infections approaches half a million, health officials say the epidemic is still in its early stages.

30 minute time limit for hairdressers lifted.

The ’30-minute’ hair appointment rule was announced on Tuesday night, but has been scrapped eight hours after coming into force at midnight last night.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said the decision was made “following the receipt of feedback on the practical implementation of measures”.

The Australian Hairdressing Council had slammed the rule as “absolute rubbish,” reported The West.

Prince Charles tests positive.

Prince Charles has been diagnosed with coronavirus and is in self-isolation at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

According to a Clarence House spokesman, the Prince is displaying “mild symptoms” but is otherwise in good health.

Prince Charles coronavirus
Prince Charles is in good health after testing positive to coronavirus. Image: Getty.

“The Prince of Wales has tested positive for coronavirus. He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual,” they said.

Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, has also been tested but returned negative results. A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman has also confirmed that her Majesty the Queen remains in good health.

READ: More here.

New testing criteria announced.

The federal government says healthcare workers, aged care workers, and people in geographically localised areas and “high risk” settings like correctional facilities, boarding schools and military bases, will now be tested for the potentially deadly disease.

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Tests would be given where there are two or more plausibly linked cases in the above settings.

The statement followed another meeting of national leaders last night, and added that "testing will be expanded to include hospitalised patients with fever and acute respiratory symptoms of unknown cause, at the discretion of the treating clinician".

Australia's broadband is only just coping with demand.

As more and more people stay home and as streaming services audiences increase, internet speed is under pressure.

And Australia's broadband is just holding on, experts say.

Researchers at Monash University have looked at the world's internet activity and created a global map that details the effect of COVID-19 on internet infrastructure.

To create the map, they looked at the difference in latency or speed issues affecting millions of internet global users since February when many countries entered major lockdowns.

"More people at home means more people online," Associate Professor Paul Raschky said.

"The situation is not dissimilar to a family trying to make their way through a crowded subway tunnel."

Although internet quality is still relatively stable in Europe and North America, Dr Raschky claims that regions affected by the virus like Italy or Spain have shown signs of strain.

Across Australia's major cities, the internet is holding up.

But areas like the ACT, South Australia and Victoria are showing initial signs of pressure.

"The signs for now in Australia are 'steady', but not entirely reassuring," Dr Raschky said.

"We will keep monitoring the situation and plan to provide further reports as the Australian social distancing measures ramp up in the coming days."

NSW supermarkets and pharmacies to go 24/7.

Supermarkets, pharmacies and corner stores have been told they can extend their operating hours to 24/7 if they wish to, to serve the community.

NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes made the announcement on Twitter last night, posting that if a business chooses, it will be allowed to operate for 24 hours, given the current coronavirus pandemic.

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Supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths are yet to respond to the offer.

Retailers that are part of hotels and motels are now also able to provide food and beverages 24 hours per day to people using their accommodation to consume in their rooms.

Stage two restrictions: Everything you can't do as of today.

As of midnight last night the following are no longer operating:

- Registered and licensed clubs

- Licensed premises in hotels and pubs

- Entertainment venues and cinemas

- Casinos

- Nightclubs

- Restaurants and cafes, which will be restricted to takeaway and home delivery only

- Gyms and indoor sporting venues including yoga, barre and spin facilities

- Wellness centres, spas and saunas

- Swimming pools

- Beauty therapists, including tanning and nail salons

- Tattoo parlours

- Amusement parks

- Arcades

- Places of worship

- Auction houses and open home inspections

- Food courts, although takeaway from these premises will still be allowed

- Outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets – states and territories will address markets in their jurisdictions

- Galleries, museums, historic sites

- Libraries

- Community centres and facilities such as halls

- Strip clubs, brothels and sex on premises venues

As stage two restrictions come into force, we're being warned stage three - total lockdown - is the next stage for government's to consider.

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READ: More about the stage two restrictions that are in place in Australia from today.

Rent reprieve still being considered.

The federal government is reportedly considering income tax cuts for landlords who reduce the rental amount that tenants must pay.

The Australian Financial Review cited sources this morning as saying state and federal treasurers were discussing the idea as a way of providing relief for renters struggling with personal finances amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The AFR reported that under the option property investors would need to waive or reduce rents and in turn pay less income tax.

- With AAP

Feature image: Getty.

What you need to know about COVID-19 today, Wednesday March 25.

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000. 

To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.

The current situation around COVID-19 might be making you feel scared or uncertain. It's okay to feel this way, but it's also important to learn how to manage feelings of anxiety during this time. To download the free PDF: Anxiety & Coronavirus - How to Manage Feelings of Anxiety click here.

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