A leading expert in infectious diseases has talked down the potential impact of a rare coronavirus re-infection case, as states seek to further unwind restrictions.
While Victorian health authorities are not certain, they are treating a Melbourne man's positive case as a reinfection, rather than him shedding the virus he first caught in July.
"We are assuming, through an abundance of caution, that this person has got it for a second time," Premier Dan Andrews told reporters on Wednesday.
Deakin University's Professor Catherine Bennett said it was right for health authorities to err on the side of caution and manage the case as if it was an active infection.
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"These are rare events - only two or three in the world, depending on which ones you count," she told the ABC.
"So it probably tells us more about the individuals than posing a great worry about the risk of reinfection."
The development of vaccines could be put at risk if the virus starts to shift its genetic profile.
Victoria recorded three local cases of COVID-19 while NSW had two.
Melbourne's daily case average dropped to 6.2 and the mystery cases from October 5-18 also fell to 10.
The corresponding figures for regional Victoria remain steady at 0.4 and none.
The national death toll stands at 905.
Victorian authorities believe the state is well placed to bring forward a further easing of virus restrictions slated for November 2, including the reopening of retail and hospitality industries in Melbourne.
Queensland is playing down fears a freight ship north of Brisbane may be carrying a new strain of the virus.
The state's health minister Steven Miles says it's too soon to determine the genomic identification of the strain that infected a crew member aboard the Sofrana Surville.
The ship was anchored off Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast after authorities prevented it from docking in Brisbane.
Health officials continue to test the 19 crew members aboard the vessel but Dr Miles dismissed concerns the ship could be harbouring a mutated stain of the disease.
In NSW, church congregations up to 300 will be allowed to attend services in NSW from Friday, after outcry from religious leaders over "inconsistent" restrictions.
Rules around staffing will also be relaxed for gyms, with a COVID safety marshal only required when more than 20 people are inside.
It comes as NSW recorded two new cases of locally transmitted COVID-19 - both linked to known clusters - while testing rates have doubled overnight.
South Australia is seeking a reciprocal travel bubble agreement with New Zealand to allow people from the state to travel across the Tasman.
Premier Steven Marshall has written to NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to ask for her agreement after 12 New Zealanders travelled to SA this week and were forced into quarantine.
The New Zealanders arrived in the state under a federal government-negotiated one-way travel bubble with NZ allowing its citizens to enter NSW and the Northern Territory.
But many of those travellers took domestic flights from Sydney to other states not in the bubble, including SA, Western Australia and Queensland.
After ordering them into quarantine, SA relented and released them into the community.
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