COVID-19 news from Wednesday, November 18

COVID-19 Testing continues at the Tailem Bend testing station
COVID-19 Testing continues at the Tailem Bend testing station

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18

SA Health have released a list of new COVID-19 alert locations in South Australia:

  • Eblen Collision Repair, Brighton Road, Somerton, Thursday, November 12 and Friday, November 13 8am-4.30pm
  • Foodland, Grand Junction Road, Rosewater, Thursday, November 12, 7:45pm (five minutes)
  • Bus 502X - bus stop 39 on Bridge Road to S1 on Grenfell Street, Friday, November 13, 7.45am-8:15am
  • Bensons Radiology, North Terrace, Adelaide, Friday, November 13, 8.30am-8:45am
  • Bus 502 - bus stop H2 on Grenfell Street, Friday, November 13, 9am-9:30am
  • United Petrol Station, Grand Junction Road, Rosewater, Friday, November 13, 3pm
  • Coles, Cheltenham Parade, St Clair, Friday, November 13, 4pm-4.20pm
  • Morphett Arms Hotel, Morphett Road, Glengowrie, Friday, November 13, 5pm-10pm
  • Prime Liquidators, Philips Crescent, Saturday, November 14, 12pm-12.30pm
  • Stratco, Port Wakefield Road, Gepps Cross, Saturday, November 14, 12.45pm-1.25pm
  • Funk Coffee, Commercial Road, Port Adelaide, Saturday, November 14, 5pm-5.15pm
  • West Lakes Shopping Centre (Kmart, San Churros, NK Fashion, Coles), Sunday, November 15, 1.45pm-3.45pm
  • Woodville Pizza Bar, 1/58 Woodville Road, Woodville, Friday, November 6, Monday, November 16, inclusive. At any time, even if just a few minutes to collect take-away or receiving a home delivery from this location during this period

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17

4.15pm

SA Health chief medical officer Professor Nicola Spurrier has confirmed there are five new cases of COVID-19 today, with three of the cases being family members of a security guard at the medi-hotel, which is at the centre of the current outbreak.

Another case is linked to an employee at the aged care facility where a couple of family members involved in the Parafield cluster had been working.

Prof Spurrier said there was also another new result but details were minimal as the report had just come in at the time of the daily update.

She said the COVID-19 genomics of the recent outbreak could be linked to an overseas repatriation who tested positive on November 3, which meant there were no cases from the current outbreak before November 2.

There are now 4000 people who are in quarantine due to the outbreak with many businesses and institutions closed for deep cleaning.

There are now 34 active cases in South Australia which brings the total number of positive cases to 549 since testing began in February.

Prof Spurrier said it was only early days in terms of dealing with the current situation and South Australians needed to heed the restrictions in place and to make sensible choices about going out to minimise contact between people.

Premier Steven Marshall thanks South Australians who were coming forward to get tested, with over 5000 people tested yesterday, with the number on track to rise to over 6000 by the end of today.

"We are not out of the woods yet, we are at the start of dealing with this cluster," Mr Marshall said.

"We have beaten clusters before...but we must do this together."

3.00pm

The state's regional tourism operators have reportedly been dealt a cruel blow as visitor cancellations emerge less than 48 hours since the new coronavirus outbreak was announced on Sunday.

South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive Rodney Harres said the new restrictions were tough, and they would no doubt create a lot of anxiety for operators across our industry.

"As we have throughout the pandemic, the SATC is constantly evolving and adapting our plans as circumstances change, and that is what we are doing now," he said.

12.30pm

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has tweeted his support to South Australians, urging them to get tested.

While on his way to Japan, Mr Morrison said he had spoken to Premier Steven Marshall this morning for an update.

"It's important we get on top of this outbreak quickly and the South Australian Government is working hard to do that, with the full support of the Commonwealth," he tweeted.

"We already have over 100 Australian Defence Force personnel on the ground assisting with logistics and quarantine.

"We're also assisting with rapid testing in the state, and already have an aged care emergency response team working on the ground to help protect our elderly residents in aged care facilities.

"This virus is not going anywhere and we've always said we expect localised outbreaks to occur from time to time.

"What sets Australia apart from the rest of the world is how we work together to deal with these outbreaks when they occur and get on top of them quickly."

12.00pm

Some supermarkets across South Australia are reporting more trade than usual as people begin stockpiling toilet paper and basic pantry items.

Many shoppers are frustrated as items are becoming scarce, with hand sanitiser and masks high on the list of items being sought.

10.00am

Advice has been updated for all South Australians who visited The Aquadome in Elizabeth.

Anyone who was at The Aquadome between 11am and 1.30pm on Saturday, November 14 is now required to isolate for 14 days and get tested immediately if symptoms appear.

SA Health is contacting everyone who was in this location during the listed time who may have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

9.40am

There are two more reported cases of community transmission in the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Adelaide, with two more staff members of an aged care home testing positive.

The Anglicare South Australia home was put in lockdown after two nurses tested positive on Monday.

Staff which are working at quarantine hotels across Adelaide are now being asked to have a weekly test, which had not been the case previously as Premier Steven Marshall noted in an early morning interview.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16

Hundreds of people are queuing at testing stations across South Australia as contact tracing continues to lead to numerous businesses, transport and medical facilities which were visited by the 17 patients who have tested as COVID-19 positive in the past few days.

3.45pm

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall attended today's state public health COVID-19 update with the news there will be state-wide restrictions on some activities.

Mr Marshall said the latest community transmission cases were the state's biggest COVID-19 test to date, but he was confident that the world-leading measures in place would help with the management of the current situation.

He said officials were working around the clock to work on cluster tracing.

"This is of the essence, to act swiftly and decisively .... we have boosted contract testing team with more resources." Mr Marshall said.

SA chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier said despite the significant rates of testing there were no new cases identified at this stage.

Any update on tests from today will be included in figures released tomorrow.

All international flights of Australian citizens coming back to the country have been suspended until the end of the week.

RESTRICTIONS

Restrictions which will come into effect as of 12.01am, Tuesday, November 17:

  • Gyms, recreation centres, play cafes and trampoline parks will close.
  • Community sport and trainings cancelled - includes indoor and outdoor activities.
  • Funerals - capped at 50 people or 1 per 4sqm social distancing.
  • Churches - capped at 100 people or 1 per 4sqm social distancing.
  • Weddings - No changes - guests must be registered with a SA Health's Communicable Disease Control Branch online form
  • Pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes - capped at 100 or 1 per 4sqm social distancing.
  • Private gatherings at licenced venues - capped at 50 or 1 per 4sqm social distancing.
  • Private residence - capped at 10 persons only.
  • Beauty salons, tattoo shops, hairdressers - employees must wear masks
  • Aged care - 2 visitor only per day - Providers may have their own regulations, please check
  • Schools - will remain open

The State Government also advises people to do the following:

  • Work from home where possible
  • Vulnerable people to stay at home if possible - with minimal contact
  • Unnecessary travel should be cancelled
  • Wear a mask where social distancing is not possible - ie public transport

Australian defence force troops have been offered to South Australia in the wake of the state's outbreak of 17 coronavirus infectious community transmission cases potentially connected to more than a dozen sites in Adelaide and the northern suburbs.

The federal government's military offer of support further includes the placement of a national incident centre.

The new cases are South Australia's first without a known source of transmission for 215 days, since April 16.

2.56pm

Four more locations have been added to the list of places which were visited by the persons involved in the state's recent COVID-19 community transmission cases.

  • Adelaide - Metro Convenience Pty Ltd, Shop 3/ 24 Waymouth St, Adelaide, Saturday 14 November 6.00pm - 6.15pm
  • Ingle Farm - Coles South, Ingle Farm Shopping Centre, Ingle Farm, Thursday 12 November 11.00am - 11.30am
  • Pooraka - On The Run Pooraka, OTR 126 Bridge Rd Pooraka, Thursday 12 November 11.45am - 12.00pm
  • Woodville South - Woodville Pizza Bar, 1/58 Woodville Rd, Woodville South, Saturday 14 November 6.30pm - 8.30pm and Friday 13 November 6.30pm - 8.30pm

2.00pm

The Department of Health and Wellbeing have added three more locations to the list of places which were visited by the people involved in the latest community transmission cases.

  • Mint Leaf Lounge, Mawson Lakes, November 12, 5.30pm-6.30pm
  • Hollywood Plaza Surgery, November 14, 10am-11am, November 13, 7.15am-7.20am
  • Star Discount Chemist, Hollywood Plaza, November 15, 10am-11am

Any person who has visited these businesses during that time you do not need to self-quarantine but you should monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if symptoms appear.

12.40pm

The Australia versus India Cricket Test and a portion of the Big Bash League matches are expected to be played in Adelaide in the coming weeks.

With new COVID-19 locally transmitted cases rising to 17 the situation is teetering, not only because of the state's new outbreak but also because of the closing of borders to most states and territories in the country.

SA chief medical officer Nicola Spurrier.

SA chief medical officer Nicola Spurrier.

12.00pm

Border closures

This morning's announcement has further brought fresh fears to neighbouring states, with Tasmania and the Northern Territory joining Western Australia's quick response of closing their borders to South Australia.

The Tasmanian government has requested anyone who has been in South Australia since Monday, November 9 to immediately self-isolate at their home or in their accommodation.

However, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt is confident South Australian authorities will bring the outbreak under control.

"If more is required, more will be provided," Mr Hunt told the ABC on Monday morning.

The New South Wales Government has decided it will keep its borders open to South Australia travellers for the time being.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW chief medical officer Kerry Chant advised they had been in contact with the SA authorities and had decided there was no need to impose restrictions at this stage of the South Australian outbreak.

Contact tracing

In response, SA Health's Department for Health and Wellbeing is currently contacting anyone who was in the emergency department at Lyell McEwin Hospital, Elizabeth, where the first coronavirus case identified a woman in her 80s.

On Monday the department released a detailed COVID-19 alert to the public highlighting critical contact times at the hospital between 5.30pm, Friday, November 14 and 4am Saturday, November 15.

"However, if you have visited this location during this time, and have not been contacted by SA Health, you should self-quarantine immediately and call the SA COVID-19 Information line 1800 253 787," the email outlined.

A detailed list of potential contact sites in SA follows, with the public urged to monitor any coronavirus symptoms or become tested:

  • Bus 500 from Salisbury Bus interchange, November 9, 11, 12 13 - 6.30am-7.40am
  • Bus 502 from Internode Adelaide bus stop on Grenfell Street, November 12, 13 - 4.15pm-5.30pm and Monday, November 9 - 4.15pm-5.30pm and 10.30am-11.30am
  • Bus (GA1/GA2/GA3) from bus stop near train station, November 7, 10 - 5.30am - 6.30pm
  • Bus 411 from Salisbury Bus interchange, November 9 - 11.30am-11.45am
  • Salisbury Bus Interchange, November 9 - 11.30am-12pm and 6.30pm
  • Elizabeth Shopping Centre, November 8 - 11am-12.30pm
  • Harris Scarfe, Elizabeth Shopping Centre, November 8 - 11am - 12.30pm
  • Woolworths, Hollywood Plaza, November 13, 14 - 10am-11am, 10am-12pm
  • The Aquadome,1 Crockerton Rd Elizabeth, November 14, 11am -1.30pm
  • Hungry Jacks, 321 Commercial Rd Port Adelaide, November 13, 12am-2.30pm, November 14, 7.30pm-12am
  • Mantra on Frome, November 13, 7.40am-4pm, November 12, 7.40am-3.45pm
  • Fruit Barn Fruit Shop, Salisbury Fruit Barn, November 12, 10am-10.15pm
  • Ekam Indian Groceries, Enfield Plaza, November 13, 1.30pm-4.30pm
  • Parafield Plaza Supermarket, November 12, 10.30am-11.30am
  • Mint Leaf Lounge, Mawson Lakes, November 12, 5.30pm-6.30pm
  • Hollywood Plaza Surgery, November 14, 10am-11am, November 13, 7.15am-7.20am
  • Star Discount Chemist, Hollywood Plaza, November 15, 10am-11am

Stay safe

Any South Australian who has symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, or loss or taste or smell should self-isolate and get tested immediately at any number of COVID-19 testing stations across the state.

While awaiting test results people should self-isolate as follows:

  • stay at home and do not attend work, school or childcare
  • wash your hands often with soap and water
  • cough and sneeze into a clean tissue or your elbow
  • avoid close contact with others, including members of your household.

If a person's result is negative but they still feel unwell then they must stay at home until they are feeling better.

For more information or advice about COVID-19 visit:

  • Visit the SA Government COVID-19 website
  • Call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787, 9am to 5pm, 7 days
  • Call the SA COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line on 1800 632 753, 8am to 8pm, 7 days.
This story COVID-19: SA's latest coverage first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.