Coronavirus SA: Adelaide school ordered to isolate immediately

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read

A new case of coronavirus has forced all staff and students of an Adelaide high school into immediate isolation, along with all members of their households.

SA Health confirmed late on Wednesday that anyone who attended Woodville High School, in Adelaide’s north west, on Monday would have to self-isolate.

It came after a female student tested positive for the virus.

SA school
SA school

There was no immediate word on whether the case was linked to the so-called Parafield cluster or represented wider community transmission.

The school will be closed on Thursday to undergo deep cleaning and to allow authorities to conducted detailed contact tracing and make a risk assessment.

Dedicated facility for positive virus cases

Earlier on Wednesday, Premier Steven Marshall said anyone who tested positive, including returned travellers, would be moved to a dedicated health facility.

That was most likely to be a previously disused private hospital which was refurbished and brought back into service when the pandemic first struck.

All security at that facility will be provided by police and staff will not be allowed to work at other high-risk locations, including prisons and aged care centres.

As an added security measure, Mr Marshall will ask national cabinet to consider testing all Australians returning from overseas before they are allowed to board their flights.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall speaking to the media during the daily Covid-19 update on November 22, 2020.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said anyone who tests positive will now be moved to a dedicated health facility, where police officers will be used as security. Source: Getty

A negative test would be required before anyone is permitted to travel, under SA's proposal.

The premier said while no system could eliminate all risk, the government would do whatever it could to make the quarantine arrangements safer.

"We continue to act swiftly and decisively based on the expert health advice," Mr Marshall said.

"What we must do is put as many shields as possible between the virus and the community.”

New case brings SA total to 39

So far 29 cases have been linked to the so-called Parafield cluster which was sparked when a worker at the Peppers Hotel contracted the virus from a returned traveller.

A review of CCTV footage from the facility had since cleared all workers of breaching any major safety protocols.

The schoolgirl's case took the number of active infections in SA to 39.

SA Health said more than 9400 tests were conducted on Tuesday, while on Wednesday a new regulation came into force requiring all people working in quarantine hotels to have weekly coronavirus swabs.

The direction applies to SA Health officials, defence force personnel and all employees and contractors, including cleaning and security staff.

Amid growing calls for a wider independent investigation into the hotel quarantine issues, Mr Marshall said such an inquiry would be conducted but not until after the pandemic emergency had passed.

Diners can be seen eating out on King William Road, Hyde Park on November 22 in Adelaide after lockdown restrictions across South Australia were lifted on Sunday. Source: Getty
Diners can be seen eating out on King William Road, Hyde Park on November 22 after lockdown restrictions across South Australia were lifted on Sunday. Source: Getty

A police investigation is already underway into the incorrect information that sparked last week's brief statewide lockdown after it prompted fears of widespread community transmission from the Parafield cluster.

As that probe continues, SA has put international arrivals on hold and has decided to deep clean the Peppers Hotel.

Mr Marshall said South Australia remained committed to playing its part in the repatriation process and would resume international flights when it was safe to do so, although probably at lower numbers than in recent weeks.

He said SA also remained on course to ease local COVID-19 restrictions from December 1.

He plans to lift the state's border restrictions with Victoria at that time.

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