Coronavirus SA: Disturbing twist as Adelaide cluster grows

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read

Two more Covid-19 cases have been linked to South Australia’s Parafield cluster, with the unusual circumstances prompting an investigation into how the virus was transmitted.

A husband and wife who recently returned to Australia were thought to have contracted the virus while overseas, but it has now been revealed this was not the case.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said further genetic testing said the pair became infected while in isolation in Adelaide’s Peppers Hotel.

The couple’s infections were revealed on Sunday and Tuesday.

A healthcare worker speaks with a man wearing a mask at a coronavirus testing centre.
It has been confirmed a couple contracted Covid while quarantining in a South Australian hotel. Source: AAP

It was confirmed last week the Parafield cluster in the city's north originated from the hotel when a cleaner became infected.

The couple’s cases have prompted SA Health to review CCTV footage and conduct other inquiries to determine how they came in contact with the virus amid growing concerns for the security of the hotel quarantine system.

As a precaution, all staff at the hotel will also be tested again.

The cluster has reached 29 cases so far, but authorities are confident they have brought it under control.

"We think that this is just being abundantly cautious. We don't expect to have any more positives," Prof Spurrier said.

"But what we do need to be absolutely sure about is that we're not missing any further infection in that hotel system."

Prof Spurrier said details of what happened at the hotel would be provided once the review was complete.

Earlier on Tuesday, authorities expressed continued optimism that SA remained on track to next week ease the restrictions the outbreak sparked.

SA's transition committee will meet on Friday in what looms as a crucial gathering for local businesses and for families in the lead-up to Christmas.

If all goes well, SA will also lift its border restrictions with Victoria from December 1.

A photo of deserted Rundle Mall in Adelaide's CBD during the coronavirus pandemic.
The new regulations have been implemented after a spike in cases saw the state go into lockdown. Source: AAP

New regulations for hotel staff

Mandatory and regular Covid-19 testing for workers in Adelaide's quarantine hotels has come into force after a dangerous cluster of cases linked to a cleaner who passed the virus onto her family.

The new direction came into force on Wednesday requiring police, SA Health officials, defence force personnel, and all employees and contractors working in the quarantine hotels to be tested weekly.

The rule includes all cleaning and security staff.

Any person working at a medi-hotel who develops Covid-19 symptoms must notify SA Health and further direction will be given in relation to self-isolation requirements.

People who deliver goods to the hotels through designated green zones and are present for less than 30 minutes and have no contact with people undertaking quarantine are exempt.

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