Coronavirus SA: Single case sends more than 1000 people into isolation

A massive coronavirus trace-and-isolate operation by South Australia Health has led to more than 1000 people needing to self-isolate in the state.

It comes as a school for adult learners in Adelaide was closed this week over a concerning cluster of COVID-19 cases.

About 70 students of the Thebarton Senior College are in hotel quarantine after being identified as close contacts of a woman in her 20s who attended the school while she was likely infectious and tested positive for the virus.

Another 1100 students and staff are considered casual contacts and must self-isolate for two weeks.

The cluster of the cases associated with the college has now grown to five, sparking concern over a potential outbreak that could sully the state’s strong record on the novel coronavirus.

The cluster now accounts for five of the state’s nine active cases.

South Australian Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier and Premier Steven Marshall.
South Australian Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier and Premier Steven Marshall. Source: AAP

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the action was being taken out of an abundance of caution and there was no suggestion of widespread community transmission of the disease.

"We are doing everything we can to keep this cluster under control," Professor Spurrier said.

"We are being extremely precautionary at this stage. We have not got community transmission in South Australia in any way, in a widespread form."

The new COVID-19 case on Thursday came after none were reported in SA on Wednesday and took the state's total number of infections since the start of the pandemic to 457.

The Education Department is expected to release information on Friday on how students can continue with their courses, with a move to remote online learning.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said the proactive tactics being used had been effective in closing down previous clusters in South Australia, including one linked to overseas tourists in the Barossa Valley.

"These are important health steps to protect the community," he said.

A heat map showing COVID-19 cases in South Australia by Local Government Area.
A heat map showing COVID-19 cases in South Australia by Local Government Area. Source:

Charges laid for breaching virus rules

With a record 6,000 COVID-19 tests performed on Wednesday, Premier Steven Marshall said it was clear South Australians had remained vigilant in the fight against the disease.

But his comments came as four more people were charged with breaching the state's coronavirus restrictions.

Among those was a 17-year-old boy who was arrested at Adelaide Airport on Wednesday after getting off a flight from NSW via Victoria.

Police became involved because although he had government approval to fly home from NSW, he did not have approval to travel through Victoria.

"While police were clarifying his status, he allegedly became abusive and refused to comply with the direction to wear a mask," they said in a statement.

The boy, from Christies Beach in Adelaide's south, was charged with breaching COVID-19 directions and disorderly behaviour and sent to hotel quarantine for 14 days.

States to focus on sharing virus information

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and state and territory leaders will be briefed on work to better share information on the spread of coronavirus when they again meet for national cabinet on Friday.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said it was important for the public, as well as people making decisions around restrictions and the health and emergency response, that the data is properly collated and shared.

"We think that that's an important part of information-sharing, learning and accountability," he said.

The leaders are also expected to discuss recent announcements of border closures at the meeting, including Queensland's decision to shut off NSW and ACT visitors from this Saturday.

Victoria reported 471 new daily cases on Thursday after announcing a record 725 the day before, while NSW continues to keep outbreaks under control, reporting 12 new cases on Thursday.

with AAP

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