Coronavirus SA: New suspected cases emerge as state enters lockdown

Tom Flanagan
·News Reporter
·3-min read

South Australia has a further 10 suspected coronavirus cases as the state begins its six-day stringent lockdown.

Chief Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said there was no addition to the state’s 23 locally acquired cases on Thursday, however there are 17 suspected cases, up from the seven she confirmed on Wednesday afternoon.

She said she could not provide further details on which sites they were linked, but said SA Health was using the “highest level of suspicion when we say suspected cases”.

“We are going to get on top of this,” she reassured South Australians.

She said there were more than 3200 close contacts linked to the cluster in quarantine.

Premier Steven Marshall reiterated the importance of the lockdown despite recording zero cases overnight.

"The lessons of surging infections in Victoria and other parts of the world have been learnt," Mr Marshall said.

Premier Steven Marshall has warned the state will only get one chance to prevent a second wave. Source: AAP
Premier Steven Marshall has warned the state will only get one chance to prevent a second wave. Source: AAP

"Indecision plays into the hands of this virus.

"COVID-19 is highly infectious, extremely dangerous and very difficult to eradicate once it gets a foothold in a community so we need this circuit-breaker, this breathing space for a contact tracing blitz."

He also announced international flights into the state will be cancelled until November 30.

He said there were more than 12,000 tests processed on Wednesday.

Mr Marshall implemented some of the strictest restrictions seen during Australia’s fight against the virus on Wednesday, with the new measures preventing South Australians from leaving their homes and hospitality and retail brought to a grinding halt.

One person per household is allowed to leave the home for essential shopping at supermarkets and pharmacies.

Top cop slams ‘unreasonable’ expectation

Mr Marshall says there is no evidence there was any wrongdoing in the hotel quarantine program.

The virus was originally leaked from the program after a cleaner at Peppers Hotel is believed to have contracted the virus from a surface.

On Wednesday, Professor Spurrier revealed a security guard from the hotel had then taken the virus to a pizza restaurant where he worked part-time, where in a chance encounter at the takeaway had led to a security guard from the Stamford medi-hotel contracting the virus.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens slammed criticism of quarantine workers having two jobs. Source: Getty
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens slammed criticism of quarantine workers having two jobs. Source: Getty

An angered Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said it was “completely unreasonable” to expect all workers at quarantine to isolate outside of working hours and urged the media to “give these people a break”.

“Let's be balanced in our perceptions about what these people are confronting and be grateful for the fact they're stepping up to do this job,” he said.

He said it was no different to a worker visiting a cinema or going to the petrol station, stressing it was impossible for all workers not to lead their normal lives.

Early Thursday, Mr Marshall prompted concern after coughing during a live cross on ABC News Breakfast.

Victoria closes border to South Australia

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has announced his state will close its border to South Australia for 48 hours from midnight tonight.

That period will then be followed with a permit system for those wanting to cross the border.

It comes after fragments of the virus was detected in untreated wastewater taken from Benalla and Portland treatment plants on Tuesday.

Portland is located on the state’s coast, 70km east of the SA border.

"This was an appropriate thing for us to do and it'll be difficult in those next couple of days," Mr Andrews said.

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