SA virus cluster officially busted

Tim Dornin
·2-min read

South Australian health authorities have drawn a line through Adelaide's worst coronavirus cluster, with the Parafield outbreak declared officially eliminated.

But they say the cluster of COVID-19 cases in Sydney remains a concern and no changes to the border restrictions are planned over the holiday period.

With no new cases reported in SA on Wednesday, the Parafield cluster has passed 28 days, or two incubation cycles, since the last infection.

It began when a security guard at one of the city's quarantine hotels unwittingly picked up the virus from a returned traveller last month.

It quickly grew to 33 cases before being contained, partly through a three-day statewide lockdown.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said when the outbreak occurred last month it raised concerns about what Christmas might look like in SA.

"It is very nice to be standing out in the sun today and to be able to tell South Australians that we've got through it," she said.

"We've all done a good job and we can have a fairly unrestricted Christmas."

With the end of the cluster SA also lifted the final restrictions imposed, removing the need for health and aged care workers along with hairdressers and personal care workers to wear masks.

However, Professor Spurrier said Sydney's outbreak was a "very active problem" that still posed a threat to SA.

Under current arrangements, people from Sydney's northern beaches region are not allowed to enter SA, while the greater Sydney region, along with the Central Coast and the Wollongong areas, have been declared high community transition zones.

Anyone arriving from those areas need to quarantine in a suitable location for 14 days and get tested on day one, day five and day 12.

"We will continue to have that border arrangement for some time, as we see how things play out over the coming week," Professor Spurrier said.

The border measures caused some confusion on Sunday when about 550 people, who arrived before a midnight deadline, were wrongly told they had to isolate for two weeks.

Officials confirmed on Wednesday all those people had now be contacted and all but 35 had been released from their quarantine requirements.

People inconvenienced or out-of-pocket because of the bungle have been invited to contact SA Health to seek compensation through ex gratia payments.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said 18 applications had been made so far with each being considered on a case-by-case basis.