Thousands of close contacts told to quarantine as SA cluster grows

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·3-min read

South Australia has closed more schools and placed about 4000 people into quarantine amid a growing coronavirus cluster.

The state reported four new cases on Tuesday - all connected to the Parafield cluster taking it to 20.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said another case is being interviewed and could be included in Wednesday’s total. It’s not known if it is linked to the cluster.

“In addition to that, we have another 14 people who we are suspecting may be cases, and we are still doing testing to confirm that,” she told reporters.

“But these are people that we feel are at high risk of becoming a case and have symptoms.

“We're just waiting for that testing to come through. But because we want to be very, very precautionary and really work very quickly, that is the reason why we are calling them suspect cases.”

People are seen queuing up at the Parafield Gardens COVID testing centre in Adelaide, Australia.
People line up for Covid testing at Parafield Gardens on Tuesday. Source: Getty Images

Thousands of close contacts told to quarantine

An additional 4000 people considered to be close contacts have also been placed into quarantine.

“So, those people are either awaiting a test result or we have an initial test result that's negative, but we're highly suspect and we're retesting them and the reason we're doing this, obviously, is because of this very high risk of onward transmission in our community,” she said.

Roma Mitchell College was closed on Tuesday along with Mawson Lakes School and its preschool.

Dr Spurrier added Thomas More College, The Holy Family Catholic School and Mount Carmel College have also been closed.

On Monday, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall announced a number of restrictions were returning. They became active from midnight.

Queensland also closed its borders.

South Australian Chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier speaks to the media during a COVID19 briefing at the State Administration in Adelaide.
South Australian Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the state is taking a cautious approach to stopping an outbreak of Covid growing. Source: Getty Images

Quarantine for visitors to pool and gym

Dr Spurrier said anyone at Aqua Dome, a pool and fitness centre, on Saturday between 11am and 1.30pm needed so self-isolate immediately.

“So, we think that the exposure was more significant and we want those people to get into quarantine immediately, and get tested,” Dr Spurrier said.

“Now, obviously we will be chasing up with the Aqua Dome to see if we can get direct contact details. This is an early warning.”

People are seen queuing up at the Parafield Gardens Covid testing centre in Adelaide, Australia.
People queue at Parafield Gardens for testing. Source: Getty Images

CHO slams panic buyers

Dr Spurrier criticised people panic buying from supermarkets after scenes emerged of empty shelves in Coles and Woolworths on Monday evening.

“There's no need for panic buying in South Australia,” she said.

“We've got plenty of stock, we've got open supply lines and transport lines here in South Australia.

“What we need is a sensible approach, working together, to beat this disease and I'm quite sure that's what is going to happen.”

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