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Fears SA cluster has spread to Sydney

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There are fears South Australia’s worst ever coronavirus cluster could spread to Sydney, after planeloads of people returned from Adelaide.  Natalie Wolfe and Natalie Brownnews.com.au November 16, 2020 3:20PM LIVE Last updated November 16, 2020 3:23PM AEDT There are fears South Australia’s worst ever coronavirus cluster could spread to Sydney, after planeloads of people returned…

There are fears South Australia’s worst ever coronavirus cluster could spread to Sydney, after planeloads of people returned from Adelaide. 

Natalie Wolfe and Natalie Brown

news.com.au

November 16, 2020 3:20PM

LIVE

Last updated November 16, 2020 3:23PM AEDT

There are fears South Australia’s worst ever coronavirus cluster could spread to Sydney, after planeloads of people returned to NSW from Adelaide. 
 

The Parafield cluster, described by the state’s chief public health officer as “very serious”, has sparked mass testing across the state, while Australia’s other jurisdictions raced to make changes to their border regulations. 

In NSW, where the border will remain open to South Australians, the health department is racing to contact passengers on recent flights to both Sydney and Broken Hill, alerting them of venues of concern in Adelaide. 

“Anyone who is travelling to NSW from South Australia, or has recently done so, regardless of their mode of transport, is asked to check if they have attended any of the venues of concern,” a statement read.

“All people travelling from South Australia, particularly Adelaide, to NSW, including recent arrivals, are asked to monitor for even the mildest of symptoms and get tested and isolate if they appear. They must remain in isolation until a negative result is received, in line with routine advice for all people in NSW.”

Adelaide locals queued for hundreds of metres at a pop-up clinic in Parafield, in the north of the city, after it was opened yesterday.

And the other testing clinics, including a drive-through clinic at Victoria Park, are reporting massive wait times.

South Australia reported three local coronavirus cases late last night among a family that has members working in hotel quarantine, aged and health care and a large prison.

Four more members of the family were showing symptoms late yesterday with 15 of them now testing positive to coronavirus.

The remaining two  cases in the Parafield cluster are not related to the family but are linked.

The state’s last case of unknown community transmission was more than seven months ago – on April 15. 

The outbreak triggered warnings and closures across Adelaide with two schools and a fast food restaurant closing for a deep clean. 

Follow our coronavirus blog for live updates below.

Live Updates


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The PM is asked whether the outbreak in Adelaide “jeopardises” his chance of getting state borders open by Christmas.

“Well, I hope not. We have all said that these are subject to the health conditions and what occurs, but I would hope not,” Mr Morrison responded, adding that in both the NT and Tasmania, leaders saw the reintroduction of border controls as “temporary responses”.

“What is important is these don’t get sort of locked in as part of another enduring disruption and as soon as South Australia is able to get on top of this I would expect that states would keep on the path that we have set towards Christmas.”


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Prime Minister Scott Morrison is speaking for a second time today – and has addressed the cluster in Adelaide.

Mr Morrison said it’s “not a surprise” that an outbreak has occurred.

“The virus hasn’t gone anywhere. It is still there. It will seek to exploit any vulnerability, how small or great, and that is why there relay years to our defences,” the PM told reporters.

While the “most obvious layers” of protection like mask use and social distancing make up the “first layer of protection”, he said quarantining arrangements and border controls “are not fail-safe”.

“Not just in South Australia, but we have seen it in Western Australia. We have seen it in New South Wales and of course we have seen it significantly here in Victoria. In fact, we have seen it pretty much everywhere around the country,” he said.

“So it is not a surprise that that can occur from a quarantined facility. What matters is how you respond in these situations. Just as New South Wales saw many small outbreaks, the ability to get on top of them quickly has been essential to coping that state open and now, as Victoria are opens, it is a very timely reminder here and all around the country, whether you have been behind borders or not, the virus doesn’t care.

“If you are not following COVID-safe behaviours, if you are not following your COVID-safe plan, if you are not appreciating the appropriate stinging, if you are not registering when you are going into a restaurant or something like that anywhere in the country, then of course you are creating risks.

“This is a very timely reminder of this very important fact. Borders don’t protect you from that. When people are moving around, with till have people coming in, returning if overseas in all states and territories.”


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As residents from the Top End, Queensland, NSW and WA flee South Australia in the wake of the Adelaide growing COVID-19 cluster, there’ve been reports of little social distancing or mask use at the city’s airport.

“A lot of flustered and confused passengers,” the ABC’s Chris McLoughlin tweeted, alongside an image of a crowd of people.

No masks and little to no social distancing taking place at @AdelaideAirport right now… we’re in the midst of an outbreak in #SouthAustralia so this is really disappointing to see. https://t.co/y4u5mRYud8

— Stacey Lee (@Staceylee_) November 16, 2020

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Multiple states have called on their residents to return home before changes to their border regulations are imposed.

Pictures: NCA NewsWire/David Mariuz


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NSW Health are contacting anyone who’s recently returned from South Australia, in the wake of the coronavirus cluster in Adelaide.

In a statement, the department said they were getting in touch with passengers on recent flights to both Sydney and Broken Hill to alert them of venues of concern in the South Australian capital.

Picture: NCA NewsWire/Christian Gilles

They’re also screening anyone arriving from SA into NSW via plane or train, “including asking if people have attended any of the venues of concern”.

“Anyone who is travelling to NSW from South Australia, or has recently done so, regardless of their mode of transport, is asked to check if they have attended any of the venues of concern,” the statement read.

“All people travelling from South Australia, particularly Adelaide, to NSW, including recent arrivals, are asked to monitor for even the mildest of symptoms and get tested and isolate if they appear. They must remain in isolation until a negative result is received, in line with routine advice for all people in NSW.”


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South Australians have been asked by the state’s health department to “be prepared for delays” and bring “water and snacks with you” as hundreds of Adelaide locals rush to get tested for COVID-19.

Pictures: Tait Schmaal


Natalie Wolfe

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is speaking in Melbourne at Orygen, a mental health organisation.

Mr Morrison spoke about how heavily the coronavirus pandemic has impacted Australians.

“In just the last four weeks, Lifeline, Kids Helpline and Beyond Blue together answered over 112,000 contacts for help, around a quarter higher than the same time in 2019,” the PM said.

“65,000 Australians attempt suicide each year. Just let that figure sink in. We know that last year 3300 Australians died by suicide. So that is nine Australians each and every day.”

@ScottMorrison MP notes the sobering stats on mental health: In 2018, BEFORE COVID-19, 2.4M Australians aged over 18 experienced high or v high levels of psychological distress. It’s even higher now #mentalhealth

— Orygen (@orygen_aus) November 16, 2020

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PM @ScottMorrisonMP notes that COVID-19 has exposed new vulnerabilities to a range of mental illnesses: year-on-year increase in child and youth contacts for eating disorders, with hospital admissions up 40% in many states #eatingdisorders #youthmentalhealth

— Orygen (@orygen_aus) November 16, 2020

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Natalie Wolfe

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has alluded to further restrictions for South Australians.

Taking to Twitter this afternoon, Mr McGowan said the state’s rapid turn away of South Australians yesterday was “an initial response”.

WA moved swiftly to strengthen our controlled border with South Australia yesterday. This was an initial response. We’re assessing further options based on our expert health advice. I strongly urge anyone about to leave Adelaide for Perth to reconsider their travel. More to come.

— Mark McGowan (@MarkMcGowanMP) November 16, 2020

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Natalie Wolfe

NSW will tomorrow unveil its 2020/21 budget, with the state’s premier and treasurer promising significant funding.

“Our state has been through the wars,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.

“I don’t think it is an underestimation to say that tomorrow’s budget is the most important one delivered in a significant period of time and what is pleasing for us is our budget focuses on jobs, on job security, job creations and jobs growth.”

In a statement, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said tomorrow’s budget would hope to have up to 270,000 people back in jobs by 2024.

We’ll continue to lead the way in job creation and supporting businesses through the 2020-21 Budget, which I’ll deliver tomorrow. #NSWpol #Auspol pic.twitter.com/BJQ09zojuK

— Dom Perrottet (@Dom_Perrottet) November 16, 2020

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Natalie Wolfe

Adelaide is now facing the same battle Sydney has been stuck with after Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young confirmed the South Australian capital would need 28 days of no local cases to lose its hotspot classification.

Dr Young said Adelaide’s hotspot declaration would come into effect from 11.59pm tonight.

“Anyone who comes into Queensland who has been in that part of South Australia since Monday of last week will need to go into hotel quarantine for 14 days. I am also asking that anyone who has arrived in Queensland who has been in Adelaide since Monday of last week to immediately come forward and get themselves tested and go into quarantine wherever they are,” Dr Young said.

“So if they’re in their home here in Queensland because they’re returning residents, or if they’re visiting, or if they’re on holidays, that they isolate away from other people until it’s been 14 days since they left Adelaide.

“Now, this is important while we work out what this means. It’s a very rapid increase in cases from four to 17 and some of those cases, I understand, have been in complex situations.

“One in a prison, for instance. There’s been a school involved. So we need to get more information about where the risks are. But that’s the situation that’s happening now, so it’s really important that people who are currently in Adelaide know that if they’re coming into Queensland, that they’ll be going into quarantine for 14 days .”

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