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Tasmania, NT close borders to SA

South Australians have been urged to stay on high alert after 13 locations were marked as possible venues of transmission. SA’s cluster, which was first announced on Sunday, had spiked to 17 cases as of Monday morning.The outbreak at Parafield in Adelaide’s northern suburbs was revealed after a woman in her 80s was diagnosed after…

South Australians have been urged to stay on high alert after 13 locations were marked as possible venues of transmission.

SA’s cluster, which was first announced on Sunday, had spiked to 17 cases as of Monday morning.

The outbreak at Parafield in Adelaide’s northern suburbs was revealed after a woman in her 80s was diagnosed after attending Adelaide Lyell McEwin Hospital emergency department.

Two of the woman’s family members, a female in her 50s and a man in his 60s, also tested positive for the deadly virus with four other family members displaying symptoms.

The large family has members working in high-risk medi-hotels, aged care, health care and a major prison.

SA Health’s Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier told FIVEaa radio on Monday morning that the number of coronavirus cases linked to the outbreak had risen to 17.

Of that total, 15 are family members of the initially-diagnosed case while the other two are linked to the cluster.

Two of the 17 cases have been taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital because of their age while the rest are quarantining in hotel facilities.

Professor Spurrier said it was “very clear” the cluster was connected to the CBD medi-hotel.

“We haven’t got the genomics yet, but I’m absolutely certain it has come from a medi-hotel,” she said.

“We will be putting together a more comprehensive list of the areas we’re concerned about … but if anybody even has the most mildest of symptoms, you must get tested the day of those symptoms.”

The last time SA recorded community transmission was in April.

A Hungry Jack’s restaurant at Port Adelaide, the Mawson Lakes primary and preschool, Thomas More College at Salisbury Downs, Parafield Plaza supermarket and an aged care facility — that has not yet been named — have now closed.

The Health Department said it was in the process of contacting everyone who was in the Emergency Department at Lyell McEwin Hospital between 5:30pm November 13 and 4am November 14 who may have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

Anyone who attended the hospital during those times and had not been contacted by SA Health are asked to self-quarantine immediately and call the SA COVID-19 Information line 1800 253 787.

They have also issued an alert for anyone who visited one of the following 13 locations to monitor for symptoms and immediately get tested if they appear.

  • Bus 500 from Salisbury Bus Interchange from November 9 to 13 between 6.30am – 7.40am
  • Bus 502 from Internode Adelaide bus stop on Grenfell Street on November 9 from 10.30am – 11.30am, November 12 from 4.30pm – 5.30pm and November 13 from 4.15pm – 5.30pm
  • Bus (GA1/GA2/GA3) from bus stop near train station on November 7 and 10 from 5.30pm – 6.30pm
  • Bus 411 from Salisbury Bus Interchange on November 9 from 11.30am – 11.45am
  • Salisbury Bus Interchange on November 7 from 6.30pm and November 9 from 11.30am – 12.00pm
  • Elizabeth Shopping Centre, including the Harris Scarfe store, on November 8 from 11.00am – 12.30pm
  • Woolworths at Hollywood Plaza on November 13 from 10.00am – 12.00pm and November 14 from 10.00am – 11.00am
  • The Aquadome at Elizabeth on November 14 from 11.00am – 1.30pm
  • Hungry Jacks at Port Adelaide on November 13 from 7.30pm – 12.00am and November 14 from 12.00am – 2.30am
  • Mantra on Frome on November 12 from 7.30am – 4.00pm and on November 13 from 7.40am – 3.45pm
  • Fruit Barn Fruit Shop, Salisbury Fruit Barn on November 13 from 10.00am – 10.15pm
  • Ekam Indian Groceries, Enfield Plaza on November 13 from 1.30pm – 4.30pm
  • Parafield Plaza Supermarket on November 12 from 10.30am – 11.30am

It comes as the Northern Territory and Tasmania announced on Monday they have closed their borders to the state.

SA residents who wish to enter those jurisdictions will now need to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also offered to make the army available to SA.

Prior to the border changes being announced, Premier Steven Marshall said other Australian jurisdictions needed to make their own decisions if they wanted to close their borders to SA.

“They need to make their own decision with regards to that (data that is shared from the state) but what they will get from SA is very transparent information provided to them as quickly as we possibly can so they can make their decisions,” he told ABC Radio.

“I’ve spoken with the Prime Minister the morning and we are looking at the flow of aircraft with those Australians coming back over the next couple of days because it’s possible we will need to take more of our hotel quarantine capacity to cope with this cluster so we won‘t be able to dedicate as many of those rooms to people coming from overseas.

“The ABF understand that but we‘re working through those issues at the moment.”

He said there had been “extremely high levels” of co-operation from everyone that SA Health contact tracers have contacted so far.

“We need to do everything we possibly can to get on top of this within the next 24-48 hours.”

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said it was “completely understandable” that other jurisdictions were closely watching the state to see how it responded to the outbreak.

He told ABC Radio on Monday morning that SA authorities would do as much as they could to give people advanced notice of a change of restrictions — if necessary — in order to prepare.

“We’re trying to lock this cluster down,” he said.

“Unfortunately, depending on how significant this spread is, we could be talking about quite wide restrictions we saw back in March-April but that’s worst case scenario and it’s not a decision we have to make right now but we do need to think about what the possibilities are.

“The possibility of an infection spreading from a medi-hotel has always been there and with the more people that come in with the infection, the greater the risk.”

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said he had received advice that SA’s contact tracing system was strong.

“We are standing up the National Incident Centre contact tracing capability to assist SA,” he told ABC Breakfast.

“If South Australia requires the Australian Defence Force, then the Prime Minister has offered to make them available.

“If more is required, more will be provided.”

The West Australian government is now requiring all visitors from SA to quarantine for 14 days after opening its border on Saturday.

However, Mr Hunt said there was no advice from Australia’s acting Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, that any state and territory should not to be open to another at this time.

Senior SA Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham said WA made the call a “little bit early”.

“What we need to do is make sure that SA’s response is comprehensive in terms of how quickly they move to isolate people and to date we do know they have isolated large numbers of people,” Senator Birmingham told Today.

“I’m certain there will be, yes, more cases and more isolations to come but that doesn’t mean it spirals out of control like Victoria.

“We want a NSW-type response here where it is absolutely isolated and quarantined as quickly as possible.”

For more information, contact the SA Health COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787, or go to their website.

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