A tracing operation is underway as 70 people go under strict police guard after a new SA coronavirus case was linked to a cluster, with over 1000 to isolate.
A tracing operation is underway as 70 people go under strict police guard after a new SA coronavirus case was linked to a cluster, with over 1000 to isolate.

70 quarantined after new case sparks major search

A new COVID-19 case has sparked a major isolation and tracing operation in Adelaide with about 70 people being put into quarantine in the Pullman Hotel in the city under strict police guard.

The latest case - a woman in her 20s - is linked to a cluster that stemmed from another woman in her 20s who visited Thebarton Senior College and Roma Mitchell Secondary College while sick, and infected a friend who visited several northern Adelaide businesses.

A massive effort is now underway to track all close contacts of people involved to isolate and test them in a bid to prevent a repeat of the Victorian health disaster.

About 1100 staff and students have been ordered to self-isolate and Thebarton Senior College will be closed for cleaning. People to arrive on Friday for school or work will be turned away.

It comes as South Australia's record-breaking COVID testing will be turbo charged by a 'panther' capable of processing 800 tests a day.

The new Canadian-made Panther machine at the Royal Adelaide Hospital is similar to ones already in use for sexually transmitted disease testing but has been re-purposed to test for coronavirus.

Testing - seen as crucial to stop the disease - has hit new records this week, topping more than 6000 tests on Wednesday. This included more than 900 on the first day of the new drive-through clinic at Victoria Park.

A new seven day drive-through clinic opened on Thursday at Aldinga.

Neither require a GP referral. Drive-through clinics at Hampstead and the Repat soon also will not require a GPs referral, officials say. A temporary clinic was to open at Thebarton Secondary College for students and staff but the school is now closed.

 

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Premier Steven Marshall praised the public for responding to calls by health officials to get tested if they have even minor respiratory symptoms, noting when the pandemic hit SA Pathology was aiming for 500 tests a day.

"Now we are doing in excess of 5000," he said.

With the state transition committee and National Cabinet due to meet on Friday Mr Marshall urged the public to remain vigilant.

He said the government would "increase restrictions commensurate with risk" but not impose them for longer than necessary. New SA Health rules now restrict patients in hospital emergency departments and at outpatient clinics to one visitor per day.

 

 

 

MORE TO COME.

Chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier with health minister Stephen Wade and police commissioner Grant Stevens at the testing station at the SA Border checkpoint on the Princes Highway near Mount Gambier. Picture: Gretel Sneath
Chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier with health minister Stephen Wade and police commissioner Grant Stevens at the testing station at the SA Border checkpoint on the Princes Highway near Mount Gambier. Picture: Gretel Sneath

Originally published as 70 quarantined after new case sparks major search



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