Australia

South Australia to enter a seven-day lockdown as COVID-19 cluster grows to five

South Australia will move into a full seven-day lockdown on Tuesday evening after a cluster of COVID-19 cases grew to five.

The fifth case is someone who dined at a restaurant in Adelaide where previously infected people were also present on Saturday night.

The lockdown rules will come into effect from 6pm with South Australians only allowed out for five reasons.

Mr Marshall said it had also been confirmed the current cases involved the Delta variant of the disease.

“We hate putting these restrictions in place but we have one chance to get this right,” the premier said.

“We are moving as quickly as we can to slow and stop the spread of this cluster.

“We know these restrictions will take a heavy toll. But we’ve always had a situation where we go hard and we go early in South Australia.

“We’ve got to stop movement around this state and we’ve got to stop it immediately.”

South Australians will only be allowed out of their homes for essential care, essential work, the purchase of foods and essential goods, for medical reasons and for limited exercise.

As the number of cases and exposure sites continued to grow, authorities said more testing sites would open with the first of those a drive-through facility at Ridgehaven, in Adelaide’s northeast.

SA Pathology boss Tom Dodd said as many resources as possible were being dedicated to testing, including a new drive-through site at Ridgehaven in SA’s northern suburbs.

He also thanked people who queued for hours for testing, including many who were forced to sleep in their cars overnight.

“It’s inevitable whenever there is a case identified there will be a huge increase in testing,” he said.

“We don’t want people to queue for an inordinate amount of time, so we thank people for their patience.”

The outbreak has plunged thousands of people into quarantine with the list of more than a dozen exposure sites including at least four major shopping centres in Adelaide’s north and northeastern suburbs.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the number of sites would increase on Tuesday as she urged everyone, especially those in isolation, to stay home.

“The virus doesn’t have legs, it moves around when people move around,” she said.

“So if people stay put we will able to get on top of it.”

Professor Spurrier said contact tracing was underway in regard to the fifth positive case which was confirmed early on Tuesday morning.

She said the situation was currently more dangerous than when SA had an outbreak of cases known as the Parafield cluster in November last year.

“It’s a very dynamic situation,” she said.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the number of sites would increase on Tuesday as she urged everyone to stay home.

AAP

The SA cluster began with an 81-year-old man who entered the country from Argentina, his daughter and another two men.

As the number of cases and exposure sites continued to grow, the premier said more testing sites would open in Adelaide.

The outbreak has plunged thousands of people into quarantine with the list of more than a dozen exposure sites including at least four major shopping centres in Adelaide’s north and northeastern suburbs.

The elderly man had returned to Australia via NSW, where he spent 14 days in quarantine.

He returned to SA on 8 July and presented to a suburban hospital over the weekend after developing symptoms.

Business SA Chief Executive Martin Haese said the new restrictions were another blow to the already struggling hospitality, events, tourism and retail sectors.

“We hope there will be no extension to the restrictions beyond Friday.”

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