COVID-19 SA: Two medi-hotel cases linked to local cluster

Two new coronavirus cases have been linked to the pizza shop cluster.

Two cases of coronavirus in have been linked to South Australia’s Parafield cluster, sparking an investigation into how they contracted the virus while staying at a CBD medi-hotel.

SA Health said on Tuesday afternoon testing had been undertaken on two cases that had previously been identified as overseas-acquired infections.

It can now be revealed the pair have the same strain of the virus as the patients in the Parafield cluster, bringing the total number of people infected to 29.

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They are staying at the Peppers Waymouth medi-hotel, which was involved in the outbreak that led to the brief statewide shutdown last week.

“There is no additional risk to the public as the cases are linked to a medi-hotel staff member who has previously tested positive for COVID-19, and contact tracing has previously been undertaken,” SA Health said in a statement.

“As a precaution, we are undertaking additional testing at one of our medi-hotels for all staff and guests today.”

One of the two cases had been announced earlier in the day as the state’s only new coronavirus infection.

Chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier said the man, who is in his 20s, was a close contact of a previously confirmed overseas arrival, and remains in a medi-hotel.

She said the state was another step closer to busting its COVID-19 cluster, but warned the public to remain cautious.

“I haven’t popped the cork on the champagne bottle yet but it is on ice,” she said.

“We haven’t finished the job yet and every South Australian has their part to play.

“I’d like to see how we go this week, to see the testing numbers go up. As we’ve said with previous clusters, we’d like to see two full incubation cycles so we have a bit of a way to go but I’m feeling quietly confident … we can get back to where our restrictions were.”

SA has recorded one new COVID-19 case on Tuesday.
SA has recorded one new COVID-19 case on Tuesday.

There were 6822 tests done on Monday, which Dr Spurrier said was “a little bit of a drop” compared to last week’s numbers.

More than 670,000 tests have so far been conducted statewide.

“Even if you think it’s not COVID, I want you to get yourself to a COVID testing site and get tested regardless of where you are in the state,” she said.

“Anybody who has any symptoms whatsoever or feeling not quite yourself, go and get tested.”

She also urged people to continue wearing masks in places they could not physically distance, like on public transport and in shops and shopping centres.

“There are really nice ones on the market … and when people are going out in public, have one ready in your back pocket.

“I’m sure the people serving in the shops will be most grateful that you’re wearing one.”

Professor Nicola Spurrier said she wanted more people to get tested. Picture: David Mariuz/Getty Images
Professor Nicola Spurrier said she wanted more people to get tested. Picture: David Mariuz/Getty Images

Premier Steven Marshall said the state was in a good position to stare down the second wave.

“This could have been a potentially catastrophic situation in SA but the swift and decisive actions taken following that unequivocal health advice has put us in a very good position,” he said.

“I want to thank every single South Australian for playing their role in making sure that we didn’t have this second wave.”

The new infection is not linked to the Parafield cluster, which has 27 infections connected.

It brings the state’s total number of cases to 557 with 39 considered active.

More than 4000 people are still quarantining.

The man in his 30s who was previously hospitalised has been released.

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