National

SA 'not out of the woods yet' as lockdown lift approaches

SA 'not out of the woods yet' as lockdown lift approaches
In just a matter of hours, South Australia will end a major lockdown brought about three days ago by one person's contact tracing lie.
But the state is "not out of the woods yet" the premier has said, with fresh cases still coming to light.
The state recorded one new case of COVID-19, bringing the total number of active cases in the state to 37.
The case is a close contact of previous case and is in quarantine, posing "no risk" to the community, SA's Chief Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier said.
There are now 26 cases linked to the Parafield cluster in Adelaide.
The news comes after revelations yesterday over a restaurant worker who lied about their source of infection which sent the state into swift lockdown.
Mr Marshall said an ongoing investigation into the case has revealed more instances of people issuing "false and misleading information" to contact tracers.
"It would seem there are multiple issues for investigation, including who has provided false and misleading information to our communicable diseases control branch as part of that important contact tracing," he said.
More than 19,000 people came forward to be tested yesterday around the state - roughly six times the average number of tests being conducted in previous weeks.
"This is an extraordinary response and for that I am very grateful. I can also say that we have looked at those results and we still have no examples of community transmission in South Australia, in fact all of the cases we have identified, we can trace back to their origin," Mr Marshall said.
There have now been more than 5400 close contacts identified to the cluster in Adelaide with Professor Spurrier saying more positive cases are to be expected.
At least 40 close contacts of the Parafield cluster are yet to be contacted by health authorities.

How the outbreak started

Professor Spurrier provided a detailed explanation of how the state's outbreak began.
She revealed a young doctor heard a cough and decided to conduct a swab which returned a positive result.
This initial case was linked to a medi-hotel in Adelaide, sparking a testing blitz across several hotels in the city.
The blitz revealed a connection to the Stamford hotel, Professor Spurrier said.
It was this connection that sparked the state's immediate lockdown.
South Australian Chief Medical Officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier, is among 16 people nominated for South Australia's Australian of the Year awards for 2021. (Getty)
"Our initial information was that this was somebody getting a pizza, and that meant that there were lots of other people in Adelaide who would have got pizza from that pizza bar and there was a long infectious time of about 10 days that we were concerned about," Professor Spurrier said.
"So putting all of those pieces of information together, it was very complicated but we had an opportunity here in SA to stamp this out and not go on and have community transmission that would be longer term shutdowns and also potentially border controls from other states."

Pizza worker 'straw that broke the camel's back'

Professor Spurrier said the decision to lock down the state was not based solely on the interview with the pizza restaurant worker.
"We would never make those decisions in isolation of just one piece of information, it is very complex," she said.
The state's Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said had the pizza worker been honest about the source of his infection, the lockdown may not have been instituted.
Police outside the Woodville Pizza Bar after it was announced the a worker from the shop lied to authorities during a COVID investigation, causing South Australia to go into lock down on November 20, 2020 in Adelaide, Australia. (Getty)
"It is fair to say that had this person been more upfront with us we would not have instituted a six-day lockdown but as the Professor has explained, this is the straw that the camel's back.
"This is the one element that pushed us from the level of restrictions we were implementing on Tuesday to a much harsher regime."

Lockdown to lift at midnight

The state's harsh lockdown will be lifted as of midnight tonight however anyone in quarantine must remain in quarantine until their two weeks is up.
Community sports will not be able to commence however school sports will resume as of midnight.
Working from home is still "encouraged" for the next 8- 10 days.
Construction and elective surgery will also commence as of midnight.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall announces a 6 day lockdown for South Australia during the COVID-19 update on November 18, 2020 in Adelaide, Australia. (Getty)
Swimming classes, dance classes, and indoor fitness will also be able to continue once restrictions ease.
Mr Marshall said the government was not considering compensation for businesses who may have lost money as a result of the lockdown.
"Compensation is not something we are contemplating at this time," he said.
More to come.