Level 4 restrictions announced for South Australia as authorities confirm another COVID-19 case in Adelaide

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South Australia’s cluster of coronavirus cases has grown to three as the state prepares for tough new restrictions in a bid to contain the latest outbreak.

An 81-year-old man and two of his close contacts, a man and a woman in their 50s, have tested positive for the virus.

The woman is known to be the elderly man’s daughter.

Five other tests of the man’s family members have come back negative.

It’s feared the 81-year-old was infectious in the community for as long as five days.

SA Premier Steven Marshall announced a series of new restrictions at a press conference on Monday afternoon.

Enhanced state-wide restrictions begin from midnight Monday and will be reviewed on Friday, Marshall said.

Level 4 restrictions

Whilst avoiding lockdown for the moment, South Australia will return to level four public activity, meaning all non-essential retail will close.

The four-square-metre rule will return, with seated food and beverage consumption and outdoor dining only.

Masks will need to be worn inside – in all public places – and on public transport, and outside where social distancing is not possible.

Indoor fitness venues will be closed as will all personal care services such as nail salons, hairdressers, and beauty spas.

People are also urged to work from home if possible.

No team or club sport will be allowed and a maximum of 10 people will be allowed to attend private gatherings.

Schools will remain open.

SA Premier Steven Marshall. Credit: AAP

‘Very concerned’

“We’ve only got one chance to get this right,” Marshall said.

“We are very concerned. We are treating this as the Delta variant. We are going to go hard and go early.”

An initial list of exposure sites has been released by SA Health but as contact tracing gets underway for the new case that list is expected to expand.

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Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier said close contacts of the new COVID case would be interviewed and tested before a decision on lockdown was made.

Genomic sequencing results will be available on Tuesday but Spurrier said she expected the new case would be confirmed as the Delta variant.

South Australian Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier.
South Australian Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier. Credit: Kelly Barnes/Getty Images

The 81-year-old male who returned a positive test is currently in the COVID ward at Royal Adelaide Hospital.

His daughter has been taken to the Tom’s Court Hotel, which is used to quarantine all positive COVID-19 cases.

‘People will struggle’

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said while SA was not moving to a full lockdown, the restrictions were significant.

“We know there are people who will struggle as a result of these changes. But the consequences of not taking action could be even more severe,” he said.

“The intent here is to dramatically suppress all discretionary activity in the community.”

Authorities said earlier that the 81-year-old man had returned to Australia from Argentina through NSW, where he spent 14 days in quarantine.

He spent a further 10 days in hospital in NSW after suffering a fall before returning to SA on July 8, and presented to Modbury Hospital on the weekend after developing symptoms.

A general view of Modbury Hospital in Adelaide’s north-east.
A general view of Modbury Hospital in Adelaide’s north-east. Credit: Google

Source of infection

“We don’t draw any conclusions as to where this infection came from,” Marshall said.

“We simply don’t know and it is very early days.

“Our primary concern at the moment is putting everyone who may have come into contact with this person into quarantine as soon as possible.”

– with AAP

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