Wastewater testing in South Australia has returned evidence of coronavirus at two treatment plants.
- Coronavirus testing has come up with two positive results in SA wastewater
- A woman travelling with family from Victoria has tested positive
- Allowing more attendees at funerals welcomed
SA Health said one positive sample came back at Bolivar, which has a catchment of 700,000 properties, including the Adelaide CBD, where patients with the virus have been housed in hotels.
A second positive was delivered at Angaston in the Barossa Valley, which serves about 2,000 properties.
“This is really a reminder that COVID hasn’t disappeared from our state,” South Australia’s Chief Public Health Officer, Nicola Spurrier, said.
Woman and cousins flew in without approval
One new case in South Australia has been confirmed in a woman in her 20s — a Victorian resident who was transiting through Adelaide Airport to Alice Springs, but now remains in South Australia.
She arrived with four cousins aged 10 to 17 on a Jetstar flight from Melbourne on Thursday.
“We were not expecting this person to be coming into South Australia and in fact our normal procedure would have been to book a flight and send her back to Victoria,” Professor Spurrier said.
“But given she had four young people with her, we elected to put her in a medi-hotel here in South Australia and she tested positive.”
With few flights from Adelaide to Melbourne, the family would have had to be put into hotel quarantine for some time anyway, Professor Spurrier said.
She said they did not have approval to fly into South Australia but there was nothing stopping people leaving Victoria.
“We are hoping people in Victoria appreciate they can’t hop on a flight to South Australia and just transit through,” she said.
It is the first case in South Australia in 12 days, bringing the total to 464.
Premier Steven Marshall announced there were no active cases on Wednesday.
More wastewater testing
Wastewater testing is also being conducted at SA Water’s Christies Beach, Glenelg, Port Lincoln and Mount Gambier sewage treatment plants.
Testing will be stepped up at Bolivar and Angaston in the hope of determining the cause of the positive results.
Angaston is on the Sturt Highway freight route and was subject to an early lockdown when cases appeared in the Barossa Valley in March.
Professor Spurrier said wastewater was also being tested in three communities in the remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, with another three soon to be added to the program.
She urged South Australians to get a test at the first sign of symptoms, with daily tests in the state down from 7,000 after the Thebarton cluster was announced to 3,000 now.
Australian Medical Association state president Chris Moy said the easing of restrictions was not an excuse to become relaxed about the threat of the virus.
“Because unfortunately a lot of the problems will arise again if we let go of physical distancing [or] start turning up when we’re sick — if we don’t get tested, there is a big difference,” Dr Moy said.
Restrictions relaxations welcomed
From Saturday, up to 150 people can now attend weddings and funerals, with 15,000 punters allowed at next week’s AFL match at Adelaide Oval.
People are also being encouraged to return to workplaces and offices if they can.
Funeral celebrant Sharon Muscet said the increase to 150 people at funeral services was giving families some relief.
“Having said that, it’s still difficult for some families to cap it at 150.”
Premier Steven Marshall said more relaxed border restrictions could also be on the way for NSW and the ACT if case numbers remained stable.
“What we would like to see … is a period of time where there is no community transmission,” he said.
“We’re thinking that should be around 14 days [but] we note that some other jurisdictions are talking about 28 days; we think that we can manage it if we get to around 14 days.”
About 200 people rallied in Adelaide to protest against government coronavirus restrictions, a possible vaccine and privacy breaches.
The peaceful protest started in Rundle Park and from East Terrace along North Terrace to South Australia’s Parliament House.