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Virus rules ease in SA’s southeast

Virus rules ease in SA’s southeast

Another truckie has tested positive for COVID-19 in South Australia, with officials identifying five potential exposure sites.

SA Health says the man in his 60s, who lives in Adelaide, tested positive at a checkpoint at Yamba on Thursday night as he crossed into SA from NSW.

Early Newspaper

It’s believed he’s in the early infectious period as he tested negative in NSW earlier the same day.

The man has been transferred to hotel quarantine in Adelaide while a handful of close contacts, who live in the same share house, have also gone into isolation and will be tested.

Officials have identified four tier-three exposure sites including two country petrol stations as well as a laundromat and a supermarket in Adelaide’s north.

Anyone who attended at those locations during specific times on Thursday and Friday has been asked to get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result. They must then get tested again on days five and 14.

A petrol station at suburban Elizabeth has also been identified as a tier-four site, with people who went there at two different times on Friday asked to monitor for symptoms.

Close to a dozen virus infections in South Australia in recent weeks have involved truck drivers.

But Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the movement of freight in and out of the state remained an important service.

“The freight industry has worked very closely with us to try to reduce public exposures,” she said.

“But people who do live in our state need to be able to carry out their lives.”

Despite the new case, tougher COVID-19 restrictions in South Australia’s southeast were lifted on Friday after fears eased over a local infection.

The state’s transition committee agreed to lift the measures imposed earlier this week, which also cut the size of the travel bubble for cross-border communities.

After being reduced to 30 kilometres on each side of the border, that has now been reinstated at the previous level of 70 kilometres.

However, Police Commissioner Grant Stevens says the new arrangements excluded the town of Portland in Victoria, where there had been evidence of COVID-19 in wastewater testing.

The tougher measures for Mt Gambier and surrounding districts were imposed when a local woman tested positive for the virus earlier this week after spending time in Victoria.

She was transferred to Adelaide along with her four children, who have all continued to test negative.

Mr Stevens said all the woman’s close and casual contacts who were placed in quarantine had also tested negative.

“These are all very positive signs. There is no evidence of COVID-19 in the wastewater testing for the concerned areas,” he told reporters on Friday.

“There’s no further evidence of any community transmission.”

Mr Stevens said the outcome was a further example of South Australia’s good work in responding to and managing coronavirus outbreaks.

At the same time, he said the state had to “acknowledge our good luck”.

“I’d like to say South Australia has been well prepared to deal with COVID-19 incursions,” the commissioner said.

“But there’s no getting away from the fact that we’ve been extremely lucky as well.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to get on top of positive cases very early in the piece.”

Virus rules ease in SA’s southeast