New SA COVID-19 case prompts concern

Nicola Spurrier still expects SA to ease border restrictions with NSW and Victoria by Christmas.
Nicola Spurrier still expects SA to ease border restrictions with NSW and Victoria by Christmas.

A fly-in, fly-out mine worker from Victoria is the latest positive COVID-19 case to cause concern in South Australia, prompting a number of new exposure sites.

The woman, in her 30s, flew into Adelaide on Sunday evening, was tested at the airport and then went by taxi to a city hotel.

Given her test result, she was considered highly infectious at the time, prompting SA Health to declare the hotel and the Jetstar flight JQ778 from Melbourne to be tier-one exposure sites.

The taxi driver who picked her up at the airport has also been forced into isolation for 14 days.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said anyone on the flight, including the crew, would be contacted, but should already be in home quarantine after coming from Victoria.

She said officials would also look at CCTV footage in the airport and hotel to identify any other potential issues.

A second COVID-19 case has also been reported in a co-driver of an interstate truckie who tested positive last week.

Professor Spurrier said it was not surprising the second driver had now contracted the virus.

But she said it had also emerged that the first driver had travelled through SA on an earlier occasion in late September when he would have been infectious, prompting new exposures sites in the SA Riverland.

Despite the new infections, Prof Spurrier reiterated earlier comments that South Australia still expected to ease border restrictions with NSW and Victoria in time for Christmas and that would likely mean more virus cases.

However, she said some restrictions and border arrangements could remain in place, depending on the level of disease in those states.

"We are going to be opening the border in such a way that we will be getting some people with the disease here," Prof Spurrier said.

"We will have arrangements for people who are double vaccinated to come into our state.

"But some of those people may need to be tested, some of those people may need to be doing symptom checks and some of those people may, indeed, need to be doing quarantine."

SA currently has nine active infections, including seven acquired interstate and two acquired overseas.

Australian Associated Press