Two South Australians are in intensive care at the Royal Adelaide Hospital after becoming critically ill with coronavirus, SA Health says.
- Two people with coronavirus are in intensive care in South Australia
- A special hotel will be created for healthcare workers
- A man and a woman have been arrested at a border roadblock in an allegedly stolen car
The state’s chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier said this was a new development from yesterday, when SA Health announced the total number of positive cases in South Australia had reached 170.
“We have people now admitted who are critically ill so it is so important that if you’ve been asked to stay in quarantine, if you’ve been made aware your business needs to close because of this problem, you must have that courage to close the business,” Dr Spurrier said.
Yesterday, Dr Spurrier said South Australia may have had its first recorded community transmission of coronavirus.
All the others have been traced to direct contact with a known carrier or have recently been overseas.
Premier Steven Marshall said there was no reason for panic.
“If we do have widespread community transmission, then that would be worrying,” he said.
“We’ve always said there is likely to be community transmission — there is in just about every other jurisdiction in Australia.
“We now have 170 confirmed cases, many of those people are through this disease, they’ve been discharged from isolation.”
Lyndoch Hill Winery, in South Australia’s Barossa Valley wine region, also confirmed that two of its staff had tested positive to COVID-19 after a “small cluster” of cases were linked to the vineyard yesterday.
“Both employees are generally in good health and are currently self-isolating, as is the advice from SA Health,” a statement from Lyndoch Hill’s owners Mark and Mandy Creed said.
“SA Health have enacted their ‘contract tracing’ protocol to identify potential risks to staff, customers or guests.
“The health and safety of our staff, our suppliers and clients is our absolute priority and we will continue to receive guidance from SA Health on the protocols, over and above the precautionary procedures that were already implemented.”
Marshall Facebook presser
Special hotel for healthcare workers
The State Government has put out expressions of interest for a “Health Heroes’ Hotel” to host doctors, nurses, paramedics and other healthcare workers when the pandemic is at its peak.
“What this hotel will do is allow those people on the frontline who are looking after our patients to have peace of mind and instead of going home to their families stay in a hotel,” Mr Marshall said.
“Some of them are quite anxious about whether they will spread it to other family members.
“They might have someone living at home whose has fragile health.
“They want to be able to distance themselves.”
Unley High School yesterday announced it was moving learning online for the remainder of the term after a student and teacher tested positive and 110 children were put into isolation.
Mr Marshall said he stood by his decision to keep schools open, despite Victoria sending its students on holiday early.
“The advice is still crystal clear, that although there is a risk associated with everything we do, there is an increased risk if we have 277,000 South Australian students roaming the streets,” he said.
“They’ll be much more likely to pick it up and much more likely to spread the disease.”
Opposition health spokesman Chris Picton said the Premier should further explain his position that schools should stay open.
“He’s saying that sending your children to school reduces the risk of the spread, he’s saying that it will save hundreds of lives,” Mr Picton said.
“Well, that doesn’t seem to be the advice that other countries are relying on, so it’s really important I think that Premier Marshall explain why he’s made this decision.”
People rush to airport for last flights
At Adelaide Airport, people tried to get the last flights out of the country before the international travel ban comes into place at midnight.
Shearers Cheyenne Young and Savahn Taitoko have cut their working trip short to get back home.
“We were supposed to be here for at least another month or so but with all this we just wanted to come home as soon as we could,” Ms Young said.
“It was a quick decision really, just booked the flight and on the bus the next day.”
Ms Taitoko said Ms Young’s health was a factor in their decision.
“Her asthma’s quite bad so I didn’t want to be stuck over here with her family over in New Zealand, so just wanted to get home to her family so they could look after her if things got to that point,” she said.
It was a more difficult decision for couple Jordan Walker and Drew Martin.
They’ve been in Adelaide to work on arts festivals, but Ms Martin is an Australian citizen, while Ms Walker is from New Zealand.
“It’s stressful thinking we wouldn’t be able to be together because we’re engaged so kind of feeling a bit split between two countries at the moment a bit trapped, but relieved now that we get to go back,” Ms Walker said.
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Changes for liquor laws and councils
Businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak will be able to sell takeaway liquor under temporary arrangements announced today by the South Australian Government.
Existing liquor licence holders selling takeaway food will be able to sell two bottles of wine or one bottle of wine and a six-pack of beer, cider or pre-mixed spirits with any sale.
The change will also extend to community clubs.
Labor called for the move this morning.
South Australia’s local councils will soon be allowed to hold meetings electronically, due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Some council meetings have been cancelled, some have been held with desks far apart and others have suffered from low attendance.
Local Government Minister Stephan Knoll told State Parliament the usually-required face-to-face meetings would become more difficult as health concerns intensify.
He said it was important local council continue to do their job providing essential services.
“This bill is made before members for one reason to enable councils to continue to operate effectively and continue to make critical decisions during times of public health emergency,” he said.
Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak
Grain growers to be tested
Up to 200 farmers on the Eyre Peninsula are being told to go into quarantine, after coming into contact with Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick, who was diagnosed with COVID–19 on Monday.
They attended a meeting in Cummins last week.
Dr Spurrier said all meeting attendees should go into quarantine and get tested if they feel unwell.
“All attendees at that meeting are classified as close contacts and we are recommending quarantine for 14 days from date of exposure,” she said.
“Most importantly from our perspective if they need to get tested, they need to do that now.”
Those being tested and in quarantine include staff from the ABC in Port Lincoln.