Police Commissioner Grant Stevens has issued a “harsh warning” to the people of SA as he announced new border rules for Victorians and truck drivers from midnight.
Mr Stevens said it was critical for South Australians to do the right thing because authorities were actively considering harsher restrictions.
“This is a harsh warning to the people of South Australia. I need people to understand just how serious this is and how close we are to imposing further restrictions,” he said.
Mr Stevens said there were 25 QR code check-ins at the Tailem Bend Shell service station exposure site but 76 credit card transactions during the period of concern.
So far 118 close contacts of the infected removalists who visited our state have been identified.
He said from midnight Wednesday, Victorian travellers would be subject to Level 1 restrictions that required them to submit to Covid tests with 24 hours of arriving in SA, while staying away from high-risk sites such as aged care homes until they received a negative result.
Freight drivers would also be required to produce evidence of negative Covid tests from the 48 hours prior to their arrival, or submit to new tests within 24 hours.
Mr Stevens said a positive case in Victoria at the Geelong versus Carlton game at the MCG was also of concern.
He said any South Australians at the game should seek Covid tests, isolate and contact SA Health for instructions.
POSSIBLE THIRD EXPOSURE SITE MYSTERY
Earlier, SA Health was investigating a possible third exposure site in South Australia, visited by two Covid-positive removalists who stopped somewhere on their way to McLaren Vale from Victoria.
Deputy public health officer Emily Kirkpatrick on Wednesday said authorities were working to determine if there was a third exposure site as it was believed the removalists stopped somewhere on their way from Victoria to South Australia.
“We know they have made a stop en route into McLaren Vale,” Ms Kirkpatrick said.
“All the information is pointing to this not being Tailem Bend.
“We know it was in the early hours of Friday morning, we don’t have specific times of when that stop occurred.
“It has been a very difficult process piecing together where these particular removalists have been.
“In these particular circumstances, QR codes were not used which makes it difficult for us to quickly trace and contact people.
“Now, it may end up being that this particular site where they have stopped, there may not be any exposure risk to the South Australian community.”
On Tuesday the Shell service station and adjacent Coolabah Tree Cafe were named as “high risk” exposure sites after it was discovered the removalists stopped there between 5.20pm and 7pm on Friday July 9.
The removalists had travelled into SA from Victoria to relocate a family moving to McLaren Vale from Western Sydney.
The crew spent five hours with the family but no members of the family are showing symptoms and all have so far tested negative.
It comes as Victoria records seven new cases on Wednesday – four of those from the Ariele Apartment complex in Maribyrnong, which was visited by the infected NSW removalists on July 8 before they came to SA.
Authorities revealed one of two workers at the service station were experiencing symptoms but today, Premier Steven Marshall said both workers and all members of their households had tested negative to the virus.
“All of the close contacts there have now returned their tests and we’re all breathing a sigh of relief, they are negative,” Mr Marshall said.
He said those people would remain in quarantine for 14 days and SA was “not out of the woods yet”.
“Overnight, all of those tests came back negative. We do know though that the incubation period for this disease can be up to or even longer than 14 days.”
Those who visited the service station and cafe between 5.20pm and 7pm on July 9, including bathrooms, must immediately isolate for a fortnight from that time and have mandatory testing on days one, five and day 13.
QR code data revealed that more than 30 people had checked into the service station and cafe during the potential exposure period but on Tuesday but authorities on asked anyone who visited the site, but did not check in, to come forward.
As a result of that call, 16 people have contacted SA Health to say they’d been at the Tailem Bend site while at least 60 are being risk assessed. All are in quarantine.
Today’s developments come as the NSW crisis worsens, with 97 new cases of Covid-19 as an extension to greater Sydney’s lockdown looms.
While the crew was at the sites between 5.39pm and 6.24pm, SA Health increased the exposure times as part of its contact tracing efforts.
Residents of one Southwest Sydney council area will be subject to a strict new coronavirus rule as the city grapples with a serious outbreak.
Using QR code data, contact tracers on Tuesday ordered at least 32 close contacts linked to the Tailem Bend sites – 19 in the station and 13 in the cafe – be urgently tested. These included two workers, one of whom was showing symptoms of illness.
South Australia has recorded one new case on Wednesday, in a medi-hotel.
The case was man in his 40s who was across from the room of a person with a historic positive case that was reported on July 4. Both have been move to Tom’s Court and the other five people on that floor of the hotel have been tested and put into additional 14 day quarantine while authorities investigate the origin of the case.
Meanwhile, South Australia’s borders will reopen to all of Queensland at the end of the week.
Level 3 restrictions will come into place for the southeast of Queensland from one minute past midnight on Friday.
Originally published as Stevens issues ‘harsh warning’ amid new border rules