Challenges remain with SA virus cluster

Health Minister Stephen Wade says challenges remain in monitoring the Thebarton coronavirus cluster.
Health Minister Stephen Wade says challenges remain in monitoring the Thebarton coronavirus cluster.

Authorities managing a cluster of COVID-19 cases in Adelaide are dealing with a "double communication challenge" in delivering key safety messages, Health Minister Stephen Wade says.

The so-called Thebarton cluster still stands at just five but has forced more than 1200 people into isolation as close or casual contacts.

Mr Wade said on Monday there had been a high-level of compliance with the quarantine requirements, which centred on a large school community, but some particular challenges remained.

"This school community provides services to children from culturally and linguistically diverse communities," he said.

"So there is a double communication challenge.

"I really appreciate the work that's being done by community leaders to get the message out, but there will be people who miss those key messages."

The cluster has closed the Thebarton Senior College, a school that also caters to adult learners, with 94 close contacts of the five cases taken into hotel quarantine.

More than 1100 casual contacts, including other students and staff, have been asked to isolate at home.

Mr Wade said all the close contacts had been tested for coronavirus and it was his understanding that none had returned positive results so far.

Those people were expected to be tested again later this week ahead of their release from the hotel.

The health minister also revealed on Monday there had been a number of reports of delayed testing results in SA as record numbers of people come forward to be checked.

He indicated that some test results were taking two days or longer to come back and suggested anyone in such a position contact their doctor or the pathology provider.

Since the start of the pandemic, SA Health has confirmed 459 cases of COVID-19 but only eight of those are still considered active.

No new cases were reported on Monday as the number of tests conducted for the virus in SA closed in on 300,000.

At the same time, a new COVID-19 testing facility for interstate truck and train drivers has opened at Port Augusta.

Australian Associated Press