South Australians urged to get Covid tests after man with virus goes 'out and about' in Adelaide

South Australian health authorities are urging anyone who visited Flinders University and three other “high-risk” locations to get tested for coronavirus immediately after a Covid-19-positive man broke his required home quarantine and wandered “out and about” in Adelaide.

While there were no new coronavirus cases to announce on Sunday, SA’s chief health officer, Prof Nicola Spurrier, revealed the “concerning turn of events” at a press conference.

She said anyone who attended the Intensive English Language Institute at Flinders University between 13 and 28 November needed to get tested, regardless of whether they had symptoms, and self-isolate until they received their result.

Authorities were also asking anybody who visited the Flinders University Sturt campus over the same time to get tested as soon as possible.

The directive also applied to anyone who visited Big W Brickworks in Torrensville on 22 November between 12.15-12.50pm; Foodland in Norwood on 22 November between 1.20-2pm; and Kmart at Kurralta Park on 22 November between 2.45-3.10pm.

The warning came after contact tracers interviewing a man in his 30s – one of two new Covid-19 announced on Saturday – learned that he broke his home quarantine requirement on 22 November to visit the locations.

The man contracted the virus while attending a class at the language institute earlier in November. Saturday’s other case was a child who was from the original family at the centre of the Parafield outbreak.

The man was a casual contact of a confirmed Covid-19 case, and because of SA’s tough measures to quash the Parafield cluster, was supposed to be one of at least 4,000 residents quarantining at home.

“When I spoke yesterday my initial understanding was that the case was in quarantine and certainly they were considered a casual contact at the Intensive English Language Institute,” Spurrier said on Sunday.

“Unfortunately, they did not spend the whole time in quarantine and at one point were out and about on a day.

“We want you to get tested immediately even if you have no symptoms … those four locations we are considering at high risk and we want anyone who’s been there at those times and dates to get tested.”

South Australian chief health officer Nicola Spurrier.
South Australian chief health officer Nicola Spurrier. Photograph: Kelly Barnes/Getty Images

On Sunday, the Parafield cluster stood at 33 cases, with 17 active cases of coronavirus in the state.

Spurrier said she was concerned about the low number of tests conducted on Saturday – 3,425 – but said this was likely due to people remaining at home due to hot weather.

She also explained the number of South Australians required to quarantine at home had dropped to about 1,900 close contacts or contacts of contacts of confirmed cases, as Saturday marked more than 14 days after a large number of Covid-19 alerts forced contacts into home quarantine.

Elsewhere in Australia, restrictions in Victoria will ease further after the state recorded its 30th consecutive day without a locally acquired Covid-19 case.

From 11:59pm on Sunday, workplaces currently working from home, such as offices in the CBD, can return for up to 25% of their workforce per site, while standard workplace requirements, including density limits, continue to apply.

The changes mean businesses with fewer than 40 staff can have 10 staff onsite subject to density quotients, however public service workers will continue to work from home if they are able to.

Face coverings are mandatory indoors under the new arrangements, including on public transport, in ride shares, hospitals, care facilities and shopping. Masks aren’t required outdoors, except where physical distancing can’t be maintained, and Victorians are still required to carry face masks at all times.

On Sunday New South Wales recorded no new local cases for the 30th day in a row, and four new cases in hotel quarantine. Queensland recorded two new cases in hotel quarantine, and Western Australia recorded one.