SA's Covid-19 cases jump dramatically more than one week after borders open

South Australia has had a stark increase in the number of daily Covid-19 cases, recording 18 on Thursday.

Chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier said 16 of them were linked to the Norwood cluster, while the other two were interstate travellers.

All people who attended the Theatre Bugs venue at Norwood, in Adelaide’s east, on Saturday were fully vaccinated.

SA Health believe the initial two cases that were announced on Wednesday – one of them being the state’s former premier Jay Weatherill – contracted the virus while at the venue where an interstate arrival was present.

But Professor Spurrier said SA Health were still working to determine patient zero at the source of the cluster.

“We are shifting from an elimination strategy to a suppression strategy and that takes a bit of a mind shift for all of us,” she said.

“But (in future) I suspect there will be other chains of transmission and this is why we still have restrictions in place.

“We have to continue to be really safe with our behaviours and to follow those restrictions.”

More than 200 close contacts linked to the cluster have been put into quarantine, but that number is expected to increase.

SA’s Covid-19 cases jump dramatically more than one week after borders open

Camera IconChief public health officer Nicola Spurrier announced the 18 new Covid-19 cases in SA on Thursday. NCA NewsWire / Brenton Edwards Credit: News Corp Australia

SA’s Covid-19 cases jump dramatically more than one week after borders open

Camera IconPremier Steven Marshall said it was ‘inevitable’ that SA would have Covid-19 cases. NCA NewsWire / David Mariuz Credit: News Corp Australia

Over the past nine days since the border opened, SA had only recorded single digit cases each day.

Premier Steven Marshall said it was “inevitable” the state would have infections after the borders opened last Tuesday.

But he said the state “got this”, as authorities worked tirelessly to contact trace and direct the appropriate people into isolation.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens – who is also the state co-ordinator – said he wasn’t surprised the state recorded more than 20 cases after the borders open.

But he said he didn’t think anyone would accurately forecast the number of Covid-19 cases within the first few weeks.

“We are prepared for the Delta variant and I’m obviously hopeful that Omicron doesn’t transpire to be something that upsets our plans, but we do have to watch very closely,” Mr Stevens said.

SA’s Covid-19 cases jump dramatically more than one week after borders open

Camera IconTravellers arriving from NSW will need to undergo a compulsory Covid-19 test upon arrival into SA, with authorities ‘very concerned’ about Omicron. NCA NewsWire / Naomi Jellicoe Credit: News Corp Australia

It was also announced that travellers arriving from NSW would need to undergo a compulsory test amid concerns about the Omicron strain.

Premier Steven Marshall said authorities were “very concerned” about the newest variant of concern now that seven cases had been reported in Australia.

That concern is what triggered the newest cross-border measure that will come into effect on Thursday afternoon.

All interstate travellers must be tested 72 hours before arriving into the state, apply through EntryCheck SA and be fully vaccinated.

“This is another way that we will be protecting ourselves here in South Australia, but I can say we will be monitoring the situation, particularly in NSW,” Mr Marshall said.

“We will be looking on a daily basis.”

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