Authorities now say a man who attended several shops before testing positive for coronavirus did not breach quarantine, as he was a casual contact and not under a quarantine order.
SA Health is continuing to urge people to quarantine and get tested if they were at a number of sites visited by the man, who is aged in his 30s and went shopping while contagious on November 22.
That includes the Big W at the Brickworks shopping centre in Torrensville, Flinders University’s Sturt campus, the Foodland supermarket in Norwood and Kmart at the Kurralta Park shopping centre, among other places.
On Monday morning, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Emily Kirkpatrick said the man “was required to quarantine and have tests on day one and day 12”, which he did.
“Of course, then we’ve picked it up on his day 12 test that he was, in fact, positive,” she said.
“If you have that negative day one test, it doesn’t mean you can go out and about in the community.”
But on Monday afternoon, she said the man was “was not actually served a direction to undertake a period of quarantine” and instead to watch out for coronavirus symptoms.
“What he was advised to do undertake testing on day one and 12 and to isolate and if he has symptoms to go and get tested,” she said.
“For this particular cluster … we did not require them as casual contacts to go into a set, mandated quarantine period under the Emergency Management Act.
“There was not a specific direction to this individual to undertake quarantine.
“He was identified as a casual contact.”
Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier had on Sunday also described the man as being in quarantine.
The man had attended the Intensive English Learning Institute, which is located on Flinders University’s Sturt campus.
After returning a positive COVID-19 test result, he was transferred to a medi-hotel, along with his close contacts.
‘Confusing for some people’
More than over 4200 coronavirus tests were conducted in South Australia on Sunday, and a pop-up site near at the Thebarton Community Centre will stay open until Friday.
Dr Kirkpatrick said SA Health had been liaising with multicultural communities to get the right information out about quarantine and self-isolation.
“We have been working very closely with the university campus and also with various community stakeholders to make sure we get that message out because understandably it can be confusing for some people,” she said.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the Victorian border would reopen fully on Tuesday, although people are still required to fill out a form ahead of coming into South Australia.
Some other restrictions, such as on home gatherings, are due to be lifted on November 14.
He said the mySA GOV app was on track to be updated by midnight Monday to include a feature allowing it to be used to scan QR codes at businesses and other venues.
Venues with a COVID-Safe Plan will be required to display the codes for check-in, as well as a paper alternative, from Tuesday.
Retailers frustrated by man’s itinerary
Retailers have expressed frustration about the impact of the man’s itinerary, saying the fact he visited so man stores while infectious has had “massive ramifications”.
“There were 70 people working at that particular store at Norwood [Foodland] on the Sunday,” SA Independent Retailers group’s Colin Shearing said.
“They’ve all been asked to go home and be tested and wait in quarantine until they get a negative result.”
Professor Clare Pollock, senior deputy vice-chancellor at Flinders, said the Sturt campus has undergone deep cleaning.
The campus includes nursing students and allied health areas.
“We would have probably around about 200 staff and students who would have been in that area over that period of time,” Professor Pollock said.
“We have been communicating with all of our staff and students over the weekend just in case any other of the staff or students were down in that location over that two-week period.
“We’re going to keep that campus area closed until this Wednesday to make sure we’ve got everything covered.”