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South Australia's Premier Steven Marshall and chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier. Photo: Russell Millard

SA coronavirus cluster grows

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has offered to make the army available to SA as it battles its first bout of community transmission since April.

The cluster, first announced on Sunday, had spiked to 17 cases as of Monday morning, SA chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier confirmed.

The outbreak at Parafield in Adelaide’s northern suburbs was revealed after a woman in her 80s was diagnosed after attending Adelaide Lyell McEwin Hospital emergency department.

Two of the woman’s family members, a female in her 50s and a man in his 60s, also tested positive for the virus with four other family members displaying symptoms.

The large family has members working in high-risk medi-hotels, aged care, health care and a major prison.

Professor Nicola Spurrier told FIVEaa radio on Monday morning that the number of coronavirus cases linked to the outbreak had risen to 17.

Of that total, 15 are family members of the first-diagnosed case while the other two are linked to the cluster.

Spurrier said it was “very clear” the cluster was connected to the CBD medi-hotel.

“We haven’t got the genomics yet, but I’m absolutely certain it has come from a medi-hotel,” she said.

“We will be putting a more comprehensive list of the area we’re concerned about… but if anybody even has the most mildest of symptoms, you must get tested the day of those symptoms.”

The last time SA recorded community transmission was in April.

A Hungry Jack’s restaurant at Port Adelaide, the Mawson Lakes primary and preschool, Thomas More College at Salisbury Downs, Parafield Plaza supermarket and an aged care facility — that has not yet been named — have now closed.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said he had received advice that SA’s contact tracing system was strong.

“We are standing up the National Incident Centre contact tracing capability to assist SA,” he told ABC Breakfast. “If South Australia requires the Australian Defence Force, then the Prime Minister has offered to make them available.

“If more is required, more will be provided.”

The West Australian government is now requiring all visitors from SA to quarantine for 14 days after opening its border on Saturday.

However, Hunt said there was no advice from Australia’s acting chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly that any state and territory should not to be open to another at this time.

Premier Steven Marshall said other jurisdictions needed to make their own decisions if they wanted to close their borders to SA.

“They need to make their own decision with regards to that [data that is shared from the state] but what they will get from SA is very transparent information provided to them as quickly as we possibly can so they can make their decisions,” he told ABC Radio.

“I’ve spoken with the Prime Minister this morning and we are looking at the flow of aircraft with those Australians coming back over the next couple of days because it’s possible we will need to take more of our hotel quarantine capacity to cope with this cluster so we won’t be able to dedicate as many of those rooms to people coming from overseas.

“The [Australian Border Force] understand that but we’re working through those issues at the moment.”

He said there had been “extremely high levels” of co-operation from everyone that SA Health contact tracers have contacted so far.

“We need to do everything we possibly can to get on top of this within the next 24-48 hours.”

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