South Australia has closed its border to residents of Greater Melbourne.
It comes after two more cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in Melbourne connected to the Holiday Inn cluster.
A worker at the hotel and a previous resident who had left hotel quarantine on Sunday were both confirmed to have the virus.
People wear face masks as they wait to receive a COVID-19 test outside the Sunbury Respiratory Clinic. (Getty)
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens made the announcement to close the SA border yesterday, and it came into force at midnight.
Speaking on Today this morning, Mr Stevens said officers were out in force at border checkpoints in regional areas.
“It is just the people from Greater Melbourne at the moment that we’re concerned about and we’re going to watch closely to see what happens with community spread from this current outbreak,” Commissioner Stevens said.
It was “a real possibility” some people from Greater Melbourne had already moved across the border before the midnight closure, possibly bringing the coronavirus with them,” he added.
South Australia Police Commissioner Grant Stevens says officers are patrolling border checkpoints to keep those from greater Melbourne out of the state. (Nine News)
“And it’s one thing we’re very cautious about,” he said.
“Our SA Health experts are reaching out to anybody who might have been in one of the affected zones and particularly the hotel itself. We’re making contact with those people.
“But we’re also taking a precautionary step by putting this border restriction in place until we know exactly what’s going on in Melbourne.
“We’ve taken the precautionary step to make sure the South Australian side of the border is not affected by this current situation.”
Regional Victoria is not affected by the changes.
The Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport. (Nine)
Commissioner Stevens said the measures put in place were proportionate to the situation in Victoria which was being closely monitored.
Residents from Greater Melbourne who arrive in SA must get tested and isolate for 14 days.
“We know this is a delicate position for anyone in Victoria travelling to South Australia,” he said.
SA Chief Public Health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier earlier said a lockout was likely.
“It is likely we will have border restrictions in place, but we are waiting on a little bit further information from Victoria,” Professor Spurrier said.
She said the decision was based on the Holiday Inn outbreak in Melbourne.
“I am very concerned,” she said.
“Three cases are related to an exposure event that involved a medical device, so that medical device is called the nebuliser and it vaporises medication or liquid into a fine mist,” Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said.
“We think the exposures are to that event, this nebuliser, whereby the method of a virus was carried out into the corridor and exposed the authorised officer, the food and beverage service worker and also the other resident.
“That makes sense in terms of the geography and it makes sense in terms of the exposure time.”
Case one: Authorised officer
The woman, aged in her 50s, tested negative at work last Thursday, had two days off and then went back to work on Sunday before developing symptoms after her shift and returning a positive result.
The close contacts are currently isolating and six of them have so far tested negative.
Case two: Returned traveller who left hotel quarantine
The returned traveller who exited hotel quarantine on Sunday and then tested positive on day 16 did not leave their home, Mr Andrews reiterated today.
The woman had tested negative several times during her quarantine period, with health officials believing she contracted the virus towards the end of her stay.
“Interviews with that person have been conducted and the close contacts and others have all been in contact with,” Mr Andrews said.
“I should say there are no exposure sites, that person basically stayed home, so it will only be family members and others, so that is quite contained and we are very pleased to be able to report that.”
Case three: Food and beverage attendant
The food and beverage attendant last worked at the Holiday Inn quarantine hotel on February 4.
She tested negative at the end of her shift, but then later developed symptoms on February 6.
The woman was then advised she was a primary close contact related to the initial hotel case, and was required to isolate and get tested on February 8.
She then returned a positive result on February 9.
“During the time she was infectious, she was at a number of sites in the Sunbury area and those are the tier one exposure sites that we have listed on the website,” Mr Andrews said.
Several locations in Sunbury, including the Sunbury Square shopping centre,have been listed by Victorian health authorities as possible exposure sites. (Nine)
“We would recommend all Victorians, particularly in and around the community, to be well acquainted with those sites and if you were there during those times at those locations, then you will be required to isolate and to get tested.”
Contact tracers have so far identified 13 social and household primary close contacts linked to the infected food and beverage worker.
“Each of them have been contacted, they are isolating at home,” Mr Andrews said.
“There are several high-risk individuals within that cohort.”
The close contacts were last night tested after hours under a special “rapid public health response”.
Five test results have come back negative.
Family-of-three contracted virus outside of Victoria
The infected family-of-three who were undertaking hotel quarantine at the Holiday Inn are believed to have contracted the UK strain of the virus prior to entering Victoria.
Mr Andrews confirmed the family’s infections were not due to transmission inside the hotel.
Returned travellers step off the SkyBus after being moved from the Holiday Inn. (Nine)
“Two members of this family remain in hotel quarantine with our support, and one member of that family has been moved to hospital,” he said.
Traces of COVID-19 detected in waste water
Coronavirus fragments have been detected in wastewater in several Melbourne suburbs, including Coburg, Reservoir, Glenroy, Westmeadows, Broadmeadows and Roxburgh Park.
People who have been to the suburbs in the past 48 hours through to the morning of February 8 have been told to “monitor for symptoms”.
“We have uncovered a number of unexpected detections, something which we now know we need to be alert to,” Mr Foley said.
Some returned travellers were spotted wearing bin bags as they stepped off the SkyBus after being moved from the Holiday Inn. (Nine)
“There are no known cases, but a number of close contacts in those areas.”