Today Professor Nicola Spurrier fronted a media conference to update South Australia on the new Victorian case that was announced today. The case was a male, who had quarantined at a hotel in South Australia, before clearing all tests on day 1, 5 and 13 with negative results.
On May 4th he was discharged from quarantine, and then flew directly home to Victoria.
A SMS reminder was then sent to the male on his 17th day in the country, while he was in Victoria, as is standard, reminding him to stay diligent and to get tested if he presented with any symptoms. The following day he developed symptoms, and went to get tested.
Today those results came back positive.
For those worried about the male being out in the community South Australia before heading back to Victoria, Nicola Spurrier say that the infectious period is generally 2 days before symptoms appear, meaning he was infectious from 6 May. This suggests he wasn’t infectious while in Adelaide.
Now an investigation is urgently underway to determine if the man caught COVID-19 while in quarantine in Adelaide, or if it had a long incubation period, which is also possible, before presenting with symptoms.
Given there have been cases interstate, who have caught the virus while in quarantine hotels, this scenario is top of mind.
Nicola Spurrier said that there was a positive case in the Playford Hotel, in the room next to this man, who on his 9th day of quarantine when he presented with symptoms, returned a positive result and was moved to Tom Court medi-hotel. This was on May 4th.
As SA Health will know the genomic testing of the Adelaide case from May 4th, they will share that with Victoria, to see if the cases match, which will give us more information on these cases, and if there’s any link.
Investigations are now underway, looking meticulously at the ventilation in the rooms and passageways to ensure there’s no way for the virus to be transmitted. Double checking staff testing, surveillance footage and other methods are also being used to help determine the source of the infection.
Nicola Spurrier stressed that the Playford Hotel has been doing a fantastic job to date, but of course, all possible avenues are being explored.