• A paramedic wears protective clothing while outside the Mount Barker Hospital in Adelaide. (AAP)Source: AAP
South Australia has seen its biggest jump in Coronavirus cases, bringing the state's total to 134. Among the new cases are the first patients in regional centres.
23 Mar 2020 - 6:01 PM  UPDATED 23 Mar 2020 - 6:01 PM

The first cases of COVID-19 in regional centres have been confirmed in South Australia, with patients in Whyalla and Waikerie testing positive to the virus.

South Australia's Chief Public Health Officer Associate Professor Nicola Spurrier said that SA Health was in the process of 'contact tracing' for these cases.

“The individuals range in age from people in their 20s right through to people in their 70s,” she said.

“Of those cases there is no one in a serious clinical situation, there have been no admissions to ICU in this state.

“We are still undertaking contact tracing for many of these cases. It is a laborious process because it has to be done meticulously, we have increased out capacity to do this over the next couple of days.

“All of the cases we have investigated thus far have acquired the virus overseas, interstate or have been close contact with a known case.

“There is no known community-acquired transition at this stage in South Australia, but we are still conducting those contact tracing investigations.”

Professor Spurrier did not confirm the exact number of cases but did say that there were fewer than five cases in each area.

South Australia recorded it's biggest daily jump in COVID-19 cases. The state now has a total of 134 cases of COVID-19.

South Australian senator Rex Patrick also tested positive for the Coronavirus, making him the fourth federal politician to catch the disease.

Senator Patrick has been in self-isolation at home after coming into contact with Liberal senator Andrew Bragg, who also has the virus.
Senator Patrick Tweeted on Monday that despite being asymptomatic, he had tested positive to COVID-19. 
"I have assisted them with comprehensive contact tracing and they'll call anyone considered at risk," he Tweeted.
Members of a group of American tourists in isolation in a Barossa Hotel were transported to the Royal Adelaide Hospital for treatment on Sunday.

They are now being treated in the specialised wards at the RAH, but their conditions are believed not to have deteriorated.

Premier Steven Marshall made an announcement to close the South Australian borders on Sunday. The closures will take effect from 4pm Tuesday.

“We do not make this decision lightly, but we have no choice," Mr Marshall said.

All people who enter the state will be forced into 14 day isolation or face penalties, with SA Police staffing 12 border patrol stations.

Health workers, emergency services, freight and vital goods will continue to be permitted.

According to SA Health, “near border interactions” will also be exempt, and others such as fly-in fly-out workers could be exempt as long as they have disease control systems in place.

Incoming people will have to sign a declaration saying they will follow the self-isolation guidelines, and provide police with information about where they will be. Road crossings and the airport will be monitored.

 Additional reporting by AAP.

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