South Australia avoided a coronavirus ‘catastrophe’, Premier Steven Marshall says

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall says the state has avoided a coronavirus “catastrophe” amid the Adelaide virus outbreak.

There are no new cases linked to the Parafield cluster, and only one new case today in a returned traveller from overseas.

About 77,000 tests have been carried out this week, including 16,928 yesterday.

At 12:01am today, the stay-at-home order was lifted, as were a slew of other restrictions including a ban on weddings and funerals, and the closure of all schools, except those teaching the children of essential workers.

The Government aims to relax them to pre-cluster levels at the start of December.

“We have avoided a catastrophic situation in our state by following the unequivocal health advice,” Mr Marshall said.

He said there has been no community transmission coronavirus cases where the source is unknown and every case has been traced.

Anyone in South Australia is still urged to get tested as soon as they develop even the mildest symptoms.

Modelling showed risk of ‘very significant’ second wave

SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier released modelling she said showed South Australia was at risk of a major “second wave” before the lockdown was announced this week.

She said the model showed a small “but not negligible” chance that new case numbers would have risen above 200 per day without the strict lockdown that was imposed.

“We were looking at facing a second wave here,” Professor Spurrier said.

“Based on that information we had a 99 per cent chance … it was going to be a very significant wave.”

More to come.

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AFL 2021, Jack Steven, Geelong, contract, retirement, AFL, AFL squads, list sizes

Geelong midfielder Jack Steven has announced his retirement with a year to run on his contract at the club.

After winning four best and fairest awards with St Kilda, Steven made the move in the 2019 off-season to the Cats and added a further nine games to his previous 183 game tally.

During trade period, revealed St Kilda sources believed the Cats were considering offering Steven a payout.

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Jack Steven calls time on AFL career

Geelong midfielder Jack Steven has announced his AFL retirement with a year left on his contract.

Steven joined the Cats on a two-year deal from St Kilda at the end of 2019 and played nine games in his one and only season at the club.

The 30-year-old suffered a stab wound to his chest during last season’s COVID-19 shutdown before a hamstring injury ruled him out of the club’s finals campaign.

“We are happy for Jack that he has made this decision and wish him well in his future,” Geelong GM of Football Simon Lloyd said in a statement.

“Jack had an outstanding career and we enjoyed having him play with us this year. It’s great that Jack is back home on the Bellarine and we look forward to seeing him enjoy the post-football part of his life.”

Steven played 192 games across 12 seasons and won four best and fairest awards during his time at the Saints.

He spent time away from football on mental health grounds during his final season at Moorabbin before he was traded to Geelong.

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Geelong’s Jack Steven retires from AFL after 192-match career with Cats and St Kilda

Geelong midfielder Jack Steven has retired from the AFL, despite having one season remaining on his contract with the Cats.

Steven was a high-profile recruit for the Cats ahead of the 2020 season following a decorated career with St Kilda.

But his time at the Cats was marred by an off-field incident last May when he was hospitalised after sustaining a chest wound.

Police investigated the incident but no charges were laid.

The 30-year-old made his Cats debut in round three once the AFL season resumed following its coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

He only made nine appearances for the club during 2020, however, and did not play in the grand final loss to Richmond after being dropped ahead of the finals series.

“We are happy for Jack that he has made this decision and wish him well in his future,” Geelong’s general manager of football Simon Lloyd said in a statement.

“Jack had an outstanding career and we enjoyed having him play with us this year.

“It’s great that Jack is back home on the Bellarine and we look forward to seeing him enjoy the post-football part of his life.”

Steven left the Saints for the Cats after the 2019 season in exchange for pick 58 in the national draft.

He made his senior debut with the Saints in 2008 and went on to play 183 matches for the club.

Steven won St Kilda’s best and fairest award on four occasions.

He took an extended break from the AFL during the 2019 season to manage his mental health, having also had time off in the previous preseason.

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Jack Steven, retirement, Geelong Cats, St Kilda, 30-years old

The Geelong Cats’ Jack Steven has called an early end to his career, just a season after joining the club from St Kilda.

The midfield start won four Trevor Barker Awards — St Kilda’s best and fairest award — as well as twice making the AFL’s 40-man All Australian squad.

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Steven joined the AFL in 2007 when he was picked up by St Kilda, a team he played at until the end of the 2019 season.

But the star had mental health issues that cut his 2019 season short, playing just seven games and taking two breaks to deal with his concerns.

At the end of the season, he requested a trade to Geelong for Pick 58.

The move didn’t pay off for the 30-year-old star however, adding just nine games with one goal for the Cats, adding to his 183 games for St Kilda and 112 goals.

It was a rocky season as well with Steven making headlines in a bizarre story that saw the midfielder taken to hospital with a stab wound during the AFL’s season suspension.

He also struggled to crack the side of the grand finalists, with a hamstring injury in a practice match late in the season seeing the star miss the finals series.

Since the season finished, there had been talk that Steven would end his career just one year into his two-year deal with the Cats and it was finalised on Thursday with the retirement announcement.

Geelong’s general manager of football Simon Lloyd farewelled Steven from the club.

“We are happy for Jack that he has made this decision and wish him well in his future,” Lloyd said.

“Jack had an outstanding career and we enjoyed having him play with us this year. It’s great that Jack is back home on the Bellarine and we look forward to seeing him enjoy the post-football part of his life.”

The talk has been going on for some time with former teammate Brendon Goddard telling AFL Trade Radio, earlier this month that “It would be disappointing” if his career ended like this.

“It was a tough decision to leave St Kilda. He had a serious impact there,” Goddard said.

“I thought towards the end of the year he was looking healthier and happier than what he had.”

Steven joins Harry Taylor and Gary Ablett as retirees from the Cats this season.

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Geelong midfielder Steven retires from AFL

Geelong midfielder Jack Steven has retired from the AFL with one year remaining on his contract.

Announced on Thursday, the 30-year-old’s decision comes after he was involved in talks with the Cats over a settlement following a tough season on and off the field.

“We are happy for Jack that he has made this decision and wish him well in his future,” Geelong football manager Simon Lloyd said.

“Jack had an outstanding career and we enjoyed having him play with us this year.

“It’s great that Jack is back home on the Bellarine and we look forward to seeing him enjoy the post-football part of his life.”

Steven was granted his wish to be traded to Geelong a year ago after 11 seasons at St Kilda, during which he won four best-and-fairest awards.

He managed nine matches for the Cats in 2020 but suffered a hamstring injury late in the season and missed the finals series.

He played 192 matches in total.

In May, Steven was stabbed in the chest in an incident that led to a police investigation and delayed his return after the season shutdown period.

No polices charges were laid.

Steven joins premiership stars Gary Ablett and Harry Taylor in retiring from Geelong this year.

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Steven Marshall halts flights as state records zero new cases, hotel quarantine under scrutiny

Three of the positive cases are hospitalised and are in a stable condition.

More than 20,000 people had come forward for testing over the past 48 hours, with 12,000 processed yesterday alone, which Professor Spurrier said was “an absolutely phenomenal result”.

More than 4000 people remain in isolation as a result of “double ring fencing” which entails isolating the contacts of close contacts of positive cases.

“There are some areas of real concern in South Australia and we need to find everyone of those people,” said Professor Spurrier.

She said authorities did not anticipate a long-term shut down, and wanted to have a normal Christmas.

“Be patient, be kind, stay at home, you are absolutely doing the right thing,” she said.”When you do have to go out… please try and wear a mask and stay safe.”

Mr Marshall said he had asked the federal government to cease international flights into Adelaide.

Mr Marshall said South Australians had “woken up to a very different South Australia today”, but the six-day shutdown was necessary.

“The alternative is the virus expands in to the wider community and we are forced into an extended lockdown later on,” he said.

He said despite there being no new cases reported so far on Thursday, the six day pause was allow authorities to contact trace the “potentially thousands of South Australians” who visited a site of concern.

He earlier told ABC Radio Adelaide on Thursday morning the specific strain of coronavirus circulating in Adelaide’s northern suburbs was “frightening”.

“The elements of this are quite frightening in so much that the vast amount of people who are getting infected in this strain are showing no symptoms, so it’s quite different than anything we’ve seen before,” he said.

People queuing outside a Woolworths supermarket at West Torrens in Adelaide after the lockdown was announced.Credit:Getty

Mr Marshall said it was clear he needed to pull the trigger on a hard six-day lockdown after his public health team told him on Wednesday, “don’t deliberate, we only have one chance”.

“This circuit-breaker is so important for us to get ahead of the game,” he said.

Hotel quarantine defended

South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens defended policies governing workers in the state’s quarantine hotels – or ‘medi-hotels’ – after a security guard from the hotel who tested positive also worked at a pizza bar.

As a result, SA health authorities are trying to contact trace every person who purchased food from the restaurant on certain dates- including home deliveries.

Mr Marshall said the state’s quarantine system had passed a recent audit, but health authorities would review practices in light of the virus leak.

“I don’t believe there was a recommendation with regard to people working at multiple sites… but we’re always looking to improve,” he said.

Commissioner Stevens said there was little that could be done to limit the movement of medi-hotel workers outside work hours and said there was no difference in risk to workers going to the gym.

“These people are part of the community and we require them to do a really important role,” he said.

“People have an entitlement to get on with the rest of their life outside of work.”

He said public health advice had deemed exercise and dog-walking as “non essential” until next Tuesday.

“[But] we don’t want people to be smartarses to manipulate this to do what they want to do,” he told ABC Radio.

Commissioner Stevens said SA police were “not going to hit people with a big stick” in regards to enforcement but called on South Australians to use common sense interpreting the rules.

There have been reports that tourists from South Australia streamed over interstate borders before the lockdown came into effect at midnight on Wednesday.

Michael McIvor, the operator of Broken Hill Tourist Park in NSW, said his business went from 50 bookings to over 400 on Wednesday due to the influx of South Australians.

“The phones were ringing red hot, we had four lines coming in at once,” he told ABC Radio.

“We were pulling out linen and blankets so they could sleep in their cars and have a shower in the toilet blocks.”


Panic buying

South Australian supermarkets were slammed as soon as the lockdown was announced on Wednesday, with all major supermarkets announcing purchasing limits on certain items.

“[We] had to call people in and we easily had our best day on record, sales-wise,” said Chris Kaitatzas, manager of an IGA in inner-city Adelaide.

Supermarket chain Foodland’s chief exeuctive Franklin dos Santos said the effect of the lockdown his stores had been “astronomical.”

“The past 24 hours were very similar to Christmas,” he said. “They basically did a Christmas eve shop in under nine hours.”

Mr dos Santos said shoppers were respectful and orderly in stores despite panic buying, and commended his young staff.

“Some of them are kids and they are doing a remarkable job.”

When announcing the six-day lockdown, Professor Spurrier told reporters the strain of COVID-19 appeared to have a “very, very short incubation period” with those infected showing symptoms of the virus within 24 hours of exposure.

Some experts have raised questions about whether a six-day lockdown will be sufficient to stem the outbreak.

“I think it’s slightly on the short side to be perfectly honest,” said Dean of Health at Melbourne’s Swinburne University, Dr Bruce Thompson.

“If you’re only aiming for one incubation period you’re losing your margin for error,” he told Melbourne radio station 3AW.

Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, an epidemiologist with the University of New South Wales, also cast doubt on the theory of a new strain and said it was unlikely “the pathogenicity or the infectivity of the virus had changed”.

“The ability for patients to become infectious early on is nothing new, we have known this since about April, when the World Health organisation wrote in one of their updates that they are now seeing people becoming infectious at least by day three,” she said.

The restrictions in South Australia are harsher than those implemented during Victoria’s second coronavirus wave, which reached more than 700 cases a day at its peak.

Residents across South Australia are unable to leave their homes even for exercise. All schools, universities, factories and construction sites are closed.

The Australian Funeral Directors Association has raised alarm at the lockdown measures which also prevent any funerals until next Tuesday.

President of the association Andrew Pinder said the funeral shutdown was drastic and out of step with lockdowns in other states, where funerals were able to go ahead with small numbers of people.

“We are not unsympathetic to the present COVID-19 outbreak … but denying even limited, socially distant funerals is a step entirely too far,” he said.

Mr Pinder also warned that the industry may run out of room for bodies if the ban on funerals continues for more than six days.

“Storage space for bodies is not unlimited and if funerals are banned for more than six
days plans for emergency storage will need to be implemented.”

No plans to alter quarantine plans: Health Minister

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said despite Adelaide’s outbreak stemming from hotel quarantine – as was the case in Victoria’s deadly second wave – there were no plans to move away from the model that quarantines incoming international passengers in central city locations.

“What we have to recognise is we are bringing Australians home,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide. “To bring home tens of thousands of people as we are doing means we have to have the capacity. This system is protecting Australia and there’s no way to bring Australians home unless this system is in place.”

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall and Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall and Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt. Credit:Getty and Alex Ellinghausen

Mr Hunt said South Australia’s harsh, short lockdown was a “model response”, and disputed the assertion the federal government was overly critical of the Victorian governments response in contrast.

“When the Victorian response had gone on for 100 days of lockdown, not six days, we were deeply concern about mental health,” he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he believed the South Australian lockdown would last days, not weeks.

“When the Victorian lockdown was put in, I understood that as well. So I’ve taken a very consistent approach in respecting the decisions of the states,” he told Nine’s Today show.

Mr Morrison said he remained “hopeful and ambitious” that state border restrictions will lift in time for Christmas.

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Steven Marshall announces six-day lockdown, restrictions

  • Closing all schools, universities, takeaway restaurants, cafes and food courts;
  • Exercise will not be permitted outside the home;
  • Masks will be mandatory;
  • and regional travel will not be allowed.

Mr Marshall said he was “going hard” and early.

“Time is of the essence. And we must act swiftly and decisively, we cannot wait to see how bad this becomes,” he said.

“We need a circuit-breaker to stay ahead of this. We need breathing space for a contact tracing blitz to protect the elderly, to protect the vulnerable, to protect our entire community.

“There is no second chance to stop a second wave. We are at a critical point, but we will get through this.”

South Australia police commissioner Grant Stevens said aged care and disability residential care would be locked down.

“Factories other than food and medical products will be closed except for where it is necessary for them to remain open to prevent damage to machinery,” he said.

“The construction industry will be closed for six days.”

He said that critical infrastructure and essential services including supermarkets and petrol stations would remain open.

Chief Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the hard lockdown was critical to avoid seeing a similar outbreak to Victoria.


“If we leave this any longer … then we’re going to be in this for the long haul and we will be like the experience in Victoria, where we get increasing cases every single day, and we have to go into a significant lockdown for a very long period of time to snuff it out and and to get rid of every last bit of community transmission,” she said.

Professor Spurrier said the Parafield cluster at the centre of the state’s outbreak had now grown to 22 cases with two new infections added to the total.

“There are also an additional seven people who are either awaiting test results or we had an initial test that was negative but we are highly suspicious and treating them as infectious,” she said.

She singled out the Woodville Pizza Bar as a site of concern and asked anyone who had received a takeaway delivery from the venue between the November 6 and November 16 to self-quarantine and get tested.

She said credit card records were being examined to track down customers of the pizza bar.

“We are really at the beginning of this in SA and I need everybody to basically find a safe place to be next six days and stay that as much as possible. Whether this is a Netflix blitz for some people and I know it is going to be really difficult for many people but we all need to be doing it,” she said.

More to come

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South Australia reports one new coronavirus case overnight, Premier Steven Marshall says

Just one new case of the coronavirus has been linked to the outbreak in South Australia overnight, Premier Steven Marshall says.

Authorities are scrambling to contact trace and contain a COVID-19 cluster in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, which prompted sweeping new restrictions across the state yesterday.

The new diagnosis brings the number of confirmed and suspected infections associated with the Parafield cluster to 20.

Mr Marshall said it was a good result, with thousands of people tested since the cluster was discovered.

“If we reflect on the last 24 hours, today there’s just been the one new infection despite the fact that we have essentially done the contact tracing for the people that are infected,” Mr Marshall told ABC Radio Adelaide this morning.

“[We have] put a lot of people, I’m talking hundreds and hundreds of people, in isolation, subjected them to a test, and at this stage, just one new infection,” he said.

The Premier urged anyone with even the mildest symptoms to get tested, and flagged a further update on case numbers this afternoon.

“Thousands of people were tested yesterday … I’m very grateful for that,” he said.

“Data is absolute king during these outbreaks [and] time is of the essence.”

Cars line up for COVID-19 testing in Adelaide’s Victoria Park.(ABC News: Michael Clements)

Restrictions may extend beyond initial fortnight

SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the new coronavirus restrictions which include limits on gatherings in homes and licensed venues and a temporary ban on community sport may continue beyond the initial two-week period if it becomes clear there has been major community transmission.

She said a “large number” of people were in quarantine or isolation across Adelaide.

Professor Spurrier asked South Australians to limit their interactions with other people to help contain the outbreak.

“It’s very important for people to reduce the amount of travel.

“What we want people to do is monitor for symptoms … even if it’s just a sniffle. Don’t go ‘oh, it’s hay fever’ go and get a test.”

A woman with grey hair and a dark pink top.
Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier is urging South Australians to limit interactions.(ABC News)

SA Health has released a list of dozens of locations across Adelaide where people could have become infected.

Authorities have urged people to get tested if they have developed symptoms after visiting those locations.

Meanwhile, most Australian states and territories have instituted quarantine or self-isolation orders for people travelling from SA, or for those who arrived from the state within the past seven days.

As of yesterday afternoon, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Western Australia had announced specific measures for people arriving from SA.

New South Wales and the ACT will keep their borders open.

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