Severe restrictions are being imposed in three regional areas as authorities investigate the movements of a resident infected with the Covid virus.
South Australian authorities said they are investigating the movements of a Mount Gambier woman who tested positive for Covid-19 after returning from Victoria at the weekend.
The 40-year-old woman told health officials she was visiting family in Casterton, which is within the current 70km border bubble with Victoria.
But South Africa’s chief public health official, Professor Nicolas Spurrier, said on Monday she could not say “at this time” whether the woman had visited Casterton after reports that the woman had visited Melbourne.
SA Health said the mother-of-four, who has not been vaccinated, has had symptoms since September 26 and was tested on October 1 when she returned to Mount Gambier.
Journalists asked Professor Spurrier on Monday if the woman had traveled beyond the border bubble and if she was about to speak to authorities about her movements.
She said the woman was collaborating with SA Health and said she didn’t have “complete information” yet.
“There are reasons why people may not tell us the whole story,” Professor Spurrier said.
“…it may be because they are afraid or anxious… so we just need to realize that not everyone is in the same situation we might be in.”
It said it had not received a copy of an internal memo sent to staff by Casterton Hospital CEO Owen Stevens, which claimed “the supposed Covid communication from Casterton was incorrect.”
Casterton Hospital has been contacted for comment.
Professor Spurrier said 12 first direct contacts, including her children, had been identified, with 10 already having tested negative.
Mandatory vaccinations are expected to be provided to borderland residents who wish to cross the South Australian border within seven days.
The positive case led to the introduction of social distancing restrictions in three local government areas near the border.
Residents of Mount Gambier, Grant, and Wattle Range will be subject to density limits of one person per four square meters and home gatherings limited to two additional people and 10 for weddings or funerals.
Masks will be mandatory in public and high-risk areas, there will be some restrictions on community sports, and private jobs will be banned.
The rules went into effect Monday at 4 p.m. and will remain in place for at least seven days.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the restrictions would be reassessed if there was any indication of community spread in those areas.
The SA recorded another new case on Monday, bringing the total number of active cases to four.
A truck driver in his 30s from Victoria who arrived on October 2, was tested in South Australia and has since returned to Victoria, returning a positive test result.
A truck lounge and service station in Port August are named as exhibit sites.