A service station in South Australia's Murraylands has been identified as an exposure site attended by a group of removalists, two of whom have tested positive for COVID-19.
The three men travelled to McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide last week, carrying furniture for a family relocating from western Sydney, after first heading to Melbourne.
Health authorities today said the men — including one who was identified as a positive case in NSW — had stopped at a Shell service station at Tailem Bend, south-east of Adelaide, between 5:20pm and 7:00pm on Friday, July 9.
Eighteen QR code check-ins were logged at the location during that time, but Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Emily Kirkpatrick said examinations would be carried out on CCTV to check if there were other people inside.
No COVID-19 cases so far linked to removalists in SA, as Tailem Bend contact tracing continues
SA Health is urging people who were at a third COVID-19 exposure site in Tailem Bend to contact them. Meanwhile, authorities are currently carrying out genomic testing on a man who tested positive on day 13 in quarantine.SA authorities listed the OTR Motorsport Park service station at Tailem Bend as an exposure site late on Wednesday, after it was confirmed the removalists — two of whom have tested positive — had attended between 7:20am and 8:15am on Friday.
at greater risk of being exposed to COVID - 19 . inconsistently following personal preventive practices when outside your home. Consider the risks to your household and what measures to put in place to keep everyone as safe as possible.
It's not certain how long the COVID - 19 virus survives on surfaces and objects, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses . Research shows that the virus may live on surfaces and objects for a few hours or up to several days depending on: the type of surface or object.
"We can confirm that two individuals from that particular truck were inside of that service station for approximately 30 minutes and our understanding is that the individual who was notified that they were a close contact by NSW health authorities, he was notified whilst he was here in South Australia and he did not go into that service station," she said.
"However, we are stepping through a CCTV review to ensure what exactly happened inside that service station and to identify any other potential risks."
Dr Kirkpatrick said the site was being treated as a "high-risk" location, and that one of the workers there is now showing symptoms.
She said while the removalists had been "compliant" and there was "certainly no evidence of wrongdoing" when it came to cooperating with authorities, none of the removalists performed QR code check-ins when they were in South Australia.
Exposure site identified in South Australia
An exposure site has been identified in South Australia as the state readies to ease border restrictions with south-eastern Queensland, including Brisbane from Friday.
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"We are aware that there were two workers who were at that particular location, and we have been informed this morning that one of those workers is currently symptomatic and we will be organising rapid GeneXpert testing for them this morning, as we will be for the other workers who were at that site," she said.
"It is really, really important if you have been at the Shell service station to immediately self-isolate.
"At this stage, it's the only location we have identified.
"There were no QR check-ins for all three of the drivers coming into the state."
SA Premier Steven Marshall said people who were at the service station during the danger period were urged to make themselves known to SA Health.
"We believe it's quite a small number, but there were 18 QR code check-ins at that same time, but we're also making it very clear that there may be some people who didn't check in," he said.
Furniture removalists from red zones barred from Victoria
Victoria has banned furniture removalists from interstate "red zones" from crossing the border for at least the next two weeks. The rule change came after two removalists travelled from NSW to South Australia, via Victoria, while positive with COVID-19.Under the new rules, furniture and removal vehicles will not be permitted to travel to Victoria from NSW.READ MORE: Thousands in isolation as Victoria records six new cases © Getty Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews has announced a ban on furniture removalists from red zones.
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"They will need to go into quarantine and be tested, and of course their families and their immediate contacts will need to as well.
"We're going through, speaking to those 18 people, were they with other people, did they have children with them, who else do we need to work with, and of course working with the proprietors at that service station.
"Anybody who was there at that time will need to go into quarantine, get themselves tested, make themselves known to SA Health.
SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the trio had now been interviewed by SA, NSW and Victorian health authorities.
"There have been some issues in terms of interpreters for two of the three individuals who don't have English as a first language," he said.
The Premier said was "no evidence whatsoever of them being out and about in the McLaren Vale area".
"We are monitoring the families, they are the ones who were in contact with the removalists for the largest amount of time," he said.
"It's perfectly safe in that area."
Tailem Bend facing 'nervous' wait
Coorong District Council Mayor Paul Simmons said the Tailem Bend community was waiting for further information about the level of risk and potential exposure, and some locals were understandably "nervous".
Victoria records two Covid cases after removalist entered from Sydney
Victoria has recorded two new locally-acquired coronavirus cases after infected removalists entered the state from Covid-ravaged NSW. The two new cases were previously announced on Monday afternoon and take Victoria's tally of active Covid-19 cases to 20.Another local case was acquired interstate. All three cases are members of the same Melbourne household who have been in isolation having recently returned from NSW on red zone permits.Meanwhile, an apartment complex in Melbourne is now in lockdown after being visited by the infected removalists who travelled from Sydney.
"It's only come to light this morning," he said.
"We're concerned but not alarmed. We'll deal with this in a sensible manner.
"We've been pleasantly surprised that we haven't had an incursion like this yet, over time, given that we are on the main highway to Melbourne and the secondary highway to Sydney.
"So far during COVID we haven't had any cases in my community.
"Obviously we wouldn't be fearful, but we'd aggressively chase down all the risks we have.
"It only takes one minor breach now to give us a major risk."
A nearby worker said she found out about the exposure risk at the petrol station through the media, and there was concern within the community.
"It is a bit of a shock because customers came in and said, 'Why is [the petrol station] shut?' That was this morning," she said.[Click through to send us your questions about COVID-19]