18 November 2020

South Australia goes into hard lockdown for six days as ‘circuit-breaker’

Communicable Disease COVID-19 Live blog

Welcome to The Medical Republic’s COVID Catch-Up.

It’s the day’s COVID-19 news in one convenient post. Email bianca@biancanogrady.com with any tips, comments or feedback.

18 November

  • South Australia is to undertake a six-day ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown in an effort to get on top of the COVID-19 outbreak in Adelaide.
    From midnight today, the entire state is under stay-at-home orders: only one person per household is allowed to leave the house each day for specific purposes, which are yet to be detailed but don’t include exercise. Masks are now compulsory outside the home.
    At a press conference today, Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in this outbreak appears to have a short incubation period of around 24 hours, people exposed to it become infectious quickly while also showing minimal symptoms.
    All schools, hospitality venues, universities, construction sites, sport, factories and even take-away venues will close. All elective surgery is on hold, all aged and residential care facilities are closed to visitors, weddings and funerals are cancelled. Childcare is available for families of essential workers, which includes healthcare workers.
    A COVID-19 public health alert has been issued for anyone who dined at or got take-away from the Woodville Pizza Bar in Woodville, between the 6-16 November, asking them to immediately quarantine themselves and anyone living with them, and seek testing.
  • Around half of Australians say they would get a COVID-19 test if they developed even mild symptoms of a respiratory infection, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
    In the ABS’s October survey of household impacts of COVID-19 – a monthly survey of around 1500 Australians – 53% of respondents said they would get tested with mild symptoms, and 45% said they would seek advice from a healthcare professional such as a GP.
    Just over one in ten of those surveyed said they had experienced symptoms of a respiratory infection in the previous four weeks, three-quarters of which were mild symptoms only, and 43% of those with symptoms said they had got a COVID-19 test.
    Of those who didn’t get tested or seek medical advice, nearly two-thirds said it was because they thought their symptoms were unrelated to COVID-19, and 57% said it was because they didn’t feel their symptoms were serious enough.
    The survey also asked about travel plans over summer, and revealed that around one-third fewer Australians plan to travel for the holidays compared to at the same time last year. However nearly half of respondents still intended to travel, mostly within their own state or territory, but just over one-third planned to travel interstate and 11% planned to travel overseas.
  • Quarantine hotel workers should be tested for COVID-19 every week, says the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.
    The committee, which consists of all the state and territory chief health officers and is chaired by the federal chief medical officer, acknowledged that quarantine was a key part of the national strategy to achieve zero community transmission of COVID-19. Regular testing of those staffing quarantine and isolation settings was recommended to “support and to protect the wellbeing of quarantine workers and the wider community.”
  • Switzerland has run out of intensive care beds as more than 4200 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the past 24 hours alone. The European nation has taken what has been described as a ‘Sweden-lite’ approach to managing the pandemic: shunning lockdowns and delaying mask mandates, while also keeping bars and restaurants open, according to The Local – an English-language Swiss news site.
    Nearly 270,000 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed since the pandemic, in a nation with a population around 8.5 million. For comparison, Melbourne has a population of around 4.9 million and has recorded 20,345 cases to date.
  • South Australia has issued a COVID-19 public health alert for anyone who dined at or got take-away from the Woodville Pizza Bar in Woodville, between the 6-16 November, asking them to immediately quarantine themselves and anyone living with them, and seek testing.
    Here are the latest confirmed COVID-19 infection numbers from around Australia to 9pm Tuesday:
    National – 27,756, with 907 deaths
    ACT – 114 (0)
    NSW – 4502 (4)
    NT – 46 (0)
    QLD – 1186 (1)
    SA – 545 (1)
    TAS – 230 (0)
    VIC – 20,345 (0)
    WA – 788 (0)
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