Scare for South Australia as infected truck driver travels through state

New COVID-19 exposure sites announced

SA Health has listed new COVID-19 exposure sites on Eyre Peninsula and the Far West after an infectious truck driver from New South Wales travelled through South Australia last week.

The truck driver, a man in his 20s who has had the first dose of the vaccine, was in the state last Wednesday before making his way over to Perth.

He then returned through South Australia last Saturday.

The driver visited 10 truck stops and service stations while in the state, including in Port Augusta, Wudinna, Penong and Border Village.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the man's co-driver returned a negative test.

She said she was "particularly concerned" about the man's stop at the shower block at the Caltex service station in Penong.

The driver was in Penong on Wednesday, September 15 from 9.30pm to 11.20pm, and on Saturday, September 18 from 3.30am to 5.30am.

The service station and shower block has been classified a Tier 1 site, with anybody who was there at those times to be tested immediately and to quarantine for 14 days along with members of their household.

Other sites, including those at Border Village, Wudinna and Port Augusta, are classified at Tier 2, which also requires an immediate test and 14 days of quarantine, but not with household members.

Professor Spurrier said the driver had a negative test on Tuesday, September 14.

She said he started to develop symptoms on the 18th, upon his return to SA, but thought it was due to work-related fatigue, before symptoms worsened when he arrived back in New South Wales.

"He developed some mild symptoms on the 18th, but he put those symptoms down to the fact he had been driving for a long time and was fatigued and hadn't got much sleep," Professor Spurrier said.

"Unfortunately, it was because he was developing Covid."

Professor Spurrier said QR check-ins, credit card transactions and fuel card transactions would be used to trace who may have been at the exposure sites.

"We've had this happen to us before in South Australia," she said.

"We haven't had any onward transmission - but this is always a risk and its exactly why in our state we have to be very mindful of the high risk in New South Wales and Victoria at the moment."

She urged people to get vaccinated as that was the best precaution against the disease.

WA Health Minister Roger Cook said it was believed the drivers slept in their truck and had minimal contact with others while in the state.

EXPOSURE SITES

TIER 1

Penong

  • Men's shower block (Caltex Penong): Wednesday, September 15 - 9.30pm to 11.20pm
  • Men's shower block (Caltex Penong): Saturday, September 18 - 3.30am to 5.30am
  • Caltex Penong: Saturday, September 18 - 3.30am to 5.30am

TIER 2

Border Village

  • Shell Border Village: Thursday, September 16 - 2.15am to 3.45am
  • Shell Border Village: Saturday, September 18 - 12am to 1.30am

Penong

  • Caltex Penong: Wednesday, September 15 - 9.30pm to 11.20pm

Wudinna

  • Golden Wattle Road House: Saturday, September 18 - 7.20am to 8.30am

Port Augusta

  • Port Augusta OTR (including Hungry Jack's): Wednesday, September 15 - 2.30pm to 4.40pm
  • BP Port Augusta Truckstop: Saturday, September 18 - 10.30am to 12.30pm

Anybody at the sites, but not at the specified date and time, are asked to monitor for symptoms and to get tested as soon as symptoms develop.

This story New COVID-19 exposure sites announced first appeared on Port Lincoln Times.