coronavirus - Port Adelaide Centrelink
coronavirus - Port Adelaide Centrelink

David Jones staff member tests positive, store closes

David Jones at Westfield Marion has closed temporarily as a "precautionary measure" after a staff member tested positive to coronavirus.

The team member returned the positive test late Monday and is now recovering in isolation at home.

It says customers at the store between 9am on March 16 through to 11am on March 21 and feel unwell should contact the public health hotline on 1800 671 738.

David Jones has a cleaning program in place and says customers can be confident when it reopens.

"Our foremost priority is the health and safety of our customers and team members and as a result we have closed our Marion store while an extensive deep clean occurs in line with health authority guidelines," a David Jones spokeswoman said.

"We have enacted all protocols in line with government requirements and are working closely with SA Health to support the safety of our team and community."

She said a decision on when the store would reopen was yet to be made.

"The Marion store will remain closed until the completion of its deep clean," she said.

 

A Westfield Marion spokeswoman said the shopping mall would remain open.

 

 

 

New testing drive-thru clinic opens

 

Premier Steven Marshall said SA has "unequivocally" led the nation with its "strong testing", which gives "very high confidence levels" of no community transmission.

He said there had been 17,800 in tests in SA, making us a "world leader" per head of population. He said tests were being turned around within 21 hours, as pathologists continued to cut wait times for results.

"South Australia has unequiviocally led the way nationally when it comes to testing for COVID-19," he said while opening a new drive through clinics today.

"We led the nation when we set up the first drive through testing, and the success of that operation has been replicated right across the country.

"Strong testing is a hallmark in how we have worked towards tackling the coronavirus head on."

He added: "I am very pleased with the amount of testing that we have done (as) that gives us a high confidence level that, at this point of time, we haven't had any community transmission of the disease.

"Now that is going to come, but the longer push that off the more secure we are going to be.

"Our focus is reducing that peak and pushing it as far out as possible and accurate and timely testing is a big part of that."

"(There) is a significant gap with what we are doing to the rest of the world is doing. And this is what give us the confidence that we can tackle this coronavirus and minimise the health inmpacts."

He conceded restrictions on business and people had been "devastating".

There have been 134 cases of coronavirus in SA, with at least six people recovered. SA Health will provide an update later.

The State Government today opened a second metro drive-through testing clinic at the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre and another facility in Port Pirie.

The opening comes after the success of the drive through clinic at Repat precinct, which had witnessed a large backlog in cases, in some instances a waiting time of more than a week.

Almost 800 tests have occured at the southern suburbs clic.

SA Pathology chief Dr Tom Dodd said the backlog had reduced dramatically to only a few days after appointments were slashed from 20 minutes to five minute blocks.

He said the tests were incredibly "senstive" and world leading. SA has at least 100,000 test kits available. Patients must have a GP referral to visit the drive through clinics.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said there were no coronavirus patients in SA in intensive care, and most were being cared for "in the community".

 

Mr Marshall said SA Police were working with other State Government agencies to enforce border checks that start Tuesday at 4pm.

That includes primary industries officers and workers from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

"The way that we are going to get through this best is to work together," he said.

"I think that some people are still not understanding the magnitude of this issue."

Mr Marshall said the State Government would consider all options, including further social crackdowns at a meeting of the National Cabinet on Tuesday night.

He said the Government was determined to ensure that children did not miss out on a year of schooling, as some parents keep their children home and health officials say a network shutdown could be triggered at some point.

Mr Marshall said he was "very grateful" to teachers who were working in a "very difficult situation".

 

 

 

Don't line up at Centrelink, minister says

 

The Social Services Minister has urged Australians needing welfare assistance to register by phone or online, rather than lining up at their local Centrelink office.

In Adelaide and across the country on Monday, huge lines formed at Centrelink offices are tens of thousands of people, suddenly out of work as a result of the coronavirus, sought financial assistance.

The massive surge in demand caused the government's MyGov website to crash - which the Government first blamed on a denial of service attack but later admitted was demand-driven.

Speaking to ABC radio Adelaide on Tuesday, the Social Services Minister, SA Senator Anne Ruston, said the Government understood "the huge amount of stress and trauma so many Australians are going through right now".

 

 

 

She urged people not to line up at Centrelink offices but to start their application by phone or online.

"We have had unprecedented demand, the website is slower than we'd like it to be, but it's working and our phone lines are working and we've put a lot more people in our call centres," Senator Ruston said.

She said people already receiving payments did not need to present at Centrelink offices "because your payments will automatically go into your account".

"We don't want them lining up at Centrelink, because obviously, from a social distancing perspective, we don't want them in crowds."

 

People queue outside Port Adelaide Centrelink waiting to get help. Picture: Sarah Reed
People queue outside Port Adelaide Centrelink waiting to get help. Picture: Sarah Reed

 

She said people looking to access assistance for the first time needed only to start the process, either by phone or online, in order to receive payments.

"You do not need to do anything more than start the process of registering your name and details today - even if you are unable to finish the process, you will be eligible from today.

She said payments were usually processed "in about five days".

"If somebody is in dire circumstances, and they have no money, we can immediately point them to emergency relief.

"They're able to get cash, they're able to get bills paid, they're able to get their car filled up with fuel, they can get food vouchers."

In other developments today, this year's 20th anniversary Adelaide Cabaret Festival has been cancelled, bringing Julia Zemiro's role as artistic director to a premature end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as David Jones staff member tests positive, store closes


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