South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has announced a major expansion of contact tracing experts for the state’s health system.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has announced a major expansion of contact tracing experts for the state's health system.
SA Health's Communical Disease Control Branch will be boosted by an extra 300 staff for the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
Contact tracing involves detailed interviews with coronavirus patients followed by the detailed tracking of people who had contact with them to identify if the virus had been passed on.
Symptoms for COVID-19 may appear within two to 14 days after exposure.
"This is absolutely critical in our fight against the COVID-19 progress here in South Australia. It's absolutely crucial," Mr Marshall said.
"Currently, it's been ramped up to 140 people, and we're announcing today another 300 people which will go into this area as and when they're needed."
Mr Marshall said he had issued a premier's instruction to transfer public service workers who have got the right level of skills into contact tracing.
"They have to have some knowledge of medicine, problem-solving, high-level communication," he said.
In another move, South Australians needing essential medicines during the pandemic will be able to go direct to a pharmacy without visiting a doctor to get a prescription.
The state government has put an emergency measure in place to ensure people will be able to access the medicines they need.
"Understandably there is a lot of anxiety in the community right now," Mr Marshall said.
"We know that this initiative will give peace of mind to many."
Almost coronavirus 27,500 tests have been conducted in SA across 54 separate testing sites, including 48 in regional areas.
The state's testing time is down to 17 hours and is being done around the clock.
Earlier today, there was a series of new cases in SA, possibly linked to the six Qantas baggage handlers who tested positive to COVID-19 at Adelaide airport.
The State's Chief Health Officer cannot yet confirm exactly how many cases there are.The airline is working with the Health Department to trace the movements of the infected staff members, with 100 people now in quarantine and more testing under way.
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Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-south-australia-expands-covid-19-contact-tracing-teams/7ba683e8-06e3-494f-9fd6-a9974b319a50