South Australia continues its virus-free run as the state government bolsters its COVID-19 testing regime after surpassing 80,000 tests.
Premier Steven Marshall has praised the state’s response to the virus with 1500 tests a day performed over the past week.
“Extensive testing for COVID-19 has been a hallmark of South Australia’s strong, decisive response to the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Marshall rejected suggestions the state’s good position could result in the borders with other states being opened soon.
He said a time would come to open the borders but not yet.
“These gains that we’ve made have been so hard-fought that we don’t want to cede those by opening up our borders too soon,” he said.
Also on May 18, specific and targeted COVID-19 testing for high-risk sectors of society was introduced to continue South Australia’s defence against the virus.
Transport, health, seasonal and aged care workers, along with prisoners and the homeless, are being prioritised under the Active Testing Surveillance Framework.
Health Minister Stephen Wade says focused testing on vulnerable sectors within society will ensure we remain ahead of the virus.
“We are not going to rest on our laurels. Through enhanced testing of specific groups, we will be able to implement in a timely manner any necessary control methods, including isolating cases and infection control procedures,” he said.
The program comes as the SA government prepares for a possible second wave of COVID-19 cases despite the state having no new or active infections.
Marshall is weary that relaxing too many restrictions too soon will lead to catastrophic impacts for the local economy.
“We do not want to put South Australian businesses in the difficult position of opening up, and only having to close again because of a second wave of COVID-19 infections.”
The number of virus cases in SA remains at 439 with no new infections reported on Monday.
One person remains in hospital but is no longer infectious.
By Patrick James