Man causes fear of COVID cluster in Adelaide

A series of unfortunate events means that a lone Adelaide man could have potentially infected dozens of people as well as two nursing homes in the largely coronavirus-free state of South Australia.

The SA man, aged in his twenties, returned home from the COVID-19 hotspot Melbourne on July 28, right before authorities strengthened border controls.

He tested positive to the coronavirus yesterday.

Alarmingly, the man lives with his aunt and mother — who are both aged care workers, health authorities have revealed.

There are concerns that those who sat near him on the plane could also be at risk.

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Although the man went into self-isolation at home, authorities fear the worst because his aunt and mother work at two separate aged care facilities in Adelaide.

The two South Australian homes — The Ridleyton Greek Home for the Aged in Brompton and the Philip Kennedy Centre Residential Care facility in Largs Bay — were immediately locked down.

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Both workers returned negative test results today.

The two aged care workers remain isolated at the family home, while the man has been moved to the Pullman Hotel in the Adelaide CBD for quarantine.

The man told authorities that he did not wear a clean face mask on his flight from Melbourne to Adelaide.

Eighteen people on board the JQ774 plane from Melbourne have also been placed in isolation, deemed “close contacts”. They are awaiting test results.

“He developed some very mild symptoms on the 28th, on the day that he returned back to South Australia,” chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier said.

“He has done absolutely the right thing, has gone into quarantine and got tested very quickly.”

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