SA Goes Rogue On Close Contact Definition Changes

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ABC News/Michael Clements

Speculation runs rife over South Australia adopting the new close contact definition after the Premier posts to social pages, a slightly different set of rules for SA.

On New Year’s Eve, Premier Steven Marshall posted to Facebook what his government's definition of 'close contacts' is, and it look a little different to the one Scott Morrison handed down on Thursday. 

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Marshall says a close contact will be a:

  • Household and household-like contacts and intimate partners.
  • Those who have been in a setting where there has been significant transmission of Covid-19 (and there has been greater than 15 minutes face-to-face contact).
  • Those in high-risk communities/settings/workplaces where someone has tested positive to Covid-19 (and there has been greater than 15 minutes of face-to-face contact).

This comes as a stark contrast to Morrison's definition, which determines a close contact as someone who lives with or has been in a “household-like” situation with a confirmed Covid case for at least four hours.

Showing a united front, SA’s chief public health officer has confirmed that for South Australians anyone who comes into contact with a person who has tested positive to Covid for 15 minutes or more is classed as a close contact.

Professor Nicola Spurrier told ABC Radio Adelaide on Friday morning that what was announced after yesterday’s cabinet meeting is not relevant in SA. 

“I guess here in South Australia, we’ve got our own way of doing our contact tracing,” Prof Spurrier said. 

“Definitely as the Prime Minister flagged its household contacts, and we’ve just extended that to household-like contacts because there are many people that actually have quite a close-knit social circle.”

“We’re basically trying to focus on people’s social groups so that's your households, household like contacts or intimate partners," she explained.

Meanwhile, Premier Marshall is also holding strong to the use of PCR tests, saying close contacts will still need to get an “initial” PCR test and another one on day 6, or “immediately if symptoms develop”.

People in SA who test positive to Covid must isolate for 10 days and take a rapid test on day six. 

Vaccinated close contacts are required to isolate for seven days, with a rapid test on day six. If negative, then you can return to a somewhat normal life. 

Unvaccinated people must isolate for 14 days. 


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Triple M Newsroom

31 December 2021

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Triple M Newsroom

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