Number of SA schools, child care to close

SA Police's Grant Stevens says fines for people who don't self-isolate will send a strong message.
SA Police's Grant Stevens says fines for people who don't self-isolate will send a strong message.

Schools, preschools and childcare centres will be closed north of Adelaide in a bid to reduce unnecessary travel after a number of coronavirus cases were linked to the area.

SA Health advised the Education Department to close the facilities in Tanunda, Nuriootpa, Williamstown, Angaston and Lyndoch in the Barossa Valley as of Monday.

SA Health chief medical officer Nicola Spurrier said although schools were not at risk, it was a way of reducing unnecessary travel. Principals and childcare directors have been notified and were contacting parents and staff.

She urged South Australians to avoid travelling to and from the area and said people who visited those towns from March 14 and had developed symptoms must self-isolate and get tested.

"I'm confident with all of the measures put in place, along with my request for people not to travel into this area, that we will get on top of this," Dr Spurrier said.

SA now has 299 confirmed cases, including just four cases of community transmission, with an extra 12 reported on Sunday.

Of those twelve, seven were linked to the Ruby Princess cruise ship.

Six people are in intensive care with four of those listed as critical.

Dr Spurrier urged anyone living in the areas of concern to work from home if possible.

A dedicated clinic will also open in Tanunda on Monday.

Meanwhile, a holiday park with 60-self contained units will be used to care for some coronavirus patients to ease the burden on local hospitals.

Nurses and specialists from the Flinders Medical Centre will review isolated patients, and increase clinical surveillance and support for them and their families at the Marion Holiday Park.

The park's units are self-contained with kitchens, bathrooms and open areas.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said the initiative would support local jobs, provide medical care and accommodation for patients, and ease the pressure on hospitals when the peak hits.

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network chief operating officer David Morris said using the park would help people with a lack of accommodation and those in shared living arrangements.

Australian Associated Press