South Australia has recorded its first community transmitted coronavirus cases since April after three infections were reported on Sunday.
The source of the new infections are not known and threatens to spook plans to open borders in coming weeks as health authorities conduct urgent contract tracing.
A woman in her 80s was diagnosed at Adelaide’s Lyell McEwin Hospital emergency department on Saturday, leading to 90 staff and patients being ordered to quarantine.
Two of the woman’s family members, a female in her 50s and a man in his 60s, have tested positive for the deadly virus.
The three are all from the same family and are related to a staff member from a medi-hotel holding quarantined patients.
Four other members of the family are showing symptoms.
The state’s chief health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier said the new cases were “very troubling”, revealing the woman had visited Parafield Plaza Supermarket.
Anyone who visited this retail site is being urged to get tested.
“I am expecting we will have more cases, which is why I am absolutely warning South Australians: this is a wake-up call — if you have respiratory symptoms, you‘ve got to get tested,” she said.
Contract tracing will focus on the medi-hotel.
“Obviously, this is where we‘re considering the source to be,” Prof Spurrier said.
SA Health has issued a contact tracing alert for anyone who was at the Lyell McEwin Hospital between 5.30pm on Friday and 4.00am Saturday, as well as the Parafield Plaza Supermarket between 10.30am and 11.30am on Thursday.
A fourth case was reported in SA but this patient was already in hotel quarantine.