SA Health response - COVID-19

To protect the health and wellbeing of all South Australians and help stop the spread of COVID-19, a range of measures have been implemented on the advice of our medical and public health experts.

The South Australian response is tailored to our local conditions and changes as the situation in our state changes.

South Australian emergency management directions and restrictions

Visit our response and restrictions page for information on the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration and links to the individual directions on the SA Government COVID-19 website.

State Control Centre – Health

A multi-agency State Control Centre – Health (SCC-H) within SA Health headquarters is part of a whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SCC-H allows agencies to work together to enable a comprehensive statewide response. It includes representatives from key State Government agencies.

Pandemic Arrangement

As outlined in the South Australian Emergency Management Act 2004, SA Health is the Hazard Leader for human disease and control agency for human epidemics, food and waterborne diseases.

For more information about the Viral Respiratory Disease Pandemic Response Plan (including COVID-19, influenza, SARS & MERS) visit the Pandemic Arrangement page.

Dedicated COVID-19 information and support

SA COVID-19 Information Line

The SA COVID-19 Information Line provides local information on COVID-19 to the South Australian community. It is available 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, seven days a week on 1800 253 787.

COVID-19 Mental Health Support

SA Health has established a network of telephone and online services to provide the South Australian community with mental health support during the COVID-19 pandemic. For information see the COVID-19 Mental Health Support page.

Testing

Active Surveillance Testing

COVID-19 testing in South Australia has been expanded to test specific groups of people who work with vulnerable populations, in high-risk settings or who may have less access to testing clinics. Increased testing helps us protect the community by quickly identifying new cases and preventing potential outbreaks.

The SA Health COVID-19 Active Surveillance Testing Operational Framework (PDF 445KB) details South Australia’s possible future active surveillance testing activities. The Framework outlines three key types of active surveillance testing components which meet the needs of the Australian National Disease Surveillance Plan for COVID-19, including testing of occupational groups, household contacts of confirmed cases, and random samples.

COVID-19 Clinics and Testing Centres

Dedicated COVID-19 Clinics and Testing Centres have been established in South Australia to test people for COVID-19. These clinics take pressure of our Emergency Departments and help to minimise the spread of infection.

Anyone in South Australia with symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild, should seek testing immediately.

Wastewater testing

SA Health has joined forces with SA Water to locate any possible COVID-19 cases in the community by analysing wastewater samples. Monitoring wastewater will identify the presence of non-infectious genetic material (viral RNA) to build a better understanding of virus transmission in South Australian communities.

Sampling is occurring at wastewater treatment plants across South Australia.

For more information see the COVID-19 Wastewater Surveillance Program page.

Rapid testing for urgent cases

Rapid testing capability provides a COVID-19 diagnosis in less than 60 minutes in cases where clinicians deem an urgent diagnosis is required.

This will enable clinicians in metropolitan and ten regional hospitals to make quick decisions around the treatment and care of patients deemed clinically urgent.

This type of testing is not currently available within COVID-19 testing clinics.

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COVID SAfe Check-In

COVID SAfe Check-In is a feature that has been added to the free mySA GOV app. If someone in South Australia tests positive to COVID-19, the COVID SAfe Check-In enables SA Health to quickly contact others who may have been exposed to the virus and stop the spread of COVID-19. More information can be found on the COVID SAfe Check-In page.

Travel advice

Find health advice on travel and travel restrictions on our South Australian travel advice page. Advice includes:

  • What to do before you book and travel
  • Links to SA and other state and territory COVID-19 travel restriction and higher risk area information
  • Requirements for travelling to SA and health exemptions
  • COVID Safe travel tips.

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Hospital response

Dedicated COVID-19 facilities

The Royal Adelaide Hospital is the dedicated COVID-19 treatment facility for adults, Flinders Medical Centre for high-risk pregnant women and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital will treat paediatric patients.

Restrictions on hospital visits

To ensure the safety and welfare of people in our hospital and health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are some restrictions for visitors. People should check with individual hospitals for local and visitor information.

COVID-19 community resources

Quick read resources

SA Health quick read resources contain important information about COVID-19 in an easy to read format.

Translated resources

A number of SA Health resources, including videos, audio recordings and fact sheets, have been translated in many languages.

COVID safe activities

Many community activities are still permitted in South Australia. SA Health has tips and resources to ensure activities are being conducted in a COVID safe way.

Public communication campaigns

Advertising campaigns that aim to educate the general public to help stop the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).