South Australian councils have been given the green light to reopen playgrounds after the state recorded 11 days without a new coronavirus case.
- There have been no positive coronavirus tests in SA for 11 days
- SA Health has recommended councils reopen playgrounds
- SANFL football could come back before winter
South Australia’s Chief Public Health Officer, Nicola Spurrier, has recommended reopening parks, playgrounds and equipment from today.
Most but not all councils taped off playgrounds and fitness outdoor equipment during the pandemic.
In a letter to councils, Dr Spurrier said there was minimal risk of contamination due to the low cases of coronavirus in South Australia and the absence of community transmission.
But she advised councils to employ strict hygiene measures and display signage to reinforce distancing and gathering rules.
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Dr Spurrier said reopening public play spaces was an indication of the community’s efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus.
South Australia’s confirmed number of coronavirus cases sits at 438.
Dr Spurrier announced today the 11th day in a row without a new case.
Just seven active cases remain, with three patients in hospital, none of them in intensive care.
Adelaide Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor said the city’s playgrounds should open by Monday afternoon.
Ms Verschoor said she was looking forward to the city returning to normal soon.
“South Australia and Nicola Spurrier and the Premier have done the most amazing job to keep us safe in South Australia,” she said.
“This is the first move of many where they will be looking at lifting restrictions as we can and the City of Adelaide is absolutely behind this, 100 per cent.
“We want our city back and thriving.”
Salisbury Mayor Gillian Aldridge said her council would move quickly to reopen outdoor parks and playgrounds that were closed because of coronavirus fears.
Ms Aldridge said the Adelaide northern suburbs council would make sure SA Health’s advice was followed before playgrounds reopened.
“The first thing we will do is make sure the signage is right,” she said.
“We’ve got 147 playgrounds, three skate parks and six outdoor fitness stations, so we’re going to make sure that everything is in place, that everything is OK and make sure that the right signage goes up and they’ll be open as soon as we can do that.”
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It is urging South Australians not to be complacent about the risk of the virus and a second wave of infections.
Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Mike Cusack said people still needed to work hard to prevent another outbreak.
“It’s understandable when people look at the data and think: ‘Well, I am safe to do things that maybe a fortnight ago I would not have been quite so confident about’, which is why I keep wanting to make that message that even though we are doing well, we have seen when we’ve had outbreaks in the Barossa and at the airport that things can accelerate very quickly,” he said.
A meeting of the National Cabinet on Friday will shed more light on whether more restrictions might be relaxed.
A Charles Sturt council worker removes a closed sign from the playground in Semaphore Park.(ABC News)
Health Minister Stephen Wade said the State Government was hoping to resume local football before winter.
“Competitions which operate within South Australian borders are more likely to be safe from a public health point of view, so I expect that SANFL will be with us before the AFL,” he said.
“Clinicians literally last week and the week ahead will be working to try and lay down a pathway for sport to resume at every level.”