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Adelaide Oval back to full capacity as case spike puts SA Health 'on edge'

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Adelaide Oval’s capacity will be increased to 100 per cent in time for the Showdown, with the decision announced as the state records nine new COVID-19 cases in hotel quarantine and chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier admits she is “on edge”.

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The capacity increase, flagged by the state’s transition committee on Tuesday, will come into force from May 8 – the day of the Showdown between Adelaide and Port Adelaide.

Mask wearing will still be required when entering, leaving and moving around the ground, as part of the new COVID management plan agreed between SA Health and the Stadium Management Authority.

Attendance at the oval will remain capped at 40,000 for the two weeks prior to the showdown.

QR code check-ins will also still be in place for patrons as they enter the ground and associated hospitality venues.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said she was “delighted” that Adelaide Oval can now go to full capacity.

“We’ve worked very closely with the management of Adelaide Oval for a long period of time,” Spurrier told reporters today.

“I’m very confident about the safety of the set up that they have there which has allowed us to go to that 100 per cent.

“The Showdown is a special event … and to be able to have the majority of fans come back and see that event I think is very special.”

She said the capacity increase will stay in place after the Showdown if it is successful from a health standpoint.

It will be the first game at Adelaide Oval with 100 per cent of seats available since 2019.

Meanwhile, South Australia has recorded another nine new cases of COVID-19 in hotel quarantine, bringing the state’s number of active cases to 30.

Three of the nine cases are old infections that have been added to SA’s COVID tally as they were not recorded overseas.

Spurrier said it was the largest number of active cases in the state since the Parafield cluster last November.

“This puts me on edge and members of my staff to make sure that we’re still protecting South Australians,” she said.

“We need to make sure that all of our processes in our quarantine stream and our medi-hotels are as tight as possible.

“Obviously this is a concern to us in South Australia but to reassure the public that we are doing everything possible to protect South Australians.”

Today’s six new active cases are a woman in her teens, a woman and a man in their 30s and three men in their 40s.

It comes after the state recorded six new COVID cases on Monday, and eight last Tuesday, April 13.

Spurrier said SA Health was looking “very closely” at the capacity of the state’s dedicated facility for COVID-positive international arrivals – Tom’s Court Hotel.

She said it was hard to put an exact number on its current capacity because “we might be able to fit more people into that hotel if it’s a parent with a couple of children”.

“Whereas if it’s a separate traveller, of course we’d need two separate rooms, so it’s very difficult to give you an absolute number.”

Spurrier confirmed 12 per cent of South Australia’s medi-hotel workforce is still yet to receive a COVID vaccination, but emphasised that SA Health is bringing in new staff to work in the medi-hotels, and “vaccination is only one part of the solution”.

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