Two truck drivers who travelled to Western Australia from New South Wales have left several exposure sites in vulnerable areas of regional South Australia causing concern across the state. 

Both Ceduna and Port Augusta have had petrol stations listed as tier 1 exposure sites as community leaders call for calm and for health directions to be followed.

Port Augusta is the freight gateway to the rest of the country namely WA and the NT and First Nations communities often meet in the transient community, while Ceduna also has vulnerable community members.

Local football leagues aren’t taking any chances and have cancelled matches across the Spencer Gulf and western SA.

Community is ‘well prepared’

Davenport Council chief executive officer and Adnyamathanha woman Lavene Ngatokorua said the community was relatively well prepared for a “worst-case scenario”.

The small vulnerable community of Davenport was previously locked down under the federal government’s Biosecurity Act last year when COVID-19 posed a threat.

“A lot of work has been done with SA Health working with the community already,” Ms Ngatokorua said.

Davenport Council chief executive officer Lavene Ngatokorua says the community is well prepared for a worst-case scenario. (

ABC News: Gabriella Marchant.

)

“If one person gets it, it would spread like wildfire.”

Ms Ngatokorua said there would be challenges isolating in Aboriginal communities in and around Port Augusta, if COVID-19 were to spread.

“The vulnerability of our community is in our face. I suppose we do struggle with staying isolated; we like to be together.”

She also echoed calls for health directions to be followed as other vulnerable communities in other states struggled to contain the virus.

“It is up to people to ensure that they do the right thing and I hope that our people will do that and take it seriously,” Ms Ngatokorua said.

Calls for calm

Port Augusta Mayor Brett Benbow encouraged everyone in the Port Augusta community to look at the exposure sites and immediately get tested and quarantine if they had been at the venues.

“I encourage our community to stay strong, make sure you follow the processes,” he said.

A queue of people for Covid testing with a blue sky in the background
Residents queue for a COVID-19 testing clinic next door to an exposure site in Port Augusta. (

ABC North and West: Declan Gooch

)

Councillor Benbow said the council had taken precautions to close some of its facilities including the local library and the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens.

“There will be nervousness but we need to continue to be positive, from what I’ve sighted in our community. people have been following the rules,” he said.



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By EDONS