South Australia will not immediately reverse a decision to open its border to NSW over a small spike in locally-acquired coronavirus infections there.
NSW recorded eight new virus cases on Thursday, including three cases flagged on Wednesday that ended a 12-day streak without any community transmission.
Five of the eight are from a known cluster and the remaining three are linked and the source is being investigated.
A fall in community transmission was a key factor in South Australia recently dropping its requirement for travellers from NSW to quarantine for 14 days.
Premier Steven Marshall said local health officials would sit down with their NSW counterparts to understand the new infections and the response to the cases.
“At this stage, we don’t plan to make any immediate change to our borders in South Australia,” he said.
“We’ve always acted swiftly to protect the people of South Australia but we haven’t received any information, at this stage, that would make us change our border arrangements.
“We’re always looking at it. We’re always keeping the people of South Australia protected.”
South Australian health officials on Thursday also urged more people to get checked for COVID-19 after a sustained fall in daily tests.
From August to October, daily numbers have dropped consistently from more than 7000 to about 2000.
On Tuesday this week, SA Health reported 2326 tests had been performed.
“Our COVID-19 testing rates have been falling in recent months,” the department said.
“We need all South Australians and anyone visiting SA to keep getting tested with any symptoms, no matter how mild.
“It’s quick, free and at most testing sites you don’t need a referral.”
The falling numbers reflect the limited infections in SA, with only 45 cases of coronavirus reported since April and no cases involving community transmission for a number of weeks.
No new infections were reported on Thursday, with only three still considered active.
The call for increased testing came as SA extended its buffer zone with Victoria, easing COVID-19 restrictions on border communities.
The zone increased from 40km to 70km on each side of the border, allowing more people to travel into SA or return from trips into Victoria without need to quarantine.
People travelling from states other than Victoria, who transition through Mildura, are also allowed to come into the state without being forced into isolation.
Travellers are being checked at the border to ensure they are not from Victoria or Mildura locals and must not have stopped in the regional town.