No new virus cases in the next week will hand South Australia an early Christmas gift as health officials are poised to draw a line through the worrying Parafield cluster of COVID-19 cases.
Authorities consider two incubation cycles, or 28 days, the necessary timeframe before an outbreak can be declared officially eliminated.
December 23 has been identified as the day after that period ends for the Parafield cluster, which still stands at 33 infections.
None of those cases are still considered active.
Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the cluster was “fairly unique” with a lot of information collected on all of those who became infected.
She said the last person went into isolation on the 24th of November.
“So if you count 28 days from there it ends up being around the 23rd of December which is when we can say it’s closed,” she told an online forum.
Meanwhile, SA has moved to scrap its COVID-19 border checkpoints and has dispensed with the need for travellers to check-in online before crossing into the state.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the decision was taken to ease pressures on police resources and reflected the low levels of coronavirus across Australia.
Under the border arrangements, between 350 and 550 police and protective service staff work on the border patrols on a daily basis, including at Adelaide Airport and the road checkpoints.
They will now return to their usual operational duties with the redeployment to be completed over the coming days.
“We’ve been monitoring our border activity for at least a couple of weeks based on the absence of COVID-19 in other states,” Mr Stevens said.
“The risk of someone slipping through the cracks is very low and it’s not sustainable to maintain those resources given that level of risk.”
But the commissioner said border checks could be reinstated if the level of risk increased.
“But let’s hope we don’t have to,” he said.
“Let’s hope where we are now in Australia is the position we maintain.”