Murray Bridge residents face a wait for COVID-19 vaccinations

Here's the latest on the vaccine roll-out and current restrictions in the Murraylands.

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Murraylands residents face a nervous wait for vaccines as COVID-19 pokes at South Australia’s defences.

Five people in Adelaide tested positive to the virus on Wednesday, prompting calls for all South Australians to get vaccinated as soon as they could.

Yet Murray Bridge’s vaccination clinic – on Swanport Road, next door to the hospital – was not accepting bookings for either Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccinations late on Thursday morning.

An SA Health spokeswoman said the problem was not related to vaccine supplies.

Rather, it was to do with a technical problem with the appointment booking system, which she expected would be fixed within the next day or so.

Health and Wellbeing Minister Stephen Wade said demand for vaccines across the state was currently high.

“Appointment availability is extremely dynamic and changes each day as people make bookings, people cancel bookings and capacity is adjusted in line with demand and supply,” he said.

“If someone tries to go online today and can’t access any appointments, we recommend they come back to the website often and refresh the website as availability can change quickly and vacancies can come up at short notice.”

One in four Murray Bridge residents is at least partially vaccinated

About 4500 Murray Bridge residents have had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine so far, according to SA Health data published by The Advertiser on Tuesday.

That’s about a quarter of the local population, which puts us in line with the state average.

Tailem Bend is running slightly ahead, with more than 500 of 1762 residents already vaccinated.

The postcodes 5254, for Monarto and Callington, and 5259, for Jervois, Wellington and the Narrung Peninsula, were lagging behind.

Worldwide, 23.4 per cent of people have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to Our World in Data.

Two doses are required for the most effective protection against COVID-19.

Chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier urged everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they could.

“The vaccines have been designed to help you fight off COVID-19 before it makes you sick, and to reduce the severity of your symptoms if you do get sick,” she said.

“Especially given what’s going on in other jurisdictions at the moment, it is now more important than ever for everyone to roll up to get vaccinated to play their part in stopping the spread of COVID-19.”

She also urged South Australians to maintain physical distancing and hand hygiene, and to keep checking in using QR codes or manual systems.

On Tuesday, Premier Steven Marshall said that the next few weeks would be crucial for the state.

“The entire country is currently facing outbreaks, and while we have been incredibly fortunate not to see this so far in South Australia, this virus is incredibly sneaky,” he said.

What restrictions apply in the Murraylands?

Meanwhile, authorities tightened some COVID-related restrictions on Wednesday after a fly-in, fly-out miner from Adelaide and four members of his family tested positive to the virus.

In the Murraylands, the main precautions to follow are:

  • Masks are recommended in indoor public areas and on public transport

  • It is recommended that people work from home if possible

  • People must use QR codes or manual check-in systems in public places

Masks must also be worn at health and aged care facilities, at indoor performances where more than 50 per cent of seats are filled, and in personal care settings: hairdressers, nail salons and so on.

Following those directions will help minimise any spread of COVID-19, in the event it escapes into the community, and will help SA Health contract tracers get on top of any outbreak.

Private gatherings of up to 150 people are still allowed in the Murraylands.

However, both households and public venues must follow a one-person-per-two-square-metres rule, and a COVID-safe plan must be filed for events with more than 50 people in attendence.

Cinemas and performing arts venues can only be filled to 75 per cent of their usual capacity.

Tighter restrictions on private gatherings apply in Adelaide, the Hills, Barossa and Fleurieu.

Get a test if you get the sniffles

As usual, anyone experiencing cold and flu symptoms should get tested for COVID-19.

Testing is available at the Murray Bridge respiratory clinic on Homburg Drive, the roadside testing station on the Princes Highway at Tailem Bend, and elsewhere around the state.

No booking is required at the Tailem Bend testing station.

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