COVID-19 in South Australia? The reality is… it hasn’t gone away — Professor Spurrier

Professor Nicola Spurrier in conversation

Professor Nicola Spurrier, Chief Public Health Officer, SA Health, in conversation.

Professor Nicola Spurrier was IPAA South Australia’s guest on the couch earlier this month. Professor Spurrier is the Chief Public Health Officer with SA Health and shared her insights on South Australia’s rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the interview Professor Spurrier said the state’s successful response was down to the work of one clinical microbiologist at SA Pathology — Dr Geoffrey Higgins — who had been planning for a pandemic for the past ten years:

‘He… had known that this would occur at some time: it wasn’t if it was going to occur but it was when it was going to occur.

And so he had everything ready to go, and that’s why we were able to get our testing up very quickly in South Australia — not just to be able to do the test but to scale it up, so that we could have a large number of people being able to access the test at any one time.’

Professor Spurrier also said the work of the Chief Health Officers as part of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee had been ‘absolutely critical’. Meeting almost every single day since the start of the year the two-hour meetings have kept her up-to-date with the latest information from around the world and round Australia

Recently she has spent most of her energy keep watch on what’s happening in Victoria:

‘To be perfectly honest, we’ve done really well here and it’s been fantastic to lift the restrictions and see businesses opening again.

But the reality is… it hasn’t gone away…

…We are not going to be back to normal, we’re going to be COVID-normal.’

A link to a video of the interview, which included a question and answer session, is available below.

On the Couch
with Professor Nicola Spurrier