Six Qantas baggage handlers have tested positive to coronavirus, prompting concerns for their fellow workers at Adelaide Airport.
About 100 other baggage handlers are now being investigated and a large number are expected to be forced into quarantine.
South Australia chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier said the Qantas staff all worked in a relatively confined area, prompting concerns over the further spread of the virus.
She said the airline would be contacted on the deep cleaning of the area that would be required and any passengers who arrived on flights in the past few days were advised to wipe their baggage.
There were no concerns for other areas of the airport.
“This is a serious situation,” Professor Spurrier said.
“We’ve met with Qantas and we’re looking at implementing some workarounds to ensure baggage can be off-loaded.”
The airport issue came as 32 new cases were reported in SA on Tuesday, the first increase after three days of falling numbers.
That brought the total cases to 337 of which 104 were linked to cruise ships.
Eight people remain in intensive care with five of those listed as critical.
Prof Spurrier said the increase in cases showed that the numbers would jump around as the pandemic continued and emphasised the importance of restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the virus.
“The social distancing, the quarantining, the hygiene, all of these things need to be kept up,” she said.
“We’ve got to keep our foot down, not on the accelerator but on the brake.
“It was wonderful to have small numbers yesterday and the day before but, obviously, this is still a big issue in our community.”
In WA, only nine new cases were announced today, a result the Health Minister said was “amazing”.
The WA tally now sits at 364.