The victim was walking along Hindley St just before 7.30am wearing blue scrubs when a woman allegedly spat a drink over her.
The nurse was not physically injured and the incident was reported to police who located the suspect a short time later on North Terrace.
A 42-year-old woman with no fixed address was arrested and charged with assaulting a prescribed emergency worker and failing to state particulars.
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She did not apply for bail and appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court yesterday.
South Australian police Commissioner Grant Stevens condemned the woman’s actions, calling the attack “abhorrent”.
“These types of behaviours are completely abhorrent and should not be occurring, and we are resolute in taking action against any incidents where emergency services workers, including health workers, are assaulted in this way,” he said during a press conference this morning.
There have unfortunately been multiple cases of workers being coughed or spat on in recent months, with some states introducing hefty fines in response.
In NSW anyone who coughs or spits on a worker or anyone making their way to or from their workplace can be handed a $5000 on-the-spot fine.
This fine was initially brought to protect health and frontline workers but was soon expanded to include all workers.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard requested the powers be extended, after a number of “vile” and “pathetic” attacks against workers took place across the state.
“COVID-19 is every bit as dangerous as a weapon, so anybody who thinks it’s funny to spit or cough on somebody are without doubt pathetic grubs,” Mr Hazzard said.
“Unfortunately, there have now also been incidents in which retail staff and transport staff have also been subjected to this disgusting dangerous behaviour, and it will not be tolerated.”
Similar rules are in place in Queensland, with the state cracking down on people who cough, sneeze or spit on frontline workers, including retail staff.
Doing so can result in a $1300 on-the-spot fine or a fine of up to $13,000 if it goes to court.
“It’s absolutely disgusting to think people are putting other people’s lives at risk,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said last month.
“People are taking their frustrations out on some of our essential workers and it’s not on.”