Hundreds of South Australians will be forced to complete two weeks of quarantine in medi-hotels as authorities fight to quash two “superspreading” events.
The direction, which is mandatory, comes after the state recorded two new locally acquired Covid-19 cases on Thursday – a brother and sister both in their 20s who were at Tenafeate Creek Winery at the same time as a previously recorded case.
Authorities have dubbed the winery a superspreading event, with five other cases linked to the venue on Wednesday.
A birthday dinner at the Greek on Halifax on Saturday night is also thought to have been a superspreading event.
SA has recorded only 14 cases in its most recent outbreak, but chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier said she was “very concerned” about the sites because of the testing figures.
So far, 53 of the 91 people who attended the Adelaide CBD restaurant have been tested, while only 34 of the 125 patrons from the winery have been swabbed.
Professor Spurrier said everyone who attended either of those two venues would immediately be placed into hotel quarantine to complete their isolation for two weeks because they had a “slightly higher risk of getting Covid than some of our international travellers at the moment”.
She said authorities have confirmed there was the capacity for the people to reside in the facilities and those who stay there will be treated the same as returned international arrivals.
“Because these are very high risk locations, we’re moving all of those people into the medi hotel facility,” Professor Spurrier said.
“This will actually help us with the testing because all of the nursing staff there do all of the regular testing.
“I think it’s important in terms of protecting the public, given the high risk.”
She apologised to members of the public who were finding out they were being relocated to a medi hotel as they listened to the live press conference and said she hoped they had received a phone call from SA Health about it.
“We’re organising all the logistics … the quality of our medi hotels is absolutely fantastic.
“You will be looked after really well and will be given excellent health and mental health care during that period of time.”
Professor Spurrier said not all cases from the winery were related to each other, or there for the same gathering, but all had dined indoors.
There are now 71 exposure locations listed on the SA Health website and Professor Spurrier said she hoped South Australians continued to check it for updates.
There are currently about 4000 people in quarantine with 13,610 people who have been to one of the listed exposure sites.
A minor change to the directions was also made on Thursday, allowing a single person over the age of 16 who lives alone or who does not live with their spouse to visit a friend or partner if no one else is home.
It is also permitted if the single person is a single parent and the only other people present in their home at time of the visit are their children.
Under the direction, those looking to visit their partners are only allowed to do so if they were in a relationship prior to the lockdown.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said there was a possibility the lockdown would be extended and understood the impact that could have on people in relationships as well as people who lived alone.
He said the changes gave those people an opportunity not be separated or alone.
“Clearly, we are trying to limit the number of people who might be potentially exposed to other households,” Mr Stevens said.
“This is not a free for all for everyone to go visit friends.
“This is very restricted to ensure that we’re enabling people to maintain their general wellbeing and mental health.”
Mr Marshall said there was “no doubt” the lockdown would heavily impact the economy, individuals and businesses.
But, he said authorities wanted to move as quickly as possible to restrict movement and chase down every case in the community.
The premier said it was “way too early” to say if the seven-day lockdown was going to be extended.
“We haven’t seen an explosion (of cases) … but we are likely to see further cases,” Mr Marshall warned.
“I’m very grateful we moved to a lockdown. If we waited a further 12-24 hours we would be in a very different situation.
“I’m extraordinarily hopeful that we have been able to stop the spread of this disease and hopefully over this seven days we can stop it dead in its tracks.”
Hundreds forced into hotels over venue alerts