Scores of returned travellers quarantining in South Australia are settling in for another 14 days of isolation as Adelaide’s COVID-19 cluster continues to grow.
Surrounding states are tightening their restrictions on travellers coming from SA and Australian Defence Force personnel are preparing to join the 100 troops on the ground.
It comes as the government names more sites connected the outbreak after the state’s Parafield cluster reached 20.
As of its latest update at midnight on Tuesday, SA Health had identified almost 50 potential locations where COVID-19 could have spread.
The department’s most recent update, at midnight on Tuesday night, identified the Woodville Pizza Bar as a high risk location.
Anyone who had eaten in or ordered takeaway from the restaurant between November 6 and 16 has been ordered to self-quarantine for two weeks.
A number of schools, a childcare centre, and a public swimming pool are also among the sites connected to the cluster.
Check the latest here: South Australia Health
⚠️COVID-19 Health Alert 17 Nov 2020 (11.59pm)⚠️
Anyone who visited or got takeaway (incl. delivery) from the Woodville Pizza Bar on 6 – 16 Nov must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days & seek testing. This includes people who live with you.
More info: https://t.co/DgtxIqU3s6 pic.twitter.com/QveoAXjHlJ
— SA Health (@SAHealth) November 17, 2020
Health authorities are bracing for more cases after they identified another 14 people who are considered at high risk of having the virus.
Meanwhile, returned travellers in quarantine at Peppers Waymouth Hotel, which is the epicentre of the state’s COVID-19 outbreak, have been told they will be moved to another medi-hotel and must start their 14-day isolation period again.
“Following a risk assessment of the Peppers Hotel, the Communicable Disease Control Branch has determined the quarantine period of all guests in the hotel needs to be extended by up to 14 days,” a spokesperson told NCA NewsWire.
“We understand the frustration of the guests and we thank them for their assistance as we take every required step to prioritise the health and safety of all South Australians.”
The spokesperson said it had initially phoned guests to inform them about the move and that Peppers Waymouth Hotel will be “thoroughly deep cleaned to continue as a medi-hotel in the future”.
It’s been confirmed a person who returned from overseas on November 2 and stayed at the medi-hotel in Adelaide came in contact with a cleaner who spread the virus to her family and into the community.
The cluster has forced more than 4000 people into quarantine or home isolation, mostly close contacts of confirmed cases.
“This is a very, very worrying situation. I’m not going to underestimate the concern I have about this,” Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said.
It’s prompted thousands to queue for hours at testing stations with more than 11,000 tests conducted in the state over the past two days.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt encouraged people without symptoms to be checked for coronavirus.
“We are looking for each and every person who might have in any way, shape or form been exposed to come forward,” he told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
Mr Hunt said there were 100 Australian Defence Force troops on the ground in South Australia, with authorities meeting to map out how much extra support was needed.
They will be deployed immediately after decisions are made.
Mr Hunt said states had been advised by the national panel of medical experts to increase screening for arrivals from Adelaide.
But Queensland, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and WA have slammed the gates shut on South Australia.
NSW and Victoria – which has now gone 18 days without new coronavirus infections or deaths – have increased screening for Adelaide arrivals.
The measures could set off another round of clashes between the Morrison government and the states, after senior federal politicians criticised Victoria’s approach to easing its tough restrictions.