Barossa schools will close tomorrow with SA Health “very concerned” about a growing cluster of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the region.
There are 34 confirmed cases linked to areas within the Barossa region including Tanunda, Nuriootpa, Williamstown, Angaston and Lyndoch.
The cases are linked to two tourist groups, from America and Switzerland.
A dedicated testing clinic will open at Tanunda War Memorial Hospital tomorrow (Monday 30 March) for people in the region with symptoms of COVID-19.
“Anyone in these areas from Saturday 14 March 2020 who develops symptoms should immediately self-isolate and be tested,” SA Health says.
“Travel in or out of these towns should now be limited and any non-essential travel within the region is discouraged.
“Anyone attending work should adhere to social distancing guidelines and working from home is encouraged.”
SA Health is wanting to limit movement between the various towns in the region.
Chief public health officer, Associate Professor Nicola Spurrier says, “We are very concerned about the number of cases that we have been seeing from the Barossa.
“We have a plan to try to contain that cluster of cases.
“Travel in or out of these (Barossa) towns I would like to have reduced so I am asking that people who live in these areas to absolutely reduce non-essential travel.
“I would also ask other members of the South Australian community to rethink travel to these towns and to this area to enable my team to get on top of this cluster.
“Anyone in this region who is able to work from home, should work from home.
“Obviously with the grape harvest commencing or about to commence, this is not going to be possible for many workers and we do not want to interrupt the important process of the grape harvest.
“So if you still need to go to work can you please follow the special distancing recommendations of 1.5 metres, be very mindful of your hygiene and if you are sick please do not go to twork but go and get a test done.”
The school closures include early childhood facilities and out of school hours care (OSHC) services in and between the towns mentioned.
“The closure is a proactive measure specific to this area because SA Health has identified a number of linked COVID-19 cases in people who have been in those towns,” the Department of Education in South Australia says.
“SA Health is continuing to monitor this situation and is working to identify and quarantine people who may have been exposed. Identified people will be contacted as soon as possible.
“We will not be opening schools, early childhood facilities and out of school hours care services in the region until public health officials indicate we can do so.
“Families are being contacted with information about the closure and details on how continuity of learning will be supported.
“Note that family day care can still operate at the discretion of the carer.”
South Australia recorded 12 new cases of coronavirus today, taking the state total to 199.