Returned travellers trapped in quarantine for 14 days have to undergo the process again, sparking panic attacks and distress.
Dramatic scenes have unfolded at Peppers Adelaide as guests at the medi-hotel scream from their balconies, devastated they won’t be able to leave, despite testing negative for coronavirus.
South Australia’s virus outbreak has forced thousands of people into quarantine as the state deals with a cluster that has more than doubled.
As a precaution, there are now about 4000 people considered close contacts who have been quarantined, chief health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier revealed this afternoon.
“These people have been advised to quarantine and they are being contacted on a daily basis for a symptom check,” Prof Spurrier said.
“This is a huge amount of work, as you can imagine, to make sure that we are in regular contact with these people.”
There are now 21 cases linked to the Parafield family cluster, with 15 of those coming from the same family.
The family cluster includes three young children, one of which is a one-year-old-baby, Premier Steven Marshall confirmed this morning.
Overall the state recorded 18 new COVID-19 cases yesterday and five new cases today, for a total of 34 active cases, including hotel quarantine cases.
At least three of the 34 active cases are employees at the Anglicare Brompton Aged Care Home in Adelaide, which the CEO of Anglicare SA this morning described as his “worst nightmare”.
All residents have so far tested negative however CEO Peter Sandeman said they would be tested again tomorrow and any close contacts were being isolated.
SA Health is continuing to study the genomic strains of each of the state’s new cases, which will help them determine who caught the infection first.
A female cleaner in her 50s, working at Peppers, is believed to have caught it first, later inadvertently passing it on to her family and two unrelated hotel security guards.
The cluster has triggered closures and isolation warnings across the state with five schools shutting down for deep cleaning.
Testing clinics are also buckling under the thousands of people wanting to get tested, with wait times at some of Adelaide’s sites blowing out to 11 hours.
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People forced into mandatory quarantine for a further two weeks say the situation is abominable.
Dramatic scenes have been captured at Peppers Adelaide today as guests take to their balconies in distress after being told they would be trapped in the coronavirus-stricken hotel.
They say they are anxious and depressed over the news they received late last night.
One woman told the Adelaide Advertiser said her scheduled release this morning was cancelled at 11.30pm last night, with a letter simply pushed under her door.
The woman had arrived from the UK.
“It is outrageous how human beings are being treated who have maintained quarantine in isolation for a full 14 days, have been given negative test results,’’ she