Cellar doors to close to the public
SA Police Commissioner, Grant Stevens has announced that as of tomorrow, wineries and cellar doors will be no longer be permitted to open to the public.
“Taking into account the circumstances we’ve seen unfolding in the Barossa Valley, we’ve identified that a significant risk area for COVID-19 is winery and cellar door outlets,” he told reporters at a press conference on today.
“As of midnight tonight we will be banning the sale of alcohol or other produce from cellar doors and wineries. They will not be permitted to open.
“We’re also prohibiting the tasting or sampling of produce whether it be beverage or foodstuffs across South Australia.”
Schools close amid Barossa virus outbreak
Barossa schools will be closed from tomorrow and non-essential travel in and out of the region strongly discouraged as SA Health battles to control an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Barossa Valley.
Chief Public Health Officer, Dr Nicola Spurrier advised the public today that 34 cases have been recorded in the Barossa Valley, linked to two tour groups from the USA and Switzerland.
The areas of particular concern are Tanunda, Nuriootpa, Williamstown, Angaston and Lyndoch.
“Together with the Assistant Police Commissioner, we have a plan to try and contain that cluster of cases,” said Dr Spurrier.
“Anybody who has been in this area or those particular five areas from Saturday the fourteenth of March, who develop symptoms needs to immediately self isolate and seek to be tested.”
SA Health has confirmed that a COVID-19 testing clinic will be opened tomorrow at the Tanunda Hospital.
Dr Spurrier also strongly encouraged travel in and out of the region to be avoided, and that work from home measures should be put in place wherever possible.
“I’m asking 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 into these towns and into this area.
“Anyone in this region who is able to work from home, should work from home.”
Affected schools listed by the Department of Education include:
Angaston Child Care & Early Learning
Angaston Primary School
Barossa Rec & Fitness Centre Vacation Care
Barossa Valley Community Kids
Faith Lutheran College
Faith Lutheran College ELC
Good Shepherd Angaston OSHC
Good Shepherd Lutheran School – Angaston
Goodstart EL Nuriootpa
Happy Haven Tanunda OSHC
Happy Haven Nuriootpa OSHC
Light Pass Primary School
Lyndoch Primary School
Lyndoch PS OSHC/Vac
Lyndoch Valley Family Centre
Lyndoch Valley Occasional Care
Nuriootpa Community Children’s Centre
Nuriootpa High School
Nuriootpa Primary School
Redeemer Lutheran School Camp Aust OSHC
Redeemer Lutheran School
Redeemer Lutheran School ELC
Southern Barossa Community CC
St Jakobi Lutheran School
St Jakobi Lutheran School OSHC/Vac
Stepping Stone Tanunda CC & EDC
Stepping Stone Tanunda OSHC
Tanunda Kindergarten Association
Tanunda Lutheran OSHC
Tanunda Lutheran School Inc
Tanunda Primary School
Williamstown Primary School
Williamstown PS OSHC Camp Australia
Williamstown School-Based Preschool
Tour group sparks concern for visitors to Harvest Kitchen
SA Health has today advised anyone who visited Calabria Family Wines Barossa and Harvest Kitchen on March 14 between 12 noon and 4 p.m. to self isolate if unwell and seek to be tested for COVID-19.
According to Chief Public Health Officer, Dr Nicola Spurrier, the venue was visited by a Swiss tour group that have since returned positive COVID-19 test results.
The number of cases associated with the Lyndoch Hill & Barossa Chateau cluster has risen to seven. SA Health is advising anyone who visited the venue since March 14 to self isolate, and seek testing if symptoms develop.
Anyone requiring more information should contact the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080.
Kapunda, Eudunda hospitals’ emergency services close
Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network (BHFLHN) have announced that Kapunda, Eudunda and Mount Pleasant District hospitals’ accident and emergency services temporarily closed as of midnight last night, due to being co-located with aged care facilities.
Accident and emergency services remain open at Gawler Health Service, Tanunda War Memorial Hospital, Angaston District Hospital, Modbury Hospital and Mount Barker District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital.
“It is critical we protect the most vulnerable in our community during the COVID-19 pandemic and this necessary measure ensures the elderly with co-morbidities or low immunity are further safeguarded,” the BHFLHN statement read.
“Services to residents living in aged care facilities will continue as planned and in accordance with the latest advice by the Commonwealth, with general practitioners to continuing to treat patients in the hospital and aged care residents, as required.”
Visiting hours at all aged care facilities across Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network have been restricted to between 12-1pm and 7-8pm, with visits allowed once per day for a maximum of 30 minutes. Visitors will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 before entry is permitted.
Gumeracha District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital and Strathalbyn and District Health Service’s accident and emergency services were also included in the temporary closure.
Barossa COVID-19 cases increase
SA Health announced this afternoon that the number of American tourists isolated in the Barossa Valley infected with COVID-19 has risen from 10 to 16. Some patients were moved to the RAH earlier in the week.
A staff member has now also tested positive to the virus.
According to Chief Public Health Officer, Dr Nicola Spurrier, there have been “approximately” three cases identified in connection with Lyndoch Hill.
A statement on the Lyndoch Hill & Barossa Chateau website today confirms two positive staff cases, and six negative results. According to the venue, the two positive staff members do not live in Lyndoch.
SA school pupil free days announced
Minister for Education, John Gardner MP has this morning announced that Monday April 6 to Thursday April 9 will be pupil free days for SA school students, effectively bringing forward the start of school hoildays.
The Education Department is currently developing options for vacation care during the pupil free days and school holidays. When finalised, details will be communicated directly to parents.
The pupil free days will allow educators to plan and prepare for flexible learning moving forward.
American tourists moved to the RAH
It has been confirmed by SA Health that a number of the American tourists that were in isolation at The Louise in Marananga after testing positive to COVID-19 over the weekend have been moved to the Royal Adelaide Hospital for further monitoring.
They remain in a stable condition.
Despite community concern, no further information has been officially released about the Barossa Valley itinerary of the tourists.
“It may well be with that contact tracing and the interviews, my team feel very confident that they’ve already reached everybody that needs to know,” said Chief Public Health Officer, Dr Nicola Spurrier yesterday.
“But in all circumstances, also with the people on the Ruby Princess, if we need to, we will be making these places public. Just please be reassured, that if there is any risk we will let you know as soon as we possibly can.”
Key stakeholders unite on COVID-19 response
Barossa’s key government and industry stakeholders are working together to address the imminent and long-term impacts of the Covid-19 virus.
Representatives from The Barossa Council, Light Regional Council, Tourism Barossa, Barossa Grape and Wine Association and Regional Development Australia Barossa Gawler Light Adelaide Plains convened with Member for Schubert Stephan Knoll on Friday to discuss the impacts of coronavirus on the region, as well as the region’s short- and long-term responses.
Minister Knoll said all stakeholders would continue to work in tandem as the situation unfolds in coming weeks and months, paying heed to all recommendations from health officials.
Tour group test positive to COVID-19
SA Health has confirmed a group of 18 tourists from the US are in isolation at a premises in the Barossa Valley after some members of the group tested positive for COVID-19.
Those who have tested positive include a male in his 50s, a male in his 60s and a female in her 70s. The status of seven other people within the group is still being finalised.
COVID-19 testing clinic opens at Gawler
A COVID-19 testing clinic has opened at Gawler today, specifically designed to test and refer patients who meet current screening criteria and have recently travelled overseas or have had contact with a confirmed case.
Members of the community are required to be referred by their GP to the Gawler clinic.
The Gawler clinic will operate 7 days a week, 9am – 5pm (closed between 12-pm-1pm) and is located at the Gawler Women’s Health Centre, which is accessed via Gate 1.
Patients presenting to the clinic are asked to remain in their vehicles and follow the instructions of staff.
“This is an extremely positive step for the region and we are continuing to work hard to ensure the health and safety of the community,” said Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network Chief Executive Officer, Ms Rebecca Graham.
“The clinic will help meet the current demand and reduce the burden on the Emergency Department, ensuring the segregation of potentially infectious coronavirus cases while providing the most appropriate clinical care.”
NAPLAN will not proceed
According to the Education Council, Australia’s Education Ministers met today and decided that NAPLAN testing will not proceed. Testing was due to take place between May 12 to 22.
The decision has been taken to assist school leaders, teachers and support staff to focus on the wellbeing of students and continuity of education, including potential online and remote learning.
Gawler Cinema closed
Operators of the Gawler Cinema, John and Joy Thorpe have announced the temporary closure of the cinema until further notice.
Barossa History Fair postponed
Organisers of the 2020 Barossa History Fair have announced that the event will be postponed until further notice.
South Australia’s History Festival, scheduled to run from May 1 to 31 has also been cancelled for 2020.
Following advice from the SANFL, the Barossa Light and Gawler Football Association has postponed the 2020 season and they will determine a revised schedule closer to May 31.
As a consequence there will be no trial games or trainings across the Barossa Light and Gawler Association.
Bowls season cancelled
In line with recommendations from Bowls SA, the Barossa & Light Bowls Association executive committee have cancelled the remainder of the season. This includes all finals, regional events and Champion of Champions.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” said Association Secretary, Ruth Scoot. “But overall we hope people understand it was a prudent decision.”
The minor round winners will become the season winners for the B&LBA 2019-20 season in light of no finals being played.
Tanunda Town Band has announced that Melodienacht will not be held in May this year. It’s anticipated that the event can be deferred to a date later in the year.
Changes to Council services
As at 18 March The Barossa Council enacted a range of measures to minimise risk to public health, including:
Barossa Visitor Centre – reduced face-to-face tourism services and introduction of a window service. Cashless payments preferred
Tanunda Library – closed to the public due to co-location with the Barossa Visitor Centre (where steps have been put in place to minimise risk)
Barossa Regional Gallery – closed to the public
Council events – cancellation of all Council-hosted events, including library events
Community events at Council facilities – Council is not accepting any new community event bookings at Council facilities. Where there is an existing booking, we ask organisers to consider the options available to them, including cancellation, recommended social distancing and hygiene practices. Event organisers are encouraged to contact our Customer Support team to confirm arrangements. Our team will also be making contact shortly for your event.
Community Transport – suspension of Council-operated community transport shopping and social bus services. Our community individual client car services will continue as usual.
Nuriootpa Library and branch libraries remain open but we ask please use self-service options and respect recommended social distancing and hygiene practices to minimise risk to public health.
Community urged to call ahead
The Australian Government’s criteria for Coronavirus testing currently applies to a person who develops a cough or fever within 14 days of last contact with a confirmed case or upon returning to Australia. Should anyone fit these criteria, they should contact their usual medical centre to obtain further advice.
Angaston Medical Centre will also be offering phone or Skype TeleHealth consultations with a doctor for patients who are considered more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus.
Additionally, people can reduce the risk of getting sick or passing on any infection to others by following these simple rules:
• Wash your hands regularly
• Wipe down frequently touched surfaces
• Cover your coughs and sneezes
• Where practical, practice 1.5 metres social distancing
• Stay home if you are sick, keep your children home from school if they are unwell.
For more COVID-19 information see the Australian Government’s Department of Health via their website www.health.gov.au or call the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
Netball executives to meet
BVHA season postponed
As directed by Hockey SA, the Barossa Valley Hockey Association has communicated to all clubs that all hockey activity is to be postponed effective immediately until further notice.
BVHA President, Danni Casey said this is a difficult time for many local businesses and sporting associations and the BVHA is no different.
“Postponing the 2020 hockey season will place great pressure on the BVHA to meet its financial obligations, in particular meeting the loan repayments for the turf pitch,” Danni said.
“However, the health and welfare of our members, their family’s and those of the Barossa community is much more important right now.
‘A Red in the Shed’ cancelled
Angaston Community Business Alliance has advised the cancellation of the April event of ‘A Red in the Shed – Blacksmith Social’. All ticket holders will be re-funded in full.
ACBA’s March AGM has also been cancelled.