Eighteen returning travelers are being removed from hotel quarantine over fears they may have been exposed to COVID-19
- 18 return travelers moved from Peppers Hotel to Pullman Hotel on Friday
- Group moved amid fears of being exposed to Covid after toddler tested positive
- Health authorities found that the boy’s family door was repeatedly opened and closed
A group of return travelers quarantined at an Adelaide medi hotel has been moved to another facility amid concerns they may have been exposed to COVID-19.
The 18 people were moved from the Peppers Hotel to the Pullman Hotel on Friday after a toddler returned a positive test this week.
SA Health said guests were moved to the same floor due to fears of a potential risk of transmission after the two-year-old boy spent longer than expected in a hotel corridor during testing.
Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said officials looked into the incident and determined that the door to the room where the boy’s family was staying had been opened and closed a number of times.
A group of return travelers quarantined at an Adelaide Medi hotel Peppers Hotel (pictured) has been moved to another facility amid fears of exposure to Covid-19
18 people were moved from the Peppers Hotel to the Pullman Hotel on Friday (pictured) after a toddler sent back a positive test this week
She said it had been determined that other people on the same floor could be at “significant” risk, but said the response taken was part of usual protocols.
“It’s unfortunate, but we have to deal with these situations in our medi hotels when we have a positive case,” she said.
“These are things that just aren’t predictable.”
The boy was hospitalized on Thursday but was later released and taken to Adelaide’s Tom’s Court Hotel, where all people known to have the virus have been isolated.
His mother then tested positive for the virus and was admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital with her son.
Hers was the only positive case reported Friday in SA, with the state currently having five active infections, all isolated.
An entire floor of the Peppers Hotel in Adelaide was moved to a new facility at the Pullman Hotel (photo, returning travelers at the new hotel)
Another traveler was seen in a room at the Pullman Hotel on Friday after 18 people moved out of the Peppers Hotel
SA Health said the delay in testing the boy was related to his anxiety, identity checks and language barriers, while Professor Spurrier said it was always difficult to test very young children.
She said the people who have moved may have to start over with their 14-day quarantine period, although some may shorten that period depending on where their rooms were located and their personal circumstances.
“I have a lot of sympathy and empathy for those people, but in the interest of public health we have to make these difficult decisions,” said Professor Spurrier.
The floor in question at the Peppers Hotel has already undergone a thorough cleaning and would be cleaned for the second time on Friday.
The shock came as around 150 people arrived in Adelaide on board India’s first direct repatriation flight to South Africa since the lifting of a travel ban.
All those on board had to test negative before being allowed to travel, with one person not being allowed to fly after a positive result.
The infected boy was hospitalized on Thursday but was later released and taken to Adelaide’s Tom’s Court Hotel (Photo: Health workers conducting Covid-19 testing)
Prime Minister Steven Marshall said the pre-flight regime, which included two rapid antigen tests and the usual nasal swab, had significantly reduced the number of people who were contagious.
The prime minister said the state government also hoped to quickly expand the availability of COVID-19 vaccines for people between the ages of 40 and 49.
He said some people’s hesitation about the vaccine was waning.