Again we’re tested – Gawler joins lockdown

Hundreds of people line up for a COVID test at Gawler Health Service on Tuesday as South Australia entered a seven-day lockdown. The queue at the hospital wrapped around the carpark after previously lining Lyndoch Road, as far back as Crown Street. PHOTO: Liam Phillips

Brendan Simpkins

GAWLER on Tuesday night joined the rest of the state in lockdown for seven days after five positive cases of the Delta variant were discovered this week.

The COVID-19 testing site at Gawler Health Service was yesterday inundated with patients, with the queue stretching down Lyndoch Road.

There were reports of patients waiting up to four hours in the queue, with some lining up since 9am to get tested.

The Elizabeth Park testing clinic on Gould Road was also under pressure, with huge lines wrapping around onto Yorketown Road.

Tough restrictions came into effect at 6pm last night as two people in SA returned positive COVID-19 test results.

However, the situation deteriorated rapidly with the cluster growing to five cases early yesterday morning, forcing Premier Steven Marshall and the transition committee to swiftly impose the lockdown.

As of 6pm yesterday, South Australians were forced to stay inside for the next seven days except for reasons including care and compassion, essential work and to shop for essential items, exercise and medical reasons.

Mr Marshall said the state had “one chance” to get on top of the virus.

“This is moving very quickly,” he said.

“We first got a positive (result) at 2.30am (on Monday) and we are moving as quickly as we can to slow and stop the spread of this particular cluster.

“Yesterday we saw South Australians lining up, many of them for hours, to get themselves tested and we say a massive thank you to them.”

People had been waiting in their cars since 7am but had still not been tested at The Bunyip’s print deadline on Tuesday.

A number of exposure sites had been listed by SA Health that included areas within the Munno Para Shopping Centre complex. This included Foodland, Smokemart & GiftBox, TAB, Dan Murphy’s and the Caltex service station.

More than 3000 people are in quarantine, including about 800 South Australians who had visited exposure sites in Victoria.

Schools have closed, with students and staff transitioning into home-based learning from Thursday, while all sport has been cancelled.

On Monday, Elizabeth Vale primary school was closed out of caution after patient zero’s grandson, a teacher at the school, was identified as a close contact.

He tested negative.

Some public notices, advertisements and articles in The Bunyip about coming events were published before the seven-day lockdown was announced.