UPDATE April 2020
Hi everyone, each day is challenging for our entire community, and as you may know our experience of COVID-19 is a very personal one.
In light of the April SA Health press releases we offer our condolences to each of the families and friends who have lost loved ones through this difficult time.
For those of you who have been impacted by, followed, or supported our experience, we felt the need if not obligation to stay in touch. This goes against all professional advice and recommendations as a way of reducing ongoing press and our association with the issue, but we would rather communicate with you than the alternative.
As always, we share our facts and information as we know it to be accurate.
Our past comments through those difficult days were later supported by a Senior government official (Not SA Health) confirming that the source of the Barossa cluster we were exposed to was not a Swiss tourist.
We view it as confusing for others to have referred to the Swiss group as a cause of Coronavirus in the Barossa.
The (non-swiss) source member of that same group is thought to have infected our 2 staff on arrival on the 14th March or on departure on the 15th March. The same source person then went on to infect the fellow Australian and Swiss members of that same group over a weeklong period, during, and days after their departure from our site. Sadly, these secondary people were unaware of their exposure possibly contributing positive results in other locations along with the source person.
There are infections in other parts of SA from the same source. Not just Barossa.
We closed our businesses upon learning of our exposure on 22nd March, but we were so pleased to bring many staff back on board from April 6th, and gradually we’re recovering our business, opening doors to Barossa Chateau on Thursday April 16th.
Some positive messages,
Our 2 staff who were infected by a visitor have cleared isolation and recovered with good health
All 30 other staff have now completed isolation, received negative tests and are clear
JobKeeper has allowed us to return 19 employees to work from Monday 6th April in spite of having no business income.
Additional staff may also be able to return subject to business conditions.
We hope to slowly build business again, so we’ll be sharing more news and marketing soon.
Our most important message.
We are now well over a month since first exposure and staff infection, and some weeks after isolating all key staff.
The 2 infectious staff worked unaware of their risk to others, from the 14th March through until the 22nd March, front of house, serving hundreds of visitors and those visitors had potential contact with thousands more outside of our business.
We have been advised of more than 80 individual negative tests, but there are many more.
To our knowledge there are no positive tests or transmission as a result of contact from our staff or the source group to any person who visited our property from the 14th to the 22nd March. We also refer back to our discussions with, and regular SA health messages stating no community transmission.
Our property exposure was contained to the source group, our 2 staff and one other person close to a staff member.
It’s regrettable that others continue referring to our business in the context of broader spread.
COVID-19 is extremely contagious, demonstrated by the inconceivable numbers of infection we see from other countries. And much closer to home, by the isolation of huge numbers of people exposed in Adelaide locations including carparks.
With that in mind what our employees achieved is nothing short of remarkable. A major cluster was averted.
Perhaps a valuable example of what can be achieved in these difficult times with great care.
Management and all Staff avoided community transmission by maintaining strict hygiene and safety practices. Our visitors observed and commented on the care and diligence of our team.
Naturally we collectively feel relieved and uplifted by this result.
We’re proud of our team, grateful that they kept our clients and community safe and we’re determined to work with our staff to welcome our loyal and kind guests back to the Barossa.
We’re so thankful for the support and generosity of clients, family and friends through what has been a very public ordeal.
Social distancing has been a message we’ve advocated since well before our current experience. And of course, washing hands was a powerful means by which safety was maintained.
Thank you to our readers for coming to us for accurate information.
SA COVID-19 Information Line – 1800 253 787
Communicable Disease Branch line – 1300 232 272
National Coronavirus Information Helpline – 1800 020 080