The owner of the restaurant feared to be a super-spreader site in South Australia’s latest COVID-19 outbreak has raised concerns about testing delays and communication break-downs, after finding out key details through the media and not from health officials.
- The Greek on Halifax owner said he found out the restaurant was an exposure site from the media
- Ross Galantomos said his staff members have been caught up in the state’s testing delays
- He is also concerned about a lack of communication with SA Health, despite the restaurant’s “high-risk” site status
Ross Galantomos owns The Greek on Halifax, where a man who was infectious attended a function on Saturday night.
“On Monday evening when we found out that we were an exposure site from the media, not directly from SA Health, a number of staff members went to get tested straight away,” Mr Galantomos said.
A patron at the function and a woman who worked there have both tested positive, but Mr Galantomos said his staff, who are considered high-risk, have been caught up in the long queues to get tested.
“Including the young lady who has tested positive, and she drove to Tailem Bend to get a test cause that was the best option,” Mr Galantomos said.
Premier Steven Marshall was forced to apologise on Thursday after some people reported wait times of over 14 hours at Adelaide testing stations, while others said they had to sleep in their cars.
Staff confusion over health orders
Mr Galantomos said he and his staff were also left confused when SA Health said in a press conference they would all be going into hotel quarantine.
“In the press conference, we were told that we were going with our families into a hotel and to get ready. We’re just not prepared for that,” he said.
During Thursday morning’s press conference, health authorities said they had only tested 53 of the 91 people who were at the restaurant, despite saying it is one of two possible “super spreader” sites.
Authorities have set up a priority testing site, which would operate as an ‘invite only’ clinic for people deemed most at risk.
But Mr Galantomos said he hasn’t been contacted to tell him whether he can go to it for his day five test.
“We just feel a little bit like we’ve been left in the dark,” he said.
“You can understand that when you first find out, but today is Thursday and we’re looking down the prospect of the same situation and near nothing has been done.”
Despite his frustrations, Mr Galantomos expressed thanks to the wider South Australian community for the outpouring of support he has received since finding out his restaurant was an exposure site.
SA Health has been contacted for comment.