South Australia launches investigation into lie that sparked COVID-19 lockdown

Cheryl Sanders
November 22, 2020

South Australia Police are investigating an employee of the Woodville Pizza Bar, Adelaide, who tested positive for COVID-19 and lied to contact tracers.

Premier Steven Marshall also fired up at the man, whose actions led to the shutdown of takeaway food outlets and other businesses across the state, leading to potential economic impacts of "tens if not hundreds of millions" across South Australia.

"The lie was the person claimed that they had purchased a pizza from the pizza shop, when in fact they were working there and had been working there for several shifts", Stevens said.

Authorities in South Australia (SA) have launched an investigation into the lie that triggered the state's coronavirus lockdown.

There have been three new cases of COVID-19 in South Australia today, however all were already in quarantine.

Yesterday, police commissioner Grant Stevens said that the man in question will not be fined as there is "no mechanism" to do so under current law.

Authorities initially thought the man had caught the virus during a very short exposure, meaning the strain of virus was highly contagious. Stevens said a team reviewing information provided by the man to contract tracers wasn't satisfied with "the feeling they got from this".

Premier Marshall told Australian broadcaster ABC that the task force was set up to "look at all and every aspect of the evidence that was provided and the consequences that have ensued from there". "We are interested in speaking to at least two other people who we believe can assist us with our inquiries, and my investigators will remain in contact with those in due course", he said.

"To say I am fuming about the actions of this individual is an absolute understatement". "The selfish actions of this individual have put our entire country in a very hard position, and his actions have affected companies, individuals and family groups which is totally and absolutely unacceptable".

"This was not something I felt we should be allowing to happen in South Australia", Prof Spurrier said.

South Australian authorities have announced that the lockdown will be lifted on Saturday at midnight and the ban on outdoor exercise and dog walking will be revoked too.

SA's Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier said the case - a woman in her 20s who was in hotel quarantine - was nothing to be be concerned about in relation to community transmission.

Masks will be mandatory for personal-care providers such as hairdressers and beauty therapists (and encouraged for clients).

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