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USA citizens quarantined at The Louise Luxury Vineyard Resort in the Barossa Valley, Aus.

ABC Australia is reporting that 10 members of an 18 member USA tour group have test positive to COVID-19, with 4 testing negative and a further 4 results to be confirmed. So far, we have been told that identified ages are male in his 50’s, male in his 60’s and a female in her 70’s, and the others probably in the 60’s.

The group are isolated/quarantined at The Louise Luxury Vineyard Resort in the Barossa Valley. Check it out on your browser.
They are being cared for by the South Australian public hospital system, so far none have been hospitalised. They will receive world best medical care regardless of whether they any or no insurance. Be assured medical insurance in this country is the least important issue at this stage.

Barossa valley is home to one of the countries iconic wine areas. Home to world renown wineries such as Penfolds and Henske. Just a couple of km’s away. A lovely area to be quarantined.

Update as we learn more. Ron

Posted by
70 posts

@Vic
Posted this report at 10am Sunday my time . I am out and about checking on clients and some older friends.

Try this link: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-21/american-tourists-struck-down-with-coronavirus-in-barossa-valley/12078230.

May work for you. Will post any updates later. Your relatives, by following sensible procedures should come through alright.

I am in Hobart, so have no direct experience of what is happening in the Barossa and surrounds. Last report I saw was that for Australia we had 7 deaths so far. It seems we are behind most other places at the moment.

Regards Ron

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70 posts

@Vic

Sunday evening here. I am back at my temporary home.

As there were 18 USA citizens involved, I thought I would post the above in case the USA news media ran it as a story. Mainly to alert as to what had happened and that the people involved were/would be receiving the best possible treatment. No need to be overly concerned at the present.

When the state border restrictions/closures become clearer I will let you know what the latest is.

Regards Ron

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70 posts

@Vic

Our most reliable news service is found at www.abc.net.au/news . Can be relied upon to carry factual reporting of events. Is our taxpayer publicly funded broadcaster with no adverts. Like BBC in the UK.

On intercontinental border closures. Under our constitution this comes under the mandate of each of the state governments, not the federal government. There are 7 States. The Federal government controls the national border.

This link should keep you up to date about South Australia, is mentioned second.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-22/wa-sa-set-to-close-borders-amid-coronavirus-fight/12079044.

Regards
Ron

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4669 posts

Vic, here is a comment from some MDs in the NY Times, which offers Coronavirus material without their paywall:

https://nyti.ms/33nKvIC

“Many people desperately hope that warmer, more humid weather will decrease the transmission of this coronavirus. But the reality is that influenza and most cold viruses wane in the summer in part because so many people catch them in the winter. Humans have never been infected with this coronavirus before, so there is no acquired immunity. At this point we have woefully little evidence to suggest a seasonal reprieve.”

Posted by
70 posts

Vic and Tim 8 am Monday.

The empirical evidence from Aus so far indicates that summertime does not abate this virus. I am leaving it to the medical and academics to analyse and advise current trends and likely outcomes.

Have seen no update information on USA citizens quarantined. However, they will be receiving world best medical attention and surrounded by some of the best wines in Aus and the world. Lovely in the Barossa in autumn.

Our state and federal governments are starting to temporarily shut businesses were people socialize. Probably because we ignored earlier recommendations, because only had 7 deaths, and they were older people. Unfortunately, looks like this country is about to join the exponential curve for infections and deaths. Time will show how well we as a nation have done in protecting the senior citizens.

Slightly different strategies about when to close schools. Thinking to date has been that keeping the children at school allows essential workers to go about their normal duties and may be as a protection for grandparents. Normally our schools have a 2-week break at Easter. Some states starting during this week.

After this is over there will be plenty of interesting subjects for Ph students and may provide empirical evidence to sort out many theories.

Good time to keep in contact with your relatives here. Hope the ABC link keeps working for you. Best source of accurate news in Aus.

Best wishes. Ron

Posted by
70 posts

Sunday 9PM: Apparently during the week 4 USA citizens were transported under police escort from the Barossa to the ICU at Royal Adelaide Hospital. I think they remain there now.

It has been revealed that a group of Swiss tourists arrived in the Barossa at about the same time and are also infected with COVID-19. Evidently both groups picked up the virus in their own countries before traveling to Australia in early to mid-March.

Tonight, the state’s chief public health officer has recommended that in the Barossa all schools, after care and pre school care facilities not open tomorrow and remain closed. Also, she recommended only essential movement in the area.

A difficult direction to follow as the grape harvest is just starting.

Compiled from reports on ABC radio, tv and websites, Adelaide Today and Channel 9.

On balance the actions of both groups can be described as reckless and selfish.

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70 posts

1st April 1.30 pm

The following edited transcript appears in today’s national newspaper “The Australian”.

Coronavirus: ‘Tourist-borne cluster’ sours Barossa Valley’s tranquillity

The normally tranquil towns of the Barossa Valley have become the focus of anger and unease, with the wine region under indefinite lockdown because of two groups of foreign tourists who started a coronavirus cluster across the district.

South Australia’s enviable record in avoiding the coronavirus has been marred by the Barossa outbreak, caused by American and Swiss tourists visiting wineries, restaurants and a wedding in mid-March. They include two infected Americans who escaped from quarantine while awaiting their test results and headed to Sydney to avoid the lockdown.

“They’re the real villains of the piece,” winemaker Charlie Melton said on Tuesday from his now-closed cellar door in Krondorf. “You can’t knock people travelling in the early days of all this when we didn’t know how fast things were moving, but those Americans who legged it when they were already sick really is the height of rudeness and stupidity.”

South Australians are furious one-third of the state’s 300-plus coronavirus cases arrived courtesy of the NSW cruise ship fiasco, with passengers from the Ruby Princess and other ships travelling to the wine region after disembarking in Sydney. The worst cluster started after a group of nine Americans attended a March 14 wedding at the Lyndoch Hill Barossa Chateau, where seven staff members have since tested positive.

The Barossa suffered a double blow within 24 hours, with the announcement on Sunday of the closure of all schools and preschools after 34 people in the region tested positive, while on Monday Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said every cellar door in SA would close to prevent them becoming infection points.

The towns that make up the Barossa — Tanunda, Nuriootpa, Williamstown, Angaston and Lyndoch — resembled ghost towns on Tuesday and the normally bustling cellar doors were all closed. On the main street of Tanunda barely a business was operating, save for a couple of coffee shops doing takeaway.

The cellar-door closure has hit the region hard, with most wineries deriving about 25 per cent of income from bus groups and casual visitors. Like every other SA winery, Charles Melton Wines is hoping online sales can fill some of the shortfall. “We have a very loyal customer base and are having a very good response online which will hopefully continue, because we will need it to,” Mr Melton said.

Reporter: DAVID PENBERTHY
SOUTH AUSTRALIA CORRESPONDENT

The Louise Luxury Resort may be lovely. But, being quarantined stinks. It means you are sick or were exposed to someone who is sick. Probably have to remain confined to your room. If it's a matter of being isolated without illness during testing and observation with ability to walk around - that's a different matter.

Posted by
70 posts

@ Vic, I unreservedly apologise if I have upset you or anyone else. It was not my intention.

I saw your post last night just before I went to sleep. You have an absolute right to disagree with me. Do not know why or by whom it was taken down.

Perhaps allow me to present my statement of reasons for my conclusions.

On 19 February 1942, USS Peary, a destroyer was bombed and sank in Darwin harbour. Lost were 88 men including the captain. Most Australians stop to remember these men on the anniversary. We did this year. A lot of bombs were released on Darwin.

The battle of the Coral Sea took place from 4-8 May 1942. The USS Lexington was bombed, badly damaged and scuttled by torpedos from USS Phelps with 216 crew lost. The USS Yorktown was badly damaged and lost over 60 men. The destroyer USS Sims was also sunk with heavy loss of life. Stopped the Japanese navy controlling the seas of northern Australia. This battle and these men are remembered every year on the anniversary.

The battle of Savo Island (Solomon Islands) was fought 8-9 August 1942. Cruisers USS Astoria, USS Vincennes and USS Quincey were lost in the battle with substantial life. Cruiser HMAS Canberra was at point and attacked first, badly damaged and scuttled. Roosevelt rewarded the men on the ship and the country by naming a new Baltimore-class heavy cruiser, USS Canberra. In service 1943 to 1947 then 1956 to 1970. A great honour for this country. A new ship with this name is about to be laid down.

Lt John Kennedy was stationed in the Solomon Islands from April 1943 until November 1943. He was doing his bit in protecting this country, NZ and the other islands in the area. Australian, Lt A Reginald Evans was instrumental in helping guide the rescue of the crew of PT 109. So were five Solomon Islander Scouts. Evans went to the White House and met John Kennedy May 1961. He and all Australians were devastated when this courageous man was killed. The Kennedy family and others had houses built for these scouts.

These brave men together with women service personal all put their lives on the line far away from their homeland. For democratic principles. They are real American heroes to us. They are rated equal alongside our service men and women who died.

Everyone I know in this country admires Kennedy as an outstanding leader and statesman. He led the world through the Cuban crisis. Most do not know or care which party he was from.

USA has been our ally from before the great war. Look up the joint military facility at Pine Gap. However not all citizens have acted honourably. We also have citizens who have acted badly

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Noon Thursday
@ Vic
Yep, complete balls up. Just reporting what is happening.

You are correct, Melton has over reacted, but that is the type of story journalists are after. I suspect Penberthy has been watching too much Fox network on cable. Melton clearly is unhappy with those who, after being diagnosed with coronavirus and then agreeing to be placed into quarantine at the resort, did a runner.

Probably learn more details about these events in coming days.

Don’t know why some of the group did a runner, probably panicked in a strange place. If you look at my Sunday 9PM update, you see that four of the group were taken under police escort to hospital. Cannot say for sure but may have been the runners. Makes sense. A long way from Barossa to Sydney, even for us mob. They don’t appear to have made it to Sydney. All will be receiving world’s best medical care regardless of insurance or not.

All the same a damn nuisance having a lock down at start of the grape harvest, but it will get done. So far 34, confirmed cases in the Barossa have been traced to these two groups.

Vic, as you know we do not walk around armed, so no chance of a vigilante retribution. Not our culture and our politicians are not beating it up in the media. In fact, they seem to be smoothing it over. Not yet on breakfast TV, but probably not too far away.

It appears that both groups were on the Ruby Princes ship that was permitted to berth in Sydney and disembark passengers. No idea why it was allowed. There are several inquiries under way to find out why passengers were disembarked. Breakfast TV has given it a good airing. Complete and utter balls up.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that there are 8 cruise ships off the east coast with crew members still on board asking for permission to dock and lay up. Interesting to see what happens.

Meanwhile on the other side of the continent, a German-owned cruise ship Artania, was granted docking rights on humanitarian grounds and is refusing to leave Fremantle port, and has asked to remain until mid-April.

The state government wants the immediate departure of the ship, which arrived on March 25 and has since had 41 passengers and crew transferred to Perth hospitals with coronavirus. Several passengers remain in critical condition in ICU. The other 800 passengers were flown home to Frankfurt earlier this week.

It appears that the USA group disembarked morning of 14th March, flew to Adelaide for wedding that day and sought medical attention two days later. Firstly, the ship should have been denied docking and they would have missed the wedding. End of issue. It seems reasonable to conclude, though not conclusive, that those seeking medical attention would have been aware of their condition at time of disembarking. Reason to continue is self-evident. In time we should hear from the wedding venue as to what occurred.

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I have not of recent times sat on a tribunal but think I can still assess evidence and make a balanced conclusion. I was just drawing a conclusion from the current known facts.

Yes, Sun Bake I do understand your emotive argument. Quarantine is not fun. This whole country here, including me, has been in virtual quarantine in an endeavour to limit loss of life. The older ones at risk may well have served in Korea, Vietnam and the early Middle East engagements. We value them.

So far of 22 deaths in Australia, one 68 and others into seventies, eighties and three nineties.

You are entitled to defend the actions of the group in question and disagree with my conclusions. I know that the actions of this group do not represent the values of most USA citizens. I am yet to see compelling substantive arguments to change my mind on my conclusions.

Looking from afar, I can see much anxiety and apprehension with the spread of this virus in your country. There has been much internal and external criticism over the handling of matters. We have the same anxieties and are dreading things going from bad to worse. Anticipating 4 to 6 months or so before things improve.

On a bright note, trade with Asian trading partners is about to reopen with seafood and meat being air freighted and medical equipment being procured.

I hope you, your family and relatives come through this unscathed, and in due time travel again and get to appreciate and enjoy the legacy we have inherited. Vic I would be honoured to buy you a beer or two anytime. Best Regards Ron