MOUNT Gambier will house South Australia’s fifth medi-hotel to support individuals with a high COVID-19 risk factor but do not otherwise require hospitalisation, the State Government has announced.
During yesterday’s visit to the region, Premier Steven Marshall said a makeshift medihotel will be established in the Blue Lake city for testing and quarantine purposes.
Mr Marshall said medi-hotels were currently in operation in Adelaide and had been “hugely successful” in combating COVID-19 and protecting frontline workers.
Details about when the medi-hotel will be operational and the location has yet to be revealed, with the state’s health department confirming locations are currently being investigated in the region.
Health Minister Stephen Wade said the metropolitan medi-hotels had supported a range of individuals, including international arrivals, essential travellers and confirmed COVID-19 cases.
However, Mr Wade said overseas return travellers will not be housed at the Mount Gambier site.
“There might be somebody who is a confirmed case who might not need hospitalisation, but they do need medically supervised accommodation,” he said.
“It might also be somebody who needs to self-isolate because they are a close contact and their situation at home is not convenient.
“They might be an essential traveller who is coming into South Australia who has been given pvermission to come in as long as they isolate for two weeks.”
Mr Wade said the determination to quarantine individuals in medi-hotels instead of at home will be made by SA Health “depending on the risk and where they are coming from”.
“Even now, the health team are making judgements… (saying) we are going to grant you essential traveller status on these conditions and one of the conditions might be medi-hotels,” he said.
Mr Wade said South Australia Police would supervise individuals at the medi-hotel, with SA Health staff providing in reach medical services.
“These people will be checked everyday for their symptoms,” he said.
“We will also have mental health back up as a lot of people find this very challenging being confined to their room for two weeks.”
It is unclear where the SA Health resources will be derived, with executive staff understood to have met with Mount Gambier Hospital senior team members late yesterday afternoon.
In a statement, SA Health said the department will “draw on our experience of running the metropolitan facilities to ensure any such facility in the South East has the same high levels of management and control processes in place”.