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South Australia opens new ‘medi-hotel’ for COVID cases

International travellers in South Australia who test positive for COVID-19 infection are now being transferred to a hotel quarantine facility with upgraded ventilation systems and processes.

The 72-bed Tom’s Court hotel in Adelaide’s CBD will mainly house new international arrivals, but rooms will also be available should there be any further cases of community transmission in South Australia.

The SA government has called hotel quarantine “one of the most important tools” in keeping South Australians safe from the spread of COVID-19.

“The importance of a dedicated facility has only been strengthened by recent medi-hotel outbreaks in Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne,” says state Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade.

“Unlike other medi-hotels in Adelaide, where private companies have been employed to provide security, Tom’s Court will be exclusively staffed by SA Health and SA Police.”

About 16 SA Health and 41 South Australia Police (SAPOL) staff with medi-hotel experience have been selected to work exclusively in the facility for nursing and security purposes. Staff will be not be deployed to other medi-hotels or high-risk environments, including hospitals, aged-care facilities and corrections facilities.

“We have made extensive modifications, including installation of ventilation and CCTV, and improvement to how surfaces and cleaning will be managed,” says Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, Dr Emily Kirkpatrick. She notes that many of the rooms have balconies and opening windows to provide fresh air.

“We have made sure that the cycles and the fresh air intake do meet requirements, so we feel very confident in the ventilation standards.”

“We have also worked to design the rooms to be as self-contained as possible to minimise the number of times the doors are open, reducing the risk for potential transmission.”

HVAC&R News has requested more information on the ventilation systems being used. Television footage of the newly upgraded rooms showed a recirculating wall-mounted split AC and an openable window.

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