Tue. Jul 5th, 2022

Parafield, Modbury, Thebarton and Norwood are no longer just Adelaide suburbs, but the names of COVID-19 clusters published by SA Health.

Business owners in the areas say that practice has had a major impact on their pedestrian traffic and they are calling for a reconsideration.

Norwood Parade, a normally busy venue in the eastern part of Adelaide, has been unusually quiet, according to cafe owner Giuliano Vello.

“That’s when we should buzz and try to knock for a rainy day.”

The suburb of Norwood has been the center of a COVID-19 cluster following a high school reunion in a local theater hall earlier this month.

The group of more than 30 cases has since become known as the Norwood cluster despite the reunion being for Henley High School by the beach.

A long empty table in a cafe
Inside the quiet Sfizio Cucina and Caffé in Norwood.(ABC News: Haidarr Jones)

Business owners like Mr Vello say they have felt the effects of being in the Norwood area.

“It’s had a huge impact,” he said.

“We had a lot of reservations canceled – we had 50 to 60 people last Friday night who canceled – and of course we were all ready for it, and suddenly you’re wondering what to do with all that food.”

These thoughts were repeated by business owners like Gagan Singh, whose Indian supermarket was hit last year by a cluster in the Parafield area of ​​northern Adelaide.

“Very, very hard those days and we end up losing a lot of money,” he said.

“You know, of course, we have to pay the staff the full salary, and even if we do not have enough sales.”

A man with a beard wearing a white polo shirt in a supermarket
Gagan Singh’s Indian supermarket was named as an exhibition venue in the Parafield cluster.(ABC News: Haidarr Jones)

Encourages change in how clusters are named

Andrew Hughes is a marketing expert from the Australian National University.

“Health experts come up with the names; they try to look at a suburb, probably because it’s easy to identify with people, and it’s probably also a quick way to get the message out,” he said.

Dr. Hughes said the naming of the clusters needed to be investigated further.

The World Health Organization made a similar move by adopting letters of the Greek alphabet to avoid stigmatizing different nations.

A pedestrian area in front of a shopping mall
The prelude to Christmas should be a busy time in Norwood.(ABC News)

People who visit the Norwood area agree.

“Yes, I feel it’s really disappointing,” said one woman.

“I feel like they should change it because I do not feel it is right.”

“I think it’s just going to be a huge cluster anyway, so it’s a little unfortunate that it happened to Norwood first,” says one man.

SA Health will not comment on whether it will consider using another method to identify clusters.

“We understand the impact positive cases have on businesses and will continue to work hard to test, track, isolate and quarantine to help reduce the number of people and businesses affected by COVID-19 exposure. , “a spokesman for SA Health said in a statement.

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