An outbreak of gastroenteritis at South Australian aged care facility, St Mary’s, has forced the facility in lockdown in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus to the outside community.

The presence of the contagious norovirus has been confirmed by Jo Jenner, the facility’s director of nursing.

“We are confident that the virus came from contact with someone in the community that visited the facility,” Ms Jenner said. “We have had a visit from a local health inspector who confirmed the virus did not come from our kitchen.”

According to Ms Jenner, no infected residents in the facility have been hospitalised and infected residents health is improving.

“We ask the community to avoid any visits to St Mary’s at least until Friday,” she said.

“We meet and assess the situation on a daily basis and if we are satisfied by Friday that the outbreak is easing, we will decide whether to allow visitors back in again.”

Both Mount Gambier City Council environmental health officer Louise Jarvis and Ferrers Medical Clinic practice manager, Lois Brooker confirmed that they were unaware of an outbreak of the virus in the larger community.

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