One lie changed the lives of close to 2 million people in South Australia.
Per CNN, a pizza bar employee with COVID-19 lied to a contact-tracing team forcing the entire state to shutdown. South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said that the employee told officials that they were at Woodville Pizza Bar only to pick up a carry-out order. This forced officials to originally conclude that the strain was highly contagious since the patient supposedly only got it from passing contact, leading health officials to act quickly.
South Australia went into a lockdown after confirming several locally transmitted cases for the first time since April. Every establishment that wasn't an essential business—including schools—were forced to close. Yet upon further investigation, authorities found the pizza bar was the epicenter. Also, the initial victim wasn't merely a customer, they were an employee who had been working several shifts with the illness.
"SA health contact tracers found that one of the close contacts linked to the Woodville Pizza Bar deliberately mislead the contact tracing team," South Australia Premier Steven Marshall said. "We now know that they lied."
The state has since repealed its stay-at-home order and citizens are able to resume their socially distanced lives. While it might have seemed like an overreaction, the premier and police commissioner defended the lockdown decision, explaining how that one lie put the state's progress in jeopardy.
"This has had a massive impact on our community," Stevens said before alluding to possible legal repercussions. "People's lives have been upended as a result of information that led us to a course of action that now was not warranted in the circumstances. We're now taking action to amend that."