COVID-19

211 people hospitalised as SA records 2,921 COVID-19 cases

In the past 24 hours, 2,921 cases of COVID-19 and one death were reported in SA with an increase of hospitalisations to 211.

Premier Steven Marshall addressed the South Australian public from isolation this afternoon with the latest information on the evolving COVID-19 situation in SA.

In the past 24 hours, 2,921 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in SA with an increase of hospitalisations to 211. There are currently now 22 individuals in the ICU, four of who are on a ventilator. Unfortunately, South Australia has recorded one death over the past 24 hours, a woman in her 50s. It was further stated that there is a massive overrepresentation of unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals in the ICU.

This is the second day in a row in which South Australia has reported a reduction in COVID-19 cases. Marshall said the cases are stabilising, and today’s daily case count in quite some time. The Premier continued to say this is a very good result and that SA has “avoided disaster” as a result of current restrictions.

A total of 18,433 PCR tests were taken yesterday and an additional 700 rapid antigen tests (RAT) were reported, seeing the state tick over more than 19,000 tests yesterday. 

“I think there will still be a lot of jumping around, the modelling suggests that there is still time to go before we hit the peak…but I have reason to believe that the information we have received is very accurate,” said Marshall. 

Vaccination numbers have also bounced back, with South Australia recording a total of 16,000 vaccinations yesterday, and a large number Marshall noted were booster shots. 

It was stated that 44 per cent of those eligible for their boost shot have already received them, which Marshall said was “a great result seeing as every day more and more people become eligible.” The dedicated Mile End booster clinic is set to open tomorrow.

Marshall thanked South Australians for heeding the health advice and getting boosted at such a quick rate.

“South Australians have worked with the Government and health officials since day one, and they continue to do the right thing with showing up to get their booster shots,” said Marshall.

Thursday morning will be the first chance for close contacts to use rapid antigen tests (RAT) for a speedier result through SA Health. Marshall said more information is to come but outlined how the RAT process will work. Individuals deemed a close contact will be able to visit the SA Health website, register their need for a RAT and determine the site which is best for them to collect it from.

The individual will then receive a number they will need to show and a receipt sent to their phone to be used at pick-up. These tests are then reported back to SA Health. 

Further details are expected to be provided tomorrow, but Marshall said SA is “on track” to make the switch to the at-home test system. 

Marshall further stated that they are not looking at making it mandatory to return the tests back to the clinic from which they were collected.

The SA Government and SA Health are a few days off releasing a forecast of cases, but Marshall said SA is looking to hit their peak in the third or fourth week in January. Marshall continued to say that the projection has decreased from 10,000+ cases to a “fraction” of where the state was headed thanks to behavioural changes in the SA. 

The hospitalisation plan is also being updated, with results expected to be released in the following days. Marshall said the total number of hospital beds in SA has been significantly “flexed up”, with 500 dedicated ward beds for COVID-19 positive patients and 60 ICU beds will be provided at the peak of the outbreak. 

Marshall said this was made possible from the cooperation of private hospitals and the cancellation of non-emergency surgeries. 

On the subject of returning students, Marshall said there will be more work between now and Thursday on the back to school plan, saying that RAT for teachers will be a part of the plan, and some student cohorts who have been exposed to the virus. 

The government is considering all options, including a delay to the beginning of Term 1 and the impact of returning on January 31. Marshall said they are on track to let the public know by Friday. 

As of January 10, 93.0 per cent of eligible South Australians aged 12+ have received their first dose of the vaccine,
89.0 per cent have received their second dose.

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, please seek testing as soon as possible.

Find your nearest testing site at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDtesting.

More information is available at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDcontacttracing.

For more information visit https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/ or call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787.

SA HEALTH LISTED COVID-19 EXPOSURE SITES:

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