Close contacts further defined, as SA records over 2500 new cases

A record of 2,552 cases were confirmed in SA today as the definition for close contacts was further clarified.

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

It was announced today that there are 2,552 new cases of COVID-19 in South Australia, the fourth consecutive day in which SA’S COVID cases have surged above 2,000. Current hospitalisations have also continued to climb, with 94 individuals in the hospital, 9 of which are in the ICU.

There are no individuals in the hospital who are currently on a ventilator, which Marshall deemed to be following the pattern of the Omicron variant, which is more transmissible yet displays lesser symptoms.

The COVID-positive prison population has risen to 90 across SA, all of which are stable and showing no signs of deterioration. However, SA Health will be keeping a close eye on the rising cases.

Further, the sobering up unit in Port Augusta has reported no further positive cases after receiving a majority of test results.

There were almost 20,000 COVID PCR tests undertaken in South Australia, a slight dip from the peak 25,000+ documented a few days ago. Marshall said this was expected and was pleased that a record of symptomatic tests was documented yesterday, helping ease the pressure off the health system after the introduction of Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) for asymptomatic individuals.

“For the last three days I’ve been asking people that are not symptomatic to not be using up the PCR capacity…that’s now happened, and I am very grateful for South Australian’s for doing the right thing,” said Marshall.

Testing wait times and lines continue to shorten across South Australia after RAT tests increase in availability, with wait times currently being documented on the SA Health website and social media pages.

Marshall announced that there still is a lengthy delay at the Victoria Park testing site, but reminded the public that there are multiple testing facilities across SA to get tested. There have been a further 800 booking slots open up across SA for individuals to book a COVID test.

It was reported that the wait times for COVID test results have also decreased by 12 hours, with Marshall stating that individuals should receive their pathology results within 24 hours at the moment. It was also reported that vaccination rates were low yesterday, with Marshall encouraging individuals to roll up for their vaccinations and booster shots as soon as possible.

The definition for close contacts was further clarified and defined at today’s press conference after SA signed up to the national cabinet positioning. The narrowing definition includes household intimate contact, vulnerable cohorts (elderly and aboriginal population) and premises which have been identified as a place of a significant transmission.

A close contact is an individual who has been face-to-face with a COVID positive individual without a mask indoors for longer than 15 minutes. This does not apply to diners in a restaurant, or waiters wearing a mask unless it is identified by SA Health that it is a transmission site.

Exposure sites will only be listed for significant transmission within the location, not just a single case.

“Once you see the pattern emerging you want to stop it being a super spreader event,” said Marshall.

Marshall also re-confirmed that casual contacts are no longer required to isolate.

Marshall further stated that the COVID peak is still some weeks away in South Australia, a reason behind the tightening restrictions placed upon elective surgery in SA. As of midnight tonight, a ban on all elective surgery but urgent categories 1 and 2 will also come into place. The restrictions should give hospitals a “flex up” on the number of hospital and ICU beds in the state.

The current close contact definition is in place effective immediately, with further information of both direction changes expected to be announced later today.   

Marshall said he doesn’t want to speculate on when restrictions will lift, as South Australia is expected to reach its peak COVID cases in the following weeks. Marshall stated that the government and SA Health have attempted to “make the best of a very tough situation…which the entire country and world is battling at the moment”, through increasing testing and vaccination facilities and increasing hospital beds.

Marshall further drove home the message to South Australians to continue to show up and roll up their sleeves for their booster shots and vaccinations, describing the thousands of appointments available yesterday as “going begging”.

Marshall further drove home the message to South Australians to continue to show up and roll up their sleeves for their booster shots and vaccinations, describing the thousands of appointments available yesterday as “going begging”.

On January 10, the 5-11 cohort will be eligible to receive their COVID vaccination, which Marshall clarified is a smaller dose than the one currently administrated. Currently, at The Women’s and Children’s Hospital, there are only 5 COVID cases hospitalised, dropping from the previous 10 earlier in the week.

A string of support packages for SA businesses impacted by current COVID restrictions was announced on New Year’s Eve, helping to support the likes of hospitality and tourism venues and vendors, as well as gyms. Read further about the grants and COVID support packages here

As of January 2, 2022, 87.9 per cent of South Australians aged 12 and over have received both doses of a TGA approved vaccination. A total of 92.6 per cent of SA residents 12 and over have also received their first 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

More information is available at

For more information visit or call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787.

SA Health listed COVID-19 exposure sites:

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