Premier Steven Marshall addressed the South Australian public this afternoon with the latest information on the evolving COVID-19 situation in SA.
In the past 24 hours, 4,349 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in SA with a decrease of hospitalisations to 236. There was an increase in ICU patients, with currently 26 in intensive care, seven of who are on a ventilator. Marshall further stated yesterdays record cases were from a delay in results after hot weather saw testing clinics change their opening hours.
Unfortunately, four deaths were recorded in SA in the past 24 hours, with further details regarding the passing to be reported later today.
Of these cases, 3,107 were confirmed via a PCR test and 1,242 were from the SA Health administered rapid antigen tests (RAT). Marshall called this a “positive move,” as the RAT results meant individuals were moving into isolation much quicker.
Over 18,000 PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours and over 10,000 individuals received a two-pack RAT from SA Health yesterday. Marshall stated the RAT collection program experienced no delay yesterday.
The Berri/Barmera RAT collection site will open tomorrow, with Police Commissioner Grant Stevens expected to release the details of the further sites in the coming days.
Over 26,000 vaccinations were administered in the past 24 hours, with Marshall hoping to see a “further improvement” on South Australia’s record-breaking vaccination’s this week.
Further additional pediatric appointments are expected to be opened up in the coming days, with an extra 500 appointments for those aged 5-11 snapped up at Wayville. A total of 15,000 pediatric vaccinations have been administered since January 10.
It was announced that the Enfield vaccination clinic will become a family-only dedicated site, with an additional 700 appointments for 5-11-year-olds opening there.
Marshall said a great thing to do this weekend is to get out and get vaccinated if you haven’t done so.
“Get that booking, get down to Wayville, get that vaccine and protect your family,” said the Premier.
South Australia’s fully vaccinated rate sites at 89.6 per cent for those 12 and over – with the state closing in on the crucial 90 per cent vaccination goal set by the state.
“We are inching closer and closer to that 90 per cent, and we are very pleased at the number of people on the booster program,” said Marshall.
“I’m putting my faith in the South Australian people to do the right thing.”
To further boost SA’s vaccination rate, the Premier announced that further incentives will be delivered to GPs and pharmacies across the state. The scheme was developed to help more individuals receive their booster shots, while also helping those 5-11 receive their primary doses.
“It’s a real partnership between the state clinics, GP’s and pharmacies,” said Marshall.
Marshall said more than 600 primary care providers, including GPs and pharmacies who have been authorised by the Commonwealth Government to administer COVID-19 vaccinations are invited to apply for these first-time grants.
From today, South Australian primary care providers will have the opportunity to apply for additional funding to increase their capacity to deliver more vaccines across the state.
Through this new grant application process, they will be eligible to receive a financial incentive of up to $15 per additional vaccine they could administer in metropolitan or outer metropolitan areas or up to $20 per vaccine in regional and remote areas.
Speaking on SA’s Aged Care Residental system, Marshall addressed the concerns about residents not being able to have visitors. There are no limitations on visitors to Aged Care and Residential sites as long as 70 per cent of those living there are vaccinated. Marshall said this had already been achieved by almost every Aged Care facility in South Australia.
When an outbreak is declared at an Aged Care site, SA Health will put a halt on visitors at the location to allow the team to assess the unfolding situation. The state will then be able to make the proper recommendations to help get the facilities back running while reducing risks to residents and staff.
An outbreak in an Aged Care facility is considered as one resident testing positive to COVID-19, or two Aged Care workers.
“We are very concerned about our most vulnerable South Australian citizens,” said Marshall, describing SA’s Aged Care and Residential facilities in a “precarious situation.”
SA Health is expected to provide a full briefing on Aged Care Residential system to the government on Monday.
It has been tough on residents and staff within these sites…we do want to have an overall review so we can be providing the best advice to people in this situation,” said Marshall.
You may not always receive a call, SMS or email from SA Health.
You must follow the relevant health advice even if you have not been contacted.
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, please seek testing as soon as possible.
For more information on health advice and requirements for households, visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDcontacttracing.
Find your nearest testing site at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDtesting