Premier Steven Marshall, Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier and Police Commissioner Grant Stevens addressed the South Australian public today updating on the latest COVID restrictions in South Australia and the news this morning that the Pfizer vaccine is being made available for those aged 16 to 39 from Monday.
Calling the vaccine South Australia’s passport out of current restrictions, Marshall was delighted to announce the news after South Australia surpassed the 1 million vaccination doses milestone last night, with a record number of doses administered yesterday.
The bookings will be open from Monday for appointments in September and October, with Marshall reminding anyone 40 and over who have not yet booked in to book in ahead of the expected rush on Monday from younger South Australians.
This is a huge achievement for South Australia, the first state to announce the opening up the vaccine roll-out to this younger cohort, following an error at Highgate Park vaccination clinic earlier this week, who mistakenly opened up appointments to those aged 18 and over and saw a huge demand for these appointments.
Those who booked in their appointments at Highgate earlier this week will still have those bookings honoured and will receive their vaccine.
Country South Australians have been able to benefit from this arrangement for some time now, with those 16 and over in rural areas offered Pfizer vaccines earlier this year.
Marshall also spoke about the availability of the Moderna vaccine, which will be arriving in South Australia as early as next month.
Professor Nicola Spurrier confirmed that 340,000 South Australians had been fully vaccinated with a total of 600,000 having received their first dose.
Also discussed was the decision for South Australian Olympians returning from Sydney to undertake a further 14 days quarantine in South Australia. Marshall was firm in his decision on this to protect South Australia after the Modbury cluster began from a South Australian returning after completing their quarantine in Sydney.
Professor Nicola Spurrier spoke to announce there were zero new cases in South Australia, with six active cases currently in the state in medi-hotels. Three South Australians are currently in hospital, but thankfully all are stable.
Today’s announcement follows an update from the Transition Committee this week, who prescribed a modest ease in South Australia’s COVID restrictions as follows:
Density arrangements have been broken into three categories: seated activities, standing activities and fitness centres or gyms.
Seated food and beverage consumption will continue in South Australia but the density arrangement has been increased to 3 people per 4 square metres. This would be relevant for cinemas, theatres, restaurants and bars.
Standing activities such as spectators at outdoor football matches is returning to 1 per 2 square metre capacity, as is the density agreement for retail premises. In indoor sporting stadiums the density agreement remains at 1 per 4 square metres whether spectators are seated or standing.
In gyms and fitness centres, the density restriction remains at 1 per 4 square metres.
Limits on private gatherings outside the homes has slightly increased to 50 guests for birthdays such as a BBQ in a park, or hiring a hall or venue. This is in line with the guest limit for receptions and funerals. The 10 person limit on private gatherings inside the home is not changing at this time.
Any events with over 1000 people in attendance are required to have a COVID management plan in place and are restricted to a density arrangement of 1 person per 6 square metres.
Masks are compulsory in indoor public spaces and high-risk health and aged care setting and also personal care settings. Masks need to also be worn in places of worship if singing is going to occur.
The ban on singing and dancing also remains at this time.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens confirmed that these restrictions would likely remain in place in South Australia until there is an appropriate level of vaccine protection within the state population.
COVID-19 TESTING SITE UPDATES
Bookings are required at Victoria Park Pakapakanthi from 10am-8pm (outside of these hours, bookings are not required).
When you book online, you may be placed in a virtual queue. This may happen when there is increased demand on the website.
Follow SA Health’s post on Facebook (link here) for the latest updates on testing sites impacted by the weather. To find an alternative COVID-19 testing site near you, please visit: sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDtesting
ALL SOUTH AUSTRALIANS WHO HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 SHOULD GET TESTED ON THE DAY SYMPTOMS APPEAR.
– Fever or chills (in the absence of an alternative illness that explains these symptoms)
– An acute respiratory infection e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, or shortness of breath
– Loss of smell or alteration in the sense of taste
– Diarrhoea and vomiting
For more information: SA COVID-19 Information Line 1800 253 787; sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVID2019.