Premier Peter Malinauskas, Minister for Education Blair Boyer, and Minister for Health Chris Picton addressed the South Australian public this afternoon with the latest information regarding mask-wearing in SA schools.
Premier Malinauskas announced that the wearing of masks will be maintained within the school setting for 4 more weeks upon school restarting next week.
This will apply in the high school setting, but it is just a recommendation for younger students.
“Wearing masks for children isn’t convenient, it isn’t natural and I certainly feel for these students who will need to continue to wear masks for another 4 weeks but were making this decision in their best interests. In the best interests of trying to minimise the disruption to their learning environment,” said the Premier.
“Anything we can do to prevent the consideration of school closures is something we have to keep on the table. Our tasks here is trying to get the balance right. Allowing schools to return to normal, giving relief to teachers and students alike by relieving them of mask mandates but at the same time minimising the disruption to schools and allowoing them to operate and remain open.”
Works to improve adequate ventilation in schools will be fast-tracked, so masks will no longer be required. From 30 March, an additional 1,000 air purifiers were ordered to improve ventilation.
“What were aiming to do is to get the balance right and protect the interests of out students and teachers so that schools can continue to operate and do so in a safe way,” said the Premier.
“[We are] accelerating works to mitigate the risk of spreading of covid within the school setting so in 4 weeks time we can remove that mask mandate.”
Latest COVID Statistics
South Australia’s COVID-19 cases have dropped slightly to 3,463 confirmed in the last 24 hours, with 254 people currently hospitalised.
10 people are in ICU, and 1 person requiring a ventilator. Sadly, there have been 7 deaths in the past 24 hours.
Minister for Health Chris Picton announced that the government would be releasing some updated modelling in terms of the present SA situation. This modelling now takes into consideration the new parameters that have been put in place, particularly in regard to the close contact definition which is due to change on Saturday 30 April.
“What this modelling shows is that we are likely to see a significant number of covid cases for some time, but it is at a level which we believe is manageable in our health system,” said Minister Picton.
“The modelling projects that to be around about over 2,000 covid cases for the near term that will be in South Australia on a daily basis, and hospitalisations at a level between 180-200 per day.”
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.
For more information visit https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/ or call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787