COVID-19

SA reports ‘around 1,280’ COVID-19 cases as advice changes for PCR and RAT use

Marshall stated SA’s cases remained the “the same as yesterday,” and were sitting “around 1,280,” as the health advice for close contacts shifts.

Premier Steven Marshall and Deputy Premier Dan van Holst Pellekaan addressed the South Australian public this morning with the latest information on the evolving COVID-19 situation in SA.

The Premier stated he did not have the final number on positive COVID-19 cases confirmed in South Australia but believed they remained the “the same as yesterday,” and are sitting “around 1,280”.

Marshall did not have any further information regarding hospitalisations, intensive care cases, testing and vaccination rates. He continued to say that SA no longer has COVID-19 press conferences, hence the discussion regarding other state matters, but he would try and provide the information he has to the public at the time.

“The key message is through we are not out of the woods yet and we cannot become complacent,” Marshall said.

Further, Marshall said that SA Health will be publishing the final COVID-19 statistics online between late morning and early afternoon, but it would be “weird” if he did not discuss the emerging data during the morning conferences.

There has been a change in the advice directed at individuals seeking a COVID-19 test who are displaying symptoms of infection, regardless of whether they are a close contact or not.

Marshall stated that there is a “significant increase” in PCR testing capabilities and that the current advice by SA Health is for individuals showing signs of COVID-19 to undertake the highly-accurate, administered test.

“The PCR is the Rolls Royce,” Marshall said, continuing to that it is “very sensitive,” accurate and fast.

“Everyone with symptoms, whether a close contact or just symptoms, need to have a PCR.”

The rapid at-home tests will continue to remain available for close contacts, with the SA Health provided RATS increasing to four per close contact, instead of two. Marshall said this is so close contacts can use them freely if their health starts to deteriorate within the seven-day isolation period, and that the case can be reported faster.

Nevertheless, Marshall continued to heed that close contacts with symptoms of COVID-19 should have a PCR test, so they can begin their 10-day isolation period sooner. The Premier continued to say that this is not a directive chang,e but a change in SA Heath’s advice.

“The plan is working extraordinarily well in South Australia,” Marshall said.

“It’s not chopped and change, it’s the development of the system.

“The strong message is to have the more accurate test and you’ll find out earlier if you have COIVD-19.”

PCR testing capacity for South Australia sits at approximately 26,000 tests per day, with the system only processing at half of that presently.

Elective surgery will also resume tomorrow, with the cap on procedures to dissolve progressively across the next four weeks.

Stuart Highway re-opens:

The Stuart Highway has resumed operation for heavy vehicles, with deliveries of critical supplies beginning to enter the isolated Far North remote communities. The townships had been cut off from SA after the highway at Glendoe became submerged by water from the flash flooding and wild weather.

Marshall said this opening was a “massive relief,” and said that from Tuesday, high clearance 4WD’s can also drive on the submerged roadway. After that, an assessment will be undertaken on the Stuart Highway before it is fully opened to passenger vehicles, as water remains on the road.

There is no further update regarding the rail repair at Tarcoola, where 18 separate breakaways from the line saw the vital railway halt services. This has seen food delivery to the Northern Territory and Western Australia stop, and repair is estimated to be completed by February 18.

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

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