Premier Steven Marshall and Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier addressed the South Australian public this afternoon to update the state on current COVID cases and announce a major surge in bookings recorded in SA’s hospitality sector.
It was confirmed that two COVID cases were recorded today in South Australia.
The first case is a young girl from Victoria in the early stages of COVID, who entered the state yesterday with her family to visit South Australian relatives. She was travelling with her mother and another sibling when the family was notified via SMS to get tested. Both siblings were too young (under 12) to be vaccinated, however, the mother is fully vaccinated.
Only one exposure site has been listed regarding this case, which is the Tailem Bend testing facility.
The family which crossed the border has returned home to quarantine in Victoria, with the other two individuals, the child’s grandparents, connected to the case quarantining in South Australia as they are residents. They are both fully vaccinated.
Fully vaccinated individuals will have a 7-day at-home quarantine. Close contacts who are not vaccinated will have to isolate for 14 days. Children under 12 by default are included in the unvaccinated category and will have to isolate for 14 days. The testing on days 1, 5 and 13 is still required.
After a detailed interview was conducted between SA Health and the mother, Spurrier believes that no further exposure are connected to this case.
Spurrier stated, that as all families with children know, that bathroom breaks are frequent, with the young family stopping at toilets along the way. However, she believes the bathrooms were not considered an exposure site after SA Health did a further thorough investigation.
Spurrier stated that she did not believe it was community transmission within South Australia.
The second is an inactive case from an individual from Victoria. Marshall said the case was originally confirmed in Melbourne, Victoria, with the positive result deriving from the individual shedding the disease.
Marshall stated that this case was no immediate threat to the South Australian public, saying they believed the individual was not contagious.
Spurrier continued to say that masks are here for a little bit longer, to keep up the good hygiene practices and that getting vaccinated has never been as imperative. She then went on to state that SA would not be mandating vaccinations, apart from organisations that work with vulnerable individuals.
It was also reported that press conferences will not be necessary each day if the state continues to record 2 to 3 cases.
Yesterday was the first day that the South Australian borders opened to neighbouring states. Marshall said that COVID was an inevitable reality for South Australia, but assured the public that the precautions in place will reduce the risk of the virus in SA.
It was reported at the press conference that 88% of South Australians 16 and over had received their first dose of the COVID vaccine today. Marshall stated he believed the state would hit the curial 80% vaccination milestone tomorrow and 90% before the end of the year.
With the borders officially opening to other Australian states yesterday, Marshall said that joyous reunions for families were held across the state. While families were reunited, Marshall said a major boost was also recorded in South Australia’s hospitality industry.
“With our lengthy but necessary lockdown we’ve locked out our two biggest markets, Sydney and Melbourne,” said Marshall.
“We know that the interstate market is worth approximately $2.37B to the South Australian economy every year, but Melbourne and Sydney make up 70 per cent of that value.”
Forward bookings for this year are at an all-time high for the last two years, with families across the state heading out to support the sector that has been doing it tough for the last 20 months. Fantastic news for the hospitality sector which has been subjected to necessary restrictions at the hands of the pandemic. Marshall noted that it was a great time for South Australian hoteliers, who he said had been doing it disproportionately tough during the pandemic.
Premier Marshall also announced the large majority of positive cases will quarantine at home.
“The vast majority of people will be treated at home that’s why we have put the PCR home monitoring system in place, however, there are some people who might need a high level of supervision and the majority of them will present in metropolitan Adelaide.”
The state government has put a tender to the regions for quarantine rooms closer to home for regional cases to quarantine.
“We have plenty of capacity in metropolitan Adelaide, but we are now looking if there are places in regional SA.”
This would allow those who are unable to home quarantine to isolate themselves in a safe place closer to their community.
Premier Marshall also denied claims that the border opening will amplify pressure on Ambulance ramping. He claimed the states high vaccination rates and ability to home quarantine will alleviate pressure on our public hospitals.
As for children too young to be vaccinated, Marshall said “I don’t think that there will be a large number of young people being hospitalised because of COVID.”
He continued with statistics from last nights presentations to the Women’s and Children’s Emergency Department, which saw all patients car one seen within the clinically appropriate times.
The Premier followed his defence with new information that 400 beds across the states health facilities are being ‘freed up’.
“That’s the equivalent of two new Modbury hospitals,” said the Premier.
“The pressure on our hospitals are being alleviated as those taking a bed in our major hospitals are being moved to more appropriate facilities, where possible.”
Marshall sailed past 60k successful applications have passed through SA’s screening portal since Friday afternoon. Yesterday, November 23, marked the official day that South Australia’s borders opened to other states and territories. The quarantine restrictions for international returning residents have also been reduced, with only a seven-day quarantine required for double vaccinated Australians. The cap on home gatherings now sits at 30 people able to gather inside one home instead of 20 people.
Fully vaccinated South Australians will only have to quarantine for seven days if they’re deemed a close contact of a COVID-19 case. If an unvaccinated person is to contract COVID-19, they’ll be required to quarantine for fourteen days, with fully vaccinated, close-contacts only required to isolate for seven days.
NOVEMBER 23 | 80% OF SOUTH AUSTRALIANS FULLY VACCINATED (16+)
- Borders will open to fully vaccinated Australians in all states and territories.
- Quarantine restrictions for returning international residents will drop from 14 days to 7 days.
- Cap on home gatherings will ease from 20 per household to 30 per household.
- Private activity cap of 150 people.
- Masks will remain mandatory for inside activity.
90% OF SOUTH AUSTRALIANS FULLY VACCINATED (12+)
- Borders open to fully vaccinated returning residents and international arrivals.
- Unvaccinated arrivals required to quarentine for 14 days.
- Restrictions on most activites lifted.
- High-risk activity only for the fully vaccinated (nightclubs, standing alcohol consumption).
- Masks remain in high risk settings.
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
More information is available at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDcontacttracing