SA reports 5679 COVID-19 cases, 6 deaths

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

South Australia has reported a big spike in COVID-19 infections as new modelling suggests the state could have as many as 10,000 cases each day when the current outbreak peaks.

SA reported 5679 new cases on Friday, up from 3669 the previous day, as a large number of state-issued rapid antigen test results were included for the first time.

More than 20,000 RATs were distributed on Thursday, returning 1747 positive results.

Another six people have died while 246 are in hospital, including 20 in intensive care. Eight people are on ventilation.

Premier Steven Marshall said the increase in new infections should be viewed with a "degree of caution" given the inclusion of RAT results and because about 400 PCR tests from the previous day were delayed by hot weather.

The premier also released the latest modelling on the likely trajectory of infection numbers which suggested SA could expect between 6000 and 10,000 cases each day when the outbreak reaches its peak - now predicted between January 15 and 25.

Hospital admissions were forecast to rise to about 370, with up to 50 people in ICU.

Mr Marshall said the modelling so far had been "alarmingly accurate" and showed SA could have expected up to 40,000 cases a day had the government not introduced new local restrictions on Boxing Day.

Those restrictions included tougher density limits in most venues and a 10-person cap on home gatherings.

"The modelling provides for the peak to be reached as early as tomorrow. We're very close," Mr Marshall said.

"We've still got a couple of pretty tough days and weeks in front of us, but we can now look to the other side with great hope."

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said it was clear the state had avoided a much worse situation with the swift introduction of new restrictions.

But she said the outcome would ultimately depend on the behaviour and attitude of everyone in the coming days and weeks.

"People will agree that what we've done in South Australia has absolutely changed what would have been catastrophic," she said.

"Putting those restrictions in place after Christmas, I just can't explain how significant that has been in reducing our cases."

Professor Spurrier also confirmed masks would be compulsory for all teachers in schools from the start of term one, with students from years three and up "strongly encouraged" to wear them.

Mr Marshall, who was released from seven days of quarantine on Friday after being considered a close contact of his COVID-positive daughter, said the government would continue to add data to its modelling to determine when local restrictions could be lifted.

"As I've said since day one of this pandemic, I don't want to see one restriction in place for longer than it has to be," he said.

"However, as this modelling says, these sacrifices have been instrumental in keeping our state safe and strong."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting