SA stands firm against mask mandates

·1-min read

The South Australian government continues to resist imposing new and widespread mask mandates despite surging COVID-19 admissions and Adelaide's public hospitals operating beyond capacity.

The number of people in hospital with the virus was at a record 384 on Monday, up from 209 a month ago.

Just after midday, 2855 of the public system's 2959 hospital beds were occupied and there were another 128 patients waiting to be admitted.

Premier Peter Malinauskas again acknowledged the pressure on the hospital system but said widespread mask mandates were not "on the radar".

"We are not in receipt of any health recommendations, either locally or nationally to introduce mask mandates," he told reporters.

"We are at a different phase of the pandemic now and we do place a high value on national consistency.

"There is no state in the country that is introducing a mask mandate."

SA does have some mask rules still in place, with their use compulsory in healthcare settings, nursing homes and on public transport.

The government has also strongly encouraged students to wear masks following Monday's return of classes after two weeks of holidays.

SA Health reported 3363 new COVID-19 infections on Monday along with 19 more deaths, taking the state's virus toll since the start of the pandemic to 629.

The latest deaths occurred between February 3 and July 23 and were included in the COVID-19 statistics following the release of data from Births, Deaths and Marriages.

About 75 per cent of SA's new virus cases are now the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants.

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