SA reports 2921 new COVID cases, one death

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South Australia has avoided a "massive disaster" thanks to renewed COVID-19 restrictions, with further evidence the Omicron outbreak is stabilising, Premier Steven Marshall says.

SA Health reported 2921 new infections on Tuesday, the lowest daily total for more than a week.

Hospital admissions rose to 211 and 22 people remained in intensive care with four on ventilation.

One more person died, a woman in her 50s, taking SA's pandemic toll to 19 as active infections rose to 30,388.

The state's health sector continued to be hit hard, with positive tests among health workers now reaching 480, including 41 ambulance officers.

Mr Marshall said new modelling on the recent surge suggested the peak was still to come but that local density rules and caps on gatherings introduced in late December would significantly reduce the number of cases.

"We've been able to really avoid a massive disaster where the model was predicting tens and tens of thousands of cases on a daily basis," he said.

"We now see that moderating very significantly because of behavioural changes in South Australia since we put those restrictions in place."

The premier said officials were still determining exactly when the peak might hit - probably in the third or fourth week of January - and what the peak numbers would be.

"But what I can say is it is genuinely a fraction of where we were heading," he said.

Mr Marshall said SA was also on track to from Thursday allow close contacts of virus cases to have a rapid antigen test instead of a PCR test to reduce the demand on testing sites.

Under the new system, close contacts will be asked to register online to receive a QR code and be directed to a testing site where they will be provided with two free RATs.

The change comes after testing centres had their hours cut on Tuesday because of soaring temperatures.

With the mercury set to hit 39C in Adelaide, a number of drive-through sites across the city were shut down during the hottest part of the day.

SA Health urged people who attended for testing to be patient and prepared and to remember to bring water and snacks.

It said those at walk-in sites should also remember sunscreen, a hat or umbrella, and a chair.

Mr Marshall said SA's updated hospital plan for dealing with the virus outbreak would be released within the next two days but would include an extra 500 beds for COVID-19 positive patients along with 60 ICU beds.

He said that would be more than enough to cater for the forecast demand.

"It will be a significant building on where we were previously and that's only possible because of the great co-operation we've had from the private hospitals and also from cancelling our non-urgent elective surgery," the premier said.

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