South Australia records 484 new cases of COVID-19, with seven people in hospital

South Australia has recorded 484 new cases of COVID-19, with seven hospitalisations. 

There are 286 more cases than the 198 recorded on Wednesday — the biggest single-day surge in cases in SA since the start of the pandemic.

The cases include 43 children, 26 teenagers, 192 women aged between 18 and 96, and 223 males aged between 18 and 88.

Of Thursday’s cases, 106 were known contacts of a positive case, ten acquired their infection interstate, and 366 are under investigation.

Six adults and one child are in hospital, up from five people yesterday.

Two men in their 50s and 60s and two women in their 90s are at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH), while a man in his 30s is ventilated in the RAH’s Intensive Care Unit.

One woman in her 30s is at the Flinders Medical Centre and one child is at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Of the new cases, 230 were vaccinated and 70 were unvaccinated, while the vaccination status of 184 is unknown.

There were a total of 36 confirmed Omicron cases on Thursday, up from eight on Wednesday. 

The state, which opened its borders exactly a month ago, now has 1,214 active cases.

South Australia records 484 new cases of COVID-19, with seven people in hospital
SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier announced earlier this week that interstate arrivals no longer require a day one or six test if they donn’t have symptoms.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

Speaking on Thursday morning before case numbers were announced, Premier Steven Marshall acknowledged South Australia was seeing more cases than predicted.

“We’re now experiencing many more cases than was originally envisaged by the Doherty Institute model, but a lower level of hospitalisation and a lower-level acuity.

“We’ll factor that all in and that will inform us as to how we move going forward.”

Mr Marshall said he has a meeting with the modellers, who would be “taking the actual data that we have and projecting that forward’.

Mr Marshall said the testing requirement for people to have a negative test within 72 hours of travelling from NSW, Victoria or the ACT will remain for now.

A queue of cars at Victoria Park COVID-19 testing station.
There have been long waits at testing sites around Adelaide.(ABC News: Rebecca Puddy)

“I think it’s way too early to consider removing the requirement for those coming from those highly-infected states,” he said.

Mr Marshall said testing turnaround times were being managed amid a “heightened level of anxiety in the lead-up to Christmas”.

“I think we are seeing testing times blow out right across the country,” he said.

“We had two or three days in South Australia where those times were unacceptably long.”

SA approves rapid antigen tests for use

South Australia has approved rapid antigen tests for sale for self-testing.

Earlier, Mr Marshall said the state had plenty of the tests ready to go.

Five rapid antigen tests laid out on a black background.
Rapid antigen tests that you can take at home are not as accurate as PCR tests.(Reuters: Denis Balibouse)

“We’ve got millions of rapid antigen test kits here in South Australia ready for the rollout, he said.

“We are already using them in the medical sector, the dental sector and the mining sector where it is a useful screen, a surveillance screen.”

Mr Marshall said rapid antigen tests were not an alternative to the standard PCR tests.

“The rapid antigen test is useful as a screening or surveillance test,” he said.

Authorities advise people with symptoms or close contacts of positive cases to take a PCR test and isolate until they receive a negative result.

Mr Marshall said rapid antigen tests could be used for people without symptoms who want “a greater sense of confidence before socially interacting with others”.

The rapid antigen tests will be available in shops, but Mr Marshall said it would take time for stock to be transported to shelves and urged people to remain patient over the coming days.

Check the table below to find all the SA Health sites and exposure windows.

You can find information on testing site hours and the nearest site to you on the SA Health website.

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