South Australia records five deaths and 1869 new cases of Covid-19 overnight
South Australia has recorded 1869 new cases of Covid-19 and five more deaths overnight.
It was the state’s lowest daily count so far this year, which Premier Steven Marshall said was good news.
“We’re absolutely delighted with that figure,” Mr Marshall told reporters on Tuesday.
“We are really tracking extraordinarily well in South Australia.”
Two of the deaths happened in the past 24 hours, while the other three were in preceding days but were only just reported.
There are 287 patients in hospital, including 32 in intensive care and five of them on ventilators.
Mr Marshall said there were thousands of vaccination appointments “going begging” and urged people to take up the opportunity on Australia Day to get a jab.
Meanwhile, two-thirds of teachers recently voted to strike over current back-to-school plans and Mr Marshall said negotiations were ongoing with the teacher’s union.
“I think we’re on strong ground, we’ve listened to the experts since day one … we’re in respectful negotiations,” he said.
“That ballot was open well before all of the issues had been finalised.”
Mr Marshall said his government would do what they could to avert the strike action.
“We have been working with the union,” he said.
Mr Marshall said there was no shortage of rapid antigen tests in the health sector but there was no need for testing at schools.
“There’s just no medical reason for this in South Australia whatsoever. This has been borne out by the advice we’ve received,” he said.
“We’ll go through the reasons why having rapid antigen tests can give a false sense of security, unless they’re really carried out in a controlled way.”
Also, on Tuesday, the state government announced an additional $2.3m for Wellbeing SA to call infected people twice per day.
Deputy chief public health officer Emily Kirkpatrick said the phone monitoring program specifically targeted individuals who were more vulnerable in the community and might not have a mobile phone.
“Not only are they providing clinical advice, but also support around logistics, food and other support that they may need while in isolation,” she told reporters.
“This involves SMSs being sent out to individuals, asking them to complete an initial survey and working through their health advice that’s required.”
Dr Kirkpatrick said there would also be support for people who did not have internet access, were elderly or might require a translator.
“If someone doesn’t have access to the internet, we have a system in place whereby if they’ve not responded back within 24 hours to their SMS, we then phone call them,” she said.
A further financial package of support and stimulus for businesses affected by Covid-19 restrictions will be announced later this week.
Originally published as South Australia records five deaths and 1869 new cases of Covid-19 overnight
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