South Australia is set to approve the widespread rollout of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests as daily case numbers continue at record levels.
The tests are currently used in certain sectors including health and mining, but calls have been growing for local sales to be approved.
Premier Steven Marshall says the government is keen to make them available to the wider community.
“But it’s got to be done at the right time,” Mr Marshall said on Wednesday.
“It’s a very good surveillance test for those people who don’t have any symptoms but it is not a replacement for the PCR (test).
“We are rapidly getting to the point where the rapid antigen test will be appropriate. I would think in the next couple of days we will be able to give advice on that.”
There have been six consecutive days of record case numbers in SA after the borders reopened in late November.
The state recorded 198 new infections on Wednesday, putting it over the threshold for an official COVID-19 outbreak based on local modelling released in early November.
That predicted a 27 per cent chance of an outbreak, which was defined as “averaging more than 100 cases per day over any three-day period”.
Case numbers on Monday and Tuesday this week were 105 and 154.
Mr Marshall conceded the modelling had “some inaccuracies”.
“We’re seeing a much higher infection rate with Delta and now with Omicron,” he said.
However, the premier said hospitalisation rates remained “much lower”.
Among Wednesday’s cases, 117 were in people fully vaccinated, 11 were unvaccinated with the status of 70 unknown.
SA now has 742 active infections, with 670 of those being managed in home isolation and 67 in hotel quarantine.
Five people are in hospital.