News Coronavirus Latest South Australia COVID-19 wave could push higher

Latest South Australia COVID-19 wave could push higher

Testing and isolation remain critical to SA's virus response, says Nicola Spurrier. Photo: AAP
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South Australia’s latest wave of COVID-19 cases could push daily infections above initial expectations, officials have warned.

At the same time, authorities continue to resist re-imposing significant community restrictions, including widespread mask mandates.

While case numbers have been hovering between 3000 and 4000 over the past few days, recent modelling suggested SA could have up to 6000 a day within weeks as the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 strains became the dominant variants.

But Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said that number could go even higher with the data less clear about the timing and the size of the peak.

“I don’t know how high it’s going to go. We’ll just have to see where we pan out,” she told reporters on Monday.

“The most certainty we have is that we’re going to have a wave. There’s less certainty about when the peak will be and how high that peak will be.”

Professor Spurrier said SA Health would issue more messaging about the need for people to wear masks in the community, but a widespread mandate would require a new emergency declaration.

Health Minister Chris Picton said the government is monitoring case numbers as well as hospitalisations.

“We’re continuing to get more modelling through, we’re continuing to listen to advice from around the country,” he said.

“We have the ability if we need it to put that (emergency management declaration) in place again.

“That’s something that’s continually under review.”

SA reported 3039 coronavirus infections on Sunday. Monday’s figures were still to be released.