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Another 995 SA cases, more than 5000 since borders opened


South Australia has recorded another 995 COVID-19 infections with 36 people now in hospital with the virus – up from 17 on Sunday – as the number of local cases since the Marshall Government opened borders on November 23 climbs past 5000.

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In a statement today, SA Health said the state has recorded 5238 new cases since November 23, with 81 per cent of infections being the Omicron variant.

Five people are now in intensive care as of Tuesday, including one on ventilation.

Tuesday’s cases include 84 children, 66 teenagers, 449 women aged between 18 and 105 and 396 men aged between 18 and 94.

Three young children are in hospital with the virus, along with three aged between 10 and 19. Two people aged in their 20s, five aged in their 30s and two in their 40s are also in hospital.

Ten of the hospital cases are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated and 14 are fully vaccinated with the status of the remainder unknown.

More than 90 of the new cases acquired were infected in the state by a known case, three were infected in the state with the contact unknown and eight acquired their infection interstate. The remaining 893 cases are still under investigation.

Three cases that were removed from case numbers on Monday have been re-added due to data reconfigurations.

There were more than 20,000 tests carried out on Monday.

More than 4,700 people are now in home quarantine in South Australia.

SA Health is urging the community to closely monitor themselves for symptoms and get tested as soon as any appear.

At Premier Steven Marshall’s press conference on Sunday, he urged people to work from home if possible and announced hospitality venue capacity would be cut.

He also said the number of people allowed at a household gathering would be cut from 30 to 10 and warned that the Omicron variant threatened to overrun health systems if action was not taken.

Marshall on Sunday also defended his decision to open state borders on November 23, saying the World Health Organisation did not declare Omicron a variant of concern until five days later.

Today he flagged a business support package to help South Australians weather the current outbreak.

Marshall said the reintroduction of restrictions on Monday – including density limits – would have a disproportionate impact on the hospitality, catering and fitness sectors.

“We want to offer them our support,” he said on Tuesday.

“We’ve supported business in South Australia through the tough times already, that’s going to continue.”

But he defended the necessity of the restrictions, saying the state had to take action.

“We don’t want New Year’s Eve to be a superspreader event,” he said.

Marshall did not have any more details about the 94-year-old woman who died with the virus on Sunday. The coroner is investigating her cause of death.

“She passed while being infected with the coronavirus,” Marshall said.

“We’re not sure what the cause of death is but that will obviously be ascertained in the coming days.”

-with AAP

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