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Marshall says SA has 'avoided disaster'

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A woman in her 50s has died with COVID-19 in South Australia as the state recorded 2921 new cases – more than a thousand fewer than the previous day – prompting Premier Steven Marshall to insist the state has “avoided disaster” because of restrictions reimposed last month.

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Speaking to media and the public this afternoon from his home where he is isolated as a close contact of his COVID-positive daughter, Marshall said the state’s 2921 new cases to midnight, from 18,433 tests, was “the lowest daily rate we’ve had for quite some time”.

It followed Monday’s 4024 new cases from a significantly higher 21,845 tests, but Marshall insists “we continue to stabilise the number of positive cases in our state”.

There are 211 people currently in hospital with COVID, with 22 in intensive care and four on a ventilator.

The state’s death toll linked to COVID cases climbed by one today, with 19 deaths now in total, 15 of which have come since the Omicron surge.

It came as the rate of vaccination bounced back from yesterday’s dip, jumping from 8800 to 16,000, as Marshall revealed that around 44 per cent of people eligible for their booster dose had now received it.

The Premier said the latest modelling from the University of Adelaide showed the state was now due to hit its peak of the Omicron outbreak “in the third or fourth week of this month”.

“There will be a further increase but nothing like we were expecting in late December,” he said, insisting density and gathering restrictions imposed on Boxing Day had helped offset what was then projected to be an explosion of new cases.

“The model was predicting tens of thousands of cases on a daily basis [so] we’ve really avoided disaster,” he said.

“It’s dangerous to look at a single day but we need to look at the rate,” Marshall said, arguing SA had the slowest “doubling rate” of new cases in the country, outside of WA.

The Government will late this week confirm its plans for the resumption of the school year, but Marshall said “all options including a delay to the start of the [year]” were on the table.

More than 85,000 cases of COVID-19 were reported nationally today.

In NSW there were 25,870 new cases along with 11 deaths, while Victoria registered 37,994 infections and 13 deaths.

A new fatality was recorded in Queensland, as the state notched up 20,566 cases, with Tasmania announcing 1379 new cases.

Australia on Monday surpassed more than one million total COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began two years ago.

Overseas, New Zealand has reported just 14 community COVID-19 cases, the smallest daily count in four months. The United States recorded at least 1.13 million new coronavirus infections, according to a Reuters tally, the highest daily total of any country in the world.

-with AAP

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