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SA headed for lower COVID case peak

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South Australia’s current COVID-19 wave will likely only peak at around 5500 cases a day and result in fewer hospitalisations, according to new modelling, despite earlier forecasts the state was heading towards 8000 daily infections.

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SA Health yesterday released revised modelling from the University of Adelaide showing the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron is more likely to peak at 5500 cases a day in South Australia, with peak adult ward occupancy also revised down to roughly 150 beds from 200.

South Australia last Wednesday recorded 5496 cases of COVID-19 and has not reached that level since, but SA Health said it is unclear whether the state had already passed the peak.

“It is still a little early to tell if we have reached the peak of the Omicron wave, but watching the case numbers over the next few days may help in this regard,” SA Health said in a statement.

Modelling released on March 22 predicted South Australia could reach upwards of 8000 cases by early April, with the State Government continuing its effort to stand up 200 temporary hospital beds to prepare for the surge.

Modelling released yesterday forecasting the peak of South Australia’s BA.2 subvariant wave.

But SA Health said the new lower daily case estimate was a “good indication that South Australians were continuing to do the right thing such as staying home if unwell and keeping up with COVID-safe behaviours while out in the community”.

SA Health also speculated that the lower projected hospitalisation number could be due to the BA.2 sub-variant being less severe than BA.1, but said this wasn’t known yet.

“People are also keeping out of hospital by getting treated with oral antivirals and we are using alternatives to hospital care for many people now,” the statement said.

Modelling released yesterday predicting a lower peak adult ward occupancy in South Australia.

South Australia recorded 5068 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths on Tuesday – all women aged in their 60s, 70s and 80s.

There are currently 206 people in hospital including 11 in intensive care.

Indoor mask mandates are still on track to be removed by next Thursday, Premier Peter Malinauskas said yesterday, despite warnings from doctors that it’s too early to make such a promise.

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