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COVID cases, hospitalisations rise as SA prepares to unmask

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COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations have jumped overnight, with 5398 new infections and 18 more infectious hospital patients ahead of the state’s indoor mask mandate lifting at midnight.

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Today’s new cases are a marked increase from the 4986 reported yesterday, following a 0.9 per cent rise in the number of PCR tests.

Meanwhile, hospitalisations rose overnight from 220 to 238, including 11 people in intensive care and one on a ventilator.

A man in his 70s died after testing positive for COVID-19, bringing the state’s total death rate to 290.

There are now 33,699 active cases in the state, down from 35,052 reported yesterday. 

The increase in new cases and hospitalisations comes as the indoor mask mandate, QR code and COVID marshal rules lift at midnight tonight.

Masks will still be mandatory in aged care facilities, hospitals, residential disability facilities, planes, inside airports, prisons, on public transport and ride-sharing services, but optional in all other public spaces.

The state’s QR code check-in system will also be “mothballed”, meaning people will no longer have to check-in at venues including restaurants.

Premier Peter Malinauskas announced this morning that COVID marshals would also be scrapped at midnight tonight, with only COVID management plan events of over 1000 people still required to have one on deck.

“In effect, this means pubs, cafes, shops and the like will no longer need a COVID marshal,” he said in a statement this morning.

“With the progressive removal of the requirement for masks, QR codes and density restrictions there is no longer a need for COVID marshals.

“This will help remove yet another burden on SA small businesses.

“This decision has been taken by the State Government in consultation with the state coordinator and chief public health officer.”

The State Government is yet to announce whether masks will still be required in schools for the start of Term 2, with a decision to be made towards the end of the school holidays, in about two weeks’ time.

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