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COVID in WA: State records 5377 new instances, with five people in ICU

COVID cases are on the rise again in WA, reaching a new record 5377 on Tuesday in the week health authorities expect daily infections to peak.

There were 112 people with COVID in hospital as of 8pm Monday night, with five of those receiving treatment in intensive care.

That is an increase from 109 hospitalisations yesterday and just one person in ICU.

The rise in reported cases comes off the back of a near doubling in PCR tests carried out on Monday – 17,272 – compared to just 9308 on Sunday.

The positivity rate of PCR tests dropped to 13 per cent yesterday – well down on the 20 per cent from Sunday.

WA now also has the highest testing rate per capita in the country. Federal Health Department data shows there were 5133 tests per 100,000 population in the last week, beating out South Australia at 4421 tests per 100,000.

There was a long line of motorists built up outside the Victoria Park drive-thru testing clinic this morning in a sign of the demand for swabs.

The State’s active caseload now stands at 27,465 which, in an encouraging sign ahead of the peak, means just a fraction of known infections (0.4 per cent) are currently in hospital.

However, Omicron modelling released by the WA Health Department expects a six or seven day lag between the peak of cases and hospitalisations.

Chief Health Officer Andy Robertson has said he expects daily cases to peak by Friday at around the 10,000 mark.

COVID cases are on the rise again in WA, reaching a new record 5377 on Tuesday in the week health authorities expect daily infections to peak.
Camera IconCOVID cases are on the rise again in WA, reaching a new record 5377 on Tuesday in the week health authorities expect daily infections to peak. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Deputy Premier Roger Cook said he had expected a big uplift in cases on Tuesday.

He said the McGowan Government was confident there were more undetected cases in the community, but everything was going smoothly so far.

“WA has managed that situation really well,” Mr Cook said.

“I think we should be proud of the way the community has responded and our high booster rates means we have that extra level of protection and we’re seeing a really pleasingly low number of hospitalisations.”

Mr Cook conceded he did not know what the other side of WA’s peak would look like and that it might include a long plateau at lower daily case numbers.

Lines at a COVID testing clinic on Albany Highway, Victoria Park.
Camera IconLines at a COVID testing clinic on Albany Highway, Victoria Park. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Arriving at Parliament on Tuesday, Education Minister Sue Ellery said as of 5pm Monday, 795 schools across WA had active COVID infections.

Ms Ellery said about 20,000 students and 2000 staff had been sidelined by the disease so far – either after contracting it or being identified as close contacts.

“I think people understand the rules now and they’re into a pattern, but there’s no question it’s tiring,” she said.

“It’s extra work for staff, but it is what it is, we knew this was coming.”

WA’s daily case numbers dipped over the weekend in line with a steep fall in testing but both have picked up to start the week.

Broken down by region, most active cases are in Perth and Peel (23,793) followed by the South West (699), Pilbara (417) Goldfields (343), Wheatbelt (295), Mid West (246), Great Southern (187) and Kimberley (168).

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