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SA’s 1472 cases as test pressure continues

South Australia will soon limit elective surgeries and mandate vaccine boosters for healthcare workers, after the state reported a record 1472 new COVID-19 cases.

Premier Steven Marshall earlier said there were 1471 cases recorded on Wednesday, but SA Health has since confirmed one more case.

The state is now managing 6316 total active COVID cases.

The new cases included 135 children and 94 teenagers, 654 women and 587 men with two cases of unknown demographics.

Seven new cases were acquired interstate, while 239 were infected in SA and the source of 1226 cases were under investigation.

About 81 per cent of positive cases in the state are the Omicron variant.

There are now 37 cases in SA hospitals with COVID-19, an increase of one from the previous day’s tally, including six children.

Four people are in ICU with one of those requiring a ventilator.

Twenty-one people in hospital are fully vaccinated and 14 are unvaccinated, while two have an unknown vaccination status.

Mr Marshall said “Omicron is moving too quickly” as he said restrictions on elective surgery would soon come into place to allow health resources to focus on a “very imminent” rise in hospitalisations.

He said “there is no need” for people to queue for hours to get a test and advised people book in advance if they require one instead.

“Those people that are booking in are going through in a prioritised way, they’re getting through in an hour or just over an hour,” he told reporters.

South Australia will no longer be conducting screening tests for interstate travel because it does not have the capacity.

“We just simply need to dedicate all the testing capability that we have to those people that have symptoms and those people that are close contacts,” Mr Marshall said.

The state will also increase the capacity of vaccination clinics as residents are encouraged to get boosters.

Frontline health, aged care and disability workers will also need to get a booster within two weeks of becoming eligible to stay on the job.

“We’ve got to make sure that we preserve as much of our health workforce as we possibly can,” Mr Marshall said.

Seven cases reported on Tuesday have been removed from the total number of virus cases, with 6703 cases reported since November 23.

About 87.5 per cent of South Australians over 12 have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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