Covid-19 SA: SA records 3023 new cases, back to school policy revealed

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A state premier has made a big call on people returning to work after Covid, as the state recorded another 3023 cases overnight.

South Australia has recorded 3023 new Covid-19 cases and six deaths in the past 24 hours as the premier revealed when residents could return to work.

There are 298 people now in hospital, with 33 in intensive care and seven on a ventilator.

New interim modelling revealed the state had likely already hit the peak of its Omicron wave and does not show a significant spike in daily cases once school resumes in mid-February.

Businesses were encouraged to allow one quarter of their staff to return to the office from January 27 by Premier Steven Marshall.

About a month ago, residents were told to work from home where possible to limit the spread of the virus once the Omicron wave hit the state.

“We cannot become complacent. We have plenty of capacity in our hospitals but we still need to get our students back to schools,” Mr Marshall said.

It comes as the state recorded its deadliest day with 11 Covid related deaths on Thursday as well as 3777 new cases.

But Mr Marshall said it did not necessarily mean all 11 people had died in one day because there were no urgent reporting requirements from residential aged care facilities to SA Health.

“Nevertheless, its very sad news and we express our sincere condolences,” he said.

He announced on Friday that the state government would provide childcare and early learning centre teachers with rapid antigen tests on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

“It makes more sense in an early learning setting because teachers in that environment are interacting with children on a very close basis.”

Under the state’s back to school plan, high school students and teachers will need to wear a mask and it is strongly recommended for primary school students from year 3 and up.

“Classroom contacts” will be introduced and are defined as students who have had a positive case in their class.

Their parents and caregivers will be alerted if their child is deemed as such and must monitor their children for symptoms, but they do not need to quarantine.

Students who are sick are asked to stay home.

Chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier said cases would appear in schools but it would not spark a second wave.

Ahead of today’s press conference, the premier said SA schools wouldn’t test their students twice-weekly — despite the federal government agreeing to foot half the bill — because it was “suboptimal” and would provide false negatives and a false sense of security they weren’t infected.

Schools will resume on February 2 with students in reception and years 1, 7, 8 and 12 able to return to campus while all other years will learn from home.

Originally published as SA records 3023 new Covid cases, six deaths



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