‘Descending’: Authorities say SA COVID surge is above peak

New modeling shows the current wave of COVID-19 in South Australia peaked on July 19 and authorities are hoping its downward trajectory will reduce the number of people admitted to hospital with the virus.

Speaking after a meeting of the State Emergency Management Board this morning, Police Commissioner and State Emergency Coordinator Grant Stevens said the latest modeling shown at the EMC shows the South Australia “peaked in cases on… 19e last month”.

SA Health reported 5,020 cases of COVID-19 on July 19, with the number of daily infections not exceeding 5,000 since then.

South Australia has recorded 2,848 cases today – down from 2,389 on Monday – and three more deaths from COVID-19. There are currently 352 people hospitalized with the virus.

“All indications are that we are currently past this current peak,” Stevens told reporters a short time ago.

“So we look like the number of cases is going down and hopefully that translates into a reduction in the number of hospitalizations as well.

“The modeling only really takes us to about two weeks, but all signs are positive at this point that we are coming down from the current peak.”

Stevens said the July 19 peak date was “exactly what the forecast said.”

“The modeling is pretty good and it gives us some confidence that we should see a reduction in the number of cases and that will eventually translate to fewer people being hospitalized,” he said.

Authorities were hesitant to say last week whether South Australia had passed the peak of the current wave, which was driven by the rise of the more transmissible BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said on Friday it was too early to confirm whether the peak caseload had passed given that the return to school could lead to an increase in infections among children. children.

Meanwhile, no changes to state mask mandates came out of today’s EMC meeting, despite the University of South Australia yesterday deciding to make masks compulsory for all students and campus staff.

UniSA said its decision came after Spurrier provided “updated specific information for the higher education sector” regarding the current wave of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 cases.

Stevens said the EMC had “some discussions about wearing masks” but the “position still remains the same that it is strongly recommended.”

“Obviously there is the reminder that it is compulsory to wear masks on public transport and we hope that people will understand this obligation and take this action.

Masks remain mandatory in high-risk settings such as hospitals and other health services, pharmacies, disability and elderly care services, as well as public transport and airplanes.

The state opposition this morning called on the state government to distribute free masks on public transport to boost adoption.

Stevens said the state government is reviewing the proposal.

“It’s something we’re working on right now to find out if it can actually be rolled out,” he said.

He also said there will also be “encouragement from people at SA Health who will be going to various exchange venues and helping people understand their obligations and making sure they are wearing masks.”

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