Covid SA: Infected staff creating ‘huge stress’ on health workforce

Blake AntrobusNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

South Australia’s health workforce is under “huge stress” after hundreds of staff remain furloughed as close contacts and Covid infections.

The state recorded four deaths and 4349 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday.

Premier Steven Marshall said the state was expected to reach it’s peak number of cases this week, but revealed 567 health workers were furloughed after being infected with Covid-19.

Camera IconPremier Steven Marshall and Professor Nicola Spurrier during a press conference in Adelaide. The state recorded more than 4000 new cases and four deaths on Saturday. NCA NewsWire / Emma Brasier Credit: News Corp Australia

“It’s now up to 918 (including close contacts),” he said.

“This is really putting a huge stress on our SA Health workforce at the moment and is something we’re looking to address as positively as we can.”

However, Mr Marshall said the new numbers were only a slight increase and “still lower” than two days ago.

Of the new Covid-19 cases there are 246 people in hospital across the state – 10 fewer than the day before.

Some 26 people remain in intensive care and seven of those are on ventilators.

Covid Test Clinic
Camera IconCars queuing up at the Port Adelaide testing drive through clinic on Mundy Street in Port Adelaide in May 2021. Credit: News Corp Australia

More than 5000 new cases were recorded in South Australia on Friday.

South Australian schools have been delayed and will return next month with a raft of new restrictions, including teachers wearing masks and school assemblies being cancelled.

Mr Marshall said without the public health restrictions previously imposed the state would not have been able to cope with its latest numbers.

“It is going to be a disrupted start to Term 1, there’s just no doubt about it,” he said.

“We know it’s in the best interests overall in our state and for our teachers.”

Mr Marshall said modellers have suggested South Australia will have 20,000 to 30,000 fewer cases in February by adopting the hybrid approach.

Government grants have also opened for primary care providers to receive funding to deliver more vaccines to South Australians.

They will be eligible to receive a financial incentive of up to $15 per additional vaccine they could administer in metropolitan or outer metropolitan areas, or up to $20 per vaccine in regional and remote areas.

Originally published as Covid SA: Infected staff creating ‘huge stress’ on health workforce

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