Four people with COVID-19 die in SA as state sets new predicted peak of 5,500 daily cases – ABC News

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New modelling from SA Health shows the state will reach a peak of 5,500 new COVID-19 cases per day — a level already reached last week, with a similar number of new cases possible tomorrow.
The state reported four COVID-linked deaths and 5,068 new cases today.
Almost 5,500 new cases were reported last Wednesday and a similar number could be recorded this Wednesday — typically the peak day of the week.
Previous modelling had predicted a peak of 8,000 cases per day in mid-April.
In a statement posted on its website, SA Health said new University of Adelaide modelling predicted about 5,500 new cases per day in the coming days.
However, it said it was "still a little early to tell if we have reached the peak of the Omicron wave, but watching the case numbers over the next few days may help in this regard".
It said the new modelling had taken into account the recent easing of social restrictions on disease transmission and suggested people were keeping up COVID-safe measures, such as staying home when sick.
Of the fatal cases today, two were women in their 60s, one was a woman in her 70s and one a woman in her 80s.
There are 206 people currently in hospital with the virus, including 11 in intensive care and one on a ventilator.
Several COVID-19 clinics will have their operations extended to boost vaccination uptake in South Australia.
Premier Peter Malinauskas today announced the state government would extend the operational time frame of several vaccination clinics across SA, in an effort to "increase vaccination and reduce hospitalisation".
"The Wayville vaccination clinic, which has looked after more than half a million South Australians, rather than closing on May 31 will now close on July 31," he said.
"We will see our pop-up clinics continue to operate, as well as regional vaccination centres that were due to close."
The two-month extension will cost the government $637,000 — a price Mr Malinauskas said paled in comparison to that of hospitalisation.
"We know that there are still hundreds of thousands of South Australians who are eligible for the third dose, who have not yet received it," he said.
"If someone chooses not to get vaccinated and then they are subsequently hospitalised, they're taking up a hospital bed from someone else who may need it. You don't want to be that person."
More than 200,000 South Australians are now eligible for the fourth booster dose.
Rachael Kay from the Central Adelaide Local Health Network urged vulnerable people to seek out a jab soon.
"As of tomorrow, all of the SA Health-run clinics will open to the winter dose," she said.
"[That] is really important for all those people who are over 65, that are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander over 50, that are in a residential aged care or disability facility, or who are immune-compromised."
Despite the Premier's desire to limit hospitalisations, Mr Malinauskas insisted the state was on track to remove mask mandates by next Thursday, April 14.
He said Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier was "on board" to relax mask rules.
The new modelling predicts hospitalisations purely because of COVID-19 to peak at about 200, a figure that is hard to compare with the daily figure released by SA Health which also includes people who test positive to the virus while in hospital but did get admitted because of it. 
SA Health said people may be staying out of hospital because of oral antivirals as well as alternatives to hospital care.
The Premier also indicated he had requested that SA Health release its daily COVID-19 updates at midday from now on, and that the state's Emergency Management Committee would continue to meet each Tuesday "on a semi-regular basis" for the time being.
See our full coverage of coronavirus
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