South Australia will place limits on elective surgery and mandate vaccine boosters for frontline healthcare workers ahead of a predicted increase in hospitalisations as the state records 1471 coronavirus cases.
“Omicron is moving too quickly,” Premier Steven Marshall says.
Restrictions on elective surgery will soon come into place so health resources “can be focused on the very imminent, likely increase in hospitalisation across our state”.
Mr Marshall 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,” Mr Marshall says.
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 says.
The state is also increasing 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 says.