Four COVID-19 deaths in SA but drop in positive cases and hospitalisations

Premier Steven Marshall says fewer people are now in hospital with COVID-19. (ABC News)

Four more people have died from COVID-19 in South Australia.

One of them was a woman in her 80s, while the others were two women in their 90s and a man in his 90s.

There are 236 people in hospital – a drop of 10 from Friday's numbers – including 26 patients in ICU and seven on ventilators.

SA has recorded 4,349 new positive COVID-19 cases, down from Friday's total of 5,679.

Friday's numbers were high because of a delay in processing tests while testing clinics were closed due to hot weather.

The result also included rapid antigen tests (RATs) for the first time.

There were 18,514 PCR tests carried out on Friday.

About 10,000 RAT kits were collected from SA Health for close contacts, returning 1,242 positive results.

"The great thing about this is because you get that positive result on the RAT straight away, people are going into that isolation — they know that they've got the positive case 24 hours before that PCR test so this is a positive move," Premier Steven Marshall said.

A RAT distribution site will open in the Riverland tomorrow.

Under SA's Omicron modelling, daily cases are expected to peak in the range of 6,000 to 10,000 between today and January 25.

A driver is handed a rapid antigen test in Adelaide's southern parklands RAT distribution site. January 13, 2022.  (ABC News: Michael Clements)

Dozens of people get wrong results

SA Pathology said 67 people received a text message earlier this week advising them of an incorrect COVID-19 test result, including 34 COVID-positive people who were incorrectly sent a negative test result and 33 people who were incorrectly sent a positive test result.

"We currently have a team of doctors contacting each individual affected to explain the situation and apologise for any inconvenience caused, and a text message will be sent with the amended result," the state-run agency said.

"We have reviewed and updated our processes, which will be implemented on Monday, to avoid a similar incident happening again."

Concern about aged care homes restricting visitors

With COVID-19 cases reported in a large number of aged care homes, Mr Marshall said the government had received complaints from family members about restrictions on visitors.

He refused to say operators were doing "the wrong thing" in terms of restricting visitors, but SA Health will provide him with a report card on the sector's visitor restrictions on Monday.

He said there was no state-mandated restriction on visitors to facilities with a vaccination rate above 70 per cent — "basically every" one — apart from in the first 24 hours of a declared outbreak.

"There are some families who are anxious, who are frightened with the current restrictions on visitors," he said.

More vaccination slots for children aged 5–11 have been opened at the mass vaccination hub at the Adelaide Showground this weekend, while the Enfield site will become a family-only vaccination site from Monday.

Pharmacists and GPs will be offered a $15 bonus in Adelaide and $20 in the country per jab for beating their targets, an initiative that was worth up to $1 million, Mr Marshall said.

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