Australia SA has first new local cases of COVID-19
Dominic Perrottet and Greg Hunt blast Annastacia Palaszczuk
The health minister has sent off a strongly worded letter to Queensland to reconsider and look at rapid antigen testing as an alternative to its border arrangements.The Sunshine state will reopen for tourists once 80 per cent of its vaccine-eligible residents are double-jabbed - which could be as early as December 6.
South Australia has reported its first locally acquired cases of COVID-19 since reopening the state's borders last week.
SA Health says two men in their 50s have tested positive for the virus after attending the same event as interstate travellers.
"While the cases are currently under investigation, we believe the virus was passed on from an interstate traveller at the event," it said in a statement on Wednesday.
"We expect exposure locations to follow."
A child who recently returned from overseas has also tested positive for the virus, taking the number of active infections in SA to nine.
At-home Covid-19 tests are getting better. Experts say: Stock up for winter.
New tests promise lab-quality results in under an hour — all without having to get up off your couch. If you can find and afford at-home tests — whether they’re the relatively cheap antigen tests or their more expensive molecular cousins — experts say it will be particularly useful for you to have them on hand this fall and winter, for a few reasons. For Americans who got their first two doses this spring, immunity may well be waning. Data so far shows the vaccines’ effectiveness against infection tapers off around the six-month mark.
There have been 13 cases since the border rules were relaxed, but all have involved interstate or overseas travellers.
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Under current arrangements, SA is open to vaccinated travellers from all states and territories, with some requirements for testing and quarantine.
International arrivals are required to quarantine for 14 days, regardless of where they come from.
Local restrictions, such as mandatory mask-wearing on public transport and in most venues, also remain.
The state's transition committee met on Tuesday but left all travel and local restrictions unchanged despite concerns over the new Omicron variant of the virus.
Premier Steven Marshall said previously there was an "inevitability" about cases in South Australia under the new border rules.
"But what we want to do is to get to those cases as early as possible," he said.
"So that we're minimising the number of people who need to have testing or potentially go into isolation."
Who the pandemic’s next phase will hurt the most .
The US health system’s racial inequities will still be felt after Covid-19 becomes endemic.The next stage of the pandemic is still taking shape. It’s too soon to say whether the omicron variant that has caused so much recent concern will drive a new wave of infections around the world. But, whether or not omicron becomes dominant, some Americans will be more at risk from Covid than others going forward. And in any version of endemic Covid — where, for many, Covid-19 can be akin to the flu, undesirable but manageable — some people, especially the elderly and immunocompromised, will face a higher risk by default.