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South Australia COVID-19 News

The vaccines are still protecting against severe disease.

COVID-19 booster vaccine advice:

To receive the best protection against serious illness or death from COVID-19, you should stay up to date with all vaccinations recommended for your age or individual health needs. Boosters are important to maintain this protection.

Getting vaccinated has many benefits, including:

  • protecting yourself against severe illness and death from COVID-19
  • preventing complications such as ‘long COVID’
  • protecting people who can’t be vaccinated due to medical conditions
  • keeping hospitalisation rates at a level our health system can cope with.

The best way to prevent long COVID is to protect yourself against being infected with the COVID-19 virus. Vaccination is the best way to reduce the risks of COVID-19. Research suggests that people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 are less likely to report long COVID symptoms than people who are unvaccinated.

  • If you need information on COVID-19 or the vaccines, call the COVID-19 helpline on 1800 020 080 – open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Learn about booster does for COVID-19 vaccines, who they are recommended for, when you need one and how to get it.

A 2023 booster dose is available for eligible people who have not had a booster or a confirmed COVID-19 infection in the past six months.

Click here for information about booster doses.

Recommendations for close contacts

Close contact includes living with or having spent a lot of time indoors with someone with COVID-19 while they are infectious.

In South Australia currently, you do not have to spend a certain number of hours with someone who has COVID-19 before you are considered a ‘close contact’.

There are lots of situations where there is a higher risk of catching COVID, such as spending the evening indoors with someone, working closely together, or going on a long car trip.

People with COVID-19 are considered infectious two days before their symptoms started, or two days before their positive COVID-19 test was taken if they have no noticeable symptoms.

If you are a close contact, there are important things you can do for the next 7 days to reduce the risk to others:

  • Close contacts are at an increased risk of getting COVID, so monitor for symptoms. If you get sick you should get tested and stay at home until you are well.
  • Don’t visit people at high risk of severe illness, or anyone in a hospital, or an aged or disability care facility. If you have to visit, do a rapid antigen test before you go.
  • Wear a mask when in indoor places and on public transport.
  • Rapid antigen tests can pick up infection early even if you do not have symptoms. It is safest to do one each day.
  • Notify your employer, school or childcare setting that you are a close contact.
  • If you need health care it is best to call your service first and let them know you are a close contact.
  • If you are symptomatic and have a negative RAT test result, we recommend that you get a COVID PCR test done.

Advice for ACCHS staff

Since there are no longer legal requirements for COVID cases and contacts working in primary health care, it is up to individual health services to make policies about how to stop the spread. In October 2022, SA Health provided an example policy that other services can adapt.

SA Health’s workplace policy for both healthcare and departmental staff - provided as a guideline for consideration- https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/clinical+resources/for+gps/gp+news/primary+care+update+13+10+2022

COVID-19 positive staff:

  • Must notify their manager immediately of a positive test result.
  • Will not be permitted to enter the workplace (work from home to be made available where practicable) for 7 days.
  • May return on day 8 if all symptoms have resolved.

Close contact staff:

  • Are to notify manager they are a close contact.
  • Should seek manager’s permission to return to the workplace.
  • Should wear a face mask at all times in the workplace for 7 days from last contact with a COVID-19 positive case (a well-fitted surgical face mask for non-client facing staff / a fit checked but preferably fit-tested N95 face mask for patient facing staff), and implement protocols such as taking meal breaks alone or outside.
  • Get tested with PCR and stay home on immediate onset of any symptoms.
  • Should complete a RAT at start of every shift attended inclusive of a daily RAT for 7 days.
  • Undertake risk mitigation in their household to reduce personal risk of infection (for example, own bedroom, own bathroom, physical distancing, case and close contacts wear masks).