Coronavirus crisis: WA reports new COVID record with 1098 new local cases – The West Australian

WA has reported almost 1100 new COVID cases, making it a record-breaking 24 hours since the pandemic began two years ago.
Premier Mark McGowan announced the news via Facebook on Saturday, posting that WA Health had recorded 1098 new local cases of COVID-19 to 8pm last night.
Seven cases had also been recorded related to travel.
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The increase in cases from the 1043 reported on Friday was relatively small compared to the big jump from the 617 new cases reported on Thursday.
There were 645 recorded on Wednesday and just 252 on Tuesday.
There are now 15 people being treated in hospital for COVID – three more than the previous day.
The new infections bring the active case total to 3900, with Mr McGowan confirming on Friday Omicron was now in every region of the State.
According to chief health officer Andy Robertson, the numbers were in line with recent modelling and it was expected WA would see the number of hospitalisations increase in the coming weeks.
He told ABC Radio on Friday it was likely there were more undetected cases within the community and those people weren’t getting tested.
“There is quite a lot of asymptomatic disease out there, particularly in younger groups who may be triple vaccinated,” Dr Robertson said.
“They may have very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.
“We‘re probably not capturing everyone.”
Mr McGowan announced a series of new close contact rules for police and health workers on Friday.
Under the new rules, police and healthcare workers are now permitted to keep attending work even if deemed a close contact of a COVID case.
Workers in those industries who are asymptomatic can keep going to work as long as they return negative daily rapid antigen tests.
When at work they must wear a surgical mask and, if possible, travel alone. When outside of work they must self-isolate. If they return a positive RAT they must do a week’s quarantine.
Bethany Hiatt
These same relaxed rules will soon be expanded to others working in critical industries when WA is eventually declared as being in a “very high caseload setting”.
“Even with precautionary measures, having asymptomatic close contacts in the workplace is a higher risk but we have to balance that against the cost of having higher and higher numbers of health staff and police isolating at home,” the Premier said.
“It is not a problem today, but we need to move these settings now to ensure that it does not become one. This is just for police and health workers at this stage. However, employers in other industries need to be prepared if they need it.
“Eligible employers need to register their critical workers on the online critical worker furlough and registration system now to ensure they are ready for a very high caseload environment.
“There are strict rules about what kinds of roles are critical and they are all on the website for employers. This should only be used as a last resort for a temporary period given the risks.”
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