SA posts spike in COVID-19 cases

South Australia’s daily COVID-19 infections have spiked, with health officials also reporting two more deaths.

SA Health reported 1671 new cases on Wednesday, well above the state’s seven-day average of 1369.

The rise came a week after about 35 per cent of the state’s school students returned to classrooms, though it remained unclear if students or staff contributed significantly to the increase.

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SA Health said the latest deaths were a woman in her 60s and a man in his 90s, taking the toll since the start of the pandemic to 139.

South Australia has 210 people in hospital, including 18 in intensive care where three people are on ventilators.

The state’s total number of active infections sits at 14,312.

Also on Wednesday, calls continued for state parliament to be recalled to ensure those isolating on election day next month, either as a positive case or a close contact, can vote.

Opposition and crossbench MPs want the parliament to pass legislation to extend phone voting.

But the state government said it was too late to introduce a comprehensive phone voting system and the SA electoral commission said it was working on plans to ensure everyone could cast a ballot in the March 19 poll.

“We are continuing to work closely with SA Health and SA police on a plan which will allow COVID-impacted South Australians the opportunity to vote safely, and we expect these plans to be finalised over the coming weeks,” a statement from the commission said.

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