14/07/2022 - 13:21

COVID hospitalisations hit new high

14/07/2022 - 13:21

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The number of Western Australians hospitalised with COVID has hit a new record today, as the spread of Omicron sub-variants propel the state towards its next pandemic peak.

COVID hospitalisations hit new high
WA Health reported there were 329 people in hospital with COVID-19, 14 of whom were being treated in ICU.

The number of Western Australians hospitalised with COVID has hit a new record today, as the spread of Omicron sub-variants propel the state towards its next pandemic peak.

As of 6pm last night, WA Health reported there were 329 people in hospital with COVID-19, 14 of whom were being treated in ICU.

But the number of active cases in WA remains at 34,527; almost one-third of the number reported during the pandemic peak in May.

The growing number of infections is being attributed to the spread of the highly virulent BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants.

The latest health modelling predicts the second wave will peak within the next six weeks.

But Premier Mark McGowan has said he had no intention of reintroducing mask mandates or other measures to reduce the rate of infection at this stage, at least until chief health officer Andrew Robertson suggests otherwise.

He did concede, however, that the rise in the number of hospitalisations was putting pressure on the state’s health system.

“It is concerning, and it puts pressure on our health system,” he said.

“A lot of people with respiratory issues, whether it be flu or other illnesses, are coming to our emergency departments and it’s putting a lot of pressure on our health system.

“There are new strains that are particularly infectious and that is having an impact.

“COVID is not over; it continues to roll on and continues to cause grief around the world.

“It is nowhere near as bad as it was and that’s because we have high vaccination rates.

“At this point in time, there is no need for mask-wearing outside of where it is currently required.

“We still have a range of rules in place, but to be fair, they’re relatively modest compared to what was in place before.

“We do still have mask-wearing requirements in hospitals and aged care facilities and places like that, which is entirely appropriate, but if you want to wear a mask, you’re perfectly entitled to do so.”

The new hospitalisation record coincides with fresh COVID-19 reinfection guidelines, under which the period for reinfection has shrunk from 12 weeks to just four; meaning more close contacts will be forced to isolate.

It comes as new data showed Perth's CBD occupancy rates were continuing to climb, reaching 65 per cent of pre-pandemic levels last month.

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