WORLD

Omicron confirmed in new state

SA authorities fear the Omicron variant has made its way into the state, the Premier revealed on Friday morning. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Brenton Edwards

South Australian authorities have confirmed the Omicron variant has seeped into the state.

SA Health said two cases reported on Friday were the variant of concern.

Any close contacts of the Omicron cases will need to quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status, likely to throw Christmas plans into chaos.

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Anyone who was at the following exposure sites needs to get tested and isolate immediately:

  • Bakery on O’Connell, North Adelaide: Tuesday December 7, 11.20pm- Wednesday December 8, 12.50am;
  • Chicken Shack Seafood and Grill, Plympton: Tuesday December 7, 2pm-3pm;
  • Super Cheap Auto, Kilburn: Wednesday December 8, 12pm-1.45pm;
  • Oliver’s Pets and Plants, Glengowrie: Tuesday December 7, 8.30am-5.30pm.

Before SA Health had been able to confirm the results, Premier Steven Marshall on Friday morning said he was “very concerned about (Omicron)”.

Premier Steven Marshall said authorities feared Omicron had found its way into SA. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Mariuz
Premier Steven Marshall said authorities feared Omicron had found its way into SA. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Mariuz

Mr Marshall on Friday said he would attend a national cabinet meeting later in the day to further discuss the newest variant of concern.

He noted that Omicron had not moved as quickly as authorities believed it would, but he said there was still limited information about it which was why they were being so cautious.

“Sometimes when you get a new case, it takes some time to get that (genome sequencing) assessment,” he said.

“We’re testing those (overnight cases) to see if they could be cases of Omicron.”

At National Cabinet on Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the chief medical officer – Professor Paul Kelly – was still working to gain a thorough understanding of the variant.

The premier said genome sequencing was underway as new Covid-19 cases were recorded overnight. Picture: Naomi Jellicoe
The premier said genome sequencing was underway as new Covid-19 cases were recorded overnight. Picture: Naomi Jellicoe

Cases of the strain have already been reported on the east coast with the first being in NSW.

The World Health Organisation declared Omicron a variant of concern in late November because the strain had several mutations that could impact on how it behaved.

Across the world, studies on the variant are underway but it is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible than Delta or if it is more deadly or dangerous.

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