Premier Steven Marshall said South Australia had experienced a “very significant increase”.
“We’re seeing the numbers in South Australia double every three or four days,” Mr Marshall said.
However, he said he was pleased that hospitalisation rates remained relatively low, with 36 people in hospital.
“We haven’t seen a big increase in that number. And as of midnight last night, there were four or five people in ICU,” Mr Marshall said.
The premier has urged people to work from home wherever it possible to do so to help reduce the spread of the virus.
“Please take our call to work from home very seriously,” he said.
“We’re asking every single employer in the state to do what they can to reduce this transmission.”
He said New Year’s this year would be very different for many in South Australia.
On December 26 capacity limits in homes were reduced from 30 to 10 people per household.
“This is going to be a very different New Year’s Eve for many people,” Mr Marshall said.
“But our focus at the moment, right across the country, right across the world, we’re not immune to it here in South Australia, is keeping people safe.”
In the next 24 hours the amount of elective surgery that can be done in South Australia for category one and urgent care will be limited to reserve the health workforce for the increasing hospitalisation set to come about from Omicron.
“If we have everybody hitting the health system at exactly the same time, it will overwhelm our health system in Australia,” Mr Marshall said.
“We’ve got changing conditions, and so our plan has to change. We know this is hugely inconvenient for people.”
Booster shots to be mandatory
South Australia is set to make having a third COVID-19 vaccination dose mandatory for all healthcare workers.
This would mean people would have to have two initial does plus a booster.
“It’s very important that we get those people on the frontline as protected as possible, because we’ve got to make sure that we preserve as much of our health workforce as we possibly can through this period,” Mr Marshall said.
Mr Marshall said he has spoken with the COVID Ready Committee and a direction is being prepared.