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New record-high COVID case numbers in the South West

Jacinta CantatoreSouth Western Times
WA’s daily COVID cases have exploded to a major new high of more than 17,000 cases, Mark McGowan has revealed.
Camera IconWA’s daily COVID cases have exploded to a major new high of more than 17,000 cases, Mark McGowan has revealed. Credit: The West Australian

The South West has recorded its highest number of daily COVID-19 cases yet, with more than 1200 added to the tally for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The region recorded 1277 new active cases on Wednesday, bringing its total to 4961, making it the highest outside of the metro area.

In all, 684 cases were reported at the weekend.

The Health Department is reporting a total of 17,033 new cases in WA to 8pm Tuesday.

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There are 68,893 active cases in the State.

There were 275 people with COVID-19 in hospital, seven of those being treated in ICU.

It comes as the McGowan Government extended its COVID emergency powers until 2023 to keep enforcing compulsory masks in hospitals and seven-days isolation for positive cases.

WA has been in a state of emergency since March 2020 and the legislation underpinning the State’s remaining virus restrictions was due to expire on July 4 after three previous extensions.

The new Bill will extend the powers until January 3, 2023, but the Government said it did not mean the state of emergency would necessarily remain until that date — it could end earlier.

Opposition Leader Mia Davies said her office was only told about the legislation late Monday and the Government would now use its massive majority to ram it through Parliament on Tuesday night.

Questions in Parliament revealed Mr Dawson declares a “state of emergency” fortnightly based on verbal advice of the Police Commissioner and there was no written record of this briefing.

“The laws are designed to allow (the remaining restrictions) to happen,” the Premier said.

By contrast, other State governments across Australia are changing the way they enforce pandemic rules by ending state of emergency declarations.

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