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SA health workers to get hotel 'sanctuary'

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall speaks to the media at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Adelaide, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. The State Government is looking at using hotelsl for temporary accommodation for frontline staff during the health crisis. (AAP Image/David Mariuz) NO ARCHIVING

Premier Steven Marshall (pictured) has announced today that South Australian frontline health staff will be offered "sanctuary" in a dedicated health hotel to better protect themselves and their families against the coronavirus (AAP Image/David Mariuz) 

South Australian frontline health staff will be offered "sanctuary" in a dedicated health hotel to better protect themselves and their families against the coronavirus.

The state government is in discussion with several hotels to provide centrally-located accommodation for doctors, nurses, SA Ambulance staff and other health care workers.

The accommodation will be available on a priority basis for those who work in the direct on-going clinical care of virus patients and is expected to be available within weeks.

Premier Steven Marshall said South Australians needed to look after one another like never before.

"South Australia's health professionals are heroes of our efforts to combat COVID-19 and it's vital that we look after those who look after us," Mr Marshall said.

"Providing hotel accommodation will not only offer a sanctuary for health workers during the difficult days ahead but will also give them peace of mind that they are minimising any risk to their families at undue risk."

The recruitment and training of nurses and midwives will be also fast-tracked to ensure there are enough frontline medical staff to handle the virus.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said SA was mobilising every resource it had to ensure the community and health care system was prepared.

"We know that with the number of positive COVID-19 cases on the rise, the virus will put additional pressure on our health workforce," Mr Wade said.

"This is why we are taking the critical steps now to boost the number of nurses and midwives in our health system."

SA Health chief nurse and midwifery officer Jenny Hurley said nurses and midwives played an important role in educating the community in the fight to protect and minimise the spread.

"From intensive care, aged care to the emergency department, our nurses are contributing to protecting our community against this global pandemic," Ms Hurley said.

"Our frontline nurses are doing incredible work in testing, caring for and treating COVID-19 patients.

"The most important thing is that all nurses are in this fight together."

As part of the strategy, student nurses will also work in multi-disciplinary teams in sample collection centres, testing clinics and border screening.

There are 170 confirmed coronavirus cases in SA.

© AAP 2020